July 17, 2024

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Sales Operation: Meet Your Revenue Engine

Sales Operation

Sales Operation

You know how you can work with somebody virtually every day but have no idea what they’re doing? That’s what Sales Operations is all about.

Sales operations have grown in relevance as the volume of business data has steadily expanded and sales cycles have become longer and more complex (not to mention more computerized). The team ensures that deals and opportunities are appropriately represented in CRM and is in charge of tracking revenue production at the granular level.

Sales operations help sellers navigate through the most essential sections of the sales cycle—the deal stages—and across the finish line, where Sales Enablement gets sellers onboarded and ready to sell.

What Is Sales Operations?

The significance of sales operations is succinctly summarised in this Sales Hacker definition: “Sales Operation gives selling a system.” Sellers would be blind if they didn’t have Operations on their side, and the team is crucial in using “data to drive strategy, best practices to guide training, and technology to hack success.”

Sales operations, at its core, are about assisting and enabling frontline sales personnel to sell more efficiently and effectively by giving strategic guidance and eliminating sales friction. Sales operations perform both strategic and tactical duties to accomplish this.

There are a number of benefits to forming a structured sales operations team:

  • Decision-making and strategy based on data
  • Sales methods that are more efficient
  • Recruiting and hiring more effective procedures
  • Onboarding and employee training initiatives that are more successful
  • Strategic sales coverage models and territory planning result in increased productivity and sales.
  • More sales because of improved operational management that allows salespeople to focus on selling!

Sales enablement vs. sales operations

The border between sales operations and sales enablement is hazy. Many people use the names interchangeably, and the tasks of each team frequently overlap.

Each team’s overarching purpose is the same: to improve sales effectiveness and efficiency to generate more money.

So, what’s the difference between the two?

Each team and its roles are defined uniquely by each organization. Sales enablement teams, on the other hand, often focus on assisting sales representatives on the ground, especially in the early stages of the sales funnel.

Sales operations, on the other hand, are responsible for higher-level support services such as territory mapping, technology management, and reporting, and focus on facilitating sales later in the sales cycle (e.g., contract negotiation and closing).

We’ll include a larger scope of potential positions under the sales operations umbrella because the structure and duties of sales operations and sales enablement teams vary for every business.

What does a Sales Operations Manager do on a Daily Basis?

Sales Operations Managers spend their days ensuring that salespeople have everything they need to build a pipeline and close deals. This varies depending on the team’s specific circumstances.

“Do you require an additional pipeline from sales?” To deploy prospecting procedures, playbooks, and tools, leverage Sales Operations. Is it possible that your conversion rates are lower than they should be? Use Sales Operations to diagnose pipeline conversion and send out targeted sales enablement resources. The advantage of sales operations is having a well-stocked toolkit to address these difficulties as they arise.

Sales operations devote their time to four areas that have an impact on revenue:

  1. Strategy: Direction and projected uplift of incremental investments.
  2. Headcount: How many more people could we hire to spur growth?
  3. Productivity: What initiatives could we create to enhance productivity year-over-year? Where is the new opportunity, how will we seize it, and how much will it boost the bottom line?
  4. Compensation: Optimizing compensation plans to propel the proper types of sales activities.

Here’s a quick rundown of a sales operations team’s main responsibilities.

Strategy

One of the most important responsibilities of sales operations is to define the sales organization’s high-level vision and design tactics to achieve those objectives.

Some of their strategic roles could include:

  • Optimization of the sales process
  • Evaluation of sales technology and approach
  • Territory planning and sales coverage model
  • Goal-setting and high-level planning
  • Analyzing data
  • Forecasting sales

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Technology

The number of SaaS applications and other sales tools accessible to businesses has increased dramatically in recent years. While greater data and technology might help sales, the complexity of various platforms can overwhelm sales professionals and make the sales floor a time sink.

This is where sales operations come into play. Their role is to keep track of the sales tech stack so that sales professionals may concentrate on closing deals.

Here are some instances of how they attain this:

  • Apps and tools are integrated.
  • CRM adoption and customization
  • Management of communication
  • Reporting and data management
  • Automated tasks

Operations

By taking on the administrative and operational chores, sales operations contribute to excellent performance and knowledge throughout the sales department. Sales operations teams can take the lead on training, hiring, and knowledge management with the support of data analysis and process optimization, ensuring that their sales agents have the information and skills they need to thrive on the sales floor.

The following are examples of operational jobs and responsibilities:

  • Sales training for products
  • Recruiting and integrating top talent
  • Contracts and SLAs (service level agreements) for Market Intelligence Support
  • KB (knowledge-based management) management

Performance

Finally, sales operations aim to boost sales reps’ effectiveness and productivity by removing roadblocks and streamlining processes.

The following performance criteria may be prioritized by sales operations:

  • Sales techniques and best practices are being implemented.
  • Identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) and sales metrics
  • Plans for compensation and incentives
  • Managerial leadership

The Bottomline

By freeing up salespeople and giving them the best resources to sell, sales operations can increase an organization’s overall success. Sales operations teams provide sellers with the boost they need to stay ahead of the competition. And engage modern buyers when they are deployed with efficient sales enablement, training, and engagement tactics.