Sales Operations: The Definitive Guide to Sales Ops Success in 2022
- by Samir Qureshi
- November 11, 2021
- Sales Process
SalesHood - Sales Enablement Platform
Sales operations is a key component of a successful sales strategy. Yet, it can be difficult to implement and maintain in an organization due to the many moving parts involved.
Luckily when it comes to Sales Operations, there’s no better person than our friend and colleague Samir Qureshi.
With over 20+ in sales and revenue operations working with sales teams and developing sales strategy and sales processes for some of the world’s most recognizable companies, he has a wealth of experience as a senior sales operations and Sales executive.
Read on to learn more as Samir talks about: what sales operations is, why it matters, roles, responsibilities, objectives, how to implement impactful sales operations in your organization, the keys to success for Sales Ops in 2022, and how to increase revenue without adding unnecessary work or resources – from Samir Qureshi.
Sales Operations is the backbone to the sales / revenue organization. Sales Operations could mean different things to different organizations. It has evolved over the years and it will continue to change as we move forward.
Recently many organizations have transitioned / expanded Sales Operations into Revenue Operations where they have combined Marketing, Sales and Customer Success Operations into one unified Revenue Operations function.
Simply put: the Sales Operations teams handle non-selling business activities and processes to support sales organization. Sales operations is about supporting and enabling frontline sales teams to sell more efficiently and effectively.
Sales Operations reduces friction in the sales process and it handles both strategic and tactical functions to support sales. Main goal of Sales Operations is to increase sales productivity and revenue.
Sales Operations exists to provide the outlook for the business (monthly, quarters, future quarters) and provides confidence behind the numbers. Sales Operations gives sales organization guidance and the tools that enable them to sell and make it easy to sell.
Depending on the organization, Sales Operations is made up of many functions like lead generation (SDR/BDR), reporting, analytics, deal desk, sales forecasting, pipeline, order management, sales process, quota / capacity planning, setting up territories, sales compensation, strategy, communication, enablement, technology, tools, events, long-term planning, etc.
Sales Operations team helps the sales team perform better, and helps them achieve goals and improves sales process. If Sales Operations didn’t exist then you would have sales people spend more time on operational challenges than selling time which would have an impact on productivity.
Sales Enablement is a component of Sales Operations in most organizations and in some organizations it’s a completely separate team but reporting most of the time to the revenue leader. Both sales enablement and sales ops are focusing on increasing sales productivity and increasing revenue. Organizations have to define each team’s roles differently.
Sales Enablement works with the sales rep from the first day with onboarding and they continue to train and coach them on a regular basis.
Sales Operations helps reps with tools, quota, territory, quoting, compensation, developing sales strategies, etc. Sales reps will call Sales Operations people if they need help on a day-to-day basis.
Both of these teams should work very closely on all the key projects because Sales Operations department will make the changes and then Sales Enablement will train the reps on all the changes.
Sales Operations Manager – The sales operations manager is there to support Sales Managers and their team and make sure to remove any friction in the selling process.
Sales Manager – The sales manager role is to make sure their teams deliver the expected revenue goals and close business with customers.
Some common questions I get regarding sales ops skills:
The most important skills for Sales Ops are:
Below is a list of the most important outcomes that the Sales Ops team should be focused on achieving:
Sales Operation Strategy Breakdown:
I use the analogy of Sales Factory and how efficient we need to run the factory when building out Sales Operations strategy. When thinking of Sales Operations strategy, I break that down in three buckets using the acronym OPS.
So when you combine all OPS then you have created a strategy to help the organization and you can invest in the areas based on your organization needs.
Sales Tech Stack has grown tremendously in the last few years and there are so many new tools out there that you can easily get lost. Every Sales and Operations leader wants many Tools so my advice to them is to step back and first focus on building out the sales process and then find the right tool to align with the sales process. This will give you an opportunity to focus on tools needed to support your sales process.
Ideally you need following tools:
Below are the 9 most important sales ops metrics & KPIs you should be tracking and measuring:
Keeping track of these 9 sales ops metrics will help keep you moving towards your goals.
For fast and steady sales process optimization follow these 9 steps below:
The broader purpose of a sales operation function is to boost sales productivity, efficiency, remove friction and improve the overall impact that sales team has on business performance.
Here’s a look at common sales operations roles and responsibilities:
The Sales Operations team leader has to manage many things but the most important one is to be the right-hand person to the Head of Sales. In many instances Sales Operations leader wear multiple hats on daily basis. Some days they act as Sales COO, some days they are CFO of the organization and they act as Chief of Staff to the Head of Sales.
Sales operations function is like quarterback in a football game as an advocate for the sales team. They play a critical role in planning the sales and operations functions to ensure the business goals are entirely aligned (known as cross-functional collaboration), across each arm of the business. They focus on keeping the teams pull together and help them move forward.
Sales ops manage administrative tasks, such as lead gen and meeting booking records, so that the salespeople can get on with creating more opportunities to sell. In some organizations Sales Operations leader may own Sales Development teams (SDR, BDR)
Sales Operations works closely with Finance to manage over annual numbers and then break that down into Sales Territories and see how much capacity the team has so they can then come up with the hiring plans.
Data is critical to any organization’s success. Sales Operations team is responsible for maintaining all data that is used within sales teams. Data is used in many reporting, and dashboards to make critical decisions to see how effective the sales teams are producing. Lately with the use of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, sales operations is able to deeper and understands many aspects of improving sales processes and forecasting the business.
By examining past sales data and previous trends, sales operations can forecast future sales growth to report on the needs and goals of future campaigns. This is crucial as forecasts give sales teams the chance to pinpoint any issues while still finding a solution or workaround.
Sales ops team go to for sales teams and helping them get through their day to day activities.
Sales operations manages the sales team’s compensation and incentive plans. They work to establish goals and performance targets to acknowledge and resolve waning performance. In some organization, sales operations team also are responsible for commission administration.
Sales operations often works with C-Suite to build out Sales GTM strategy for short- and long-term plans. This would mean what are the initiatives to run to grow the business.
Communication is key for getting all the messaging out to the field. You have to create an avenue where sales can find all the information easily in a simplified way.
Sales ops influence the sales department’s structural organization to ensure that each separate part can come together to positively influence the efficiency, impact, and performance of the team.
The sales ops team oversees the management and use of the necessary technical tools and platforms, often in close consultation with the IT department. Managing technical tools and platforms, including CRMs (customer relationship management platforms such as Salesforce), often in collaboration with IT.
To create the most successful team possible, sales operations takes on training new and current sales reps. They may also facilitate different programs that promote strong team camaraderie. Organizing and maintaining sales collateral for access by reps. Training staff in products, market, and proceses for sales excellence. Hiring and onboarding employees and mentoring current ones. Use SalesHood for your Sales Enablement platform.
Sales Operations is working to help create a winning culture which brings the team together, learn from each other (Peer to Peer learning) and help each other become successful.
Sales Operations departments play an important part when it comes to collaboration with other departments. A Senior Sales Operations analyst or other leader is like a quarterback in a football team who has to pull everyone forward and make sure there is an alignment among everyone.
Here are the departments that Sales Operations works with and on what type of tasks:
Sales ops teams see these common sales ops problems in:
So there you have it. A great list of best practices & tips to improve sales operations and sales team performance from a seasoned vet in sales ops from wildly successful sales ops departments at some of the worlds most impactful companies. It’s not easy being a Sales Ops Leader but taking note of and implementing Samir’s key strategies above will definitely help you succeed as one.
For more insights into what successful Sales Ops looks like in 2022 and how we can help you reach those goals by partnering together Contact Us today. SalesHood has been helping clients achieve their goals since 2013 through data insights, strategic planning, training programs that are customized by role or company size, automation tools that remove some of the manual tasks from your day so you have more time for high value work like prospecting new opportunities.
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