Sales Operations Should Equal Sales Optimization
Like many aspects of business in the 21st century, Sales Operations is changing. How? Well, it’s moving quickly from a reporting and administration function to much more—think of it as Sales Optimization. Longer buying cycles and global competition may be eating into your organization’s numbers. It’s time to address the increased cost of sales head on by taking a closer look at your Sales Operations team.
For a long time, Sales Operations mainly served the sales team by reporting on the pipeline and putting out fires. Now, businesses are expecting more. Instead of just being reactive, the new mode is for the Sales Operations team to proactively increase sales with new marketing and sales technology. This technology provides data-driven insights instead of just a database of prospects.
Understand the Sales Optimizer’s Role
How does this work in practice? First, a Sales Optimizer should always put marketing, sales, and customer satisfaction together to keep the bigger picture in mind. A Sales Optimizer should know the sales pipeline intimately, catching problems in advance. A Sales Optimizer can help the sales team respond to change and figure out when—and why—deals are dropping out. They can spur those specific sales team activities proven by data to be effective. Finally, they should always be thinking long-term. The sales team may focus on short-term quotas, so the Sales Optimizer must continually build relationships and pipelines, study market trends, and work with other departments to ensure company-wide mission alignment.
Prepare for the Shift
To make the transition in your organization from a Sales Operations approach to a Sales Optimization approach, first decide if the activities of your sales team are truly data-driven. Then, make the Operations manager aware of all the latest tools available to a sales team. Automate manual processes when appropriate and ensure that each tool in the stack plays a critical and unique role. Have a solid sales process in place—if your organization hasn’t already adopted a clearly structured sales process, it’s tough for Sales Operations to optimize it. Then, authorize the Sales Operations manager to enact optimization strategies without having to ask for permission. Finally, put incentives in place to measure the success of the sales team as its activities are optimized along the pipeline with data.
Sales Operations is crucial in helping sales teams achieve peak performance—it’s time to make the shift from an Operations mindset to an Optimization one.
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