For any size business, regardless of the age of the company, a great sales operations team is both strategic and tactical. The best time to build a sales operations team will depend on the nature of your sales process and the value you place on effective and efficient selling.
My time in sales operations has helped me connect the dots from start-up to scale. I was part of a 4 people SaaS technology start-up that grew to more than 10 times original size in less than 5 years. I was part of the M&A when that company was acquired by a small to medium business with 500+ employees. In addition, I was part of a start-up from founding to scale in North America.
I’ve thrived in the chaos of a start-up sales team that newly founded. Further, I have also seen what happens when little companies grow up and face common pitfalls. A typical pitfall in sales operations is to take a one-size-fits-all approach and implement a sales operations structure/template that worked somewhere else.
The territories, quota model, incentive structure, processes, and policies that I developed over the past years were custom and not one-size -fits-all. They tightly integrated into our products, services and sales process.
What I have learned and applied consistently is to not assume, look for the differentiators and the uniqueness of each situation.
When building a sales function, sales and account management teams can meet or exceed your goals. As a technology company grows, senior executives must begin to "take their hats off" and delegate responsibilities to senior executives in their organization. At the beginning of the company's life cycle, the CEO will probably hire a sales manager or a handful of salespeople and "leave your sales hat" to focus on corporate strategy.
A great sales operations team knows how to influence business strategy and make tactical changes helping field staff to be more productive.
This can manifest in several ways:
1) your average deal size goes up,
2) your closed-won deal count goes up,
3) both (which is preferred) and your revenue contributed per active sales rep or demand gen rep may go up.
You should expect efficiency gains through simpler processes and documented policies. You should also expect a hungrier front-line team (Sales Representative + Account Manager) that is motivated by your incentive plan to attract new customers and protect or expand your business book. You have a Chief of Staff, a strategic partner in building a first-class income team.
Finally, you should expect to make important decisions based on relevant data. If done correctly, sales can help replicate and reinforce the success of your equipment while helping to "build a better space rocket," which makes your launch engine not only a unit, but also abandon the stratosphere leading your team to scale start.
Sales is fundamental to a business that needs to move from a chaotic sales process to a more strategic goal of its sales resources, to accelerate your time in the market; and to create a flexible and scalable business base.
In my opinion, a big sale does not mean sticking to comprehensive interruption initiatives that fit well with the CEO's annual execution plan (although this could be politically smart), but sales operations must apply guerrilla tactics to evaluate and implement changes quickly To boost the organization: to help sales sell more (at a lower cost of sales) to the right people. It also means helping your account management team develop strategic processes and programs to reduce service costs, reduce customer turnover, improve customer satisfaction, increase customer expansion and create enthusiastic supporters.
Finding the right time to start selling is difficult. Executives with experience in sales and account management know that their main function is to efficiently manage, train and develop their employees and help their team achieve their sales goals by attracting new customers and satisfying customers.
The same experienced sales executives realize that if they spend most of the day doing operational work (territories, policies, processes, analysis, training, incentives, etc.) they do not have bandwidth for their own tasks, equipment and prospects. / customers. good This is useful when building a dedicated Sales Operations team. But do not wait until your teams obviously need support. Hire a sales expert who can manage all aspects of Ops.
I have been working within start-up style companies for most of my career. As the 4th employee hired in my current company, I have both witnessed and participated in the company’s growth before its acquisition and thus, have been a major player of the founding team that today employs 300+ personnel worldwide. Through my experiences I have realized a commonality between start-ups: corporate processes are not defined or implemented, forecasting and sales planning is executed on a day-by-day basis, and everyone within the company must wear multiple hats; from project manager to sales person to production as well as technical support (essentially a ‘jack of all trades’).
As the company grows and more employees are added it is necessary that roles become defined and interfaced with the rest of the team in order to fulfill the company’s expectations. A particular role that is often neglected, but paramount in establishing a successful sales forecast and strategy is the role of Sales Operations (sales ops). Today’s post is about the importance of sales ops, their function within the corporation, and how this role helps you scale your sales team.
Sales Operations Core Functions:
All too often, the term Sales Operations acquires a misleading portfolio. It is generally interpreted as a Sales Team’s Administrative Assistant, responsible with overseeing the behind the scenes tasks such as: creating quotes, scheduling meetings, updating CRM, etc. This however, is far from the truth of the actual role.