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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : August 25, 2017

Brands: How to make the most of your sales ops team

The role of sales operations professionals is one of the most varied positions in most digital businesses today, and because of the scope, many businesses may not be getting the most from their teams.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What role are sales operations professionals currently playing within their organizations?

Joe Chernov, VP of Marketing, InsightSquared: The role is as varied as the backgrounds of the professionals who occupy it. The latter is a good thing; the former less so. In sophisticated organizations, sales operations is the "consigliere" of the sales and finance teams. They own incredibly complex projects like rep compensation, partner with sales leaders on forecasting, partner with the CMO on analyzing pipeline trends, and help sales directors manage teams by equipping them with rep-by-rep insights.

Kristina: How has that changed over the past, say, 5 years?

Joe: In less sophisticated organizations, sales operations and Salesforce - or CRM - administrators are synonymous, which was closer to the norm a few years back.

Kristina: What role do you foresee sales operations professionals and leaders playing in the future?

Joe: I believe sales ops will continue to distance themselves from the "Salesforce admin" dimension of their role -- that's a speciality in its own right -- and emphasize the "growth whisperer" elements of the function. That is, helping the CRO and CMO increase the yield from their investments, and give the CEO and CFO better visibility and more reliable predictability. If the head of sales operations is focused on permissioning Salesforce, that's a sign of a legacy perspective.

Kristina: How does sales operations leader act as a liaison between marketing and sales teams?

Joe: After an extended trial separation, sales and marketing are renewing their vows. The union is called Chief Revenue Officer. And even in organizations without a CRO function, sales and marketing alignment is now an expectation. So naturally with the convergence of these lines of business, the ops functions are similarly collapsing. Sales ops and marketing ops share a dotted line relationship. Together they are responsible for unpacking pipeline trends, programs ROI, prospecting efficiency ... and then surfacing their findings and guidance to leadership.

Kristina: How can businesses make better use of their sales ops teams?

Joe: Hire a Salesforce admin to take away tactical work, equip them with solutions that allow them to break the cycle of spreadsheets, and then empower them to guide strategy. The more time they spend exporting CRM data and managing spreadsheets the less the organization will benefit from applying insights from the data they analyze.

Tags: ecommerce, InsightSquared, sales operation team tips, sales team training

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