In grade school children are taught PEMDAS, an acronym meaning Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiply, Divide, Add, Subtract. It is a tool to ensure that the correct solution is found when solving complex math equations. That is the role of Sales Operations teams.
Sales Operations work as a brain or a logic board in a computer. They take in complex data, analyze it, synthesize it, and return output intended to keep things running smoothly. Sales Operations teams achieve this by examining training, sales teams, and system management and then implementing strategic plans that streamline the process from marketing all the way to closure of sales.
First, a sales Operations team analyzes the company itself. What is the product? Who is our target market? What are our company objectives? Using these questions, the process is begun. They analyze the market trends, the metrics of how the company is performing in relation to the above questions. They then take this preliminary data and work towards addressing blockages in the flow of sales and effectiveness of tactics across all components of the various branches of the company. This often begins with the sales teams.
Sales teams need to be efficient, prepared, and capable of carrying out their practices and procedures. Sales Operations will often begin with creating hiring procedures with Human Resources in order to create an excellent talent pool. From this baseline they then move towards providing that talent with everything they need to stay motivated, skilled, and on top of their market.
Sales Ops will help sales agents with product knowledge, backed by quality content, so that they can better inform their clients which leads to trust and loyalty. Sales Ops will then structure territories, incentive programs, and training programs to keep employees happy and competitive in their market. As the sales team moves forward with these various elements and strategies, Sales Ops will analyze the incoming data and adjust over time so that the sales team can remain competitive. But Sales Operations work with the sales team is not just about the human element.
Sales Ops is in charge of what tools of the trade the team will utilize to make their work efficient. This includes proposal building software, automated email scripts, CRMs, and other technological aids that allow the sales team to not become bogged in the minutiae of daily operations. The important balance that Sales Ops also needs to strike however, is not then bogging the team down with too many, or too complicated, technological aids. The goal is always efficiency in the system. Though sales, and the sales team, is the chief focus of Sales Operations they must also work closely with other company elements.
Sales Ops needs to be in consistent communication with all high-level members of the company. This includes C-level executives to heads of marketing. Communication in the company community ensures that the procedures Sales Operations is trying to enact do not break with company objectives or cause friction with the departments sales works closely with. Sales Ops can also help create marketing strategies with the marketing team based on the data they receive from sales, keeping everyone focused on the right target even as it shifts over time.
The goal of Sales Operations is efficiency. The product of the modern age, Sales Ops teams are becoming more prevalent and more skilled with each passing year, and their importance cannot be overstated. By working with all levels of company management, analyzing the data, and organizing the company marching orders Sales Operations are designed to help keep everyone on target, on message, and most importantly in the black.
Come back soon for our future breakdown of roles in a Sales Operations team and common tools of the trade.