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5 Sales Operations Best Practices

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The sales operations team is responsible for handling a wide variety of tasks, from the tactical to the strategic to the analytical and everything in between. Companies rely on sales operations to handle everything from forecasting and reporting to managing the CRM to educating reps, setting compensation structures, mapping out territories and so much more.

 

To put it mildly, sales operations is a complex, challenging role. In order to succeed, this team needs to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible. Let’s take a look at five best practices designed to streamline and optimize sales ops for your organization.

 

Plan and Strategize

 

Sales operations must not only manage the internal workings of sales, but must also do so in a way that aligns both with the company’s overall vision as well as external marketing trends. In other words, there are a lot of moving parts involved with sales operations. As such, it is imperative that sales ops develop a strategy that is capable of scaling to match business growth. Planning and strategy priorities include, but are not limited to

  •       Defining the sales hierarchy
  •       Aligning the sales team appropriately
  •       Developing a go-to-market strategy
  •       Defining territories
  •       Distributing accounts
  •       Developing sales compensation structure

 

Prioritize Leads

 

Leads are the lifeblood of any sales operation; however, simply having those leads isn’t enough to achieve success. The sales team must also find an effective way to convert those leads into loyal, paying clientele. In reality, only a small percentage of leads will actually convert into opportunities and an even smaller portion of those opportunities will convert to deals. Thankfully, conversion success rate can be improved through lead prioritization. This enables sales reps to identify hot leads and optimize their efforts accordingly.

 

Leverage Cloud Technology

 

One of the best ways to streamline the sales process is to adopt cloud technology. This is most typically accomplished through the use of a SaaS (Software as a Service) tool. These tools can be used anywhere, at any time, which provides maximum flexibility to your sales team. Information is updated and maintained in real-time and sales reps can access whatever data they need at the click of a button, regardless of whether they’re in the office or out in the field. With the cloud, communication and collaboration have never been easier, which benefits the sales team as well as the customer.

Compensate Well

 

Compensation is one of the most powerful tools for sales ops, but it doesn’t have to be the same old stale policies. In fact, companies that adopt creative and robust compensation policies almost always outperform their competition. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and move beyond simply compensating for deal closures. Consider also incentivizing for things like adoption rate, go-lives and customer satisfaction. You may even wish to add compensation structures for other individuals and teams that play a role in the success of the sales lifecycle, such as marketing and customer service.

 

Educate

 

A well-educated workforce is not only more capable of improved performance, but they’re also far more likely to bring innovative ideas to the table. By investing in the ongoing education of your sales ops team, you’ll end up with a staff of highly motivated, creative and forward-thinking individuals who are eager to do their part in improving the sales process and consequently your company’s bottom line. You can accomplish this any number of ways, from offering in-house training to providing full or partial compensation for approved third party courses to hiring an expert to lecture, and so on.

 

A quality sales operation is the bread and butter of your company. While there’s no magic formula to achieving sales ops success, there are certain best practices that can dramatically improve how your sales ecosystem functions. The five tips listed above should provide you with a good foundation on which to start.