article | December 14, 2013
A Year’s Worth of Sales Insights
The greatest insights come from VPs of Sales. We will ask them, “Is your Sales Ops leader helping you set sales strategy?” For those who answer affirmatively, a second question is typically posed. “What strategic value is your Sales Ops leader providing?” The Top Sales Insights of the Year incorporate the value Sales Ops drives. Use this list to ensure you are focusing on the right initiatives. For Sales Ops leaders, it boils down to one distinction. There are two types of leaders. One sits at the table with the VP of Sales. One does not.
So what are some of the Sales Insights of the Year? And how can Sales Ops leverage them in their organization?
“I need clarity into my business”:
Members of the executive committee have more data at their fingertips than ever before. The board expects them to make sense of it all. Systems and technology are evolving and poor adoption is causing dirty data. Strategic decisions sit on the back burner until there is clarity in forecasting.
Sales Operations can make sense of the data. It can create repeatable processes that will create clean data. It supplies tools for measuring success both early and late in a strategy rollout. Without the infrastructure that Sales Ops creates, the strategy has nothing to stand on. Sales Operations enables the sales force strategy.
“I need to spend in the right places”:
Cash is piling up and investment is being made. But what are the most critical issues that need to be addressed first? Executives need a priority roadmap. They need to know where growth is taking place in the market. They can then allocate resources appropriately to meet the demand.
Sales Operations gives the direction on how to invest effectively. Every dollar spent improperly is a missed investment. The sales force needs to grow, but in what direction? The potential analysis that Sales Operations offers optimizes the size of the prize. Sales Operations directs the resource investment process. This has proven to be one of the most valuable assets Sales Ops provides.
“I need someone to execute”:
It might be because we forgot how to grow. In the lean years we got good at taking money out of the business. That wasn’t so hard. You simply pulled a couple levers and EBITDA rose. Growing the top line in times of growth is not so easy. Once the levers are pulled, the heavy lifting begins. Tying strategy to executable field tactics is a major challenge.
Sales Operations is the execution engine. Supplying clean data to the organization forces accountability. There is no hiding behind reasons and excuses. You have either met your goals or you have not. Creating performance expectations and holding the team to those metrics is integral to success.
“We need to grow our network”:
The race is on to expand our virtual networks. Social selling is allowing for major efficiencies in the sales organization. Time spent touching customers and accounts has been reduced. The quality of the interactions has increased. Qualified leads are flowing into the funnel from referrals and virtual connections. Information is being shared and attracting educated buyers to specific solutions.
Sales Operations can operationalize this growth. What would a truly social sales team mean for the top line? Sales Operations can create the process for expanding reach. With each rep sharing information with 500+ connections every day, results are seen quickly. Social selling is a new initiative that must be executed on. VPs are putting this on the Sales Operations team.
The rest of the sales insights from the year are found in our list. You will benefit from reviewing them. They will serve as a reminder of the value Sales Operations brings a sales organization.
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