A Sales Ops Charter helps the organization know what they can ask from Sales Ops. This article outlines the steps for determining your Sales Ops and Sales Enablement functions, and developing and implementing your Sales Ops charter.

Sales Operations has a lot to do. But they also have a lot they shouldn’t be doing. A Sales Ops Charter helps the organization know what they can ask for from Sales Ops. It’s like hanging a sign on your door that tells all comers what you do and, often more importantly, what you don’t do. But what’s on and off the list? I’ve outlined below the steps to follow for developing your charter. Take a look at this downloadable list of Sales Ops functions that are necessary for step 1 below.



Step 1 – Determine the Sales Ops and Sales Enablement Functions


First, Sales Ops teams should list what functions are supposed to be in their responsibility. Whether Sales Enablement is in Sales Ops or separate, there are specific functions for both groups. A starting list of functions is available in this download. Add this to the sales ops or enablement functions that you currently perform, whether or not you think you should be doing them.



Step 2 – Decide Which Functions You’ll Include, Save for Later, and Leave Behind In your Initial Charter 



With a starting list of functions, use these questions to help you decide what to keep, what to postpone, and what to scratch off the list.


  1. How will the activity produce data, reports, and insights that’ll be used for sales decision making?
  2. Will the activity benefit a very small number of resources or a larger sales team?
  3. Does the activity actually help sales perform better?
  4. Is the activity something that is better performed elsewhere (for example, by the sales resources, sales management, marketing, etc?) In many organizations, Finance may do a large amount of reporting and analytics. However, Sales Ops will have a level of reporting specific to Sales that Finance may not be concerned with. A collaboration, therefore, is necessary – one that should be spelled out in the specific reporting process document.


The Sales Ops functions described in the download are grouped into eight categories, but note that Data Analytics and Reporting are within one column.


SBI suggests using these eight categories within a Sales Ops Charter, and aligning the functions under each one. Note that Sales Enablement would have its own charter to fulfill #8 below. The Sales Enablement functions would be described in the Sales Enablement function.



Step 3 – Create a Sales Ops Charter


See this blog post to download a Sales Ops Charter template. Within the charter, you’ll want to list all of the functions you’ve decided to pursue, along with a description of each one. The processes that spell out the details of each function are not in the charter. The Charter will list the functions and point to external documents for details. This is so that those who approach Sales Ops know how these functions are requested and executed.


Within the charter, you’ll also want to include a roadmap of the functions/processes that Sales Ops should implement – some now, some in the future.


Step 4 – Communicate your Sales Ops Charter 


Once you have your Sales Ops Charter showing the functions Sales Ops will perform, you’ll want to tell your organization about it. The same goes for the Sales Enablement Charter. Below are some suggested steps to kick this off:


  1. Put some slides together that explain the mission, values, and expected outcomes of the Sales Ops and Sales Enablement functions. These should be items in your Charter. The slides should include what Sales Ops will no longer be doing. Something that often puts Sales Ops in overwhelmed mode are ad-hoc requests. The process, prioritization, and expectations for ad-hoc requests must be listed within the charter and also put in this presentation for communication. Finally, the presentation should detail which functions Sales Ops will no longer perform.
  2. Prepare a list of Frequently Asked Questions and the related answers.
  3. Pilot the presentation and talk track to get feedback on what to change.
  4. Get approval from Sales Leadership on the Charter and presentation.
  5. Depending on the size of your sales organization, schedule in-person or virtual sessions to explain the “new” Sales Ops Charter. Allow for questions and answers.
  6. Prepare a one-pager that Sales Management around the globe can use when they or the members of their teams have requests of Sales Ops.


Step 5 – Say “No”


Now that Sales Ops is living by a new charter, it is important to say no to those functions that are not longer being performed. There will still be requests for items that aren’t in the best interest of the Sales Ops or Sales organization as a whole.


One way to resolve these continued ad-hoc, one-off, or efficiency-killing requests is to put them in a “when I get to it” queue. In other words, promise a small bucket of hours per month that Sales Ops will allow for these types of requests. Also note that they will be the lowest priority with a very loose SLA.


After going through all the work of establishing a Sales Ops Charter to improve efficiency, you don’t want to allow these small requests to chip away at your team’s productivity.



Additional Resources


If you would like help filling your pipeline with opportunities, SBI’s team of experts can assist. Bring your leadership team to see a hand-picked team of experts in Dallas at The Studio , SBI’s executive briefing center. 


Here is an interactive tool that will help you understand how your sales strategy stacks up.  Here is an interactive tool that will help you test and rate your Sales Strategy against SBI’s emerging best practices.


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