It begins before a Sales Ops leader goes hunting for a new position. They typically are taking 3 actions to keep the pulse of the market:
- Observing Market Trends: Networking with other Sales Ops professionals. Reading publications and magazines. Going to industry trade shows.
- Tracking Competitive Activity: Reading competitor 10Ks and annual reports. Monitoring the competition’s direction on technology and data. Interviewing candidates that once worked for the competition.
- Tracking Stakeholder Needs: Speaking with executive teams regarding what they expect. Reviewing customer feedback. Meeting with vendors to align Go-To-Market strategies.
As a Sales Ops leader, how should you focus your research? The major trends from our 8th Annual Research Report indicate:
- Sales Strategies aligned and supported by the product strategy.
Many organizations have conflicting strategies. Target markets may not have the need our solution solves for. Products may not demand a margin friendly price. Comp plans may not incent reps to pursue the right products.
- Sales Strategies aligned with the buyer’s behaviors, needs and goals.
It’s easy for an organization to fall prey to inward out thinking. Successful Sales Ops leaders need a buyer centered sales organization. They make for more accurate forecasting. They regularly hit KPIs focused on shorter sales cycles. They train teams to succeed in a distracting marketplace.
- Sales Strategies supported by technology to position the organization for future success.
Ability to capture, manage and analyze data differentiates Sales Ops teams. Adoption of enterprise sales processes relies on sound automation. Capturing customer insight through integrated systems gives teams a leg up. To uncover trends and opportunities, analytics must be employed throughout customer engagement.
To view the full report and learn about more trends click here.
So what might cause a Sales Ops leader to pursue a new opportunity? As a Sales Ops leader, what are the warning signs it’s time to move? There are many triggers that push a Sales Ops leader to start hunting. The most common heard this year have been:
- VP of Sales hired or fired: A great Sales Ops leader’s first instinct is to make it work. I spoke with a Sales Ops leader watching major turnover in his executive team. Throughout the transition, Paul has been pulled in many directions. The new executives have put strict tactics in place. Paul has adhered to them, but they lack a common strategy. After missing the number last quarter, the VP of Sales was fired. It was time for Paul to look elsewhere.
- Company is acquired: There was not due diligence done on the multiple ERP/CRM systems. Integration will be a major undertaking, but the CEO won’t invest the resources. The decision indicates a strategy to grow by acquisition rather than organically. This is not the sales org you’ve helped build from scratch. So it’s time to take your skills where they will be utilized.
- CEO sets lower budget for sales: The determination has been made that the maturing market is not conducive for growth. The CEO begins to strip out costs in order to maintain profitability. Your team will lose one analyst and one trainer. Plans are on hold for your digital roadmap. Managing a transition to a low growth model actually requires more resources. More emphasis must be given to measurement and performance. Your recommendations go unheard, so it’s time to move on.
The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. Do your due diligence to determine if it’s the right time to make a switch. Then examine closely whether each suitor is positioned to thrive. Research corporate, product and sales strategy. If they are not aligned, the path ahead will be unclear. Ensure your vision can be supported by the suitor’s technology. If not, are they willing to invest? Happy hunting.