A large challenge facing Sales Operations is creating a roadmap that balances short-term wins with long-term growth priorities. Even the best Sales Operations leaders can struggle evangelizing the true value of projects or initiatives. If you’ve been in this position, you know how uncomfortable it can be during planning season. You must provide a trustworthy position of leadership in both Sales Strategy and Sales Operations to drive growth.

Every well-crafted Sales Operations roadmap I’ve seen begins and ends with Sales Financial Metrics. The best roadmaps not only communicate, “How much benefit?” but also, “When will this benefit occur?” If your roadmap can quickly answer both questions, you’ll gain new credibility with peers and leaders.

 

If your roadmap doesn’t answer the question “When?”, I’ve got 4 recommendations to fill that gap.

 

  1. Define Cross-Functional Financial Metrics That Matter For Both Sales Operations and Finance

     

It’s much easier to evangelize the benefit of investments or projects when you use the correct language. World-class Sales Operations teams work in partnership with Finance departments to define Sales Financial Metrics that matter. When you’ve identified metrics most relevant to your growth goals, bring them to Finance and prioritize them. Stack and rank these metrics based on the growth goals of your organization and revisit their priority every quarter.

 

While the metrics themselves are important, the frequent dialogue and communication with Finance is equally as important. The process of jointly defining and prioritizing Sales Financial Metrics will strengthen relationships and build trust more broadly.

 

Once you’ve completed this exercise, it’s time to incorporate them into your Sales Operations Roadmap.

 

  1. Integrate Financial Metrics improvement milestones into your Sales Operations Roadmap

     

The easiest solution I’ve found communicating progress against goals are Harvey Balls. This article assumes you know what Harvey Balls are, so click here if you need a refresher.

 

Here’s a best practice way to integrate Harvey Balls into your Sales Operations Roadmap.

 

You will use Harvey Balls to estimate when Sales Financial Metrics improvements occur. Map all initiatives or projects in swim-lanes and then draw Harvey Balls at measurement intervals. Sales Operations and Finance will meet monthly to discuss each financial metric and share progress and risks.

 

A full Harvey Ball means full benefit expected. Incremental Harvey Balls show progress to full benefit.

 

  1. Motivate Your Teams To Achieve Sales Financial Metrics On Your Sales Operations Roadmap

     

Lastly, you need to find an engaging way to motivate Sales Operations and Finance teams. Assign points to wins on the Sales Operations Roadmap to establish measurable team goals. Launch a quarterly contest that rewards individual and teams for Sales Financial Metrics excellence. My recommendation is making points a factor in determining Presidents Circle and motivating your best people. When your teams get in the habit of caring about the same Sales Financial Metrics, the business wins.

 

As time goes on, you’ll be able to evangelize Sales Operations impact on Sales Financial Metrics easily.

 

  1. Redefine Cross-Functional Metrics As Needed With Finance On An Annual Basis

     

Typically, you’ll want at least 4 quarters of data to evaluate Sales Financial Metrics before making changes. Depending on the size of an investment, it might be 8 quarters before full benefit is achieved.

 

The goal is to balance short-term growth with long-term strategic priorities. A Sales Operations Roadmap helps Sales Operations accomplish goals in partnership with Finance.

 

Conclusion

 

If you are a Sales Operations leader looking to build cross-functional bridges with Finance, download our 1-page Cross-Functional Sales Financial Metrics Workshop to quickly build bridges between Sales Operations and Finance teams. It’s an easy way to engage with Finance and set expectations on when improvements will happen. After you conduct the workshop, you’ll have foundational elements to architect a strong Sales Operations Roadmap. Remember, the best roadmaps not only communicate, “How much benefit?” but also, “When will this benefit occur?”  Apply our guidance to work better cross-functionally with Finance.

 

For additional help hire SBI for an in-depth Sales Operations & Finance Roadmap Workshop. SBI offers 2 types of Sales Operations & Finance Roadmap workshops:

 

  • At your corporate headquarters
  • At the SBI Executive Leadership Center, The Studio

     

If you are interested hiring SBI to conduct a Sales Operations & Finance Roadmap Workshop, contact us with your requirements and we’ll be in touch.

 

 

Additional Resource

 

For additional help evaluating your sales strategy click here to take SBI’s Revenue Growth Diagnostic.

 

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