Congratulations! You just landed the VP of Sales Operations role you worked to achieve your whole career. You have toiled through managing different segments of sales operations. Now it is time to put what you have learned into a cohesive sales operations strategy. That strategy needs to focus on increasing sales efficiency through process, technology, metrics, and best practices. Here is an onboarding checklist to help guide you through the first 90 days.

 

You will play an essential role in the success of the organization. Think strategically and don’t get bogged down by the constant requests. You need to hit the ground running with quick wins while not being too disruptive. Michael D. Watkins, author of The First 90 Days stated, “Joining a new company is akin to an organ transplant—and you’re the new organ. If you’re not thoughtful in adapting to the new situation, you could end up being attacked by the organizational immune system and rejected.”

 

What is the best onboarding methodology specifically designed for sales operations executives? We discovered that successful sales operations executives group their strategy into these four specific categories.

 

Strategic Thinking

 

The core of any strategy is allocating people, money, and time. This is how CEOs think and is how you need to think about your organization. Blend your strategy with execution and be laser-focused helping the organization make the number. Look across the organization through sub categories of sales planning (markets, accounts, buyers), engagement (prospecting, sales process, org design, territory alignment, quota, and compensation), and finally support (systems and back office).

 

Know thy Numbers

 

The best sales operations executives know their numbers, but don’t have to know all 142 KPIs. They know the ones that move the needle and the KPIs the executive team cares the most about. Some of these include average deal size, cycle times, win rates, revenue per head, pipeline, and forecast for each month. They have a scalable reporting engine with dashboards that the executive teams trust.

 

Get in the Trenches

 

You need to get in the trenches to better understand the day-to-day tasks of your team and the data. You will still need to open spreadsheets to verify numbers and analysis. Job shadowing is also a great way to better understand the underlying issues to any problem. This is also a good opportunity to build relationships with your new managers and analysts. 

 

Play Nice with Others

 

Sales operations is not a silo organization. Sales operations is the catalyst that helps the organization focus on the core strategies. Your team is at the intersection of the corporate, sales, marketing, HR, and finance functional strategies. Understanding each of the executive team’s strategies is a top priority. Then align your strategy with the other functional groups to build strategic alignment across the organization.

 

The VP of Sales Operations function plays a vital role in executing the corporate and sales strategies. Here is an onboarding checklist to help guide you through these four categories as you onboard. Download it here. In the end, our research has shown that focusing on these categories will help you become a successful sales operations executive.

 

To dive deeper into planning your Sales Operations strategy, leverage SBI’s “How to Make Your Number in 2018” Workbook or interactive tool. 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Scott McLeod

Helps clients make their number through advanced analytics, transforming organizations, and innovating go-to-market strategies.

Prior to joining SBI, Scott spent 15 years in the telecommunications and semiconductor industries, holding leadership roles in sales and marketing operations, business analysis, and sales engineer. Most notably, at TelePacific Communications he delivered results on projects that included sales and marketing strategy, CRM design and implementation, marketing automation, product development, market segmentation, pricing, and compensation planning. Scott also managed analysts focusing on driving revenue growth by collecting, analyzing, and applying data.

 

His work has proven invaluable for many SBI clients. For example, Scott oversaw compensation gap analysis, benchmarking, and redesign for a Fortune 500 Corporation in the heavy equipment industry which revealed gaps to best practices in design and the impact to operations and bottom line.

 

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