Sales Operations has evolved considerably this year. Strategic leaders have identified 6 key shifts that willimpact the next year. Making these adjustments in your organization will help you make your number.
- Account Segmentation: Where does potential lie? Sales Ops teams are refining predictors of spend. In addition to standard demographics, engagement metrics are being included. Level of engagement with your company’s website can be an important predictor. Lead source, whether from a cold call or a trusted referral, is also affecting segmentation. Social proximity, who you know in target accounts, can also be tracked. To truly understand potential, and forecast accurately, Sales Ops is digging deeper into data.
- Revenue Planning: Every year it becomes more difficult to anticipate what will happen next year. Products are piloted and launched more quickly and often. New versions are released quarterly. New, more agile and customer focused competitors are popping up. Sales Ops must create an execution plan aligning revenue to product and marketing strategy. This means better engagement within the organization.
- Buyer Engagement: There is a lot of early stage engagement taking place online. Sales Ops is becoming more interested in understanding how best to engage buyers. As in Account Segmentation, propensity to buy is driven in part by engagement factors. Knowing how many site visits or downloads the typical buyer conducts will improve forecasts. Working with marketing, Sales Ops is refining how the organization builds buyer relationships.
- Org Shifts: To accommodate this new engagement model, org design is shifting. More investment is being made in the top of the funnel. LDRs and Inside Sales teams continue to grow. Social Selling is a core competency of top sales teams. Field sales requires a more strategic mindset, able to advise these more informed buyers. Sales Operations must build a team aligned with the engagement model.
- Field Execution: For enterprise sales orgs, big leaps are being made in execution. Sales teams that were previously tough to reach and engage are now much closer. Reinforcement is being dripped to field sales through sales enablement platforms. Product and selling tips are easily accessible on mobile devices. Adoption goes far beyond a single training event. Information is disseminated through multiple channels on and off line. Sales teams are armed with plays and job aids available in the field. Win rates and sales cycle length are showing great improvement.
- Sales Systems: Consolidating systems continues to be a core objective of Sales Ops. But keeping up with the evolving landscape continues to pose challenges. The top sales orgs are reducing administrative elements and data entry requirements. Quoting, pricing, proposing, ticketing, submitting. These tasks are slowing down your sales team. To engage with buyers effectively, sales reps need their time freed up. By eliminating vendors and instances, the sales org will become more streamlined and efficient.
Sales Operations as a function is still evolving. There are still questions about how to build and execute a Sales Ops department. The above shifts are elements of that evolution. Sales Ops leaders must become more agile to stay ahead of the curve. We look forward to following these shifts and reporting them to you. Good luck to you and your sales org in making your number next year.