article | April 24, 2013
How to Become a Sales Ops Leader To Watch
There’s a good chance you’ll have a new VP of Sales within the next year. That new VP will have certain expectations of his Sales Ops leadership. The competencies he is looking for are demanded by the evolving marketplace. The Top Sales Ops Leaders have mastered these skills. To keep your job you must evolve as well. The latest research shows there are 10 capabilities that every Sales Ops leader should have in 2013. Your ability to gain proficiency and mastery of each capability will be reflected in your personal brand.
A personal brand is a promise to your customers. You have external customers; those that purchase and have an interest in your firm’s products or services. You have internal customers; those that you report to and that report to you. Both sets of stakeholders are looking for a consistent solution to their problems. Your customers need to know that you will deliver on your brand promise. In the end, your brand is a perception of the value you add to your customers. So how will your customers determine the credibility of your brand?
Download this template for the 10 Elements of the Sales Ops Leader Brand Promise
The 10 capabilities of Top Sales Leaders can be bucketed into 3 main competencies the VP is looking for:
1. Strategic Planning
Data is getting bigger. As the numbers get more granular, the insights can get richer. Data driven decision making is becoming standard across the sales organization. The value that Sales Ops adds is using the data to influence strategic direction. How does your growing presence online appeal to your customers? Will lower Customer Acquisition costs necessitate a new buyer profile? Can you reduce sales cycle length and improve customer retention by creating buyer personas and buyer process maps?
2. Leadership & Development
Sales Ops leaders’ Span of Control is growing. Leading diverse teams from multiple functions across an organization is essential. That means understanding each function. It means developing the talent across those functions. From recruiting and hiring to onboarding and coaching, constantly improve the talent in the organization. Creating an agile workforce that is able to constantly improve will go a long way this year.
3. Systems Management
Some things never change. Your ability to manage and enable technology is still important to the boss. There is a growing frustration among the VPs over systems adoption. You’ve monitored the data the field is inputting and believe it’s clean and accurate. Have you worked to grow executive adoption of the tools? Does the management team understand how these systems can be leveraged to grow revenue? Chances are this is a challenge in your organization.
Each of the 10 capabilities essential for Sales Ops this year is part of your brand. Either it enhances your brand or is a blemish on your reputation. Since you’ve made it to where you are, you probably excel at some. The changing landscape of sales leadership demands you keep pace with the evolution. Grow your personal brand and proactively reinforce your new capabilities. If you do, you may see your name up in lights in 2014.