Joining us for today’s show is Todd Jones, an executive sales operations leader who knows how to support aggressive revenue growth. Today’s topic is focused on how Sales Operations improves the efficiency of the sales force. During our discussion, Todd and I leverage our workbook, so flip to the Sales Operations phase on page 314 of the PDF to follow along.
Our guest today is Todd Jones, the Vice President of Sales Operations and Enablement at Renaissance Learning. Renaissance is the leader in the education software space, a SaaS based offering, providing a learning assessment and development platform to the K-12 market education market. Todd is going to demonstrate how to improve the efficiency of the sales team.
Todd is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of sales operations. His background spans all aspects of sales, sales operations, enablement, and business management. Todd has more than 25 years of experience in sales operation leadership positions from marquee names within the technology space such as NetApp, QLogic, Symantec and now Renaissance Learning.
Why this topic on this day? Sales ops has become a catch all phrase. The sales ops leader gets assigned all the work no one else wants to do. Often underfunded and understaffed, sales operations leaders fail to deliver a meaningful revenue contribution. Yet, the best growth executives understand that sales ops is the most strategic sales function in the entire company. They understand that when deployed correctly, sales ops can impact revenue growth in a very meaningful way. Do not starve this vital department. If you do you’re going to miss your revenue goal.
Listen as Todd demonstrates how to improve the efficiency of the sales team. We begin the show discussing the business outcomes a sales operation team needs to deliver. Todd describes top-line growth and profitability as the number one priorities both within sales operations and the organization at large. The primary objective within sales operations is focusing on the skills development, the sales effectiveness, and ultimately driving the productivity and capacity of selling resources.
Todd shares, “Sales operations often can be what I would categorize as the dumping ground for all things that need to be addressed, or challenges within the organization. As I entered the function here at Renaissance, I think as important as it is to understand what we will do, equally important to understand what we will not do to avoid becoming that dumping ground.” The strategic areas of focus for any best-in-class sales operations organization are really quite simple.
- Focus on the re-engineering alignment design of core sales processes, the system capabilities, and automation tools that align in support of those processes.
- Define a clear business management process and operational cadence that supports the objectives of the organization. The business management process covers how we operate, how we function as a sales organization, how we lead, inspect, and deliver on those commitments to the company.
- Ensure the coverage model and compensation plan for the sellers to take to market and manage their book of business are clear, well-defined, and aligned across the company.
Listen as Todd describes his forecasting process. It’s tight and stage-gated. If you’re struggling with forecasting accuracy, make sure to take notes while you listen to what Todd shares about his process and you’ll receive tremendous value.
For your next QBR, bring your sales leadership team to come see us in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio typically results in getting three months of work done in three days. The immersive sessions accelerate everything, dramatically reducing the time it takes to diagnose a problem, develop a solution, and create an implementation plan.