Head of Sales and Head of Sales Operations demonstrate how the relationship between the SVP of Sales and the SVP of Sales Operations should work.

Today we are going to demonstrate how the relationship between the head of sales and the head of sales operations should work. Joining us for today’s show is a sales leadership team who know a thing or two about revenue growth having enjoyed spectacular growth the past six years.  


Why this topic? B2B sales excellence is part art and part science.  Typically, the head of sales is the artist and the head of sales operations is the scientist.  If the partnership between the head of sales and the head of sales ops is not running smoothly, the delicate balance of art and science gets out of whack which often translates to missing the number.  For example, too much art and poor decisions get made and too much science and relationships become commodities. Leverage the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook to access a revenue growth methodology to hit your number quarter after quarter, and year after year. 


Joining me today in The Studio helping me with our demonstration is Brian Mikalis and Steven Turacek, the head of sales and the head of sales ops from Pandora. Brian Mikalis is the Senior Vice President of Monetization for Pandora serving as the head of sales for the past nine years.  Brian’s goal is to hit his number every quarter and grow market penetration with deeper customer relationships. 


Steven Turacek is the Vice President of Business Operations and Planning. Steven supports all of ad sales for the last six years acting as the business manager and analytical strategic consultant to the sales leadership team.  Steven leads the sales operations team responsible for informing the strategy, developing execution plans and monitoring the pulse of the business to course correct where necessary. Steven’s goal is to help Brian hit his goal and as well as to drive an efficiency across our organization so that Pandora can scale with the growth seen over the last six years.


Pandora is one of the great growth stories over the last decade. Enjoy the opportunity to hear a firsthand discussion between a head of sales and head of sales operations as they describe the best way to work together. What struck me instantly about this working relationship is how Brian, the head of sales looks to his sales operations leader as more than just support. Many sales leaders boast of developing the strategy and having sales operations support it. Sales leaders in the audience can learn from Brian’s approach to leveraging sales operations as a strategic partner. It’s no coincidence that Brian has hit his number consistently over six years.


Watch as Brian describes how he builds the sales strategy together with Steven, the head of sales operations. The planning process begins with Brian recommending the things that he wants to do based upon some of the feedback received from the market. This includes a recommendation on the type head count and the areas that we want to fund.  It’s a starting point and Brian works very closely with the sales operations team to vet those ideas. That’s when the science comes in. Brian’s team has been growing both the inside and outside sales teams continually every year, and the sales operations team helps Brian look at where there’s the most opportunity in the market with data and science to plan the business. Too much art leads poor decisions, so Steven is providing the data and information Brian needs to make wise decisions.


For the sales operations community, watch as Steven describes the keys to a productive relationship with sales leadership.  Trust is the biggest factor to the success of any relationship. Steven describes the transparency from both sides. The head of sales is transparent with sales operations on what their plans are and what they need to go out and do and execute. Sales operations is transparent on the reasons why we can and cannot do certain things. 


Ultimately sales leadership and operations have the same goal.  Steven states, “He has a revenue goal he’s got to hit, and my job is to enable him to make sure he hits that, because ultimately it’s just one number, it’s the Pandora number, and we’re all on the hook for it. Making sure that we’re always conscious that at the end of the day our goals are perfectly aligned.” 


If you would like help, come as a sales leadership team to see me in Dallas.  The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. To grow revenue’s faster than your industry and competitors every month, quarter and year is hard to do. A visit to The Studio increases the probability of making your number because the sessions are built on the proven strength and stability of SBI, the industry leader in B2B sales and marketing.


The Studio


Greg Alexander

Leads the firm's focus on the CEO’s role in accelerating revenue growth by getting the product team, the marketing department, and the sales organization into strategic alignment.

Greg is the host of The SBI Podcast, the most listened to sales and marketing podcast on the internet.


He is the host of SBI TV, a monthly television program broadcast on the internet featuring top B2B sales and marketing leader sharing their strategies to grow revenues.


Greg is the Editor-in-Chief of The SBI Magazine, the leading B2B publication focused on sales and marketing effectiveness.


He is the author of two critically acclaimed books Topgrading for Sales and Making the Number.


Greg has authored over 100 articles on SBI’s award winning blog, The SBI Blog.


He graduated from The University of Massachusetts Amherst with a BA in English and received his MBA from Georgia Tech.




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