One of the sales roles I hear talked about more lately is sales operations, better known as sales ops. As sales organizations worked to become more data driven and process oriented, it became clear that there often wasn’t the time, or skill set, to bring more operational rigor to the department. Enter the sales ops role.
Here are a few thoughts on the sales ops role:
- Think of the sales ops person (or team) like an industrial engineer that’s constantly evaluating the data and process
- For the data, the common systems are the CRM, the sales engagement platform, and an automated analytics platform
- Analysis is also done in Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel to find trends and areas of improvement
- Ensuring consistent usage of the systems, like recording activities and changes to opportunities, is critical otherwise it won’t be possible to analyze the real data (e.g. follow the sales stages)
- Monitoring data quality and integrity is an ongoing element to make sure standards are met and processes followed
- Training and documentation is another important part of the role
Sales ops operationalizes the sales department by incorporating more process and data analysis resulting in more predictability and success. Look for the sales ops role to grow and become more commonplace.
What else? What are some more thoughts on the sales ops role?
2 thoughts on “The Sales Ops Role – Operational Rigor for the Sales Team”
Thanks for highlighting this, David. I would agree that those set of responsibilities. At Linkedin, we view the Sales Ops role as the COO/CSO of the Sales Organization. So in addition to those areas you highlighted, we also help Sales leaders think and drive strategic change in their organization.
One piece I would add is also that Sales Ops acts as the entry point into Sales for other functions. Any communication with Finance, Marketing, Product, Engineering generally incorporates Sales Ops in some capacity.
Sales Ops doesn’t just enhance process and maintain data governance, but also ensure that the team is efficient as possible. Providing the right information at the right time is key, otherwise sales ends up focusing on non-selling activities. Acting as the right hand man for sales leadership is key.