Breaking Down a Typical B2B Sales Operations Role

Sophisticated tools and cloud technology have increasingly become significant to the success of the sales department of a company, alongwith the rise of big data. But what are sales ops? And what’s their role all about? Here we break down modern sales operations teams’ roles, goals, and functions.

What do you mean by sales operations?

The term sales operations is a broad term that encapsulates a lot of ground and can imply different things to different organizations and sales teams. The earliest versions of sales ops have been around since the era of the 1970s, and they primarily prioritized data analysis to deliver directions and insights to sales reps. Nowadays, the objectives and roles are quite broader. Sales ops, at its core, are about enabling and facilitating the frontline sales team to sell more effectively and efficiently by minimizing friction in the sales process and offering strategic direction. To accomplish this, sales operations satisfy both tactical and strategic functions.

Implementing a proper and formal sales operation team in the business offers many benefits, such as:

  • Data-driven decision and strategy making
  • Smooth sales processes
  • Enhanced hiring and recruiting process
  • More effective employee training programs and onboarding
  • Enhanced productivity and sales from territory planning and strategic sales coverage
  • Increased conversions
  • Streamlined operations management that enables sales reps to concentrate on selling

What are the roles & responsibilities of sales operations?

Sales ops teams achieve their objectives through different functions and roles, including hiring and training, strategy, territory design, forecasting, and sales process optimization. While the exact infrastructure and roles would differ from business to business, typically, these roles can be included under four main classes:

  • Technology
  • Performance
  • Operations
  • Strategy

Now, let’s elaborate on the main roles of sales teams:

1. Strategy

One of the primary roles of sales operations is to develop strategies to accomplish those goals and delineate a high-level vision for the sales organization. Some of their strategic roles may include:

  • Territory planning and sales coverage model
  • Optimizing sales process
  • Data analysis
  • Methodology evaluation and sales technology
  • Goal setting and high-level planning
  • Sales forecasting

2. Technology

SaaS applications have significantly increased over the past several years, along with other sales tools accessible to organizations. While better technology and data can enhance sales, the sales rep can get overwhelmed by the complexity of multiple platforms and thus, may eventually turn into a timesuck on the sales ground. And that’s where sales ops pitches in. Their role is regular sales tech stack to facilitate reps to focus on the selling process.

Some of the ways of doing that are:

  • Integration of tools and applications
  • Adoption and personalization of a CRM
  • Data management & data reporting
  • Task automation
  • Communications management

3. Operations

Sales operations contribute to expertise and high performance through the sales department by taking up operational and administrative tasks. With the help of process optimization and data analysis, the sales operations team can lead training, hiring, recruiting, and knowledge management to ascertain that their reps have the skills and information to succeed on the sales floor. Operational responsibilities and tasks include:

  • Market intelligence support
  • Contract and SLAs
  • Product training
  • Hiring and recruiting top talent
  • KB management
  • Sales training

4. Performance

Sales ops intend to enhance productivity and performance by removing barriers and streamlining processes for the salespeople. The focus of sales ops includes:

  • Lead management
  • Identifying sales metrics
  • Compensation and incentive plans
  • Executing sales methodologies and best practices

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Why consider sales operations?

Sales Ops experts facilitate teams to hit goals faster, perform better, and lead effective sales processes. Sales managers and senior leaders can leverage the sales ops teams to manufacture data about the sales experience to render it more effective.

Sales operations best practices

 Following are the sales ops best practices you can adopt to make the most of your sales and data:

  • Define a sales ops mission statement
  • Collaborate actively with other teams
  • Shadow, the sales team
  • Establish strong leadership
  • Introduce tech pragmatically
  • Adopt innovation and see how it rocks!

For about 50 years, sales ops departments have been enhancing the efficiency of sales reams and their impact worldwide. What was once an optional thing to consider is now a crucial part of the whole process. Sales ops create a comprehensive system for selling, more than anything else. By leveraging insight, data, and technology, sales operations experts drive performance, strategy, and sustainable growth.

There you go! An elaborative guide into roles and responsibilities of sales and ops along with a bonus guide entailing the best practices for the same. With these tips, strategies, and knowledge, you can enhance sales team and sales operations performance from an expert in sales ops from insanely successful sales ops departments at some of the most impactful companies worldwide.

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