Why It is Important to have a Dedicated Sales Ops Effectiveness Department

When Xerox first established a sales operations department in the 1970’s to take on activities such as sales planning, compensation, forecasting, and territory design, thus making sure the sales department could focus solely on selling, the group leader J. Patrick Kelly described his responsibilities as “all the nasty number cracking that you don’t want to do, but need to do to make a great sales force.”

What is a Sales Ops Department

The impact of such a move was great on Xerox’s sales performance, labeling them as a leader in this sense and thus encouraging other companies to follow. However, up till this day a lot of companies still did not implement this department. They lean towards allocating those responsibilities to sales leaders along with some support personnel to help. This is mostly due to the span and the diversity of competencies required for this job that come across several dimensions (sales knowledge, strategic thinking, and good analytics) that keep this job hard to get right. Refer to HBR article in this regards → Why Sales Ops Is So Hard to Get Right.

However, with the continuous march towards driving science into sales, which is quite a complex and sophisticated task, sales operations continues to become increasingly vital to sales success.

“Is a main reason for companies to increase revenue by as much as 20%”

So What is Sales Operations?

The most important objective for Sales Operations is to focus on Sales effectiveness rather than efficiency, bearing in mind that the roles within this organization vary significantly from company to company. Some of the most common roles Sales Operations comprises of are performance analytics (71% of companies), sales process optimization (66%), CRM development and sales tool design (51%), sales forecasting (48%), sales compensation design (46%), and sales talent training & aquisition (40%). Other than that, Sales Operations often plays a strong support role with other functions

A Close Eye on the Role and why a separate department

Studies have revealed that if such a role is allocated to sales leaders, the end result is more focused on sales efficiency rather than effectiveness. This is clearly obvious due to the difference in the energy and the discipline required amongst both jobs. The energy needed to be an active productive salesperson focusing on achieving sales targets on one hand versus the energy required to have the discipline for any kind of analytics and devising strategy on the other hand. Thus Sales Ops is a unique disciplinary positioned job set to leverage data and technology to support the sales organization, diagnose issues, and design solutions. 

I believe Dr. Tom Sant has described it perfectly when describing efficiency vs. effectiveness → Read it here

Below is a set of the different categorical functions executed within Sales Ops, all of which have deep roots in science and technology. To read the detailed role follow the Link –>

  • Data Management Governance
  • CRM Utilizations & Other Sales Systems
  • Analytics & Business Insight
  • Forecasting
  • Lead Generation
  • Sales Process
  • Compensation Design

Keep In Mind
The right person to lead sales operations is someone who respects both the analysis/design mindset and the process/detail mindset, a person who can envision the business and technology of the future,  a person who understands the experience of a sales front-liner, and a person who can work with leaders across the organization, as well as with external partners, to enable ongoing sales force success. Having said that, if you still think you are doing it right without  separate dedicated Sales Ops resources, think twice.

“Think of it as a shift in the MINDSET. From intuition to DATA. From a group of good sales people to a GOOD SALES ORGANIZATION”

How We Could Help

Understanding the difficulty of hiring and building up a Sales Ops department, we hereby offer an outsourcing service where HEED bridges this gap by playing the role of this department. Eliminating the hassle of hiring, retaining and managing employees with proven records of success, and following state of the art frameworks and methodologies to increase your sales effectiveness.

As a sales management consulting firm, we have set proven frameworks and methodologies and have a reach for sales best practices. This joined with our solid experience in sales and the analytical engineering capabilities of our team, enables us to ensure a successful engagement and a good Return on Investment while generating more revenue streams.

Leverage on data science today and increase revenue by as much as 20% in four-five months.

Take The First Step & Reach Us