Authored By: Kyle Natichioni

The sales operations position has become a fixture at companies looking to improve sales performance. Today, Glassdoor has almost 27,000 Director of Sales Operations search results which emphasizes the demand for a well-tuned sales ops function. As one reviews the seemingly endless job descriptions associated with this fast-growing role, it becomes clear that the responsibilities and scope of the job vary greatly. From technology enablement to forecasting to sales coaching, there are many variations notions of what this role entails.

Let’s take a look at a few best practices to optimize the sales process and empower leadership…

Use Data Insights to Support your Strategy

The [growth ops] data infrastructure should complement the sales management methodology and coaching style of your organization… many do not.  Done properly, this data will augment and complement the sales process with supporting data-based evidence. Analyze departmental performance by evaluating marketing, inside sales and sales executive contributions to the pipeline and bookings. Design a comprehensive reporting suite that sheds light on sales trends and prepares the business for the future by measuring collective team success, individual performance strengths and development opportunities, client retention and upsell opportunities. Examples of some of the key metrics include:

  • Sales Pipeline: Win-Rate, Product Sales, Sales Cycle Duration, Net-New Additions, Source for each Deal
  • Performance by Rep: Stage Progression Trends, Win-Loss Comparison, Sales by Product, Hunting vs. Farming
  • Customer Retention: Churn, Net Promoter Score, Referenceable Clients, Average Customer Lifetime/Duration

Accelerate Sales with Technology

Enhance the productivity of the inside sales team and sales executives by adding technologies that increase email productivity and generate important prospect-related insights.  Leveraged properly, technology can enable prospective clients to inform your messaging, and the products and services highlighted can based on prospect engagement. Create a more complete picture of each prospect by integrating their interactions with marketing content and layering in social and consumer data to understand the complete prospect profile. Improve pipeline reporting by standardizing data collection and measuring early sales activity. A few leading sales technologies are described below.

  • infer: Individualized predictive lead scoring and social and consumer data for each prospect
  • Yesware: Productivity technology to improve email and calling activities
  • InsightSquared: Sales reporting to drive actionable change

Communicate Data Insights across every Department

After building the data infrastructure, work across the organization to improve the communication channels between finance, marketing, product, client services, implementation and legal to create an integrated full-service environment for our customers. Team with finance to expedite the quoting process and properly incentivize sales executives for the next sales year. Partner with marketing to share customer needs, concerns, objections, and functionality requests to continually hone our messaging and content. Collaborate with product management  to leverage sales and market insights to help drive product development and enhancement. Work with client services to track the pulse of the clients within your CRM to identify upsell opportunities, reference partners and potential problems.

With these best practices your sales operations function will improve organizational alignment and accelerate the sales process ultimately driving growth.