Back to Main

How Sales Ops can step out of IT’s shadow

Sales Operations is at the heart of driving sales and propelling revenue growth, leveraging a deep understanding of the people, processes, and technology that make successful sales possible. It’s often the technology piece of this equation that is most complex. I want to share what I’ve learned about the symbiotic relationship between Sales Ops and IT, particularly in selecting and managing the technology that powers sales strategies.

How Sales Ops Can Step Out of IT's Shadow

Navigating this partnership presents unique challenges. While IT ensures the seamless functioning of technology across the organization, Sales Ops leaders like you bring an invaluable perspective on the specific tools and software that boost sales performance. However, the strategic importance of Sales Ops can often be overshadowed by the overarching influence of IT.

Exploring the intricacies of this relationship, underscoring the crucial role of Sales Ops in supporting and actively shaping sales success, will help you claim your spotlight in driving organizational growth. As we navigate these themes, you’ll gain insights and strategies to enhance your role and impact within the sales ecosystem.

IT vs. Sales Ops

IT vs. Sales Ops

Information Technology and Sales Operations often have divergent goals that impact their roles within the organization. An understanding of each function sets the stage for collaboration and strategy development.

Information Technology (IT)

As the technological backbone, IT ensures the organization’s digital and technical infrastructure is secure, functional, and forward-looking. 

Technology infrastructure

IT builds the organization’s technology landscape, ensuring all hardware, software, networks, and databases are aligned with and support business objectives. Their role is foundational, providing the necessary infrastructure for all other functions to operate effectively.

System development and maintenance

IT’s involvement extends to developing and maintaining essential software applications and systems. This includes Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, which are vital for various business functions, including sales.


In an era where data breaches can cripple an organization, IT’s role in implementing robust cybersecurity measures is more significant than ever. They are the company data and systems guardians, working tirelessly to prevent unauthorized access and breaches.

User support

IT provides the frontline of support for all employees, addressing technical issues, and ensuring that everyone can use technology effectively and efficiently. Their support helps maintain productivity with minimal disruption.

Data management

IT takes the lead in managing and securing data across the organization. Their responsibilities include ensuring data integrity, availability, and confidentiality through storage, backup, and disaster recovery planning.

Sales Operations (Sales Ops)

Focused on driving revenue and enhancing sales efficiency, Sales Ops strategizes and implements processes that lead to business growth.

Focus on revenue generation

Sales Ops is singularly focused on driving revenue. Strategic implementation of processes and tools ensures that the sales team is primed for success and that every step leads toward growth. For instance, Sales Ops teams analyze customer purchase patterns and market trends to identify new sales channels. By targeting these channels with tailored strategies, they can capture untapped markets, leading to a substantial increase in revenue streams.

Sales process management

Efficient sales processes are the bread and butter of Sales Ops. They manage and refine these processes, from lead generation to deal closure, ensuring that the sales team operates like a well-oiled machine.

Metrics and analytics

Sales Ops utilizes metrics and analytics to track performance and inform strategic decisions. Monitoring key performance indicators and sales data provides invaluable insights that drive sales strategies. For instance, by analyzing sales call data, a Sales Ops team might discover that shorter, more focused calls lead to higher conversion rates. They then adjust their training programs accordingly, leading to a significant uptick in close rates.

Sales training and enablement

Sales Ops is charged with equipping the sales team with the necessary skills and tools to prospect leads, discover opportunities, and close deals. Through comprehensive training and the use of sales enablement software, they ensure the team is knowledgeable, prepared, and effective.

Customer relationship management (CRM)

Sales Ops often takes the helm in managing CRM systems. Their role involves optimizing these systems to ensure they serve the sales team’s needs, fostering strong, profitable customer relationships.

IT and Sales Ops working toward common goals

In any thriving organization, the collaboration between IT and Sales Ops is paramount. While each department has distinct functions and goals, they share a common vision: drive the organization toward success and growth.

Shared vision for organizational success

Both IT and Sales Ops play integral roles in the organization’s success. IT ensures that the technological infrastructure is robust, secure, and efficient, while Sales Ops leverages these systems to optimize sales strategies and drive revenue. Their shared vision is a seamless, efficient organization where technology empowers sales teams to close more deals.

Aligning strategies for maximum impact

Alignment between IT and Sales Ops means more than just working alongside each other; it involves integrating their strategies to maximize the organization’s performance. This includes coordinating technology implementations, ensuring systems meet the dynamic needs of the sales team, and collaborating on data management strategies to provide the analytics and insights needed for informed decision-making.


Effective communication is the foundation of successful collaboration. Regular meetings, shared goals, and open communication channels ensure that IT and Sales Ops are always on the same page, understanding each other’s challenges and working together to find solutions.

Joint effort in training and support

When IT and Sales Ops collaborate on training and support, they ensure that the sales team is equipped with the best tools and thoroughly understands how to use them. This joint effort leads to better utilization of technology, smoother sales processes, and increased sales efficiency.

Sustained growth

Collaboration between IT and Sales Ops should not be a temporary measure but a continuous strategy. By constantly seeking ways to support each other’s initiatives, these two departments can drive the organization toward a future where technology and sales strategies are seamlessly integrated, leading to sustained growth and success.

Strategies for Sales Ops independence from IT

While collaboration with Information Technology is invaluable, Sales Operations teams must also carve out their distinct space and be recognized for their unique contributions to the organization. To step confidently into the spotlight, Sales Ops must employ strategies that highlight its value and assert its independence.

Determining sales enablement metrics

The foundation of demonstrating value is through measurable results. Sales enablement teams should define and track sales metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that reflect their impact on the sales pipeline and revenue growth. These metrics might include conversion rates, sales cycle lengths, deal sizes, and customer engagement levels. By measuring performance comprehensively, Sales Ops can showcase its direct impact on the organization’s success.

Using analytics for decision-making

Utilizing analytics and interpreting data helps Sales Ops prove its worth. Sales Ops should leverage analytics to make informed decisions, identify trends in the sales funnels, and forecast future sales outcomes. For example, Sales Ops managers can thoroughly analyze sales workflows and bottleneck points. Reengineering these processes and introducing automated solutions could streamline the sales cycle, making it faster and more responsive to customer needs. Doing this can help them move beyond just operational support to becoming data-driven decision-makers.

Creating real-time dashboards and reports

Visibility is key to recognition. Sales Ops can create real-time sales dashboards and reports that provide immediate insights into sales goals, key metrics, customer behavior, and market trends. These tools aid in quick decision-making and highlight the proactive and responsive nature of Sales Ops. They serve as a visual testament to the department’s ongoing contribution to the organization’s health and growth.

Creating accurate sales and revenue forecasts

Forecasting is an art and science that Sales Ops can master. Sales Ops plays a critical role in strategic planning and resource allocation by accurately predicting sales and revenue. Effective forecasting helps the organization prepare for the future, anticipate market changes, and set realistic targets, underscoring the key role of Sales Ops in the sales department.

Fostering stronger marketing, sales, and customer success alignment

Sales Ops can take the lead in fostering stronger collaboration and alignment between Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success. By ensuring that all key functions are working toward the same goals and utilizing the same data and insights, sales leaders can enhance the overall sales productivity and cohesion of the organization’s sales activities.

Sales Ops from bit player to leading role

As this exploration concludes, the role of Sales Operations in shaping the future of any organization is undeniable. More than just a support mechanism, Sales Ops is a central force, driving organizational strategy and revenue. The journey from operational support to strategic leadership involves harnessing precise analytics, enhancing sales strategies, and aligning closely with broader organizational goals, including those of IT.

Next steps for Sales Ops professionals

Next steps for Sales Ops professionals
  1. Audit current strategies: Review your current sales processes and identify areas for improvement. Where can analytics lead to better decision-making? Which part of your sales cycle can be optimized for better efficiency? What tools can you work with IT to implement to improve sales performance?
  2. Set clear, measurable goals: Define what success looks like for your team. Whether it’s increasing conversion rates, shortening the sales cycle, or improving customer retention, have clear metrics in place to measure your impact.
  3. Foster collaboration: Work closely with IT and other departments to ensure you’re leveraging the best tools and insights. Your unique perspective on sales strategies and customer engagement is invaluable across the organization.
  4. Champion continuous learning: Encourage your team to stay ahead of industry trends, learn new tools, and continuously refine their skills. A well-informed and agile Sales Ops team is your best asset.

Now is the time for Sales Operations managers to step forward and own their strategic role. Begin by identifying one area for improvement or innovation within your operations. Develop a small-scale project or initiative to address this area, track the results, and use this as a springboard to advocate for broader strategic changes. Your insights and actions have the power to not only drive sales but also shape the strategic direction of your organization.

Embrace this moment as an opportunity to redefine the future of Sales Ops and, by extension, the future success of your organization. Take the lead, make informed decisions, and watch as Sales Ops moves from a supporting role to the strategic core of your business. Your journey forward starts now.

Sales Operations


What you can do with DealHub API

What you can do with DealHub API

9 ways to tackle SaaS pricing challenges

9 ways to tackle SaaS pricing challenges

Functionality vs. complexity in sales tech: striking the right balance

Functionality vs. complexity in sales tech: striking the right balance