Sandy Robinson is the Director of Sales Operations at Supplyframe.
Sandy is a highly-experienced sales professional that now leads the Sales Operations at Supplyframe. They are an Industry Network for electronics design and manufacturing, providing open and connected access to the world’s largest collection of vertical search engines, supply chain tools, and online communities. She has spent the last 9 months building processes, reporting, forecasting, training, and Salesforce alignment from the ground-up.
Building Sales Operations Processes
During COVID-19, Sandy has been focused on putting building blocks and a solid sales operations process in place for the future instead of applying bandaids. Addressing the root causes of issues in her sales process has enabled her team to thrive during the downturn.
While Marketing has been creating new messaging, it has given Sales Operations an opportunity to focus on their core playbook that focuses on their core buyer journey. Aligning all of the line of business units throughout the company with that buyer journey enables Marketing, Sales and Customer Success to weave together a continuous story that focuses on the customer.
The starting point is working with Marketing on the buyer personas to deeply understand the buyers. Sales Operations’ job is to help align the playbooks and the systems with the buyer journey. Different sales playbooks are created for different buyers, for example transactional sales vs. enterprise sales.
Different groups of buyers require different KPIs and metrics, as well. Work with Marketing to create something that makes sense and that your sales team can use to move buyers forward.
Customized Sales Playbooks are Key to Your Sales Strategy
Being able to customize a playbook and analytics for the team that’s working with a different buyer gives them the ability to not get hung up on silly things that they shouldn’t be doing anyway like checking a box. It also gives sales teams insights on how those deals are moving along based on the type of person that they are working with.
Build something that accommodates the way your customer buys and the way your sales reps sell. Focus on key metrics and KPIs that matter to the buyer.
Determine where are the kinks in the entire sales process, where do salespeople get hung up; that’s going to be more meaningful. Your sales organization will appreciate that because they feel like you are on their side and you understand them and their day-to-day sales activities.
To validate your playbook, you need to involve other stakeholders, primarily Marketing and Customer Success because they provide another vantage point on customer needs. Then, ask a Sales leader, or someone from the Sales Ops team who uses the tool every day, to work through the playbook and test the process and tools, to troubleshoot, to try to break the tool, before rolling it out to the team.
Sales Operations Priorities
When aligning different lines of business around your priorities and adding to your sales tech stack, it’s important to have a project plan and be able to spell out a project to an Executive to earn their buy-in. It’s crucial to illustrate the root cause of problems and how much time and money could be saved, and how much money you need to solve the problem.
Sandy’s take on the true identity of a good Sales Operations leader is having a good handle on the business and the buyer journey, the sales playbook, and how that all ties together. Anything that’s process-oriented, including the CRM, reporting, sales forecasting, pipeline management is essential for the Sales Operations team. Good reliable data is key to managing these processes.
Credibility is important. Having good data and accurate reports that you can take to executives is crucial. Sometimes that requires taking a report to Finance or other lines of business leaders or sales reps to verify the data.