Revenue Amplification Platform
Accelerate deal execution
CPQ (Configure Price Quote)
Quote complex products
Streamline contract signings
Renewal, expansion, & upsell
Where buyers and sellers meet
Salespeople are usually the “face” of the sales cycle – working with the customer to define and offer solutions that improve their organization’s performance. To do their job more efficiently, Salespeople rely on technology, processes, data analysis, and marketing interfaces to help accelerate their deal cycles and guide them to successful outcomes.
The tools that help Salespeople drive deals forward can also come with major challenges – data in the CRM needs to be maintained, processes need to be created and optimized, Sales technology requires research, selection, and management, the right analytics need to be gathered and processed.
Enter Sales Operations who support and enable the Sales team to sell more effectively by managing all of the non-selling tasks of the sales process, reducing friction wherever possible, and providing strategic guidance. Sales Operations drives revenue and helps Sales teams close deals faster by promoting operational efficiency and freeing Sales from internal and administrative duties to give them the opportunity to focus on the customer.
The overall goal of Sales Operations is to reduce as much friction as possible in the Sales process to allow reps to maximize their selling time and increase Sales productivity. But what are some of the specific challenges that Sales Operations help solve in order to help organizations grow their revenue and profits?
“The unspoken, overall goal of sales operations, is to reduce or eliminate selling thieves. Any process that takes the salesperson out of the field, or off the phone, or away from selling, is a sales thief.” Jeffrey J. Fox, Founder of management consulting firm Fox and Company.
Sales Operations is responsible for assessing and providing solutions to those processes that are “Selling Thieves”. This usually includes automating or taking on administrative tasks that Salespeople are tasked with. A great example of this is quote generation. In many organizations, the process of creating a quote is a huge time drain due to manual processes and stand-alone tools such as Excel. Solutions such as CPQ (Configure, Price Quote), can help to automate the process. Research shows that CPQ can help reduce Sales cycles by 13%, increase revenue by 48% and improve margin growth rate by 57% (Aberdeen).
Many times deal cycles stall due to the sales organization’s inability to align with other business units they are dependent upon in order for deals to move forward. Sales operations play a key role in smoothing out those road bumps by defining and optimizing processes where Sales continuously align with diverse functions in an organization. An example would be setting up automated approval workflow processes between Sales and other business units such as Finance, Engineering, Legal, Marketing, and Management.
Sales Executives rely heavily on execution from their Sales team to reach results. However, many Sales organizations have a generous amount of data at their disposal which can help them to optimize productivity, improve the performance of sellers, and increase revenue.
The issue is compiling and organizing the data into useful dashboards that Sales Managers can interpret effectively and take appropriate action. Being the analytical heroes that they are, Sales Operations can help manage the labyrinthine of information to create, and continually optimize effective dashboards and define correct KPIs in terms of Sales use cases and other business units as well.
An effective one-on-one between Sales Manager and rep can have a major impact on sales performance and helps reps better understand and motivate them to desired behaviors.
An effective manager-seller conversation improves commercial performance by explaining things in a way sellers understand and motivating them toward desired behaviors.
Despite the positive impact one-on-ones have, Sales managers struggle to have these conversations. Sales operations can provide guidelines on when it is best to have these sessions, what topics are most relevant, and provide the tools necessary to personalize the discussions.
While each organization has its unique needs, common underlying principles guide many Sales Operations processes.
Keep the Sales team focused with a clear and concise mission statement that supports your organization’s goals and sales strategy.
We identified some common KPIs in this article that can help, each organization has their unique perspective on what KPI’s are important. Make sure your team understands what sales metrics are measured and why.
Evaluate your team’s existing and developing needs and define functionalities that can help improve their Sales productivity. Choose solutions that can consolidate multiple capabilities, will scale with your business and provides excellent support.
The role of Sales Operations is evolving and their role in organizational strategy is a pivotal one. Therefore it is vital to put processes in place that align sales data with multiple business units.
Artificial Intelligence is making its way to every facet including in the Sales process. Automation and AI will provide new opportunities for you to improve Sales productivity, shorten Sales cycles, and ultimately increase revenue for your organization.
KPIs are a key component for Sales Operations to measure if processes and models put in place are working and also show weaker links where those processes can be optimized. Here are some commonly used KPIs that evaluate and improve organizational results.
Depending on the size and culture of the organization, the responsibilities of Sales Operations can vary from company to company. But at its core, many Sales Operations have similar roles and follow certain standard working processes aimed to fine-tune the entire Sales process. Sales Operations duties are usually a mix of both strategic and tactical:
At its core Sales Operations ultimately has one goal – to help Salespeople close more deals faster. So a large part of the success and increase in revenue rests squarely on Sales Ops shoulders. However, in today’s ever-evolving sales landscape, a lot of things have to happen and processes need to be completed before a Salesperson can actually make a call. That is where Sales Operations comes in.
Sales today is about more than just hitting targets. Management is continually appraising the increased cost of sales, longer buying cycles, higher customer awareness, and competition. In addition, technological advances are changing the way businesses compete. Sales Ops are not only tasked with finding the solutions that will optimize sales processes, but also with building a structured process that helps sales reps succeed and drive the company’s revenue and growth forward.
As mentioned before, the key goal of Sales Operations team is to support and enable the Sales team so they can focus on selling. As the organization expands, the roles and characteristics of Sales Operations evolve but there are common personality traits that are beneficial when a company hires a Sales Operations Manager and builds a Sales Operations organization.
Different stages of organizational growth require different hiring stages within sales operations departments. In his post Building Sales Operations Within Your Start-up, Matt Cameron, recommends which Sales Operations functions your organization should hire at different growth stages according to Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR).
At this stage, most organizations are small operations and the Sales Ops role will be more technical – many times 1 person. While still small, it is a good opportunity to lay the groundwork for growth by aligning business units from the get-go. The hire(s) should be able to take on administrative responsibilities and free up time for the Salespeople. It should be someone with advanced Excel skills and the ability to serve as an analytical partner. At this stage the Sales Operations organization will be responsible for:
As the organization grows they should consider adding on a “Sales Effectiveness Manager” who will be able to offload many of roles that are filled by a Sales Manager when the company was smaller, this includes:
The Sales Effectiveness Manager should have in-depth functional sales knowledge and experience, and also possess program management experience.
At this point the Sales Effectiveness Manager will take on even more roles including:
In addition, the organization should look to hire a Sales Operations Director who will be responsible for:
Our Revenue Amplification Platform is designed as an extension of your Sales Operations workflow within your CRM. Allowing you to manage your entire deal flow from one location – with zero gaps in your view of the buyer journey.
Making sales teams more efficient and productive: DealHub integrates seamlessly within Salesforce CRM, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Hubspot, Freshworks and Sugar CRM. All fields feature bi-directional synchronization so your information is updated in real time.
When you can manage your entire deal flow within your CRM, there’s no risk of losing crucial information. Your CPQ should be an extension of your sales operations workflow, native within your CRM. DealHub CPQ integrates seamlessly with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Hubspot, Freshworks and Sugar CRMs. All fields feature bi-directional synchronization so your information is updated in real time.
We invite you to take a look at how DealHub stacks up against other CPQ vendors rated by users on G2 Crowd.