Where should I start with Sales Operations?

Hi, I'm opening the Sales Operation area (will be a mix of Sales Operations + Enablement). We are thinking that the main focus of the new hire should be:
- Sales process automation (creating workflows, integration of CRM with other tools via zapier)
- Reporting
- Sales process documentation for training purposes

Do you think it is a good way to start? What would be your advice in order to start this area?

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    • i think the most important thing is the sales methodology that you will using for your company. Then explaining to the new hire why you are using this methodology.

      Other than that these are all great!

      Best of luck

    • Profile picture of Colin Campbell
      ( 6.5k POINTS )
      1 month ago

      Hey @andrulo!

      I’m no expert, but from experience, I hava seen sales operations teams realize too late that their data quality and data model need work.

      Fundamentally, nothing else works if the data isn’t solid. It might be obvious, and hopefully you’ve already got it covered, but thought i should share that tidbit in case it’s helpful!

    • Agree with both comments below, sales methodology and data are key, but imho the focus to start the journey is on identifying the bottlenecks in the processes (ref. The Goal by Goldratt). Once you understand the bottlenecks you can decide which solutions are required to fix them, data, methodology, tools, training et al. Good luck

    • More! More!….I’ll contribute later, Steven Palange.

    • Profile picture of Jennifer Hauer
      ( 230 POINTS )
      1 week, 5 days ago

      My suggestion is a combination of what you see below. I think it is important to have a sales methodology that everyone can align to and have a common language. This will influence training as well as your CRM tool. Your CRM tool should align to the sales methodology, business processes and have clearly defined rules of engagement . Once that is established, you have content and expectations for training and can start to pull data and analytics from your CRM. Now that we have our sales process and consistent usage of the CRM we can trust the data being pulled. We found that when we didn’t have this, we couldn’t fully trust the data. It was garbage in, garbage out.
      From here you can start to identify other business gaps, prioritize with business objectives and pick the next thing you want to add to the sales ops and enablement team portfolio.

    • Depends on what the skill set of the person you are going to hire and where your company is on its journey. Sometimes they have the skills to handle the things you are suggesting and sometimes you hire someone with more experience and be more of an advisor for you on the role. If your company is still new 1M to 10M, growing 10M to 100M, or established +100M in revenue you have different needs. If you are part of a younger company you need more of what you are asking for but if you are hitting the other areas of revenue you need to do invest more folks into Rev Ops and get you a Rev Ops leader who can help you scale it up.

      This person needs to prioritize their time to see where they can have the biggest impact. One of the things that gets lost sometimes is the main focus of Rev Ops is: to bring in more revenue, faster. We all have worked on projects that sound cool or you’ve wanted to try or is the hot new thing but does it help your team make money? If it doesn’t make dollars it doesn’t make sense.

      They need to sit with you and your team to see where people spend their time and then eliminate the bottlenecks on the admin work. Is the time on the sales team focused on bringing on new customers? Are they working on the right deals? Do they have clean data? Are they getting good leads? Is there a definable process they can follow? Is it easy to follow? Can a new rep pick it up quickly? Can they find content quickly to support the need at the right stage of the sales process? Question everything.

      Then you need to see if you can figure out if the things you fixed are working and that requires that person to develop the insight to track their results and show you and the C suite what is going on with the company. Good insight powers good decision making. Reports with vanity metrics are great but do they help you pin point areas where you need to fix?

      If you need to understand the complexity of everything can be done in a Rev Ops group and whittle it down to what you think you need to get going I would look up Rosalyn Santa Elena and her 10 Pillars of Revenue Operations on LinkedIn. Its one of the most comprehensive things I have seen out there from someone who has lived in the Rev Ops space and not a vendor for the space.

      I have my own perspective as: People, Process, Data, Technology, and Insight to help you organize your Rev Ops strategy and structure, but folks like Rosalyn and Jeff Ignacio, Jordan Henderson, Taft Love, and others have put out some great content for you to educate yourself on this space.

      Good Luck!

    • When I think Sales Ops, I think ‘chief of staff’ or ‘chief operating officer’ to the sales leader. I think the sales leader is responsible for landing on the right sales methodology. For sure, SOPs can help operationalize it. But, remember – the SOPs person was likely not a sales person, nor a sales leader, in the past. The key element the SOPs person should bring is data and analytics. What data driven insights can they bring to a) inform the strategy, b) prioritize your actions and c) construct your dales team territories.

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