May 11, 2021

The Importance of Sales Ops

So you wanna be a VP Sales?

Great.

Just answer the following interview questions: [Part 1] : [Part 2]

But be sure you mention that investing in Sales Ops is a must or you wont take the job.

What would a football team be without the coaches and people on the sidelines analyzing performance and showing the players where they need to refocus and strategize? Probably not very successful and not very effective at winning.

That’s how I think about sales ops. If you want to invest in your team being more successful more consistently, this is the first place to dive in.

Whether you’re building a sales organization from scratch or trying to inject life into your existing one, sales ops is a great starting point. You need someone set out to specifically analyze your team’s weaknesses and successes and see how they can be improved upon, thrown out or re-envisioned.

Implementing the proper candidate for a sales ops role is going to be integral in not only supporting your sales teams to perform better and hit goals faster, but it will help create more consistency in their processes and procedures.

As an early VP you should not have to spend time figuring out how to build Salesforce reports and workflows: you need to be focusing on recruiting, training, and building the whole process because it’s your expertise to be able to do that and know what next steps and areas need to be focused on. It’s not my skillset to get deep into the weeds of building reports and efficiencies in that way so why not hire someone who’s way more capable than myself to do that?

At Main Street Hub, I made a conscious effort to lobby very hard for a sales ops hire. I had been devoid of resources in my prior three VP of Sales roles (no tech, no personnel help whatsoever) so I drew a line in the sand and told myself that I wasn’t going to work anyplace unless the first hire I could make would be a Sales Ops Manager or Head of Sales Ops.

It was my biggest lesson from that point forward and never looked back on making it a necessity for any organization I joined from there on out.

A few key takeaways for when you decide to bring the right candidate into this role:

  1. Make sure they’ll be capable of collaboration. This is integral in building the right team, especially when it boils down to making efficiencies for your organization. Someone needs to be capable of coming in ready to have open dialogue and collaborate with different departments to ensure the process they build makes sense for the team and the product.
  2. Don’t under-tool, but don’t over-tool them. Introducing technology wisely is important but there’s a danger in giving too many tools or not giving enough. If you don’t provide enough tools, it won’t leverage enough change in your process, whereas, if you give too many tools, nothing will be utilized or executed well. Striking the balance and talking with them to see what they’ve utilized before or haven’t is elemental in finding the right solutions to bring into your organization.
  3. Make sure there’s alignment. Whoever comes in as your sales ops leader or manager needs to have the autonomy and freedom to lead as well as innovate openly as they see fit. You hired the expert for a reason — let them do their thing.

They’re a critical piece to the puzzle so focus your efforts on making sure to advocate for the right person to come into this role. It’s not only going to take time off of your sales team’s plates but it’s going to make a critical impact on your efficiency and scalability.

If you’re still not sold on how sales ops can boost your organization’s goals, take a listen to a few of our Surf and Sales podcast episodes that are sales-ops-focused and let me know your thoughts:

S2E12 – Defining Sales Ops, Rev Ops + Sales Enablement w/ Patricia McLaren

S1E62 – Running Sales Ops Under Quarantine w/ JM Wilke

S1E6 – Can’t Sales and Operations Just Get Along? w/ Claire Morris

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Qualia, Salesloft, Lavender, Talroo, Fundbox, Google, RigUp, and more.