Unify people, process and planning to accelerate sales growth
What is Sales Operations?
Operationalizing sales isn’t just about selling more, it’s about selling smarter. Sales Operations encompasses every aspect of your sales organization, including the people, process, technology and strategy for accelerating sales.
From getting your CRM set up and integrated appropriately to handing or sending a prospect a sales sheet, Sales Ops helps you define your process and close more deals, more quickly.
Move revenue up and to the right— transform a simple sales process into scalable velocity with operationalized sales.
Why Sales Ops?
Those one or two A+ sales reps who are responsible for 80% of your closed deals are amazing, but they’re not scalable and they won’t help you move faster. They’ve likely developed lone wolf sales tactics that slightly veer off your process for very good reasons, but may not have shared those changes yet. They’re hunting big game and love doing it, but the rest of the sales team needs a more structured approach. They need ways to identify which leads are the best to work, best practice email templates and scripts, an easy-to-access document library, playbooks and talk tracks. You need the data that shows what’s being used, how effective it is, and accurate pipeline metrics to show you what’s coming up.
You need to combine theoretical strategy with actual execution to drive results. Enter Sales Ops.
How Sales Ops Works: Unifying People, Process, and Planning
People, process, planning. Sales ops touches all three (and maybe a bit more).
People include your sales reps, of course, but also BDRs, account managers and marketing team members. Although focusing on sales operations, taking a look on either side of the sales funnel is a fruitful exercise.
Outside of your organization, considering “people” also means thinking about your prospects and buyers: what their pain is, why they buy, the budget they control, the brands they love, and those they hate. Your former customers and lost prospects are a tremendous source of data about your people. Why did they leave? Why did they choose a competitor— or no action at all? What could you have done to prevent this?
Process is not a new concept to sales teams. Your sales process, generally speaking, is the steps that sales reps follow as they work with prospects. It’s the structure of your sales team.
Today, “process” has evolved to include handoffs from marketing to BDRs to sales, the technology that each team uses and the interconnectivity of that tech stack, and the measurement and reporting of those efforts.
A well-engineered process is all about helping your people accelerate their pipeline and close more deals. It may even help your sales team identify the leads from marketing who are prime for outreach.
Planning is the big picture strategy behind your sales efforts. As you set sales and revenue growth goals, you’re in the first stage of planning.
The planning process also considers how you will measure progress to those goals, from the actual CRM reports you need to create through the analysis of your pipeline performance. This data is used to identify use cases for sales enablement strategy, training and team augmentation.
Together with the right people and a defined, consistent process, planning is the essential step to successful Sales Ops programs.
what does Sales Operations look like?
Here’s an example:
An organization has developed a healthy digital marketing program, with leads converting on site via PPC and organic search. Historically, these leads are bucketed into general territories and individual sales reps follow up in their own way. They are all treated equally when they’re passed to the sales rep and sometimes reps complain that leads are not quite ready to buy and in the past, there have been some hot leads who have fallen through the cracks. Sales reps monitor their own pipeline and have loose goals around close rates, but the organization isn’t setting targets or quotas around revenue, although there is an organizational revenue goal.
These gaps can slow down a sales team’s momentum, but they can be easily solved with an operationalized approach. In this case, documenting the different sales reps’ processes is a logical starting point. From there, the best pieces of each process can be combined and modifications made to suit company goals. Then, this is built in CRM, with clear instructions for reps on how to follow the process. Sales enablement content is created and integrated into the process with a document library, email templates, snippets, and easy-to-follow playbooks. KPI-oriented reports built for management.
The Solution: a New Engagement Index (and More)
To help prioritize the very best leads from marketing, a custom company engagement score is built. The more potential decisions makers at an organization are converting on site, the higher the engagement score grows. Each rep gets an automatic daily report of these hot leads in their territory.
As this process is rolled out, a training program follows, using an LMS that is easy to update and add to over time, increasing adoption and scalability. Because change management is key, additional time is spent on live, 1:1 training and office hours for reps.
Management has the ability to monitor performance at a glance and course correct without micromanaging, Sales reps have the process and content they need to be successful. Prospects are getting the right communication and resources at the right time. The marketing team understands how their leads progress to become customers. The service team gets all of the information they need about new customers without having to backtrack and revisit discovery. With the right Sales Operations and strategy, everyone wins.
Sales Ops in Action: Our Approach
The foundation of strategy and operations work at Impulse Creative is discovery. We start by meeting with your leadership team, to understand your organization, your goals, and why you do what you do. From there, we operate as an extension of your team and meet your team, talking to your best reps and your average reps to learn what’s working, what’s not, what technology they use, and what technology they unofficially use. We often find that the renegade practices of sales reps are a reaction to processes that could use refinement— and we work with you to refine them.
We’ll also ask to speak with your customers to learn more about how they make buying decisions, why they were looking for a solution like yours and why your organization stood out above the rest.
When possible, our Sales Ops discovery will also include your marketing and customer service teams. We like to learn more about how leads are generated and what happens after a deal is closed to make sure our process and planning connects at both ends of the pipeline and all teams are set up for success.
Finally, we introduce a modified process that is customized for your team, technology and company. We’ll build out the process in your CRM, train the team, create your essential reports and support your sales enablement content production long-term.