Sales Strategy & Operations

If you own or operate a business, you should always consider what you are doing to empower your team of employees to generate sales and prospect new clients. Depending on the type of business you run, you’ll utilize a number of different techniques in order to efficiently make sales. This process is referred to as sales operations or sales strategy.

Efficient use of time is one of the most important things for a business to keep in mind.

The less time your sales team spends on frivolous or mundane administrative tasks, the more time they can spend communicating with potential clients and closing new business.

Sales operations cover many different facets, tools and activities. It’s imperative to break down the core functions of a sales operations group so you can apply these tested methods to your own business.

What does a sales operations group do?

These sales professionals provide strategic insights that your sales team can use to generate business at a higher volume. These team members should feel empowered with the necessary tools to make informed business decisions based on factual evidence and statistics.

Sales strategy groups traditionally look at sets of data such as sales numbers and financial figures to create reports that your sales team would use to make their own informed decisions. However, this was a relatively slow process in the past due to it being performed manually, but technology has given us a variety of new ways to organize and filter through this information in order to make it applicable to your sales team.

Today, a sales operations team covers a wide range of unique responsibilities. Keep in mind that every company will utilize their sales operation assets differently, but the main goal is to empower your sales team with strategic insights that are backed by data.

  • Optimize sales performance – This is where your sales operation team should have a vital impact. Focus on streamlining the sales process so that they can help the sales team speed up their prospecting and go through a higher volume of clients. This includes the implementation of various tools such as email automation, report generators and standard template development.
  • Assume administrative tasks – Your sales operations team should have a full understanding of their associated administrative tasks. This means everything from recruiting new sales team members to providing qualified leads through various channels.
  • Adopt new technologies – A sales strategy team should be able to harness the power of big data and apply that knowledge to the sales group. New technologies can create a more efficient sales process, but it’s up to your team to find and adopt the right technologies for your purposes.

Finding the right members for your sales operations group

Sales operations and strategy is commonly mixed up with sales enablement, or even bundled as a direct part of the sales team. This is misleading as there are distinct differentiators

A sales strategy team member typically holds a higher-ranking position than just a salesperson due to the added responsibilities. In order to find the right talent for a sales operation team, it’s necessary to consider the following qualities before promoting internally or hiring from the outside:

  • Leadership qualities – Sales operations staff work with the sales team and guide them to become more efficient and productive. These members should possess leadership qualities in order to effectively coach their teams.
  • Capable of teaching – Sales strategy professionals will need to possess strong teaching abilities. They’ll need to educate their sales teams on how to implement new technologies and nurture their skills to create a strategic sales process.
  • Good communication skills – Effectively communicating a point across to your sales team can be a challenge. It’s vital that operations team members have strong communication expedite the sales process and prevent bottlenecks from occurring.
  • Analytical thinking – Sales operations experts must analyze large sets of data efficiently. They must have an analytical mind and not be afraid to comb through numbers in order to find trends and create reports.
  • Ability to adapt – As mentioned, each company uses their sales operations group in a different manner. Though the core goal of the group is to empower the sales team, the methodology behind how they do this can differ depending on the tools at their disposal, the specific products they’re selling and the information available. Your strategic sales team should be willing to adapt their methods based on ever-changing conditions.
  • Understanding technology – Technology will always be at the forefront of bolstering sales numbers. It’s vital that your sales operation group keeps up with the latest technological tools and treads, not only how they work, but how to best implement them into your business.

A sales operations and strategy role is demanding, and it’s vital that you build around qualified team members based on their experience and skillsets. They’re going to spend a lot of time managing and guiding your sales team, so it’s crucial that they develop a strong working relationship that can lead your company to a successful future.