The constantly changing business world is forcing companies of all sizes and industries to rethink the way they manage their sales operations. But do we even know what stands behind this term? How to improve sales operations and why should companies consider investing in it?
Our two and a half decades worth of consulting experience tell us that enhancing your sales is definitely not easy, but still very doable – and with this article we’re looking to share that experience. Keep on reading to learn the true sales operations meaning as well as sales operations best practices.
What Are Sales Operations and Their Role?
When it comes to the question “What are sales operations?”, the answer is quite straightforward. The term refers to a set of activities and tools that help optimize and unify sales processes across the entire organization. From applying the latest sales operations applications and tools to introducing training programs, reps aim to focus more on converting prospects into sales and drive measurable results.
To grasp the true meaning of sales operations tools and what exact activities define the future team success, let’s have a look at the sales operations structure. All the activities can be divided into four key categories, each having its own function:
- Strategy. Sales operations activities within this stage help to evaluate key company’s goals and challenges. As a result, the team should identify a strategy to follow in order to reach these objectives and find solutions to existing problems. From data analysis and forecasting to goal setting and long-term planning, the company should be provided with information on their current business state and opportunities that should be leveraged for its improvement.
- Performance. At this stage, the company focuses on identifying KPIs, lead management activities, and seeking best practices to implement within their organization to increase its performance and enhance the staff’s productivity. It’s also important to clarify what goals you want to achieve, what tools can help you reach them, and what it takes to adopt them.
- Technology. With the advent of technology, the digital world has introduced thousands of useful sales operations tools that can be applied for the benefit of any business. Modern technologies aim to make it easier for companies to manage their processes and save money on operational costs. This stage includes software adoption, integration with other systems and tools, automation, data migration, and other tasks that enable high performance across all applications within the existing IT environment.
- Support. This category includes all sorts of activities aimed at supporting your current strategy, such as content creation to prospecting management. This way sales reps acquire knowledge, expertise, and information they need to better reach out to your target market and increase lead conversion rates.
What Are the Benefits of Sales Operations?
Proper sales operations management provides an array of benefits that help companies to drive productivity across teams and enable fast business growth. Here are some of the many sales operations goals and advantages you get when applying a smart strategy to your sales operations process:
- Insightful reporting. From ERP systems to CRM platforms, modern tools allow getting insightful analytics on your business state. It helps identify both strong and weak points in your company and finds strategies for further improvement of its performance.
- Accurate forecasting. Thanks to the data delivered by the analytical software, sales forecasting gets more precise. At this point, you can efficiently manage your sales pipeline, analyze future revenue, and identify what tools are needed to reach desired goals.
- Data-driven decision making. As we can see, with proper analytics and reporting, the management team gets reliable data that can be used in the decision-making process.
- Improved operational efficiency. By introducing automation across all processes, companies can cut down on operational costs, decrease the number of human errors, thus increasing the overall efficiency.
- Increased productivity of sales and marketing teams. The main point of sales operations is to keep teams productive and continuously increase their expertise and knowledge. For instance, training helps sales reps to become experts in your services/products and deliver more results.
- Enhanced business scalability. When optimizing sales operations activities and processes, your sales reps will be able to spend more time selling your products and services efficiently. As a result, you drive more revenue and discover new opportunities for further business growth. Besides that, it’s always easier to scale your business and grow your teams when internal processes are streamlined.
Sales Operations vs Sales Technology Management
The role of information technology in sales operations management is to improve and streamline key processes across organizations and make it easier for teams to engage more clients and drive revenues. From CRM systems aimed to introduce better communication with customers and robust analytics to AI-powered tools for efficient lead management and customer engagement, technology can be applied to all operations that define your business results.
Proven Technologies OMI Uses to Reach Sales Operations Goals
For over 20 years, OMI has been successfully growing its expertise in providing top-notch services in customer resource and sales operations management, helping companies leverage the impact of cutting-edge technology on sales management. Our proven tech stack includes an array of tools and applications that drive measurable results and let our clients stay on top of the competition.
- Microsoft Dynamics: When it comes to CRM, OMI offers Microsoft Dynamics solutions to let our clients benefit from one of the most feature-packed products that help build a technological foundation for any sales team. From valuable analytics to efficient customer engagement, MS tools can be applied and adjusted in accordance with the company and industry-specific needs.
- Salesforce Sales Cloud: Through our Salesforce services, we at OMI help to streamline and automate processes, thus allowing teams to gain better results and focus more on communication with potential customers. For instance, one of the latest tools introduced by Salesforce named High Velocity Sales helps reps to increase lead conversion rates faster and more efficiently.
- 366 Degrees: Marketing automation software helps to create engaging marketing campaigns and landing pages, thus allowing companies to drive more customers. By applying 366 Degrees, you can access CRM systems and useful marketing tools within a single digital workspace.
- Revenue Grid: This AI-powered sales automation software aims to empower your teams with useful tools to let them close more deals. Additionally, it helps to manage data more efficiently, thus decreasing the number of errors and speeding up the sales process.
Sales Enablement vs Sales Operations
Sales enablement vs sales operations isn’t really a debate as these two complement each other – sales enablement management can be successfully applied within a company to power sales operations. Its main goals are to boost the efficiency and productivity of sales teams, as well as to improve customer satisfaction rates. Sales enablement activities include everything from staff training to sales content development to make your teams the ambassadors of your products and services.
Sales Operations Best Practices and Trends to Follow
Introduce Digital Transformation
You are unlikely to find an organization that can sell its products and services efficiently without applying modern technologies. In past years, world digitization has completely redefined the way people buy and how businesses sell. With the existing variety of tools such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, it’s easy to find one that suits your goals and needs best.
Strong Focus on Strategic Planning
Strategy is one of the most important things in sales operations. It’s almost impossible to grow your business without defining exact steps for its further development. Enable continuous business analysis and automated reporting to get valuable information on your incomes, spendings, and competitors. Use this information to see what challenges your business is facing and what is necessary to solve them.
Invest in Sales Training
Educate your teams on the importance and role of sales operations in business. Let them see the value they get when applying the latest technologies. It will help to engage your sales teams into business processes and let them leverage this information for the benefit of your company.
Deliver Impactful Content to Customers
As we’ve mentioned before, sales enablement and sales operations can complement one another to boost sales efficiency. With the constantly increasing market competition, it’s important to create only relevant content for your customers, providing them with the information they need in the most compelling and convenient way. Whether you choose to show your expertise through case studies and pitch decks or create unique and engaging content for landing pages, it will help you stand out from the competition.
Benefit From Data-Driven Decisions
Data is one of the most important tools we can use to drive business performance and make decisions that will deliver results. Collect and analyze your KPIs and sales metrics to come up with the strategies that lift your business to a new level.
The constantly changing demand of the business world forces us to rethink the way existing sales models work. That’s why it’s important to create new opportunities for reaching desired goals and let the sales operations team help your reps to stay productive and focus more on selling your products and services.
If you want to know how to improve sales operations within your organization, reach out to OMI experts today. We will find the best combination of our services to improve your sales cycle on every stage.