How to Elevate Sales Operations From Number Crunching to Strategic Analysis


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In many organizations, Sales Operations has become a catchall organization.  If it has to do with sales and no one else has the resources, the job is left for Sales Ops. Everything from sales process issues to data availability to technology problems lands there.

On top of that, Sales Ops is charged with responding to data requests. Pipeline reports and sales statistics, data from the past and the future.

As a result, the Sales Operations Manager is a jack-of-all-trades. The role is that of a data order-taker instead of a key analyst providing sales measurement against strategy. They are a reactive team instead of a proactive one.

So how can you move your Sales Operations team from that chaotic role to one that provides insights and solves problems? How do you change from the group that reports on the past to the one that guides sales execution strategy?

Align Standard Reporting to Measure Strategic Objectives

Moving from the chaos of responding to ad hoc reporting takes time. Without key insights, sales leadership doesn’t know what they should be measuring, how they should be measured, and what best practices looks like.

So where to start?

Changing from reactive to proactive means going back to the start of the year. Your organization, including the Sales Organization, has been through the strategic planning process. You’ve identified sales objectives that support both marketing and corporate objectives.

Ask yourself the following:

  • What metrics support measurement of each of our objectives?
  • Do the metrics highlight a leading action or a lagging indicator that drives decision-making?
  • How can we add value to the data?
  • How can we interpret the data in a meaningful way for our “customers?”
  • What recommendations can we make to support both sales and corporate objectives?

Tying data requirements to measuring strategic objectives elevates Sales Operations. Sales Operation can now add value by interpreting the data and making strategic recommendations.

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Develop Standardized Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

To proactively provide insights and recommendations, you need to develop a standard set of KPIs. Be sure to make the process easily repeatable and easy to scale.

  • Identify your customer or audience. Establish how Sales Operations can give them the information they require.
  • Drive KPIs from Corporate, Sales, Marketing and Product strategies. This ensures the data is relevant to already established objectives.
  • Consistently deliver accurate reports using KPIs.
  • Ramp-up reporting once there is a standard process for obtaining, interpreting and presenting KPIs. Building on standards takes less time and less re-engineering.

In today’s rapidly growing organizations, it’s easy for Sales Operations to become simply data providers. Taking a step back to examine what reporting is needed to track objectives is time-consuming.

But developing a standard set of reports aligned to objectives provides real value. It also allows Sales Operations to grow from ad hoc data crunchers into strategic advisors.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Eric Estrella
Eric Estrella serves as a Senior Consultant at Sales Benchmark Index (SBI), a professional services firm focused exclusively on sales force effectiveness. Eric brings over 15 years


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