How to Maintain Sales Ops’ Focus – Build a Charter


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Star_GazeEver feel like endless, one-off requests are crippling your Sales Ops team? Sales Ops can be a dumping ground for all types of support. Consider why this is often the case. You’re charged with improving sales efficiency and effectiveness to make the number. In doing so, Sales Ops engages with nearly every other function in the organization. Because of so many touch-points, you can also fall victim to “scope creep”.

Building a clear Sales Ops Charter will minimize the noise. Knowing what to prioritize and what you should ignore is a key to success. A clearly thought-out Charter, articulated across the organization is invaluable. Download our Sales Ops Charter template here. Use your Charter as your “North star” to focus and prioritize.

During the cycle of most large deals, many other internal functions are engaged. Marketing, Pre-Sales, Finance and Operations are always involved in large deals. In addition, Sales Ops is frequently working with HR on sales performance or training issues. Information Technology provides much of the data backbone needed by Sales Ops.

Consider this simplified schematic of a large sales opportunity.  Multiple touch points for multiple functions in one deal.


Now expand this to include all the other objectives Sales Ops has. The connection points are significant. HR or Legal ask for performance data on a recently released rep. Operations asked for your most recent sales forecasts. Product development needs Win/Loss analysis to consider new markets.

All of this, in a sense, is good. We like being seen as important and influential. But, the problem always comes back to this: “Can you get it all done?” Most days you can. For those days when you can’t, you need a clear declaration of focus and priorities. Your Charter. Your North Star.

This is essential for those that are new or are particularly good in the role. Those that can produce, get more to produce. Those that are new get tested. Having a well-defined Charter provides the focus. However, a Charter that’s not communicated is worthless. It gives clarity to all that may come knocking on your door – including your team.

Sales Ops has evolved a great deal over the past couple of decades. Many sales Ops teams also have responsibility for training and enablement. A large number design and administer compensation. Some have responsibility for Channel Partner programs.

Regardless, there are elements that must be considered in all sales Ops Charters. We arrange them into six groupings:

  • Data Strategy – Defining the needed to make sound sales decisions.  This includes defining data sources, how it needs to be structured and how it’s maintained.

  • Sales Analytics – Appropriately analyzing data to deliver insights to the organization.  Understand what to measure and how to analyze it.  Sound analytics improves pipeline management processes and forecasting.  Great insights lead to better training content and more efficient resource allocation.

  • Sales Reporting – This is what many outsiders think of Sales Ops.  Your reports need to first sit on solid bedrock of good data and analytics.  Reporting has to go much further than revenue to quota.

  • Systems – Automate core business processes and you’ll increase the productivity of sales.  Those systems that remove administrative burden and free them to sell.

  • Support – Representing sales among other corporate functions.  Doing so will allow the company to be easy to do business with.  This can be tricky and if not held in check can crush the best of us.  What forms of support you take on has to be in your Charter.

  • Sales Ops Organizational Design – You’re so focused on driving efficiency into sales, don’t stop there.  You need to look inside.  Start with your Charter.  What will you take on?  How will you structure and develop your team?

The requests keep coming in.  You and your team are swamped.  Download your Sales Operations Charter Template here.  Your comments on this post or any others are always welcome.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Patrick Seidell
Patrick Seidell serves as a Senior Consultant at Sales Benchmark Index (SBI). Pat brings 27 years of experience in sales management, sales operations leadership, consulting and market research to SBI with nationally and globally recognized organizations such as DHL, The Gallup Organization, Tribune Company and The NPD Group.


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