Those who work in Sales Operations have to juggle multiple responsibilities.
Although there may be times when one may become focused on one or two activities, a Sales Operations Leader should be mindful of the entire covenant they have with their entire organization. Below is the comprehensive list of tasks that CRM and Sales Ops teams should heed to maximize contribution to your organization.
- Create a CRM That Benefits Sales – Your CRM solution should have tools and data that incentivize your front line sales staff to want to use the solution. This can include centralizing marketing materials, clearly identifying warm opportunities, and providing collaboration tools that bring together the collective intelligence within an organization
- Data Must Be High Quality – Data quality is a core function of Sales Operations must be regularly maintained to be kept reliable. The never ending task of keeping data current is not celebrated but the decline of data will be heavily scrutinized and damage adoption if not upheld
- Do the Heavy Lifting for Sales – Sales Operations should clearly communicate to the organization what tasks it can do to ease the burden of sales people. The tem should perform functions, such as loading lead lists, providing data to research prospects, showing history of interactions, and providing delivering insights without the user having to mine for them
- Collaborate With All Levels On Enhancements – When planning the roadmap and future enhancements for a CRM system, do not proceed based on feedback solely from senior management. Create a governing committee that includes front line sales, marketing, and organizational leaders to collectively determine what would provide the maximum benefit
- Partner with Marketing to Nurture and Identify Warm Leads – Leads should be nurtured and their activity tracked to identify who are the most open to purchase your organization’s offering. Based on the lead’s behavior, sales people should be able to receive those warm and hot leads so their time is invested in driving more revenue rather than left to cold call an unqualified prospect
- Automate. Automate. Automate – Sales Operations must automate process as much as possible to maximize efficiency. This can include approval processes for discounts, checking inventory, and territory assignment
- Build and Distribute Relevant Reports and Dashboards – The main benefit to tracking information in a CRM is to be able to learn from the past and gain insights. Require fields that would provide awareness into why an opportunity was won. Add fields such as; competitor, reason won/lost, cycle time, average win size, as well as standard measurements like year to date wins and top open prospects. Once collected, summarize, display graphically, and share findings
- Make Data Intelligence Come to Life – Make your information come alive for your sales staff. Do not just display name and address but add actionable fields such as the number of days since last contacted, number of days until renewal, or embed relevant news feeds about the organizations. Add buttons to your CRM page to connect to LinkedIn so you can see common connections they have in a prospective organization or add a link that will mine through your own CRM data to see similar companies to the one you are prospecting.
- Facilitate Sales Challenges and Quota Tracking – Sales Operations should execute and help with the design of sales challenges. They should build, track, and publicize progress towards monthly or quarterly challenges to dangle the carrot and energize sales.
- Integrate CRM With Related Systems – To make the most of your CRM tool, information tracked should not be limited to sales and what is in the pipeline. It should have integration with multiple division systems, including IT, Marketing, Finance, Sales, and HR. This will automate user additions/inactivations, list of products sold, whitespace, and marketing touches. This will make your CRM the only tool your sales people need.
Submitted by David Galantowicz