Sales Operations Process Improvement Key to Success

What is the sales operation process?

The concept of sales operations varies by organization, depending on what the role of the organization is. Sirius Decision defines sales operations as “a force multiplier” and “the vital link between the sales strategy and go-to-market plan creation and execution.” In most situations, this comes down to help improve the sales and operations planning process. Therefore it helps in reducing stress in the sales process.

Often, sales operations teams structure a sales service feature to assist the organization with the resources and processes required for selling. Think of sales operations management as the person(s) clearing the obstacle path so that the team can maximize their time to concentrate on sales. Sales ops will define and incorporate sales tools, develop and support content, and record and manage processes that help teams.

The importance of sales operations

Companies looking to scale had once overlooked sales operations. Today, many organizations worldwide realize the value of sales operations to enhance sales processes, increase win rates, and drive revenue. This helps improve productivity and reduce inefficiencies for the sales team; businesses rely on sales operations to exploit emerging technology (cloud apps, mobile devices, big data, etc.) Companies must clearly express priorities and mission statements to build successful sales operations teams.

1. Lead management

As a business, generating leads is a top priority. Luckily, there are many ways to get more leads quickly and effectively. The following five ideas can be used by businesses of all sizes and most industries. The key is to test and modify to make them work for your customer base. Here are five foolproof ways to generate leads for your business:

  • Digital Marketing: Social Media Marketing (SMM) / Search Engine Optimization

  • One of the critical ways to drive leads is to run Digital Marketing campaigns. You have access to particular targeting choices, including age, venue, interests, and more, if you are willing to “pay to play.” Use best practices and follow your data to make your advertising effective, and drive eligible leads.
  • Personalized email marketing

  • Email marketing is also one of the best ways to drive leads, particularly when your emails are tailored to the person who receives them.
  • A study by Experian found that up to six times higher revenue generated by personalized emails and campaigns than non-personalized ones.
  • Use your email platform to configure your email greeting to include a name for the recipient. Group your contacts by the location of the name, purchasing background, or interests shared. While building brand loyalty with potential clients, this small touch will help you drive more leads.
  • It’s essential to monitor your progress as you begin sending emails. This helps you to evaluate, change and grow each shipment, driving further leads. Compare your open rates and click on the average rates for your sector, too, to decide whether you’re on par or behind.
  • Discounts and coupons

  • Focus on “new consumer coupons” to generate leads with sales and promotions. In a 2016 CouponBox survey, 75 % of retailers surveyed said this was the best coupon/discount to boost long-term revenue.
  • It’s time to deliver once you’ve produced your offer or coupon — you can’t expect consumers to find such deals and offer themselves.
  • Share with current and potential customers, including social media and email, through all your online platforms.
  • Develop a banner ad or pop-up for your website if possible, which will entice potential customers to buy right there and there.
  • If your marketing budget involves direct mailing, use this as a way to deliver discounts and coupons as well.
  • High-value content

  • Content is a great way to create your website’s search engine optimization, demonstrate your expertise as a business, and generate leads.
  • A first step in using content as a lead-driving method is to note that this concept protects more than just blog posts. An e-book, guide, white paper, illustrations, in-depth review, or video may be the content.
  • The content is then gated, so potential customers, in return for access to it, send you their contact information.
  • Consider how to make it the most useful and tailored material to get the most out of it.
  • Referral Partnerships

  • As a small business, by collaborating with other small companies, you can create leads. For a referral relationship, an easy way to promote this is.
  • In this scenario, you receive a portion of the sales from referrals that you give to the other company and vice versa.
  • Have the attorneys or legal team develop and prove documents, to ensure that the stipulations are transparent to both sides.
  • Website: 

  • Website visitors interested to get in touch or looking forward to availing your products/ services can fill up a web-form unless it’s an e-commerce website with a payment gateway. 

Managing the Lead Sources:

There can be numerous lead sources, other than mentioned above. Now the next challenge is to have a compiled data of leads generated from numerous sources at one place, responding to leads within standard turn-around-time and regular follow-ups. Thus well-documented SOPs which are aligned to a suitable CRM system shall resolve the operational errors and increase the conversion ratio of buying customers.

2. Deal management 

Warm prospecting calls are a perfect “first contact” to reach out to your warm leads with the full likelihood of being interested in what you have to say. The follow-up to all leads that open your emails with a warm prospecting call click CTAs, visit your site, enter their emails to download content, or request more information. You increase the attention of your sales representatives on the best-suited prospects by creating a warm prospecting call strategy that reaches out to your warm leads with targeted messaging and ensures that your outbound efforts are not wasted on uninterested leads.

3. Forecasting and Strategy

Sales management activities vary from organization to organization, much like most structures for one organization what works may not necessarily work for another. The culture, scale, market and sophistication of business all have an impact on how sales ops operate within an organization. No matter where the company finds itself, here are some of the best sales operations practices.

Leaders in sales operations department should know precisely why the team operates, and how it would look like success. Breaking this down into two clear, repeatable statements will provide insight into the purpose and vision of the particular sales operations objectives of your organization. Teams may assess their performance by evaluating how closely they are quarterly or annually adhering to those statements.

Teams also record those elements in a charter which is then shared with other business functions. This provides awareness across the reach of the team and helps to prevent misunderstanding or randomization of the project.

One of the leading roles of sales ops is to define a high-level vision for the sales organization and develop strategies to meet those goals.

The strategic functions might include:
  1. Sales process optimization
  2. Sales technology and methodology evaluation
  3. Sales coverage model and territory planning
  4. High-level planning and goal setting
  5. Data analysis
  6. Sales forecasting

4. Technology and data management

Over the past few years, the SaaS applications and other sales resources available to companies have been rapidly growing. Although better data and technology can improve sales, the complexity of several channels can confuse sales reps and increase the turnaround time.

This is where operations for sales come in. Their role is to handle the tech sales stack so that the sales reps can concentrate on sales.

Here are a few ways they do that:
  1. Integration of apps and tools
  2. Adoption and customization of a CRM
  3. Communications management
  4. Data management and reporting
  5. Task automation

Today, sales teams have access to more information than ever before. The sheer volume of incoming data can be daunting, thanks to increasingly linked companies, and in-depth lead generation activities.

But sales teams need to be able to organize and interpret the information efficiently to make it actionable, beyond just collecting data. That’s where the actual value lies, because if it doesn’t tell you something, what good is Data? Here are four tips for mastering the Data on sales operations.

  • Assess the Data you Have

It would help if you wrapped your arms around what you already have before you can make the most of your info. Identify existing databases to see if there are any gaps in the selection process inside the sales platform. Work with your sales team to determine the most critical information, and assess whether it is adequately captured. It will set you up with an ordered base starting with up for success down the road.

  • Make Data Accessible to both Marketing & Sales

Smart marketing and sales departments are always on the move, finding the next opportunity. Most teams don’t have the time and energy to dig through reports and details to see what they need, let alone talk with each other for any project or need that pops up. They need a platform for data management that is as user friendly as it is available.

Allowing real-time data access ensures that sales and marketing teams will work together to make educated choices. Find an easy-to-use data collection and reporting tool, with interactive dashboards that help keep sales and marketing reps in constant contact.

  •  Make Data Actionable

Specialized reporting and analytics allow sales teams to simplify processes, increase quality, and improve their performance continuously. Significant knowledge drawn into easy-to-use reports makes it more efficient overall to prospect and nurture sales. It would help if you made it actionable after you have gathered your data by reporting on work completed and pursuing potential targets.

To make your data actionable, you must first create a detailed forecast that is focused on the successes and failures of your sales team. Take the existing revenue figures and broaden them into the future. How does the overall growth look? Instead, if you shrink, you may want to change your plan, or let go of your worst performers.

  •  Keep Track

Successfully cultivating a lead is all about following up past touchpoints. By providing a centralized account activity monitoring tool, the team can better personalize their touchpoints and optimize their prospecting efforts for the future.

Holding a database of past touchpoints and account behaviour can help with forecasting and define best practices. You may delegate data to the best reps fit for the job within most sales platforms. It would help if you integrated rules so that your salespeople know which account is allocated to whom and prevent lead pool infighting.

Use your information to track communications and allow your representatives to have meaningful discussions with their leaders. Besides, provide the sales manager with the Data they need to understand best email templates, call times and activity tracking so that they can provide better leadership to the reps.

  • Team structure and performance

One of the main factors in enhancing sales efficiency is the most effective use of sales capital. Sales teams and regions also grow organically, and if the structure or strategy is incorrect, even the most committed and hard-working teams will fail.

For the success of a company, ensuring the right sales team structure to provide an effective workflow for your sales professionals is crucial.

However, as you grow, you might be able to decide that the way to go is a specialized assembly line or even the closely-knit team structure of pod sales. Whatever you choose, you need to ensure that you have the tools and culture in the workplace that will help your sales team to succeed.

5. Operations

By bearing the responsibility of administrative and organizational duties, sales operations lead to high efficiency and competence in the sales department. Sales operations teams will take the lead in training, recruiting, and knowledge management with the help of data analysis and process optimization. This ensures that sales reps have the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)/ Process Manuals and expertise to excel their performance

  • Operational tasks and responsibilities include:
  • Product & process training
  • Sales training
  • Hiring and onboarding top talent
  • Market intelligence support
  • Contracts and SLAs
  • Team Performance Mapping
    • Sales operations essentially aim to enhance efficiency and productivity by reducing obstacles and smoothing processes for sales reps. Emphasis on sales ops includes:
      • Implementation of sales methodologies and best practices
      • Identifying KPIs and sales metrics
      • Compensation and incentive plans

6. How to build sales operations strategies

Key metrics and KPIs

Organizations need to establish specific metrics to assess the performance of sales operations. Although exact figures may vary from business to business, sales operations should concentrate on a few main elements to evaluate performance. The most incredible metrics can be grouped into two categories for sales operations: success and quality.

If your KPIs have been determined, check your performance quarterly, at least. Teams in sales activities have an added advantage in maintaining the storage systems where most of the data reside. Hence, you can create readily accessible dashboards during the quarter with business intelligence and CRM systems to reference so that you can refine your strategies accordingly.

7. The best practices that will help you improve sales operations

Sales management procedures, like most processes, vary from organization to organization. For one organization, what works may not necessarily work for another. The culture, scale, market, and complexity of business all impact how SOPs of sales operations operate within an organization. Wherever the company finds itself, here are some of the best SOP for sales process management practices.

  • Establish a Charter on Sales Operations

Leaders in sales operations should know precisely why the team operates and how it would look like success. Dividing these into two clear, repeatable statements would illustrate the purpose and vision of your organization’s sales operations’ fundamental objectives. Teams may assess their performance by evaluating how closely they are quarterly or annually adhering to those statements.

  • Collaborate on crucial strategy formulation

Sales operations can collaborate with management leaders and management, enabling leaders to shape priorities based on expertise, consumer awareness, and geographical knowledge. This expertise, combined with the sales operations’ data-driven perspective, helps to establish successful sales strategies.

  • Motivate the team to make the process more efficient

Sales operations have the potential to optimize procedures, automate non-core functions, and control CRM systems and other instruments. It improves reps’ capacity to operate effectively when these tasks are done correctly, which can have a drastic effect on the bottom line.

So, whether it’s through quarterly MVP shouts or presenting your accomplishments at all-company meetings, acknowledging and sharing your team’s success is vital. The more you can encourage and inspire your team to execute high-priority projects, the more you will be able to help the organization ultimately succeed.

  • Integrate with marketing 

For teams working closely with marketing departments on sales operations, they will help create a more robust funnel structure. That’s because marketing teams can take advantage of the data-driven insights gained from sales operations and assess their effectiveness as the lead. Besides, coordination between marketing and sales strategies ensures the account data’s credibility and leads’ control.

Apart from your sales standard operating procedure, you can also frequently meet with marketing executives to ensure maximum integration of your marketing and sales channels and match your goals. You can also recommend holding office hours, where marketing program managers may directly ask technical questions, further reducing misunderstanding and misalignment of email chains.

Why BPX to define SOPs for your sales operations Functions 

Sales operations consulting firms will help you improve your sales operations functions. Business Process Xpert (BPX) is a consulting firm that enables you to define your sales process. SOPs aligned with CRM IT systems make BPX an obvious choice for sales operations process automation consulting.

Author Bio

YRC-rupal

Rupal Agarwal

Chief Strategy Officer
Dr. Rupal’s “Everything is possible” attitude helps achieve the impossible. Dr. Rupal Agarwal has worked with 300+ companies from various sectors, since 2012, to custom-build SOPs, push their limits and improve performance efficiency. Rupal & her team have remarkable success stories of helping companies scale 10X with business process standardization.

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