sales ops manager

5 Things Every Sales Ops Manager Wishes Their CEO Knew

Sales ops is a critical, often overlooked role in most companies. The Sales Ops Manager is responsible for maintaining the work environment of the sales team and ensuring that the organization can sell as effectively as possible. They’re also in charge of reporting on the past, present and future work of the sales team, making them one of the most knowledgeable individuals in the organization. CEOs looking to improve the performance of their companies could benefit greatly from a conversation with their Sales Ops Manager.

We Need Backup

When Sales Ops Managers bring ideas to the table, they’re often ignored or shot down. The VP of Sales may think based on their time in sales meetings, their gut feel is better suited to make strategic decisions than hard data. Sometimes reps won’t listen to sales ops managers because they haven’t been on the actual calls. But Sales Ops Managers understand what’s happening in the pipeline at a more granular level than any other individual on the team: as CRM stewards and data doctors, it’s our job to keep a finger on the pulse of the sales organization. We’re also responsible for tracking the entire pipeline, so we can see high-level trends that occur across the whole organization and may not be observable through the zoomed-in viewpoint of sales calls. When we present ideas, they’re coming from a unique, valuable perspective. CEOs looking to improve the strength of their sales pipeline and supercharge the effectiveness of their sales team should look to their sales ops managers for insight.

We Can Do More Than Report

The primary role of Sales Ops professionals has historically been to produce reports on the state of the sales pipeline and generate revenue forecasts. This is a very important role, but doesn’t do justice to the value a highly effective sales ops manager can provide to a sales team. Rather than use the sales ops manager as a passive individual responsible for producing data upon request, CEOs should empower their sales ops manager to be a proactive contributor to their organizations. Sales data is the most valuable data in a company as it directly shows where revenue is coming from. Sales ops managers oversee this data. This puts them in prime position to proactively pitch plans to push a sales team to peak performance.

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Not Every Tool is Helpful

Another key element of sales ops is managing the tools that a sales team uses in their day-to-day workflow. The recent development explosion of sales software has led to a massive uptick in the volume of tools deployed in sales organizations. Where once it was simply Salesforce, now there are half a dozen tools or more serving very specific functions of the sales workflow. Some of these tools are incredibly useful. But not all, and definitely not all at once. It happens all too often that a VP of Sales will sign off on a large contract to roll out a new tool to the whole organization, and leave it up to sales ops to see that the deployment goes smoothly and that full adoption is achieved. This can happen with multiple tools at a time, overwhelming a sales team with trainings. This happens so often that the industry has actually coined a term to describe it: “tool fatigue”. Tool fatigue should be avoided at all costs, as it leads to salespeople giving up on using the tools their organization has already paid for, wasting valuable budget. It also makes teams less willing to adopt new tools in the future. With sales technology currently experiencing rapid advancement, tool fatigue could prove to be the most damaging element of mismanagement to sales organizations in the long term. CEOs should make sure their sales ops managers are looped into the purchasing conversation early, and are properly equipped to effectively roll out new software at a pace that ensures adoption.

We’re More Than Number Crunchers

Sales operations managers are good for more than metrics. The nuances of creating an efficient, high-performing sales organization are our bread and butter. Most companies don’t hire a sales ops person early enough while building their sales team. They choose to wait until they’ve already created their sales process, deployed a CRM and a couple of sales enablement tools, and generated a solid pipeline. These are all steps that will be made far easier with a dedicated sales operations manager. We live and breath CRM and are highly detail-oriented and well-organized, making us a critical partner in the process of building and scaling the team. CEOs that hire a sales ops person early will almost always see smoother growth in their sales team as a result.

We Need More Data

Sales operations managers are already in charge of a huge amount of data. But there’s another valuable source of data that is all too commonly not made available to the sales team: product usage data. Understanding the way current customers use a product is key to understanding how best to sell to new customers. Usage data provides excellent insight that can help a team customize their pitches by vertical, company size, and more. The sales ops manager is the most data-savvy person in the sales team, making them the ideal person to apply usage data to the sales process. CEOs can open up a treasure trove of useful information by designating someone from the dev team to be in charge of collecting usage data and sharing it with the sales ops manager.

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