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Sales Operations: Roles, Responsibilities and Best Practices

Sales Operations: Roles, Responsibilities and Best Practices

The Roles, Responsibilities and Best Practices in the Sales Operation

When we come across a successful team, the answer we get is under the incredible leadership sales team is streamlined and the productivity is seen. 

The sales force team is a core team in the business to run the show, they’re focussed on an aim of reaching a goal – sales revenue and increase the customer base. 

The management or team leaders are busy guiding or coaching the sales force team – how to be a role model for other team members, becoming a responsible for strengthening a sales team, streamlining the sales process and retaining the best sales practises. 

When we see any kind of sports game – football, everyone’s beloved game cricket or hockey or any other game,  there’s a coach who is responsible for the whole team. Coach is an entity who is responsible to tame the team members strictly to follow the process during the practise or on a ground, provide a proper guidance wherein the players follow the strategies drawn by the coach, but it can be deviated during the game as per the situation arises. But the players focus is on the winning kick and getting the ball into the goal post and reaching the highest number of goals. Similarly a team leader or manager or management are continuously trying the sales team to streamline, provide guidance as and when they get stuck during the sales process, and expect the early closure of the sales deal. 

For every company it has been crucial to form a good skill based sales team and provide the necessary infrastructure for the success of the sales force team. 

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Sales Operation in an organisation: Companies focus is always on the sales operation and expect how to reduce the friction during the sales process and making sales people more efficient, stable and successful. Company knows that the sales team is considered as a core team in the growth of the organisation. When it comes to a sales operation, various departments are getting collaborated to handle different tasks and responsibilities which are assigned to different staff members of the team.  When the tasks and responsibilities are different, but the goal of everyone in the company is sustainable growth of the company and streamlining the business process. 

Responsibilities of the sales operation team is providing the sales training, managing the leads, optimization of the sales strategies and process, sales orders processing and data management so that as and when necessary for the relevant information, it can be easily accessed anytime, anywhere.

Sales team are getting enabled and Sales operation getting streamlined

When a company is focussing – how to get the best from the sales team in regard to the good number of new leads – either self generated by sales team or through the marketing team who run the different campaigns, email marketing or any other sources and increase of the sales revenue. 

When this factor is discussed then obviously sales team enablement is also necessary. Simultaneously sales operation also to be strong enough to manage and help in the companies business growth.  Companies look out of the team working collaboratively to improve productivity and revenue. 

Sales enablement is a part of the sales operation team, sales operation is responsible for analyzing data, formulating strategies and helping in making valuable decisions related to the business process. When sales enablement and sales operations are parallelly driven, then it helps in making these decisions becoming a reality in the long run. 

Sales team is enabled with necessary process understanding provided by the sales operation team, such as the training on sales, product, providing the technology based business tools – how to use them in their daily working pattern. On completion of these training, salespeople are supposed to follow the work culture drawn for them by the company. 

Moreover when the sales people aren’t using and capturing the updates of the follow up remarks with customers properly during their sales process into the CRM tool, then sales process departments are involved, review all the set sales parameters, deliverables and measure the sales metrics to streamline the sales team. Conducting the frequent meetings within the sales and operation teams, which ensures there is no overlapping and both are on the same page and focussing  to achieve the set goal – sales team streamlining, business growth and increase in sales revenue with efficiency. 

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Highlights of the Sales Operation – functionality and best practises

  • Training to the Sales Team: Sales operation departments are responsible and offer the best of  the training to create a successful team and make a salesperson a highly successful business professional. In the company either half yearly or yearly once a training is provided to make a possible sales operation equipped with product knowledge, gaining the new technology in the approach of sales call, using of a mobile CRM app when they are on field job, cracking the sales deal and making a good sales revenue. Facilitate different training programs, so that there is good teamwork and focussing on the business growth. Sales operation team is also providing good timely assistance during the crucial situation of the sales team for an effective sales process. With the help of a sales force automation software, both sales and operation team work collaboratively to smoothen and strengthen the sales and operation process. 
  • Sales briefing responsibilities: Sales operations do have the additional responsibility for providing the sales team on the territories or vertical industries to be targeted and helping them to decide and assign sales related calls. Sales operation is also responsible for the goals setting, functionality and best practices for the sales department to reduce the burden of administrative and operational tasks related work.
  • Technology based tools implementation: Sales operation team along with the management, focus and implement the necessary technology based sales related tools – Sales CRM, digital marketing tools, email integration, cloud telephony solution and technical tools & platforms with the consultation of the IT department. Sales team to be well equipped with the technology and they do not face any hiccups during the sales process. Influencing the salespeople of using the CRM software, so that sales operations are able to manage the sales team and helping to achieve their sales target.  
  • Communication documentation: The sales operation team is responsible for managing the sales team reporting system and tracking, communications with the customers are done regularly as per the schedule tasks, documents related to the enquiries maintained, analyzing the outcome of  sales  related campaigns. 
  • Data management: Measuring and evaluating the sales data on the product effective in the market, how is the sales process progressing, what is the return on the campaign running as a lead for the sales team. Looking into these crucial roles, the sales operation team will come to a conclusion on whether the strategy is working or not.  Moreover, along with the management, the sales operation team will come out with the necessary actions and decisions on pursuing the right direction for the effectiveness. 
  • Lead Management: Sales operation manages the administrative tasks like lead registering, scheduling the appointments with the customers, so that salespeople are able to save their time in this and focus more on creating opportunities and increasing the sales revenue.

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  • Forecasting: With the help of past data and previous trends, the sales operation team is able to forecast future sales growth and its needs. Moreover focusing on the future campaigns and its goals. During this stage of crucial forecasts, sales teams are able to suggest their issues and necessities with the sales operation team. 
  • Sales Tactics: Sales operations does the data analysis to create a sales strategy. The team is also responsible for improving the sales conversion, shortening the sales cycle, maximizing profitability, doing the survey of existing customers, collaborating with other teammates. 
  • Collaboration: Collaboratively the sales operation and sales team are working. The teamwork of the sales and operations functions ensures the data input is centralized and aiming on the business goal achievement – success and business growth. 

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  • Sales Team Support: Sales operation team is busy in managing the leads, tracking the communications, preparing the quotations, organising and providing the sales related trainings to improve time management skills, sales order processing and updating to the sales team of the whereabouts of order status. Aim of the sales operation is to help salespeople become more efficient, effective in the sales conversion of opportunities. 
  • Define Your Mission Statement: Make sure that everyone who has a hand in the business’s sales process is on the same page is critical. Create a mission statement that highlights your goals and share them across the company. If you are still a little uncertain, you may check out some of the famous brand’s mission statements.

Employees Structure of the Sales Operation team and related job responsibilities

Sales Operation team and related job responsibilities

Sales Operations Positions

When a company expects its sales team and sales operation to be successful, then positions are required in the sales operation department. 

  • Sales Operations Executives
  • Analyst in Sales Operations
  • Sr. Sales Operations Analyst
  • Sales Operation Manager
  • Sr. Director – Sales Operations

Sales Operation Process

One of the most essential advantages of having a highly tuned, functional sales operation is the ability to devise, implement, and execute a sales process that informs each and every aspect of what the sales team is doing every day.  Demonstrating a sales operation process serves as a template and a reference point for your sales team to refer to when there are complications involved, or when a new challenge suddenly comes to light. It is important to remember that the demand for sales ops in the early phases of the sales process might differ depending on the structure and makeup of the business.

For instance, sales operations may assist with:

  • Administration tasks
  • Technical tasks
  • Strategic development
  • CRM creation and optimization
  • Improvements in reporting and accuracy
  • Automation implementations in selling/non-selling tasks
  • Management of knowledge base and content assets
  • Ownership of talent development and compensation

Most established sales operations in mature organizations frequently take complete ownership of all sales admin and sales functions while helping to lighten the load in data management, strategy formulation, and other critical decision-making scenarios.

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Job responsibilities

Sales operations is a department and the employees role is of their activities and processes, which is performed in a sales oriented company, to support, enable and drive the sales teams for a better & faster sales efficiently. The sales operation brings a system to sell the products through the sales team.

CRM software is the tool used in the companies to automate the process of sales force with approval workflow. To manage the sales operation and CRM system the staff has to have technical expertise, strong operational skills, must have a passion to manage the quality control and productivity. The staff has to be dedicatedly working in a structured environment for the growth of the sales team and business. 

To build a strong sales operations department the hire process and the skilled people required with the capabilities of handling sales operation process. 

  • He / She has to have tactical support providing to the sales team
  • Handling the crucial job and able to measure and evaluate the sales data with strategy. 
  • Manage the complete sales operation process

The most significant advantage of fine tuning the functional sales operation and handling & informing the  every aspect of what the sales team has to follow and do in their daily process. There may be a difference depending on the structure of a business process. There may be a necessity of handling the technical related work other tasks which include into the Sales Operation administration, CRM tool managing, strategic development, improvisation in reporting and managing the data accuracy, managing the knowledge base contents in the sales related tools, automating and implementation of the CRM software

Conclusion

Sales operations is able to create and manage an ideal  sales process by technology collaboration, leveraging the data and insights, data analysis to create a sales strategy, keeping an eye on the performance of sales and sustainable development in the company. 

Sales operation metrics provides the insight of improving the conversion rates and sales process. Few of the commonly used metrics to evaluate performance and improvement of the sales process are, 

  • An average conversion ratio of won and lost deals
  • An average sale cycle period of the prospect taken to close a deal
  • Expectation of an average value of the deals which are in the pipeline
  • Average time spent in selling – task managing and reviewing the internal meetings, training, admin work, sales closure. 
  • What is an average lead response to a pitch of a product to a customer. 
  • Sales Pipeline value is used in assessing the forecasts.
  • Measuring the pipeline cases with Sales funnel  
  • Forecast precision which is the best practice in the sales operation
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