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6 Steps to Future Proofing Your Sales Operation Process

Future Proof Sales Operation Process

Table of Contents

The rise of big data, cloud technology, sales tools, and a sophisticated sales operations process has helped numerous companies achieve success with their sales department. However, not every company can afford to purchase sales tools, hire front-line sales representatives, or overlay sales capacity. This is where a sales operation strategy comes in handy. What exactly are sales ops? And why are they necessary?
Sales operation is vital for planning, organizing, and enhancing a company’s productivity. Standardized and established sales operations are necessary for creating a repeatable flow of leads through the pipeline. Ignoring a sales operation process can often diminish your ability to grow revenue. A survey by Nielsen of 500 Sales Operations professionals concluded that 90% of sales operations professionals agree planning more frequently in a world that is in constant flux. It can aid the sales team to achieve greater success, which may positively impact the business as a whole.
This blog will aid you in discovering the ins and outs of the sales operation and the steps required to run sales operations successfully. We have broken down the steps that today’s modern sales operations teams take to save you from the hassle. The following steps will equip and empower your company sales operation team to sell more effectively and close bigger deals.

What Is a Sales Operation?

Sales operations are repeatable processes that enable companies to generate qualified sales leads, build relationships, close deals, and drive revenue. Therefore, effective operations are essential to keep your team organized, achieve sales goals, and follow through with your sales strategies.

The term sales operations can mean a multitude of things to different teams and organizations. Besides, the core of sales operations is enabling and supporting sales teams with strategic direction to sell more efficiently. The sales operation process includes the day-to-day tasks and activities that need to be completed by sales reps, such as completing stages on a B2B sale pipeline to recording data in your CRM software. Having a sales operation team can benefit your company with the following:

Introduction to sales operations

Why Does a Sales Operation Process Matter?

Increased companies are forming sales operations teams nowadays, and for a good reason. It is essential to the company’s business operations, functions, and overall success. The main aim of having a sales process is to build systems and implement technologies to hit their targets. The sales operation team’s activities and processes leverage big data and sophisticated tools to run other departments. As per a study conducted by McKinsey, companies with world-class sales operations teams see a growth of 20–30% in their sales productivity.

A defined sale operation process provides a company’s sales and marketing teams with defined roles and responsibilities in completing the sales process. Furthermore, it aids a company in developing a positive culture and improving its collaboration among the sales and marketing teams, communication, and accountability to ensure all tasks are completed successfully. This way, your company can determine the technology stacks that suit the team goals, improve productivity, and easily address sales inefficiencies. The basic overview of a sale operation process may look like this:
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    The sales team gathers data to analyze the sales process

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    Create and implement a sale operation strategy to optimize efficiency

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    Implement technology that can automate tasks and improve workflow

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    Facilitate better communication across different teams

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    Finally, assess the results and restart the sales operation process

DataCaptive will be coming out with more in-depth blogs related to sales operations. Therefore, if you want to read our latest blogs and B2B marketing, get updates right in your inbox.

Steps to Building a Successful Sales Operation Process

While sales operations are a broad concept, there are a few steps your company can implement to future-proof your sale operation process. A sales operation strategy includes various elements necessary for generating leads, revenue, and ROI. Creating a structured sales operations program requires a company to understand its sales objectives and the various roadblocks that can get in its way. We are here to simplify these steps for you:
How to build a successful Sales Operation Process?

Step 1 - Streamline Your Sales Objectives

It is important to plan your objectives or goals meticulously to provide directions to your team. These objectives can further aid the team in defining their sales process and core metrics and assigning responsibilities efficiently. For instance, your sales objective may include utilizing online advertising and content marketing to generate high leads. They can also increase your close rates, cross-sell and upsell by a certain percentage.
Your goals will lay the foundation for generating strategies and acquiring the tools to achieve the result. They can also act as a framework for implementing resources to optimize sales. Creating a mission statement will define goals, strategies, and tasks that correlate to the mission and can help the company make the right decisions.

A mission statement can streamline non-related sales activities, optimize the sales process, and offer additional sales training. Putting together a team that can execute tasks is no easy feat either. You will need the plan to build the right team that will aid the company in recruiting or training employees. Using a business plan template can help you complete this step faster.

Step 2 - Implement a Lead Qualification Process

A well-defined lead qualification process can help your company determine which prospects are the best sales targets. This way, the sales reps can qualify for high intent and close more deals than before. Not having a lead qualification process can hamper productivity and prevent your sales team from achieving their sales targets.
Remember to reach out to prospective customers who are interested in a product or service and are ready to make a purchase. Once certain parameters are set, the team can identify activities that can ensure sales process optimization.
According to MarketingSherpa, 61% of B2B marketers send all their leads to sales even though only 27% are qualified. B2B marketers sometimes fail to consider lead qualification when deciding where to target their sales efforts, which often leads to them converting only a small fraction of them. While qualifying, leads ask themselves questions such as:
Implementing a lead qualification process
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    Are they interested in buying your product or service?
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    Do they have a use for the product or service your company is offering?
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    Do they have enough funds to purchase what you are offering?
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    Is this the right time to reach out to them?

Step 3 - Identify the Key Metrics and KPIs

Once the lead qualification process is set, the team must select sales metrics that will aid them in evaluating a campaign for the various parts and stages. The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) act as an objective for how your sales team performs their roles and responsibilities. They also allow the team to identify the areas that need improvement in the future. Set marketing metrics for the total revenue generated, deals closed, or calls made, and the desired conversion rates.

Other performance metrics include win rate, sales achievement rate, deal size, lead response time, selling time, length of the sales cycle, and the accuracy of sales forecasting. This will keep you efficient and bring in a steady stream of high-quality leads. Some of the main metrics are:
  • Sales forecasting accuracy - Sales forecasts will aid the team in planning overall sales activities.
  • Average win rate - This determines the number of deals closed by the team.
  • Average deal size - Monitor the deal's average size to gauge your sales team's impact.
  • Average sales cycle length - This showcases the average sales cycle length.
  • Lead response time - Measure the time it takes for takes leads to respond to pitches positively.
  • Lead qualification rate - Measure the number of qualified leads generated for the product and services.
  • Proposal rate - Measure the percentage of leads who wish to receive sales pitches or business proposals after a product demo
  • Prospect data entries - The number of leads or contacts added to the CRM database
  • Calls placed - Total number of calls made by the sales reps over a period of time
  • Email sent - The number of emails sent over a certain period

Step 4 - Select the Right Sales Operation Tools

Sales tools are considered an integral part of a sales operation team. These tools can automate mundane tasks such as data entry, managing customer service queries, or even sending emails. New sales technology like CRM, automation, and sales intelligence can provide insights about prospective customers and organize tasks for the reps to work more efficiently. Sales tools aid companies in outreaching out to their prospects on social platforms and emails. They can also verify emails and update the latest information. Sales professionals leverage these tools to stay on top of industry trends and unlock new efficiencies or results.
Tools such as CRM software, communication tools, automation platform, data analysis software, and content management systems can help with the seamless execution of your sales process. To find the right tools, the team must first assess the current sales operations to find bottlenecks and only then implement relevant solutions. The tools that most companies utilize for the sales operation process are:
Analytics and reporting tools

Analytics and reporting tools

These tools are designed to aid companies in interpreting heaps of data gathered during the sales process. Once the campaigns are sent out, the team will need analytical tools to check their performance and scale the business.

CRM software

CRM software

CRM tools allow companies to manage all their interactions with prospective customers. It is an all-in-one platform to store customer data and utilize it to create personalized campaigns.

Prospecting tools

Prospecting tools

These tools are excellent in identifying the right target audience that matches your ideal customer persona and is interested in your company's solution. It aids a sales team in finding prospects most likely to convert into customers.

Step 5 - Structure the Right Sales Operations Team

Putting together the perfect sales operation is challenging but can be rewarding in the future. Once the unit is assembled, the company must also provide them with appropriate training and inspiration. A sales operation process team must include the following professionals:
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    Technical operations advisor

    The head of sales will hire a technical operations advisor, who will be responsible for handling the handle reporting and analytics. Tracking sales operation KPIs is essential for the team's growth strategy; hence it is important to choose the perfect candidate for this role.

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    Sales operation analyst

    This professional is tasked to aid the sales and marketing teams by handling and managing a sales process workflow. The main responsibility is to improve the sales cycle. Some companies make their technical operations advisor the go-to CRM administrator who provides relevant information for the sales team.

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    Sales effectiveness manager

    This professional must be hired only if the company wants to expand the sales team. They are essential in the team as they tend to have extensive sales knowledge and experience to enhance the results and reach the goals of the sales department. A sales effectiveness manager is also responsible for handling new sales department members' onboarding and providing them with the necessary training.

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    Sales operation manager

    This professional can take sales operations to the next level and enhance results. They are usually tasked with creating a sales-operating plan and overseeing the strategic vision of the sales team. They are also responsible for making the sales forecast and deciding on new technology for the sales team.

To know more about the roles and responsibilities of the sales team, stay tuned for the second part of this blog!

Step 6 - Run Your Sales Operations

Now that you have the perfect team and have chosen the right tools, it is time to implement it! A fully structured sales operation process can generate sales revenue. The sales reps must complete every task and activity they are responsible for each day and work holistically as one efficient unit.
Use the core metrics and KPIs to evaluate the performance of the campaigns. The insights you generate from the analytical tools can help the team make operational adjustments and strategic decisions and allocate new or existing sales resources.

Ending Thoughts

The main aim of a sales operations process is to help salespeople close more deals faster. Forming a sales operation team can aid companies in optimizing their sales activities and cutting down inefficient business processes. DataCaptive can transform your sales ops team’s productivity by creating and automating email campaigns with tools such as ReachEngine. This way, the team can eliminate manual tasks and streamline processes.

A well-planned sales process can optimize the sales processes to enhance your B2B sales cycle, identify inefficiencies, onboard new hires, document data, and reduce bottlenecks. Sales operational professionals drive strategy, performance, and sustainable growth. The above steps will aid you in creating the perfect sales operation process to achieve company goals and objectives. We hope that part one of this blog helped you understand the sales operation process and its importance.

FAQs

Sales operations process aid sales professionals in achieving their goals, such as planning strategy, data analysis, hiring and training, forecasting, territory design, and sales process optimization. It also looks into
A well-planned sales operation process can help a company with its resources, processes, analytics, and decision support needed to succeed. It identifies key gaps in employees, tools, technology, and processes and comes up with a strategy that will enable the sales organization to bridge those gaps.
Sales operations professionals are usually responsible for collecting and analyzing sales data for a company. The sales operation specialist is also in charge of making forecasts about upcoming sales data. The team is expected to have extensive sales knowledge and experience to enhance the results and reach the goals of the sales department.

The sales and operations process steps are:

  • Step 1 – Streamline your sales objectives
  • Step 2 – Implement a lead qualification process
  • Step 3 – Identify the key metrics and KPIs
  • Step 4 – Select the right sales operation tools
  • Step 5 – Structure the right sales operations team
  • Step 6 – Run your sales operations
The sale process can be tracked by implementing metrics and KPIs such as sales forecasting accuracy, average win rate, average deal size, average sales cycle length, lead response time, and lead qualification rate. It also includes KPIs such as proposal rate, prospect data entries, calls placed, and the number of emails sent.
Ready-made email lists are one of the most effective ways to arm your sales operation team and achieve their sales goals. Send us your requirements to equip your team with the best database!

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