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The Importance of Sales Operations
What is Sales Operations?
Sales operations is an incredibly important division within a company — some might argue the most important division a company can have. That is because the sales operations roles and responsibilities center upon increasing a company’s sales and thereby the company’s profitability. And when it comes down to the meat of what a business is and isn’t, this is it: Finding new ways to increase sales and ways to enhance sales already guaranteed.
However, while this sales operations meaning may seem simple, those who are employed within a sales operations job know that this can be a difficult career. The sales operations responsibilities are varied and someone who chooses to go down the sales operations career path must be ready to become something of a jack-of-all-trades. A few of the responsibilities one is likely to find in a sales operation job description include:
- Managing and evaluating marketing and sales data (to do this likewise requires the ability to use and maintain applicable software and hardware)
- Sales forecasting
- Creating and satisfying contract proposals
- Setting new sales strategies complete with achievable milestones and goals
- Delivering upon said sales strategies
- Organize and deploy a trained and effective sales team
- And more
The roles and responsibilities of someone on a sales operations team are, in fact, so varied and so pertinent to the overall success of an organization, that many who start a job in sales operations follow a career that leads them to become CEOs and other business heads and executives. However, with the increasing changes in today’s marketplace — including reliance by more businesses on online sales and streamlined distribution — and the growing global economy, even the best sales operations team will need to incorporate new technologies in order to succeed.
Why is Sales Operations Important?
To understand the importance of sales operations for a company, one only needs to look back to the aforementioned sales operators’ roles and responsibilities. By explaining how those sales operations functions play into growth, you can easily get your answer to the question of How do companies use sales operations?
Take a look at the following sales operations examples that arise from the aforementioned responsibilities:
- Accurate analysis of data helps to allow more accurate revenue forecasting which results in faster company and revenue growth. A sales operations team that spends time every day analyzing current sales, pinpointing what needs to be changed, changing it, and making more accurate forecasts is one that will assist the whole business in becoming more profitable. When you can make a solid plan from the data, you can make more informed decisions; decisions that will increase efficiency and lead closing that will result in greater revenues.
- The same data that helps direct growth and sales also helps enhance scalability. The same data that a company’s sales operators team uses to either improve their product or improve their marketing (or both), can also help that same company improve its scalability. This is because during the process your sales personnel are optimizing their time and the better they optimize, the more streamlined operations become, and the more streamlined the entire process is, the easier companies will be able to scale for future growth.
- More formal sales process which allows for both accountability and individual career growth. Improved organization, including the tracking and analysis of personnel via management applications, benefits both the individual sales personnel and the company. This more formal process helps the company by creating an environment of accountability, ie if something goes wrong, you can pinpoint exactly what department and who. Additionally, individuals within a company benefit from this type of accountability as those who improve the company can be most accurately rewarded for their efforts.
Being a Sales Operations Manager
There is the sales operations team that gets the aforementioned tasks done, but it is the sales operations manager who keeps the sales operations team on tasks and serves as the guiding hand of this department. At the top of any sales operations manager job description will be the desired goal for the new hire to reduce friction in the sales process so as to increase the efficiency of sales personnel to deliver more sales and better returns on investments.
The sales operations manager is a mid to high-level position and typically requires either significant history in the company’s own sales department or some other type of managerial experience. The starting salary for a sales operations manager salary and a sales operations analyst salary starts at around $72,000 and goes up an average of $1,000 per year worked in the positional role.
This higher tier sales operations salary is indicative of their versified role in the company. Part of their job tasks will be people-oriented as in a traditional managerial role. In this aspect, they will be working directly with the rest of the team members in the sales operations department as well as key members in other departments. However, note that there is a key analyst aspect here too. The premier sales operations managers will also be expected to perform significant data analysis work outside of the sales floor.
In their more analytical role, the sales operations manager is expected to be well-versed in the company’s customer relationship management software. They must also be technically savvy enough to be able to analyze, review, and bring on other types of applications in order to keep the company abreast of industry innovations.
Sales Operations Best Practices
Sales operations is still a growing career field as an increasing amount of technologies are being incorporated to make things like data analysis more pertinent to the businesses involved. Yet, while this does mean that a sales operations model must include sales operations skills that are constantly evolving, there are still some static do’s and don’ts in this field. The following is a look at some of those sales operations best practices that are expected from a strong sales operations team structure:
Sales Operations Best Practices:
- Develop a consistent system. A primary goal for all sales operations teams should be to create consistent systems. This is a field in which organization is paramount and creating a system that maintains that organization is what makes everything work and be effective.
- Always follow the data. Sometimes the data surprises us. Sometimes we don’t like what the data is telling us. But sales operations is a metric-focused field and thus the data must always be followed even if it goes against what the company invested efforts into. For example, if the data shows a certain type of marketing campaign is falling flat, then drop that marketing campaign.
- Continue training and updating tech stack. Again, every year, sometimes it feels like every month, new technologies are hitting the market and existing ones are upgrading their features to be more reflective of niche needs. In addition to ensuring oneself and one’s team is adept with the latest innovations, those latest innovations should be incorporated into the company’s tech stack or tech assets whenever possible.
Sales Operations Software Solutions
Now, what if after all you have learned about the integral role of sales operations and the high level of expertise they need to fulfill that role, we told you that one outstanding manner of how to improve sales operations every business can do, no matter how big or how small, is to implement a special type of sales operation software? That software is Canopy.
Canopy is sales operations as a service software that is rooted in machine-learning technology. As noted above, for those employed in sales operations, following the data is a priority. The data is constantly changing and those analyzing have to adapt with it. Canopy has. Additionally, because it is a software as a service, you are hiring on a team of dedicated tech professionals when you deploy this software in your business.
Just about everything you read in the sales operations analyst job description, Canopy has been outfitted to complete. This is a premier piece of software that businesses will pay a monthly rate that is much lower than the salary for the typical sales operations analyst. While large companies will still find value in keeping on a full sales operations team, this type of software will prove the biggest boon to small and mid-sized businesses.
With Canopy, small and mid-sized businesses will be able to organize their sales data, track it, and have thorough AI-enabled analysis prepared for them with just a few mouse clicks. This type of data analysis will put the average small business on par with larger competitors, making them more competitive in today’s cutthroat market. This software even comes equipped with sales operations certification, showcasing just how reliable its analysis is.
For more information about Canopy and about the various features that it has and how it can specifically help your team perform better sales analysis and transform that analysis into real-world action, then contact the Canopy team today.
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