What is Sales Ops?

What is Sales Ops

According to 'the Professor of Professional Selling', author, consultant and academic...Neil Rackham, sales ops (short for sales operations) started at Xerox in the 1970s. 

Back then, this consisted of tasks like sales planning, forecasting, territory design, and what manager J. Patrick Kelly described as “all the nasty number things that you don’t want to do, but need to do, to make a great sales force.”

Fast forward to the 21st century, and sales ops is considered the core of a business's go-to-market team and how they increase sales productivity and success in a sustainable and scalable way. 

In this blog we discuss what sales operations is, how it relates to RevOps and how it can help your sales teams to sell better, faster, and more efficiently. 

What is Sales Operations?

First and foremost, sales operations handle tasks that helps sales teams achieve growth by bringing a system to selling with data that drives strategy, training, and technology.

This includes: 

  • Reducing friction: in the sales process so salespeople are more productive and successful.

  • Effectively managing tools: like CRMs, sales engagement platforms, phone systems and any other tools that supply them with data or allow them to do their jobs.

  • Efficiently performing tasks: like lead management, sales strategy, territory alignment, process optimization, compensation plans, sales automation, training, data analytics and reporting and more.
LucidChart (a visual productivity platform that helps you understand and share ideas, information, and processes) describes sales ops in a similar fashion...

"At its core, sales operations is about supporting and enabling frontline sales teams to sell more efficiently and effectively by providing strategic direction and reducing friction in the sales process. To do this, sales ops fulfills both strategic and tactical functions."


How Sales Ops Relates to RevOps

In the grand scheme of business operations, sales ops is just one component of a larger concept called RevOps (short for revenue operations). 

RevOps is the term used when you aim to align the operation efficiencies of sales, marketing, customer service and other key business segments to drive growth. The goal is to break down the silos between all departments and increase performance and then revenue.   

When it's broken down, RevOps essentially has 4 main areas it covers:

  1. Operations management – Works across micro and macro levels in the company to deliver strategic business objectives, tactical program design and management specific operational units such as sales operations, marketing ops, etc. 
  2. Enablement – Removes friction within teams: sales, marketing and customer success.
  3. Insights – Provides day-to-day insights as well long term strategic analysis based on comprehensive data across all functions.
  4. Tools – Responsible for all technology used across marketing, sales, and customer Success.

This over-arching concept exists to help sales, marketing, and customer success do their jobs better, create the best customer experience possible, and of course, help you hit your business revenue goals.

To learn more and get a deep dive into RevOps, check out our recent blog, 'What is RevOps?' and if you are wanting to work with a HubSpot Solutions Partner that specializes in RevOps check out, "Rise of the RevOps HubSpot Agency Partner'.

How Sales Ops Help Teams Sell Faster and Better

With sales ops enhancing the productivity and impact of your sales team, it handles a wide variety of responsibilities to be able to do this. Some of these include:

    • Technology Management - sales ops manages the implementation of technical tools and platforms, often in collaboration with the IT team, to make sales more efficient. 

    • Sales Processes - one of sales ops main responsibilities is to build a sales processes that improves conversions, shortens sales cycles, and maximizes sales wins.

    • Sales Data Management - sales ops is constantly evaluates sales data to measure success, allowing them to gauge whether a new course of action needs to take place or not. Data can be internal performance data or external market / competitor research.

    • Sales Forecasting - after data has been reviewed, forecasting for future sales and goals can then take place.

    • Sales Strategy - sales ops can help develop sales strategies and goals from the data and forecasting tasks they are involved in. 

    • Lead Generation - sales ops often handles tasks like the generation of leads and setting up appointments so salespeople can focus on selling.

    • Sales Rep Support - sales ops exists to make your sales team shine! This can be done by providing leads, managing transactions, drawing up contracts, and providing training on time management skills.

    • Sales Team Organization & Communications - sales ops helps sales teams stay productive by providing support on structure to maximize efficiency and performance and provides reports and analytics on campaign results.

    • Performance Management - sales ops can be responsible for managing compensation plans, incentives, performance rewards, and processes for resolving poor performance.

    • Territory Definition & Training - sales ops can be responsible for defining sales territories to and training to build a successful teams and mentoring programs to maintain and build camaraderie.

    • Cross-Functional Collaboration - sales ops can act as an advocate for the sales team by participating in the planning and alignment of business management processes like the S&OP (sales & operations planning).
To learn more, check out the infographic in Business2Community's recent blog showcasing 5 sales ops best practices


Are you a HubSpot user that wants to learn how to implement a sales ops program to support and grow your sales team? Book a call with us by clicking the 'Book A Chat' button below. 

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Updated January 2022

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Tags: RevOps, Sales Ops

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Remotish is hyper-focused on servicing companies that plan to use or currently have HubSpot. We have been keeping up on our HubSpot skills since 2013. We make HubSpot awesome.


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