Most of the sales teams we see at growth businesses (SMBs) haven’t identified sales operations as a priority. Problems like data entry inefficiencies and lack of reliable data are known but “swept under the rug.” That is until the sales team reaches 40 or 50 people. This is when the problems become just too big to hide and when the company has no choice but to react. The fix at that point is usually hiring a Sales Operations Manager to give this problem full-time attention.
However, with the right proactive approach, these problems can be solved much sooner. An early resolution reduces long-term costs (like that full-time manager I just mentioned), increases sales capacity, and increases the number of closed deals. And, all of this leads to improved employee productivity and morale. What does it take to get this done? Far less than you might think.
Sales Operations, a term coined in 1970 by Neil Rackham in his book Spin Selling, are the discrete business activities of a sales organization that provide support to run effectively and efficiently.
Sales ops does this to support business strategies and objectives and, nowadays, has greater emphasis placed on analytics and automation of the sales processes.
According to the Harvard Business Review, sales operations are “hard to get right.” They say that “…with growing demand for data analytics, sales ops capabilities have become an even more important ingredient in sales force success.”
For me, sales operations are about monitoring the sales process, improving its efficiency, and increasing its effectiveness. After more than a decade in sales, I am confident that if you get these things right, it’s just a matter of time before you succeed.
Another observation I’ve made through the years is that the challenges in sales operations have a tendency to grow far bigger than they need to before a sales manager is even aware of a problem. There are numerous reasons for this:
As I see it, you don’t need a defined and matured sales process or large budgets to start standardizing and optimizing sales processes and analytics. There are general principles in sales communication that can always be applied and can help you improve your sales operations. Think of the repetitive logging of activities and contacts in the CRM or automatically knowing which customers require attention to close the deal.
I think it’s also worth noting here that too many Sales Managers expect that a CRM like Salesforce alone will take care of these things for you. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Yes, it will allow you to report on your sales process, but to automate and improve your process, you with either need to invest in (expensive) customization or look for additional solutions that can help.
To fill this void, Thrive introduced a sales operations platform that directly addresses many of the challenges inherent in your sales data and processes. Challenges such as incomplete information, data accuracy, efficiency of processes, and alignment between all the tools you use.
What makes Thrive the ideal solution for SMBs is that you don’t need to map out your sales process to use it. After you have set up your account, the system will analyze your communication with customers and based on that will start automating parts of the sales process and point out ways and improve results. Thrive enters data as native objects in Salesforce syncing emails, calendars, and contacts as the activities happen. No more waiting for sales reps to manually update their data in Salesforce.
Thrive transforms the sales tools you already have in place into an integrated automated system that works 24/7.
And we are proud of the results: Thrive has been shown to deliver a 15% or more increase in sales results.
If you want to know how proactive sales operations can help you increase the sales results of your team, sign up for a free 14-day trial of Thrive or let us answer your questions using the chat window on the right.
Thrive – Makes sure no deals slip through the cracks