Sales operations and sales enablement have a symbiotic relationship, which is why sales operations best practices can have a dramatic impact on a sales team’s success. Since sales enablement has the potential to lead to a variety of impressive benefits such as higher close rates, ensuring your sales ops are in tip-top shape should be high on your priority list.
That’s why we’re breaking down six of the best ways to optimize your sales ops and set you on the path to success. Let’s get started.
What are sales operations?
Before we get into the strategies that can boost your sales enablement program, let’s start with the basics: what are sales operations about, and why are they important?
The sales ops team handles the nitty gritty logistics of your sales team, including sales planning, forecasting, and compensation. Sales operations are “an important ingredient in sales force success” according to the Harvard Business Review. In short, the sales ops team is what helps the overall sales force run effectively.
Sales operations encompass the following elements:
- Business analytics
- Sales administration
- Attainment planning
- Sales enablement
As you can see, sales operations cover a lot of essential ground and tend to form a crucial segment of a business. Outside of their sales-specific workload, the sales operations team may also play a key role in cross-functional projects, where they can represent the needs of the sales department and act as a liaison between sales and finance, marketing, IT, and other departments.
Sales operations strategies you can use to optimize your sales enablement program
Now that we’ve established the purpose and responsibilities of the sales operations team, it’s time to take a look at some actionable strategies you can implement to boost your sales operations KPIs.
Create clear objectives for your sales team from day one
Like many aspects of a business strategy, it’s important to set a clear and direct goal for sales strategy and operations from the start. A great way to start is by drafting a mission statement that correlates to the company’s overarching goals. This will give the team direction and allow the business to better allocate resources where necessary.
Once the sales ops team has a clear objective, such as optimizing sales training or automating nonessential tasks, it’s easier to see how their goals can help boost the effectiveness of sales enablement. For example, if reps are wasting time doing tasks that could be automated and the sales ops team is able to remedy that, then you’ll already be on your way to creating more effective reps because they won’t be wasting time on less important things.
Make accountability and performance reviews a key part of your sales culture
It’s the sales ops team that should be tackling reporting when it comes to sales and campaign results. Tracking this data and more importantly communicating it with the team is a surefire way to help improve your team’s performance. After all, how can they know what to improve and what’s working best without the proper analytics? Sharing this information also helps hold the sales team accountable for their work.
In a similar vein, setting up regular performance reviews that make use of the reporting collected by sales ops and add to a culture of accountability is also important. Reps can’t know where they stand unless they’re being regularly evaluated, and those evaluations can be used in turn to bolster your sales enablement program. Evals will show you where reps are struggling and allow you to beef up your training in response.
Determine incentives to drive motivation
Many companies don’t put enough careful consideration into their incentive programs, resulting in “rewards” that are little more than branded knickknacks. A truly successful incentive program pays close attention to what employees value most, which often includes things like additional days of PTO, cash bonuses, raises, and more flex time.
But don’t assume what employees want: take the time to survey them about what they’d appreciate the most. Doing this can dramatically increase the success of an incentive program by essentially guaranteeing desirable enough rewards to get the outcome you’re looking for. That in turn helps the sales enablement program by giving reps an additional reason to strive for their best beyond accountability.
Invest in tools and technologies that enable automation
Investing in tools and tech that allow for automation is a pretty straightforward way to optimize your sales enablement program. By taking tasks off your reps’ plates and automating them, the reps have more time to focus on the parts of their job that matter the most.
To find the places where automation is possible or best served, have the sales ops team talk to reps about their pain points. What tasks are taking the most time? Are there any processes that feel inefficient? Then take that data and let it inspire your search for the right solutions.
Document sales practices in a centralized location
If you’ve ever had an employee central to a sales practice quit before they were able to document everything, then you already know how essential it is to have a central repository of information. While reps need to become as much of an expert as they can, all that knowledge also needs to be stored in a well-maintained and easy-to-access place of reference so that other reps can access it.
Sales operations should maintain this reference guide for the team to access, which will in turn help with future training. The more well-managed and maintained the documentation, the better it will be for everyone.
Collaborate with your marketing team for better goal alignment
Finally, sales operations, sales reps, and marketing teams should all be regularly collaborating. The better each of these teams understands the goals of the others, the more seamlessly they can all work together toward the business’s goals. Collaboration with marketing is already a key tenet of sales enablement, so it makes sense that sales operations should do so as well.
Marketing can help with lead generation for the sales reps as well as increase brand trustworthiness through custom content. By working with sales operations, marketers can get a better sense of where sales efforts are succeeding which can be a great help with messaging. It all boils down to ensuring that everyone on the team has a clear picture of how they and their colleagues fit into the overall company mission.
Make custom microsites a part of your sales ops strategy with Zoomforth
Ready to get your sales ops and enablement strategies off the ground? Zoomforth is here to help.
Zoomforth’s microsites are great tools to put to work if you want to help your sales ops teams track even more helpful data. All Zoomforth microsites provide teams with real-time analytics, giving you the most up-to-date data to study. This is a great help when it comes to optimizing campaigns and helping the ops teams set goalposts for tracking improvement.
Even better? Zoomforth sites provide users with access to advanced customer support, robust resources, and intuitive drag-and-drop tools that require no coding knowledge to get started. Try a risk-free demo to see how Zoomforth can help your sales ops team grow.