8 sales operations do's and don'ts

Posted January 27, 2020

Sales operations is one of the most important - and fastest growing - roles in sales.

When structured properly, sales ops has a hand in the success of every part of your sales team, from meeting quotas to coaching.

With this level of importance, it’s critical to get sales ops right.

Whether you’re building a sales ops team in your organization or you’re a sales operations professional yourself, here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind, and how Outreach can help you reach your sales operations goals.

What Is Sales Operations?

In broad strokes, sales ops is in charge of increasing your sales team's effectiveness and productivity.

Sales operations can have different meanings in different organizations, but in general, it refers to a sales organization's team, role, and processes that support and enable sales teams to sell better, faster, and more efficiently.

Sales operations can serve a variety of functions including:

  • Process development and reinforcement
  • Strategic planning
  • Sales training
  • Setting up and managing the CRM

Above all, sales operations ensures that your sales team's overall process and direction is unified, so customers will have a consistent sales experience throughout the customer journey.

Sales Operations Do’s

DO clearly define and communicate the overall strategic direction — Sales ops is often involved in making strategic decisions, and it’s their responsibility to make sure the goal is clear, simple, and well-communicated.

DO develop a consistent system — Hand-in-hand with defining the strategic direction, sales ops also needs to define and create the processes that will drive the sales team towards the goal.

Create a system early, and make sure everyone follows it in order to increase efficiency and reduce conflicts, duplicated actions, and clients falling through the cracks.

DO follow the data — Sales operations is a metric-driven field. Use the insights from your data analyses to guide all of your decision making.

DO listen to customer feedback — Adapt and change your processes and systems based on feedback from both your internal and external customers. Whether your external feedback comes from direct interviews, statistics, or market research, you’ll be better able to deliver the experiences that they’re looking for.

The same goes for your internal customers: your salespeople. You want them to be happy as well, so listen to their feedback and adjust accordingly.

DO train continuously — Training is not a one-and-done thing - it’s a constant process of keeping your team up-to-date on the latest trends, tech, and sales skills.

DO update your tech stack when needed — Falling behind the rapidly changing business and technology environments can be fatal for your sales team. Periodically run audits to ensure your processes and technology are up-to-date too, and cut or replace any aging technologies.

Sales Operations Don’ts

DON’T allow a disconnect between metrics and strategy — Salespeople are metrics people, but it doesn’t matter how many different metrics they track if they lose sight of the reason for tracking them in the first place. Every metric should be there to track your progress towards a specific goal.

For instance, for a SaaS company with the overall goal of growth, more sales won’t help if you can’t retain your customers. More sales shouldn’t come at the cost of customer retention, so salespeople should be trained not just to meet their quota, but to set appropriate expectations for their buyers.

Make sure the sales team knows why they’re shooting for the chosen metrics, and keep them focused on the overall strategy.

DON’T let your sales team get around the process — Having a process is only effective if everyone follows it. Develop a system and culture of accountability to keep everyone on track.

If people on the sales team are fighting your process, ask yourself why. Reevaluate your process to make sure it’s not adding unnecessary headaches for the team. It can also help to explain the reasoning behind the process.

How Outreach Can Help

By following the do’s and avoiding the don’ts, you’ll already be helping your sales team dominate your industry, and Outreach can make your job in sales ops even easier.

Outreach allows you to combine your tools and tech into a single universe that shares and consolidates data, as well as unify all of your existing sales tools through our app marketplace, Outreach Galaxy.

Your data from all of your revenue teams is consolidated in one platform that makes strategic planning and decision making much more streamlined. You can define processes and tasks that alert a salesperson when it’s their turn to take the next action.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


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