High Growth: How to Turn Sales Operations into a Competitive Advantage

High growth will often create a dynamic environment where everyone in sales, operations and leadership are challenged to deliver their best. Such periods also provide the resources to invest in scale for the future, setting the stage for even more growth opportunities and helping you stay ahead of the pack. This virtuous cycle is one of the most exciting times to be in business – but it can also cause a state of flux for salespeople, requiring a clear strategy that keeps the sales force motivated, engaged and compensated appropriately for their role in achieving such growth.  

high growth sales operations

Rapid Growth, New Challenges 

Despite the excitement of high growth, it can create some growing pains for the sales operations team who must meet new expectations and sales quotas. At the same time, management must contend with the challenge of scaling sales capacity accordingly – if you expand too quickly, the costs of the sales will increase faster than revenue; expand too slowly, and you’ll miss opportunities in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Moreover, organizations face the difficulty of onboarding and deploying salespeople flexibly, while understanding that they need to shift alignment of salespeople and customers without increasing risk to active opportunities.

Growth can also create challenges in terms of sales compensation, and many of these difficulties are optics driven. Consider how as a salesperson scales their revenue base, commission rates will often go down in order to improve efficiency and maintain similar labor costs. In times of rapid growth, quotas can be difficult for management to set and too easy or too hard for salespeople to achieve. It also requires to address changes in the sales compensation terms and conditions. You may need to split sales credit between two salespeople who collaborated through a transition for a particular opportunity.

In addition, sales compensation processes that work on a small scale can quickly become unmanageable as the company grows. Just as it is important to invest in salespeople to facilitate growth, you must also ensure your sales operations’ limitations don’t become a constraint to continued growth.

Preparing the Sales Force for Success 

So what can be done to support salespeople in times of rapid growth? It’s important to see things from their perspective. Salespeople will often worry that sales and finance leadership will set expectations too high, putting new pressures on them to deliver. Therefore, it’s crucial to minimize flight risks and help them see a path to success through clear articulation of strategy, behaviors, expectations and opportunities that lie in front of them. Equally important is to deploy your sales force with an eye towards growth. This can be as simple as ensuring that salespeople are planning to handoff and receive new accounts as appropriate while rewarding and recognizing them for successful handoffs.

Technology should also play a key role in supporting salespeople through times of high growth, particularly around scaling the sales operations function and helping salespeople facilitate effective transitions and account management. Just remember that any investment in technology needs to be future-oriented to ensure the new system can grow with the organization, meeting the needs of today as well as 3-5 years down the road.

high growth sales operations

Optymyze provides the solutions to do just that, helping companies improve sales force and sales operations performance through enterprise cloud applications and business process management services. During times of high growth, it is essential that you ensure alignment between sales goals and compensation, execute sales strategies effectively, drive positive sales results faster and gain visibility into sales performance. Having worked with many companies in all stages of the maturity curve, Optymyze understands the needs of the sales department during explosive growth. That’s why we don’t just offer a scalable and extensible platform, but also provide scalable models to create value and help salespeople understand what’s expected of them, supporting them to meet new goals and ensuring they are compensated accordingly.

Driving Sales Performance in High Growth 

Periods of strong growth can be incredibly exciting for the sales organization, but also introduce some uncertainty and growing pains for sales teams. However, through a mix of strong leadership, clear communications and the technology to support key sales performance and compensation management functions, your organization will be well prepared to face current and future periods of rapid growth.

Erich Sachse

Vice President, Professional Services

Erich has 14 years of experience leading engagements to assess and transform sales and channel performance for over 80 clients.

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