Leveraging Sales Operations as a Service During Change

Change is a certainty in any market or industry. The type of change that your sales operations will have to deal with next is the variable. The company may be growing fast, going through a merger, or facing new industry regulations. Either way, sales operations will be put to the test, and might struggle to adapt.

The organization’s best practices, systems, and know-how must come together, and rise to the challenge. Therefore, a collaborative and ongoing partnership that combines processes, expertise, and technologies will deliver far better business outcomes than each would separately. At Optymyze, we call that Sales Operations as a Service (SOaaS).

Adopting a SOaaS model will help you make the jump from having a reactive sales operations department, focused on administrative tasks, to relying on sales ops as a strategic business function.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with clients from various industries: from pharma to banking, from telecom to retail. I can tell you the biggest issues that change brings for sales operations are more or less the same, even though they might stem from different circumstances.

Let’s take a look at the main problems I have come across over the years, and how SOaaS can support your company to overcome them:

Redesigning the compensation plan to fit the new strategy

Reshuffling compensation can be a problematic process, particularly when you have to find the extra budget for change implementation. A SOaaS partnership spans over several years, and can bring you the cost flexibility you need.

Mergers or acquisitions most of the times require plan redesign, as well as significant resource reallocation. SOaaS helps companies to merge plans or opt for one of the existing ones. It provides the expert support to make the right decisions, and the process automation to smoothly implement those calls.

Change in regulations can also be particularly disruptive for compensation, especially in industries such as pharma or banking. Implementation can prove costly and time-consuming.

Of course, change doesn’t just come from outside the organization. Large corporates sometimes have to reorganize their business units. Companies can regroup sales forces and support functions by leveraging SOaaS, to maximize revenues and better serve clients.

Other times companies have to rearrange the offers. Special sales incentive programs – used to push certain products or services – can also impact sales compensation plans. Sales operations experts can advise you on SPIFFS usage, frequency, and rollout.

Ongoing monitoring and preventing misalignments of strategic goals with comp plans and payments

Sometimes changes take a long time to implement or have effects that ripple through the organization for several years. SOaaS provides ongoing analyses for quota setting and compensation plan effectiveness. It can help the company flag errors, or rectify rules driving undesired behaviors.

One of the clients I worked with experienced difficulties in finding out why outliers popped up periodically. We helped them correct the mistakes before actual payments were made.

Lacking visibility for reps into strategies and sales compensation plans

Recent research mentions ineffective communication of plans and quotas as the primary reason why reps leave organizations, more so than remuneration levels. During times of uncertainty, communication becomes even more influential. SOaaS allows the company to provide insights, tools, and reports to the sales force in a timely manner. Avoid confusion and ensure reps understand how they contribute to the overall goals.

Change can seem like a threat to the stability of the organization, but it can also be a growth opportunity. What determines the success? People. You cannot grow sustainably during change if you do not retain talent. And you cannot get the best return out of a partnership without the right experts at your side.

Care to find out more about what we can do for your sales organization? Contact us.


Diana Ciobanu

Product Manager

For over 10 years, Diana has been managing teams for the delivery of sales performance management solutions. Her new professional challenge is to take SPM standardization and automation to the next level.

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