How to Successfully Deal with Sales Operations Turnover Through Knowledge Management

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. – Benjamin Franklin

Sales operations is the backbone of most sales organizations. This function is directly responsible for successfully translating business goals into desired sales behaviors. With sales ops practitioners playing such a crucial role, losing sales ops talent could impact more than just the performance of the department but also the efficiency of sales processes.

Inefficient or heavy processes end up creating burnout for the sales force that needs to shift focus between internal processes and customer facing time. A constant fluctuation in sales operations knowledge could ultimately create frustration and sales organization motivation could take a hit, affecting overall sales performance.

How could organizations overcome the challenge of sales operations turnover? In this article we are taking on the challenge of understanding the root cause and come up with a potential solution.

sales operations as a service

Sales operations directly influences sales performance by putting in place sales processes and making sure they are consistent and efficient. CSO Insights research* found that a more formalized sales process has a positive impact on quota attainment, revenue, and turnover (Fig. 1). To truly be impactful, sales ops need to be involved in the sales processes formalization from beginning to end, overseeing the operations, gathering feedback and adjusting where necessary. As such, the organization needs continuity in the functioning of sales operations. You need people who know the history, understand why decisions were made, and can have an informed outlook towards the future.

Fig. 1 CSO Insights, Sales Performance Optimization Study – 2016 Sales Force Demographics Analysis

The same research quoted above found that the effectiveness of the compensation plan influences sales force retention. While turnover in general is detrimental to companies given the time and resources invested in people, voluntary turnover has a greater impact on sales performance. The reason is that salespeople voluntarily deciding to leave firms are usually good performers that are unsatisfied or get a better offer.

Besides the usual costs incurred by turnover, losing sales operations practitioners has additional effects that ripple throughout the organization:

  • Recruitment costs
  • Onboarding and training costs
  • Lost productivity
  • Decreased team morale
  • Potential inconsistencies in the sales process
  • Decreased sales force motivation
  • Probably the most important of all: lost knowledge

When people in the sales operations team decide to leave the company or move on to another function, there should be a knowledge transfer towards the personnel replacing them. However, in practice, this transfer is incomplete or doesn’t happen at all due to bad timing or lost motivation. This is bad for the sales organization. Just as in the case of sales processes, sales compensation needs long-term vision and execution. Sales compensation plan design has a complex logic behind it and has to do with both strategy and practical aspects. When you lose the people who took those decisions, it’s difficult to replace the knowledge and stop the potential negative effects.

Good people move on seeking opportunities for professional growth. It’s a fact. What can you do to minimize the impact on your organization? Luckily there are solutions tailored to give you flexibility and ensure performance on the long term.  

Continuity, Consistency, and Expertise

Skilled sales operations people are hard to come by and difficult to keep. Also, the cost of replacing talent is high. Overcome the hassle of dealing with sales operations turnover and all its negative effects by bypassing the process altogether.

A Sales Operations as a Service solution could be the answer to a major problem when dealing with sales ops turnover, helping you minimize the inherent loss of knowledge. Employing SOaaS means that you have a team of experts solving all your sales operations challenges – a team that is there to stay. Here at Optymyze, we have a close relationship with our clients. Consultants are experienced, knowledgeable, and always there when you need them. We’ll always strive to become a true business partner and take great pride when clients tell us that they feel we are part of the team.

Sales Operations as a Service provides process consistency and a long-term presence and vision for your sales operations function. It gives you everything your sales operations function does and more, without the headaches. Our detailed documentation and internal information transfer system ensure that no knowledge is lost and everything runs smoothly.

Plus, you don’t need to train talent and wait until people are ready to take on the complex challenges of planning sales compensation and coordinating the entire sales force.

Check out this customer success story to find out how Optymyze helped Kowa improve sales performance through Sales Operations as a Service.

Sometimes managing high level performance can feel like a tough burden to carry but never forget that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step…”

…and having a true partner by your side never hurt either.


*CSO Insights, Sales Performance Optimization Study – 2016 Sales Force Demographics Analysis


Vladimir Daia


Vladimir has 9 years of experience helping global sales teams achieve business outcomes through improved sales operations processes, business analytics, and sales enablement solutions.

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