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Three Typical Sales Ops Mistakes & How to Correct Them

Without exception, all sales organizations have their way cut out for themselves. The fight for market share is fierce and growth is constantly on the agenda. This takes a heavy toll on sales forces everywhere, making sales ops mistakes a common sight for sales performance management (SPM) vendors.

Three Typical Sales Ops Mistakes & How to Correct Them

In sales, like in all things business, failure is not an option. In my experience, I’ve run into three challenges commonly faced by sales operations in different industries. At Optymyze, we address them rapidly, efficiently, even elegantly, might I add.

Gaps in data ownership

More and more companies and their sales operations face planning issues due to inconsistent data, lack of data and /or process ownership.

Ownership – or lack thereof – is one of the biggest errors in Sales Ops today. Nothing is more frustrating than being unable to access and provide the sales team with the data they need. In most cases, the data exists, but it’s not properly managed and processed, so its accuracy is questionable, which ultimately undermines the credibility of Sales Ops as an entity.

Sales Ops has data at its foundation, so data ownership needs to become a core value across the organization. Instilling the data ownership concept in the day to day work in any sales organization is a must. “Clean” data means better future planning for the Sales Ops team.

How does Optymyze addresses this for its clients? Easy. It enables sales operations, strategy groups, sales managers and reps alike to work together, assign ownership and align their processes through sales performance management software applications, delivered and integrated as a platform-as-a-service, in what we call Sales Operations as a Service (SOaaS).

A constant race against time

The “support” part of the sales ops’ role is a time consuming affair, preventing the group from planning ahead properly. Since Sales Ops is the core group responsible for all requests coming from the field, the conversations themselves, the back and forth and the research into these requests steal away most of the Sales Ops’ time.

Assisting the Strategy Teams in designing the compensation plans is another important piece that requires time allocation from the Sales Operations group. Lack of involvement in the early design stages of the planning process results in overcomplicated comp plans that are hard to maintain over time.

Through our Sales Operations Performance Management tools and expertise, we enable all requests and resolutions to occur in real time, making them easier and less time consuming on the sales ops’ eyes, giving time back to focus on what’s really important – help impact the revenue, increase the sales effectiveness and reduce process complexity and inefficiencies.

Reporting loops (versus planning & strategy)

Frequently, the Sales Ops’ role isn’t very well defined, affecting the flow of things. The Sales Operations teams often get stuck in the role of the report builder. Unless they assist sales reps, and unless managers become aware of the fundamentals of data-driven sales management, Sales Ops will have to take it upon themselves to create the requested analysis, causing a lot of demands, last minute requests and a shift in focus.

A lot of the requests on the sales operations’ plate are data/report requests that the group needs to manually put together, a process that takes enough time in and of itself. The real hurdle is maintaining and improving them over time, as new products trickle in or a new sales structure may arise. A merger or acquisition will produce a similar shakeup. The list could go on. To address this, companies also need to turn their sight to technology.

A big part of Optymyze’s offering is expertise, but the advantages of software automation cannot be denied. Instead of letting sales ops invest time evaluating and implementing various disparate tools that may or may not be efficient, we go elbow deep and streamline their sales process as a whole, using decades-old expertise and the best-of-breed SPM solutions.

Takeaway

From sales reps to managers to strategy teams, everyone needs to get the answers they need, when they need them. Sales operations today have the rare opportunity of dealing a blow to their biggest roadblocks using a single automated platform wielded by experts in every sense of the word. It’s cost effective, operationally efficient and, most of all, it’s the elegant way about it.

In my experience with clients, focusing on data and process ownership has constantly produced profitable outcomes. If you’re part of a sales organization struggling to cope with raw data, process inconsistencies, or simply finding a hard time defining your role, let’s get a conversation going and see how we can help.

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