One of Sales Operations’ responsibilities is to link strategy with day-to-day sales activities by designing and managing sales incentive plans, offering sales enablement and designing efficient territories. To be effective in this role, the right data, the right tools and the right decisions are needed.
In part one of our focus on Sales Operations, we covered what happens when too much information is being funneled through sales operations (read part one here). Insights are more difficult to uncover when Sales Operations is restricted by poor quality data or by subpar tools. In this post, we’ll uncover simple strategies designed to maximize the alignment of the field with corporate strategy by giving Sales Operations the tools needed to measure, analyze and make decisions concerning key sales performance metrics.
Easily Reveal Insights Using Standardized Reporting
“What gets measured, gets managed.” – William Thomson, Lord Kelvin
A guaranteed recipe for failure is to overwhelm Sales Operations with unnecessary data about anything and everything. By diluting the team’s focus, sales ops will spend significant time analyzing irrelevant metrics instead of performing deep analysis on relevant data sets. Ideally, sales operations should be seeking out and communicating actionable insights, not sifting through hoards of data.
By introducing standardized reporting, sales ops has the potential to close the gap between sales strategy and the underlying performance metrics. When constructing your plan for building out standardized reports, Intangent recommends that you begin by evaluating your monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals. This approach narrows your focus to just the data required for making tactical adjustments throughout the sales year. For example, if you’re looking to improve your lead response times, you would zero in on these metrics:
- Number of follow-up attempts
- Conversion rates and average number of follow-up attempts
Taking a broader view, here are some additional sample metrics that Sales Operations typically measure, and therefore manage:
- Lead Response times
- Time invested
- Pipeline analysis – Opened, Closed, Lost
- Marketing Collateral and Tools utilized
- Territory and Quota optimization
- Duration of different sales cycles
- Win rates
- Rep satisfaction rates
Keep in mind that each organization is different. Your sales strategy may dictate the need for additional data points, which in turn could require investment from business stakeholders. If you’re currently performing efficiency audits or considering a Sales Performance Management software solution and need assistance, we would love to share our experience. Schedule your free consultation here!
Increase Organizational Efficiency through Optimized Dashboards:
Optimizing your data tracking through standardized reporting is only half of the battle. For maximum return on investment, you should also consider re-evaluating your dashboards. High performing dashboards allow for on-going top-level analysis of vital signs and trends. This paves the way for continuous monitoring and management of your sales operation, which in turn leads to continuous improvement.
A great approach to consider is using multiple dashboards. Sales Operations is uniquely positioned to see – and share – the true health of the sales organization from end to end. They have access to intimate data that surfaces insights as well as indicates when corrective measures are necessary. However, not all stakeholders think the same or have similar interests.
For example, sales managers will need dashboards focused on sales performance goals, while executive leadership may want key performance indicators on sales velocity, deal size and close rates. This format focuses the sales manager’s attention on where they have the most impact: their immediate team. Alternatively, executive leadership will stay focused on metrics that offer insight into the success of the sales strategy.
By implementing a solution that considers multiple dashboards, sales ops can separate the metrics based on the needs of individual groups.
The goal of these recommendations is to allow sales ops to become more focused, and thus more efficient. When valuable time is being directed at ineffective pursuits, a sales organization suffers. Redirecting that energy towards focused targets can unlock new value hidden within your business, but the quest for operational excellence doesn’t end there! It’s important to remember that successful organizations continually seek out new advantages and create efficiencies. If you have any questions as to how Sales Performance Management software solutions can help further your organization’s ambitions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.