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3 Keys to Building a Successful Sales Operations Team

If you want to learn how to do anything well, it’s a good idea to copy the example of experts. So if you want to build a successful sales operations team, it’s a good idea to learn from other practitioners who have done just that.

Scott Kolar is the vice president of sales operations for LexisNexis Risk Solutions. He has built a large, diverse, and very successful sales operations team that meets the needs of four different business units within the company. In an interview with MindBrew Editor-in-Chief Rafe VanDenBerg, Scott talked about what it takes to be successful in sales operations.

For any sales operations team, there are three critical keys to success:

1. Hire the Right People.
Sometimes it’s hard to find job candidates with the specific set of skills and attitude you might need. But finding the right people is critical. Rather than hiring a marginal candidate, sales operations should cover vacancies as best they can with existing staff until they find a good candidate to hire.

2. Encourage the Drive to “Win.”
Part of finding the right people is finding people with a drive to win. Sales operations folks may not be on the front lines winning sales the way the actual sales team is, but it is just as important for operations to have that competitive spirit.

3. Collaborate regularly with your other stakeholders
In order to be effective, sales operations has to work with people from a lot of other departments, not just sales. They need buy-in from legal, HR, product, marketing, and other groups. Sales operations can’t control what these other groups do or don’t do, but they do need their help if they are going to be successful.

One way to improve collaboration with these stakeholders is by scheduling regular meetings with them. At first the meetings may seem a little awkward, but don’t give up. Over time, these meetings can help foster more communication and better relationships with the other groups.

In his interview Scott offered a lot of tips like these, as well as providing more detail about how sales operations has helped LexisNexis Risk Solutions. Check out the full interview to learn more.

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