As a member of the sales ops team, you undoubtedly work very closely with sales. And that means you probably think a lot about the sorts of things that the sales team thinks about, namely, quarterly revenue and hitting sales targets.
While those things are important, sales ops also has a responsibility to look at the bigger picture. Of course, you need to grow sales, but your executives (and your shareholders if you have them) care even more about profits. So in addition to tracking revenue for the sales department, you also should be looking at margins and profit growth. You can’t just assume that if you are generating revenue profits will naturally follow.
In an earlier blog post, we took a look at 3 Ways Sales Ops Teams Can Think Bigger. Today, we’re re-visiting that topic with three more suggestions for ways that sales ops can go beyond revenues and help their firms improve profits and margins.
1. Expose insights about your target markets to help salespeople sell at higher prices.
One of your regular tasks in sales ops should be to analyze data about your prospects and customers in order to learn more about them. Take a look at survey data, sales data, demographics, firmographics, etc., and maybe even get on the phone and talk with some of your customers. You are looking for insights into what makes them tick and what drives their buying decisions. What problems and frustrations do they have? What are their priorities this year and this quarter? Who is involved in the decision-making process? What doubts do they have?
The express guide 17 Powerful Insights That Improve Close Rates & Margins details seventeen different types of information that could be incredibly valuable to your sales team. You may not be able to find answers to all of these questions, but if you can answer some of them, it can help sales home in on the customers who are the best fit for your products and services, as well as to tailor their sales pitch so that they can close more deals and command higher selling prices.
17 Insights That Improve Close-Rates & Margins
The more your team knows about how your prospects perceive the marketplace, the better the chances are for success. This guide provides the key prospect insights that can improve close-rates, margins, and long-term customer values.
2. Reveal where margin leaks are occurring in the sales process and repair them.
When you see that customers are getting discounts that are eating into profits, it’s easy to point fingers at the individual sales reps involved. After all, they are the ones who agreed to the final selling prices and OK’d the discounts.
But if you take a step back and look at sales as a process, you’ll find that it’s much easier to correct any problems that you have. It could be that you have a training problem. Or a problem with your sales and marketing materials. Maybe you don’t really have a defined sales process at all, and your reps are more or less flying by the seat of their pants.
The diagnostic Finding Margin Leaks in Sales Processes can help you figure out what could be improved in your sales process. While you probably won’t be able to correct everything overnight, you may be able to begin taking steps to help increase your company’s bottom line.
Finding Margin Leaks in Your Sales Processes
Of course, every sale is the result of a process. And with any process, the quality of the final product is influenced by the raw materials. This diagnostic helps improve revenues and margins by identifying the root-causes of erosion in your sales processes.
3. Make small adjustments to your sales strategy that lead to more profitable sales.
Many B2B firms think they have a sales strategy when they really only have a set of tactics. Your sales strategy should answer the following questions:
- Who will be buying your products?
- What will they be buying?
- Why will they buy them?
- When will they buy them?
- Where will they buy them?
If you don’t have good answers to those questions, your company probably isn’t as profitable as it could be. The express guide Tweaking Your Sales Strategy to Improve Margins can help you make sure you have an effective sales strategy that is guiding your sales process.