Insights & Tips

Already a subscriber? Login

Become a subscriber and unlock an information arsenal focused on making your sales operation more effective.

4 Hidden Sales Ops Gems That Are Easily Overlooked

The harsh reality is that most sales operations of any size will have a plethora of non-trivial capability gaps. As such, most operations will be ‘target rich environments’ for strategic initiatives aimed at closing these gaps. Amidst this abundance of opportunity, however, it’s very tempting to prioritize the types of initiatives that seem to be popular and garnering a lot of attention in the business media.

But of course, the effectiveness of a Sales Ops initiative isn’t always proportional to its visibility, popularity, or hype. Quite the contrary, some of the most impactful strategic initiatives are decidedly ‘unsexy’ and somewhat mundane, flying under the radar to drive significant improvements in performance and results.

This dichotomy between perceived and real value highlights a key challenge for Sales Ops practitioners: identifying and prioritizing initiatives that, while perhaps lacking in immediate glamour and hype, offer substantial benefits in the long run.

Here are some of the most underrated Sales Ops initiatives we’ve identified:

  • Prospect Targeting Refinement — One often overlooked strategic initiative is the refinement of prospect targeting criteria and definitions. This involves leveraging pipeline and sales data analytics to develop more precise prospect targeting profiles for the sales and marketing teams to use in their outreach efforts. By focusing on ‘inherently better’ prospects, every performance metric can be improved at once, from conversion rates and cycle times to acquisition ROIs and retention rates. The refinement of prospect targeting definitions is a classic case of a behind-the-scenes powerhouse, driving significant improvements in efficiency and effectiveness, but without a lot of fanfare.
  • Whitespace Analysis — Whitespace analysis is another underrated yet invaluable initiative. Leveraging historical sales data to systematically identify and surface untapped opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling within existing accounts, this analytical process creates a step-by-step roadmap for organic growth through previously unexplored avenues. The beauty of whitespace analysis lies in its ability to quietly illuminate paths to growth that might otherwise have remained obscured, providing another “behind the scenes” source of competitive advantage.
  • Improved Marketing Messaging — Today’s buyers rely less on salespeople to gather information ahead of a purchasing decision and are doing more research on their own by engaging with marketing materials—i.e. webpages, email sequences, webinars, data sheets, use cases, whitepapers, etc. However, the alignment of marketing messaging with sales objectives, value delivery, and buyer perceptions is often overlooked. Improved marketing messaging requires a collaborative effort between sales, marketing, and product teams to ensure that the messaging accurately reflects the value proposition and compellingly addresses the pain points of the target customers. By improving the messaging going into the marketplace, operations can enhance competitive differentiation, reduce pricing pressure, and increase customer value over time.
  • Negotiation Training — Effective negotiation skills are crucial for closing deals, optimizing value exchange, protecting contribution margins, and building healthy, long-term relationships with customers. Yet, our research has shown that while the majority of professional buyers receive formal negotiation training on a regular basis, most salespeople have never received any sort of training specific to negotiation. By working to incorporate negotiation-specific training into their overall sales training regime, Sale Ops can correct this very real power imbalance that acts as a ‘dampener’ on almost every aspect of sales performance.

The bottom line is that the most popular or most “talked about” Sales Ops initiatives often come wrapped in a great deal of hype and may not be the best fit for your operation’s specific situation and needs. While the allure of cutting-edge technologies or trendy methodologies can certainly be enticing, it is essential to evaluate initiatives with a critical eye.

Sales Operations practitioners must rigorously and objectively assess their capability gaps to prioritize the strategic initiatives that will deliver the most value. After all, the path to Sales Ops excellence is not paved with the flashiest or most popular initiatives, but with the most effective initiatives.

Get Immediate Access To Everything In The SellingBrew Playbook

Related Resources

  • Avoiding Costly Mistakes in B2B Lead Generation

    Finding ways to improve lead quality and quantity can be a target that's constantly moving. This recorded training session exposes our latest research, highlights common lead generation challenges and what some B2B companies are doing to overcome them.

    View This Webinar
  • How to Deal With Churn

    How can we mitigate churn and retain more of the customers, revenues, and profits we've acquired? In this webinar, learn a simple methodology for figuring out what's best in your situation.

    View This Webinar
  • Accelerating Sales Cycles

    Sales cycle times have major implications for cash flows, productivity, and returns on sales. In this session, learn proven "big bang" strategies and tactics for slashing time-to-close across your sales operation.

    View This Webinar
  • Developing Sales Ops Leaders

    How do we develop the next generation of sales ops leaders? How do we equip our team members to take on more responsibility? And how do we do it all as a matter of course rather than as an afterthought?

    View This Webinar