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5 Criteria for “Exceptional” Sales Ops Teams

During one of our subscriber webinars, Exceptional Sales Ops Teams, we discussed the traits and characteristics of successful sales operations groups. As it can be highly problematic and sometimes even dangerous to simply copy specific tactics and practices, the focus of the session was to expose the attitudes, principles, and behaviors that exceptional sales ops teams have in common.

Of course, before diving into the top ten traits and characteristics, we first explained the criteria that defined our sample set—i.e. the criteria by which we deemed certain sales ops teams to be “exceptional” in the first place:

  1. They’ve produced demonstrable results for their company. Unfortunately, not every sales ops group can definitively say that their initiatives and efforts have had a positive impact on their company’s performance. Exceptional groups can not only make the claim, they can quantify their contributions in financial terms.
  2. They’ve established themselves as a critical part of the sales function. If we’re being honest, some groups on the organizational chart are viewed as being sort of “nice to have”. On the other hand, exceptional teams are so integral and contribute so much that their employers can’t imagine being without them.
  3. Their practices and capabilities put them ahead of the curve. Exceptional teams are innovators. They are always “tweaking” their approach and trying new things. Not all of their experiments succeed, of course. But enough of them do to push these teams’ capabilities to the far end of the Bell Curve.
  4. They’re involved in high-level decisions and discussions. We’ll sometimes refer to this criteria as “having a seat at the big table.” Exceptional sales ops teams won’t necessarily have a leader with a VP-level title. Nevertheless, when important sales and marketing decisions are to be made, their input and perspectives are solicited.
  5. They’d be successful in nearly any setting. The best sales ops teams aren’t defined by their specific businesses, or even their industries. Instead, they’re defined by the way they think and the principles they leverage. As a result, they could be dropped into nearly any environment and quickly figure-out how to be successful.

You’ll notice that “team size” is not on our list of criteria. It might seem somewhat counterintuitive, but we have yet to see much of a correlation between headcount and effectiveness. In fact, some of the smallest sales ops teams are way ahead of many of the larger teams in terms of strategic focus, innovation, technology use, and results.

Now, if your team doesn’t yet meet the criteria, check out the on-demand recording of the Exceptional Sales Ops Teams webinar. No matter how new—or mature—your sales ops team may be, emulating the top ten traits and behaviors of these exceptional teams will go a long way toward getting your team to the next level.

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