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6 Surprising Reasons to Cultivate Sales Ops Leaders

Business writer Tom Peters says, “Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” That’s true for sales ops as it is for other areas of the business.

But sales ops managers sometimes make excuses for why they aren’t developing their team into stronger leaders. They don’t have enough time. They don’t have enough money. They don’t have any immediate needs.

But these excuses pale in comparison to the potential benefits of providing training and development opportunities to your team. Here are six:

  1. Promoting from within is often more effective and easier than hiring leaders externally. On average, hiring a new manager from outside your company costs 20% more than hiring an internal candidate. Making matters worse, it usually takes 12 to 18 months for an external hire to get up to speed and become productive. You can circumvent that time and expense by having internal leaders ready to go before they are needed.
  2. Everyone is a bit more effective and efficient, generating better results in less time. Even if they never move into leadership roles, team members who have had the opportunity to grow and develop their skills are going to be much better at their jobs as individual contributors. That makes the entire team stronger and benefits the company as a whole.
  3. Providing professional development can improve morale and reduce turnover. You have already invested a lot of time, money, and effort into the staff you have now. You don’t want them to take that investment elsewhere. Demonstrating that you have opportunities to offer and that you care about your employees’ careers can encourage them to stay with your company.
  4. There are fewer firefights and less handholding, which makes the job easier and less stressful. We are fully in favor of being a “lazy” manager. If you have capable, motivated staff who have the ability to accomplish their jobs with little input from you, you have more time and energy to focus elsewhere.
  5. It’s a big help to have former sales ops people in leadership roles elsewhere in the company. Sometimes managers don’t want to provide leadership training because they don’t want their team members to move to other teams. It’s true. If you train them, they might move to another function within your organizations. But having people trained in sales ops working in other areas of the company is a huge benefit for sales ops. Just imagine how much easier your job would be if you didn’t have to spend time explaining basic sales ops concepts to other managers and you could instead spend all your time on finding ways to improve sales operations.
  6. With replacements available, there’s less risk that you’ll be passed over for promotion. It’s unfortunate but true — if there isn’t anyone who can fill your shoes, you might not get considered for any available roles. If you have someone ready and waiting for your job, it makes you much more attractive as a potential candidate.

Now that you’re convinced that it’s important to develop new leaders, we have a couple of resources to help you get started. Check out Developing Sales Ops Leaders and Advancing Your Career in Sales Operations

Leaders aren’t born — they’re made. And if you want to be an effective sales ops leader, you need to get started making some new leaders to follow in your footsteps.

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