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How to Get Started in Sales Ops

At many B2B organizations, sales operations is still a relatively new business function. Everyone understands what the sales team does and what the accounting team does and what the marketing team does, but what the sales operations team does—or should do—isn’t always clear.

Almost every sales operations team does some sort of reporting. Others also do analysis, and some even encompass inside sales and the creation of sales collateral. If your organization, or you personally, are just getting started with sales operations, just figuring out what that term means can be very confusing.

In our experience, the most effective sales operations organizations have a wide breadth of knowledge and experience. They have responsibility or influence over several key areas, including sales analysis, pricing, sales strategy, customer growth and retention, and competitive analysis. They also have a keen understanding of change management that helps them persuade the rest of the organization to do things in new ways when necessary.

If your company is just getting started with sales ops or if you are bringing on new team members, we strongly recommend training related to these key areas. The SellingBrew resources below can help you get started on the fundamentals.

Recommended Sales Operations Training

    • Sales Analysis — Printing out reports is not the same as doing an analysis. The Fundamentals of Effective Sales Analysis explains the difference between the two and introduces some of the most important concepts for the discipline.
    • Pricing — It’s not enough to tell the sales team what your prices are going to be. There are some strong motivations and psychology at play. Getting Your Salespeople to Price Better offers some real world strategies and tactics that have been helpful at other B2B organizations.
    • Sales Strategy — It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tactics involved in selling your products and services, but it’s the job of sales operations to take a step back and look at things from a strategic standpoint. Increasing Revenue Through Real Strategic Sales explains in detail how to do that. A second training, Getting Serious About Sales Effectiveness, takes a look at what sales operations can do to go beyond simple sales enablement to truly help the sales team become more successful.
    • Customer Growth and Retention — In How to Retain Your Key Customers, you’ll learn how to spot accounts that might be on the verge of defection and seven strategies that can help you convince them to stay. And Generating More Sales from Existing Customers offers a research-driven look at what leading B2B firms are doing to increase sales to their current customer base.
    • Competitive Analysis — Today, hyper-competition has become the norm, and you have to know how you stack up to the competition if you want to differentiate yourself from others in your industry. The Step-by-Step Competitive Analysis for Strategic Selling walks you through that process in detail and provides helpful worksheets and guides to assist you.
    • Change Management — Some of us have learned the hard way that convincing an organization to change can be tremendously difficult. Making Change Happen details the process that is most likely to succeed in convincing a group to do things differently.

Of course, this is just a place to start. We encourage sales operations newbies and veterans alike to browse through the entire library of SellingBrew training and to participate in our upcoming webinars.

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