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One More Reason Sales Ops Can’t Ignore Profit

You may have noticed that the editorial and research teams here at the SellingBrew Playbook are adamant about paying attention to the bottom line. Whenever and wherever we can, we try to highlight how and why it’s important for Sales Ops to focus on profit contribution as well as revenue production.

As it happens, one of the seven cautionary case studies we examine in the “Tales from the Trenches in Sales Ops” webinar clearly and compellingly illustrates what can happen when Sales Ops ignores profits.

Here’s how this little horror story played out in one company…

In this company, Sales Ops was a parallel function to Sales and both groups reported directly to the COO. By design, Sales Ops was a distinct and somewhat autonomous function.

But in the interest of “greater alignment” between the two groups, the Sales Ops leader decided to adopt the Sales team’s revenue targets…and only those revenue targets. He then directed his resources…and his budget for promotion, lead generation, appointment setting, prospect cultivation, etc…accordingly.

And they handily achieved the revenue goal! Success!

But wait….not so fast…there’s an M. Night Shyamalan twist…

After each period, the broader management team always met to discuss the company’s performance overall. And having smashed through the goals, the Sales Ops leader attended this period’s “Oversight Committee” meeting in high spirits.

But instead of being lauded and showered with praise, the Sales Ops leader was excoriated by the CFO…because their profit contribution over the period had taken a precipitous nosedive!

As you might imagine, the COO was not pleased. Understandably, he was also somewhat embarrassed that this had happened under his purview. And at this point, he began to question Sales Ops’ autonomy.

After all, what’s the point of having an autonomous Sales Ops function if it’s just going to mirror the Sales function and pursue revenue at all costs?

Yikes! That’s definitely not a question you want your boss to be asking.

So…here again, we’ll implore you to remember that revenue dollars are not all the same. Customers are not all created equal. Revenue doesn’t pay the bills and the keep the lights on. And eventually, everyone will care a great deal about “how” the revenues are being generated and at what cost.

Above all, please remember that Sales Ops can best serve the Sales team…and the company…and themselves…by paying attention to both revenue production and profit contribution.

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