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Quitting Your Day Job in Sales Operations

Almost by definition, subscribers to the SellingBrew Playbook want to contribute at a higher level. They want to have a greater impact on results. They want to garner more internal respect. And they’re tired of being viewed as “pairs of hands” and the catch-all function for anything the sales team doesn’t want to do.

In short, our subscribers want to become more strategic.

But we often hear how difficult it is to make the transition when the tactical activities and firefights seem to consume every hour of every day. The intentions are good and the desire may be strong, but nevertheless, the effort to become more strategic keeps slipping! “Next quarter for sure!”

In the Developing a Winning Sales Operations Roadmap webinar, we outline a simple solution and approach that other teams have successfully employed. Here are the basics…

In the beginning of your efforts to become more strategic, you don’t try to boil the ocean. Instead, you start small by carving off just a little time every week to dedicate to the effort. Maybe you simply commit that the whole team is going to have a 2 hour window of time every week to focus on the more strategic stuff.

The rest of the time, you’re focusing on your tactical “day jobs”. But you dedicate just a little time for “moonlighting” on more strategic initiatives. The important thing is that the time is truly dedicated on a weekly basis—so think about putting a weekly meeting on everyone’s calendar to set the expectation and block that window of time.

When you stick to this simple cadence, a few things will likely happen…

  • With more strategic things to focus on, your people will…on their own…find ways to reduce the amount of time they’re spending on the tactical stuff. What used to take all day will “magically” only require a couple of hours once there’s an opportunity to do something more interesting and meaningful.
  • Your strategic efforts will probably eliminate the need for some of the tactical activities and deliverables altogether. The tactical “symptoms” you’ve been dealing with all along will go away as you address the root-causes with systemic solutions. As a result, the “day job” becomes less onerous, allowing you to expand the time you’re dedicating to the strategic efforts.
  • And of course, your strategic efforts will soon begin to generate improved business results. The results being produced will most likely dwarf the benefits associated with any of the tactical activities your team has been focused on historically. Thus, you’ll have all the justification management might need to give you the thumbs up on allocating even more time to the strategic initiatives.

As all of these dynamics play out over time, you’ll continually increase the amount of time you’re dedicating to becoming more strategic. And before you know it, the transformation will be complete — your “day job” will be highly strategic and you’ll only be “moonlighting” in the tactical activities and firefights.

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