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Which Sales Ops Center of Excellence Will You Choose?

In the past, we’ve discussed how more and more companies are applying the Center of Excellence model to sales operations. And we’ve also highlighted a number of the critical differences between a Center of Excellence and more traditional structures.

However, while we can’t say enough about the potential for applying the Center of Excellence model to sales operations, there is something you need to know…

In our research, we’ve learned there are actually two different types of CoE being established by various sales operations around the globe. So once you make the decision to embrace the Center of Excellence concept itself, you also have to decide which type of Sales Ops Center of Excellence you really want to develop.

As Centers of Excellence, both types look quite similar on the surface. They both have the requisite organizational models and governance structures. They both have collaborative relationships with other departments and stakeholders. And, as expected, they’re all passionate about the pursuit of excellence.

So, how exactly are these two types of Sales Ops Center of Excellence different? Well, they differ radically according to where their pursuit of excellence is primarily focused:

  • Excellence in Sales Efficiency. These CoEs focus heavily on process efficiency and freeing salespeople from the burden of non-sales activities.
  • Excellence in Sales Effectiveness. These CoEs focus primarily on improving the sales team’s ability to acquire, retain, and grow more customers.

Of course, these differences in primary focus can’t help but affect everything else the CoE does—from the major initiatives they pursue and the enabling technologies they employ, to the skills they develop and the best-practices they ultimately promote.

In short, they end-up doing very different things, albeit through a similar model. One type of Sales Ops Center of Excellence is looking to “do things better,” while the other type is looking to “do better things.”

And because the difference is huge and the ramifications are far-reaching, it behooves you to make a deliberate and thoughtful choice as early as possible.

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