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Sales Ops Needs to Hear This “Dutch Uncle” Advice

For those who haven’t heard the phrase before, a “Dutch uncle” is a person who delivers frank commentary, harsh criticism, or blunt advice in the interest of educating, encouraging, or correcting someone else.

When I was a kid, it was explained to me that the phrase referred to how a Dutch uncle might be called upon to give his wayward nephew a “good talking to” when they needed to be “straightened out.”

Basically, the Dutch version of “tough love.”

Now, I highly doubt that this origin story is accurate. Nevertheless, my uncle was intimidating enough at the time that the veiled threat did indeed keep me in line. Kinda. Sorta. As far as my parents knew, anyway.

These days…because I’m Dutch…and I’m also an uncle…I figure I have license to speak frankly about things that others might sugarcoat or avoid altogether.

So…here I go again…

You will never…never…generate significant performance gains just doing what others in your company tell you to do.

Now, I know this probably sounds a bit hyperbolic and over the top. But just think about it for a minute…

If others in your company knew how Sales Ops could generate big performance gains, wouldn’t those things already be in the works? Wouldn’t the higher-ups have already handed you a big “to-do” list, chocked full of the types of strategic initiatives we’re constantly beating the drum about in the SellingBrew Playbook? And wouldn’t others be demanding that you get those things put in place, ASAP?

But I’m willing to bet that no one else in your company is even talking about the types of things we highlight in the Playbook, let alone asking Sales Ops to make them happen.

And furthermore, it’s pretty safe bet that most others in your company have some fairly shallow and outdated preconceptions around what Sales Operations is all about, what it’s really capable of, and what it should be doing.

So, you have to decide…

Are you only going to “do as you’re told” and just hope that no one ever figures out what Sales Ops could’ve been doing instead? Or are you going to take the initiative, focus on more strategic opportunities, and generate truly meaningful results?

And I’d lose my Dutch Uncle license if I didn’t point out that there’s only one right answer here.

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