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Sales Ops: The Unsung Hero of the Sales Team

An often-quoted U.S. football adage says, “Offense gets the glory, but defense wins the championships.”

Something similar happens in successful B2B companies. With their flashy tactics and visible presence in the organization, the sales team often gets the praise for closing deals. But behind the scenes, it’s the consistent, thoughtful strategies of the Sales Ops team that enables and ensures success.

So what are the sometimes-overlooked areas where Sales Ops should be focusing? Here are four:

  1. Sales Process Optimization. When salespeople are in front of customers, they need to focusing on winning the business, not wondering what they should do next. By ensuring that they have a seamless workflow to follow, Sales Ops drastically reduces friction and boosts efficiency across the entire organization. In fact, a well-optimized process can be the difference between a good sales team and a great one. It can expedite deal closures, maximize revenue, and improve the bottom line. To learn more, check out the webinar on Sales Process Improvement.
  2. Data Management and Insights. Making sure that your organization has accurate, relevant data isn’t generally considered fun and exciting. On the contrary, managing the vast quantities of data that modern companies generate can be incredibly tedious — but it’s also absolutely crucial. By digging into that data, Sales Ops can go beyond merely reporting on what has happened to providing actionable insights. And as a result, the organization enjoys better forecasting, more accurate targeting, and ultimately, better decision-making. We cover this topic in more depth in the webinar on Building a Data-Driven Sales Operation.
  3. Sales Enablement and Training. Your salespeople might like to think of themselves as lone wolves, but they can’t really do much on their own if they don’t have the right information handy. Sales Ops can help make the sales team more successful by providing tools, knowledge, and training that helps them close more deals. And the better Sales Ops becomes at providing that important information exactly when the team needs it, the more effective and efficient the team will become. For tips on how to do that, watch the webinar on Effective Sales Enablement.
  4. Forecasting and Predictive Analysis. Predictive analytics have moved from being something that’s nice to have to something that’s absolutely essential for remaining competitive in B2B markets. With the right data, technology, and know-how, Sales Ops teams can identify trends and provide advance guidance to the sales team that keeps them a step ahead. For example, modern analytics technology can help you uncover growth opportunities in existing accounts, identify customers that are at risk of defection, identify new prospects, and even determine optimal deal prices. For more details, see the webinar on Predictive Sales Analytics.

As we close out this article, another sports quote comes to mind. Football coach Vince Lombardi (and many others) often said, “The will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win.”

If your Sales Ops team wants to help your sales team win, that means you have to put in the preparation ahead of time. That means improving your skills in each of the four areas mentioned above. By investing in yourselves, you’re really investing in the success of the company as a whole.

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