Insights & Tips

Already a subscriber? Login

Become a subscriber and unlock an information arsenal focused on making your sales operation more effective.

Staying a Step Ahead in Sales Ops

The summer and fall of 1940 were some of the darkest days of World War II. The Nazis had conquered France and the Netherlands, leaving the British alone to stand against the threat. Hoping to solidify their hold on Europe, the Germans set up a sea blockade around the British Isles and began sending bombing raids nearly every night. The Battle of Britain had begun.

With the British outnumbered and outgunned, it seemed like just a matter of time before they inevitably surrendered.

But the British had one advantage — an early form of radar known as radio direction finding or RDF. It could detect the location and speed of enemy aircraft, but without computers, it could not provide an integrated view of the air battle like today’s systems can.

To compensate, British Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding devised what became known as the Dowding System. RDF operators stationed along the coast would detect incoming planes, then contact the Filter Room by telephone. There, plotters would take the information they received and place actual wooden blocks on a map table so that the commanders could see where the enemy planes were and where they were likely headed.

They then transmitted their insights back to commanders in the field who would order British planes into the sky based on the intelligence received and analyzed.

In comparison with today’s sophisticated computerized systems for tracking enemy locations, Dowding System seems ridiculously basic. Quaint even.

But at the time, it provided a crucial capability to transform raw data into actionable data. Without it, the Royal Air Force could not have been nearly so successful at defending their homeland. It was not enough to have the radar technology and know what was headed their way. They needed effective processes and systems to make sense of that data and respond effectively.

By now, you’ve probably guessed that we’re going to say that Sales Ops needs similar systems.

It’s all too easy for sales teams to fall into the trap of simply reacting to new market conditions as they change — especially in turbulent times. But it is far better to have a good understanding of what is likely to be coming before it arrives. And it is better still to have plans at the ready when you receive warning of what’s on the way.

If your sales intelligence capabilities could use a little improvement, we have some resources to help:

The good news for Sales Ops teams is that the tools you have at your disposal are far more sophisticated than what the Royal Air Force had during the Battle of Britain. Your own version of the Dowding System can give you much earlier warning about potential threats, giving you more time to ready your response. And if you set up your sales intelligence systems with care, you can be just as victorious as those British pilots.

Get Immediate Access To Everything In The SellingBrew Playbook

Related Resources

  • Getting Your Salespeople to Price Better

    Chances are, the behavior of your salespeople will ultimately determine whether pricing strategies are effective or not. In this on-demand training seminar, learn proven approaches and strategies for getting your sales team to price and discount far more effectively.

    View This Webinar
  • How to Avoid Guesswork in Value-Based Selling

    Scratch the surface of many value-based initiatives today and you’ll find a whole lot of guesswork. In this tutorial, learn the two step process for making your value-based efforts more accurate and effective.

    View This Tutorial
  • Getting Serious About Sales Effectiveness

    What does it take to make your sales operation more effective? This on-demand webinar provides insights into what other sales operations are doing and the areas to focus your energies if you're serious about sales effectiveness.

    View This Webinar
  • Beyond the Hype of Marketing Automation Tools

    Marketing automation tools can be very powerful and beneficial. But are these toolsets really the answer to all of our lead generation woes? In this interview with Dan McDade, the author of The Truth About Leads, we cut through the hype surrounding marketing automation tools and discuss their proper role in lead generation.

    View This Interview