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Stop Reinventing the Sales Ops Wheel

If you read very many self-help or business management books, you’ll see a lot of advice about the need for reinvention. “Things are constantly changing,” the gurus say. “You need to reinvent yourself to stay relevant.”

While we’re all in favor of gradual improvement in your personal and professional life, there are areas where you absolutely should not reinvent the wheel.

And one of those areas is sales ops best practices.

If you’re just starting out in sales ops or your team is still new to your organization, you don’t need to figure everything out from scratch. And in fact, you shouldn’t. A lot of really smart people have done a lot of experimenting to figure out what works and what doesn’t. You should be taking that hard-won knowledge and applying it to your own situation.

By all means, build on these best practices and refine them. Expand on them. Apply them in new and novel ways. Use them to reinvent your company in a way that makes it more successful.

But please don’t waste time figuring out how to solve problems that other people have already solved. Here’s our list of some of the most common challenges in sales ops that leading B2B sales ops teams have already figured out how to address.

Common Challenges in Sales Ops (And How to Solve Them)

  • How do we develop sales training that actually works? How to Deliver Sales Training that Sticks outlines a step-by-step process for figuring out what type of training would be most beneficial for your organization and rolling it out in a way that gets everyone on board.
  • How do we get management to buy off on our new initiative? If you struggle to get approval for your projects, check out Selling Your Sales Ops Initiatives. It explains how management is making decisions about which projects to support and highlights some mistakes to avoid.
  • How do we develop a more accurate sales forecast? Has missing your numbers become a regular part of your quarterly cycles? Developing Better Forecasts explains seven ways other B2B teams have been improving their capabilities in this area and gives you several possible approaches that you can tailor to your own needs.
  • How do we get the team to do better at cross- and up-selling? Everyone knows that it’s easier to get more business from existing customers than to land new ones, but making that happen isn’t always easy. How to Maximize Cross-Selling and Up-Selling outlines some proven techniques your team can start using today.
  • What skills should we look for in hiring new people for the team? Hiring decisions are always fraught with peril, and almost everyone wishes they could do a better job with this process. How to Hire Great Sales Ops People tells you what attributes to look for and includes some practical tips for assessing candidates.
  • How do we come up with a strategy to improve customer retention? The training webinar How to Retain Your Key Customers offers seven proven strategies that leading B2B companies are using to keep and grow their current accounts.
  • How do we equip the sales team to do a better job in negotiations? Negotiation is a perennial issue for sales teams. The Negotiating Profitable Deals webinar can walk your team through the basics and help them counter the tactics procurement staff use to drive down prices.
  • How do we pinpoint where we can optimize our sales funnel? Watch How to Optimize Your Sales Funnel to learn how small tweaks can lead to big performance boosts. It will teach you how to visualize your sales process as a system and how to locate opportunities for improvements.
  • How do we design a sales comp plan that we won’t regret down the road? Your sales comp plan is one of the most effective tools you have for modifying the behavior of your sales reps, so make sure you’re getting it right. The express guide to Designing Sales Comp Plans That Actually Work gives you ten things to think about when creating or modifying your pay structure.
  • How do we demonstrate results of the sales ops function? Sales ops is a relatively new function at many B2B firms, which means that many sales ops teams find it necessary to prove their worth. Demonstrating the Value of Sales Operations explains how to quantify your contribution and effectively communicate it to the rest of the firm.
  • How do we determine the sales metrics that we should be analyzing? You could measure literally hundreds of different things related to your sales process. The express guide to Sales Metrics Sales Leaders Should Be Managing explains which ones really matter
  • How do we develop sales tools and messaging that will help sales win more often? Just because your internal people think a given message is great doesn’t mean that it will be effective with prospects and customers. The Crafting Effective Strategic Value Messages explains how to create a message that will not only resonate with your prospects but also move them buy.
  • How do we grow sales with the customers we already have? Increasing your wallet share with current customers is often a more efficient way to increase revenue than going after brand new prospects. The Generating More Sales from Existing Customers webinar details what leading firms are doing to capture more of their customers’ business.
  • How do we respond correctly to our competitors? It’s not enough to say that your product is the best—you have to prove it by showing exactly how your solution tops the competition. The tutorial How to Develop Real Competitive ‘Kill Sheets’ gives step-by-step instructions for arming your sales team with a kill sheet that will help them win more deals.
  • How do we diagnose the right steps to improve our sales close rates? Increasing the win rate is at the top of the to-do list for most sales teams. Check out How to Improve Your Close Rates for proven strategies and tactics that other B2B teams have used to close more sales.

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