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What Not to Do in Sales Ops

Have you seen how many universities are offering sales operations degrees these days?


That’s probably understandable since there still aren’t all that many four-year programs in the US that focus specifically on sales ops. In fact, there aren’t any that we know of (though if we’re wrong, please let us know!).

It’s okay that there aren’t many four-year programs though, because have you seen how many sales operations courses are available online and at industry conferences?


Yeah, you can find a few sales ops courses here and there, but not nearly at the same level that you would find for other business disciplines, like marketing or finance or accounting.

In fact, there isn’t even a universal definition of what sales operations is. Each company has its own set of tasks that they assign to the group. And that gets confusing. Can you imagine if the accounting team did something different at every company?

Making matters worse, some of the sales ops information out there that masquerades as “best practices” is nothing more than theories that sound good. They haven’t actually been tested in the field, so no one knows if they are helpful or not.

With so little training material available, it’s really difficult for sales ops teams to know if they are doing the right things.

Filling that void of practical information is what motivates us every day here at SellingBrew. We don’t just offer our opinions — we do the actual research to find out what other firms are doing.

When they find things that really work, we pass that information along. But sometimes the most valuable information of all is when companies are willing to tell us about the projects that went poorly.

By documenting the lessons other teams have learned, we hope to help your team avoid common pitfalls. We focus on capturing what teams would do differently if they could go back and do everything over again. And then we pass that information along so that the entire profession can benefit.

In fact, some of our favorite resources available on SellingBrew are built around stories of what not to do in sales ops:

  • Neutralizing the Sales Team’s Go-To Excuses shows you how to avoid getting caught in the trap of accepting the sales team’s explanations for why things went badly. It helps you get to true root causes and explains how to prevent people from jumping to inaccurate conclusions.
  • Delivering Data to Decision-Makers tells you how to present management with the information they need to see — even when they’ve asked for something completely different. It helps you stop providing stale reports month after month and provide much more useful insight.
  • Tales from the Trenches in Sales Ops takes a look at seven different case studies from real-life incidents. It’s a smorgasbord of dos and don’ts that other teams have learned the hard way.
  • Developing a Winning Sales Operations Roadmap helps you spend less time putting out fires and more time on valuable strategic work. If offers tried-and-true tips for balancing urgent needs with longer-term initiatives.
  • Designing Sales Comp Plans That Actually Work highlights the most common problems with compensations and, more importantly, explains how to avoid them. It makes it easier to avoid the unintended negative consequences that often occur when teams re-think their comp structure.
  • How to Deliver Sales Training That Sticks offers a step-by-step plan for helping your team remember what they have learned. All too often, teams implement training that does little more than provide a two-week morale boost. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Of course, these are just a small fraction of the material available when you subscribe to SellingBrew. You can see the entire list by browsing the catalog.

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