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What the Best Sales Ops Teams Aren’t Focused On

The primary focus for many sales operations functions seems to be about improving efficiency. The conventional wisdom says that by making sales and administrative processes more efficient, salespeople will have more time to sell. And with more time to sell, salespeople can’t help but generate more revenues and profits. Right?

Maybe…but it’s certainly not a foregone conclusion.

In one of our most popular SellingBrew Playbook webinars, “Exploring the Sales Ops Center of Excellence,” we discussed our latest findings about two very different applications of the Center of Excellence concept in sales operations:

  • In one application, the Centers of Excellence were primarily created to promote process efficiency and give salespeople more time to sell.
  • In the other application, however, the Centers of Excellence were focused mainly on promoting sales effectiveness and helping salespeople sell more.
In the training session, we went on to illustrate how these distinctly different missions and primary aims permeated nearly every other aspect of these Sales Ops Centers of Excellence — from the major initiatives that were being prioritized to the enabling technologies and best-practices that were being embraced.

Of course, the dramatic differences we highlighted gave rise to the inevitable question from the audience:

Which is better? A Center of Excellence primarily focused on promoting efficiency, or one focused on sales effectiveness?

From our perspective, a Sales Ops Center of Excellence focused on either efficiency or effectiveness is a huge improvement over a more admin- or support-focused sales operations function.

That said, when we look at the major differences highlighted in the session and think about which type of Center of Excellence is likely to have the most significant impact on the company’s performance in the marketplace, there really is no comparison.

Simply put, sales effectiveness will always trump sales efficiency. Why? Because doing the right things—even inefficiently—will always generate more revenue and profit than doing the wrong things faster.

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