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Why You Should Put Sales Ops Second

Are you a Sales Ops professional? Or are you a business professional who specializes in Sales Ops?

That might seem like semantics, but the answer has some pretty big implications. You see, the most successful people in Sales Ops that we’ve encountered see themselves as businesspeople first and Sales Ops people second.

Decisions in Sales Operations affect — and are affected by — a lot of other business functions: marketing, sales, finance, and supply chain management, to name a few. If you think of yourself as just a Sales Ops person, it’s easy to think only about what’s best for the function. You can slip into a siloed perspective that’s narrowly focused on one aspect of the business.

But what’s best for Sales Ops might not always be what’s best for the organization as a whole.

Remember, your goal isn’t just to have a successful Sales Ops team — you want to contribute to a successful business. And that requires thinking about Sales Ops in the context of overall operations.

That kind of big-picture thinking might not come naturally to you. But it is something you can learn. To get started, we recommend building these three habits:

  1. Cross-functional collaboration: The more you engage with other teams and departments, the more you will come to understand their goals and challenges. You’ll be able to put yourself in their shoes and care about the things that they care about. That kind of empathy naturally causes you to consider other perspectives when making decisions. For more advice on how to collaborate well, check out the webinar on Fostering Productive Collaboration.
  2. Have a sales effectiveness perspective: Sales enablement is a key function of many in Sales Operations roles, but it making it a primary focus can miss the bigger (and more profitable) picture. Adopting a focus on sales effectiveness can help drive your attentions, energy, and resources to have the greatest impacts on overall sales performance and the bottom line. For a longer explanation of how this works along with a framework to follow check out Seven Building Blocks of Sales Effectiveness.
  3. Adopt a consulting mindset: Your Sales Ops team probably doesn’t have complete, direct authority over all aspects of sales. That can be frustrating — unless you learn to see yourself as a consultant who makes suggestions that can lead to improvement. As a consultant, it’s not your job to fix everything at once. Instead, you can focus on identifying and prioritizing opportunities for improvement. To get guidance on adopting the internal consultant mindset, watch our popular webinar Being An Internal Sales Consultant.

We cover those habits and 11 more in the Building the Right Sales Ops Habits webinar. It covers interpersonal behaviors, technical practices, and straightforward steps that can help you improve your skills and advance your career.

And along the way, you just might find that you transform from being a Sales Ops professional into a business professional who specializes in Sales Ops.

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