For growing companies, sales operations is a critical function. It provides support for the sales team to allow them to focus on customers and prospects instead of on administrative processes.
With the average sales rep spending only 22% of their time selling, sales operations can provide a high return on investment for most companies. The inverse is also true.
A recent survey cites the lack of investment in sales and inadequate operations headcount as key challenges for companies.
If you are like most senior executives, the functions below aren’t top of mind. But if they aren’t executed correctly, your company’s growth will be artificial (e.g., limited).
Defining Sales Operations
The functions assigned to operations may vary, but often include:
- Sales process definition
- CRM management (e.g., Salesforce)
- Sales analytics and forecasting
- Compensation design
- Post sales fulfillment
- Administrative support
- Sales tools
Generally, there isn’t enough time to fully execute on all of these areas, so it becomes critical for companies to focus their sales team on areas where they can get the most leverage.
Sales Operations Reporting
As you can see from the above list, sales has two core goals that can sometimes be in conflict:
- Improving sales productivity; and
- Administering and reporting on sales.
There is a fine balance between these two goals, and identifying who sales reports to can have a significant impact on the focus of the role. Typically, sales reports to either the sales or finance departments.
As the leading provider of turnkey remote administrative assistant support for sales teams, Prialto sees a variety of different structures /responsibilities for sales operations, each with its own trade-offs and considerations.
The proper organizational structure for each organization will vary based on the company’s stage of growth and priorities. For instance, larger companies typically see sales report to finance.
But no matter where sales is aligned, the top goal remains the same: increasing profits by making sales easily scalable.
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