Sales Operations and Pipeline Management

Sales Operations

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Sales Operations Management

Sales Operations, also known as Sales Ops, is the team responsible for making the sales team more productive by reducing sales process friction. This team acts “behind the scenes,” as a back office team, giving support to remove the main obstacles that hold the sales team back while doing their primary job, selling. This role is extremely strategic; it will assist the sales team to their final goal.

The first company to ever implement this concept was Xerox. Neil Rackham, the author of Spin Selling, tells the story of howt Xerox came up with this new team to manage sales planning, compensation, forecasting and territory design. The Sales Operations team was designed mainly to create, implement and optimize company processes in support of the sales team.

Until this day, Sales Operations teams used data to drive strategy, focusing on bringing a faster and more sustainable growth to the business. The current market needs have expanded the sales team to becoming a 100% strategic role.

But How Does it Work?

The Sales Operations team holds all the tactical and strategic areas of the sales team. It may vary from team to team, but usually, the main things the Sales Ops team takes care of are lead management, hiring and training employees, incentive plans, metrics and KPIs, sales and revenue strategy, process optimization, managing data, analytics and pricing.

It’s a lot of work, that’s why this job requires a wide range of knowledge in not only sales strategy but also operations. Harvard Business Review divides the Sales Ops team into two parts with some examples, to simplify the area’s overview. The first one is the strategic part that will help with the optimization of the sales force size and structure, while the operations part administering the incentive compensation plans and managing sales force automation.

To enhance sales effectiveness and productivity, Sales Ops focuses on smoothing out the company’s processes. They are the ones responsible for the numbers and research, showing the results for the team and helping to understand gaps through data. It’s pretty easy: allow the sales team to be free to sell and equip them to sell efficiently with the Sales Operations team.

The biggest challenge for Sales Operations team leaders is to deliver this wide variety of work in a continuously changing environment, that is the sales team. That’s why there are some skills needed for the Sales Ops team.

Essential Skills of a Sales Operations Team

To make the most of the Sales Ops team, some skills are needed. Besides the ones required on a typical sales team, such as negotiation and communication, having an analytical view, leadership skills and multitasking is a must for the people who work on the Sales Operations team. These skills also go hand-in-hand if you can find people that understand trend analysis, know how to drive themselves through rewards and that are passionate about sales, because it is a job that requires a lot of time and dedication to make it happen.

When to Implement a Sales Ops Team

If you are in a company aiming for seriously rapid growth, maybe it’s time to implement a Sales Operations team to your organizational chart. This team will be essential in guiding your company through this growth, while reordering the chaos that may happen occur when you are building a sales team quickly.

How to make your Sales Operations Team Successful

One of the leading solutions for keeping a healthy sales team is to streamline, reduce waste and automate your processes. The easiest way to do all of this is using technology in your favor. With Pipefy you can do all of this plus easily generate advanced reports, SLA tracking and centralize your database all in a single safe place.

Benefits of Pipefy, the Work Management Platform

Pipefy is the Lean management platform where you can manage all your sales processes in a single place. Easily adapted to your unique needs, it will guide your team toward empowerment.

View all interactions and deal information in one location. Stay up to date with every deal and watch them flow through each stage.

Build a Repeatable Process that Sells

Create customizable sales processes that are fit for your team. Easily make sure sales reps follow high-quality processes for efficiency and optimal performance.

Never let a deal or lead go without a follow-up. Automate more activities and always stay on top of your sales game.”

Ensure SDR and AE Collaboration

Opportunity management is nearly effortless when sales development reps and account executives are working together

Smooth Onboarding Transition

Every sales rep knows their job isn’t done at onboarding. Make the transition smooth for your team and your new customers. Easy tracking and monitoring of your customer’s requests and support tickets in one place.

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Written by
Isabelle Wuilleumier Salemme
Head of Customer Support @Pipefy. She uses her extensive Pipefy knowledge to help users make the best of Pipefy via support and writing informative content pieces. Besides being in charge of support, she's an avid reader, a coffee lover, and a professional photographer.

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