Telemarketing Software Featured Article

Effective Sales Ops Processes Can Help Sales Teams SELL

September 17, 2015
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor

The very best sales people seem to have some kind of magic. They can turn any objections into praise, they can align the sales pitch to be music to a prospect’s ears, and they can turn cold, dead leads into live sales. While there may be a few people like this out there, the image is by and large a myth. The very best sales people are well organized, well prepared, well trained and supported by a great system. This “sales enablement” system is the foundation on which a strong sales team is built.

Whatever you call it – sales enablement or sales operations, these underlying processes are the glue that holds the sales organization together, according to a recent article by Peter Helmer writing for Business2Community. But having a robust sales ops team isn’t just about supporting individual sales people: it’s also about accountability.

“Without sales ops, managers couldn’t run the sales organization effectively,” wrote Helmer. “They wouldn’t have the data needed to hold sales reps accountable and to keep the CEO informed. Larger companies have dedicated sales operations departments. Smaller companies may outsource this function. If you don’t have an internal or external sales ops team, your sales organization may not be as effective or efficient as it could be. That means lower revenue and higher sales costs for your company.”

Sales people might be great at connecting with prospects, but not so great at research. On the flip side, the people who are great at research, making connections via social media, designing presentations, helping managers build a sales strategy and identifying great leads might not themselves be a great salesperson. It’s important these two types of people work in tandem, because it creates synergy for the company. Helmer notes that organizations can benefit enormously from effective sales programs, but that they shouldn’t expect sales reps to run their own sales programs: this simply wouldn’t be a good use of their time.

“Sales processes define how the work gets done,” wrote Helmer. “These processes ensure a consistent sales effort. If you have an effective sales process, you want all your reps to follow it. They should all use the same contact, documentation, and follow-up procedures.”

If you don’t an effective sales operation process, take a look at your underlying technology. Is it bits and pieces of older solutions that are poorly integrated? Is it cumbersome to use? Are sales personnel avoiding it in favor of less efficient, manual methods? An effective outbound sales solution should put all the elements of the sales process in one place, drawing from various knowledge bases and updated in a way that sales personnel and managers have broad, real-time visibility into customers’ and prospects’ activities. It should be easy to use, easy to update and easy to draw meaningful reports from. Everyone who touches the sales process should be fully trained on the solution, and managers should convey their expectations that each member of the team will use it.

Ultimately, an organization pulling a dozen different ways will never move. Your organization will continue to have strong salespeople and mediocre sales people – sales enablement won’t magically turn everyone into a superstar – but it will offer both inside and outside sales teams to improve their processes and see real results. 

Edited by Rory J. Thompson