Sales Operations is a multi-faceted role that intersects many aspects of the business. It’s an incredibly broad position and you’ve probably had your hand in everything from developing pipeline metrics and sales forecasts, to implementing sales methodology and maintaining the weekly sales cadence, as well as working between Sales and Finance on budgets and planning.
Then, there are the initiatives like delivering sales training and playbooks, rolling-out sales tools and technology, and configuring CRM. Finally, there’s the tactical day-to-day work like brokering peace treaties between Sales and Marketing, as well as providing analysis, analysis and more analysis.
So, the big question is, how do you quantify Sales Ops’ success? Keep reading for six factors to consider when measuring this.
Utilize Quota Achievement as a Key Metric
At first glance, you may consider that when the Sales team hits their targets, then Sales Operations has hit their goals. Or, perhaps you may consider the completion and roll-out of key initiatives like any of those that are mentioned above. If I had one metric that I would use to evaluate the success of Sales, it would be the Sales team’s average quota achievement and the range of achievement. After all, what is good sales execution, but developing a sales operation that has predictable, repeatable outcomes? In other words, the majority of your Sales team fell within a range of your quota achievement expectations.
Know That Metric Inside Out
What is your team’s average quota achievement? Were the majority of your reps within a reasonable range of the average, or do you have 5-10% of the reps who carried the Sales team, and the remainder are below expected quota attainment objectives? On the surface, the team may have hit their number last quarter, but is that repeatable? Once you have a firm grasp of these numbers, you’re better able to assess likelihood of future success.
Learn From Last Quarter
After fighting the excitement and high drama of quarter end, it’s time to assess how the team hit their quarterly number. If you have a situation where a few are carrying team, it’s important to ask why some reps are making it while most aren’t. What do these A-player reps bring to the table? Is it because they have a ripe territory, long-term relationships in their accounts, or is it something that they’re doing that the rest of the team needs to adopt? The answers to these questions are key in determining next steps.
Investigate Your Territory Structure
Following a thorough assessment of the previous quarter, you might be required to dig into your current territory structure. Are they well balanced? Are these A-reps leading with one product over another, which may encourage developing a new sales campaign. Or is it sales methodology? Is there a need for some sales training? Or are your basic assumptions about sales velocity, sales volume and rep productivity off? It’s never too early to investigate these parameters and adjust your plan.
Determine The Likelihood of Success
Even if all other sales stars align, can these A-players repeat history? Even Golden State Warrior, Steph Curry, has an off game! As we all know, championship teams are ones that can win without their star player. It’s important to determine if you can repeat your team’s success with the current players. If repeated success is unlikely, then measures, like the ones described above, need to be taken.
Consider Your Team’s Organizational Impact
Lastly, it’s also important to consider that there’s an organizational impact of having a few winners with the remainder on the other side of the bell curve. Internal friction and voluntary attrition are two items at the top of the list, which both not only have a financial cost to the company but an emotional cost as well. While rewarding your top performers is key, it’s important to figure out how to develop a well-rounded Sales team.
At the surface level, Sales Operations’ job is to establish operations and methodology to make sales predictable and repeatable. If you dig deeper, you’ll find it’s a role that is ever-changing because you are helping the Sales team drive to their quarterly objectives while helping your leadership team have a longer view on the business. Determining your success metrics — starting with quota achievement — will help you keep an eye on the ball.
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