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10/3/17 12:49 PM

Common Mistakes Sales Ops Makes During Planning Season and How to Avoid Them – Part 2

In part-one of our two-part blog on common mistakes sales ops makes during planning season, we uncovered three ways in which errors in sales planning assumptions could lead to shortfalls of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in missed bookings and sales productivity. We also provided some tips on how you can prevent these errors from occurring in your own organization. To recap part-one, we advised sales ops professionals to avoid:

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6/6/17 4:55 PM

Communicate Your Sales Plan With A Roadmap

Great news: your sponsor, stakeholder and team have signed off on your team charter and are in alignment with how you are going to contribute to the success of the sales team. So, what’s next? How do you effectively communicate the agreed upon plan?

In this post, you’ll find a customizable roadmap template to help you efficiently roll-out your sales plan and deliverables to internal teams.

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6/1/17 2:30 PM

Kiss Dirty Data Goodbye with These Tips for Maintaining A Clean CRM

The K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) acronym was reportedly coined by Kelly Johnson, the lead engineer of Lockheed Martin’s Skunkworks, back in 1960. Since then, we’ve all heard this term applied to any number of pertinent Sales Operations topics (e.g., comp plans, budgets, etc.). I believe the same K.I.S.S. principle can (and should!) be applied to your CRM.

In the age of big data, everyone likes to chop up your CRM into seemingly thousands of reporting slices. As many Sales Operations leaders are all too aware, sometimes this can yield meaningful results and other times, not so much. So, what determines the usefulness of these reports? Not surprisingly, the cleanliness of your data is a huge factor.

In a recent survey, Forbes.com found that 60% of data scientists’ weekly work is spent cleaning and organizing data in preparation for analysis. What’s more? A whopping 57% stated that this chore is the least enjoyable part of their work. In hopes of simplifying this daunting, ongoing task, I’ve compiled three helpful tips for maintaining a clean CRM for Sales Ops professionals, below.

Keep reading and learn how to efficiently get your data house in order.

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5/30/17 2:27 PM

What's Really Driving Your Sales Capacity?

When you hit your bookings number you may chalk it up to a rep's last minute heroics or a particularly important deal "that made the quarter." But there's always an underlying reason for why things broke the way they did. Often, the seed was planted several quarters ago.

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5/15/17 2:35 PM

Sales Operations: Six Factors for Measuring Your Success

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.


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5/8/17 4:08 PM

Why Incorporating A Sales Club In Your Company’s Plan Will Pay Dividends

It’s now early May and for those who live in the Bay area, it finally feels like spring or perhaps that we have gone straight to summer. Either way  it’s a welcome change from the cold and rain  and for those on offset quarters, it may very well be the start of Q2. Recently, we’ve discussed Q1 best practices and what to accomplish in blogs and webinars; however, another event has now come and gone — Sales Club or President’s Club or 100% Club or whatever a company chooses to name it.

Yesterday, I was at lunch with some friends and we were talking about places we’ve been and nice hotels we’ve been lucky enough to stay at and some of those experiences were on “Club” trips. My friends, who are non-sales people, were amazed on how much a company may spend on Club between the hotels, airfare, meals, gifts and activities, which adds up to a healthy line item. But as I explained to them, if you think about how much revenue those Club attendees generated for the company, it becomes fairly obvious why it’s a wise investment. Here are a few topline reasons why.

 

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4/17/17 7:36 PM

Chart Your Sales Success with a Team Charter

You are asked to build or lead a Sales team to increase revenue or sale productivity. Now what?

As a start, you will need budget and people. Once you have these resources allocated, I am sure you will be tempted to create a plan that will address all the issues you are hearing from everyone that now knows you are leading this team. This approach may work in the short-term but will you be setting yourself up for success? Most likely not.

 

Instead your life will be reacting to the latest noise or complaints. You will also be at the mercy of your stakeholders preconceived perceptions of what you should be doing (e.g., send more sales meetings to the field) versus the objectives and goal you have been asked to drive (e.g., only create meetings for the field team for fully qualified prospects).

Instead of jumping straight into fire-fighting mode, I recommend that you create a strategic direction for yourself, your team and your company.

Here are the questions you need to answer to ensure you are in alignment with your sponsor and stakeholders:

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4/11/17 1:00 PM

The Q1 Sales Crunch Is Over, Now What?

 

Many of you have just completed the first quarter of your fiscal year. If you met your Q1 plan, congratulations! If you didn’t, can you catch up in Q2?


If you didn’t make your number, you are probably already doing a deep dive analysis to figure out what went wrong and what will turn things around. Whether you made it or not, it’s important to review what went well and what could be improved moving forward — from both pipeline management and sales resource planning perspectives.

Does this sound like your current reality? Read our five-step guide on how to glean valuable lessons from Q1 and increase your chances for success in future quarters. 

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4/4/17 2:10 PM

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: Confessions of A Sales VP

When I was just starting out as a Sales Rep I thought, “I can’t wait until I become a manager,” the role surely has to be less stressful. All you have to do is chase Reps around and help them close deals, right? Then, when I became a Sales Director I thought, “I can’t wait until I become a VP” which has to carry less stress. I mean, all you have to do is get on forecast calls with Sales Directors, right? And the cycle continued until I became the top Sales Leader in the company. Well, by then I wanted to be the CEO but I’ll save that for a future blog post...

As I ascended the Sales ladder, I found one thing in common: every role has its own set of stress points. Not only that, but prospering at each level requires learning new skills that are prerequisites for being successful as the top Sales Leader (regardless of the title).

In the first blog of our impending series, learn how to effectively deliver sales information that will inspire confidence in your abilities as a Sales Leader from your team and stakeholders alike.

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3/9/17 2:00 PM

What's The Lifetime Value of A Sales Rep?

 

I recently had the privilege of attending SiriusDecisions 2017 Sales Leadership Exchange. It was a great opportunity to meet and share experiences with senior Sales and Sales Operations leaders. While there were many great case studies and presentations on increasing the effectiveness of sales teams, one in particular resonated with me. That session, called “The Economics of Sales Talent: Recruiting and Retaining for Faster Growth,” was centered around the concept that every Sales Rep you hire has a lifetime value (LTV) to the company.

 

Keep reading to learn how Rep LTV is calculated as well as other factors you should consider to ensure you are recruiting and retaining your Sales hires for optimal growth.

 

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