According to Forbes, ‘The first step in creating a more effective sales operation is analysing the state of your existing sales operation.’
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We here at redk couldn’t agree more. The shift in focus for B2B sales operations is pushing businesses to rethink their strategies.
As processes are moving from a focus on cost control to a focus on driving revenue, it’s necessary for organisations to assess their sales operations maturity. In doing so, they are able to identify gaps in their current operations and, in turn, deliver systems that are driven by actionable insights and meet today’s demands.
Assessing your sales operations maturity is key, and we’ve laid out the areas where your organisation should focus.
A Three-part Model
Sales operations leaders must take an insights-driven approach when designing strategies. Meeting key stakeholders’ needs is a top priority, and that requires a focused model.
According to Forrester, ‘sales operations function should deliver value in three parts.’
Technology-enhanced sales. The technology is out there and organisations should use it. By enhancing customer interactions, this type of selling optimises processes to drive productivity, customer-centric decision making and revenue generation. This also requires cross-departmental collaboration in order to evaluate and measure current data and potential new tech options.
Actionable insights. Data is key. If an organisation leverages customer behaviour trends in their sales operations, they can meet demands and make better business moves at a quicker pace. Turning raw data into actionable insights can change the game across the entire sales ecosystem.
Sales system design, process optimisation and execution efficiency. In Forrester’s words, ‘sales operations must actively and routinely assess, analyse and improve each component of the ecosystem.’ This means creating strategic plans for sales coverage design, optimisation, analytics, technology and more.
Seven Priorities to Take into Account
There are seven core priorities that Forrester uses to assess sales operations maturity. The sales ecosystem intertwines people, processes and the technology used to generate revenue. These interactions also involve sellers, partners, buyers and customers. It’s a large web that must function seamlessly across all its parts
In Forrester’s words, ‘sales operations must become a driver and enabler of transformation across the entire sales ecosystem…’
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Assessing sales operations maturity gives sales operations leaders the insights they need in order to increase value. Forrester lays out seven priorities that your organisation should use as a guide when addressing gaps in your operations processes:
- Guide the sales planning process. Be sure sales operations have a structured planning process that uses data-based insights and analyses past sales data and processes.
- Motivate sales performance through compensation. Analyse if sales operations use a logical approach and conduct routine assessments of compensation impact and quota allocation.
- Optimise buyer-aligned sales processes. Assess if sales operations have deployed a process that aligns with buyers’ behaviour and that consistent, accurate data is offered for future sales proposals.
- Improve value from sales technology. Ensure that sales operations implement a tech stack that delivers value, offers cross-functional impact and is updated routinely.
- Deliver actionable sales insights. Look into sales operations’ sales performance reports, and analyse how insights, sales opportunities and market predictions are utilised.
- Increase alignment across the revenue engine. Guarantee that sales operations collaborate with marketing, take a cross-functional approach to data and governance, and establish service-level agreements.
- Optimise the sales operations organisation. Cross check that sales operations have developed a strategy that maintains the values of the company, and that the team is regularly assessed for their capacity in the field.
Defining Your Maturity
According to Forrester, sales operations maturity can be defined as one of three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. They point out, however, that it’s important to keep in mind that an advanced level of sales operations maturity may not be necessary for some companies. Each organisation should seek out their maturity level based on their specific growth goals and customer expectations.
With our over 15 years of experience in consulting, we here at redk are ready to help your team analyse your sales operations maturity and develop a future-proof plan to level up. Reach out today for more information.
CRM Transformation Practice at redk
Hideki applies over 15 years of experience in the field of CRM and Customer Experience to overcome business challenges in the customer cycle.