Sales operations professionals are often the unsung heroes of a sales team. Sure, you need seasoned closers to run deals into the end zone. But unless reps are using CRM properly and adhering to a sales process, deals that could have resulted in touchdowns will end up languishing near the 20-yard line.
A great sales operations manager can make closing deals easier than your sales reps might ever have imagined. Just in time for the Super Bowl, here are five game-winning sales operations best practices that can enable your sales team score more wins this year than ever before!
Inside sales reps make a lot of calls and send a lot of emails. Without keeping track of them in Salesforce, it can be impossible to know how many times a rep has followed up with each prospect. It should be made abundantly clear to reps how many times they are supposed to call and email each prospect. This has the added bonus of giving sales leaders insight into whether reps are following up with prospects aggressively enough.
It’s important to ensure that sales reps are reaching out to help the prospects that are most likely to become customers. Sales operations can help reps close more revenue by ensuring they spend more time talking to high value leads. It’s important to make certain that, when reps sit down at their computers in the morning, that they know exactly who to call first. This can be done by manually prioritizing lead lists or leveraging tools like Revenue.io, which can help companies prioritize leads automatically.
The right content can kick deals 50 yards forward. But when it comes to sales, content needs to be used in the right context. Your marketing team has likely created a host of blog posts, whitepapers, eBooks, blogs, case studies and other materials. Sales operations managers need to do everything in their power to help reps utilize content correctly. As an example, something we did at Revenue.io is that we renamed our case studies in Salesforce libraries. Originally they had been named after the company. But we changed our naming conventions to reflect which industry and personas the cases studies would be most relevant to. This helps sales reps know when each case study is most appropriate to use.
Just like in football, following a process is so important (after all, you almost never want to punt on a first down). While no two deals are exactly the same, there is often an order of operations that reps should be following in order to maximize their chances of winning deals. As an example, if you’re selling complex software systems, waiting too long to get IT involved can create major implementation headaches which can torpedo deals. But bringing IT in early on can help mitigate implementation anxiety. Sales operations can help ensure that reps know exactly what to do at which deal stage.
Jeff Lamb, Director of Sales Enablement at Degreed, uses automated emails to help keep reps on the right track. “I have an email that is sent out when a deal enters a certain stage to let them know what resources are available and what milestones need to be completed.”
When a team is playing a do-or-die post-season game, it’s wise to play the best quarterback available. And when really hot inbound leads come in, you might want to route those calls to the best available closers. If you’re using an automatic routing tool like ours, then inbound callers can be routed to reps based on expertise, close percentage and a variety of other factors.
Looking for more sales operations tips? Check out these 20 Great Salesforce Guides for enabling sales and marketing.
Jesse WestDirector of Lifecycle MarketingRevenue.io
Jesse Davis West is Director of Lifecycle Marketing at Revenue.io, focusing on improving the experience and maximizing the lifetime value for customers across their entire journey. Drawing on 11 years of B2B marketing experience, Jesse is passionate about communication, branding and strategic marketing. He also plays a mean lead guitar and can throw down at karaoke.