As your sales team expands globally, there is one activity that becomes critical to your ability to drive revenue effectively – sales operations.
Until Xerox created its first team in the 1970s, business expansion was non-existent. Fifty years later, it's still one of the hardest functions to build on. On the surface, the operation's mission is simple: enable sales to run better and faster. In fact, the best OPS sales teams strike a delicate balance between being a long-term growth manager and performing for near term wins.
Sharing what he learned from scaling global sales at Marketo and Intercom, Jeffrey Serlin appeared with Collin Stewart on the Predictable Revenue podcast. They discussed everything from developing a top performing sales team to building an effective sales roadmap.
We re-share the 5 main takeaways of the conversation below:
1. Sales is a team sport
To scale global sales, you need ownership at every level – from your CEO to your sales rep. A common mistake that OPS sales leaders make is focusing only on management. The reality is, for the entire team to function more efficiently, people on the sales floor need input into the changes being made and understand how those changes will impact their day-to-day work. . It's the difference between do everything right with continuous got off to a bad start.
“Having buy-in is the difference between getting things right and continually having false starts”
2. Hire experts who can work as product owner
As your OPS sales operations scale from a handful to hundreds of people, your workflow will grow in complexity as well. There are many sales tools, integrations, and third-party solutions that will become integral to your infrastructure. You need to bring in experts who can own each part of that technology stack. This means hiring for specific roles like Salesforce engineers, who can create a development roadmap and then actually execute it.
3. Solve strategic problems, don't "put out the fire near"
The constant act of selling means that there will always be trouble "fires" coming up – systems that don't work as expected, documents that are out of date… If you fall into the trap of firefighting, you'll just plug into the dam without meaningfully impacting your organization's ability to achieve its topline goal or develop your ability to hit the target. It's important to focus on the strategic outcomes you want, in addition to the work required to keep the "trains" on track.
“The action of being in sales means there will always be fires to put out”
4. Consider doing a “listening tour”
Each person on the sales team should have a way of contributing ideas to the sales roadmap. It allows you to acknowledge problems on the sales floor without having to drop everything to get them out. If you can, take the trip “listening tour” to define the top priorities for each team – your SDRs, AEs, management team, and customer solutions. This is to build bridges and cultivate empathy.
5. Your sales development roadmap is a summary of the trade-offs
In the end, your sales roadmap is a product of two things: your priorities and your capabilities. It's a conversation about whether you're prioritizing 40 small things or doing 3 big things, whether you're "immediately putting out fires" or solving strategic problems. When done right, your roadmap will give your entire global sales team visibility into what they're doing and, therefore, give you a platform to discuss your success. change when there is a new request.
“When executed properly, your roadmap provides you with the air cover to discuss trade offs when new requests arise”
Reference source: COURTNEY CHUANG – Intercom
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