Sales operations (or sales ops) can take on various definitions depending on the organization in which you find it. But when it comes down to it, good sales ops focuses on one thing and that is developing better processes, systems and incentives, ultimately increasing sales and generating more revenue for the business.
Streamlining your sales ops is a great way to get more done without the need to work longer hours or make more hires. This process can save you significant amounts of time, which can be invested in the areas which require your attention or that will make the biggest difference to the overall success of your sales organization.
In this article, we cover some of the very best productivity power moves to help streamline your sales ops.
Develop a Clear and Actionable Sales Strategy
You wouldn’t set off on an epic journey before you knew where you were going and how you are planning to get there. This is exactly why all ambitious and modern sales teams should implement a clear and actionable sales strategy.
A clear strategy means everyone within your sales team is working towards a well-defined goal. Having a sales strategy lowers the risk of time being spent pursuing opportunities that do not align with the overall goal, which means more can be achieved sooner. With a clear plan to follow, everyone in your sales organization will know their role and responsibility in the sales cycle, and everything they need to do to ensure long term success.
A sales strategy is also a good way to drive motivation within your sales team. It offers managers a strong point of reference to highlight how every team member is contributing to the overarching goals of the business. However, for this to work the strategy must be realistic and achievable.
Have Deliberate Team Meetings
Implementing team meetings can be a productive move in streamlining your sales operations.
Consider the purpose of each meeting to ensure every gathering is productive. Your meetings should be as regular as needed, depending on the pace of your business and the market in which you operate.
You’ll be providing team leaders with an opportunity to monitor success against key benchmarks set out in your strategy and allow you to allocate resources into the appropriate areas. Thumbs up all round.
Develop Systems for Smart Lead Distribution
Lead generation is a crucial aspect of successful sales. When you have spent the time and effort setting up various lead magnets for your business, you can be left with the rather wonderful problem of needing to distribute them.
Many businesses have simple systems for this, which usually rely on a ‘first come, first serve basis’, allocating based on size of the opportunity and salesperson seniority or a simple cue system.
Developing a smarter system for your sales prospects could drastically increase the success rate of your sales team. For example, you may decide to segment your leads based on specific criteria such as opportunity size, location, industry or any other number of areas. Then you can allocate them to the sales professional best suited for that opportunity and most likely to close it successfully.
Your regular sales meetings can then be used to assess where the workload is and offer support where it is required.
Introduce Automation on Repetitive Tasks
Automation is important across a variety of business processes. With a huge number of tools out there that can be used to save some serious time and even eradicate the potential for human error.
Spend time assessing your sales process and researching which elements can be automated. The quality of sales mustn’t be negatively impacted by the use of automation. For example, you may decide to use a text expansion tool such as TextExpander to make your sales emails quicker to write so you can get to the close faster, without losing the personal touch.
Leverage Smart Technology to Your Advantage
You may also consider other smart technology which could lead to increased productivity in your sales process. For example, applying and leveraging a quality CRM is one fantastic way to rapidly increase the speed of communication.
You may also supply your sales team with technology such as laptops and mobile phones so that they can be more reactive to incoming leads as well as continue to execute their job efficiently while out meeting customers. Software such as Office 365 can also be very helpful to sales professionals who are often in the field, allowing them to connect seamlessly to the office.
Introduce Social Selling
Social selling is about leveraging social media platforms as part of your sales process.
Using social to sell isn’t about bombarding your potential customers with sales messages, but about creating and joining in conversations within the industries.
Using social media allows your sales team to develop a better understanding of the current challenges their customers are facing. It also means that they are constantly in front of the customer, but not in an evasive way. This means that when it comes to selling, your customers will already be aware and trusting of your sales team.
Social selling can save you considerable time on actual meetings as well as opening doors which are tricky to open in person. It helps you build trust that is more difficult to build through email and phone calls.
Developing your sales processes through smart operations is a great way to develop efficiency and productivity in your business. Taking this approach can practically double your sales output without expensive resources such as adding new members to your sales team.
The key to success is the continuous review of all these areas to constantly make small tweaks and develop new and better ways of doing things. Monitoring new technologies and shifts in the market will help you do this.