I spend a lot of time talking about sales managers, executives, and sales people. Often it’s on how we maximize our impact in connecting with customers, or maximizing performance –organizationally or individually.
But the Sales Operations and Enablement functions are critical in providing the ability for managers, executives, and leaders to do this. It’s sales operations that provides the systems, tools, processes, training, and programs that sales people execute. It’s sales operations that tracks the results, helping sales executives determine whether we are on track or take corrective actions in getting back on track.
Good sales operations executives focus on enabling their sales teams–helping maximize the results they produce.
Great sales operations executives have a much broader view. They look outside the organization–starting with customers, looking at channel partners, then everyone in the sales organization. They focus on “How do we make it easier for the customer to buy?” “How do we make our solutions the preferred solutions for our partners to sell?” “How do we make it easier for our sales people to engage and connect–producing value in every interchange with partners and customers?”
Great sales operations executives remove all the clutter–not adding more–but focusing on those things essential to customer, partner, and sales success. They guide marketing, product management, and the rest of the organization in driving programs that create clarity, insight, and value for sales, partners, and customers.
But then there’s another aspect to what great sales operations executives do. They fight for the customer, partners, and sales within the organization. They are the voice of those constituents within the organization. They help the rest of the company understand what’s happening and what they can do to contribute to results. Whether it’s new terms and conditions, improvements in customer service, new marketing programs, new products, new needs–great sales operations executives are the advocates for sales, partners and customers within the organization.
I wish I were smart enough to have these insights on my own. However, I learned these in a great discussion with a great sales operations executive. Katherine Tate, Vice President of Global Sales Operations for the Attachmate Group of Companies, shares her perspectives on Sales Operations in a great discussion.
Katherine has a very broad view of the role of Sales Operations–it’s exactly what sales operations needs to be–focused on the customer, channels, and sales–doing everything possible to enable them to achieve their goals, making it easier to do so.
Enjoy this conversation, pay attention to Katherine–don’t let my rambling distract you.
If you want to understand Sales Operations, I can think of no better person to explain it than Katherine!