Does your company never seem to have enough sales support people to handle the incoming work? Are your Sales Ops employees working overtime too often? If you are constantly saying, we don’t have the bandwidth do you know the root cause for this lack of resources? It could be true that you really don’t have enough people, but have you stopped to look at your organization structure? Are your resources in the right places? Have you optimized your systems and processes to allow your team to be as efficient as possible?
Small and/or rapidly growing companies typically run short on “people power” during crunch time, such as quarter end. This is expected for discrete, defined periods of time but it shouldn’t be considered normal. How can you review your sales operations structure for optimal performance? We recommend the following starting points, and then follow up with us for review and planning for the future.
Headcount by role. Take a count of the number of quota carrying sales reps, and sales support people by role. (Forecast, OM etc) If you are channel sales driven, count the number of partners that make up the top 20% of your business.
Product complexity. What is your average sales cycle for new customers in days? How many proposals does it take to get a PO on average? How many products are in a typical deal? How is your product fulfilled? Is it software only, SaaS, hardware that has to be shipped from a warehouse, or a combination of all three?
Transactions & Revenue. What is the average number of orders placed per quarter? What is the average revenue per order? Is there a self-service portal for partners or customers to place their own orders? On average, how long does an order take from receipt of the PO to Invoicing?
Automation, Integration and Manual Work. Do you have a system that allows you to “touch it once” from quote to billing? Are there points in the process where work has to be repeated to move it to the next system? Do you have multiple layers of approvals and manual checks? If you have manual checks, do they still make sense with your current business model?
Never say done. Your sales operation organization should be in a continuous review cycle and included in your quarterly business review. An operations group that is structured to match the business and running at top efficiency, is a competitive advantage for your sales reps.
If you need help getting started, or maybe completing an ongoing project, contact us for our Sales Operations review service.