Once upon a time, when you asked people what they do, the answer was always straightforward. You could ask someone on the street what her job is, she would reply, “I’m a farmer,” or “I’m a lawyer,” and that would be that.
Nowadays, if you ask someone about her job, her response begins with, “Well, it’s kind of complicated…” and then continues into a few convoluted sentences that still only leave you with a vague sense of what she actually does. This is especially true for Sales Ops professionals.
They’ll tell you, “Well, it’s kind of complicated. I’m responsible for analyzing sales performance and running reports for the Sales VP, and sometimes finance. I also evaluate tools and work to optimize individual sales rep performance through territory assignment and compensation planning. Oh, and we have to help out aligning sales activity with everything marketing does as well.”
The very nature of Sales Operations work makes it difficult to define. Sales Ops is the superglue of business — its purpose is to fill in the cracks between departments and support the logistical needs of the sales team. That leaves Sales Operations professionals with a very convoluted job description, as many companies use them as a catch-all for every sales activity that isn’t selling.
Which is why sales frameworks like BANT (and RAMPACT, and CHAMP) are invaluable to Sales Operations work. BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timing) is a device that helps sales reps structure sales conversations with prospects to uncover and address the most common objections that are likely to block a sale. That structure is what makes BANT useful for Sales Operations as well.
There’s such a wide range of tasks that Sales Operations can shoulder that it can be difficult for them to determine what tasks they should prioritize. BANT (or other, less dated frameworks like RAMPACT) help Sales Operations focus on projects that directly support the sales team and overcome obstacles to the sales process.
From a strategic perspective, Sales Operations can effectively enable their sales reps using the BANT framework like this:
- Budget – Will this project help sales reps prove value and overcome price objections? Will it help sales reps convince prospects to “find budget?”
- Authority – How can you help sales reps identify and reach authority figures within their target organizations more efficiently?
- Need – What deliverables will help your team understand and satisfy the needs of your prospects?
- Timing – What support will your sales reps need to set a favorable timeline for making a sale?
This same approach applies equally well to whatever sales framework your team uses. By focusing your operational support in this way, you ensure the Sales Operations team’s efforts gel directly with the process your sales reps follow. That way, when someone asks them what they do for work, your team can give a straightforward answer:
“I help my reps sell more effectively.”