Sales is a bipolar profession. A single day in the life of a sales rep can go from gut-wrenching despair to utter ecstasy in a matter of minutes. Those swings are driven by uncertainty. Most salespeople have no idea if they will hit their number until midnight on the last day of the month.
The thrill of the chase is what makes sales exciting, and the uncertainty of missing your number makes it terrifying. Those who can handle the extremes
thrive in sales, and everyone else looks for a new line of work. That’s why the average tenure of salespeople is less than two years.
This is the accepted state of the world, but it shouldn’t be.
Salespeople should love their jobs, and prospects should love salespeople. After all, the foundation of good salesmanship is problem solving — and everyone has problems they want solved. The disconnect is salespeople often try to sell to the wrong people, which in turn makes it hard for prospects to trust them.
That reality is reflected by the fact that leads are always a top concern for salespeople. Good leads represent people who have problems a salesperson can solve. Bad leads are everyone else. Sales is less exciting when you only talk to people whose problems you can solve, but it’s a whole lot more fulfilling.
To take the bad excitement out of sales, you need someone dedicated to helping salespeople only engage in conversation with the right people. That “someone” is Sales Operations.
Sales Operations keeps the sales process buyer focused.
Matching the sales process to customer needs isn’t a one-off project. Sales processes require constant attention, updates, and refinement to be effective over a long period of time. That’s a lot of work — work that sales reps and managers simply don’t have time for.
However, it’s work that needs to be done. Buyers don’t work in a salesperson’s framework anymore. They do their homework ahead of time and expect vendors to match the steps on their buying process. Companies have to adjust the steps in their sales process to be buyer focused.
If you don’t, you end up with a lot of dissatisfied prospects and end-of-month jitters. If you do match buyer expectations, prospect behavior becomes a lot more predictable, and you’ll always know what to expect at the end of each month, quarter, and year.
Better process = more accurate goals
Goal setting is critical to optimizing sales performance and keeping the sales team happy. It’s nearly impossible without a good process in place.
Nothing frustrates sales reps more than a goal that is out of their reach. There’s no faster way to burn out sales reps than to set overly-ambitious sales goals and expect them to grind until they hit them.
Sales processes that are in-tune with the buying process are predictive. They help managers break down their team sales goal and keep their reps motivated and active with goals that stretch them without pushing them outside their limits.
Accurate goals improve performance
Keeping the sales team in that sweet spot creates a better sales culture, reduces employee churn, and simplifies the hiring and onboarding process. Even more importantly, understanding the breakdown of sales goals enables sales managers to pinpoint areas for improvement.
Sales Operations is the driving force that optimizes sales performance. A Sales Operations team can dedicate its time to understanding buyer behavior and then creating, measuring, and improving the sales process to match it. Sales reps and managers are simply too busy selling to develop and maintain the sales process.
That’s why, if you are hoping for boringly consistent bookings, it’s time to invest in Sales Ops.