Sales operations teams are constantly inundated with tasks and projects, and it’s sales operations analysts who execute the majority of day-to-day work to prevent the backlog from piling up.
Leaders of sales operations teams are involved with prioritizing and distributing work, but they count on sales operations analysts to deliver the lion’s share of it.
They spend most of their time just getting stuff done.
Their to-do list is never-ending. Even when the sales team is crushing its quota, there are always new opportunities for optimizing processes.
What are Sales Operations Analysts Responsible for?
The life of a sales operations analyst involves completing projects independently with minimal guidance. When it comes to updating workflows in Salesforce.com (or another CRM system) or debugging things gone awry, they don’t need their hands held. The best sales ops analysts are able to prioritize their work and only focus on the most urgent projects.
Much of their work involves optimizing sales efficiency by refining processes and making systematic enhancements. That means resolving operational inconsistencies and bottlenecks that are slowing down the sales team. Finding solutions to these issues can be challenging, often requiring innovative thinking and careful consideration before outlining a plan.
Sales ops teams usually have numerous technologies in their stack, but none is more vital than the CRM. Salesforce.com is the go-to CRM for most companies, so that’s where sales ops analysts end up spending most of their time. But many inside sales teams also use software for email prospecting, call recording, contract management, etc. – which means more things for sales ops to maintain.
With Salesforce (or any other CRM system), there are always reports that someone needs built, workflows that need to be updated, or administrative work that needs to be done. Most of those tasks fall on sales ops analysts.
Depending on who you ask (and what platform they use), using business intelligence software is the most exciting part of the job. BI tools make it easy to create reports and dashboards to glean actionable insights that can be shared with sales. Analysts are typically responsible for digging in deeper to tell the story behind the numbers and find out what’s really going on.
Sales ops analysts often provide the data that guides conversations regarding major business decisions, but they don’t have the pressure of choosing one strategy over another when it comes down to it.
What Skills Should Sales Operations Analysts Possess?
Given the amount of time they spend in Salesforce (or another CRM), sales ops analysts must (obviously) be tech-savvy. They don’t need to be Salesforce-certified, but they need to be familiar with how CRMs work and able to learn on the fly.
Excel skills are usually required for this role, and any experience analyzing complex data sets and using business intelligence tools can’t hurt the chances of candidates applying for sales ops analyst positions. At some companies, SQL knowledge is a must-have skill for analysts, but that’s not always the case.
At the core, sales operations analysts must be able to work in a fast-paced environment and multi-task while paying close attention to detail.
How Much Experience Should Sales Operations Analysts Have?
Sales operations analysts should have 3-5 years of relevant business experience, preferably in sales.
A college (bachelor’s) degree is typically required for this role. Any operational and analytical experience (especially related to measuring sales results) makes candidates more even more appealing.
Relevant work experience isn’t everything though. For this type of role, it’s more important to hire someone who is willing to dive in head first and learn as they go. Whether or not a candidate is Salesforce-certified shouldn’t make or break a hiring decision.