Without a Sales team, Sales Ops is nothing; without a Sales Ops team, Sales may not realize its full potential. Strong communication between the two enables a successful strategic partnership — and ultimately, better alignment and more revenue.
But when large, worldwide Sales teams sprawl over territories and time zones, communication can be a challenge. In one of our EXCEED breakout sessions, as part of a discussion on sales rep productivity, the VP of Worldwide Sales Operations at a global security solutions provider asked the group what communication strategies have worked well for them:
“In my role, I’ve learned so much about other cultures and business environments, and I love the empowerment of being able to make decisions quickly and easily. How do you communicate with your sales reps to make that happen?”
In addition to the classic ‘email,’ here are five best practices from this group of top Sales Ops leaders:
- Surveys: for specific questions, surveys such as those conducted through SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, or GetFeedback provide a structured way to collect organized feedback without taking too much time for reps.
- Phone calls: for quick questions, a short conversation can replace a long email exchange. Phone calls — not only scheduled calls, but ad-hoc calls for quick check-ins — are especially effective when salespeople are out on the road.
- Management: for larger announcements, communicating through the Sales management team can be an effective approach. Leverage their power to get messages across to the team.
- QBRs and Sales meetings: Salespeople are busy, and appreciate the effort to meet them where they are. Remember that a successful Sales team enables Sales Ops success: walk in their shoes and find out what works best for their routines. Join their QBRs, sales calls, or team meetings.
- More face time: The VP of Sales Strategy & Operations at a mid-size network provider said his team had planned a series of sales best practice and council sessions. “Every Monday morning we do a sales best practices session where we get info from the field,” he said. “We are about to kick off a Sales Council where leaders and reps from different territories will join as representatives to provide input and feedback, and then take information back to the field to show what we’ve done lately.”
No matter the form of communication, focus is key. Without a clear objective to your discussion, any email thread, phone call, or team meeting will quickly veer into tangent territory. Choosing any of the methods above and sticking to your goals will increase the long-term success of the relationship between your Sales and Sales Ops teams. With this strong foundation, Sales Ops can collect the data it needs from the Sales team and maximize rep productivity. In the next few weeks, we’ll explore more ways for Sales Ops to succeed — if you’re interested in continuing the conversation on the role of Sales Ops, join the EXCEED LinkedIn community.