Did you know a staggering 57% of sales reps miss their quotas? The truth is: your sales team may not be operating at its fullest potential. In today’s hyper-competitive digital B2B landscape, winning sales opportunities is hard. 69% of B2B salespeople feel they don’t have enough opportunities in the pipeline according to a survey by Selling Power and ValueSelling Associates. And frankly, sales teams are pushed to their limits because buyers are more informed than ever and they are spending their time handling prospective buyers’ objections – which can easily be avoided. This coupled with the traditional role of sales teams to handle strategy, technology, and administration makes for an inefficient process.
74% of modern B2B buyers expect more targeted interactions, yet salespeople often lack the right data, processes, and resources to capitalize on personalization at scale. 79% of them have a documented personalization strategy. Does yours?
How do you reverse the trend of sales missing their quotas? Creating a powerful sales team is often the difference between growth and shrinkage. But enabling teams via strategy and content isn’t always easy. To push the needle, turn towards sales operations and sales enablement, creating core efficiencies that help sales teams go a step further – and be hyper-personalized.
Leverage Sales Ops & Enablement to Grow
There are a few moving parts to both sales ops and enablement, so let’s first break them down and define each component. Knowing what all the pieces are and how they fit together makes it easier to understand how the sales ops/enablement engine comes together as a sum of its parts. First, the basics.
What is Sales Ops?
Sales operations teams work behind the scenes to support sales in areas outside the buyer-seller interaction. It’s easiest to think of sales ops as a strategy-driven team capable of tackling the administrative and strategic layer of sales that often interrupts salespeople’s day-to-day operations. The average salesperson spends a mere 35 % of their time on selling. The other 65%is put towards non-growth tasks like administrative tasks, technology prep, and downtime activities. Sales ops teams relieve those outside burdens, giving salespeople more time to focus on selling products/services, interacting with buyers, and nurturing leads.
Your sales ops team carries four buckets of responsibility:
Within these four buckets, you can expect sales ops to handle specific tasks such as:
- Administration and maintenance of sales technology (e.g., CRM, lead nurturing platforms, sales enablement platforms)
- Reporting and data collection
- Lead routing, territory management, and quota administration
- Management of technology, including forecasting tools and contracting tools
- Data analysis and sales process optimization
- Training on product, process, and sales intelligence
- Hiring and onboarding of salespeople
- Sales process implementation and maximization
- Handling of compensation plans and incentives
As you can tell, almost everything sales ops is responsible for is tactical-oriented. They’re the behind-the-scenes force that handles the critical components of sales, so sales teams can focus on strategy and make their quotas.
What is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement involves the ability to make available to salespeople the materials, data, and resources they need to succeed (in a sale). In other words, sales enablement solely refers to the delivery of tangibles — not processes, strategies, or techniques. Depending on the organizational structure, sales enablement teams may be responsible for:
- Ensuring salespeople receive the right materials
- Creating sales-oriented content
- Aligning sales and marketing during the content creation process
- Sales training and coaching (specifically surrounding funnel structure or content/data utilization)
So, sales enablement directly involves front-end sales conversations, while sales operations involve back-end sales processes, strategies, and administration. While there is some crossover (e.g., both are involved in ERP implementations and maintenance, both handle training, etc.), the overall goals of both sales ops and sales enablement differ in where they provide value in the sales chain.
Often sales enablement teams provide value to both marketing and sales teams. Marketing-sales alignment is virtually required for sales enablement to take hold. So, sales enablement teams have a little more “float.” They often work hand-in-hand cross-functionally to ensure sales has the right materials.
Sales Ops + Sales Enablement: Creating Growth
Fast forward to companies today – where sales ops and sales enablement converge regularly, and both are essentially sales teams or “closers,” who wear the hats of both sales ops and sales enablement. keeping system processes running smoothly to sales enablement where they are responsible for providing resources buyers want.
However, it’s incredibly important to create distinct responsibilities between sales ops and enablement. Whether you’re a startup or enterprise, your exact sales ops and sales enablement setup will vary based on structure, size, and sales or product motions. The reality is that it’s inefficient to leverage salespeople for non-sales tasks. It’s recommended that you reallocate non-sales tasks to critical thought partners who can help augment your team so you can focus on the quota.
A Google search for companies that will take on those non-sales tasks yields over 500,000 results. As you’re looking for a partner, make sure the company you choose meets some basic requirements:
- Price – Don’t necessarily go with the cheapest service you can find, but do the math to make sure your costs are commensurate with the amount of work you need to outsource. Outsourcing is no help at all if the cost of it gouges your bottom line. If you find a company willing to negotiate based on your company’s size and revenue stream, the more the better.
- Resources & Technology – What technology does the prospective vendor use, and more importantly, will it integrate with yours? It’s also fair to ask what resources they use to complete the job.
- Reputation – Does the vendor have a reputation for missing deadlines and delivering substandard work? Search for reviews from current and former customers. You can also find records of any lawsuits involving the vendor by typing “v companyname” in a Google search (include the quotes). If you find 8 out of 10 single-star reviews or a spate of litigation aimed at the company, be wary.
- Service Level Agreement – Is their SLA well-defined, clear, and does it address all the services you expect to pay for? Have your attorney look it over before signing.
Are You Ready to Bridge Ops + Enablement?
Together, sales ops and enablement breed success. They keep salespeople focused on sales while providing them with the tools and resources they need to close. But building ops and enablement teams isn’t always easy.
Both sales enablement and sales ops provide tangible, measurable value to your sales teams. But building these teams out can be a friction-filled journey. Are you looking to build sales ops and enablement teams that push the boundaries of holistic growth and revenue production? Do you need to find the right technology to enable ops and enablement at scale? We can help. At Delegate, we help high-growth organizations find the right strategies, tools, and technology that are essentially critical to grow powerful ops and enablement teams – and produce sales results. Contact us to learn more.