4 Key Challenges Facing Sales Operations (And How to Overcome Them)

If you think of your entire sales organization as a car, then that car’s engine is your sales operations team. Even though it can’t be seen by drivers, it is working constantly to propel your sales teams forward to their goal. Your sales operations team’s job is not only to help sales run smoothly, but to discover and implement new ways to turbocharge sales. Some of their core responsibilities include optimizing CRM, leveraging sales acceleration technology and designing ways to help sales reps have smoother and more productive work experiences.

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Brianna Hansen is a Content Marketing Manager at Wrike.

While it’s up to sales reps to meet (and hopefully exceed) quota, sales ops need to keep the machine running smoothly under the hood. In doing so, sales ops face their own set of unique challenges. Here are four of the most prevalent challenges that sales operation teams face on a daily basis. Included are some actionable tips for how to overcome each challenge.

Keeping Up with the Latest Sales Tech

Simply being a good salesperson is no longer enough. Your competitors are likely already leveraging sales acceleration tools that improve sales productivity and help their reps sell smarter. Sales ops are often tasked with discovering new opportunities to leverage tools that improve workflow.

Actionable Tip: Since sales is becoming increasingly aligned with other departments like marketing and customer success, it’s crucial to ensure that new sales tools integrate successfully with other key business tools. Before implementing a new tool, ops should make sure it can integrate seamlessly with your CRM.

Wearing Too Many Hats

Sales reps have a clearly defined role (converting leads into buyers). But if you read some job descriptions for sales operations, you’ll see a vast range of responsibilities that include everything from managing CRM to developing an incentive program to providing technical support for sales tools. This wide range of tasks can easily overwhelm a sales ops team.

Actionable Tip: If you have multiple members of a sales ops team, try specializing individual reps. One rep might focus primarily on salesforce automation while another might focus primarily on optimizing CRM.

Juggling Ad Hoc Requests

Because sales ops do so much for sales teams (from managing the salesforce to implementing and supporting various tools), it can be impossible to predict when ad hoc requests are going to arise from sales reps or leaders. Therefore, it can be challenging to keep a predictable workflow in an environment in which sales strategies and tech is changing so rapidly.

Actionable Tip: Work management and instant messaging platforms are becoming increasingly popular across sales ops teams in order to stay on top of requests and communicate effectively.

Reaching Long Term Company Goals While Satisfying Immediate Needs

No matter how well a sales organization is performing, executives and sales leaders always want to do better. Executives will always want more leads, opportunities, and revenue year over year. Individual sales reps, however, will almost surely have immediate needs that arise. It can be too difficult to balance long-term goals with short-term needs.

Actionable Tip: Sometimes executives overemphasize lead volume. If marketing and sales ops are hyper-focused on lead quantity, it’s easy to clog the funnel with unqualified leads. That’s why it’s so important for executives, sales, and marketing to be on the same page when defining MQLs and SQLs. When setting goals, it’s crucial to ensure that those goals are based around driving quality leads. When your ideal leads are clearly defined, long-term goals often work in tandem with sales reps’ short-term needs.

This post is authored by Brianna Hansen, Content Marketing Manager at Wrike.

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About the Author

Brianna Hansen

Brianna Hansen is a Content Marketing Manager at Wrike. She has over 4 years of experience in marketing and event planning. At Wrike, she runs market research programs and is constantly looking for new ways to maximize productivity and improve work management.

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