<img src="https://ws.zoominfo.com/pixel/BMrLoP7RP9iWFy47ETpn" width="1" height="1" style="display: none;">
Untitled presentation (1)

Recipe for an Accelerated Pipeline, Sales Representatives' and Sales Operations' Roles (Part 2 of a 3 Part Series)

Authored by Jim Eberlin on June 4, 2014

Overview

In the previous post of this three-part series, we talked about the importance of sales management’s role in optimizing the pipeline.  This second part of the series talks about the impact of various roles of a sales team in the creation of an accelerated pipeline.  We will specifically look at the focus areas of sales representatives and sales operations and how they should interact.

Part 2: The Roles of Sales Representatives and Sales Operations

Sales Representatives

Sales representatives need to focus on strategy and how best to approach each milestone in the sales process.  Therefore they need to ask a lot of qualifying questions at each stage.  There are several methodologies to follow including Sandler, Miller Heiman and many more to help in gathering pain points, budget info, decision process, prospect needs and compelling events.  The sales representative needs to record where they are in the selling process and give their opinion of how qualified the prospect is and how good of a fit the solution is at each interval of the selling stages and milestones.  This is an ongoing process during the deal and the objective is to assess how well they are performing along the stages and milestones of the sales opportunity.  Also, they have to record key deal attributes along the way about how they perform against the competition, what products they are offering and pricing.  This helps in overall analysis to monitor strengths and weaknesses of the company.

But there is one significant problem standing in the way of the sales representatives doing their part to hit the revenue target.  It’s the thing that they detest most - data entry into the CRM.

Sales representatives want to spend their time strategizing on closing deals and not keying in data about deals.  It’s just not a priority for them to do data entry after a long week of demos, meetings with management and performing their normal day-to-day work to move deals through the pipeline.  When they do get around to the data entry, it’s usually much later than when they were in the last meeting, which causes key information to be left out of the update.

In order for a sales representative to perform well enough to meet their numbers and do their part for the organization they require a “super easy” CRM update process that collects the data needed to provide status and insights into sales opportunities while giving them all the time needed to strategize on closing deals.

Sales Operations

The sales operations team is responsible for making the business activities and processes of a sales organization run effectively, efficiently and supports the business strategies and objectives.  They are involved in implementing solutions for sales enablement and reports that give management day to day information on deals as well as long term analysis.

Their biggest problem is that they need more time to work on and manage the sales process to make it effective.  They spend too much time working within it -  usually backlogged with creating one-off reports and implementing multiple projects.

Sales operations could be much more effective and help the sales organization deliver on their numbers if they could overcome these challenges of being swallowed up within the business.  They need to  work more on the business by making sure sales reps are adopting new best practices, helping management monitor the right metrics and provide insights on improvement to processes.  This would result in a much more competitive organization and add to the predictability of the forecasted numbers.

Making it Happen

So a good process, day-to-day optics, analysis and ,most importantly, a super easy way for sales reps to update CRM information is the right recipe for an optimized and accelerated sales pipeline.

An optimized sales pipeline will help you create a repeatable and predictable process, close more deals and ultimately ensure you hit your targeted number.

Think seriously about using mobile and advanced analytics to ensure the sales process is optimized.

 

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Leverage these best practices with automation and AI driven by TopOPPS

Learn how our customers are winning with artificial intelligence in their CRM:

  • Predictive Sales Forecasting
  • Automated Pipeline Management
  • Significantly More Updates from Reps

Watch Videos

More Recent Posts:

June 29, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales-Pipeline Monitoring & Closing Deals

This blog provides more details into the final two of the six tactical best practices outlined in the blog “Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Pipeline”.  It focuses on: Monitor the sales pipeline from different perspectives depending on the users role (sales rep, sales management, sales opperations, sales leadership) Focus on closing the best leads, nurturing the new leads and “close loss” opportunities as soon as possible Monitor the pipeline from different perspectives  The sales pipeline is the beating heart of the sales process and the revenue engine. ...

Sales Pipeline Management, AI for Sales, sales best practices, Sales Pipeline Visibility

June 17, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Proactive Follow Up & Content Delivery

This blog provides more details into the next two of the six tactical best practices outlined in the blog “Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Pipeline”.  It focuses on: Proactive follow up on opportunities in the sales pipeline Proactive delivery of the right sales content and insights to members of the buying team and guidance to the sales team It may feel like these two best practices could be consolidated into one called proactive selling. Both could be handled via alerting and prompting solutions or optimized with a process we call “Alerts Requiring Action”.    However, there are subtle differences between the two that make a big impact on sales.  ...

AI for Sales, Guided Selling, guide winning behaviors, sales best practices, Sales Pipeline Visibility

May 15, 2020

Best Practices For B2B Sales-Sales Pipeline Data & Process Improvement

This blog reviews best practices related to two of the six tactical best practices outlined in the previous blog “Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Pipeline”.  It focuses on: The ability to easily update the sales pipeline on a regular basis Sales process review and improvement An accurate sales forecast requires an accurate, timely and always up-to-data sales pipeline.  This data includes up-to-date: sales activity and buyer/seller interactions; buying team members and roles; opportunity descriptors and attributes; and company descriptors and attributes, in the CRM.  It also includes integrated reporting from the CRM to produce the sales pipeline, porting CRM information to Excel is not an option. ...

Pipeline Optimization, Sales Pipeline Management, AI for Sales, sales best practices

April 28, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Pipeline

In my original blog in this series “Best Practices for B-2-B Sales,  I outlined five categories of best practices: The previous five blogs in this series, reviewed the best practices related to data.  The next three categories, Sales Process, Opportunity Management and Pipeline Analytics all are driven off of the sales pipeline. This blog introduces 6 different best practices related to the sales pipeline.  These best practices cut across all  three areas. ...

Sales Pipelines, Sales Process, Sales Tools, sales best practices, Sales Pipeline Visibility

April 14, 2020

Avoiding A Horrific June Sales Quarter: Sales Pipeline in Crisis

Our current economic climate feels all too similar to the great recession of 2008.  We knew the story back then, “Work harder and sell less.” That is all we could do, we didn’t have the technology to help mitigate the impact of the great recession by better sales pipeline visibility and better cost control by understanding what is “real” in our sales pipeline. This time around we will have to work just as hard, but if we work smarter with the help of technology we could even the playing field and even sell a bit more. ...

Sales Pipeline Management, AI for Sales, Sales Pipeline Visibility

March 28, 2020

New Times, New Ways to Run the Sales Team!

Jim Eberlin is founder of TopOPPS.  Jim posted this blog on Linkedin.  It was just a few weeks ago that I was preaching that in order to stay on top of things to give my team and customers what they needed, solve problems and make sure things don't fall through the cracks - I had to be in person.  Obviously that has changed - like it or not. ...

Sales Pipeline Management, sales best practices, Sales coaching, Sales One-On-Ones

March 23, 2020

Tactical Best Practices for B2B Sales-Company Attributes

This blog reviews the tactical best practices for collecting information about accounts [companies] where you have sales opportunities or are targeting for a sales opportunity.     This blog is the fifth blog in the series “Best Practices for B2B Sales”.  The first blog organized the best practices along five key areas. The second blog divided up the first area, data access, into four key areas.  This blog focuses on the last area of data access and collection. ...

Artificial Intelligence, AI for Sales, best practices

March 9, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales-Opportunity Attributes & Buyer Team Tracking

This blog reviews the tactical best practices for collecting information about a sales opportunity [opportunity attributes] and information about buying team members and roles.  Much of the information about the sales opportunity is not available electronically. The objective is to make it as easy as possible for the sales rep to enter it and provide benefit to the sales rep by presenting it in an intuitive manner to keep both sales reps and sales management up to date on the opportunity. ...

Artificial Intelligence, AI for Sales, best practices