Sales operations

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Sales operations are a set of business activities and processes that help a sales organization run effectively, efficiently and in support of business strategies and objectives. Sales operations may also be referred to as sales, sales support or business operations.

The set of sales operations activities vary from company[1] to company but often include these five categories:[2]

Sales Force Enablement

  • Sales Process Development
  • Sales Process Adoption and Compliance
  • CRM Development and Processes
  • Sales Tool Development
  • Sales Training
  • Sales Force Communications Management

Business Analytics

  • Sales Metrics
  • Sales Forecasting

Sales Administration

  • Proposal/Contract Development
  • Vendor Selection and Management
  • Planning Process Stewardship

Attainment Planning

  • Incentive Sales Compensation Plan Design
  • GTM Strategy Alignment with Roles and Components
  • Territory Analysis and Definition
  • Goal Setting

Sales Operations Mandate and Design

  • Chief of Staff to the Sales Organization
  • Stewardship of Sales Force Capacity
  • Initiative Change Management
  • Sales Operations Team Design
  • Sales Operations Talent Management

The sales operations team members are often liaisons for sales to other parts of the organisation such as finance, marketing, Legal and IT. They will represent the needs of sales in meetings and cross-functional projects.

Sales operations as a function[edit]

More and more companies are forming sales operations departments within their organizations and, per the sales operations excellence center, sales operations is an established process and considered to be vital contributor to business operations and accounting functions.

In the past, these functions were non-existent, handled by sales managers or scattered throughout an organization. Companies are now recognizing the significant benefits of sales operations activities and the need for centralization and formal leadership.[citation needed]

The benefits of sales operations[edit]

Sales operations activities help sales leaders

  • to make sound and timely business decisions to drive short-term and long-term performance
  • to align selling resources with the greatest opportunities in the most cost effective ways
  • to ensure all sales personnel are treated fairly and are paid accurately
  • to improve sales performance through better processes, technology and methodologies
  • to improve employee morale

Ultimately, sales operations activities significantly contribute to the success of a sales organisation and that organisation's ability to meet/exceed business targets.

Sales targets[edit]

Sales target is the minimum sales goal for a set time span. A sales target may be minimum amount of pounds(Monetary Value) or product sold(Volume). Sales targets may also be for sales activity like: number of calls per day. Management usually sets the sales targets and the sales territory. The time span could be set for the day, week, month or fiscal quarter or year.

Sales territory[edit]

Sales territory is a usually a geographical area assigned to a salesperson or group of persons. The geographical area may also be assigned to franchisee, distributor, or agent. A sales territory may also be assigned by industry verticals, as all retailers or all wholesalers in geographical area. A sales territory may be as large as a continent, a nation or half a nation, or as small as a town or city. A sales manager generally will have a sales territory based on the territories of the sales resources reporting to him/her.

Sales forecasting[edit]

Sales forecasting uses past sales figures to predict the short-term or long-term future performance to enable sound financial planning.[3] For shops and stores, market research may yield the following indicators for deriving initial forecasts:[4]

  • average sales volume per unit area for similar shops in similar locations of similar size
  • number of consumers or consumer household in appropriate vicinity of the store and their annual expenses on the product in question

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://bobbacon.net/blog/?p=487
  2. ^ http://bobbacon.net/
  3. ^ http://www.howstuffworks.com/sales-forecasting.htm
  4. ^ http://sbinfocanada.about.com/od/cashflowmgt/a/salesforecast.htm