Sales Operations Welcome to the DataFox Blog

Reporting and Communication

Data for this analysis was provided by sales operations job postings found on DataFox. This is the fourth installment of our five-part Sales Operations series. The complete analysis will be featured in our upcoming Sales Operations Ebook. Pre-register for your copy today!

Communication with and between teams is essential to sales operations executing on performance metrics and reporting success.

Whether it’s forecasting for the CFO, performance for the VP of sales, or trends for investors, sales ops provides the analysis.

All companies rely on sales operations to create clear, informative sales dashboards for the business.

Sales operations is the first line of defense when a particular funnel metric isn’t performing well. Regular reporting -- on both revenue and pipeline -- allows sales ops to keep a close eye on the metrics that determine forecasting success.

To accurately measure each of these performance metrics, it’s important to track team and individual performance against forecasted goals at a frequent cadence. Dashboards allow sales operations to get valuable insight into performance metrics and share that visibility with the whole organization.

“Whenever building out a process, I always make sure it ties back to something measurable,” said Robin Kuhn, Director of Sales Operations at UserZoom. “Those metrics improve over time, and I can show my ROI back to my business. For anything, I build a dashboard to show how we’ve progressed. I constantly socialize the success we’ve had – so people understand what the challenges were and what we’ve accomplished!”

The right quotas and commissions will effectively incentivize the best sales performance.

Quota and commission structure play a large role in meeting goals. It’s important to factor in the annual forecast and historical rep performance given territories/segments when creating quotas.

In other words, the forecast should never be greater than the combined quotas for the sales team.

Every member of a specific sales group should have the same quota. This inspires healthy competition and helps weed out low-performing reps. Sales teams as a whole, on the other hand, should have quotas that align with the group goal.

Commission structures should be based on quotas and overall compensation for sales team members and used to drive rep performance. One type, called kickers, offers additional compensation for going above and beyond quota attainment. This prevents what sales teams fondly refer to as “sandbagging” or waiting to close a deal one month, it order to better help them attain their quota the next.

Regardless of the commission structure, it must be re-evaluated frequently to ensure that rep activity is optimized for achieving larger business goals. Sales operations can optimize from the group at large by looking to low and high performers on sales teams for learning opportunities.

Use constant feedback cycles to make necessary course corrections that push toward the organization's larger goals

Between their high-level strategic view, and an intimate understanding of reps’ work, sales operations is well equipped to gather feedback, analyze team performance and hire accordingly. With laser focus on revenue, sales often has a limited view on overall team performance. For example, they can identify process inefficiencies shared by multiple reps, or perform regular data health checks.

To inform necessary process improvements, the most valuable asset can be input from the reps themselves. With Slack and text, reps and sales leadership are in constant communication and able to shorten and enhance the feedback cycle.

It’s up to sales operations to insert themselves into the conversation. Having this constant channel of communication is critical, as is transparency about how the team is performing against goals.

Want to learn more about how to move your sales operations career forward?

Be sure to attend our monthly sales operations Meetup and stay tuned for the last segment in our Sales Operation Series. Next week’s installment will cover The Sales Operations Foundation.