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The Sales Operations Foundation

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

Sales operations challenges are fast-moving; company information changes constantly, sales teams grow, and forecasts must be continuously updated. While sales ops must keep up with these crucial responsibilities, the foundation of the overall sales strategy must also be sound.

A sales organization’s overall strategy is built on a comprehensive understanding of your target addressable market (TAM), based on a well-defined ideal customer profile (ICP). To establish this, strong data is absolutely critical. There are two elements required to build a strong data foundation: sourcing the data, and managing it all.

There a variety of methods for both sourcing and managing data, ranging from internal databases to a team of analysts. CRM Orchestration accomplishes both by automatically sourcing, cleaning, and updating the needed data. This method does not rely on tedious in-house hours poring over duplicate profiles in your CRM. Instead, sales ops can orchestrate the automatic de-duplication and enrichment of CRM data automatically.

With a comprehensive CRM dataset, sales operations can build an ideal customer profile (ICP)

There are two approaches for determining an ICP - the data-driven way (getting previous customer information from CRM) and the qualitative way (conducting sales interviews).

CRM data will offer a robust dataset to inform your ICP, but it is limited by the fields you have and the data. Most importantly, for this method to paint an accurate picture of your customer profile, you need clean, robust data.

Sales interviews help uncover insights and qualifying attributes that aren't visible in your CRM.

For example, sales reps might know that accounts that just opened a new office are particularly good targets, even if that isn't a field in your CRM.

Keep in mind that sales interviews carry a risk of being biased toward big deals or ones that are the most recent.

To get the complete picture, sales operations should employ both means of gathering insights.

Armed with a list of high-value accounts identified based on an accurate ICP, marketing teams can better target campaigns, sales teams can prioritize more effectively, and sales operations can structure more equitable territories.

Use the ICP to Determine Your Total Addressable Market (TAM)

Where determining ICP is all about using data to narrow the field, finding the total addressable market is using that same data to identify every company that is an ICP fit to populate your CRM.

To identify your total addressable market, begin by creating a list of all possible companies you could sell to. To do this, find all companies in the world that align with determined firmographic criteria from your ICP. Create these accounts in CRM, and be sure to populate relevant fields (account name, website, headcount, location, tech stack, etc.).

With company data changing frequently, your TAM will be dynamic - making constantly-refreshed data especially important.

Want to learn more about moving your sales operations career forward? Be sure to attend our monthly sales operations Meetup and check out the previous installments in our series: