Revenue efficiency will always be a primary goal for your top executives. But day-to-day execution likely falls to the sales operations team.
That's why we dedicated one of our monthly sales ops meetups to exactly this topic: Automating Operations To Achieve Revenue Efficiency. With panelists from Showpad, SparkPost, and FinancialForce, we had the opportunity to learn from proactive operations leaders who have equipped their sales organizations with streamlined workflows.
To achieve revenue efficiency, you need to really help and accelerate your sales team's ability to take a prospect from lead to close. Anything that obstructs this process is ultimately hurting your bottom line.
"As a manager of eight, my mandate and my mission is to remove roadblocks on the path to success for my reps." - Chris Flores, Global Sales Development & Enablement Manager at SparkPost
For any sales ops professional looking to clear the working path for reps and increase revenue efficiency, it's crucial to understand where exactly there are breaks in your processes. To pinpoint an opportunity where automated workflows are needed, all of our panelists repeatedly urged open communication with your reps.
"A lot of what I experienced to be successful is actually just going to the reps. Always be in the loop with feedback and be proactive about the issues that they're having in their day-to-day activities. You'd be surprised by how much you'll learn just by sitting with someone for half a day and it's really valuable stuff." - Chris Flores, Global Sales Development & Enablement Manager at SparkPost
Data, Data, Data
One big aspect of getting reps out of their own way is data management. With every outreach initiative depending on account data, it's vital to empower your reps with quality data for successful prospecting. Think of it from the flipside; if you're carving out 45 minutes to take a demo call, you'll expect an informed presentation that addresses all of your specific use cases. The success of this is heavily dependent on a reps ability to find and properly interpret account data. Unfortunately, data management is frequently siloed between teams and has no clear ownership.
"It's one of our biggest priorities right now on our operations team and we're calling it the Data Integrity Project. We had a lot of hands managing our data and that led to poor quality, duplicates, lack of process, lack of governance, and people changing account ownership left and right. We're now heading down a new path where we're implementing rules of engagement by relying on our data source vendors and a little bit of human validation." - Laura Kornacka, Senior Sales Operations Manager at FinancialForce
But data integrity doesn't just stop with making it available and interpretable for reps. As Jason Westerberg, Business and Sales Operations Manager at Showpad, points out, "the biggest thing that my team can do is organize the data in a way that's digestible to the leadership team so that they can understand what's going on in the business and make educated decisions."
Data management is clearly multifaceted and everyone's responsibility. It's also cumbersome and usually a long-term project. But, automating the time and effort it takes to maintain data integrity is undeniably valuable to your business.
"The efficiency gains with something like automation are incredible, that's probably been the biggest factor that I've noticed in terms of changing the workflow of how we make things efficient." - Laura Kornacka, Senior Sales Operations Manager at FinancialForce
Selecting The Right Automation Tools
It's one thing to have an automation tool or process in place, but it's a completely different task to get your sales team on board. Implementation and enablement should always be top priorities, but making the right purchase decision for your sales team is equally important.
Circling back to when our panelists highlighted the importance of communication to remove roadblocks, the same logic applies here. Any new automation tool HAS to solve a problem and communication with your sales team helps identify and prioritize where the biggest needs are.
"The biggest thing that I can emphasize for when you're buying something new is not only do you have to think about the problems it's going to solve, but also how you're going to roll it out to your team. In that regard training is huge!" - Jason Westerberg, Business and Sales Operations Manager at Showpad
Westerberg emphasizes an important point: if nobody understands how to use a new tool, then it's not actively solving any problems. To this extent, not only is training important, but also broad buy in. If nobody sees the value in a new tool and therefore chooses not to use it, it's also not solving any problems. One way to proactively mitigate this is by leveraging reps that were vocal in communicating issues early on and getting them excited about sharing the value of a new tool. An easy way to support this is by evidencing clear payoffs versus cost. Not only is this great for the end users of a new tool, but this analysis will also play a key part for approval in your internal procurement process.
What About Personalization?
Implementing new tools to automate operations and streamline workflows to increase productivity is great for increasing revenue efficiencies, but don't forget about personalization in the process. In the B2B sales world, automation puts an inherent damper on our ability to personalize. Instead of letting personalization become an afterthought, make automated processes work for you. If you're automating data management operations, there may be an easy way to identify high-value prospects and prioritize them for one-off personalization. Allocate the remaining prospects into a predetermined outreach initiative with customization at scale instead.
Automating operations to achieve revenue efficiency is largely about being proactive instead of reactive. Identify opportunities for streamlined workflows and think about the order of operation when implementing new tools. Be strategic and think of the efficiency impact on just the sales team but your entire organization.
Interested in learning more?
Check out The Complete Guide To Sales Operations.