Collaborate Across Teams
After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
- Explain the needs of the sales, marketing, and finance teams.
- Communicate process improvements in a way that aligns with the needs of each team.
Making Process Changes: What to Know
The final step of process improvement is rollout to a team—which could be marketing, sales, finance, or even support. In some organizations, this is referred to as change management.
Here, sales operations is focused on getting buy-in and gaining trust by explaining how and why the process has been adjusted and improved. This is a critical make-or-break step that can impact whether a new process is successfully adopted or subverted.
We know that when users skip, ignore, or avoid steps in the process, that’s a sure sign that a process will not produce the intended results. Lack of adoption often devolves into untrustworthy data on new deals, in attainment, in lead conversion, anywhere—yikes! Here’s how you can avoid this.
Know Your Audience
When working to get support and adoption of a new process, think of each team as having its own buyer persona. A buyer persona is typically used by marketing teams as an ideal picture of a customer and allows them to zero in on that customer’s needs. Each department has its own needs, motivations, behavior patterns, and ways they best absorb information about change.
Your knowledge of these general personas can help you craft a message that each audience can understand and be moved to care about.
The top priority of sales is to earn commission. They are often happy following your processes if they trust these steps will lead to greater commission or more leads being assigned to them. Sales is motivated by winning and closing the deal.
This group tends to be sociable, preferring in-person presentations where they can ask questions, rather than receiving information digitally. While they can find some data interesting, the typical sales team isn’t data-driven. When presenting change, sales reps respond well if the message is framed in terms of how it can lead to winning more deals.
When Get Cloudy Consulting was getting ready to roll out the new ERP system mentioned in Unit 1, it was important for sales operations to align the improvement to these values. Here’s what they came up with.
- With better and more trustworthy data, sales will be able to close deals faster—no more swivel-chairing—they will have an easier time getting deals to close in their desired time-frame rather than pushing them out to the next quarter.
- Overall, customers will be happier with the smooth buying experience and service execution. Sales will be more likely to grow their relationships and expand on future deals.
Because they are attuned to buyer demographics and statistics, marketing tends to be a more analytical group that appreciate changes supported by data. Marketing departments are often budget sensitive and focused on how their contributions are linked to a company’s financial success. When soliciting the marketing team’s buy-in, frame the solution in a way that ties their marketing investments and efforts directly to business performance—otherwise known as attribution.
While the Get Cloudy Consulting marketing team didn’t experience any direct issue with the CRM or lack of ERP, they can definitely benefit from the accurate data. Sales operations made it a point to meet with marketing leadership to discuss the change. Seeing exactly what was sold, and when it was delivered, they can now tailor marketing campaigns to their existing customers on new services the company just launched and attach each campaign to the opportunity in Salesforce.
Finance is a ROI-driven group, focused on the dual aims of generating more revenue and reducing expenses. When presenting a change to finance, craft the message focused on how a new tool or process can ultimately benefit the bottom line.
Sales operations for Get Cloud Consulting did some calculations to identify how much time the sales team was spending on research and data reentry, as well as how much time it took to deliver on a project using the manual process. It turned out, with the ERP system, they were able to save a few weeks on each deal made. When multiplying that by the amount that the average salesperson and consultant makes, they were able to accurately demonstrate how many dollars they could save on average.
It turned out to be a ton of money.
Put It All Together
On the quest to help sales organizations run more efficiently and effectivity, sales operations needs to collaborate between many departments. They need to demonstrate empathy by speaking to values each team has and align improvements appropriately.
You did it! You learned about the broad responsibilities and business activities covered by sales operations. You also got familiar with sales operations strategies for adopting new technology and identifying ways businesses can sell more efficiently.