Achieving Sales Excellence Through Continual Operations Optimisation

March 10, 2016 By Paul Lee

Discover why Marketing Operations is delivering excellence in the Sales department.

Sales and Marketing are often described as “soft” sciences. That’s odd, because Sales has always had the hardest-edged KPIs of all. After all, if Sales don’t sell, folk don’t eat.

But you knew that already.

The hard numbers of monthly targets, response rates, average customer revenues - these were all Sales metrics way back when “marketing” just meant advertising.

Which is why the newish field of Marketing Operations, despite its name, isn’t really about marketing at all.

Marketing Operations is about Sales - and using a focus on technology to achieve sales excellence.

Let’s look at how Sales can contribute to Operations, through helping it continually improve - leading to an uptick in sales figures as a happy outcome.

1. Nailing the right CRM system: go high-touch not hard-edged

With around 80% of CRM rollouts not delivering hoped-for results, it seems a lot of people are less than happy with how their software measures up. Bottom line: if sales people are complaining about having to use CRM, you’re stuck with a poor implementation.

It may be subjective. But subjective feelings matter. Are your people spending time keying in data when they should be selling?

Modern CRM systems work with your people, not make them jump through hoops. When note-taking and record-keeping - all the flotsam and jetsam of data capture - become effortless, the raw material of operational improvement is processed effectively and in real time.

So to achieve sales excellence, first address the grumbles. Operational improvements are only as good as the data that goes in.

2. Improving the process: make it flexible not brittle

It’s amazing how many companies use CRM to duplicate obsolete business processes. So as a second step, double-check your CRM workflows against the actual procedures your people go through every time they make a sale.

After all, they know how customers think. (Better than a piece of software does.)

Ruthlessly look at every click, step and hoop your system makes your people jump through. Ideally, nothing is compulsory save accuracy - the best data isn’t formalised and over-structured, but honest utterances in natural language. The greatest source of insights into customer behaviour is often the ‘Notes’ field attached to your friendliest contacts.

To achieve sales excellence, don’t look solely at the data that fits into neat boxes.

3. Completing the loop: giving Sales insights that matter

The moment of truth for Sales guys, of course, is whether they feel their CRM is delivering for them - giving them hard returns for their inputs. How many customers are ready to spend £50,000 before year-end? Whose business is getting talked about more across social media?

(And while you’re at it, give me that data in the form of Call Appointments and Tickle Dates, not a grab-bag of numbers.)

Sales people, more than anyone else outside the C-suite, know what drives a business is revenue and profits. They’ll be happy with any CRM that really, really helps them deliver that.

From the boardroom

People matter more than software. But if that tool’s used properly, it can achieve sales excellence for the whole business… including those in IT and Marketing. The technological transformation of sales operations is something everyone can agree on.

Takeaways:

  • “Marketing operations” is about achieving sales excellence.
  • CRM’s about the numbers? So are Sales people.
  • Combining marketing and operations achieves sales excellence.

Discover the true benefits of Marketing Operations by downloading: Optimising the user experience for operational excellence