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Sales Operations Manager: Matthew Vallortigara of Hireology

Matthew Vallortigara, Sales Operations Manager at Hireology, jumped onto the Sales Ops Demystified podcast to share tips on team composition and his favourite tech stack for sales operations management.  Check out all the other episodes of Sales Operation Demystified here.

Connect with Matthew and Hireology here:

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Key Takeaways

The journey towards sales ops

Matthew has a background in sales. Throughout his sales career, he kept a very analytical approach in his work, did lots of research for every project, and relied heavily on his pipeline data. So in a way, while working in sales, his interests and method of working seemed to point him towards operations. Eventually, the opportunity to switch paths presented itself at Hireology, and Matthew began working in sales operations. He has been in sales ops for about a year and is currently working as the sales operations’ manager at Hireology.

Team composition and the tech stack used at Hireology

Including Matthew, there are six people on the ops team and 45 sales reps. When it comes to revenue operations, the lines are drawn between sales ops, marketing, corporate development, etc. are not sharply defined, and the entire ops team works on various fronts.

As for the tech stack being used, that is currently being reviewed due to the market conditions. Generally, Matthew says the base should always be with a robust enablement platform. The company uses Groove, which fits seamlessly with Salesforce. 

The challenges of working during a pandemic

One of the primary industries Hireology is associated with is the automotive industry, and all the sales related to that were essentially brought to a standstill due to the pandemic. Matthew says that resource allocation had to be done, with reps working with clients in the automotive industry being shifted to other fields that were still active, like healthcare. Some workers were added to ongoing internal work like data clean-ups, enrichment, and organization as well.

The initial standstill of a significant sector associated with the company made the team pause and rethink their entire strategy. Still, Matthew notes that the resource reallocation will help ensure the company is fully ready for when the market opens back up completely. He feels that maintaining data integrity is a crucial thing for software and tech companies to keep things running smoothly. “A pipeline is only as good as the data we have running through it.”

Adjusting to working in a different business environment

Keeping in line with the two month period where a portion of sales reps assisted in cleaning data, Matthew says he and his team began to go over their tech partnerships and felt that they had some redundant and repetitive technologies. For Matthew, it was essential to keep the processes lean and have a consolidated and robust tech stack rather than being open in four or five different portals at the same time.

Groove, which is now part of the tech stack at Hireology, was an immediate hit. Matthew tells us he found the program to be a perfect fit for their sales team and appreciated how well it integrated with existing software like Salesforce.

Long-lasting changes in data organization and tech partnerships

As the markets and various sectors open back up, Matthew tells us that most of the company’s reps are now back to day-to-day work. However, he is thankful for the time they worked on cleaning their pre-existing data and finding tech partners who allow them to have seamless and efficient pipeline management. The tech changes in the company, according to Matthew, are here to stay, as is the culture of keeping data organized.

He tells us that already, he sees a positive change in the sales team, with reps having more time to focus on cases, more creativity in dealing with issues, and an interest in recording and organizing data efficiently. As Matthew says, “Taking something catastrophic and turning it into a glass half full situation is important.”

Changes in targets for forecasting

Matthew says they have learned a lot from the two month period where a significant chunk of their business came to a standstill. According to him, ignoring those two months or pretending that a similar situation will never happen again is a naïve approach. The company has taken steps to plan for the future, so the next time they are faced with a crisis, they can react proactively and have safety measures in place.

For a more accurate forecast, it is useful to break down key performance indicators to cover a shorter time frame and cover a week to week or daily rather than monthly or quarterly. Having smaller chunks gives a better indication of the accuracy of budgeting and forecasting.

#1 sales metric: number of calls it takes, for a customer to agree to a meeting

Before the pandemic, they kept an eye on the average deal size and the number of deals in a quarter. However, one metric that Matthew feels has stayed consistent before and during the pandemic is the ratio of how many calls it takes for a customer to agree to a meeting. This allows the team to judge how willing a customer is to have an in-depth conversation with a rep and discuss their needs and demands.

The company deals with the automotive industry and the healthcare industry, two sectors where customers have explicit knowledge of whether they require a service. For Matthew, customers’ interest in talking with a sales rep, and accepting a demo is a good indicator of how active or stagnant the market is. This is especially true during the pandemic as many customers don’t have the budget that they might have planned to have before the virus spread.

Matthew’s biggest influence:

Someone in the sales ops world Matthew would like to take for lunch:

  • Todd Caponi – Founder, Speaker & Workshop Leader at Sales Melon

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