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Sales Operations Strategy with Tim McGee, VP of Sales & Commercial Operations at Elsevier

In this episode of Sales Ops Demystified, Tom Hunt is joined by Tim McGee, VP of Sales & Commercial Operations at Elsevier. They discuss staples of the sales ops role, modernizing the sales operations strategy during and after the pandemic. and Elsevier’s highest impact sales ops tools. 

Tim’s entry into Sales Ops 

A firm belief in process efficiency, removing barriers, and challenging historical norms has been the backbone of Tim’s approach to work. At IMS Health, Tim got his foot in the door in sales ops through a grooming program. 

Staples of the Sales Ops role 

The sales ops team sits between the sales teams and the rest of the organization. So process-based problem diagnosis and project management are the staples for a career in sales ops. 

Elsevier’s Sales Ops structure 

Tim’s core sales ops team has 10 people and they are supplemented by 18 other sales contracting reps. They work with about 110 sales reps from all parts of the US and Canada. Elsevier has over 1000 sales reps in total. 

Modernizing the sales process during and after the pandemic

A change in your customers’ business conditions will also trigger a change in how you do business. Define what the sales process means for you in this changed work scenario. Find those dependencies and look forward to reframing your organization’s message (if applicable). 

Analyze your tools to help uncover opportunities and necessities for optimization. Intelligent sales call recording and automated task prioritization helps sales reps and leaders overhaul their sales ops. Video sales tools help personalization of email outreach.  

Building effective relationships with sales reps 

Being empathetic and listening to your sales reps helps you understand how your sales reps are conducting business and where they need your help. You can help empower their messaging, simplify processes for them, and make them more effective sales reps. You can also help them look at issues from a different perspective to help them find solutions to their problems.

Communicating the benefits of a new tool to sales reps beforehand, particularly one as intrusive as sales call recording, helps ease them into the adoption of the new technology.

Partnering with sales in a deeper capacity helps you get the pulse of the sales team. Elsevier has a Sales Advisory Board to enable partnership with org-wide sales teams.

Elsevier’s highest impact sales ops tools 

Elsevier uses Tableau for their reporting and intelligence environments, Xactly for compensation and administration, and Franklin Covey for sales methodology. Everything is integrated into Salesforce, which is Elsevier’s hub for modernization, automation, and self-service functions. They are also using a sales conversation intelligence tool that works alongside Salesforce.

Elsevier’s sales forecasting process

A predefined sales cadence dictates the pace of work from one week to the next and across the whole month. They start the month by collecting sales data across all levels, then have a mid-month progress check-in, and move to daily check-ins as the month-end nears.  

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