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Breaking Down a Sales Ops Function with Zahra Bukhari, Senior Sales Operations Manager at Klaviyo

In this episode of Sales Ops Demystified and Tom Hunt are joined by Zahra Bukhari, Senior Sales Operations Manager at Klaviyo. They discuss Zahra’s organic growth in her sales ops career, how Klaviyo’s sales ops team is growing to support expansion, and how first-time managers can approach delegating work and detach from their previous roles.

Zahra’s Sales Ops journey

Zahra started her career in Asset Management in an operational role. She later transitioned into sales but soon realized that it wasn’t a good fit. You need to be a good listener and have thick skin to be in sales. While Zahra did have those abilities, she found a better-fitting role in the same company to support the sales team from an analytical angle. Her sales ops career took off when she sought – and found – a role to help her grow faster in her newfound career and learn more about sales ops. When she moved to Localytics, she became Salesforce-certified.

The Sales Ops function at Klaviyo

Klaviyo has around 100 sales reps who are supplemented with fourteen people in the Sales Ops team – aiming to grow to twenty people by the end of the year. Zahra manages Kalviyo’s data function team directly and their systems team through a Business Systems manager. 

The data team is further divided into roles specific to analytics and order administration. The systems team is composed of various positions responsible for systems configuration and management. Zahra reports to the VP of Sales who was also VP of Sales at Localytics. 

Klaviyo’s Sales Ops focus in 2021

Klaviyo will expand their re-launched SMS offering, and the sales ops team will focus on growing their processes and systems to support their expansion.

Growing your Sales Ops team

Zahra’s secret to growth has been an awareness of her strengths and weaknesses and those of her team’s systems, processes, and people. She also asked for additional help at the right time and knew the exact type of people she wanted to add to her team. Asking the right questions helped them set the right expectations and goals for new people on her team. 

How new managers can approach delegation in their careers

Delegating is the key to growing as a manager. It helps your “reportees”  learn something new and allows you to offload some work while taking advantage of your team member’s strengths. It’s important to be patient with new hires and those who you’ve promoted internally.

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