Driving Sales Performance: Julian Harris of ServiceNow

Julian Harris jumped onto Sales Operations Demystified and shared his knowledge and experience in driving sales performance during his career. Check out all the other episodes of Sales Operations Demystified here.

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Key Takeaways

Julian’s journey from finance and investment into sales operations

Julian had an interest in understanding the process of converting prospects into sales. This is what sparked his interest in selling.  Julian believes that getting into the sales team and understanding the sales people’s needs and wants is a significant first step to beomcing effective at sales operations. Having a passion for working with technology-driven companies and devising strategies is what led Julian into sales operations. 

With his expression of interest in operations, Julian was quickly given a chance to experience sales operations and moved to San Diego, where he got a job at a company called Classy. Julian joined ServiceNow in early 2020 and has been working there as a Senior Manager of Sales Operations.

Two-tailed approach to forecasting: both an art and science

The experience of learning from other sales leaders has led Julian to create a forecast predictor that helps the company identifiy gaps in performance and allows them to decide where and what can be improved to boost sales performance. 

Each sales process leads to an aggregated weighted number, which serves as a stress test that the sales leader has to consider. Julian’s team bring raw numbers to the table, those numbers are then crunched and processed into a report, which is used to drive performance improvements.

Julian’s thoughts on remote working

For Julian, remote working is a challenge that turned into an opportunity for his company to enhance communication with the team. He feels that he has conversed and built better relationships by being in constant communication with the teams. 

However, it gets challenging when you do not get to stand next to your customer whilst selling. Another challenge is to stay motivated and ensure that the levels of productivity do not fall such that company performance suffers.

#1 Sales metric – win rate

Julian considers “win rate” as the sales metric that he loves and utilizes the most. It helps to set goals and tweak strategy to increase the likelihood that reps will hit their number.

Julain’s biggest influences: 

Julian mentions that Chris was one of the first people who helped him build headcount capacity models and taught him the ability to think about planning within sales operations. 

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