How to Balance Sales Strategy and Operations with Stephanie Kaup, Head of EMEA Cloud Central Sales Operations at a Big Tech Company

This week, we talk to Stephanie Kaup, currently working as Head of EMEA Cloud Central Sales Operations at a Big Tech Company. Excelling in sales ops with a martial artist’s patience and perseverance, Stephanie shares a holistic approach to sales strategy and operations success.

How Stephanie translates sporting into sales ops excellence

Stephanie has experienced a thrilling twenty-seven-year journey through the world of martial arts that has provided her with a winning edge. She credits this experience to allow her to stay calm, persevere, and be on top of her sales ops game for the past eight years. 

“Martial arts teaches you how to be calm”

The presence of sports and physical activity in your routine, while you are dealing with sales ops, teaches you patience, better focus, and most of all, the ability to make the right decisions.

As sales ops personnel, you ought to know the art of working with business partners and affiliates to figure out a strategy and a clear execution plan for business acceleration, growth, and stability.

Sales reps – a valuable asset for growth 

Historically, sales ops positions were considered an overhead cost. However, over the years, people have started to understand how sales operations can help a business grow; consequently, more focus and resources have been given to the sales ops team to invest in rep productivity, accurate forecasting, and tech stack selection.

Stephanie shares that it’s her personal goal to maximize the ROI the business gets from investing in sales ops.

Balancing operations and strategy for exponential growth 

In order to understand any organizations’ current standing, check out its operational standards. 

All sales ops work exists on a spectrum between strategic and operational. In high growth environments as sales ops person may spend 90% of their time doing operational work, with 10% strategy. 

It’s the role of the effective sales ops person to streamline their operational work to ensure they have enough time to work on strategy. 

Build a network, and accelerate your career 10 fold 

Sales ops personnel are involved in multiple departments at once, and to give advice, you need experience. The key to building credibility is to sit with the sales team – be in their shoes as much as possible to give them the best possible advice. 

“The best way to build experience is by talking to people”

Building a wall around your sales ops department is only beneficial when you are working in high pressure times when you need to get something done, it’s not a long-term solution. You need to go out and talk to your customers: the sales team.

“Distancing yourself is not a solution; you need to be in touch with people actually doing the job.”

Who in the sales ops world would Stephanie like to take out for lunch?

As they’re both based in Stockholm,  Stephanie would like to meet with Tim and the other top sales operations people in Stockholm and exchange sales ops wisdom.

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Tom Hunt

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