How to Start a Sales Ops Function with Scott Hillier, Head of Sales Operations – Music Promotion at Spotify

This week, we are talking to Scott Hillier, who is currently constructing a sales operations function at Spotify.

How Scott got his start in sales ops 

Starting as a Practice Management Analyst at Axiom Law in 2011, Scott has a history of working with reputed organizations such as Google, as an operations specialist. This journey eventually brought Scott to Spotify, which will be the fourth time Scott has been tasked with creating a sales ops function. 

Post Google, Scott, with his vision to build and strengthen sales ops functions joined Oscar Health, an insurance company, where he was responsible for scaling a business that was operating in four markets. This business has since scaled to $2bn in revenue.

Building sales operations functions from scratch 

Currently, Scott’s sales ops department at Spotify is under development. He is currently the sole sales ops resource with just a couple of sales reps, though Spotify have been great with providing the required resources.

The team Scott deals with is currently led by Dan Walsh, who has about 95 people working under him.

Scott is starting this function from scratch and wants to build a team with minimal friction and conflict.

Scaling commission payments

One of Scott’s greatest sales ops related achievement was the production of something called the “Broker Portal” which took the commission calculation for insurance brokers from a dodgy spreadsheet to a robust system.

Scott and his team invested heavily upfront to automate a process that typically took hours each month. This upfront effort generated a “time ROI” after just a few months of working with the new system.

Scott shares that this was the greatest professional learning experience of his life and urges the audience to find areas to invest time in, in front to build more effective systems, to save time down the road.

#1 sales metric: resource forecasting 

Scott shares that we should forecast resources based on the incremental growth they can generate. Think about how many resources you would need to double sales, and if confident, then go and pitch for those resources!

Resource forecasting should be result-oriented.

Determine how to prove that adding another head would result in a significant increase in sales. This will help you get your resource plans approved faster.

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

  • John Knudsen – Director, Sales Strategy & Operations at Salesforce    

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