VP of Sales Operations: Carol Chen of CarGurus

Carol Chen jumped onto Sales Operations Demystified to share her knowledge and experience in Sales Operations. Check out all the other episodes of Sales Operations Demystified here.

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Key Takeaways

Carol started her journey in operations before it was known as sales operations

She started out in business operations, she transitioned into a sales-focused role, being an account manager for four years. Having had that experience within sales, Carol realized that from the sales perspective it wasn’t her “life calling”, she explains that in nearly every call she was making, she would always talk about the same thing. Carol became more enticed by the operations side of sales,  because every day was more dynamic and she was able to make changes that would impact the company on a large scale.

6 years ago hardly any companies were hiring sales operations people, due to the fact that it wasn’t such a popular job title or career to have. In the past year, the recruitment for sales operations personnel has exploded, more and more companies are looking to hire a sales operations resource or team. Carol also shares that she is seeing an increase in demand for revenue ops as well as sales operations roles.

How Carol has increased rep productivity and Salesforce adoption rate

When Carol joined CarGurus quite a few people either weren’t using Salesforce or weren’t able to use it properly. Carol’s aim was to ensure that everyone would use Salesforce by the end of the next quarter. At the beginning, the Salesforce adoption rate was around 19%, they rolled out Salesforce and rebuilt it, making sure people received weekly training. She tracked adoption rates each week to ensure that they were able to hit their goal of adopting Salesforce throughout the company. At the start of the second quarter, they had over 90% in adoption rate.

Carol explains the impact of why this is important: data now become real time. With each sales rep using Salesforce every day, the data within Salesforce suddenly becomes much more valuable. From a sales managers perspective, you get to see the full picture of your reps business, for example: Who did you last contact? When was this opportunity closed loss? And what was the reason for this?

No of course, if you can’t hit a 90% Salesforce adoption rate you can also use Ebsta Team to ensure all of the right data gets into Salesforce – automatically.

Generating an ROI from sales operations

Carol shares that the end goal of sales operations is to increase revenue, either by investing in a tool or training. Regardless of this investment, there should be a net gain in revenue. Too many sales operations resources loose sight of this fact: you are there to deliver and ROI otherwise there is no need for the sales operations team to exist!

Carol therefore consistently asks herself: “Are we generating additional revenue with the things that sales operations is doing?”

If yes, then she is happy and if not, they things need to change.

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