Marissa White 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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From professional services into the sales ops industry
Marissa got her first taste for sales operations whilst working with a client at Accenture, she enjoyed the role so much that she seconded full time to the client and then eventually left Accenture and joined the client.
This shows a well trodden route into a specific industry: work at a consulting firm to understand the type of work and businesses you enjoy, then move into industry.
Ensure your pipeline stages are clear and understood by all reps
Marissa and the Perkbox revenue ops team have just been through the process of re-defining the stage of their sales pipeline. Previously there was too many stages and it was not clear which stage an opportunity should fit into.
They also discovered that their SDR team were responsible for over 50% of the process before handing off the opportunity to an account executive, Marissa had never seen this before during her vast experience in sales operations.
Once the stages had been streamlined, the SDR were responsible for less of the sales process and the Perkbox reps were working a lower amount of higher quality deals.
Smaller businesses can benefit greatly from more robust change management
Marissa states that changing a process is easy, it’s changing the people that is the hard part. During her time working at Accenture, Marissa learnt robust change management and communication processes that she has implemented at Perkbox to ensure a smooth transition to new processes.
She ran an effective change management process with effective pre, during and post communication for the pipeline stage simplification project mentioned above, as opposed to the typical “one email” communication process Perkbox used to use when rolling out new processes.
Outbound sales may have longer sales cycles
Up until recently, the majority of Perkbox’s pipeline came inbound. They now have a focus on generating outbound opportunities. Marissa found that as more outbound opportunities entered the pipeline, the average sales cycle increased.
Perkbox are therefore looking into how they can make their estimated close dates more accurate for the larger, less transactional customer to improve the accuracy of their sales forecasting.
How sales operations is like Robin to sales leadership’s Batman
Marissa shared an interesting analogy comparing sales leadership to Batman and sales operations to Robin. Sales operations should be the trusty sidekick to sales leadership that can often spot things that “Batman” cannot see.
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