What Is a Sales Operations Manager and When You Should Hire One
A sales operations manager is responsible for running the sales operations team.
As a whole, the sales operations team’s primary purpose is to enable and empower salespeople to close more deals, more quickly; the sales ops manager’s job is to oversee and facilitate this process.
It’s up to the sales operations manager to ensure their team puts the necessary resources and systems in place to increase productivity and revenue-generating strategies and activities within the sales team.
In this article, we’ll go over exactly what a sales operations manager does, what kinds of qualities are required for the role, and a few other specifics about the job.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What Does a Sales Operations Manager Do?
- The Traits of a Great Sales Ops Manager
- When You Should Hire a Sales Ops Manager for Your Team
- Average Sales Operations Manager Salary
- Sample Sales Operations Manager Job Description
What Does a Sales Operations Manager Do?
Before we dive into the specific responsibilities of the sales operations manager, let’s first take a closer look at what exactly the sales operations team, in general, is responsible for.
The sales ops team supports the salesforce through the selling process by alleviating them of any tasks in the process that aren’t directly related to revenue-generating sales activities.
They aim to provide optimized resources, strategies, and systems to the sales team throughout every stage of the sales funnel.
If that description sounds a bit broad, it’s for good reason — the sales ops team can be responsible for a huge range of tasks and activities, the majority of which will be unique to your organization’s highest priorities.
A robust sales ops team handles both day-to-day and long-term logistical tasks, as well as big-picture sales strategy and forecasting.
The team improves sales performance by supporting the sales organization in four main pillars: strategy, technology, performance, and operations.
In short, the primary goal of the sales ops team is to do whatever it takes to make the sales process as easy, straightforward, and productive as possible for sales reps.
Sales Operations Manager Tasks
The sales operations manager is the person responsible for overseeing and facilitating the work of this team. Depending on their specific skills and training, the manager may also work with the team to complete their specific tasks, including (but not limited to):
- Implementing and maintaining processes and expectations for clean CRM systems
- Planning and executing territory management and alignment
- Creating and updating ideal customer profiles and buyer personas as needed
- Designing and evaluating the effectiveness of compensation plans
- Implementing automation where possible
- Creating and implementing short- and long-term revenue-generating strategies
- Tracking and analyzing KPIs and other sales metrics
- Overseeing product training
- Hiring and onboarding new team members
- Conducting quarterly reviews of sales-related activities and sales performance
- Managing the sales forecasting process
- Integrating and optimizing the sales tech stack
- Creating, analyzing, and communicating relevant sales dashboards
The sales ops manager may directly participate in any or all of these activities, or they may take a more traditional manager role in overseeing the team who does so. They typically report to VP of sales or other sales leaders.
The sales operations manager also acts as a liaison between a multitude of stakeholders: the sales ops team, the sales and marketing departments, and upper level executive management. In particular, they enable the c-suite to make data-driven decisions based on and regarding sales data.
The Traits of a Great Sales Ops Manager
A sales ops manager needs to be a jack of many trades. The person who takes on this role may come from a sales background, have marketing experience, or even have been in executive leadership in the past. Many will have direct sales operations analyst or rep experience.
A Bachelor’s degree is typically expected, as well as familiarity with the expectations of sales leadership.
Because the specific job duties of a sales ops manager can range anywhere from high-level process improvement, to direct customer relationship management, to day-to-day problem-solving, years of experience in any given field isn’t necessarily as important as the ability to handle many moving pieces and an eye for process improvement.
Instead, it may be more worthwhile to consider specific traits of an effective sales ops manager, rather than specific experience. The best sales ops managers usually possess many or all of the following qualities.
An effective sales operations manager needs to be able to manage many responsibilities of different nature all at the same time. This person needs to have a keen eye for detail across a variety of expectations and tasks.
A sales ops manager needs to communicate effectively between sales leaders and c-suite executives.
They may also be responsible for coaching sales reps or onboarding new sales operations team members. A person in this role needs to be able to communicate effectively across a variety of forums and departments.
Tech-based sales tools are more widely available and more powerful than ever before. But this kind of accessibility can be a gift and a curse. The tech stack can quickly become overwhelming and even wasteful without the right training and implementation.
The sales ops manager needs to be able to evaluate the technology options available to their team, choose the best ones, and implement an optimized process for integrating them throughout the organization.
Long-Term and Short-Term Thinking
One of the more challenging parts of this role is the expectation to consider both high-level strategy and day-to-day processes at once. A sales ops manager needs to be able to see the bigger picture, while also ensuring the everyday activities of the team are consistently moving the team toward improvement and optimization.
Ultimately, the most important aspect of the sales ops manager role is the ability to create systems out of the sales process. They need to be able to design and communicate to the team the most efficient, optimized way in which to approach each stage of the sales funnel.
When You Should Hire a Sales Ops Manager for Your Team
Sales operations teams (and the managers who lead them) are typically found within larger enterprise companies, or startups and small businesses who are looking to scale quickly.
Not every business has the resources or even requirement for a sales ops team or manager — that’s okay. While this department can certainly go a long way in making the sales process more efficient, it may not make sense for brand new companies to implement a sales ops team right off the bat.
That being said, if you notice any of the following occurring in your organization, it may be time to create resources for such a department sooner than later.
Plenty of Training, No Results
If you believe that you’ve provided your sales team with productive training opportunities, but aren’t necessarily seeing any benefits from investing in those resources, it may be time to bring in a sales operations manager.
A sales ops manager will help you put applicable training and coaching into context within your sales process.
Falling Short of Goals
Similarly, if your team is doing the work of setting goals but still falling short, a sales ops manager can help. They will work with your team to create data-driven goals, so you can see exactly where your organization is succeeding and where they need to tighten up.
Turnover or Structure Change
If you find that you’re constantly needing to recruit new team members to replace ones who leave — or even perhaps if your turnover is more planned than unexpected — a sales operations manager can help your team get everyone on the same page.
Average Sales Operations Manager Salary
According to Glassdoor, the average base salary for a sales operations manager is around $83,000. The same data shows that the low end is just shy of $50,000, while the higher end is over $130,000. In fact, Google has advertised sales operations manager positions as high as $200,000.
The graph below shows the spread of sales operations salaries:
In addition to a relatively healthy average salary, many sales operations managers also participate in actual selling, making them also eligible for commission.
The sales operations manager can be a very lucrative position for those with the skills and motivation to perform the job to its fullest potential.
Sample Sales Operations Manager Job Description
Because the sales operations manager position is highly dependent on the specific goals of the organization that’s hiring, the job description may vary from company to company, depending on where you’re looking.
Here are a few examples of sales operations manager job descriptions that will help paint a clearer picture of what you might expect when seeking such a position.
How Yesware Can Help the Sales Operations Process
Yesware’s all-in-one sales toolkit has many features that can make a dramatic and immediate improvement to your sales operations process, as well as your sales productivity and overall business processes.
Yesware has the ability to create a variety of email templates for prospecting, following up, and engaging potential and current customers.
With the ability to personalize in seconds, including images, merge fields, links, and attachments, these templates will save your team time and effort and streamline the communication process.
With Meeting Scheduler, you can skip the back and forth and get right to selling. Seamlessly integrating with your Outlook or Gmail calendar, recipients will be able to choose an available time slot that works for the both of you.
Your team can insert their customized meeting link into any email, template, or campaign, then watch their calendar fill up.
Yesware’s Attachment Tracker will give your team insight into what content resonates most with your target market.
This kind of data will help you ensure that you’re only spending resources on content that moves the needle.
Reporting & Analytics
With Reporting & Analytics, you can see your highest-converting campaigns and templates as well as daily activity and engagement data. We give you the precise data you need to win more business.
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