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Tips for sales operations: 3 insightful resources to gain a competitive edge

Ahmed Chowdhury

Senior Sales Operations Manager

Achieving a competitive edge as a sales operations leader all depends on what you know—especially in today’s ever-changing business landscape. Information and data is everywhere, and you need to take advantage it. Read on for some recent, insightful online articles to help keep you, the savvy sales ops pro, in the know.

Data can save your sales quarter—Sales & Marketing Management

What it’s about: Sales & Marketing Management (SMM), the leading authority for executives in the sales and marketing field, shares the most important areas to prioritize when adopting a data-driven approach to sales performance management. Many leaders tend to prioritize opinions and instinct over actual data when it comes to running the sales organization. With responsibilities around deal execution, pipeline coaching, and hiring to support growth, it’s understandably easy for sales leaders to make hasty decisions based on their gut. But to remain competitive and win, sales leaders must adopt a data-driven mindset leveraging three principles detailed in this article.

Why it’s a must-read: Before you know it, analytical sales management will be yesterday’s news. And those that failed to better leverage their existing data to understand and hit their sales goals will wonder how the competition left them in the dust. SMM reveals three helpful areas to help sales leaders prioritize their existing data: how much (sales pipeline), how good (sales funnel), and how soon (time-to-close). You have to start somewhere. Stop guessing and start thinking more analytically, immediately.

The Tao of quota over–assignment—SiriusDecisions

What it’s about: SiriusDecisions, a leading global B2B research and advisory firm, explores the point at which over-assignment creates quotas that are simply unachievable—and reveals the consequences. Unsurprisingly, this blog post shares good reasons for reasonable over-assignment, but also sheds light on the bad reasons for over-assigning quotas. What’s the bottom line? Once reps determine that they won’t hit their quotas, top performers are the first to flee.

Why it’s a must-read: Obviously, quota setting affects reps’ personal earnings. And they expect sales operations to get it right—and keep it right. The blog post reveals the warning signs of bad quota-setting practices, so you can get ahead of the problem and course correct. Specifically, you may be trying to work with an unrealistic finance model. In this situation, this blog post stresses the importance of arming yourself with facts. Make sure to align sales operations with realistic sales growth assumptions and then map it to customer demands and potential market threats.

How sales execs use Twitter—Funnelholic

What it’s about: Leadtail, a social strategy and insights firm, sought to find out why sales executives are becoming more active on Twitter. This guest blog post, written by Leadtail’s CEO Craig Rosenberg, details how the firm looked at the Twitter activity of 595 sales executives and the insights gained from analyzing over 160,000 tweets. The outcome? A better understanding of the topics sales execs are interested in, what they’re reading and sharing, and which people most influence them on social media.

Why it’s a must-read: When it comes to social activity, most senior sales professionals primarily focus on reading and sharing top business, entrepreneurial, and technology-related publications. Read this article to learn how sales leaders engage on Twitter and what ways you can use this information to be more effective on social media. By absorbing this kind of information, you’re well on your way to becoming a better business leader yourself.

What’s your go-to resource for all things sales operations? Leave a comment below and share your insights as an expert.