The Sales Operations Maturity Curve

Posted by Ashish Vazirani on Wed, May 13, 2015

Sales operations plays an important role in many organizations. As many of us have seen, companies are required to do more with less in an effort to improve the bottom line. That doesn’t bode well for sales operations. As a function without a direct link to revenue generation, the sales operations team is often perceived as a contributor to an increased cost of sale. However, with the right set of capabilities and organizational maturity, these teams can expand from a support function (cost) to a valuable strategic sales planning and execution support partner that drives revenue. This transformation is a critical step toward arming the sales force with information, expertise, speed-to-market and efficiency, as well as becoming a partner in winning new business and driving organic growth from current clients. To begin this journey, sales operations teams should focus on improvement within the following categorical functions:


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Sales is (Becoming More of) an Inside Job

Posted by Kyle Heller on Wed, Jan 07, 2015

ZS_REALITY_WORKS_ISR_EXECUTIVE_SUMMARYAt a 2013 Inside Sales Virtual Summit, one speaker noted, “Prospects now participate in sales presentations via Skype, web conferencing and video. These tools are quickly catching on and overtaking face-to-face visits and traditional meetings, which are expensive and too time consuming for busy buyers. Inside sales will soon surpass field sales.” While that prediction was made a little more than a year ago, the market seems determined to make it a reality. In fact, a recent study by ZS and Reality Works Group, “Outside In: The Rise of the Inside Sales Team,” found that 40 percent of large technology companies plan to increase their inside sales headcount by 2016. So, what’s driving that desire to change?


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Win an Unfair Game With Analytics

Posted by Ashish Vazirani on Wed, Oct 22, 2014

I’m a Major League Baseball fan and October is the most exciting part of the year (particularly when my team makes the playoffs). Baseball has been transformed from a game dominated by intuition, experience and a few metrics to one where analytics have leveled the playing field, and helped teams in small markets, with low payrolls, identify talent and compete with their higher-payroll opponents. The Kansas City Royals, who rank 19th out of 30 teams, are an excellent example. You may have read “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game” by Michael Lewis or seen the movie The book outlines how a forward-looking general manager, Billy Beane, embraced analytics to make the Oakland Athletics a perennial competitor. Some view this as a baseball book, but most recognize that it’s a story about business and an astute leader.


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