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4 Signs a Company Should Hire a Sales Operations Manager

4 min read
September 24, 2012

Welcome to a Few Seconds With Salesloft.

Today’s Topic: 4 Signs a Company Should Hire a Sales Operations Manager

Interviewee: Joe Hamlet of SendGrid

Background of Joe Hamlet: Joe is a 6 year veteran of Salesforce as an admin, solution architect, & consultant and has reported to just about every department possible in an organization (Support, Marketing, Sales, IT, Finance). Over the last 6 years, he’s done everything from new implementations, re-launches, data migrations & management, process development, system customizations, reporting/analytics to mass CRM migrations and consolidations. He’s worked with small start-ups to large enterprises (5 users to 4,000 users) developing CRM & Operational capabilities across all aspects of organizations.

What Joe’s Learned on Scaling: 
A poorly implemented processes and systems can be EXTREMELY costly and painful to fix and redo… often causing a lot of trouble for an organization and their employees trying to scale past 100-300 people. Therefore getting involved as early as possible to help shape and develop systems and processes that are scalable. This is what led me to seek out a company like SendGrid that was looking to grow and scale their sales & marketing teams and process very quickly. Building from the ground up and knowing that it is done well (but probably not perfectly 🙂 ), drives me to find better, more efficient ways to sell faster.

About SendGrid: SendGrid is cloud-based service that replaces your company’s email infrastructure and provides everything you need to operate a reliable & scalable outbound email delivery system. On average 20% of legitimate email never reaches the inbox. SendGrid solves this problem for thousands of companies, delivering millions of messages to the inbox every day. SendGrid replaces your outbound email infrastructure, so you don’t have to build, scale, and maintain email servers on your own. By delivering email on your behalf, we allow you to focus on what your business does well, while also enjoying improved deliverability, insight from analytics, on-demand scalability…and our powerful APIs.

Changes in the Industry: Sales Operations has been changing rapidly over the last 5 years with the development of better, more complex systems as well as a shift in the role of Marketing within the Sales process. “Smarketing” Operations is a better title than purely Sales or purely Marketing operations. Smarketing Operations are the glue that holds the Sales & Marketing teams and priorities together.

Reviewing the 4 Signs a Company Should Hire a Sales Operations Manager

Growth & Expansion: – If you are planning rapid growth, then you need processes and systems in place that can be in place as you start to hire and train. The last thing that you want is to get stuck with a lack of visibility/analytics and the processes that drive them when you are trying to make business critical decisions at key growth stages. How are you going to measure the key metrics for the success/failure of major expansion or growth?

Training & Change Management: – Are you planning on any major system, process, or organizational changes that will impact your team? Another key activity that is often overlooked during early growth stages, as well as key organizational changes, is the training and on-boarding of new employees. All the tools and processes in the world will mean nothing if people are not using them properly and consistently. Managing change is a key role of any Sales Operations professional.

Relying too much on consulting / 3rd party services: – Bringing on a 3rd party consultant to assist with process development and CRM administration can be a great way to get off on the right foot. However, at some point, you will become too reliant on outside help and your ability to evolve and integrate additional tools and processes becomes too costly. This is an obvious sign that a dedicated CRM Admin / Sales Operations professional is necessary.

Sales & Marketing Alignment: – The keys to success have completely changed the face of a traditional sales force and processes. The result of this is an increased reliance – the day to day – of sales on marketing (and vice versa). In order to bridge the gap that has plagued organizations for decades, organizations must bring on a Sales & Marketing (read “Smarketing”) Operations professional as early as possible. Create a sustainable and efficient lead flow from marketing to sales. Develop a sales and marketing SLA to hold the two organizations to common goals and accountability using data driven metrics and processes. All of these things are achievable and will truly drive better communication and alignment to what is really important – increased sales and revenue.