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Sales Operations Data: CRM or It Didn’t Happen

3 min read
Updated Aug. 25, 2020
Published Jul. 18, 2016

It’s safe to say that sales operations leaders are the true masters of the sales universe in the modern age. So, the tech-savvy sales development organizations may be sales operations’ biggest and baddest allies: eager to use new tools, refine their own process and become more efficient through sales operations data.

SDRs, being the truly data-driven individuals that they are, have compensation goals tied to critical metrics drive leads through the funnel by way of demos, appointments, intro calls and sales accepted leads generated, which essentially makes sales operations data the glue that holds sales teams together.

But there’s a popular saying in the sales operations world, and it goes a little something like this:

If it isn’t in the CRM, it never happened.”

Unlucky for them, sales operations leaders are usually tasked with chasing down sales reps to comply with using the company CRM. But they don’t just do it for fun — they do it to ensure a high level of sales operations data integrity.

What is data integrity? It’s the accuracy and completeness of any data stored in a database, application or otherwise within a system. And it’s important because sales operations data is the foundation of modern sales analytics.

CRMs, from one perspective, are simply data entry systems. Sales operations designs and customizes this data entry system to match up to the sales process they’ve designed. Without data integrity, any analysis is flawed. Without analysis, there’s no point in collecting data.


Clearly you should be collecting sales operations data because… science.

In all seriousness, when a sales operations leader asks reps to comply and correctly fill out fields within the CRM (probability of close, recording task activity, etc.) understand that all of this data goes into the decision making and strategy of the sales organization. Data integrity affects everyone in the revenue function of a business, including:

• Marketing: Sales data is critical for collaborating with marketing to develop a go-to-market process. Example data points include the velocity at which leads travel through the funnel, characteristics of leads that are most likely to be accepted by sales, and which marketing methods are truly driving revenue.

• Sales Executive Management: Ever wonder how those territories, duties and responsibilities are assigned? It’s all in the data. Data can inform which territories are most active, which tasks push leads through the funnel and the roles in the organizations that are really pushing the needle forward.

• Individual Reps: Data points such as deal size, composition, and customer retention help inform how much sales reps get paid. (Do we have your attention to sales operations data now, SDRs?) It’s also used to predict pipeline and revenue, which means that it’s also the foundation of quotas and goal-setting for individual reps.

That’s a lot of weight on just one role, but sales operations leaders are the masters of the process, ensuring team-wide success and growth.

They’re responsible for creating and socializing the sales process that drives revenue for the business. They’re responsible for the rhythm and cadence of the entire team’s process. And ultimately, a team with solid sales operations data crushes numbers, while teams that just wing it barely hit quota.

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