Sales operations describes the structures and systems which control, support and direct the sales function and covers everything from defining the market through organisational structure and size through to training, performance management and remuneration.

Sitting on top of all of this are the systems and technologies that support and measure the performance of the sales function, and the financial forecasting models which allow the business to assess where it's going in the future.

As with all operations, there are two distinct approaches and phases

  1. Operational design. In this, we approach the plan as a greenfield site and plan the organisation as it should or will be. This is a useful perspective even with mature businesses, as it asks the question "what should we look like", rather than how do we amend what we have.
  2. Ongoing review and adaptation. No plan survives the first encounter on the battlefield and is constantly being revised and refined based on experience. It's a constantly updating environment so you need to be on the lookout for change and improvement.

The following pages will outline the steps involved in developing a new operational design for the Sales organisation and will address the following questions:

  1. What market are we addressing and how are we going to align resources with the plan
  2. How will we incentive and remunerate the sales team
  3. How will manage performance and predict the future
  4. What tools and systems will we need to support our sales objectives