The average computer monitor, with 1080p resolution, has a grand total of 2,073,600 pixels. Sure, you can still see the image if you’re missing a few thousand pixels, but the clarity isn’t as sharp. Each pixel matters.
Similarly, each data point matters in order to give you the complete picture of a market or a trend. Seeking to give our seatholders clarity, we recently completed Forrester’s Q1 2022 Sales Operations Activity Survey. Pulse surveys such as this one are used to measure feedback in a more informal way and with more frequency, providing a “snapshot in time” for a particular topic.
The sales operations strategies team at Forrester conducted a pulse survey from February 15 to March 4, 2022. Most respondents represented B2B entities and focused on sales, sales operations, and revenue operations. There was a relatively even split between small-/medium-sized businesses and enterprise organizations.
- 66% of respondents characterized their sales operations teams as strategic (defined as having significant cross-functional collaboration, sales technology roadmap ownership, and a strong sales analytics program).
- 42% listed “technological (familiarity with sales tech such as CRM, sales force automation, sales engagement, etc.) and data analytics” as their top two skills to hire for in 2022.
- 51% listed “optimize buyer-aligned sales processes” and “increase alignment across the revenue engine” as top sales operations initiatives to focus on in 2022.
- 57% have a centralized sales operations structure.
- There’s still too much focus on the tactical vs. the strategic. Most sales operations teams get bogged down in the day-to-day, operational tasks. This prevents the team from doing the more cognitive, high-level, strategic analysis that is difficult to outsource, streamline, and automate and that has a significantly greater impact for sales ops, sales, and the business.
- Technological and data analytics skills continue to be key talent needs. While these skills will continue to be cornerstone to sales operations for the foreseeable future, sales operations must combine them with business acumen, leadership, communication, change management, and sales knowledge.
- Buyers continue to prefer digital experiences. Sales operations can play a pivotal role, in partnership with marketing (demand, portfolio, and marketing operations) and in understanding and mapping the complete buyer journey, both personal and self-guided.
- Company size determines sales operations’ structure and function. Small or emerging companies often have no designated sales operations function, or the role is distributed among a variety of sales support and admin personnel. As organizations grow, they tend to move toward a centralized, consolidated sales operations team to deliver scalability and efficiency. As they continue to scale, especially as they grow across regions and national borders, they tend to move to a hybrid model — with a central team supported or augmented by in-region personnel. We often see large organizations deploy highly skilled centers of excellence, focused on data, analytics, or technology.
As we continue to strive to provide data clarity, we’ll take the pulse of our sales operations community twice a year. We look forward to providing you with more pixels in your sales operations picture in order to help you make more insights-driven decisions.