• Sales operations continues to change as organizations look for sales productivity gains without big increases in sales operations budgets
  • The technology landscape provides productivity opportunities and demands an increasingly knowledgeable sales operations buyer and resource pool
  • SiriusDecisions will launch a survey in early 2019 to capture insights into these and other changes, as well as how sales operations functions are evolving

My first kaleidoscope was a gift from my grandmother. I was immediately intrigued with the device and the constantly swirling landscape it presented. It seemed the combinations were endless and ever-changing. 

Now, thinking about that kaleidoscope reminds me that change is the only constant – in life, in business and in sales. Since sales operations emerged as a unique discipline 25 years ago, the function has evolved from a tactical support structure for sales into a key driver of sales efficiency.

colorful kaleidoscopeIn 2016, we introduced the SiriusDecisions Sales Operations Sunburst Model to help B2B organizations understand the roles and responsibilities found in a sales operations function. We organized these into seven core accountability areas of strategy and planning, sales intelligence, sales support and administration, process design and management, deal pursuit, technology and infrastructure, and project management.  As we move into 2019, we continue to see the evolution of the sales operations function driven by trends such as changes in buyer behavior, new technologies and offerings from vendors, increased potential for outsourcing and offshoring, and the need for greater insight into sales performance, market dynamics and customer interactions that drive revenue growth.

Sales operations must continually adapt roles, accountabilities and skill sets to maintain the value of the organization to sales and the broader organization. Additionally, the emergence of the chief revenue officer and revenue operations teams further impacts the scope, business knowledge, skills and accountabilities of the traditional sales operations organization.

In our brief “Sales Operations: Planning Assumptions 2019,” we noted that sales operations teams are increasingly asked to define, deliver and maximize any investments in sales productivity, especially where sales technology is concerned. Sales operations is at the forefront of sales technology implementations and must navigate the ever-increasing number of new and existing vendors that are offering tools to drive increased sales productivity. Success requires a deep understanding of business operations, goals and requirements that can be translated to technology selection and deployment.

We have found that our clients are experiencing many of these same changes and therefore, we want to take a data-driven approach to identifying other trends and shifts within sales operations accountabilities. We will be launching a new survey of sales operations leaders to help us do just that. Once this new research is completed, we will leverage our findings for a refresh of the Sales Operations Sunburst Model, which we plan to re-introduce at the 2019 U.S. Summit event in Austin, Texas.

Watch for further updates on LinkedIn and Twitter announcing our survey – we’d love to include your input as we consider the shifts to sales operations!