How to Shift to Strategic Sales Performance, Efficiency and Planning

strategic sales feature image

Over the last few years, B2B revenue operations has begun to evolve from a mostly tactical function into a much more strategic sales organization. So how do you make the shift for your organization to stay ahead of the curve? 

A recent research paper from Sirius Decisions (acquired by Forrester), outlined how sales leaders increasingly rely on sales operations as a strategic partner that can provide insight and intelligence about markets, customers, competitors, and sales performance while developing and managing initiatives focused on creating efficiency across the sales organization. 

In this paper, they outlined a structured approach for evolving the strategic sales operations function focused on six major accountabilities, using sales productivity as the core metric to link back to corporate level goals. 

Sales Operations Sunburst Model

Sales Operations Sunburst Model1​

Managing the Strategic Evolution of Sales Operations. 
Forrester Research, 2020.

This shift to revenue operations being a strategic organization was the inspiration for why my co-founder Laura and I started Lative. 

It also inspired this series of posts, where I shared my systematic approach to measuring, managing and improving your sales performance and efficiency, building revenue efficient capacity plans that align with sales targets and quotas as a way to help you make the shift to being a more strategic sales organization.  

So how can you get started on implementing this approach? Read on to see which of the 2 approaches below makes most sense for you. 

How to implement - simple

Some B2B sales and revenue operations teams regularly analyze sales performance and in some cases sales efficiency, which then enables them to build more accurate sales capacity plans.  

For those organizations who don’t do regular analysis and planning, it’s often because they don’t have the resources or skills available to be able to do this effectively. If you’re not doing this today, you really need to consider getting started, especially in the times we’re in, where cost efficient growth is more important than ever.   

Most of this work is still being done using spreadsheets, which have many limitations and gaps, but can be a good starting point for small, relatively simple sales organizations who have someone on the team with strong spreadsheet and analysis skills.  

Most common way today

Limitations and gaps

Free spreadsheet starter templates

To help smaller teams and those who are just starting out with measuring and managing sales performance, efficiency and capacity, we’ve created some free starter templates that you can download below that may be helpful. 

How to implement - advanced

For the highest accuracy and actionability, you really want to be able to automate this analysis and planning work and connect it to your operating data in real-time. This helps you to make decisions much faster and with much higher confidence and adjust quickly if something unexpected happens. 

How to do it

Strengths and benefits

The world changes fast, sales teams change even faster, and you need to be able to adapt and manage that change.  Especially as sales teams get larger and more complex, doing this manually in spreadsheets gets harder to do, requires more resources, and falls further behind what is actually happening in the business.  

Investing in a purpose-built solution like Lative, that connects to your systems in real-time, reduces much of this cost and complexity. It lets you focus on making the right decisions at the right times to achieve your revenue and profitability goals. 

Customer story – EDB

Our customer EDB is a great example of a sales organization who made the shift from manual spreadsheets to automating their performance and efficiency analysis and building their capacity plans with Lative. Nandini Karkare, who leads revenue operations at EDB, much like me in my past roles, lives and dies by sales productivity, which is the foundational metric that drives all of their decisions. 

EDB quote

EDB profile

EDB outcomes

If you’re interested in learning more about EDB’s experience, read their in depth customer story or watch the summary video. 

Shift to strategic sales performance, efficiency and planning

Hopefully after reading this series of posts, you’ve learned how sales productivity provides the foundation for a systematic approach to designing and tuning a high performance, ultra-efficient B2B revenue engine.  

At Lative, we’ve focused on building a state of the art software solution with this industry leading approach built in. Our platform connects to your data in real-time and automates this manual, resource intensive, time consuming and error-prone work.  

This enables a shift from reporting what happened, often long after the fact, to understanding what is happening right now, how that compares to the historic trend, why it’s happening and what to do about it. It empowers revenue operations teams to become a strategic partner to sales and finance leaders and work together with up to the minute operating data to make better decisions much faster and continuously throughout the year to hit their targets for growth and profitability.  

To learn more, request a demo, contact us or install a free 30-day trial from the Salesforce AppExchange today.  We’d love to hear from you! 

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