Sales operations are complex systems with many moving parts. It is a constant juggling act for many sales leaders and business heads. What with:

Designing an effective sales strategy , right sizing sales teams , picking the right sales segments to sell to, delivering the right level of sales training, coaching their sales team, dealing with under-performers, key accounts management, managing and reporting on sales financials, liaising and linking with other departments across the value chain, boosting team morale, and so on.

It’s a very complex role. So where to start?

Here are 7 things you can do immediately and 7 ways you can approach the improvement of your sales operations:


  1. There are a number of things you can do

    Define an easily understood and relevant compelling reason for your prospects to buy from you, rather than a rival

  2. Incorporate sales in your real value chain
  3. Shift from making sales to achieve financial goals to selling solutions in order to help your customers achieve their goals
  4. Reward salespeople by removing non-sales related activities from their activity mandate
  5. Introduce effective governance that automates critical non-revenue generating activities in sales
  6. Employ & develop salespeople with the right attitude rather than solely sales or technical experience
  7. Give sales managers the freedom to be leaders rather than super-salespeople


  1. Review and develop your sales strategy and Go-to-Market plan
  2. Analyse your market segmentation
  3. Audit your sales processes and protocols
  4. Review your Key Account Management and overall sales practices
  5. Review your sales selection protocols
  6. Assess the knowledge, skills, and mindset of your sales team
  7. Train and coach your sales managers and your salespeople

So instead of falling to the old trap of relying on a ‘Point Solution’ (you know that one thing that promises to fix everything – the one thing that sounds too good to be true because it is) take a more holistic approach to running your sales team and operation. Don’t try and do it all by yourself. Enlist support from within your organisation first and check if you have the knowledge, skills, and systems in place to address these 7 areas. If so, proceed and break the project down into its components and work with the people in your business to create a fit, viable sales force and well supported sales operation. If you need outside support you know who to call – Barrett is here whenever you need external support or an independent view.

Remember everybody lives by selling something

Author: Sue Barrett