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Five New Year’s Resolutions for Sales Operations

December 10, 2012 | By Mark Levinson

For many sales operations leaders, this means new year’s resolutions to continue driving sales productivity, make improvements to areas that did not perform well over the last 12 months and develop new processes to help sales reps work more efficiently. Easier said than done.

If there is one thing I can guarantee, it is that the holiday season – also the planning season for many sales organizations – will go by faster then we expect. I am not telling you this as a scare tactic, but to advise you to take some time to prepare for what the new year might bring. For many sales operations leaders, this means new year’s resolutions to continue driving sales productivity, make improvements to areas that did not perform well over the last 12 months and develop new processes to help sales reps work more efficiently. Easier said than done.

My advice is to commit to the following five resolutions:

1. Be predictive. Historical analysis has its place in sales analytics, but if you really want to be one step ahead of your buyer, sales operations must create a core set of predictive analytics to better understand how future quarters will perform.

2. Be specialized. In 2013, sales operations will need to add specialized roles to the team to ensure greater efficiency. Read Rising Roles in Sales Operations for some initial thoughts.

3. Be aligned. If you did not work closely with marketing operations this year, it is time to start. The benefits of operational alignment will give you efficiency returns all year.

4. Be lean. Manufacturing companies have been following Six Sigma and lean processing for years. It is time to adopt a lean focus in b-to-b sales processes.

5. Be committed. Establish quarterly business reviews, and actually stick to the schedule. Conduct them with a set agenda and expected outcomes.

The good news about the changing of the calendar is that it is an opportunity to start anew. So set your resolutions now, and review them year-round to make sure they are followed, and 2013 will be a great new year.

Happy New Year!

Mark Levinson

Mark Levinson is Vice President and Group Director of Sales and Channel Services at SiriusDecisions. Mark’s nearly 20 years of experience includes a wide variety of sales operations issues including strategic planning, territory optimization, compensation plans, account management, sales tools and sales analytics. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkBLevinson.