For sales operations managers looking to refine execution, bring on an operations consultant to conduct an objective audit of processes, systems, data, and organizational dynamics. Sales workflows often grow chaotic over time as teams scale, with unclear ownership, wasted motions, and misalignment that hampers productivity. An operations consultant takes a holistic view to identify constraints and opportunities for efficiency gains. Rather than getting stuck firefighting daily crises, sales ops leaders can focus on strategy while leveraging outside expertise to analyze root causes and design improved workflows. This list provides 10 ways an operations consultant can review sales tools, productivity, reporting, training, collaboration, incentives, and planning to streamline operations. With real-world examples and examination of potential trade-offs, sales executives can prioritize quick wins and high-impact projects when engaging an operations expert.

1. Review sales processes end-to-end to identify constraints.

– Map current lead to cash workflows
– Analyze handoffs between sales teams
– Identify redundant steps and approval bottlenecks

Pros and Cons:
Mapping processes end-to-end highlights inefficiencies but is time intensive. Smoothing handoffs improves collaboration but change management is key. Removing wasted steps speeds execution but risks oversight.

2. Evaluate sales tools and systems for alignment.

– Assess features versus sales workflow needs
– Review user adoption levels of current tools
– Determine extent of systems integration

Pros and Cons:
Features should fully support evolving sales processes. But building custom functionality has tradeoffs. User adoption levels spotlight opportunities for training and change management. Tight integration between systems increases efficiency. But significant effort to link disparate tools.

3. Analyze data on sales performance.

– Identify metrics that indicate health and risks
– Assess data quality and availability for insights
– Review usage of CRM data in reporting

Pros and Cons:
Key sales metrics provide visibility into performance drivers, if tracked consistently. But disconnects between systems hampers data hygiene. CRM adoption is foundational for reporting but dependent on user discipline.

4. Design sales forecasting, pipeline reporting, and analytics.

– Build automated sales projections and funnel reporting
– Create executive dashboards and KPI reporting
– Establish win/loss analysis on failed deals

Pros and Cons:
Automated reporting increases efficiency but data and models must be accurate. Executive visibility enables data-driven decisions if adopted. Win/loss analysis provides insights but hindsight is limited without strategy.

5. Develop playbooks and training programs.

– Create sales methodology and process playbooks
– Design onboarding and ongoing training curriculum
– Incorporate gamification and modern delivery methods

Pros and Cons:
Playbooks drive consistency but over-reliance on scripts backfires. Continuous training builds proficiency but takes time from selling. Gamification boosts engagement if appropriately rewarding.

6. Assess sales rep workflow and productivity.

– Conduct time studies on sales tasks
– Identify administrative tasks to eliminate or automate
– Evaluate lead follow-up processes

Pros and Cons:
Time studies spotlight wasted efforts for removal but risks sales disruption. Automating tasks improves efficiency but impacts may be minor. Optimized follow-up increases conversions but balancing personalization and consistency is key.

7. Create implementation plans for process initiatives.

– Develop change management strategies
– Design sales team communication plans
– Provide project management and coaching

Pros and Cons:
Change management drives adoption but risks rushed timelines. Communication maintains alignment but information overload results. Project management expertise keeps initiatives on track but costs escalate with consultants.

8. Facilitate collaboration between sales and other groups.

– Improve lead handoff processes between marketing and sales
– Build account management coordination with customer success
– Foster executive relationship-building with ride-alongs

Pros and Cons:
Marketing and sales alignment is positive if handoff details are clear. Full customer views help account managers prioritize but risks info overload. Executive ride-alongs build empathy but scheduling is difficult.

9. Design sales contests, incentives, and SPIFFs.

– Develop programs based on goals and validated metrics
– Incorporate tiered rewards and recognition
– Ensure motivational fit for sales team personalities

Pros and Cons:
Programs tailored to KPIs provide motivation lift but require oversight to avoid distortion. Recognition boosts morale but costs add up. Motivational fit maximizes engagement but requires insight into unique team dynamics.

10. Conduct sales organization design and headcount planning.

– Model sales capacity versus growth objectives
– Determine specialized roles required
– Evaluate spans of control for sales managers

Pros and Cons:
Validating headcount needs provides hiring roadmap but adds costs. Certain solutions require specialized roles. But silos should be avoided. Reasonable spans of control enable coaching but more managers means less revenue generation.

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