Whether we like to admit it or not all of us and our businesses are selling. Whether you’re a beautician, a builder, a lawyer, a SaaS firm or a charity you are selling a service, a product or fundraising.
As organisations scale and create sales, customer success (customer service) and marketing teams they need the necessary support in place and that’s where sales operations and sales enablement come in.
It’s all about getting the right systems, frameworks and processes embedded to support your customer-facing teams. It’s about driving efficiency and productivity of those teams and also the effectiveness of the customer conversations that they’re having.
The issue you will have is if you don’t put these structures in place then you’re going to create a lot of challenges for your business as it begins to scale. Some of the pain points that you are likely to experience include:
- Onboarding of new staff members – it’s going to take a lot longer for you to onboard them and get them up to maturity if there’s no clarity around the outcomes that you’re expecting of them and the processes that you want them to follow
- Chaos through scale – if you don’t clearly document the processes and ways you want people to do things, they will do it how they used to in their last role (or make it up as they go along), resulting in multiple customer-facing colleagues doing things in different ways. The ways that they’ve always done it rather than the way you want them to do it
- Poor customer experience – customers are engaged and managed in different ways and they experience an inconsistent service at different touchpoints. With such a big focus on acquisition as organisations scale, they forget about the customer experience
There is a strong argument that before hiring a dedicated salesperson in a scaling business you should first consider customer success to ensure customer onboarding is smooth and retention is a focus.
The above scenarios can also create advantages in that new recruits can bring fresh ideas, experience and processes that work well and can add value to your business, but then you need an actual framework to capture these and embed them so that everybody follows the new approach.
By putting the systems, frameworks and processes in place there’s a lot of benefits that you can create for your business including a consistent approach for your frontline teams, and doing more with less by having efficient and effective processes through leveraging technology.
However the biggest benefit that I love is the fact that you can future-proof your business for growth and scale – if you have the right framework, structures, processes and systems in place, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve got 2 customer-facing team members or you’ve got 2,000 team members.
You can set clear expectations and there’s something for everybody to follow when they come into the organisation and scale can happen easily. Another advantage is the customer experience because staff have real clarity around the way that you want things to happen and understand the value of your products and services that can be articulated to your customers.
Finally, there is the revenue that you’re going to generate, if you get your marketing, customer success and your sales teams aligned in their messaging and the content that they’re using, you’re going to generate better outcomes in the conversations that you’re having with your customers and ultimately generate more revenue.
I am sure you will agree that efficient and effective frontline teams, happy customers and growing revenue are all things that any business aspires to achieve.
You can download my free eBook which includes tools and framework from my sales operations and enablement pathway – Perform through Productivity.
Chris Ellis is the founder of Ellivate Consulting who focus on providing consulting, training and coaching support in the field of sales operations and enablement for SME’s. Chris has over 20 year’s senior executive experience in the UK, Australia & USA, within financial services and fast-growing technology businesses.
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