What is Growth Ops? It’s a question that we have encountered in almost all our engagements and this post defines GrowthOps.
It’s been over a year since my partner and I left the safety of a comfortable job to follow our passion for building software that will transform sales operations into growth operations. Since then, we’ve been blessed to have a band of committed colleagues who are working on this transformation and customers who have given us this opportunity.
We see sales operations as the critical glue that binds the sales team of a growing organization. We are entering the industrial age of sales with increasing role specialization at every touch point of the customer journey, from campaign to renewal. The days of meeting your growth targets by deploying an army of salespeople are behind us; we grow by deploying special forces with targeted operating procedures to scale.
As with any special forces, more roles mean more orchestration. It demands a finely tuned, backend logistics machine to make the process repeatable and scalable. At fullcast.io, we believe good intentions don’t scale – good processes do. I have yet to meet a salesperson who does not want to meet their target. Yet most sales teams do not attain more than 60% of quota. Think about it – 40% of your sales team will not meet their target. The problem is getting worse. As per the 2017 Bridge group report, sales productivity is dropping year over year.
Sales ops is a critical and increasingly advanced discipline – one that must be managed with care if your enterprise is to produce predictable revenue gains. Indeed, sales ops now deserves your company’s full attention to reach your full growth potential. While many companies are now buying into the overall promise of Sales Ops, only a small percentage know how to make it happen. Many of today’s sales ops teams are “ill-equipped to rise to the challenge,” contend IDC analysts Michael Gerard and Irina Zvagelsky in a report on “the next-generation sales operations team.”
Looking at the Bridge group report, sales leaders have to ask why throwing people and tools at the sales operations space is not leading to more productivity. We will discuss our approach to automation versus the “hire more people and buy more tools” approach in a separate post.
GrowthOps versus Sales Ops
Sales Operations is about doing things right. GrowthOps is about doing the right things.
The mission of a sales operations team is to make the running of sales teams smooth. They are focused on driving efficiency in the process. Growth Operations is about tying the pre-sales, sales, and post-sales function to top-line CXO growth objectives. It’s about making the process efficient in the context of shifting CXO priorities. Sales Operations is about execution, Growth Operations is about transformation. Just making a process efficient cannot be the end goal. Process efficiency means nothing if the process itself is not continuously monitored for improvement. If you have a process that is not evolving with your organization, making it efficient only means you will be missing opportunities more efficiently.
At the end of the day, the purpose of sales is to help a company grow. Growth depends not just on a company’s ability to generate revenue but also on the overall profitability and predictability of the revenue stream.
Growth requires all functions of marketing, sales, service, and product to align. This is where GrowthOps differs from Sales Operations. Growth operations takes a top-down view of the company’s goals and evaluates the enforcement of process and policy across the campaign to renewal cycle. It uses metrics to provide a feedback loop so businesses become more agile in meeting their customers’ needs.
At fullcast.io, we are doing this by driving automation across the full lifecycle of a sales operations team that is responsible for managing:
- Daily motion of the sales teams
- Reporting on metrics that drive alignment around growth objectives
- Iterative sales planning for finding optimum coverage model for teams, territories, products, and channel partners in support of growth metrics
It’s a huge charter by any stretch but it’s something that we feel confident in delivering.
Introducing the GrowthOps Framework.
We put together this framework to connect CXO goals with the objectives of sales teams engaged with customers and operations teams working in the backend. This framework ensures that companies looking to grow keep their entire revenue team in sync. Sales Operations is no longer working in a vacuum, disconnected from top-line growth aspirations.
The “Grow” row in green is about capturing key growth goals of the company. A growing organization needs to care about all three buckets:
- Are we growing revenue?
- Are we growing in predictably?
- Are we profitable?
Yes, growing companies need to track profitability too. You may choose to reinvest your profits back into the company to fund growth, but you cannot claim that revenue generation alone is your goal.
The “Perform” row in blue, then takes the goals of the Growth aspirations of a company and influences the goals of marketing, sales, and post-sales.
- Are we growing through acquisition of new accounts?
- What is our growth through expansion in current accounts?
- Are we optimizing our pipeline with the right types of accounts that match our current ICP?
As your company grows, your ICP will change or multiply. These questions help you reframe your growth strategy for meeting the top-line growth objectives.
The “Optimize” row in black then drives the priorities for the operations team. They are looking to answer:
- Do we have the right roles?
- Do we have the right coverage model?
- Is our compensation plan aligned to meet the growth goals?
They look at data to answer key growth questions. Devoid of this top-down view framework, the sales operations team ends up working in bottom-up mode. Looking at the organizational goal from the bottom makes the charter of the sales operations team look like an endless game of whack-a-mole. The GrowthOps framework helps organize the unorganized mess that can be sales operations.
Think GrowthOps, not Sales Ops.
Sales operations is about doing things right to help you grow. But GrowthOps is about not just doing things right, but ensuring you are doing the right things. It’s what will make you outperform your peers who are deploying the same sales processes to help them scale. All things equal, the company that can tie its Corporate Strategy to its daily execution rhythm will outperform a company that is looking to operate efficiently but in silos.
Your customer does not engage with you in silos, your company should not be engaging with your customer in silos.
Call to Action:
If you have any feedback on this framework, we want to hear from you.
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