Sales operations (sales ops) has become increasingly critical since COVID-19, according to a report by customer relationship management (CRM) firm Salesforce. 

“During a time of upheaval in which norms don’t apply, operational efficiency and data-driven decision-making take on special importance,” reads State of Sales 2020.

Sales ops is the unit within a sales team responsible for systemizing and optimizing the performance of sales representatives. They do this through tasks such as lead management, process optimization, and data modeling, analytics, and reporting.

Seventy-five percent of sales ops professionals say that they gained new responsibilities at work since the start of COVID-19. 

In the Philippines, 96% feel that sales ops is becoming a much more strategic line of work, believing that it plays a critical role in business growth and continuity. Over 50% of sales ops professionals experienced an increase in involvement in strategy planning, performance analysis, strategy coordination, and technology management compared to 2019. Forty-nine percent and 48% experienced an increase in involvement in sales training management and cross-functional workstream management, respectively.

Technology management has become increasingly relevant, with 81% of sales ops professionals saying that they implemented changes faster this year than they did in 2019. Video conferencing, artificial intelligence (AI), mobile sales applications for employees that allow them to access product data in real time, CRM platforms, and sales prospecting tools are the top five tools that have become more valuable since then.

“In high-performing organizations, sales ops is not just a connector between different people and processes within the sales team; it’s also a bridge to important contacts on other teams, like account-based marketers, customer service leaders, and more,” said Salesforce in its report.

State of Sales 2020 analyzed data collected from May 13 to June 30 of this year. Close to 6,000 sales professionals from North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, were interviewed, including 200 respondents from the Philippines. — Mariel Alison L. Aguinaldo