Have you always wanted to become a Sales Operations Director but are unsure of the skills and education required to become one? Or, maybe, you have been in the sales department for a while now and you wish to be promoted to the ranks of director for sales?
This post is for you.
The office of the sales director in any organization is a crucial one. Their job is to oversee the organization’s sales operation and ensure that every sales rep gets the right tool and support to discharge their responsibility.
In this post, we will be looking closely at the role of a sales operations director to help you better understand their job function. Also, you will get to learn what it requires to become one, the likely interview questions you will be asked, expected salary, the difference between sales and sales operation.
What is a Sales Operations Director?
The sales operations of a business, especially large organizations, can at times get complicated. There are a myriad of sales KPIs that need to be tracked, sales reports that need to be monitored, and people to be managed.
It takes skill, acumen, and empathy to keep every part of these sales operations going smoothly. This is where the Sales Operation Director comes into play.
The sales operations director job description is vast. To begin with, it’s their responsibility to strategically develop the sales goals of their organization. This calls for passion and foresight.
It’s still their job to develop realistic, achievable plans for reaching that goal. This requires lots of creativity and strategic thinking.
What are the responsibilities of the sales operations director?
The responsibilities of the sales operations director are many and varied. Here are some of them.
1. Provide leadership for the sales team
It takes a dedicated, motivated, and empathetic individual to lead a sales team. This responsibility, apparently, falls on the shoulder of the sales operations director.
They ensure that members of their team perform optimally and provide every needed support.
2. Find and implement tools that will help the team
Sales can be a demanding job. This is why finding the right employee training program, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is important. This job, also, is the responsibility of the sales operations director.
3. Follow up with leads
In some organizations, the job of following up on qualified leads falls not only on the sales reps but also on the sales director. Often, their responsibility might require them to go out of their way to hunt for leads.
4. Onboarding new sales members
The input of the sales operation director is important during the hiring process of a new sales member. They will also be instrumental in the training of new sales employees.
Their years of experience make it easy to tell if a candidate is fit for a sales job during the interview process.
5. Oversee the adoption of digital technologies
It’s also the responsibility of the sales operations director to oversee the successful adoption of digital technology and transformation in the sales operations department.
What are the requirements for a sales operations director?
If you are looking to become a director of sales operations in your organization, there are certain requirements you need to meet. Let’s have a look at some of them.
1. A degree
While you don’t necessarily need a degree to become a director of sales, having one will improve your chances of landing a job. The degree doesn’t have to be in marketing, but anything close to it is always better.
2. Strong organizational skill
Sales directors are master organizers. Recruiters will want to know how good your organizational skills are. So, it makes sense to take some time to develop them.
3. Technical skills
You will have to deal with lots of tools and technologies in your role as an operations director for sales. You should be able to use Excel – or any other spreadsheet software – very well, know your way around CRMs, be able to pull out and interpret data from Google Analytics, and much more.
It might take a while to develop these skills, but you will achieve mastery over time.
4. Some form of sales experience
If you are going to lead a marketing team, you should have some sales experience. That’s a no-brainer.
Interview questions for sales operations manager
What interview questions should you expect for the role of a sales operations director? The truth is, the question can take any form. Here are some of the common ones we have seen:
Tell me about a time you had a bottleneck in your sales operations and how you went about solving it?
Bottlenecks can kill the efficiency of a sales team. And they occur quite frequently. An interviewer asking you this question wants to know how good your problem-solving skills are and how you can help the team perform better.
How do you ensure you meet sales targets, and what would you do if your team consistently fails to meet them?
Often, the goal of interviewers for asking this question is to know how passionate you are about helping them achieve their sales goals. This is the best time to share your experience in sales and how you excelled at it.
How would you handle a team member that appears to be slacking on their job?
If this question pops up during your interview session, know that your people-management skills are being tested.
More common questions can are:
Tell me about your ideal sales process & what would be the sales strategy you would implement in your first 30 days?
Sales operations director salary
How much do sales operations earn as salary? The answer depends on a number of variables, such as their years of work experience, level of education, and the previous company they worked with.
That said, the median annual salary of sales operation directors is $150,000.
What is the difference between sales and sales operations?
Is a sales director the same as a sales operations director? If not, what is the difference between sales and sales operations?
In the simplest term, sales concern itself mostly with interacting with potential customers and moving them down the sales channel. Sales operations oversee all the operations that go into getting customers, managing the people involved, forecasting future goals, etc.
How do sales and operations work together?
Sales and operations are intertwined, and it takes a skilled director to manage them both. For these two departments to work together, 2 things must be in place: communication and commitment. Sales ought to communicate clearly to operations the expectation of a client/prospect. And both departments need to be dedicated to meeting those expectations.
A career as a sales operation director can be extremely rewarding and profitable. It takes good organizational skills, empathy, and problem-solving skills to succeed at it.