As your sales organization scales up, there’s one function that becomes crucial to your ability to drive revenue efficiently – sales operations.

Until Xerox created the first team in the 1970s, sales operations didn’t exist. Fifty years later, it’s still one of the hardest functions to nail. On the surface, their mission is simple: enable the sales organization to run better and faster. In practice, the best sales ops teams strike a delicate balance between being stewards of long term growth and executing for near term wins.

Reflecting on what he’s learned scaling sales ops globally at Marketo and now Intercom, Jeff Serlin shared the mic with Collin Stewart on the Predictive Revenue podcast. They discussed everything from growing a top-performing sales ops team to building an effective sales ops roadmap.

First, what is Sales Operations?

The job of sales operations is to optimize how your sales organization delivers against your revenue targets. Simply closing customers isn’t good enough if you aren’t doing it in a way that’s cost-effective, efficient, and scalable. The sales ops team is responsible for the operational backbone – the workflows, tools, and training – that enables sales to drive consistent growth.

Steps to scale a sales operations team


    1. Treat sales operations as a ONE team

    1. Hire experts who can act like product owners

    1. Solve strategic problems, don’t fight fires

    1. Consider going on a listening tour

    1. Remember your sales ops roadmap is a summary of tradeoffs


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