Sales Operations is an emerging discipline that essentially arose with the advent of CRM solutions. It’s a fairly amorphous role which may involve varying levels of ownership for processes such as forecasting to compensation, sales analytics to data quality and many things in between.
If you research job postings for the job title of sales operations with an eye towards role definitions, you will find a near unanimous bullet point in all the descriptions related to a significant level of involvement with the Sales Operations Technology Roadmap.
CSO Insights, a research division of Miller Heiman, recently published their 2018 Sales Operations Study with the goal of providing a snapshot of the state of sales operations today. This snapshot is based on a sample of 300 firms worldwide and touches on the various business processes that Sales Ops often has a stake. Sales Compensation is a common touchpoint for sales ops and the recent research provided some interesting insights into where the surveyed companies view investment in Sales Compensation automation tools.
- Over 75% view improved Territory Definition and Compensation Management as a medium to high priority …
- Yet, when considering Sales tools & technologies, only 40% of the respondents listed Sales Compensation Management tools as either in use or planned for in the next 12 months.
The data from this research suggests that while Territory & sales compensation are important, roughly 60% of the companies have yet to invest in automation and tools to improve this process. This highlights a tremendous opportunity for Sales Operations professionals to ask themselves ‘What am I doing to prepare myself and my company for the moment when the Sales Compensation technology roadmap discussion begins?’
Job one is to build a firm understanding of the state of the current process. A tremendous tool exists which allows you to understand the broad scope of the process and communicate its cross functional complexity to the various constituencies within your organization; the RACI chart. RACI is an acronym that stands for responsible, accountable, consulted and informed. A RACI chart is a matrix of all the activities or decision making authorities undertaken in a business process set against all the people or roles that touch that process, in our case, the Sales Compensation Process.
Contributing to the Sales Operations Technology Roadmap begins with building a full understanding of that process within your business. The RACI chart is a tool which help the Sales Operations team not only understand the flow of process by arraying the major activities of the sales compensation process against the various roles in the organization which support it but also helps communicate these insights to all internal and external stakeholders.
Sales Compensation is a classic cross-functional activity which requires involvement from functions such as Finance, Sales, HR and IT and building a common understanding of the process is often job one.
To help you prepare to lead the Sales Compensation Technology discussion within your company, we’ve included a template of the RACI model (see below) that you can easily download and use.