I was honored to moderate a panel discussion in downtown San Francisco at the LinkedIn headquarters recently. Our discussion focused on Sales operations, efficiency and scale at some of the top start-ups in the Bay Area.

How do you scale sales operations and improve sales efficiency?

Along with WalkMe and AlwaysHired, I co-hosted a Sales Ops Happy Hour at the LinkedIn offices in San Francisco to answer this very question.

With a group of expert panelists and over 275 sales ops professionals in attendance, we tackled this hot topic in style.

The panel featured Salil Jain, VP of Sales Operations at DocuSign, Jeffrey Serlin, VP Sales Operations and Strategy at Campaign Monitor, and Branca Ballot, Senior Director of Growth at Zenefits. Each has expertise in the field and a unique history of building and managing successful sales operations teams.

Although the panel covered a number of topics, the majority of the conversation focused on challenges the panelists have experienced in their own sales ops careers.

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Branca Ballot recommended that sales teams should work to reduce “follow-up inefficiencies,” as they can have costly results. For example, a team that does not sufficiently prepare for a product demonstration may be required to perform additional demos, which is neither efficient nor scalable. In this instance, Ballot suggests “developing effective content that tailors the demo experience to each customer.”

Salil Jain emphasized how selling to different sized companies can result in distinctive challenges when it comes to sales efficiency. For example, in DocuSign’s small and medium-sized business (SMB) segment, streamlining processes for pipeline generation is very challenging. To alleviate the growing pain in this segment, Jain makes it a priority to funnel leads to the sales team as quickly as possible.

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When it comes to DocuSign’s enterprise segment, Jain tends to focus more on inefficiencies that arise from prolonged sales cycles. He recommends shortening the sales cycle as much as possible to make for more efficient sales operations.

Furthermore, the panelists touched on the difficulties that come along with bridging the gap between sales and marketing. They emphasized the importance of creating a streamlined process to guide leads through a funnel, and more specifically Ballot suggested that sales and marketing leaders ought to find an effective and collaborative way to work across departments.

Jeffrey Serlin insisted that sales and marketing teams both need to consider themselves co-owners of the revenue cycle, as opposed to segmenting their ownership in the sales funnel.

Sales & Operations Planning Process

Jain dove in deeper by suggesting that key metrics surrounding marketing quality leads (MQLs) and sales quality leads (SQLs) can be better aligned by reducing issues related to lead flow and routing. Furthermore, he emphasized the importance of investing in technology and investing early.

The key takeaway from the wildly successful night was that sales operations require constant re-evaluation as companies grow and evolve to meet customer needs.

You can catch the entire Facebook Live recording of the panel here.

I look forward to hosting the next round of experts on scale scale scale!

 

 

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