Sales Ops and Sales Enablement, how to bring them together

Hi Joe,

My Sales Ops team has been growing rapidly over the past year or so. With that growth, we’ve also added a Sales Enablement team. But the problem is, I feel like our two teams just aren’t on the same page lately. There seems to be a lot of confusion about which team is responsible for what and things aren’t getting done.

How can I turn this around and make sure everyone is collaborating smoothly again?

Thanks,

Team-Player Taylor

 

 

Hi Taylor,

I’m happy to hear about your company’s recent growth! It’s always exciting when things are looking up and I want to congratulate you and your team on this success.

But with growth comes, well, growing pains. What works for smaller teams won’t necessarily work as you scale up your organization. Things can break along the way. So how do we prevent this from happening? Here are a few key points that will help.


Organizational Structure

As your teams grow, it’s important that at all stages of expansion (whether you have a sales team of 3, 30, or 300), there is a clearly defined vertical hierarchy or chain of command.

Of course, it is essential for teams to collaborate cohesively and support each other, as you know. But if your company lacks this vertical structure and the hierarchy is “flatter”, there will often be problems where team members don’t know whose job it is to do a certain task.

I’d also recommend the use of stakeholder maps to help all team members gain a clearer understanding of who is depending on them and what they’re accountable for. Stakeholder maps are not only very practical for refining and communicating the responsibilities of everyone involved in each project, but they’re also a great tool for guiding new hires on who can offer them support, who to approach with queries, and who can approve decisions to keep projects moving forward. 

 

Clearly Define Roles & Responsibilities

There can be a lot of confusion in a company – especially a growing one like yours – between Sales Ops and Sales Enablement. Many members may not fully understand the difference: Where does Sales Ops end and where does Sales Enablement begin?

This is common in my experience so don’t worry, you’re not alone. The two teams are closely related, but they differ in important ways. I would start by laying out a clear definition of the roles, responsibilities, and parameters of the Sales Enablement team in comparison to Sales Ops. If everyone can agree on this, you’re already halfway there!

One way I like to communicate this is to look at Sales Enablement as the “execution arm” of Sales Ops.

 

Here’s a quick example to illustrate what I mean by this:

Let’s say Sales Enablement realizes many leads become closed lost during the middle of the funnel. The buyer had the initial introduction and pitch, but then the proposal is sent a few days later and things fall through. Sales Ops receives this information and takes a closer look at the operational level – where they discover their sales reps don’t have enough content (case studies, whitepapers, etc.) to send proposals sooner.

This is where Sales Enablement comes back in and goes about producing that needed content (which could mean acquiring collateral from marketing, content creation, etc.). They are effectively enabling the execution of Sales Ops by making sure the buyer experience is everything that it can be – hence the “execution arm”.

 

Calibrate Expectations

Once everyone in Sales Ops and Sales Enablement is on the same page about their roles and responsibilities, it is crucial to set up continuous points of communication between the two teams to calibrate expectations.

At all times: Sales Ops must know what data they’re expected to report to Sales Enablement, and Sales Enablement must know the type of support they’re expected to provide so Sales Ops can execute at their highest potential.

At first, it might take some time for members to fit into their new teams, and that’s okay. With clear roles, responsibilities, and expectations defined through active communication, I’m confident that you and your teams will be more productive together than ever.

 

You’ve got this,

Joe Pulse

 

What Your CRO Should Know About Data Privacy Compliance

TLDR: Data privacy regulations are evolving fast, and businesses in breach face sharp financial penalties and reputational damage. Bring RevOps together with Legal, Sales, and Marketing every quarter to set the agenda for your data privacy strategy, review your processes, and plan around new compliance requirements. Hiring a Data Privacy Officer and investing in cybersecurity are strong measures to ensure you’re properly processing and protecting customer data.

 

The data privacy landscape moves fast. As regulations emerge around the world, businesses that collect, store, and use customer data must get to grips with a complex web of compliance responsibilities.

Businesses that breach data privacy regulations, even unintentionally, face steep consequences. Regulators have the power to place data handling restrictions on businesses and issue sharp fines—to date, EU regulators have enforced over €1.5 billion in penalties to organizations in breach, with an average of €1.4 million per fine. In a time when people are more conscious than ever about how businesses look after their data, falling foul of regulations is an easy way to shatter customer trust.

Today is the time to act. To stay compliant, your RevOps team needs to know how the interlocking data privacy regulations apply to the territories in which you handle customer and prospect data. In this Tough Talks Made Easy, you’ll learn to explain to your CRO where the challenges and blind spots lie, and the processes you should implement to keep on top of your responsibilities.

 

Challenges with data privacy

Companies tend not to review their data privacy policy proactively, which causes them to fall behind the times and incur fines. Major markets like the EU, Japan, India, Australia, Brazil, and certain US states all have regulations that confer particular responsibilities onto organizations that operate in these territories or collect data on their residents. While data privacy is more complex for organizations operating internationally, multiple regulations can apply even when doing business in one local market.

As the regulatory landscape evolves, it’s important to stay in the loop with how these frameworks shape your legal obligations and data practices—particularly if your business is considering expanding into international markets.

Organizations typically focus on online practices when designing a data privacy strategy—sometimes to the detriment of offline behaviour. The age-old challenge of Sales and Marketing alignment becomes relevant to compliance here. As Sales Ops and MOPs send customer and prospect data between platforms, both teams should know how they’re allowed to use and store this data to avoid taking actions that violate the privacy rights of people in the dataset.

 

Measures to take

To set the agenda for data privacy strategy, RevOps should get together with Legal, Sales, and Marketing every quarter or six months. Across teams, you want everyone to have a good grasp of their responsibilities and have an eye on the regulatory movements that could impact their work.  

Some questions to answer: How are privacy and cookie policies evolving? What are our regulatory requirements for each market we do business in? How might our usage of tools and the web need to shift to meet new requirements?  What gaps do we have in our implementation of compliance policies?

From there, review your processes for data capture, storage, and deletion. When capturing data, timestamp the date and time that people submit contact forms, why they’re contacting your business, and whether they’ve opted in to receive marketing communications. For logging and auditing purposes, this creates evidence that you’ve lawfully obtained the authorized data.

For SOPs and MOPs—set up filters to segment the people in your dataset based on the communications they’ve opted in or out of receiving. For prospects who’ve unsubscribed from your communications, check in with Legal to decide when to delete their data entirely. And it helps to test regularly that your measures are working as planned. Are your filters and timestamps working correctly? Are you deleting data when required? Are you storing it in secure places that don’t violate compliance policies?

Hiring a Data Privacy Officer to keep up with regulatory evolution, guide policies and processes, and educate people on the risks of non-compliance is a smart move to advocate. If the budget to hire for such a role is a concern, it’s worth mentioning the penalties that regulators can apply—E.U. authorities, for instance, can enforce the GDPR with fines of up to €20 million, or up to 4% of a company’s global annual turnover.

For similar reasons, cybersecurity training and tools are worth pushing for. Data breaches decrease customer confidence and brand strength while making fines and legal action all the more likely—so by investing in data protection, you invest in protecting your customers and your reputation.

Create trust

People want to do business with organizations they trust. By making a cultural and financial investment in data privacy, you get to keep your business from appearing under the limelight for the wrong reasons, avoid fines and restrictions on how your RevOps team uses data, and better understand the processes to implement if you’re expanding into new markets.

Want to learn more about the actions you can take to remain GDPR compliant? Get in touch with our experts.

What Skills Should I Be Building as a MOps Professional?

Hi Jo,

I recently started a career in marketing automation and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.

It feels like I’m expected to know so many different things and I’m not sure I can keep up.

I want to keep building my skill set and learning as much as I can, but I don’t know where to start. Should I prioritize soft skills or learn about as many automation tools as possible?

Can you help me?

Thanks,
Learning Laura

Hey Laura,

You’ve hit on a challenge that I think a lot of people face in marketing operations (MOps).

The marketing technology space is always evolving. In fact, it feels like there’s a new platform or solution every week. For marketing ops professionals that are seen by the rest of their organization as the guardians of that technology (even if they’ve never worked with most of it before), there’s a lot of pressure to have an opinion about each and every tool. But that’s not really possible, is it?

At the same time, MOps covers a large scope of functions including:

  • content creation
  • campaign production
  • reporting
  • marketing automation, and
  • CRM management.

Many companies are only just figuring out that they need multiple people to fill those different roles.

This means that marketing ops professionals tend to be expected to have a large breadth of knowledge and, as you said, that’s overwhelming.

So, how do you prioritize your learning and skill-building time so that it’s most effective for you and your organization? I’ve come up with a handful of suggestions below.

 

1. Build on what you already know

Let’s make one thing crystal clear: you do not have to be a specialist in every single automation tool.

That said, there’s also no rule saying you can’t be proficient in more than one of them. If you want to expand your technical knowledge, I’d suggest sticking close to what you’re already familiar with.

For example, if you’re managing Marketo for your company and you’ve been asked to bring on a cool new tool that integrates with the system, that could be a good candidate for you. If you’re interested, see if there’s a way to dive deep into that new solution and get certified in it. Trust me, your leaders will be thrilled that someone wants to build knowledge in a technology the company is using.

Another thing to remember is that automation principles are the same across all tools. So, if that is the part of the tool that you love, then you can likely be an automation expert across multiple tools.

 

2. Lean on your community

One of the truly unique things about the marketing automation space is that there is a massive community of professionals willing to share their knowledge.

As the space keeps changing and growing, we all know that we don’t know everything. That makes us eager to help others when they come up against a challenge we may have faced before. I for one love getting messages from people in my network and helping them navigate issues on Marketo or in any other aspect of marketing operations.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Check in with other people using the same tools. And if you feel you don’t have the network yet, start building it with the help of communities like MO Pros.

 

3. Practice your soft skills

Your technical skills will be key for succeeding in marketing ops, but there are also some really important soft skills that you should be honing from the get-go.

Among the most important is the ability to translate what you’re being asked to do into technical steps, and communicate those steps back in a way that’s easy to understand.

Ultimately, you need to build common ground with your leaders and stakeholders so that there’s as little room for miscommunication as possible. My advice? A good diagram goes a long way.

Another important skill to practice is puzzle-solving.

So much of marketing automation is built on logic, and you’ll be responsible for finding the easiest, most effective, and most scalable solution to any problem that arises.

Part of that is about being curious and being open to exploring new ways of doing things—and the other part is tapping into your logical brain and uncovering the right patterns.

So, if you don’t have a puzzle book on your bedside table, maybe you should put that on the wishlist for your next birthday.

You’ve got this,
Jo Pulse