As part of our series exploring different Salesforce-adjacent career paths, let’s dive into the world of Sales Operations (also known as Business Ops, Revenue Ops or RevOps).
p.s. Revenue Operations is technically a larger discipline involving sales, marketing and customer service ops. But many Sales Ops jobs use “Revenue Operations” in their titles, hence why we’re lumping it here.
Sales/ Business / Revenue Operations
What It Is
Every high-functioning Sales team has systems & processes to help them rake in the dough. *Dollars raining gesture* A Sales Ops professional works in the background to make sure that happens.
If Sales teams are the Wizard of Oz, then Sales Ops would be the man (or other gender) behind the curtain.
What It Can Look Like
Expect reporting to be your lifeblood. More specifically, you can expect to:
- Use reports to perform analyses that help the team keep track of quotas, revenue, & other sales-y things
- Document processes, recommend improvements & provide training/support
- Help create customer-facing materials, like pitch decks or other presentations
- Perform varying levels of system configuration
- Generally work at a faster pace, and with close interaction from your team. Sales is high stakes.
How it Differs from Admin
Salesforce pros in this line of work typically aren’t focused on “maintenance” work, like provisioning users or managing permissions. Depending on the size of the team, they’re typically focused on the Sales Cloud suite of features.
Who It’s Good For
This can be a great entry point if you want to leverage previous sales or fundraising experience. It can also be a nice pivot from admin work if you’re interested in sales strategy, business development or revenue operations.
And without generalizing too much…sales ops pros will be okay working closely with their fellow reps, and feel comfortable wrangling in their team at times.
Tips for Breaking In
Get familiar with basic sales metrics & concepts. Some of the biggies that come to mind are: pipeline, forecasts, return on investment (ROI), customer acquisition, customer retention, leads, qualification.
Focus on Sales Cloud, forecasts, and the report + dashboard modules in your Trailhead study. Level up on Powerpoint & Excel too, especially pivot tables. (They’re easier than they sound.) And remember that good sales ops pros bring technical skill AND an eagerness to understand what makes for a successful sales function.
More Resources on Sales Operations careers:
Is A Sales Operations Career Right For You? by Sales Hacker. They have a nice summary of required skills & potential career trajectory.
How to Become a Sales Operations Analyst by Zippia. While I don’t agree with all the data points gathered, I’ve included it because it’s the most extensive guide I’ve seen.
How to Earn a Career in Sales Operations by Salesforce Pardot. Why not hear it from the horse’s mouth?! This is a quick read, with lots of specific & useful nuggets.
How to Break Into Tech as a Sales Operations Analyst webinar recording by TechPod. While I haven’t watched this in its entirety, it’s here because 1) it’s the only audio I could find with people talking about their Sales Ops career journey, 2) it’s fairly recent and 3) the panelists offer resume advice towards the end, which is always valuable.