This report is about the Sales Operations profession — for Sales Operations professionals. In LinkedIn’s first State of Sales Operations report, we commissioned Nielsen to conduct a survey among 500 U.S. Sales Operations professionals, and interviewed 6 leaders, as well as analyzed LinkedIn data to understand top of mind issues facing this increasingly important role today.
As a Sales Operations professional, you’re probably not surprised that the role of Sales Operations is growing in many ways. LinkedIn data shows that the number around the world increased by 38% between 2018 and 2020 and increased 4.8x as fast as the sales function overall. The role is also growing significantly in its remit. Our survey revealed that professionals like you increasingly hold new responsibilities, such as managing sales tools and technology, overseeing strategic growth plans, and monitoring sales team performance.
Read on to hear from others in the role about the unique challenges facing professionals like you. And explore how the right analytical skill set and reliable, accurate data can help the Sales Operations profession overcome its growing pains — and take full advantage of the huge opportunity that lays ahead of it to build the sales organization of the future.
Many in the role are grappling with growing pains as Sales Operations professionals face several key challenges, among them:
- A lack of adequate resources.
- More frequent planning cycles.
- Recruiting and retaining talent.
- Finding accurate, easy-to-access data.
Here are some of the most eye-opening insights from our first State of Sales Operations report:
The number of Sales Ops professionals who indicated that their sales planning processes — such as identifying high opportunity accounts, territory planning, lead validation/routing, and customer/market segmentation — aren’t primarily led by data-driven inputs.
The percentage of Sales Ops professionals who say they are valued “just as much as sales professionals in my company.”
The percentage of Sales Ops professionals who agree that planning more frequently in a world that is in constant flux would help set their sales team up for greater success, which in turn may have positive downstream effects on the business as a whole. At the same time, 35% say they plan quarterly or even less frequently than that.