Sales Ops In 2021: What They Are & What Are They Responsible For

ops guide

sales operations

Who is the sales operations manager & what is his role?

When sales were simpler back in the 1960s-1990s, there were not so many numbers, tools & processes to follow, oversight & align. The role of sales ops was pretty simple: track the sales & provide feedback to salesmen teams to correct their results given the established plans.

Today, in the third decade of the 21st century, things have become much more sophisticated. What does sales operations do? They manage & run sales & marketing divisions of companies, doing the analysis, identifying challenges & finding solutions.


sales ops

Identifying sales operations responsibilities

The role of a modern sales op is to define & control the smoothness of sales & marketing processes, working with a set of tools, mechanisms, IT software & other resources to analyze, control, manage, improve & change processes in the organization. For that, they do a list of the following things, through which sales operations definition can be better perceived by our reader:

  • Leadership. Definition of the work strategy, collection of feedback, adoption of decisions & being on the verge of innovations.
  • Organization. Formation & formalization of processes & procedures, defining sales & marketing approaches, tools & criteria. Defining & following KPIs for self & managed teams (some of them can be as such: average deal size, cycle length, win rate, lead response time, number of contacts per unit & in time, pipeline efficacy, deal profitability & others).
  • Agile & long-term planning. The planning horizon is important for the development & reaching goals of the entire company through sales.
  • Adoption of technologies. Various modern tools like CRM, reporting & back-office software shall be adopted & thoroughly used to track performance, learn about clients, segment them, develop sales strategies & concepts & keep the hand on the pulse of managed processes.
  • Communication & paying attention to details. These have to be effective & performed daily to keep track of things.

sales operations

Sales operations job description from its day-to-day activities

To put it globally, a sales op is basically the head of the sales department or a vice president of a company responsible for everything concerning sales. However, depending on a company, the title of the position will widely vary. Still, a wise sales op is the one who will make sure the sales team focuses only on sales, withdrawing from them everything that’s around – basically, doing all the leadership & organizational work, routinely & globally.

The sales operations definition can be also made through the leader’s daily activities & tasks:

  • Management & oversight of software & data
  • Defining & tuning crucial points of work, from profiling clients & designing dedicated products for them to the creation of revenue-generating strategies & compensation plans for the underlying teams
  • Calculations making, working in connection with other departments
  • Organizing the HR & training processes
  • Structuring & smoothly running the team
  • Making accountability & being responsible for change management & scalability.


Salary of sales operations managers

Depending on the country, market & industry a sales op works on, the structure of the company & the exact scope of responsibilities, the compensation will broadly differ. As of July 2021, the average ranges of salaries in the US are as follows:

  • $60 K a year on the low end
  • $97,484 a year on average
  • $160 K a year on the high end.

That’s the average data through all industries, all company sizes & all years of experience. If to speak a bit more about industries, then in the below-provided ones, the given above numbers change respectively to: 

  • Banking & Finances: 57/93/153 K/year
  • Beauty & Fitness: 59/86/125
  • Biotech & Pharmaceuticals: 76/115/173
  • Software & hardware: 68/104/159
  • Construction: 43/77/138
  • Retail: 41/69/114
  • Internet & Tech: 95/151/240.

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