From Front-Line Sales to Behind-The-Scenes

5 Questions with Becky Orr

🎓 From Front-Line Sales to Behind-The-Scenes

Too often overlooked and undervalued, sales ops professionals can have a significant impact on the success of your SDR team.

Investing in that position and letting your reps know that it’s a pathway they can take paid off big time for Becky. Can it do the same at your company?

Fact: High-performing sales development teams don’t get by on skill alone. There’s a LOT that goes on behind the scenes that contributes to that team’s success.

Managing the CRM, dashboards, reports, cadences, SEP, etc. is a monumentally important task.

Poor data, reports, and cadences can sink a team before they even begin to swim.

That’s why companies invest so heavily into the sales operations function.

They work behind the scenes to make sure that the sales team is operating at full capacity.

Our guest, Becky Orr, knows a thing or two about both being an SDR and being in sales ops.

She was able to take her career from front-line salesperson to behind-the-scenes ops person, and now runs the sales operations at Rightway.

We sit down and talk about her journey, what sales ops really does, and why it’s so crucial to the organization overall.

Our Guest

What She Does: Becky is the Director of Sales Operations at Rightway

How to Connect: Becky’s LinkedIn (she answers all her messages unless you’re trying to sell her something crazy).

Too often overlooked and undervalued, sales ops professionals can have a significant impact on the success of your SDR team.

Investing in that position and letting your reps know that it’s a pathway they can take paid off big time for Becky. Can it do the same at your company?

Play Video

Key Takeaways

  1. Let’s talk about your journey a bit. How did you start your B2B sales career, and how did you get to where you are now?

    • Why did you get into sales ops? Why would someone want to pursue this career path?

  2. Let’s define “sales operations” for our audience. At a high level, what do you do on a day-to-day basis? How is it different from an enablement role?

  3. One of the biggest challenges for ANY team out there is managing their CRM. There are so many users in the system, and sometimes it seems like they have no idea what they’re doing or don’t follow the processes by choice. What are some best practices that you use, and how can SDRs & Managers keep better care of their CRM?

  4. What are some of the key things you want to accomplish during an onboarding process for new SDRs? What have you learned over the years that could help out a new ops person, or an SDR looking to move into that role?

  5. Let’s recap the relationship between sales & operations. There’s obvious alignment, but just because it’s obvious doesn’t mean it’s universal. How can the two teams best work together towards a common goal?

Highlights, Notes, and Resources

Biggest Takeaways

😝 Like sales but hate…sales? There are plenty of people who love the idea of sales – talking with and helping people – but dislike the nitty gritty. Ops might be the place for you. It’s a great position to help enable and empower the sales reps on your team to do their very best without having to close deals, chase down prospects who have ghosted you, or get rejected 15 times/day.

🍫 The sales operations role is where a lot of departments go for answers. And for the good snacks and cartoons you can’t watch at your own house 😉 Sales ops is a safe haven – if they don’t have the answer, they know how to find it. And that’s because they’re always in the middle of it all. They value transparency & scalability, run a tight ship, and work to make your lives easier. What’s not to love?

🤝 Alignment alignment alignment. A well run sales ops team means every department should know what each other are doing – especially sales and marketing. And when sales and marketing are aligned, a lot goes right.

Conversation Highlights

Note: Timestamps correspond to the YouTube video

(4:20) Play to your strengths! If you’re naturally inclined to enjoy operations vs. outbound selling (or whatever you enjoy doing), find a way to make that more of your role. Bake it into your responsibilities little by little and volunteer yourself to take on more tasks. Proactivity goes a LONG way.

💡 Quinn Underwood talked about the 80/20 split on his episode of UNSUBSCRIBE, and it’s particularly relevant here. Basically, you can stomach 80% of your role being tasks you don’t enjoy if 20% are tasks you do enjoy. The more responsibility you can take on in the areas you actually enjoy, the better.

(8:03) Even the ops people understand! Aligning sales and marketing is crucial for pretty much any organization, and the sales ops people tend to have one of the best seats in the house to make it happen.

It helps if you were in sales or marketing previously – knowing their “brain” and how they think can help you better understand how to resolve conflict or offer up mutually agreeable suggestions.

And that goes beyond sales & marketing – operations roles touch every department within the organization. Mostly through owning & operating the CRM, often one of the only pieces of software that every department has access to (and some sort of ownership of).

(13:06) Think of the operations team as a lynchpin group – they provide the needed transparency and process development that connects every other department together. That way sales can talk to marketing, finance can talk to sales, marketing can talk with customer success, etc.

That type of interdepartmental communication can really propel teams forward. Too much transparency isn’t an issue you hear about often.

(14:12) Sales operations =/= sales enablement. Sure, they have a lot in common, but there’s a level of “hands-on” with SDRs that operations roles don’t have.

But when you have SDRs like me who might go rogue you need someone responsible enough to corral them 😅

(16:12) Great point here. “It’s hard to know what’s working and what’s not working if you’ve got 5 people using something different.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love experimentation. The idea of building & running my own campaign as an SDR was a huge bonus. But it’s hard to measure any kind of “success” or “failure” if there isn’t a consistent benchmark to measure from.

Operations people aren’t the “bad guys” – they’re the ones working to make sure your success is scalable and not a flash in the pan.

(18:05) The CRM is the Bible. If it doesn’t live here it doesn’t exist.

The bane of most salespeople’s existence, the CRM is a key source of truth for your entire organization. We know keeping it updated and clean is difficult, but it’s part of the job. And if you want credit for the work you’ve done, you better be on top of it. Otherwise, you might get a strongly worded email from your CEO…😂

Jokes aside, the more on top of it you are the better. Leverage the process docs built out by your ops team to make sure everything is above board and you’re not trying to reinvent the wheel (or doing something you shouldn’t).

That being said, if you’re running the show and your reps aren’t using the CRM like they should, take a look at how you’ve set things up. Using and updating your CRM should be easy and frictionless. You never want it to be too complicated – that’s how you get naysayers and reps who go rogue.

(21:53) Blog in mention! 3 Reasons Taffer Would Shut Down Your CRM

(22:44) Another example of transparency being crucially important. Something as “simple” as defining and using opportunity stages can stop some reps from accurately updating information in their CRM. It’s on leadership to properly communicate the process, but it’s also on reps to make sure they ask questions & look for clarification.

(25:08) Sales ops has the unique job of working with leadership to tell a specific story with existing data. And going beyond that, knowing that the story you tell impacts future initiatives for all departments.

(26:05) One of the best ways to accelerate onboarding & training for new SDRs? Have them sit on live demos & sales presentations. That exposure into how different people at your organization sell your product can have a major impact on their understanding of not just what you do, but how to position it to a prospect.

(27:09) The other big thing is to make sure they understand how to use existing tools and why they’re using them in the first place. This is your chance as a leader to set them up for success, and it’s your chance as a rep to be proactive about your training.

(27:30) And finally, the big thing to hammer home to a new rep is how important your targeting is. All SDRs need to understand who their ICP is, who they’re selling to, what they’re selling, and why the prospect needs it.

(30:07) Settle in for a virtual onboarding tour! Becky talks through what she believes to be the most crucial parts of onboarding for an SDR and how she’s done it in the past.

And if you’re finding it hard to stay on top of onboarding & training while working remotely, try a virtual co-working session! Spending time working “together” (even if it’s on different things) can be beneficial for both reps and managers.

Additional Resources

Looking to take this podcast’s advice to the next level? Check out some additional resources on how you can move up and out of the SDR role 👇

Growing Up & Out of the SDR Role

Our Director of Training talks about what it takes to move up and out of the SDR role – and what paths to consider.

So You’re Tired of being an SDR…Now What?

Feeling burnt out? Lost? Not sure where to go? We lay out a few options to consider if you’re looking to make a career shift.

Leveraging Your SDR Experience

We grabbed a few dD Alumni to talk about their experience as SDRs and the impact it’s had on their future careers.

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