In today’s cutthroat business landscape, the success of a company often hinges on the velocity of their sales organization. With that said, an efficient sales operations team can often be the difference between a record-breaking quarter or getting your lunch eaten by the competition.
But when the average sales force has a 25:1 ratio of sales reps to Sales Ops team members, the success of tens – or even hundreds – of sales professionals rests on the shoulders of small, overwhelmed teams. Even with a traditional ticketing system in place, organizing and resolving such a high volume of requests is nearly impossible.
That’s why sales and revenue operations teams at companies like BlueCat Networks have turned to conversational ticketing to help manage their workload and power their entire sales teams. Capturing and tracking tickets directly in Slack and Microsoft Teams makes it easy to handle the onslaught of requests while eliminating the need for constant follow-ups.
Understanding the Sales Operations role
Sales operations is an often overlooked and misunderstood role. According to Sales Hacker, Sales Ops is defined as the “unit, role, activities, and processes within a sales organization that support, enable, and drive front line sales teams to sell better, faster, and more efficiently.” But what the heck does that actually mean?
Sales Ops team members are tasked with… well, pretty much whatever it takes to keep the sales machine running smoothly. Their responsibilities run the gamut from strategizing and forecasting; buying, configuring, and training team members on Salesforce or other tools; mapping out sales territories; creating incentive and compensation plans; optimizing the leads funnel; and tracking and analyzing metrics.
Sales Ops teams work hand in hand with other key sales functions like business development, account executives, solutions architects, revenue operations, account managers, and deal desk admins to help them do their jobs more effectively. Support for these other team members can look very different depending on the size of the organization and where their responsibilities fall in the buyer journey.
That’s a heck of a lot of jobs for a small team to handle. Support requests come in from all different directions, scattered across Slack and MS Teams channels, individual DMs, and emails. Without a unified way to capture them all, many slip through the cracks – often with repercussions on revenue and quotas.
Coasting through quarter-end with Slack- & Teams-based ticketing
Conversational ticketing tools like Halp empower sales operations teams to track and manage requests directly in Slack and Microsoft teams. As asks come in across various channels, DMs, or emails, Sales Ops managers can turn messages into trackable tickets with a simple emoji reaction or message action. By building a sales ops help desk into existing communication tools, sales operations teams can:
- Improve team productivity. Tools like Halp allow Sales Ops pros to meet their team where they already work and eliminate context switching. They easily capture questions about quotas, territories, Salesforce, and more with customizable fields and forms. They also give reps an easy way to follow the progress of their tickets so that less time is spent on follow-ups and chasing down approvals.
- Automate tedious tasks. Much of Sales Ops teams’ time is spent answering the same questions over and over. Halp automates answers to frequently asked questions to empower reps to self-resolve when possible and eliminate the need for Sales Operations intervention.
- Make work visible. Conversational ticketing empowers Sales Ops teams with metrics to better understand the way they spend their time. This can help quantify resource allocation and pinpoint inefficiencies that would otherwise rely on anecdotal evidence.
Conversational ticketing in action at BlueCat Networks
As an IT company selling primarily to large enterprises, sales cycles at BlueCat Networks can take a year or more. The Sales Operations team is essential to streamlining these deals and freeing up over a hundred account executives’ and solutions architects’ time to focus on closing.
With so many team members, the volume of requests happening across email and Slack became virtually impossible to keep track of. So, Sales Operations Analyst Derek Lilliman turned to Halp to bring order to his team’s inboxes. While traditional ticketing tools were able to capture emails, they offered no solution for Slack requests – which composed over half of BlueCat’s Sales Ops asks.
Halp’s Slack-first approach with email integration made it easy for Lilliman to unify all tickets in one system without missing requests or adding in further manual tasks. Using a #sales-ops channel with the Halp bot installed, the BlueCat Sales Operations team is able to monitor requests from the sales org and prioritize, assign, and route them without the need for back-and-forth to get context and share updates.
For example, if an account executive posts in the channel in need of Salesforce record change, Lilliman’s team can simply add a ticket emoji, and the rep and their manager can easily follow the progress of the request through to approval and resolution without manual updates from the Sales Ops team.
We’ve reduced the number of times that reps are following up on internal requests so they can get back to selling fasterDerek Lilliman Sales Operations Analyst, BlueCat Networks
Halp Answers, which automates responses to common questions, has also saved the Blue Cat team time while establishing consistency in the information that they provide reps. Rather than manually responding to the same question over and over – often forgetting key details – Lilliman and his team can save an answer for future use and automatically share it when repetitive questions arise.
As a bonus, having a unified system of tracking has empowered the team with hard evidence to detect patterns and quantify the volume of work they are taking on to justify further resources. Halp reporting makes it easy to examine request data over time or by category to identify missing documentation, repetitive tasks, and other process gaps. Using this data, they were able to identify a problem with their closed-lost process and revamp it, eliminating a common challenge for reps and reducing ticket volume.
Halp has saved Lilliman and his colleagues both time and frustration, and he says they can’t imagine working without it today.
We could get by without Slack and Halp, but it would be a total mess, and we’d miss a ton of data. Let’s just say it wouldn’t be easy.
Interested in trying out Slack- or Teams-based ticketing in your sales ops org? Check out our Slack Sandbox or sign up for a demo!