Sales Operations Career Path


What is the sales operations career path and what opportunities come with it? Let’s take a look in this blog post. 

What is sales operations (SalesOps)?

Sales operations plays a crucial role in the success of any sales team. It encompasses various tasks and responsibilities aimed at optimizing the sales process and supporting sales representatives in achieving their targets. Some typical duties include:

  • Analyzing sales data
  • Synthesizing sales data for reports and presentations
  • Developing and implementing sales strategies
  • Implementing sales processes
  • Selecting and implementing software platforms
  • Evaluating effectiveness of software platforms 

The types of software platforms that may be managed by a sales operations professional include Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms, sales automation platforms, sales intelligence platforms, business database platforms, and more. 

Skills such as data analysis, forecasting, and platform management are vital to this role. A successful sales operations professional will have the skills to demonstrate the ability to effectively support the sales team and ultimately drive revenue growth. 

Sales operations FAQs

What’s the difference between sales operations and sales automation?

The term sales automation typically refers to a software platform that automates repetitive tasks for sales people. This could include sending emails, scheduling follow-ups, and creating tasks as leads move through a sales funnel. 

Sales operations may include operating sales automation platforms, but will also include data analysis, developing sales strategies, implementing sales processes, and operating/managing other sales applications.

What’s the difference between sales operations and sales?

Sales operations is a functional line under the umbrella of a sales team. Your sales operations professionals will be a part of the larger sales team. Rather than selling, however, they will serve in support of the sales team by managing platforms and applications, analyzing data, reviewing and implementing processes, and reporting to leadership. 

What’s the difference between sales operations and CRM admin?

Your sales operations team members will likely be your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform administrator, or work very closely with that person. Since CRM is crucial to a sales organization, it is one of the core applications used by the sales operations team. The sales operations team will regularly pull reports and dashboards from the CRM, so it is important that it is up to date and operating smoothly. 

How to learn sales operations

Sales operations education isn’t common in a traditional sense. For example, this is not typically a major at a university or a degree at a college. It is common for someone with a general degree in sales, marketing, business or even computer systems to specialize in sales operations once they start a sales career based on their skills. 

For instance, an entry level salesperson on a larger sales team who shows capabilities in application management, data synthesis, and project management may be encouraged to move into a sales operations role. 

Once individuals embark on a sales operations career path, companies often invest in sales operations certification or courses to ensure those people have the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively execute on the day to day responsibilities required in this role. These types of courses are offered by sales associations and software providers. 

A sales operations course is a valuable opportunity for individuals looking to enhance their skills and knowledge in the field of sales operations. The courses are designed to provide comprehensive training and education on topics such as sales process management, data synthesis and analysis, application management, and revenue tracking. By completing this type of course, participants will gain the necessary expertise to become a certified sales operations professional (CSOP) or a Sales Operations Certification Program (SOCP). This certifies that a given professional is equipped to manage the various tasks and responsibilities of a sales operations professional.  These courses are typically offered online, allowing participants to learn at their own pace. In addition to online courses, it can be beneficial for a marketing operations professional to join an online sales operations group and to attend sales operations conferences and events. 

Sales operations salary

The sales operations salary can vary depending on the specific role and location. An entry-level sales operations position typically starts at around $45,000 per year. For a sales operations analyst, the salary can range from $60,000 to $90,000 per year. A sales operations associate may earn around $45,000 to $60,000 annually. As you move up into higher-level positions such as a sales operations director or manager, the salary can range from $100,000 to $150,000 and above. Glassdoor reports that the average salary for sales operations is around $75,000 USD.

Sales operations team structure and roles

Sales operations titles encompass various roles within an organization’s sales operations team structure. These titles generally highlight the responsibilities and focus areas of the individuals holding them. Some examples of sales operations titles include sales operations manager, sales operations analyst, and sales operations coordinator. Having a well-defined sales operations team structure with carefully designated titles is crucial for optimizing sales operations and driving overall sales success.

Additionally, remote sales operations jobs offer the flexibility to work from anywhere. Salary information for sales operations jobs can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and company size.

Sales Operations Specialist or Sales Operations Coordinator job description

A sales operations specialist will be responsible for providing analytical support to improve sales processes and drive revenue growth. The sales operations job description often includes tasks such as forecasting, sales data analysis, and optimizing sales systems. This person may be part of a team asked to assess and implement new sales technologies and platforms. They may also be tasked with implementing and managing new sales processes. Distributing leads and managing lead routing will be a recurring task as well.

Sales Operations Manager job description

A sales operations manager is responsible for overseeing and optimizing the sales process, ensuring efficient and effective sales operations. This job position involves a diverse range of responsibilities, including analyzing sales data, developing sales strategies, implementing sales tools and technologies, and managing sales performance metrics. This person may lead a team tasked with assessing and implementing new sales technologies and platforms. They may also be tasked with designing, implementing and assessing new sales processes. This person will likely oversee the distribution of leads (e.g. lead routing) to the team.

A sales operations manager is expected to possess a strong skill set, including excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, proficiency in sales tools and software, and a deep understanding of sales operations. They should also have the ability to work collaboratively with cross-functional teams and possess strong leadership and communication skills. 

Sales operations managers can find job opportunities in various industries. To excel in this role, it is important for a sales operations manager to continuously enhance their skills and stay updated with the latest industry trends.

Sales Operations Director job description

Just like the sales operations manager’s responsibilities, the director of sales ops will oversee tasks, analyze data and direct the implementation of sales technology solutions. At this higher level along the sales operations career path, however, the director will serve as a leader on the sales team, producing reports, seeking areas to gain efficiency, and managing the relationships among the sales leaders (e.g. SDR lead, AE lead, Sales enablement lead, etc.). This role reports to the Chief Sales Officer (CSO) and may be asked to present data and findings at the that will be presented at the company leadership level.                                  

The next step up on the sales operations career path might be a role in revenue operations or RevOps, where you have responsibility for sales operations as well as marketing operations. Read more about the revenue operations role

Sales operations qualifications

What makes a good candidate for a sales operations role? Who should get on a sales operations career path? Often people start in sales in a general, entry level role and move into sales ops when they find an affinity towards the technology that sales teams use. With this type of background, the sales ops professional understands the concepts and jargon common in the industry. Another indication that someone might be a good fit for sales ops involves having an analytical mind. A lot of sales operations is the practice of data analysis. For example, you will be asked, “What are the conversion rates on lead type?” and “How long will it take to show ROI on this platform” A good sales operations professional will be tuned in to data and being able to report on it are vital skills. Lastly, an intense level of attention to detail is required. The click of a button in sales operations can send thousands of leads to the sales team and create a bunch of excellent sales opportunities or completely clutter every rep’s CRM view. As such, it is vital that this person understands the impact their actions have.

Start on your sales operations career path

A CRM can easily be under the direct supervision of a sales operations professional, so the Insightly team is intent upon making the sales ops team as successful as possible with excellent support and service teams. Insightly’s modern, scalable CRM  is a sales operations manager’s dream.  Want to learn more? Get started with a free trial of Insightly CRM today, watch a demo on demand at your convenience or request a personalized demo today.