Sales Operations Budget

Since Managing Partner, Steven Jameson, shared his Op Ed article on Working Toward a New Definition of Sales Operations our research team has spent countless hours searching for how Sales Operations is evolving. Sales Operations Budgeting is the first in a series of ten blogs as we explore What is Sales Operations in 2018, and what makes it different than historically.

John E. Kosar, III

Sales Operations leaders need to be prepared to sit at the table with their CFOs for a thorough review of their financial numbers. Even if they do not physically sit at the table with executives, the budget needs to consider financial forecasts and corporate strategy, both short- and long-term, as if it were speaking directly to these individuals.

Preparing a Sales Budget

The CEO, CFO and CSO will decide on the budget, first, by targeting revenue. The target will be computed either by:

  1. Taking the current period’s revenue and raising it a percentage, or
  2. Evaluating the company’s burn rate and determining the revenue needed to continue operations plus growth.

Sales Operations leaders generally defend their requested expenditures for the upcoming period. Once revenue is defined then Sales Operations is engaged to evaluate the budgetary requirements to help sales achieve the number.

There might be additional factors, such as market or productivity, but odds are your primary task, as a sales operations leader, is to figure out how much it will cost sales to achieve the revenue target.

Determining Forecast and Sales Operations Budget

Sales Operations budget is a part of the sales budget, as a sales budget has to cover all the expenses and revenue regarding sales.

Some major costs that define a sales operation budget are as follows:

  • Sales administration personnel and compensation
  • Sales enablement technology

One best practice to consider is investment into the sales machine, the set of processes, information, and technologies that achieve your sales. A recent report by Mckinsey states that “...after planning, sales leaders aren’t afraid to put their money where they think the growth will be: 45% of fast-growing companies invest more than 6% of their sales budget on activities supporting goals that are at least a year out—a significant commitment in an environment where sales leaders fight for each dollar of investment.”

We know from experience that a well-planned sales guide, keeping all the necessary guidelines in mind will yield a successful forecast. A tremendous amount of hard work is required in analyzing the data for the coming sales season in order to develop a strong business. We look forward to our readers input and feedback as we continue to iterate and expand on the evolving role of Sales Operations.

Continuing Research Opportunity

Our next blog will be the second in our series as we explore how Sales Operations can impact and contribute to the compensation structure, including salary, benefits, and commissions. As we continue to build upon the framework of Sales Operations by size and market, your input is valued. Please submit any information on your sales operations practice to

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