Sales ops should have a quota and get paid on commission


Is it really crazy to think that the sales operations team should have a quota each month or quarter, just like the reps themselves? And if you have them on a quota, shouldn’t a material portion of their compensation be commission-based?

On a meaty Sales Operations Roundtable recently hosted on the DocuSign SalesGurus community, Brian Frank from LinkedIn talked extensively about how his sales ops team has a quota. In his mind, it more directly aligns the sales team with the support staff.

And how couldn’t it? Too often, sales operations team members feel like underlings, executing a thankless job with too many priorities and too many cooks. They’re constantly battling with limited resources, and both their place in the organization as well as their compensation & objectives drive them to think more tactical than strategic.

So make their role performance-based. If the sales team is successful, they’re successful. More stressful? Maybe. But this is sales. High risk, high reward is the name of the game.

This is more than a service-level agreement on things like turnaround time, CRM maintenance, etc. That should be table stakes for world-class sales operations teams to begin with.

I fully realize this is easier said than done, so consider doing it in phases. Instead of a quota, make it a key objective tied to a quarterly bonus. That’s the first step to ensure greater alignment and focus on the right things, plus set the stage for more dramatic alignment and compensation changes down the road.

What do you think?