Sales Brew - Amanda Harwood, Sales Operations on CRM data quality
For the 8th episode of Sales Brew by barista AI, we had the opportunity of hosting Amanda Harwood, a passionate Sales Operations Manager to talk about CRM data quality. Amanda started her career as an administrator and her operational mindset and business orientation made her pursue a revenue operations career.
To watch the full interview and get updated on every sales brew episode, subscribe to our YouTube channel. A short version and transcription are below. Get a cup of coffee and enjoy the show!
How did you get into Revenue Operations?
I got into Revenue Operations about six years ago while working as an office manager for a startup that sold 3D printers. At a small company, I reported to the VP of Business Operations, who owned sales ops, rev ops, and marketing ops. As I learned more about their team’s responsibilities through networking, I became interested in sales operations.
I wanted to improve our onsite customer meeting process, so I built a custom object in our Salesforce platform and learned by doing. I discovered how all the different objects were interconnected, and we were able to track the impact of customer meetings on our sales opportunities. This was my first big project, and from there, I grew in the sales operations role.
I’ve worked for both larger companies and smaller startups, but I found my home in the smaller early-stage startup world because I enjoy building out processes and systems from scratch and bringing order to the chaos.
What led you to pursue a career in sales operations rather than sales itself?
Well, I have always been someone with a strong interest in operations and project management. Even though I initially pursued a theater degree and worked as a stage manager, I found myself drawn to office management and the opportunity to learn about different areas of business. As I explored my options, I realized that operations was the most natural fit for me.
Sales operations, in particular, appealed to me because it allowed me to use my project management skills and work with cross-functional teams to create processes that would enable sales teams to be more efficient. While I didn’t see myself in a sales role responsible for quota, I was excited about the idea of using systems to help sales teams perform at their best.
Overall, I’ve found that sales operations allows me to combine the things I enjoyed about stage management and office management with my passion for project management and process improvement. It’s been a great fit for me, and I’m excited to continue to grow in this field.
What are the most urgent CRM data quality challenges you’re always facing?
I think one of the biggest challenges in CRM data quality is keeping up with the ever-changing needs of the organization and the sales team. It’s important to capture data efficiently, like sales activity data, and reduce manual entry as much as possible so that reps can focus on selling rather than administrative tasks in the CRM. The challenge is to find a balance between the need for data and the need for reps to work efficiently. Anything that can be automated or streamlined to capture rep activity is essential to ensure that data is reliable and accurate. I believe that having clean and reliable data is crucial to making informed business decisions.
Another challenge is finding ways to make manual entry as intuitive and easy as possible. It’s important to consider what data is impactful to a salesperson’s KPIs or sales goals so that they have a vested interest in entering the information correctly. By providing clear incentives and building out streamlined processes, salespeople are more likely to enter data accurately and consistently, and we can avoid things that harm our CRM data quality.
Overall, my approach to CRM data quality challenges is to prioritize data hygiene and finding ways to make the process of entering and managing data as intuitive and efficient as possible.
How do you incentivise reps to update the CRM?
Regarding incentivizing reps to update CRM, there are a few different approaches that can be effective. One way is to tie the completion of CRM tasks to compensation. For example, if reps are required to update the CRM with certain information after each customer interaction, they could receive a bonus or commission for completing those tasks consistently and accurately.
Another way to incentivize reps is to make the CRM an integral part of their workflow and provide them with tools to make updating it easier and more streamlined. This could include integrating the CRM with other tools they use on a daily basis, such as email or calendar apps, or providing mobile access to the CRM so they can update it on-the-go.
Additionally, providing clear communication and training on the importance of CRM data quality can help reps understand why it is important to keep it up-to-date and ensure they are motivated to do so. Ultimately, the key to incentivizing reps to update the CRM is to create a culture where it is seen as an essential part of the sales process and not just an administrative burden.
What are your first steps, as a new revenue operations hire, from CRM data quality perspective?
As a new hire, one of my top priorities is to work closely with the marketing automation manager and the marketing team to ensure that sales and marketing are working together seamlessly. To achieve this, we are currently auditing all the major objects in Salesforce, examining all the fields, and performing a health check with our Salesforce partners and consultants to understand the historical, current, and future state of the CRM. We have identified gaps in our CRM and are now moving into the execution and cleanup phase, which includes tasks such as deduping, managing CRM duplications, setting up appropriate account hierarchies, and building accurate data around the different customer sites.
As the first operations hires at an early stage startup, it’s essential to have a complete understanding of why things are the way they are and how they impact the organization and frontline sellers to make informed decisions. Therefore, we are gathering information to ensure CRM data quality, to inform better decision making and to streamline our processes.
How do you like your coffee?
How do I like my coffee? I love lattes, so I actually have my own espresso machine and it’s kind of a hobby of mine, to be a coffee snob, to find locally sourced coffee, ethically traded coffee and find the best tasting coffee beans. I like to get my coffee whole bean and grind them myself. I actually like to do the whole process like steam my milk, but probably vanilla oat milk lattes are my favorite.
To watch more from Sales Brew about CRM data quality and more:
- Episode 1: Sales Brew with Tyler Meckes, Account manager at Dooly
- Episode 2: Morgan J Ingram, Director of Sales Execution and Evolution at JB Sales
- Episode 3: James Buckley, Chief Evangelist and Master of Ceremonies at JB Sales
- Episode 4: Nieka Mamczak, Head of Sales Enablement at StackOverflow
- Episode 5: Sam Sweeny, Sales Operations Manager
- Episode 6: Benjamin Roach, Global Sales Operations Manager at Ardoq
- Episode 7: Elgun Aliyev, Salesforce Admin at CentralReach
- Episode 8: Amanda Harwood, Sales Operations Manager
- Episode 9: Jake Rasmussen, Salesforce Consultant