A Gartner survey of 318 sales leaders in August and September 2022 sought to understand how SalesOps and revenue teams are supporting chief sales officers (CSOs) and the broader commercial engine. It revealed more than 70% of SalesOps leaders see science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and MBA skills, such as statistical analysis, stakeholder management, and analytic problem solving, as “slightly to much more” important for the future.
Gartner says as the scope of sales operations (SalesOps) expands, SalesOps professionals report dedicating 73% of their time to supporting non-sales functions, up from 39% in 2019.
“The need for operations talent with strong analytical skills, business acumen and institutional knowledge is growing as SalesOps’ remit expands,” said Greg Hessong, senior director for advisory in the Gartner Sales Practice.
SalesOps increase support for non-sales and non-client functions
The survey found that SalesOps’ support time has shifted significantly over the past three years. In 2022, just 27% of SalesOps’ support time was allocated specifically to supporting the sales function, down from 61% in 2019. In 2022, 68% of the time spent was allocated to non-client-facing functions, including supply chain, enterprise analytics, finance, human resources and IT.
“For many organisations, these shifts in support time are intentional as they transition to a revenue operations (RevOps) model, or prioritize cross-functional alignment to enable more effective workflows across previously siloed go-to-market functions."Greg Hessong
Data visualization is expected to remain a top SalesOps skill through 2027
Skills that support analytical insights, such as data visualization and analytic problem solving, were identified as top priorities for 2023 as sales operations expand its ability to guide sales leaders and sellers on key performance drivers and decisions.
Project management, effective oral communication and sales compensation administration round out the top five most important SalesOps skills as the function takes on more strategic initiatives.
For SalesOps leaders who are looking even further ahead in their evolving team design, the skills that will be in the highest demand five years from now are expected to change further still: Statistical analysis, application development, strategic planning and performance management were identified by respondents as skills that will be highly important in 2027.
Only one skill identified in the top five for 2023 is expected to remain a top-five skill in five years: data visualization.
Hessong predicts that in the future, sales becoming more data-driven will require bringing insights to life to guide strategic decisions and the next best actions for maximising revenue performance.