VP, Sales Operations

Executive Management Santa Clara, California


Job Description

As the Vice President of Sales Operations, you will be responsible for managing a cross-functional organization that is the foundation of Palo Alto Networks’ entire sales strategy by providing the tools and infrastructure to drive and deliver exceptional sales results. As a seasoned executive, you will act as an advisor while counseling and directing the sales organization toward strategic goals and operational effectiveness by meeting corporate sales, revenue, operational and strategic goals as well as the professional growth, development, and success of team members.  You will have accountability to assist sales teams to improve performance by assigning sales goals, quotas and compensation plans. 

Your Impact

Sales Operations – Drives excellence in the use of sales applications and processes centered around Salesforce.com, and ensuring quality in the opportunity management process

Sales Compensation Planning – Develops, implements, and manages sales compensation plans and special incentives that drive intended sales behavior as well as coordinating recognition events such as annual sales achiever club

Forecasting and Reporting – Supports the global booking forecast process and closely collaborates with the Finance organization to meet revenue forecast requirements; managing historical data and providing analysis on business performance trends; managing the global field forecast process to ensure predictability of results

Commercial Approval and Risk Review Process – Ensures that deals are evaluated correctly to manage risk and appropriate approvals obtained and facilitates alignment with Palo Alto Networks’ risk management processes

  • Partner with senior sales leadership to identify opportunities to simplify the sales process through optimization and automation. Facilitate successful implementation and adoption of new processes within the sales organization. Foster an organization of continuous process improvement.
  • Manage a team of ~40 within Sales Operations, including ownership of the forecast, order management, deal desk & deal support and sales compensation.
  • Design, implement and manage sales forecasting processes that provide accurate prediction into future revenue performance. Ensure forecasting efforts are appropriately integrated with other planning processes within the company.
  • Work with Human Resources, Finance, and senior sales leadership to design sales incentive compensation programs that provide market-competitive pay, reinforce sales organization strategy, and align with business and sales organization objectives.
  • Assign sales quotas and other sales objectives to ensure the company’s financial goals are allocated to all sales channels and resources.
  • Own global deal desk support for large or/and custom deals, providing support in pricing, deal analysis, deal structuring, negotiation, closure, and fulfillment.
  • Assist Partners and Distributors in overcoming business challenges to ensure ease of doing business while ensuring deal closure and revenue recognition.
  • Recommend sales strategies for improvement based on market research and competitor analysis.
  • Ensure the business system tools (Sales Automation) accurately represents sales information and is effectively utilized by sales personnel to process transactions and provide information about the status of the business.
  • Strategic business planning with regional sales management teams to determine appropriate partnerships that will realize business objectives on market segmentation issues. 
  • Ensure sales renewals performance is in line with budgets and plans.  Identify areas for improvement and cost savings as well as risks to meeting planned forecast in revenues or expenses.
  • Provide financial information and resources for the development of business plans and analysis of sales department trends and activities.
  • Establish and implement performance measures designed to track and report progress against the global sales strategy. 

Your Experience

  • Candidates must have a proven track record of success in providing strategic guidance and operational oversight in Sales Operations within a technology sales environment. 
  • Experience in heavy transaction environment (>1,000 deals per quarter).  Prior experience working in a sales environment with at least 1,000 quota bearing sales reps a must.
  • Proven experience integrating SaaS tools to streamline and automate the sales process, integrating data science and analytics into every function within Sales to ensure greater predictability and productivity. 
  • Expertise in contract review and negotiations.
  • Financial background and/or experience in a subscription type environment.
  • Experience developing and managing sales compensation plans.
  • A proven ability to develop tactical initiatives that improve sales productivity and performance.  Background of introducing performance metrics and improvement programs. 
  • Ability to communicate the business value and/or ROI of installed and proposed products and solutions, strong financial selling skills. 
  • Strong communication skills, including establishing credibility and trust with customers and building influential relationships with partners in the business, including Finance, Legal, Sales Ops, HR, Indirect Sales, Support Services, Product Marketing, and Professional Services. 
  • Understanding of both business and people, including their drivers and success factors. 
  • Excellent knowledge of software pricing and licensing practices.
  • Understanding of sales methodologies and booking process. 
  • Ability to understand and present Palo Alto Networks’ corporate vision, strategy, and organization.
  • Highly entrepreneurial and able to operate independently with minimum supervision.
  • Ability to utilize combined industry benchmarking information with a strong analytical capability to identify market trends and test alternative approaches to the market that yield superior performance.
  • Heavily results-oriented; a strong track record in meeting and/or exceeding revenue targets.
  • Able to research, develop and execute sales tools and strategies in the field.
Solid understanding of CRM systems, quote to cash management infrastructures and analytics around sales pipeline modeling.  Familiarity with salesforce.com.