A sales force is only as good as the sales operations team behind it. Evan Randall, VP of Sales Operations, leads that team at Tableau, enabling our sales organization to act on thousands of leads, work globally, and even win a few awards along the way.

In 2013, Evan was named a "Top Sales Operations Leader to Watch in 2013" by the Sales Benchmark Index, and Salesforce even gave his team the "Productivity Machine Award" at their annual Dreamforce conference.

In an interview with Inside Sales, Evan outlines six secrets to running an award-winning sales organization. It probably comes as no surprise that they're all related to using data, whether it's motivating sales and account managers, providing accountability or even ensuring access to data at all levels of the organization.

Here are his first two secrets and explanations from Inside Sales.

1. Simplify your process:

Whether it’s a sales process or an opportunity management process, make it as simple as humanly possible.

“We do not hire salespeople to be analysts or process engineers,” Randall asserts. “We hire them to sell.”

If you don’t make it unbelievably easy for sales reps to manage opportunities and update lead records, they just won’t do it, and you’ll accumulate bad data. If your process is easy and intuitive, they’ll play along, ensuring you always have good data.

2. Create accountability through management:

Measure the quality of your sales data. How many of your opportunities have overdue close dates?

“If you’re not measuring people on that, they will let opportunities lapse regularly,” Randall warns, citing close dates as just one common example of disregarded data.

Your reps care about following up on opportunities, but they don’t care about your CRM tool. If they feel a task is administrative, they’ll avoid it unless you create a culture of accountability through consistent measurement and reporting.

Head over to Inside Sales to read the other four.

You can also hear more from Evan in this webinar recording, Closing the Gap: Leveraging Data to Drive Sales Performance.