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Sr. Director, Sales Operations & Support

Date: Jan 7, 2021

Location: LAKE FOREST, IL, US, 60045-5201

Company: Grainger Businesses

Grainger is a broad line, business-to-business distributor of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies and other related products and services. More than 3.2 million businesses and institutions worldwide rely on Grainger for products such as safety gloves, ladders, motors and janitorial supplies, along with services like inventory management and technical support. These customers represent a broad collection of industries including commercial, government, healthcare and manufacturing. They place orders online, on mobile devices, through sales representatives, over the phone and at local branches. Approximately 5,000 suppliers provide Grainger with more than 1.6 million products stocked in Grainger’s distribution centers and branches worldwide.



The Sr. Director is responsible for leading teams that design and execute sales coverage, compensation, and sales quota strategies to support the US and Canadian growth aspirations at the best return on investment. This leader is responsible for definition and design of front line, leader and overlay sales and service roles across the US and Canada, with an annual operating budget of $580M, plus a $40M annual commission budget.


This leader will partner closely with the Sales Leadership Team, Sales Operations functions, Finance, Human Resources, Legal, Corporate Strategy and external thought partners to drive, engage and retain the customer facing resource base with a focus on driving optimal cost-to-serve.


This individual is a leader of leaders, and is responsible for the teams that execute the following critical tasks:

  • Architecting sales and service roles, organizational design, leadership structures and spans.
  • Developing sales and service capacity and workforce plans.
  • Executing sales and service coverage deployment and ongoing maintenance
  • Designing and deploying sales compensation plans.
  • Developing goal setting strategies and administering the goal setting process for all team members on a sales incentive program.
  • Understanding and incorporating market trends and best demonstrated practices into Granger’s coverage and compensation strategies.
  • Monitoring and reporting on the effectiveness of coverage strategies, compensation plans and the goal setting process.
  • Designing and administering the sales and service rewards and recognition program.



This leader is responsible for establishing priorities and standards for an organization totaling approximately 50 team members with an annual department budget of $15M.


Customer Coverage and Role Definition

  • Responsible for developing sales models that maximize coverage reach, delivers a competitive advantage at the best cost.
  • Ensure that coverage model delivers the target ROI year over year.
  • Leverage analytics to determine appropriate methods for evaluating sales force impact and model options and drive critical decisions that inform current strategy and future go to market strategies.
  • Understands customer behaviors, procurement processes and competitive sales force deployment strategies and incorporates knowledge into development process.
  • Effectively evaluates and quantifies impact of proposed changes to support leadership decision making process.


Compensation and Goal Setting

  • Works with external experts and internal business partners to design sales compensation plans that support company objectives, talent management goals and financial targets.
  • Lead goal setting process to provide equitable opportunity for all sellers to achieve goal and provides consistent predictable outcomes.
  • Develop and execute governance plan to ensure every seller and leader certifies understanding of how their compensation plans are administered.  
  • Collaborates with sales effectiveness to ensure appropriate communication, training and certification plans are in place.
  • Ensure process and tools and technology are in place to deliver timely, accurate commission payments.
  • Develop and administer rewards and recognition programs supporting seller and support functions.


Workforce Planning

  • Oversee processes for prioritization, implementation, measurement, and reporting to of human capital to ensure intended outcomes and revenue targets are realized.
  • Leverage human capital to support the maintenance and oversight of achievement towards given measures.



  • Management, recruitment, and development of direct reports. Develop a high-performance diverse team.  Specific focus on developing strong bench for leadership roles in Sales Operations and North American Sales and Services.
  • Leads relationships with key external resource groups to ensure visibility to industry BDPs and competitive trends.
  • Creates, maintains, and promotes a culture of social and ethical responsibility consistent with Grainger Strategic Framework and Guiding Principles.
  • Establishes regular communications with key partners to maintain existing relationships as well as test and promote programs/approaches developed.


  • Establishing key driver and output metrics related to the execution of the sales/sales management processes and key business initiatives. 
  • Providing reporting and insights to leaders and team members to inform progress and highlight opportunities focused on improving outcomes. 
  • Work with analytics and finance to confirm and validate cause and alignment of driver metrics.



Preferred Education & Experience


  • Masters degree or equivalent preferred.
  • 10+ years of related experience.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and problem-solving capabilities.
  • Effectively communicates with all levels of organization, reads audience, understands where they are and adapts approach to ensure understanding and bring others along.
  • Leading Change - Provides clear, compelling vision to drive engagement and performance through change, communicates and connects change to greater outcome, drives sustainable adoption, monitors and makes corrections to drive result.
  • Inclusive - brings others along, ensures diverse perspectives are heard, considered, and incorporated to drive better results.
  • Cross-functional influence – understands key leverage points, works across organizational functions to remove barriers, and drive resolutions.  
  • Proven ability to manage large-scale cross functional teams and projects.
  • Ability to operate in a complex, rapidly changing environment while adhering to tight schedules and lean budgets.
  • 3 to 5 years managing an operational function.
  • Ability to develop compelling business cases with an identified ROI.
  • Strong strategic, analytical, and financial acumen required.
  • Strong people management ability to lead, motivate, develop and manage for results.
  • Proven track record of execution and driving results.
  • Strong strategic / innovative thinking with a developed understanding of continuous improvement, strong knowledge of metrics and how to influence them.
  • Extensive MRO Industry knowledge and strong understanding of the Grainger business and customers.



Grainger is an Equal Opportunity Workplace and an Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.