Revenue operations. RevOps. Chief revenue officer.
Stumbled across any of these phrases recently? If you’re responsible for the success of your organization, you’ve more than likely been introduced to the idea of revenue operations. From technology solutions to new job opportunities, the theme of RevOps is quickly catching on as more and more organizations recognize how complex operations and technologies have become across their go-to-market teams.
However, complexity and inefficiency shouldn’t be a side effect of growth. Too often, we see organizations implement short-sighted tech and human capital solutions in a knee-jerk response to falling short of their goals. Even with the best intentions, these patchwork solutions not only create additional overhead but also overcomplicate work for everyone and create an overlap of responsibilities. Translation? Your team ends up doing half the work in twice the time.
RevOps entirely reframes legacy operations into an end-to-end revenue process that unites sales, marketing, customer service, and operations through a tailored combination of technology and process. As the available technologies on the market have exploded and organizations have had to make sense of more data than ever before, there’s been a significant rise in organizations with dedicated RevOps teams and systems. But how do you begin to make sense of all of these pieces and efficiently tackle such a dynamic project?
In this article we’ll discuss what revenue operations (RevOps) is and how OBO has developed a transparent, solution-centred approach to implementing these growth-igniting systems.
What Is Revenue Operations?
While there isn’t a single definition for RevOps, we at OBO see it as a framework that lets you optimize revenue generation by streamlining the overwhelming amount of technology and data found in most go-to-market departments. By uniting the people, tools, processes, and analytics, all working towards the same revenue goals, RevOps allows you to create a well-lubricated and self-propelled revenue engine.
Revenue operations is all about reframing revenue as an end-to-end business process that can be further broken down into individual, complementary components.
Think about how dramatically technology has transformed the way organizations and their audiences operate. Audiences expect an interactive and consistent experience when engaging with an organization, while organizations are suffering from severe app bloat from trying to keep up with their CRMs, marketing automation software, chat bots, text bots, sales enablement tools, and all of their analytics. Does any one person in your organization have a comprehensive understanding of how all of these things work (or don’t work) together?
RevOps In Action
- Tools. Eliminate redundant software, architect a customized system based on user stories, and integrate everything to promote data integrity.
- Processes. The RevOps team both engineers and owns all processes across marketing, sales, and customer service teams. Ambiguities and inefficiencies in your processes are eliminated by design.
- People. With reduced manual processes and role overlap, teams can focus on key tasks to serve the customer and generate revenue.
- Analytics. Provide deeper insights and improve future decision-making with contextual knowledge of departmental metrics.
Who Is RevOps For?
Revenue operations is perfect for any organization that hopes to prevent one department’s efforts from hindering another department’s goals. By introducing a unified system that considers the customer journey and internal processes from beginning to end, RevOps makes it easier for your teams to work together rather than stepping on each other’s toes.
Your marketing department is focused on generating new traffic to your website and creating leads from gated-content form fills! (Awesome, 6 form fills!) Your sales team isn’t selling that pitch anymore, though—the content is already outdated, and customer service is only getting calls about subscription upgrades that aren’t getting back to the sales team. Everyone is exerting effort, but no one is actually making progress.
Is Your Organization Prepared for RevOps?
Friction in your revenue process and its symptoms manifest in a multitude of ways. While it can be easy to see your revenue slow, spotting the exact inefficiencies does not come as easily, especially in legacy operations.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
What does your customer journey look like?
When a lead enters your funnel, who picks it up? How long does it sit there before it gets reassigned from sales back to marketing for nurturing? Without a coordinated and well-defined process, you’ll see business slipping through the cracks due to siloed info and a lack of communication. Organizations need to understand and plan for all aspects of the customer lifecycle, from the first touch to closed deal and beyond. A tight process with clearly defined triggers and roles ensures that revenue isn’t left on the table.
How does your team define metrics?
Sales and marketing teams are plagued by a fundamental lack of agreement on metrics. Let’s look at marketing-qualified leads (MQLs), usually used to measure the success of a marketing team. An organization’s marketing team can define an MQL however it pleases, but what does that mean for sales? If marketing & sales have different opinions of what an MQL means, your revenue engine has friction. Who owns metric definitions and the communication of that information?
How do your sales and marketing efforts directly impact revenue?
You should have contextual insights from across your revenue-generating teams that help drive strategic planning. If your sales, marketing, and customer service teams’ success is being measured strictly through department-specific metrics, like leads, your organization isn’t able to repeat efforts that turned into actual revenue. Without the end-to-end, cross-collaborative insights provided by revenue ops, you’re left to make impactful business decisions on only part of the story or a gut feeling, which can be an expensive mistake.
Is your profitability increasing at the same pace as spend?
What matters isn’t how much you invest in these teams but rather the return of those investments. Say you’ve run several large, costly marketing campaigns for the last several years. Have you been doing this because the return has been excellent or because that’s what you feel like you should be doing? Big spend on new technology, additional hires, and marketing efforts is all but wasted if each piece doesn’t fit into a larger, coordinated revenue strategy.
Who owns your tech stack?
The increasing quality of your data is directly tied to return on revenue operations investments. With organizations averaging around 25–40 tools across sales, marketing, and customer service, it’s simply natural for data, opportunities, and revenue to slip through the cracks.
In thinking about these questions, consider how much friction already exists in your revenue cycle. Not only are overlapping responsibilities across your business wasting resources, but they may also be inhibiting your growth.
If this self-assessment reveals the possibility of operational inefficiencies, it’s time to start exploring where your organizations can optimize. Nailing down and addressing friction points as they’re discovered can help, but applying an overarching strategy can prevent the friction before it’s even encountered. The OBO assessment begins with a deep dive into your revenue engine and all the people, processes, and tools that are needed to run it. Leveraging outside expertise can help build RevOps strategies that organically stimulate revenue growth.
Successful RevOps projects are inherently strategic. Attempting to solve friction by providing teams with new technology or attempting to implement processes that don’t fit into a larger strategic plan will only create more friction that slows your revenue engine.
When approaching a revenue operations project, OBO breaks projects into 4 phases, two of which are dedicated solely to assessment. Assessments ensure that our team has a holistic understanding of your revenue process from end to end.
Phase One: Assessing Current Systems, Users, and Processes
Phase one of an OBO assessment begins with understanding the essence of your organization. From your people to your technologies and processes, we examine how these elements work together and identify areas for optimization.
Subject matter expert interviews provide practical user stories to frame your team’s needs and guide our solution recommendations. Various stakeholders in your organization—like sales, marketing, and customer service managers—share their departments roles, responsibilities, and processes and discuss desired automations and integrations to optimize their efforts. These conversations not only begin to reveal operational inefficiencies like overlaps in daily operations or gaps in your customer’s journey but also allow us to develop user stories to guide future work.
A user story is a lightweight technique for gathering user requirements from your team; it defines concrete milestones as short sentences, giving our development team clear goals to meet.
For example, suppose that sales would like to receive an email alert when a deal has been sitting in a certain stage for X amount of time so they remember to follow up. Operations, on the other hand, wants to be alerted when a new program is launching so they can prepare the warehouse. There’s also your tech team—they need to dedupe all of the accounts in their existing CRM so they have clean, usable data in their new CRM. With all of these user requirements in mind, our team has the foundational knowledge it required to recommend the best solutions for your organization’s unique structure.
Once our team has evaluated your organization’s needs and all user stories have been compiled, we present our findings and key recommendations. This presentation provides several possible RevOps solutions based on your organization’s budget, user requirements, and business goals. Our deep experience in a multitude of technologies, combined with an unbiased approach to solution pairing, ensures that your organization sees its desired ROI.
Phase Two: Technical Scope
Once user story interviews have been completed, we go on to evaluate them to recommend technical architecture and system design to support your programs, organizational objectives, and individual user requirements. If rushed into, these implementation projects can quickly become complex and costly. Phase two provides a final cost and timeline prior to the project start to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the project scope. While phase two mostly takes place behind the scenes, our implementation experts carefully scope out each task to develop your organization’s RevOps system.
While revenue operations may be fairly fresh on the scene, its theme is that of incredible value for growth-motivated companies. This total reframing of how organizations approach sales, marketing, service, and operations allows your teams to work together to reach common revenue goals.
If you’re looking to remove friction from your process and set up your organization for uninhibited growth, it’s time to look at your end-to-end revenue process.
Reach out to our business development team to learn more about our assessment process and how to strategize revenue operations growth for your company.