If you are in marketing and sales, you have likely noticed the term Revenue Operations (“RevOps” for short) on the rise lately.
Case in point, Revenue Operations job titles on LinkedIn are increasing across the board, based on a SiriusDecisions report. It also reveals titles Director Revenue Operations surpassed Director Sales Operations titles by a whopping 68% on the social platform.
If you are also one of the many who are confused about what RevOps means, why you need it and how to do it, this post is for you.
Why the need for RevOps?
Revenue Operations or RevOps is crucially transforming how companies look at growth. Instead of keeping departments and teams siloed, it keeps them streamlined and encouraged to work together to ensure accountability and synchronize goals of operations that are revenue-generating.
An IDC data report says the companies that understood the function of Revenue Operations, and aligned their teams towards it grew their revenue 19% faster than those who did not.
A dedicated RevOps team examines the big picture of how the strategy, goals, data, metrics, and actions of each team work together to drive predictable revenue for the company. The team can assign and review these metrics to provide full visibility and alignment across all teams. These shared success metrics also aid the company’s efforts to successfully forecast revenue and pinpoint your pipeline needs.
Here are some more benefits of RevOps.
- Increased collaboration across teams ensures more accountability and transparency
- Helps derive more accurate predictive business analytics to attract, retain and grow your most profitable customers.
- The data-driven model ensures better sales productivity and close rates
- Collaboration between the teams translates to better customer experience and higher customer retention
What is Revenue Operations?
Revenue Operations represent a much-needed alignment between marketing, sales, and customer success. Its purpose is to find out the most important tools and strategies to grow revenues by eliminating silos, prioritising efficiency and increasing accountability among teams.
Under a RevOps structure, sales ops merge with marketing and customer success operations to work towards a unified strategy and increase revenue. This cohesive structure then jointly works towards optimising business processes to accelerate growth and generate the company’s top-line success.
What does a Revenue Operations team look like?
The size and structure of your Revenue Operations team will depend on the size and needs of your business.
A RevOps team can involve anyone who touches a part of the product-to-cash lifecycle. Some departments might report to the new RevOps team, and others will stay where they are, for example, in legal, but with an added commitment to support revenue success.
Typically, the core functions in Revenue Operations are Sales Operations, Marketing Operations and Customer Success Operations.
Let us look at each of the individual functions and how they contribute to the success of the team on the whole.
Sales under RevOps is better equipped to handle sales objections
A data-driven RevOps team will be more adept at understanding key priorities and handling sales objections. This means that salespeople can spend more time doing what they do best – engaging with prospects and closing deals.
Marketing under RevOps can build a customer-focused strategy
The marketing division in RevOps will have access to more tech and more data empowering them to make their pitches that are customer-centred and thus more effective.
Customer success under RevOps offers a well-rounded experience for the customer
As the previously siloed departments are aligned and working in tandem, there is a more well-rounded experience for the customer. Customers notice better standards of communication and service. This in turn leads to more upsell and renewal opportunities with existing customers.
Enablement strategies of RevOps
RevOps is based on four core ingredients i.e Data, Customer processes, Tools or tech stack, and strategic insights and team.
- Free-flowing data between teams to manage and optimize your revenue cycle
Data is at the core of all your business activities and practices. Sales need quality data of the prospects to sell to the right people at the right time; marketing needs visibility over the volume and quality of leads they are bringing in, and customer success needs to have up-to-date data to spot potential upsell opportunities and stay on track with client journeys.
If you want your teams to be aligned, you need to start with your data. Each function needs to be able to see the same data, in the same way, to truly understand and respond to the needs of the customer.
The first step to doing this is by sourcing quality B2B data. You can do this by either tasking internal teams to gather data or by partnering with a third-party data provider like hubsell. An advantage of getting on-demand generated data is that you can be sure that the data you receive is curated, structured, enriched and validated with the highest relevance specifically for your needs.
- Interconnected customer processes for creating engagement and boosting customer experience
B2B sales are now increasingly becoming buyer-focused, which means if you are not adapting to your customers’ evolving needs, you are missing out on valuable business.
A customer is not thinking about different functions in your business, whether it is sales, marketing or customer success. They are just thinking about the solution you are offering and the experience they are getting from your brand. To accommodate this, you need to integrate your siloed functions to create an excellent customer experience, which is exactly what RevOps does.
Revenue Operations naturally bring all these elements together making it easier to deliver that all-important customer experience. The customer experience so achieved utilises all of your resources across marketing, sales, customer success and operations to ensure that every touchpoint is human and effortless.
- Tech stack consisting of various apps, software, tools, and programs crucial to implementing Revenue Operations
To be truly successful with RevOps, it is important to invest in a tool kit that connects your current tools, analyses and cleans customer data and automates all major business processes.
If you have a bunch of different tools for different departments that do not work well together, your data, processes and people are never going to be aligned. If your business is not aligned, it is your customer’s experience that will suffer.
One way to ensure your tech stack is setting you up to be successful is to invest in an all-in-one sales automation partner like hubsell which integrates your CRM platform with your social media and email accounts. The complete toolkit incorporates marketing, sales, service operations bringing together all customer data in one place, enabling seamless, omnichannel interactions with your prospects.
- Strategic insights and team to structure and mobilize your revenue organization
You need to set goals to work towards that everyone understands and is invested in. Having a RevOps function allows you to align all of your goals and objectives so that each of your go-to-market teams has visibility over what they are trying to achieve and understands how their responsibilities feed into them.
A very important link to all of the crucial elements and an integral part of the business is a team. The people that make up your team are the ones responsible for the experience the customer receives at every touch-point from marketing to sales to service. They are responsible for delivering value and, in turn, building the company’s reputation.
Use these four pillars as a starting point and you will be well on your way to implementing a successful RevOps structure for your business enabling you to make better decisions faster, get the right data in hand to make those decisions and build a predictable pipeline.
Key metrics of RevOps to measure your success
Like any other business function, Revops too depends on metrics to measure its effectiveness and keep track of the current status of specific business processes in RevOps.
Below are five key KPIs that you should be paying attention to:
- Customer churn
Customer churn is the percentage of customers that stop using an organization’s product or service within a specific period. Analyzing the churn rate as it occurs proves to be advantageous, giving the organization’s data that can put into place preemptive measures throughout all top lines of success.
A staggering 33% of Americans say they will consider choosing another brand after one instance of poor customer service. This stat alone is a risk for any B2B company that is hoping to keep their churn rate between 3-5% – the churn rate every company should aim for.
A good way for a business to retain a majority of customers is to prioritize customer retention with a RevOps strategy. An organization’s churn rate is likely to be lower when customer challenges or questions are addressed at all stages of the customer journey with an integrated RevOps strategy. When solutions and answers are provided proactively, customer retention is ignited and revenue skyrockets.
- Pipeline velocity
The rate at which an organization can move leads through the pipeline to the closing stage is known as pipeline velocity.
Revenue Operations stresses how important it is to focus on the customer at all stages of the buying process. When organizations can understand the needs, wants, and problems of customers, then sales, marketing, and customer teams can frame solutions and answers accordingly.
Sales teams want to get customers through the pipeline as quickly as possible. However, it is challenging when pipeline goals are sales-eccentric and not concentrated on the primary revenue drivers.
- Sales forecasting
A sales forecast estimates how much your company plans to sell within a certain period, be it a week, a month or a year.
Sales forecasting is critical because an organization must make decisions using data-driven numbers to help grow the business. It is critical to identify mistakes early on, but difficult when only the sales team is responsible for delivering an efficient forecast.
There are common sales forecasting problems that arise when organizations do not have a framework in place, like Revenue Operations, to account for the important metric. This may include no training, time-consuming processes, accidental inaccuracies, or not having a clear sales process.
- Customer acquisition costs (CAC)
In the last few years, customer acquisition costs have been steadily increasing for B2B companies by nearly 50%.
B2B organizations find it challenging to acquire new customers because they do not know how much to invest in their marketing efforts to attract the right audience. Strong relationships drive revenue. It is important to understand each customer relationship on an individual level so your go-to-market teams can approach and deal with them in the right way. Keeping this metric in control is key to the function of RevOps.
- Renewals, upgrades, and cross-sells
Data shows a mere 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by up to 90%. The only way to achieve this significant growth is by aiming for customer satisfaction.
The Revenue Operations framework creates Lifetime Value (LTV) because it focuses on understanding customers at every stage of the journey. It finds honest, functional ways to maintain customer satisfaction by using data shared across your go-to-market teams. When customers are satisfied, they are more likely to renew, upgrade, or buy more.
How to set up RevOps for your company?
Firstly, there is no one-size-fits-all for Revenue Operations, as creating a Revenue Operations plan for your company relies heavily on your company’s unique situation.
There are only general guidelines that can help you get started with creating a more unified organization, as given below:
Step 1: Understand your business capabilities
The size of your organization has a large bearing on the type of RevOps team you will need in your company. For example, if your organization is less than 100 people, Revenue Operations will likely be a small team, possibly even a single person who wears many hats. Starting with one RevOps lead is advantageous for smaller companies who can then develop into a larger team as the organization grows.
On the other hand, larger organizations may want to hire a RevOps leader and some of the roles outright, as it is likely that some of these roles already exist in sales, marketing, and client success. If this is the case for your organization, the RevOps leader will help bring the roles together and unify reporting.
Step 2: Align your team
Now that you have an idea of your business capabilities, let us talk about the various roles you need to be fulfilled in your RevOps team.
Start by outlining the basic and essential roles that every RevOps team should have, such as:
- Operations: Oversees strategy and planning, as well as day-to-day processes and activities
- Enablement: Manages onboarding, coaching, and professional development
- Insights: Collects and analyzes data to assess the performance
- Tools: Manages all software, ensures its functionality, and advises on new purchases
Step 3: Break departmental silos
Next, implement processes to ensure collaboration between your Rev Ops divisions, including sales, marketing, and customer service. An essential component of RevOps is the collaboration between teams to ensure a data-sharing process that empowers each division without adding too much additional work. Technology can be leveraged to allow for seamless data sharing. Each team should contribute to, and reference, one CRM for all leads and customers.
There should also be a continuous feedback loop to help marketing and sales improve their processes. Continuous analysis of which marketing content converts the most customers and which types of leads make the best customers can help you reorient your marketing goals. A feedback loop process is essential to improvement, growth of the business, and increasing revenue.
Step 4: Get Data and monitor KPIs
Data is usually the hardest part of establishing a Revenue Operations strategy. A successful Revenue Operations approach relies heavily on high-quality data and the sharing of data. Progress toward improvement can be monitored via key performance indicators (KPIs), or specific data points you aim to improve.
- High-Quality Data: Collecting and using the best data starts with information about your leads and customers. You need a rich profile for your prospects consisting of their job title, company name, location, challenges they face, content consumed, and details about which services or products they are interested in.
- KPIs for Rev Ops Success: KPIs to monitor to measure the success of your Rev Ops team and systems should include the number of new leads per month (marketing), pages viewed for a visitor’s first session, forms submitted per month, number of follow-up meetings with leads, and the number of converted leads per month. Other key KPIs to track to ensure successful handoff between sales and customer service would be customer service scores, overall customer satisfaction scores, and, if implemented, customer onboarding survey scores.
With hubsell, you can not just acquire quality B2B data for new leads but also enrich every lead in your CRM and arm your sales team with the most up-to-date account info. This results in a more streamlined and personalised communication between you and your prospects.
Step 5: Get your tech stack up and running
To accomplish a Revenue Operations approach, you are going to need the right Revenue Operations technology stack.
The basics of a Rev Tech stack include CRM, marketing automation tools, a single platform to monitor customer order management, customer communication tracking, intent data analytics, and relationship management.
Let us analyse each of these components in detail.
- CRM: A CRM tool acts as the central hub of information, accessed by all Rev Ops divisions. Data must flow in from your website, referring websites or platforms, order systems/POS, communication platforms such as email and customer service tickets, and any additional marketing services, including, for example, reviews or content tools. The more you can automatically map leads to organizations and data to the right lead within your CRM, the more efficient your teams will be.
- Marketing automation tools: To automate actions based on a lead’s progression through the sales funnel, you will need marketing automation software that helps you launch your campaigns and ensure responsive communication. This will also enable sales teams to use automated lead scoring based on lead behaviour and prioritise leads and determine the most effective next step to move the lead closer to conversion.
- A single coherent platform for easy tracking: A RevOps approach needs a unified platform for marketing, sales, and customer service teams. This means you need to have a centralized location where all your data is stored across departments. Your organization’s data should flow freely between any systems that your teams are using.
If you are looking for a technology solution that covers all of the essential bases for RevOps, we would recommend the hubsell platform. Our software helps you maintain control of data and assists your sales teams in automating manual processes such as lead qualification, outreach campaigns and scheduling follow-ups automatically.
RevOps breaks down departmental silos and provides a new collaborative centralized way of thinking and operating to achieve revenue goals. No matter which way you approach it, aligning under Revenue Operations will dramatically improve the efficiency of your business, the revenue you generate and the experience your customers have with your business. Partnering with a technology solution like hubsell can set you up for easy success in your RevOps endeavour.
For those that are unfamiliar with hubsell, we provide an end-to-end B2B leading solution with on-demand generated B2B data and multi-channel personalised outreach automation software to generate sales qualified leads.
Book your discovery call today to see how you can scale your opportunity generation.