In today’s fast-changing business environment, Revenue Operations is becoming an increasingly important function as companies seek new ways to sustain predictable growth.
The responsibilities of a RevOps leader are constantly evolving to meet the needs of a growing business. At their core, Revenue Operators have served as agents of change within an organization – taking their companies from a world of siloed Go To Market teams to being aligned towards the ultimate goal of revenue optimization.
But that change begins in the way a company thinks about how they can deliver a consistent customer experience across the entire lifecycle. The move towards a RevOps model can be gradual, but it always involves a shift in the mindset of a company and how it thinks about its Go to Market teams.
Revenue Operations can’t be seen as merely a tactical position; it is a mindset that must be embraced across the entire company in order to be successful.
RevOps is a Natural Evolution
Conceptually, Revenue Operations is a natural evolution in the mind of many sales and marketing operations folks.
While each function is tied to their own metrics, they are all revenue-focused in one way or another.
The challenge of Revenue Operations, at its core, is about the alignment of processes and measurements that span across sales, marketing, and customer success. Many people with sales operations or marketing operations in their title are already faced with these challenges, Revenue Operations is just an easier way to conceptualize it.
Even within companies that do not have a Revenue Operations function, Sales Operations teams are already being looked at as the source of truth when it comes to revenue. The data, analysis, and strategy developed by Sales Operations becomes a valuable resource for customer success and marketing teams.
Revenue Operations is more than a job title, it is a driver of organizational change. The ability to look horizontally across the funnel enables a company to be more effective at driving success in the organizations that each operations team is supporting.
This mindset provides many additional opportunities to help drive scalable growth than the siloed approach of the past. SiriusDecisions found that this kind of organizational alignment between sales and marketing can increase growth by nearly 40%.
RevOps as a Mindset
More important than job titles or reporting structures, being aligned on the mindset of working together to achieve efficiencies across the funnel is what defines Revenue Operations.
Having a unified Revenue Operations function reporting up to the same leader is certainly helpful, but not all companies operate this way. In some companies, Revenue Operations reports up to the Chief Customer Officer or Chief Sales Officer - and it works perfectly fine.
It is essential that teams be aligned from a synergistic perspective, working together to accomplish the shared objectives.
Revenue Operations cant just be thought of tactically, it's a methodology and mindset.
For some, focusing on alignment between teams can be jarring. It requires a shift in the way sales, marketing, and customer success teams view their organizations and goals. In order to shift from a silo mentality to a Revenue Operations mindset, organizational leadership must be involved as well.
This requires leaders, from the CEO on down, to prioritize alignment across teams and lead by example in terms of company culture.
Moving from Sales Operations to Revenue Operations
According to a report released by LeanData earlier this year, while 31% of sales and marketing professionals said that their company already had a Revenue Operations function, 27% stated that it was in the process of being built.
In new research released by InsideView, over half of respondents felt that their companies would be merging Sales and Marketing Operations under a single team.
In many organizations, the transition to Revenue Operations begins with the Sales Operations function. These companies often find that Sales Operations, along with supporting the sales function, cross the line into customer success and marketing as well.
When this is done with a vertical, siloed mindset, many Sales Operators will realize that they actually need a horizontal, full-funnel approach to be successful.
These companies come to the realization that they need to be able to see the flow of the entire customer lifecycle, both pre and post-sale.
Clari defines three major structures of RevOps that could be considered:
- Processes: This structure enables teams to remain separate, but focuses on aligning their processes. Most often, in the form of an SLA.
- Data: A more robust Revenue Operations model that goes beyond just aligning processes, but includes the cross-team data measurement based in a single location. This kind of alignment enables teams to focus on the most important metrics while casting aside "vanity" metrics that don't have a real impact.
- People: This would be the most intensive, fully formed version of Revenue Operations. In this model, the processes, data, and people would report up to a Revenue Operations leader and be part of a single organization within the company.
Whichever one of these models a company chooses is entirely dependent on what their needs are - there are no hard and fast rules.
In a period of transition, as a company is moving closer to a Revenue Operations model, there could be a situation in which Sales Ops still reports to sales and Marketing Ops still reports to marketing, but they meet on a regular basis to create full alignment. This can be the model for a transition into a more evolved form of Revenue Operations until a full-fledged Revenue Operations manager or leader is found.
As a company goes through this transition, it's important to get buy-in from all stakeholders. Change is hard and there may be some hesitancy but it's critical to have everyone aligned as you go through the transition.
This is a journey for everyone. If Sales, Marketing, and Customer Support are truly aligned operationally and on metrics, then you are well on your way. There is no need for a company to move faster than they are able to towards implementing a full-blown Revenue Operations model.
A company can move into Revenue Operations by taking these concepts and implementing them into the organizational structure as it exists today.
In preparation for a full change-over, there are steps that can be taken along the way to ease the transition:
- Have Go to Market teams shadow each other, understand the challenges and metrics of each other's teams.
- Have team members work together to understand the impact of different tools and strategies on closing a deal
- Create regular, cross-functional meetings in which teams work with each other on identifying successes and planning adjustments
- Make these regular activities so that it becomes routine for teams to be speaking the same language.