Sales Best Practices

Revenue Operations 101: What's All the Hype?

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Serena Miller

Content Marketing Manager

Revenue operations, or RevOps for short, consist of a single team that focuses on maximizing revenue. In organizations with a Chief Revenue Officer, or even Chief Financial Officer, that oversee all forms of revenue, the revenue operations leader acts as the “Chief of Staff” in these roles. Ensuring that all information, insights, and trends are in line with the strategy and goals of the organization.

The flat revenue team structure prevents siloes from forming, which typically happens in companies with separate sales, marketing, and customer services teams. By combining these functions under one umbrella, effective leaders can build a culture of collaboration.

An integrated rev ops team handles all the processes needed to drive revenue. Tools and processes needed to make this happen include the right software tools, change management systems and up-to-date, high-quality documentation.

Rev Ops vs Sales Ops: What’s the difference?

Many companies have sales operations teams that focus on creating efficiency in a separate sales department. Sales operations teams focus mainly on sales and the cost of sales. They may be aware of metrics that affect the overall revenue picture but sales ops focuses on selling net-new revenue as opposed to generating more gross revenue.

The rev ops definition is much broader by comparison. Rev ops drives efficiencies in all departments that affect revenue growth. A revenue operations org chart encompasses marketing, finance, customer service, and sales. The sales team still focuses on selling products, but the revenue operations team integrates behind-the-scenes work such as collecting data and using it to inform decision-making across the organization.

Sales operations teams improve sales performance, analyze sales data, and formulate strategic plans that free sales representatives to concentrate on selling. A revenue operations team acts as a central point for customer acquisition, satisfaction, and churn.

What does a RevOps team do?

In siloed sales structures, sales and marketing teams can work towards different goals. Rev Ops integrates all the functions that drive revenue to provide a cohesive revenue operations framework for the entire company. This eliminates contradictory goals and enables a cohesive approach to sales targets and revenue growth.

In a revenue operations team structure, sales, marketing, and customer service report into the same C-level position, such as the CFO. In a traditional, siloed org chart, sales and marketing might be governed by completely separate chains of command with competing interests. Often, customer service is also separated in terms of leadership and operations.


With RevOps, all your operations, tools, and analyst people report to one VP instead of to different leadership (chart via people.ai)

Organizations wondering how to build a revenue operations team can start by flattening the leadership and integrating the chains of commands. Remember, RevOps is about bridging the gap between separate teams. Emphasize unity and collaboration when setting up a RevOps approach: multiple revenue-responsible teams coming together, not one team taking over.

So, what does a Rev Ops Manager do? A revenue operations manager makes the final decisions on strategies that drive revenue. On a day to day basis, they create processes to enhance collaboration between sales, customer service and marketing teams.

Common revenue operations metrics

In traditional org charts, marketing, sales, and customer service may have unique metrics. Forming a rev ops team allows companies to create a single set of revenue operations metrics that means the same thing to everyone.

  • New customer acquisition and cost to acquire (CAC)
  • Number of bookings or units sold
  • Annual /Monthly recurring revenue (ARR/MRR)
  • Cash collections
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV)
  • Carry capacity
  • Ramp time
  • Customer churn
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Net new revenue
  • Gross profit

Key Benefits of a RevOps Team

There are three main benefits to including a RevOps department in your organization: improved alignment, customer experience, and long-term strategic planning.

    Better alignment

    One of the biggest benefits of using a RevOps approach is better alignment between marketing and sales. Research from Forrester says that highly aligned companies grow 19% faster and are 15% more profitable.

    Think about it: marketing and sales both rely on huge amounts of customer data to move prospects through the pipeline. When the two teams are separate, the different ops teams will waste time regathering data and information that another team has already gathered, or spend time trying to manually transfer data from one team’s tool to another.

    By consolidating operations under one roof, RevOps creates a natural bridge between each silo. Your sales and marketing teams begin to use the same tools, coordinate with the same data, and speak the same language. Hand-offs become easier, and each team can focus on doing their jobs, instead of wasting time trying to coordinate with someone a different team using different tools.

    Customer Lifecycle Graphic


    RevOps helps create a frictionless buyer journey (image from People.ai)

    Many organizations take a siloed approach ... They use a mashup of disparate systems and processes to manage the revenue cycle, which causes sellers, managers and leaders to manually piece together a picture of everything happening in their pipelines. Mary Shea, VP, Global Innovation Evangelist

    Customers expect more

    In today’s sales world, customers expect near-instant communication and response. They want their questions answered quickly and they expect a smooth, speedy handoff throughout the entire sales process. Without a unified engagement and intelligence platform, it’s easy to lose track of what a customer has already been told or what data has already been gathered.

    RevOps minimizes this by aligning the different teams for smoother handoffs, coordinating data to streamline the process and reduce wasted time.

    Long-term strategic planning

    Another major benefit of RevOps is that it facilitates long-term strategic planning.

    In a traditional, siloed structure, it’s very easy for the marketing and sales teams to be working towards two completely different long-term goals. Sometimes these can even contradict each other. This is a huge waste of time, energy, and potential.

    RevOps allow your company to take a cohesive approach to planning. Just as the military is more effective when the different branches work together, so is your business.

    RevOps facilitates communication and makes sure every team has what they need to accomplish their part of the plan. It keeps everyone on-track so the entire organization moves as one.

    How to Implement RevOps

    Once you have the team in place, you’ll need to develop new processes to coordinate and work with sales, marketing, and success.

    This involves auditing the tech stack across your entire org. Many of the tools that sales and marketing use are likely to be redundant, or simply not communicate well with each other. This is also true with your data. You’ll often find redundant or outdated data spread across an organization.

    One of the simplest ways to align your tech stack under RevOps is to use a sales engagement platform like Outreach. Our customers use the platform not only to manage sales activities, but to get a unified view into their deals, teams, and customers. 

    RevOps has taken over because it works. It speeds up the sales cycle, reduces mistakes, coordinates data, and increases overall revenue and retention across an entire organization. Want to learn more? Listen in on a conversation with Outreach's SVP of Revenue Excellence and Operations Harish Mohan and Director of Product Management Adam Cuzzort to learn about the importance of hitting revenue targets predictably — or request a demo today.

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