Sales Best Practices

Revenue Operations 101: What's All the Hype?

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Audrey Weber

Associate Content Editor

Revenue operations, or RevOps, has been growing in popularity for a while now, and it shows no sign of slowing down.

So, what's all the hype about?

We’re going to take a quick look at what RevOps is, why it’s so popular, and how you can use it to boost revenue and improve almost aspect of your organization.

What is RevOps?

Traditionally, sales and marketing ops have worked independently and on separate teams. Although this may make sense at first, but it means that sales and marketing are working in silos and making it difficult to coordinate with each other. This separation leads to competing and conflicting goals, redundant or different sets of tools, and wasted time that only serves to confuse and slow down an organization.

Under a Revenue Operations model, it functions as a unique department and gives strategic direction and organization across all the revenue-generating teams in an organization — Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success. In this way, RevOps works to coordinate the revenue teams in the same way that your HR department works to make sure all the employees are on the same page.

Typically, you don’t need to hire new people to fill out the RevOps roles. Your existing staff across marketing, sales, and customer success can simply shift laterally to the RevOps department. Ideally, for the greatest chance of success, you should carve out space for a VP of RevOps, who is on the same level as the VP of Sales, VP of Marketing, and VP of Customer Success to give the team the leadership and resources needed to align successfully.

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

Why RevOps?

There are three main benefits to including a RevOps department in your organization:

  • Alignment
  • Customer expectations
  • Long-term strategic planning

Better alignment

One of the biggest benefits of using a RevOps approach is better alignment between marketing and sales. Companies that closely align sales and marketing see consistently higher revenue.

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.

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

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.

It’s difficult to keep up with the speed and efficiency that customers have come to expect with a traditional approach. 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.

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How to Implement RevOps

If you don’t already have RevOps in your organization, you should think about it. If you do, you need to make sure it’s set up correctly and that you’re putting enough investment into it.

One of the biggest mistakes most companies make when first starting a RevOps team is not adequately investing in it.

Any revenue-leading department is a critical arm of your org, and if you invest in it properly it will make your entire organization more profitable.

Starting a revenue ops approach

Smaller organizations may not have the money or personnel to invest in an entirely new department, or may only have one or two ops people total. In cases like these, it may be enough to simply elevate one of these existing team members to have additional responsibilities that involve strategic planning and coordinating with sales, marketing, and success.

Larger organizations will want to invest in developing a true RevOps division with an experienced VP.

Remember, RevOps is about bridging the gap between separate teams. Emphasize unity and collaboration when setting up a RevOps approach. It’s multiple revenue-responsible teams coming together on ONE team, not one team taking over.

Building a process

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. Many of our customers use the platform not only for sales, but for marketing and customer success, too. Outreach allows you to control who gets access to what information, lets you set up automated triggers that alert certain people and teams when it’s their time to take over a project, and enables your opes people to send messaging that is aligned with your brand across the entire organization.

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.

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