How revenue operations helps your SaaS company take off

Posted June 18, 2019

Brittany Rosenau headshot

By Brittany Rosenau

Data Quality Specialist at Outreach

“Y’all want transportation?” “Yes, Ma’am.”

The voices crackled in my headset as my brother expertly landed the two-seater prop plane at George T. Lewis Airport, Cedar Key, FL, a strip of asphalt 100 feet wide and just over a half mile long—the shortest paved runway in Florida.

Our “transportation” showed up moments later— a sweet woman driving a minivan, her dog as her co-pilot. For a small fee of $5, we were shuttled from the landing strip to the center of town, where we got fried fish sandwiches and watch the dolphins play in the Gulf of Mexico.

There’s no control tower at George T. Lewis Airport, but with an average of 10 flight operations a day, coordinating with fellow pilots in the air is good enough. There just isn’t much traffic.

Now imagine that landing at the Seattle–Tacoma International Airport. How would you feel if, when the overhead speakers crackled, your pilot informed you that there was no air traffic control, but they checked with the other pilots in the air and they said we’re fine to land? With over 400,000 landings a year, SeaTac’s scale requires air traffic controllers to partner with pilots and other personnel. Without this partnership, SeaTac would not be able to operate as America’s 8th busiest airport.

As organizations scale, it’s crucial to have the structure in place to make sure that departments aren’t flying solo, but are partnering to achieve the company goals. This is where Revenue Operations comes in. RevOps provides structure, breaks down the silos, and facilitates efficient processes, enabling your revenue-driving teams to do their work with focus and speed.

In other words, RevOps is the air traffic controller for your business.

Here are four benefits of uniting Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success under RevOps in your organization:

Getting Everyone on the Same Page

In the growing world of SaaS companies, having a great Sales team simply isn’t enough to guarantee success. A successful sales org cannot stand alone— it requires teaming up with Marketing to bring qualified leads into the sales funnel, as well as Customer Success to enable adoption and retention.

Why then would you keep these groups separate?

By uniting these groups under RevOps, the message is clear: these teams are not competing, but aligned to accomplish one goal: drive revenue. One way the Outreach RevOps team drives alignment is by hosting a regular “Top of Mind” meeting, where information like product releases, upcoming webinars and content releases, new sequences, and case studies are presented. This ensures our Sales, Marketing, and Success teams are all empowered with the latest and greatest information coming from a trusted source.

Smashing Silos

Another benefit of uniting under Revenue Operations? Smashing the silos. Silos creep up when teams or departments are working on their own—flying solo. Trying to align independent teams leads to time-consuming meetings carries the risk of departments duplicating efforts or even working towards opposing goals (yikes). With RevOps people and structures in place, teams are encouraged to collaborate, which drives more innovation and efficiency.

One of the ways our RevOps team at Outreach lives this value is by systematically shadowing and sitting with the cross-functional teams they are working with. As Mario Espinoza explains in Sales Engagement, sitting with other teams “encourages Operations teams to rethink the value of a product, process, or technology away from their own personal choice—the antithesis of empathy—to one with an empathetic lens”.

Scaling Strategically

When your organization is growing, it’s often necessary and exciting to bring new people on to the team. However, as anyone who has played Jenga knows, it’s not about how many blocks are in the tower, but how they’re stacked. Simply adding more blocks won’t make the structure stronger, and throwing more people at a problem isn’t always the best strategy.

RevOps occupies the unique position of having a holistic view of the revenue pipeline, and can help your teams strategize to see if adding headcount is the best way to scale or if other solutions would make more sense. At Outreach, we have a ticketing and task management system that allows us to not only have an organized intake process for requests, but allows us to use that data to strategically allocate our team members to make the most impact.

Speeding Up Processes

Many people think of reports and dashboards when they think of Operations. Or maybe you need a new field added to your CRM and RevOps is the group with those permissions. Yes, RevOps can do those things but is capable of so much more.

RevOps excels at optimizing processes towards team and company goals. For example, one of the members of our RevOps team at Outreach was able to partner with another team to streamline a days-long process to under a minute. Seriously. To RevOps, it’s not just about getting the job done, but doing so with speed and efficiency.

When landing at a busy airport, it’s easy to visualize the goal of the Air Traffic Controller: prevent collisions, organize and expedite the flow of air traffic, and provide information and support for pilots. That partnership between those in the tower and those in the air is what makes modern air travel smooth and efficient. It’s not much of a jump to picture your Revenue Operations team in a similar way—they engage and collaborate with revenue-driving teams, enabling them to achieve their goals and hit their KPIs, which in turn enables the whole organization to scale and achieve long-term growth.

Next time you feel like you need a vacation, reach out to your RevOps team, they’ll be happy to partner with you to help you hit your business goals so you can take a day off. And if a fried fish sandwich is what you’re looking for, well, they just might have the answer for that too.


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