Driving revenue requires collaboration and integration across the business. But this is often a challenge for organizations, particularly those with separate sales, marketing, and services teams. Revenue operations is one of the most important roles dedicated to tackling that challenge.
With the right approach, RevOps can help tear down departmental silos, ensure all information, insights, and trends align with the company’s broader goals and strategy, and — ultimately — maximize revenue.
Here, we’ll take a deep dive into RevOps, including key functions, benefits, metrics, and how to get started with a successful team implementation:
Revenue Operations (RevOps) is a single team that handles all the processes related to driving revenue. They use specific tools and procedures (e.g., software, change management systems, up-to-date, high-quality documentation, etc.) to improve efficiencies in all departments that impact revenue growth.
Within a sales organization, RevOps teams provide a cohesive revenue operations framework for the entire company. It serves to eliminate contradictory goals and enable an integrated approach to sales targets and revenue attainment.
People often mistake RevOps roles as tactical. In reality, the people in these positions can see both the bigger-picture strategy and the nitty-gritty details. It’s a challenging job, but they’re able to navigate the complexities of acting as strategic partners to the C-suite.
In a RevOps team structure, roles, goals, tools, and daily operations all fall under a single organization — often reporting to a CFO or CRO. In contrast, organization with siloed departments split similar responsibilities across separate leadership roles. That often leads to gaps between teams. But with RevOps in place, revenue-generating teams enjoy more connected operations across sales, marketing, customer success, and more.
The RevOps team does not take over. Their approach emphasizes unity and collaboration, with multiple revenue-responsible teams coming together to execute a variety of tasks, including:
Equally important to these job duties are the soft skills that make an effective RevOps team. Revenue operations team members (and RevOps leaders, especially) enjoy collaboration and have a knack for digging into data to uncover key insights. They can take challenges in stride and remain calm under significant pressure. They also operate and interact with empathy and understand that improving their tools and processes can empower people to perform at their best.
"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."
David Ruggiero, President of GTM, Outreach
Though the two terms are sometimes conflated, RevOps and Sales Ops differ. While Sales Ops teams work to create efficiencies, they focus on the sales department alone. They work to improve sales performance, analyze sales data, and formulate strategic plans that free sales representatives to concentrate on selling.
RevOps teams, on the other hand, take a broader approach to generating more gross revenue. They act as a central point for customer acquisition, satisfaction, and churn by collecting data and using it to inform decision-making across the organization. In short, RevOps is the larger, fully integrated efficiency- and revenue-generating umbrella under which other departments — including Sales Ops — live.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to structuring a RevOps team. It depends on the organization and its size and maturity. Of course, the goal is to structure a revenue operations team to ensure alignment between teams and operational efficiency.
Revenue operations at a smaller company may have one or two team members. Though, that could look vastly different. For example, one company may have a model where a program manager or generalist takes on different aspects of the work. In others, individual departments may manage enablement, while supported by a team member focused on data analytics.
Larger organizations have more flexibility when it comes to structure. In earlier years, many took a centralized approach to the RevOps model. Forming a team under one roof, they flattened the leadership, integrated chains of command, and made lateral shifts of existing staff. In that structure, marketing ops, customer success ops, sales ops, sales systems, sale enablement, and more were pulled under one department.
But the revenue operations discipline has been in place for a while now. So, most mature RevOps structure key roles by function – operations, enablement, insights, and systems – led by a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) who sets the vision for the department.
It’s no wonder why sales organizations have started ditching more traditional, siloed org charts in favor of the RevOps approach. Implementing an effective RevOps department gives companies a variety of key benefits, including:
Traditional organizations may have unique metrics for marketing, sales, and customer service teams. Forming a RevOps team allows companies to create a single set of revenue operations metrics that means the same thing to everyone. These metrics commonly include:
As with any worthwhile initiative, implementing RevOps at your organization isn’t as simple as snapping your fingers. You should take a strategic approach to RevOps so you have a strong foundation moving forward.
The process may vary depending on your organization’s size, industry, and objectives. Even so, there are some basic steps every company should follow as they begin their RevOps journey:
At the onset, you’ll need to identify any weak points and areas of disconnect between your organization’s departments. Start by asking some of these key questions about your revenue journey:
At the onset, you’ll need to identify any weak points and areas of disconnect between your organization’s departments. Start by asking some of these key questions around your revenue journey:
Next, evaluate your analytics and revenue pipeline to ensure you have complete visibility into your company’s health. Restructure positions and hierarchies, as needed, to better suit the RevOps approach (e.g., everyone in operations, tools, and analyst roles falls underneath a single leader).
Then make sure the tools your revenue-generating teams use are working for them. If not, you should conduct some research to invest in and provide the proper technologies and processes for a more effective, efficient operation. Once bolstered by the right tools and processes for support, members of your RevOps team can begin working as a cohesive unit.
Implementing a RevOps team isn’t a one-and-done task but a process that should be continuously improved upon. Be sure to schedule periodic meetings to uncover what’s working, what’s not, and where you can improve strategies, processes, technology usage, and more. Then take action on those findings to optimize your RevOps team and maximize their value.
A unified approach to the revenue journey is at the heart of any effective RevOps team. But even if your organization has the best intentions of implementing a cohesive RevOps approach, it won’t get far without the right system.
Outreach’s Sales Execution Platform is a comprehensive, centralized solution that brings clarity to the chaos of various technologies and data sources. It’s purposefully built to support cross-functional revenue-generating teams and can empower your organization to achieve greater revenue efficiency.
Learn more about how RevOps leaders are building revenue organizations of the future, or request a demo today.