It’s not easy being a buzzword, we imagine. Sometimes, revenue operations seems to be just that—a concrete concept whose meaning has become nebulous as more and more companies seek to define it.
Even as the first company ever to help enterprise businesses implement the RevOps methodology, there are times in which we find it necessary to revisit the foundation of what we do—what it really is, why it matters for the companies we work with, and how to do it right.
About a year ago, we published an ‘Intro to RevOps’ post, in which we spoke in detail about the theory behind the methodology and what it meant for organizations in a structural sense. Since then, the landscape has changed and new trends have taken hold, so in our view, it only makes sense that our definition of revenue operations should rise to the occasion.
What Is RevOps: An Elevator Pitch
After re-reading our previous post on the subject, we felt pretty strongly that we could offer a clearer, more succinct explanation of revenue operations. Breaking new concepts down into smaller, more digestible pieces makes the path forward clearer, too.
At its core, RevOps is a methodology that allows organizations to streamline their customer experience, making sure it’s seamless and personalized at every stage of the journey. It reduces internal friction between your go-to-market teams so that they are able to put the customer’s success and satisfaction above all else, which means that your customers will feel comfortable putting their trust in your organization, leading to loyalty and evangelism. Bigger deal size, increased LTV, and referrals are, needless to say, all huge contributors to increased revenue.
How Does It Do That?
This is done by eliminating operational silos within the organization—uniting sales, marketing, and CS operations into a single unit that drives strategy for the go-to-market teams using its four core skills: strategy, tools, enablement, and insights.
Now called the RevOps team, this unit will assess the business holistically, determining which initiatives—regardless of discipline—will make the most revenue impact. Using these insights, the RevOps team will build a strategic operational roadmap, thereby creating alignment across the organization.
It’s this point that causes many to believe that alignment is the end goal of revenue operations; that once your teams are aligned, the process is finished and everyone can move on. This is not the case. In reality, alignment is a by-product of healthy, un-siloed operations. It allows your teams to impact revenue by eliminating silos that lead to gaps in the customer experience. This is RevOps’ real goal.
Why Is It Necessary?
Before RevOps came along, of course businesses were still making money. So, then, why reinvent the wheel? As consultants, we have heard this question many times. The fact is, if you’re happy with the status quo and uninterested in maximizing your company’s revenue (+26% with RevOps), legacy operations will most likely continue to work for you on some level.
However, there is a reason we are seeing more and more organizations make this transition; it’s necessary if you want to achieve strategic, sustainable growth. By now, everyone knows that customers expect much more than just an average experience when they buy a product or service. When the next shiny tech solution is always just days from going to market, SaaS companies in particular can’t afford to just hover somewhere in the middle when it comes to the way their business functions and the experience they deliver from awareness to evangelism.
In addition to allowing operators to focus their energy on the customer instead of unnecessary internal bottlenecks, RevOps also changes a key dynamic: instead of the GTM teams being the stakeholders for your operations, the customer assumes that role. Knowing that success means doing everything in your power to leave people feeling good about each interaction they have with your company establishes a shared incentive for the entire organization.
How Do You Do It?
Of course, this is the hard part. Any kind of operational restructuring is daunting, and it makes sense to worry about what the ramifications might be.
The first step will be to really take stock of your organization. Identify where your shortcomings are, and the issues that are preventing you from driving the most possible revenue. Find the gaps in your customer experience. Once you have this information, you can begin to think about building your team.
Where there are missing skillsets, make hires. Don’t focus too much on having a specialist for every tool and every discipline; instead, build a team of generalists who are comfortable being hands-on in new areas, and who share a common vocabulary. Give your team autonomy, but let them know they must work together and put the customer first in order to be successful.
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