“Marketing is where the magic begins” – this past saying by marketers does not hold true any longer. If a single department like Sales, Customer Relationship Management or even Finance provides an unsatisfying experience for customers, the brand is going to suffer.
As customers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, it is necessary to provide a smooth experience throughout the various touch-points of their purchase journey. Therefore, to facilitate this process, Revenue Operations (RevOps) comes in play.
RevOps not only help in providing a positive experience for customers but also enable companies to understand customers better by using insights derived from Big Data and AI. On a wider scale, it helps to bridge divides among many isolated departments. Seeing such benefits, companies are increasingly initiating the RevOps model.
What Is RevOps?
Revenue Operations (RevOps) is the alignment of Marketing, Sales and Customer Relationship Management departments of a company. It is focused on only one goal – increasing revenue. By focusing on one goal, RevOps breaks down the barriers among the three departments to provide a smooth positive experience for customers.
A company’s RevOps has four areas of responsibility – Operations Management, Enablement, Insights, and Tools. The Operations Management team creates an overall strategy for the RevOps department. The Enablement team enables the Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success team to operate efficiently. The Insights team provides data for analysis and decision making. The Tools team is responsible for the technology employed.
RevOps combines strategy, implementation, technology, and data. It also harnesses the power of rising technology such as Big Data and AI. Through this, RevOps helps achieve success.
RevOps Creates a Culture of Collaboration
In the current system, the different departments use different tools and metrics. For example, in Software as a Service (SaaS) companies, the sales, and marketing teams each use on average 32 different tools. Often the different tools measure the same thing but in a different format. This creates redundancies. Moreover, as the tools use different formats, the different departments using those cannot share with others. This creates isolation among the departments.
On the other hand, under RevOps, the three departments are united by the same target set by the Operations Management team. They are led by the same Enablement team. Plus, they use the same tools and information provided by the Tools and System teams respectively. As a result, the redundancies and isolation faced by the current system are removed by RevOps. This also simplifies the go-to-marketing set-up of the company.
By being focused on one target, the marketing, sales and customer success teams work in tandem. And using the same tools and technology, they can easily share information with each other. This results in a collaborative culture where every department of an organization works towards the same goal.
RevOps Provides a Better Knowledge About Customers
The alignment created by the RevOps model results in better insights into the company’s customer base. When all tools and metrics are aligned, RevOps can create a unified database. Using the unified database, the Insights team can derive useful insights from the different points along a customer’s purchase journey. Pre-RevOps, it was impossible as the data were in different formats and no single team to analyze info. But with RevOps, this is possible.
As a result of getting information from the various points of a customer’s journey, companies can get 360-degree insight into its customers. As such, marketing management can take steps to improve services along with certain touch points and remove pain points for its customers.
In addition to getting a 360 knowledge of its customers, RevOps can help companies gather lost data. A study has shown that companies can only capture 20 percent of their data. This is because most data is not even entered in the first place. As a result, a lot of important information is lost along the way.
RevOps utilizes AI-powered technology to gather the lost information. The AI tools used by the Tools team of RevOps automatically capture data along with the different customer touchpoints. This can then be used for getting the 360-degree insight of customers as mentioned previously.
RevOps Benefits Customers Directly
According to Yamini Rangan (Chief Customer Officer at Dropbox), “Customers do not care about your silos. They experience you as one company. You need to run operations based on the way customers need to experience you rather than on some internal structure.” And RevOps helps customers have a singularly positive experience for your company.
Studies have shown that 89% of customers switch to a competitor after encountering a negative customer experience. Another study has shown more than 90% of customers will make repeat purchases after a satisfying experience. According to Franco Anzini (VP of RevOps at Malware Bytes Inc.) said, “Customers have to be satisfied with the service, and they have to really be happy with the experience from when they first hear about us, all the way through the marketing and sales funnels to turning from a prospect to a customer and then becoming a repeat customer.”
This is where RevOps provide a happy experience for the customers. When the three departments are aligned and having the same goal, tools, and metrics, customers will get a smooth experience. Pain points are removed as customers will have a consistent encounter with the company along their purchase journey.
How To Implement RevOps?
Companies are implementing RevOps in various ways. Some companies like Salesforce have created a RevOps team that reports directly to the CFO. Other companies have managers of sales, marketing, and customer satisfaction departments together in an administrative role. Yet others are creating a completely new RevOps department where the head- Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) reports directly to the CEO.
As implementing RevOps requires aligning sales, marketing, and customer satisfaction departments, the process is not easy. The departments might create resistance in some cases. In such cases, top management must find an opportunity that can help to realign resisting departments. Malware Bytes Inc. did exactly that when there was a vacancy for the head of its marketing. The company realigned the workforce at that time to implement RevOps. As a result, it removed resistance.
Some companies, especially startups, often have collaborative cultures that can easily implement RevOps. According to Jake Randall, area manager for Okta (a cloud service platform), “Working for a start-up naturally entails wearing “multiple hats.” For this reason, departments at Okta were cross-functional from the start. Okta has simply worked to strengthen its approach to RevOps over the years.”
So, to implement RevOps in your company, you can create a culture of collaboration to gradually transition to RevOps. If that is not possible, try to find an opportunity that can lead to such implementation.
Tackling Challenges With a RevOps Team
To ensure success, the RevOps team needs a multifaceted strategy. The strategy will have to combine people, process and technology to take control of operations throughout the organization.
People. Smart people management will be an integral part of solving issues within the operations team. Building a strong relationship with executive leadership will help drive the adoption of the new system. At the same time, close collaboration with the cross-functional teams will make issues more manageable. It is also necessary to find and train members with the specific qualities who will be able to adapt to the culture.
Process. Instituting processes will help the RevOps team with requests, procurement, and approval. There should be formalized processes for acquiring new technology, procurement, and enablement. Implementation of the processes should be preceded by extensive research and assessment of risk.
Technology. Selecting the right technology will empower the RevOps team by automating the manual processes and integrating activities. A dilemma faced by teams will be choosing between building solutions in-house and buying them. While buying the solutions, companies will have to keep in mind whether it will be a fit for the organization, instead of focusing on features.
Companies Adopting RevOps
Many companies, particularly cloud-based service companies are adopting RevOps as a way to streamline their marketing processes. Companies using subscription-based services (think of Netflix and Spotify) are also adopting RevOps to increase Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR).
A study conducted by SiriusDecisions shows that the number of job postings for RevOps has increased on LinkedIn. For example, the number of job postings for the Director of Revenue Operations is 68 times more than the number of job postings for the Director of Sales Operations.
One such company that has adopted RevOps is Carbon Black- a cybersecurity company. Two years, as it transitioned to a cloud-based cybersecurity platform, the company initiated RevOps. According to David Carpenter, the SVP of Revenue Operations and Customer Excellence at Carbon Black, “One key benefit of Revenue Operations is that we can achieve balance in our goals and resources, removing silos and barriers to growth, and thus help optimize revenue growth across the revenue funnel.”
United we stand, divided we fall. RevOps seem to prove that the age-old adage applies still now even in the business world. When siloed departments align, united and collaborate, companies win and so does its customers. Companies across the globe have understood the importance of RevOps and are increasingly adopting it. So, if you believe your customers are facing an inconsistent experience or your departments are not aligned, it is high time your company implements a RevOps model.