There has been a lot of talk about Revenue Operations (RevOps) over the past couple of years. The question is whether or not it is worthy of the buzz. The short answer is yes, but probably not why you think. We’ll get there. RevOps makes a lot of sense conceptually and practically. The harsh reality is that it may have as many barriers to implementation as there are challenges in sales/marketing alignment. This Tough Talks Made Easy briefing on RevOps aims to unpack what it is, why it is important, who is adopting it, and where to start.
What is Revenue Operations?
RevOps is the integration of sales operations, marketing operations, and customer success in a B2B enterprise. It’s a structure that unifies the customer journey around sales, marketing, and customer success. The key is the alignment in data to enable the people, processes, and technologies. That data provides a full picture of the activities and outcomes without barriers or silos.
RevOps is not to be confused with SiriusDecision’s Revenue Engine.
It is interesting to note that the Revenue Engine model does not explicitly include customer success in its structure/breakdown. In our experience, repeat business and organic growth shouldn’t be left out of the customer journey or lifecycle.
Why is Revenue Operations Important?
The value proposition in RevOps lies in the strategic integration of the three functions and the operational efficiencies that go with it. Think of RevOps as the latest attempt to solve the sales/marketing alignment challenge. The silver bullet RevOps provides is unified, actionable data. It was almost 10 years ago when marketing automation really started to take fire with the promise of sales and marketing alignment. Marketing automation systems on their own aren’t equipped to solve the structural issues within an organization. That’s where RevOps comes in, with its promise of silo-busting.
Marketing automation integration with CRMs got sales and marketing talking. MQLs transforming to SQLs was a beautiful thing to behold. The major challenge is that while the conversation started, it didn’t continue or evolve within many organizations. Silos returned and were exacerbated with complex tech stacks and expanding data gaps between multiple business divisions.
Who is adopting Revenue Operations?
Teams that are making the shift to RevOps are those who have a solid understanding of the opportunity as well as the culture and leadership to support it. Organizational change is hard. The logic of RevOps from a strategic and operational perspective is clear. RevOps will be easier for an organization that is either rapidly growing or starting from scratch. Organizations that are more mature, who have disconnected systems, monstrous tech stacks, and siloed data will have more difficulty. Another major challenge is this:
This array of Chiefs or VPs/SVPs/EVPs don’t always want to share or devolve power.
Where to start with Revenue Operations?
There are two key places to start. The first is executive support and for obvious reasons, an accompanying strategic plan. The second is in data alignment. This data puzzle is a daunting one. Sales ops and marketing ops have assembled enormous if not complex tech stacks. Data is housed in each and assembling an integrated (accurate) picture is difficult. Ultimately data and analytics is the foundation of RevOps upon which people and processes must operate.
When to have the Tough Talk?
The RevOps buzz has been going on for a while now and doesn’t seem to be losing steam. Now is the time to think this through, not just because Gartner and SiriusDecisions say so, but because it’s pertinent to become a successful B2B enterprise. Solving problems like data gaps and sales/marketing alignment that plague B2B companies isn’t a quick fix. We can all agree that it would be a good fix though and revenue operations opens the door to that discussion. Ask yourself, would a conversation around the benefits of integrating marketing ops, sales ops, and customer success to help align the customer journey be of interest to your leadership? RevOps will come up at some point, you can count on that, so be prepared for it. We’re here to help, whenever you need it.