TLDR: Internal SLAs in RevOps define your policies and contingency plans regarding the lead lifecycle. Logical, well-understood SLAs allow you to monitor the impact of your lifecycle structure and activities, and make it easier to improve processes and resolve issues. But SLAs only work when people are incentivized to follow them. Seek feedback from people in your RevOps team when developing processes, and gamify the fulfillment of SLAs to encourage participation.


Service level agreements (SLAs) define a business’s deliverables and services to customers and prospects. They also serve an important purpose between internal teams. SLAs lay out your policies regarding the lead lifecycle—the actions Sales, Marketing, and RevOps should take in response to customer activities and the contingency plans in case things don’t happen as expected.

Service level agreements standardize your timelines to respond to customers and prospects at each stage of the lifecycle. Establishing and optimizing these processes is essential to move prospects along their buying journeys and prevent leads from going cold.

In other words: the quality of your SLA processes can make or break your revenue function. In this Tough Talks Made Easy, you’ll learn to explain the impact of SLAs to your RevOps leader. You’ll help them to grasp why processes succeed or fail and encourage the implementation of strategies and initiatives with SLAs that lead to a healthy RevOps team.


The impact of SLAs

SLAs encourage clarity of policymaking in your business. They help people in your RevOps team to understand your default processes and corrective measures. Crucially, they give people a reference point to improve processes and resolve issues based on realistic expectations.

For each stage of the lifecycle, your team has measures to engage prospects within certain conditions. For example, if someone fills in a contact form, Sales might receive an alert minutes later alerting them to respond within 2 hours.

But if the Sales rep responsible for a particular account is away, what’s the handover process? If there’s no handover, why not? How do you escalate the situation? Given the data-crunching and people involved in responding to an inquiry, is the 2-hour turnaround time for a responsible feasible?

Effective SLAs allow your RevOps team to:

  • monitor the impact of their lifecycle structure and activities
  • rectify flawed processes, and
  • double down on what works.

For example, if your conversion rate from sign-ups to MQLs is below a certain threshold within a particular timeframe, an SLA to insert a new nurture campaign to the relevant subset of prospects can galvanize engagement. Likewise, if you’re experiencing an exceptionally high rate of closed lost opportunities, an SLA to investigate your processes can help to identify why sales aren’t flowing (are SDRs opening opportunities prematurely? Are Sales reps not following up in time?)

Crucially, SLAs can increase the pace at which the most promising leads progress through the lifecycle.

Let’s say your sign-up page receives 1k sign-ups per day. By inserting an SLA for RevOps to review all sign-ups and measure each prospect’s fit for the business, Sales can easily identify which sign-ups to prioritize in their outreach. This responsiveness shortens your time to revenue and prevents the most compatible leads from going cold.


Implementing SLAs

For all the clarity and improvement opportunities that SLAs offer RevOps, they only work when people are incentivized to follow the processes—otherwise, they risk falling apart. With ineffective or absent SLAs, your RevOps team will struggle to monitor behavior and make tweaks that boost ROI. Therefore, your CRO needs to consider how to educate and encourage people to stick by them.

Firstly, involving people in your RevOps team with the development of processes will help to encourage adoption. Your CRO should consult internally when conducting a process audit, inviting people from MOPs, Sales Ops, and Customer Success to share their perspectives on what works and what doesn’t. The more your CRO engages the team, the greater insight they’ll gain about SLAs to add, improve, or eliminate, and having team feedback guide these processes will make evident the value of following them.

For devising SLAs that involve multiple departments, get people together from each team to raise issues and strategize approaches. Your CMO, for instance, might analyze the results from your NPS surveys and report back. If client satisfaction is revealed to be low, then your Customer Success team can take the lead with approaching customers to mitigate and resolve any problems while your Product team stays in the loop.

For SLAs pertaining to processes that involve just one team (e.g. web conversions in Marketing), cross-departmental counsel can be useful to focus group any proposed SLA, but only the team following and impacted by the process needs to be involved.

Once an SLA is implemented, gamification helps motivate people to fulfill the process’ objectives. Establishing weekly or monthly targets and celebrating the wins of your team reinforces the value of following SLAs and usually comes at no significant cost—considering the uplift of processes that work, the ROI of rewarding people for meeting or exceeding their SLA fulfilment targets makes sense.


The bottom line

SLAs in RevOps spell out how your revenue function works and why. This helps your team to coalesce around logical, cohesive processes and makes it easier to measure, refine, and improve them.

Vitally, they support your team to take timely actions that progress your leads through the lifecycle and keep the dollars coming in.

Get in touch for any guidance you need with SLAs.