I Need to Build a RevOps Function—Where Do I Start?

Hi Jo,

 

I’m hoping you can help me. My executives have just tasked me with building out the RevOps function at our company, and I’m not quite sure where to start. Should I be talking to my peers across Sales and Marketing? Or should I be doing a lot of external research? I’m not even sure that all of my colleagues know what RevOps is—and I really want to make sure they’re bought into the changes that will come down the line. 

What should I do first?

 

Thank you,

Directionless Dana 

 

 

 

Hi, Dana. This is really exciting! You’ve got the chance to define what RevOps looks like at your company and build out the capabilities that make the most sense for your teams. How cool is that? 

 

But you’re right, being successful will require a lot of thoughtful engagement and planning before you can make any changes. You checking in and asking for advice is already a great first step. To help you make the most of that momentum, here are three other things you can do to set a solid foundation for your RevOps team.

 

  1. Define RevOps

You mentioned that your executive team has tasked you with this initiative—but are you all on the same page when it comes to what RevOps is and what it looks like? Setting a definition that everyone can agree on will help ensure alignment and prevent any confusion (and headaches!) down the road. 

 

One definition you can use is that RevOps is a business function that’s built to maximize an organization’s revenue potential across the funnel. Instead of having your revenue operations capabilities live under Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success, you can have them operate as a single cohesive unit that has accountability throughout the full customer journey. This centralized approach helps build a culture that’s intentionally focused on operationalizing revenue—rather than having it be a byproduct of other important work.

 

Once you’ve defined RevOps within the context of your organization, you can move on to the next step in the planning process.

 

  1. Identify where your RevOps capabilities are—and where they aren’t

It’s more than likely that your company already has some revenue operations capabilities distributed across your Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success teams. Your job will be to take a look at these teams, identify where the work is happening, and create a roadmap for how those siloed functions can move into your new RevOps structure. 

 

This will also be an opportunity to build an understanding of how these tasks are completed currently. What tools are your teams using? Are two teams using different tools for the same tasks? How are your peers talking about revenue operations in each vertical? What data are they looking at and how are they using it to make decisions? With a clear picture of the current state, you’ll have an easier time mapping out the changes that need to happen to centralize your activities and align incentives across the board. 

 

  1. Build your RevOps network

Like with any big initiative that requires a lot of change, you’re going to need stakeholders on your side. My advice? Have one-on-one conversations with leaders across Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success to talk about the value of RevOps. Talk to them about what they’ll get out of this new team, and paint them a picture of what the organization could look like over the next one to five years. 

 

Don’t forget: this is a very strategic project you’re running. You’re reshaping how your company thinks about revenue and creating a resource for making the data you collect more impactful. So don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it and have important conversations with other leaders at your organization. 

 

You’ve got this, 

 

Jo Pulse

How to Help Your RevOps Team Find the Right Reporting Tools

TLDR: Data collection and reporting are a key part of decision making in RevOps, but do you have the right frameworks to help your team get that right? In this Tough Talks Made Easy, we’re going over how you can help your RevOps team align on the right metrics and KPIs, as well as the considerations you should make to choose the right reporting tools for your business. 

Gathering and reporting on performance is a key part of any marketing operations team. In fact, not having a baseline of reporting and analytics tools for MOPs and sales ops is like trying to fly a plane into Chicago without functioning instruments at night. You may land somewhere in the region, but you definitely won’t make it to O’Hare. Meanwhile, with the right reporting practices in place, you’re much more likely to reach your target.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges for RevOps teams that are bringing Sales and Marketing capabilities together under the same roof is finding alignment around what data to report on and why. For so long, Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success have operated in siloes that are almost at odds with each other—and that just doesn’t make sense when both teams are focused on the shared goal of growing revenue. While working together to find the right reporting tools will be a big part of finding that alignment, there are a number of conversations that need to happen before that point.

To help you guide your RevOps team through those conversations, this Tough Talks Made Easy takes a look at the value of reporting and having the right tools in place. Let’s get started.

 

FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU WANT TO REPORT ON 

The first step is going to be getting alignment on what your team’s key performance indicators (KPIs) are. These are metrics that should a) ladder up to your overarching business drivers, b) align your Sales and Marketing teams to pursue the same results, and c) facilitate the collection of actionable data that prompts decision making.

Make sure that this starts out as a collaborative conversation between Sales and Marketing, and involves Customer Success when it also makes sense. So often, these two (or three) sides of the RevOps coin fall into an unconstructive blame game when things aren’t performing as they should. Bring all teams to the table and have a mediator that can connect the dots between their goals and define what “good” looks like, collectively.

When we’re talking about RevOps KPIs, conversion should be at the heart of that conversation. At the end of the day, quality is more important than quantity: it doesn’t matter if you have 1,000 qualified leads if none of them become customers. Another important goal for the team should be around increasing customer satisfaction, as returning customers are another key source of revenue.

 

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT REPORTING TOOLS 

When it comes to reporting tools, there are as many options out there as there are constellations in the sky. Knowing that, and the fact that your business is unique in its needs and structure, it wouldn’t be useful for me to give you a specific set of tools to adopt. Instead, as you work with your team to figure out which tools make the most sense for you, here are some things to consider:

  • What role will that reporting tool play in your tech stack? Think about the data you need to help you make effective decisions, and what tool can help you collect and report on that data in a way that’s actionable.
  • What technology do you already have? When I help a customer build on their tech stack, the first thing I want to do is understand the native systems that are already creating data (e.g. a marketing automation tool, a CRM system, Google Analytics). The reporting tools you choose should be able to integrate with these systems and pull (or push) data as needed.
  • What output are you looking for? Whether you need detailed reports for your boss, or a simplified presentation to take to your executives, you should consider tooling that provides the outputs you need without adding unnecessary work to your plate.

Once you talk through these considerations with your team, you’ll have the right key criteria to identify and evaluate the reporting tool that makes the most sense for your business.

 

THE TAKEAWAY

I’ll say it again, reporting on performance is a key component of MOPs or revenue operations. Going back to the plane metaphor: today, we have so many teams missing their target destinations because they don’t have the right tools to direct them or tell them where they are in the first place. With the right insights in place, marketing and sales teams can continue to improve their efforts and meet their ultimate goal—delivering the best possible product and experience to their customers.

Need more help finding the right reporting technologies for your team? Get in touch.

Why RevOps Should Look Under the Hood of Seismic

TLDR: Seismic is a boost to RevOps teams who’re looking to surface content more efficiently and better understand how content contributes to revenue. But the platform is most successful when paired with ongoing efforts to produce and organize content to a high standard.

Content lets organizations tell the story of their value to customers and prospects, but RevOps teams often struggle to surface the value that content provides and double down on what works. Without reliable insights into how content performs with its audience, Marketing leaders find it difficult to prove how content contributes towards the bottom line. 

Sales also needs content analytics to determine how best to personalize their story for each prospect. Without a well-organized system to categorize and manage content, Sales risks sinking hours into searching for and sending out pieces that are outdated or ill-suited to the customer.

If your RevOps team struggles to optimize content, this Tough Talks Made Easy is for you. With a single source of truth to categorize and analyze content, RevOps teams can make decisions that help to close deals—and prove it. That’s the essence of what Seismic offers, and this piece will help you discuss the need-to-know aspects of the tool with RevOps.

 

SURFACE YOUR BEST CONTENT 

Seismic is a sales enablement platform that provides automated content management and analytics, and there are a few notable ways that it makes RevOps’ lives easier. 

Admins can set permissions so that sellers only need to search through the content relevant to their accounts and campaigns. Then, Sales can identify which pieces of content to deploy based on a series of categorizations that describe the properties of each content piece at a glance (e.g. asset types, relevant personas and products, sales stage to be deployed).

If you have a well-developed content library but lack the processes to efficiently surface the most appropriate pieces, Seismic will save Sales a few headaches. Rather than clinging to a few pieces of content and deploying them past their expiry dates, Sales gets an easy way to explore the deep bench of your library and engage prospects creatively with a variety of pieces. 

Seismic also cuts down the significant amounts of time that reps spend just trying to get their hands on content. No need to trawl through a disoriented database or chase Content people to ask for pieces; just search for content via client type, topic, and other customizable relevant filters. This allows teams to actively surface the most relevant, useful content to prospects.

 

CONNECT CONTENT TO DOLLARS 

The platform also tracks and reports on how prospects and opportunities engage with the content your team sends them. Seismic’s analytics let Sales and Marketing gauge how well each piece resonates with recipients and draw a direct line between content interactions and deals. 

For Marketing, Seismic clears the uncertainty of how content contributes to the bottom line. Marketing can map content engagement stats onto close rates and gain a stronger grasp of what types of content win deals from different prospect segments. 

With clear insight into how content provides value, RevOps teams can rethink for the better how they create content and personalize their outreach to each prospect.

 

BEFORE YOU SIGN 

For the ways that Seismic helps RevOps, the platform isn’t a silver bullet for poor organizational systems. Seismic will be organized in a similar way to your source information on SharePoint or Drive, meaning that the platform’s presentation and categorization of content will be just as clear as your original folder structure. In other words: if you’re in a mess, clean it up before you get Seismic. 

To do that, RevOps needs to answer a few questions. What are your naming conventions? How will you tag and categorize content? Where will content live depending on its category—e.g. persona groups, internal or external. 

Your team should work through these details until you’re able to confidently identify content by three key properties: what each piece is, who it targets, and the situations you intend to use it.

From there, Seismic allows RevOps to categorize, present, and analyze the performance of content—but it isn’t going to boost the underlying quality of that content. If your bottom-of-funnel pieces aren’t inspiring opportunities to buy what you’re selling, then your RevOps team should consider doing an audit for quality. Are pieces well-written and presented? Relevant to your persona and industry groups? Conveying the right level of information for the stage in the sales cycle? 

As much as Seismic’s analytics let RevOps spot trends and steer the direction of content to capitalize on engagement, the execution of those insights is always going to split the difference between landing a deal or not.

 

THE BOTTOM LINE

Ultimately, Seismic is a boost to RevOps teams who’re looking to surface content from their libraries more efficiently and better understand how content contributes to revenue. As long as RevOps puts in the work to organize content and produce it to a high standard, teams can use the platform’s analytics to create and deploy content in a way that wrings more dollars from customer engagement.

For any advice with assessing sales enablement platforms or connecting content to revenue, Revenue Pulse is here to help.

 

How to Explain RevOps to Your MOPs Team

TLDR: In response to customer churn, technical debt, and siloed working, moving to a RevOps team helps people in MOPs, SOPs, and Customer Success collaborate and align on strategy.

 

Marketing Operations as a discipline grew from necessity. Businesses needed people who understand marketing automation to master the tools and processes that make Marketing teams succeed. As the field continues to evolve, an emerging next step in terms of organizational structure is for MOPs teams to transition to Revenue Operations—a move that calls for a more holistic understanding of the whole customer cycle.

If you’re a MOPs leader managing a shift to RevOps, anticipate the changes in team structure and role demands to elicit some anxiety. Your MOPs team will want to know why the shift RevOps is happening and what it means for their jobs. As people question their place in the new order of business, how do you inspire confidence in the team?

In this Tough Talks Made Easy, you’ll learn how to present an encouraging vision for the move to RevOps. This is a shift that can help people in MOPs to remedy historic challenges and make bigger, better contributions to the business—convey this, and you can get people excited about the opportunities ahead.

 

REVOPS IN CONTEXT

Multiple teams play a role in the customer journey. MOPs’ contributions—campaign creation, data analysis, lead scoring and handover—kick off the cycle. After MOPs brings good leads to Sales Operations, SOPs creates efficient lead management processes to help Sales win business. From there, Customer Success teams work to retain customers and prevent churn. 

MOPs, SOPs, and Customer Success are responsible for engineering different stages of the funnel—Revenue Operations unites these teams to optimize the entire customer cycle. Essentially, it means bringing all three teams under one roof to ask the same questions: How do we improve the customer experience through our tech stack, sales processes, and interactions?

Shifting business dynamics in recent years make the integration of these three teams urgent. The rise of SaaS and subscription models have made businesses more vulnerable to churn—if customers can pay for your products and services on a rolling, short-term basis, retention needs constant work to maintain. Hence, the growth of Customer Success.

Meanwhile, the explosion of workplace tech has caused companies to go all-in on tool adoption. As people leave roles and take their expertise, MOPs and SOPs teams are increasingly strained by technical debt and dysfunctional tech stacks. A hard-learned truth: tools are only as good as the people who use them.

Remote working, now commonplace, has heightened the risks of siloes. Consider how connected MOPs, SOPs, and Customer Success are in the customer journey, and it’s clear these teams can’t work effectively when fragmented. 

Someone in your MOPs team will recognize this one: without access to Salesforce, fixing a dataflow means pulling in someone from SOPs. When teams are disconnected, they get protective (“why are these people making changes in our tools?”). Collaboration becomes difficult as a result, even between teams that share the same goals.

So, here’s what RevOps offers: MOPs, SOPs, and Customer Success all exist to support revenue generators. Integrating these teams under one banner helps people align on strategy, collaborate, and share their knowledge. Instead of technical debt and division, you create opportunities for MOPs and SOPs to coalesce around a selection of tools and technical processes. No longer working in isolation or with ambiguous impact, MOPs gains visibility with Customer Success and Sales—from the very start of projects, they can work together to set goals and make improvements to processes that translate across the whole customer cycle. 

 

MOPS TO REVOPS

At this point, the logic of RevOps should make sense—but what does a RevOps role mean in practice? The field is still new and fluid, but there are some guiding characteristics you can share with colleagues wondering how their roles could change. 

RevOps moves away from granular tool ownership and data management towards calculating the impact of practices across MOPs, SOPs, and Customer Success. With more emphasis on visualizing these insights to leadership, RevOps provides opportunities to make holistic connections, identify the impact on revenue and productivity, and present these findings at high levels.

The key ingredients: tool knowledge, business acumen, strategic thinking, grasp of Customer Success and SOPs. This presents a challenging learning curve for MOPs professionals, but it’s a chance for inquisitive people to get in on a nascent movement, develop a variety of new skills, and take ownership both for finding problems and figuring out solutions.

 

VISION AND CHANGE

RevOps is a team about the constant, integrated optimization of customer journey practices; it’s proactive, planned, and dedicated to winning and retaining business in the most efficient ways. The shift from MOPs to RevOps responds to new business dynamics and demands, but it also helps MOPs people to improve how they collaborate and align with SOPs and Customer Success. Visibility, interconnectedness, a proactive role in optimizing the customer journey—MOPs professionals can gain new skills and make a greater strategic impact in a RevOps team. Invest in building a uniform experience that solves the challenges of siloes, and your MOPs team will want in on the journey.

Want to know more about RevOps? Get in touch for a chat.