6 RevOps Best Practices to Accelerate Revenue Growth

RevOps is a centrally managed team of revenue specialists that have a bird's eye view of revenue execution. They ensure marketing, sales, customer success, customer service and any other revenue contributors are coordinated and driving shared goals. They are accountable for company revenue results.

But as you may expect, implementing all go-to-market operations under one umbrella to drive improved performance is no small task. Here are some RevOps best practices to help.


Verify the Payback

Coordinating all customer facing and revenue producing staff and departments to create efficiencies and synergies makes inherit sense to many revenue leaders. So, their first question is, "How do I implement RevOps?"

But that's the wrong question. The right starting question is, "Why should I implement RevOps?"

Revenue Operations makes logical sense. It sounds like a good idea. But good ideas are a dime a dozen. And no business development program is sustainable unless it delivers significant revenue growth and return on investment.

Fortunately, there's a wide body of analyst research that demonstrates the ROI from RevOps.

SiriusDecisions is a Rev Ops research leader. They did a revenue operations study and reported that when successfully implemented, "organizations that deployed revenue ops in some form grew revenue nearly three times faster than those that didn't."

A research report advises that "organizations that deployed revenue ops in some form grew revenue nearly three times faster than those that didn't." See the RevOps Best Practices.

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Not many business growth strategies or programs achieve 3X growth so this is something that should not be ignored.

In another study by Forrester, the analyst firm did a survey, captured feedback from 927 respondents and ranked them into high, medium, and low maturity levels.

The published report, titled The Rise of Revenue Operations, showed that the more mature revenue operations teams delivered two times higher internal productivity and increased sales win rates.

Again, 2X improved sales win rates is something worth replicating.

Below is an extract from the report.

RevOps Benefits

This and other RevOps research backs up our firsthand anecdotal experience. It also reinforces that fact that this management discipline delivers significant and sustained revenue growth and ROI.

Rev Ops is more than just a good idea. A strategically designed team applies process optimization, technology enablement and shared performance metrics to deliver a force multiplier effect to the company's revenue growth.


Start with the Right Goals

Too many companies design tactical goals around revenue process efficiency or short-term sales tactics. That's a mistake.

While Revenue Ops will achieve efficiencies, the real objective is revenue effectiveness. Be clear on the differences.

Doing the right things drives effectiveness. Doing them right creates efficiency.

Doing the right things means gathering customer intelligence to understand what customers really want and how they want to be served. It requires aligning the company's revenue processes with the buyers purchase process and solving for the customer.

Being efficient without being effective is a losing proposition. Or as advised by Peter Drucker, "Doing the right thing is more important than doing the thing right."

With the rise of social media and online content, customers are more connected, informed, empowered and demanding. And that has forever shifted the balance of power.

Any attempt to out-maneuver or take advantage of customers is short term thinking. Instead, adopt a customer-centric engagement approach and the revenue will follow.

The two primary goals are to orchestrate the customer journey for improved customer experiences and improve revenue execution for revenue growth. Improving the first improves the second. The goals are symbiotic.


Design the Right Target Operating Model

Revenue Operations must be built using an organizational structure that aligns all departments that contribute to the customer lifecycle and the company's revenue strategy.

A RevOps implementation is usually a transformation that shifts the company org chart.

Marketing, sales and other revenue contributing departments no longer operate under separate chains of command and pursue individual goals measured with different metrics. Instead, a Revenue Ops organizational unit centralizes the company's revenue execution.

RevOps Org Chart

Despite the fact the most companies top goal is revenue growth, there are scarcely few people in the company with the word "revenue" in their title. This begins to change when aligning staff with a Revenue Ops organization.

A Revenue Operations leader reports to the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) and designs and manages a business unit to unify goals, processes, systems, metrics and results.

Many times, Rev Ops staff report to the Rev Ops leader but also have dotted line relationships to departmental stakeholders.

This new unit integrates departmental siloes to remove internal friction between departments and external friction incurred by customers. It designs and automates end-to-end processes that remove gaps and disjointed hand-offs between departments. It drives transparency with information reporting for all parts of the company.


Reallocation of Responsibilities

Execution is improved by reallocating responsibilities to specialists.

The new Revenue Ops business unit allows management to redistribute revenue processes for increased focus and effectiveness.

The below example illustrates a Revenue Ops workload reallocation we did for a client. Every company is unique, but this redistribution of responsibilities shares a lot of commonalities.

RevOps Target Operating Model

The first thing you may notice is that Revenue Ops seems to have more revenue, process and technology responsibilities than any of the departments.

That's true for accountability but not necessarily work effort. Many times, the responsibility lies with Revenue Ops because it crosses multiple departments but it is delegated back to one or more departments for execution.

It's also interesting to note in this example that most of the Revenue Operations responsibilities were previously absorbed by the departments. But many were perceived as non-core departmental tasks. Reallocating them to Revenue Operations gives them dedicated ownership and relieves departments of non-core activities so they can focus on their mission.


RevOps Tech Stack

Technology is needed to automate cross functional processes and execute at scale.

A Rev Ops responsibility is to replace sprawling departmental software apps with fewer platform technologies. This shift will improve enterprise-wide process automation and information reporting.

The best way to do this is to define a RevOps technology stack.

With a shared technology stack, sales inherit the customer interests and behaviors acquired by marketing. They may also want to know what marketing offers, promotions or engagement resonated, and which fell flat.

Marketing gets visibility to the sales cycle. Marketers can then learn which types of acquired leads are the most likely to close and which marketing assets are effective and ineffective. Marketing can also see sale opportunities that become stalled and should be returned to a nurture marketing campaign until they again demonstrate buy signals.

Customer success staff have the conversation history to know the stakeholder interests, identified risks and most important expectations.

And Customer Service has a view of it all so they can respond to issues in context. They will now know what cases are aligned to renewals, upgrades or pending sale opportunities. They can more effectively build the customer relationship and deliver services that keep the customer coming back for more.

But these types of shared information examples only occur if the departments are using shared technology.

The below diagram is an example that combines multiple RevOps best practices to show how a shared tech stack can be aligned with the customer purchase journey.

Technology Alignment

An effective RevOps tech stack replaces departmental applications that work for only one team with platform apps that automate processes and share information across the customer life cycle and revenue chain.

An added benefit is that a shared technology stack will simplify IT management and lower IT labor costs for system integration, software maintenance and support.


Revenue Operations Command Center

Information is power.

Revenue Ops aligns revenue contributors from across the company and throughout the customer lifecycle. However, that's an impossible task without information to show what's working, what's not and when course corrections are needed.

A RevOps best practice is to adopt shared metrics and then leverage three types of revenue analytics. This is commonly referred to as a RevOps Command Center.

  1. Dashboards. This is the most effective tool to deliver the right information to the right person in real-time. However, the challenge is that teams need cross functional and real-time revenue performance visibility. But most marketing automation platform (MAP) and CRM software dashboards only display historical departmental metrics. The solution may require creating custom metrics or modifying packaged dashboards.
  2. Predictive Analytics. These analytics shift information reporting from hindsight to foresight. They are extremely valuable in helping revenue architects perform 'what-if' scenarios and pro forma modeling. A predictive analytics interactive model that we commonly build with clients is something we call the Predictive Pyramid.
Revenue Growth Predictive Analytics

The pyramid is helpful because no revenue process, program or tactic lives in isolation. Each has cascading effects that impact other areas and those impacts must be considered when making investment decisions or tradeoffs.

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI). This technology can predict customer behaviors, recommend offers, content, products or next best actions, and perform other capabilities just not possible without AI. It's a technology that delivers real insights that directly impact revenue performance improvements. It's also a technology that is available with market share leading MAP and CRM systems such as Adobe, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce.