In the past, you may have experienced the disconnect between your sales, marketing, and customer success teams and wondered how things in your organization could be so disjointed. When these teams aren’t running like a well-oiled machine, it can cause hiccups and create customer dissatisfaction. This is when revenue operations can step in to align your business needs in each area, ensure efficiency across teams, and help you rock it for your customers.Revenue operations, or RevOps, is a relatively new term that has recently gained traction in businesses across the globe. This strategy came from a need to align business operations across multiple teams for a more holistic approach to business success. If you know the importance of an aligned business model but don’t know where to start, there are a couple of approaches that can help you establish your revenue operations plan today.
What Is Revenue Operations?
Let’s first start by defining what revenue operations means for organizations. Simply put, revenue operations is a system that aligns the three main areas of a business: sales, marketing, and customer success. Revenue operations can help your business performance and create more opportunities for employee and customer delight.
Why Is Revenue Operations Important?
As you might imagine, revenue operations is important for a holistic understanding of where the business is in terms of revenue-generating activities. A revenue operations plan creates a unified focus across all teams on both an individual and a team level. When each member of your team is well-equipped to perform their job and sensitive to the needs of others within the organization, it is easier to understand company goals and how to reach them.
How to Create a Revenue Operations Plan
Creating a revenue operations plan for your company relies heavily on your company’s unique situation. There is no one-size-fits-all for revenue operations, but there are general guidelines that can help you get started with creating a more unified organization. Here are the three steps to building a revenue operations plan:
Step 1: Understand Your Business Capabilities
You know your business resources and needs, and if you’re reading this post, you likely think revenue operations could help your team perform better in every area. If you don’t already know your business capabilities, talk with your management team to understand where the business is and what types of resources it can dedicate to revenue operations. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Size of Your Organization
If your organization is less than 100 people, it is likely that revenue operations will be a small team, possibly even a single person who wears many hats. Starting with one RevOps lead is advantageous for smaller companies who can then develop into a larger team as the organization grows.
On the other hand, larger organizations may want to hire a RevOps leader and some of the roles outright, as it is likely that some of these roles already exist in sales, marketing, and client success. If this is the case for your organization, the RevOps leader will help bring the roles together and unify reporting.
Remember to consider where your organization is now, but also where your organization will be in six months, a year, two years, and five years from now. Even if you have fewer than 100 employees at the moment, if your business is growing quickly, you may want to consider the approach for larger organizations so you have a solid system in place.
Step 2: Assemble a Team
Now that you understand where your organization is and what best practices are for starting out with revenue operations, you can assemble your team of rock stars. There are several roles that could be right for your business, so learn about each role, decide what you need from them, and then, based on your capabilities, select your RevOps team. Here are some examples of roles you can expect to fill.
At a high level, this team will understand the resources available to them and distribute these resources in accordance with the overall mission and goals of the business. Some of the roles and responsibilities of the operations management team include:
- Sales and marketing operations
- Project management
- Process improvements
- Collaboration between teams
- Sales planning
The enablement team is responsible for ensuring efficiency throughout each department, including sales, marketing, and customer success. Through teaching employees how to complete their jobs more effectively, enablement helps each person in the organization perform better. This team is also responsible for onboarding new teammates and clients, delivering ongoing learning and training sessions, and contributing toward the professional development of the organization.
Sales enablement ensures that the sales team understands the nuances of selling products and services, and the same is true for marketing enablement and customer success enablement. Some of the roles associated with enablement include:
- Sales enablement leader
- Learning management
- Performance management
Data is important to every business, and it is important for revenue operations too. The insights and the data you collect throughout the business will help inform your decisions and ensure you’re still striving toward company goals. The roles of this team include business analysts and data scientists, and some responsibilities include:
- Managing data quality
- Monitoring operations
- Developing strategic insights for business goals
It is likely that your company uses several different tools to run the business, generate sales, and keep customers happy. Commonly referred to as your tech stack, the tools you use in your day-to-day work can have lasting impacts on how efficient your organization is. Building the right tech stack for your organization will help you reach your RevOps goals. The responsibilities of the tools team can sometimes include:
- Developing software
- Evaluating tools
- Confirming integration capabilities
- Upkeeping computer systems
Based on the size and resources of your organization, determine what roles you need and if your team will wear multiple hats or if someone should be assigned these roles full time. Remember, if your business continues to grow, your RevOps team may also need to grow to best fit the needs of the organization.
Step 3: Align Your Team
Now that you have an idea of what roles you need and who might fill those roles, you need to align your teams, which starts with audits. You’ll want to note your current processes across your internal teams so you can understand where gaps may be causing problems for team members.
Auditing your current data will also help you develop a baseline and see areas of improvement. Your tools team will also want to audit your tech stack and see how each tool is working for the different members of your team, if it is being used to its full potential (or at all), and if there is a better tool out there that could be used instead.
Revenue operations planning may seem like a daunting task, but the benefits far outweigh the costs of implementation. With a RevOps team on your side, your departments and business will be more aligned in revenue-generating activities. If you’re interested in better aligning your teams, check out our sales and marketing alignment bootcamp for SaaS marketers.
About the author
Nicole Raymond is an Inbound Marketing Strategist at SmartBug traveling the country in her camper. She's worked in a variety of industries including non-profits, start-ups, and marketing agencies. She has a deep passion for reading and learning and has her Master's Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications. Nicole is compassionate and driven by helping others reach their personal and professional goals. Read more articles by Nicole Raymond.