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April 22, 2021
Technology has transformed people's buying behaviors, and in turn, it’s shifted how businesses think about revenue: It’s not just an outcome, it’s a process across the entire Buyer’s Journey that goes well beyond the first sale.
More and more organizations are adopting this mindset, increasing the need for more “revenue” type roles, such as sales operations (SalesOps) and revenue operations (RevOps). While they’re both meant to save time, break down departmental silos, and increase revenue, here are three ways they differ from each other.
SalesOps is a subset of RevOps, and it concentrates primarily on the tactical work that the sales team needs to improve sales processes and systems, and convert new customers more effectively. Depending on your organization, SalesOps may oversee sales enablement, strategic planning, and team communication, allowing sales reps to spend more time doing what they do best—sell.
Sales frequently works with marketing, too. However, they differ in the fact that SalesOps hones in on driving revenue through sales activities, while MarketingOps drives revenue through marketing initiatives.
RevOps’ ultimate goal is to accelerate predictable revenue with automated processes and tools, and to see operations as a holistic company strategy, not just a role. RevOps works with marketing, sales, finance, and customer service departments to analyze the entire Buyer’s Journey and break down internal silos, such as a lack of pipeline transparency or a lack of communication between departments.
Establishing a RevOps team frees up your sales team's time, so they can focus more on generating sales. Meanwhile, RevOps works behind the scenes, streamlining processes, cleansing data, and fine-tuning the entire go-to-market strategy.
The structure of your SalesOps and RevOps teams and roles can vary, depending on your organization’s type, size, goals, and budget. For instance, some larger companies may be ready to build out a RevOps team, whereas smaller companies, or those that are newer to automated software, may only need one or two operational-focused employees to start.
Furthermore, some RevOps teams report to the CFO or CEO, whereas others have a dedicated Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) position they roll up to. In addition, SalesOps can be a subset of the RevOps department, or they can be considered a part of the sales team and report to the head of sales.
RevOps helps with agility when it’s properly accounted for. As you begin to think about your team’s future, be sure it's scalable and that its ratio aligns to your company’s growth rate and size, so you can continually adapt to market changes and maintain predictable revenue forecasts.
To forecast revenue on a predictable basis, sales operations and revenue operations should leverage the power of a tech stack that integrates together and works in a unified way, all the way across departmental processes.
For SalesOps to increase their team’s productivity and performance, they typically focus on these sales-related areas:
RevOps works across micro and macro levels of an organization, engaging with sales, marketing, and customer service departments. To improve the company’s go-to-market performance effectively, they need to use technology without leaning on IT for heavy lifting.
Common RevOps areas of focus include:
To see success with SalesOps and RevOps, buy-in across the entire company is crucial, especially from the leadership team. Keep in mind, it takes time for everyone to get on the same page and adjust to reporting on key performance indicators (KPIs), learning different internal processes, and adopting new technology.
If SalesOps and RevOps are already established at your organization, it’s vital that they work in tandem, as well, and are aligned on the same KPIs, goals, processes, and so forth. No matter what, to preserve team morale, it’s important that as you develop and grow these roles and responsibilities, that the top-down and bottom-up meet on middle common ground, and that realistic expectations are agreed upon.
About the author
Lisa Chappell was formerly an Inbound Marketing Specialist at SmartBug Media who enjoys combining strategy, technology, and creativity to help clients reach their goals. Her background includes over 10 years of marketing experience for global and national brands. Lisa has a BS in Marketing from Florida State University. Read more articles by Lisa Chappell.