What is revenue operations?
Revenue operations (RevOps) is a business strategy that aligns sales, marketing, and customer success teams to work together more effectively toward the common goals of generating revenue and enhancing the customer experience.
RevOps brings together data, processes, and technology to optimize the entire revenue cycle from lead generation to customer retention and advocacy. This approach breaks down the traditional silos between departments and fosters cross-functional collaboration, creating a unified revenue engine that drives growth for the business.
In essence, revenue operations is all about enabling teams to work more efficiently and effectively by leveraging data, automation, and streamlined processes. This holistic approach prioritizes revenue generation, customer satisfaction, and team alignment, which are all critical factors in driving business success.
“Ops is the underlying infrastructure. Sales and marketing departments have people who are experts in their field. But ops is really there to ensure that those teams have the right processes, policies, data, insights, and technology to act as the engine that helps everything run.” - Rosalyn Santa Elena, founder of The RevOps Collective
The growth of revenue operations roles
Revenue operations is on the rise. A Google Trends report shows a 3X increase in searches for the term over the past 10 years.
It’s not just a buzzword. Companies are investing heavily in implementation. Over 75% of B2B organizations have created CXO or CRO roles to lead commercial teams and systems across the enterprise. The revenue operations service market (made up of firms and consultants) is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 20.99% through 2027.
The benefits of RevOps
There are countless benefits to implementing a powerful revenue operations function. Each company will experience its own unique rewards. But the main benefits boil down to these categories.
Revenue team alignment leads to 36% higher revenue growth and 28% greater profitability. Companies with revenue operations can increase revenue in a variety of ways. Better marketing and sales alignment can mean faster lead handover and response times, which creates a better buying experience.
With centralized customer data and advanced data utilization, companies can improve their marketing campaigns across all channels, use intent data to close more deals, and accurately target new segments with outbound campaigns.
Better customer loyalty
A great RevOps team isn’t just focused on aligning sales, marketing, and customer support for the sake of internal harmony. They do it first and foremost for the customer. RevOps has a major impact on the customer experience, brand loyalty, and customer lifetime value.
For instance, RevOps leaders might implement website personalization strategies that speak directly to customer pain points or recommend highly relevant products. RevOps teams might also make improvements to the post-purchase experience, which in turn impacts the likelihood that customers will purchase from the brand again.
Improved employee productivity
Operations keeps things running smoothly. It ensures that all the pieces and players are working together and that everyone’s efforts will actually get implemented. There’s nothing worse than working on a project, only for it to never launch. Effective teams prioritize projects wisely and see them through to completion.
Because revenue operations stretches across sales, marketing, and customer support, it compounds the results of excellent productivity. Incremental improvements in productivity across these three teams can have far-reaching impacts on cost reduction and revenue growth (both of which impact profits).
Imagine sales reps who are able to access customer intent data in an instant, content marketers who don’t have to tinker with complex marketing automation software themselves, and customer success managers who know how to automate responses to frequently asked questions. The opportunities for productivity are endless.
“When a sales or marketing leader is doing operations, it takes away from what they do best and the things they should be doing. Plus as ops experts, we’ll probably be better at creating those processes, getting policies in place, and creating the infrastructure.” - Rosalyn Santa Elena, founder of The RevOps Collective
Companies that invest in RevOps report 10 to 20% gains in sales productivity. No matter the team and their core responsibilities, they’ll be able to do it better when there are revenue operations managers at hand to help with technology selection, implementation, and support as well cross-functional project management.
How does RevOps fit into an organization?
As cross-functional entities, RevOps teams can fit into company structures in different ways.
In many companies, RevOps sits side by side with sales, marketing, and customer service—with revenue operations managers working to align these teams in cross-functional projects. In other organizations, customer-facing teams might sit under RevOps, so that the VP of sales and VP of marketing report directly to the chief revenue officer, who reports to the CEO.
Responsibilities and functions of RevOps
The revenue operations team works to align employees, projects, data, assets, and technology, across all teams that affect customers (and thereby revenue).
They do this through a variety of activities, like:
Managing cross-functional projects
Restructuring cross-functional teams
Establishing shared goals
Establishing KPIs for specific teams and employees
Helping to set up KPI tracking
Assessing and implementing new technologies
Training employees in software and systems
Providing access to customer insights
Improving knowledge transfer and asset utilization
Providing adhoc technology and project implementation support
Revenue operations managers will be more focused on providing support and project management to revenue-centric teams, while RevOps executives and leaders will likely focus more on data utilization, goal-setting and reporting, and organizational restructuring.
How to improve your organization’s RevOps
The Revenue Enablement Institute, an advisory and research firm, has created a Revenue Operations Maturity Model with 18 key dimensions.
This list shows exactly what a RevOps team should be in charge of and how they should operate.
You can use these elements to audit your RevOps team and spot weaknesses and areas that need improvement.
Accountability - Demand accountability and returns on investments.
Ownership - Own and make decisions affecting revenue.
Change Management - Top-down leadership to transform the commercial model.
Common Purpose - Create a common purpose between sales, marketing, and customer success or support teams.
Organization - Establish cross-functional teams and structures across the organization.
Commercial Process - Create and manage cross-functional commercial processes.
Go To Market Strategy - Assess and revise the GTM strategy.
Sales Force Design - Strategize and design the sales engine to improve performance and lower costs.
Sales Performance Management - Assess and manage sales team structure, territories, reporting, etc.
Data Driven Selling - Use revenue intelligence to affect real-time decision making across the sales team.
Key Performance Indicators - Establish and track KPIs across all revenue teams.
Predictive Selling Insights - Create models across revenue functions using predictive analytics.
Enablement and Engagement - Implement the right technology to support and enable revenue team performance.
Readiness and Development - Implement technology and training programs to continuously develop customer-facing employees.
Revenue Enhancement - Deploy technology to shorten sales cycles and capture more revenue and margin.
Content Assets - Create, utilize, and manage selling content across functions.
Data Assets - Establish a single source of truth for customer data and improve its architecture, ownership, and utilization.
Technology Assets - Centrally manage and connect all commercial technology across revenue and customer teams.
Start by rating your organization on a scale of 1 to 10 for each of these areas. Jot down any known issues for each category. You should also speak with department and team leaders across customer-facing teams to get their insights. Share this list and ask them where they see room for improvement.
For some companies, establishing a shared customer data platform will be a top priority, while for others setting up cross-functional teams will be the next hurdle to tackle. Companies with more mature RevOps might be focused on improving their predictive analytics models and enabling data-driven decision making on a day-to-day basis.
When in doubt, always return to the customer experience. Focus on solving issues that are affecting your customers—like gaps in the customer journey, support issues, slow sales responses, etc. By centering the customer in your RevOps projects, you’ll naturally find ways to enhance team alignment and collaboration.
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