Revenue Operations: Everything You Need to Know

Revenue operations, or RevOps, is transforming the way companies look at their funnels.

Rather than keep divisions and departments siloed off, teams should be encouraged to work in tandem to drive revenue growth.

That’s RevOps in a nutshell.

In this post, we’ll explain the rise of revenue operations, why it’s so important for modern teams, and what you need to integrate RevOps into your own company.

What is Revenue Operations?

Let’s kick things off with a definition of revenue operations that we can work with.

Revenue operations represent a much-needed alignment between marketing, sales, and customer success. RevOps focuses on determining the most important tools and strategies to grow revenue, eliminating silos between departments while prioritizing efficiency and accountability among teams.

To say that RevOps is all the rage right now would be an understatement. 

Look no further than the boom of revenue operations titles such as “Chief Revenue Officer” or “VP Revenue Operations” across LinkedIn, replacing and supplementing traditional sales roles.

Where do these roles fit in with any given company, though? 

Good question. This revenue operations org chart from FunnelCake highlights how a dedicated RevOps department simplifies the tools and data for individual departments by absorbing responsibilities related to operations and enablement. 

The concept is simple: by putting these elements under the umbrella of RevOps, one entity is responsible for aligning the tools and processes of all teams. 

This allows departments to work in tandem rather than treat each other as totally different entities with separate goals.

What Does a Revenue Operations Manager Actually Do?

Here’s a quick outline of some of the key responsibilities of RevOps tasks. In short, a revenue operations manager:

  • Decides on business objectives and strategies to drive revenue
  • Creates processes to encourage collaboration between the sales, marketing, customer success teams
  • Picks the technology needed for the teams above, helping employees understand how to use tools (think: CRM) at each stage of the customer journey
  • Looks at business analytics and data across departments to make decisions

For additional context, here’s an actual job posting for an actual Head of Revenue Operations position. 

Note that the role emphasizes a deep knowledge of business tools as well as interpersonal skills to communicate effectively between departments.

The end result of a successful revenue operations manager is, obviously, more revenue. Likewise, more accurate revenue forecasting after deciding which tools, processes, and strategies result in growth. 

Those in RevOps have a pulse on market trends including competing products and the state of the economy.

This infographic from Clari highlights some of the most important metrics and KPIs for a revenue operations manager to track. 

Bear in mind that these metrics are spread across SaaS marketing, sales, and customer service as RevOps is ultimately accountable for all of ‘em.

These metrics signal the level of expertise required for someone to succeed at RevOps. 

This also highlights the importance of meticulously gathering data on behalf of your individual departments and business at large to drive your decision making (but more on that later).

Revenue Operations vs. Sales Operations

Revenue operations and sales operations are sometimes used interchangeably, but they don’t exactly represent the same thing.

How so?  Well, someone involved in revenue operations is taking on a hybrid role. Although their end-goal definitely revolves around scoring sales and driving revenue, that’s not all they’re focused on. 

Instead, RevOps professionals are looking at organization-wide revenue growth and ways that departments can work together to achieve it.

Sales operations are more directly in the actions and behaviors of the sales team itself, while revenue operations also has its hands in what marketing and customer success are doing as well. Sure, there are similarities between the two. That said, they’re far from the same.

Why RevOps, Though?

Companies are understandably skeptical when they hear that they need to invest in “the next big thing” and RevOps is no different.

Food for thought, though: according to recent research from SiriusDecisions, B2B companies that align their revenue engine grow up to 15% faster and are 34% more profitable than their competitors.

Why? Because a more holistic approach to revenue growth is arguably the best way to tackle some of the biggest challenges that your teams are currently facing. Below is a quick breakdown of the big-picture problems which signal the need for revenue operations.

Teams Today Struggle with Alignment

The more difficult it is to identify which departments and people are driving revenue, the harder it is to figure out and replicate what’s actually working.

Fact: disjoined sales and marketing alignment collectively costs companies more than a trillion dollars annually. Yikes.

Chalk it up to a lack of communication or increasingly siloed departments. Coupled with the rise of remote teams, however, it’s clear that companies today need to get their teams on the same page ASAP.

Teams Today are Overwhelmed by Way Too Many Tools

We’ve talked before about how lists such as the massive Martech 5000 are evidence of just how many choices companies have in regard to their marketing stacks

This doesn’t even account for separate tools related to business intelligence or sales enablement, either.

The average team is understandably bogged down by too many software solutions and likewise spending time trying to learn them all. 

Meanwhile, the phenomenon of shadow IT and underutilized tools is causing a huge drag on both IT spend and productivity. 

If nothing else, an emphasis on RevOps serves as a way to drill down and figure out which tech tools are needed and which ones aren’t. Application rationalization and consolidation can help teams agree on solutions and tools that work across multiple departments.

Teams Sales and Marketing Today Lack Focus

This might seem like a no-brainer, but sales and marketing teams should be empowered to do the work they excel at.

Your salespeople should be selling. 

Your marketing people should be marketing. 

RevOps encourages your teams to do exactly that. 

For example, according to a Harvard Business Review piece, sales teams struggle with forecasting and perhaps that responsibility shouldn’t necessarily be on their shoulders. 

Giving operational and analytical duty to revenue operations provides your other departments the freedom to play to their strengths.

And hey, data from Gallup notes that strengths-based teams are more productive, profitable, and are more likely to stick with your company for the long-term.

How Do I Know If RevOps is Right for My Company?

Restructuring your teams or bringing on new talent is no small task, especially during uncertain times

Even so, the growth of RevOps roles is telling. Here are some signs that you should integrate a revenue operations framework into your business. 

You’re in a SaaS Business

Revenue operations and SaaS go hand in hand. 

We’ll bite: there’s plenty of debate over the core management roles in SaaS

Do you really need a new one? 

Fair enough, but consider the SaaS companies are the ones snatching up RevOps talent en masse.

Also, SaaS companies arguably benefit the most from breaking down silos and finding ways to reduce churn.

You Have a Sizeable (or Growing) Sales Team

The bigger your sales team, the more you need to consider RevOps (or at the very least a dedicated SalesOp specialist). Doing so serves as a way to maximize your efficiency as you scale up.

You’re Overwhelmed by Your Software Stack

Again, a key component of revenue operations is simplifying and streamlining the activities that drive revenue. 

How many software products do you use, particularly Martech? 

You probably don’t know exactly, but the number is usually in the double digits. 

That means exploring ways to consolidate your tools and uncover a single source of truth for your data.

What’s the Best Way to Build a Revenue Operations Team?

Since dedicated roles in RevOps are still relatively young, new companies still have a certain degree of freedom in terms of how they structure their revenue operations team.

For example, you could distribute responsibilities related to revenue operations to your existing operations managers. Meanwhile, larger companies can dedicate someone exclusively to revenue operations under a single department.

The good news is that there is no “right” revenue ops team structure, especially if you’re relatively small. As long as you acknowledge the challenges above and the need to take a more comprehensive and collaborative approach to grow revenue, you’re on the right path.

What Tools Can Help with RevOps?

There’s no shortage of tools out there when it comes to growing your business. We’ve established that.

For the sake of efficiency, it’s a smart move to look into tools that extend beyond a single silo or department. Doing so makes life easier on your employees as customers move from one stage of your funnel to the next (think: marketing to sales, sales to customer success, and so on).

Let’s look at some tools that tick those boxes, starting with your CRM. 

Having all of your customer data stored in one place across every step of their journey flat out makes sense. 

Salesforce provides a birds-eye view of your customers and clients which can be understood and analyzed by just about any member of your team.

Perhaps one of the best parts about using Salesforce is its ability to integrate with tons of other sales and marketing apps (including Chili Piper’s Salesforce integration). 

This allows your reps to work within one platform for as long as possible rather than constantly bounce back-and-forth between tools.

Speaking of Chili Piper, our platform’s functionality actually spans each step of the customer journey from marketing and sales to customer success. 

For example, scheduling automation in Chili Piper gathers crucial data from your leads as they enter your funnel. 

This is done by filling out a form and immediately booking an appointment on-site. This same functionality is fair game for communicating with current customers as well.

Through intelligent lead routing, leads are automatically organized and routed to your sales reps based on your company’s own routing rules. This enables you to get your sales team in front of people faster and increase your speed to lead.

Features within Chili Piper make perfect sense for the role of revenue operations. As noted by our case study with Drip, our platform was able to increase their average deal size and revenue for their sales team according to their actual Revenue Operations team.

And with detailed reporting in Chili Piper, you can further assess your results and success as people move from Point A to Point B within your funnel. This sort of data is not only valuable to your sales team but also those in operations responsible for figuring out which salespeople and tactics result in the most revenue.

Speaking of which, analytics and reporting are crucial to RevOps. Digging into product knowledge and customer usage data serves as invaluable insights for all of your teams. 

For example, marketers can understand which messaging works best. Sales teams can hone in on your product’s most compelling features. Meanwhile, customer success can keep track of what they need to do to retain customers and encourage upsells in the future.

Tools such as Mixpanel can identify these sorts of behaviors and trends. Detailed dashboards and reports assist with everything from sales forecasting to holding your departments accountable, all of which fall under the umbrella of RevOps.

This combination of tools only scratches the surface of what teams can use but showcases how software alignment works as part of revenue operations. Doing so can clue you in on ways to become more efficient and encourage growth.

Is Your Business Ready for RevOps?

The need for revenue operations isn’t a passing phase: it’s something that’s here to stay as companies look to operate more swiftly and uncover ways to boost their revenue.

Even if you’re not ready for a new hire or full-blown, you can at least start thinking about ways to better align your sales, marketing, and customer success.

And hey, Chili Piper can help with all of the above. From attracting prospects to routing leads and engaging current customers, our platform can streamline engagement no matter where people are in your pipeline.

If you haven’t already, make sure you book a demo with Chili Piper today to see it in action today.

Want to see how Chili Piper works?

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