Creating a Revenue Operations Strategy

Heather Davis Lam

Heather Davis Lam

Heather Davis Lam is the Founder & CEO of Revenue Ops LLC, and holds multiple certifications from Salesforce, Salesloft, Hubspot, and other revenue operations platforms.

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Creating a Revenue Operations Strategy

The key to growing and building your business is implementing a revenue operations strategy. However, many people are still learning about what revenue operations means and how it can impact their businesses as a whole.

Revenue operations is about creating alignment between teams, optimizing your technology systems, and surfacing data and analytics so that you can make data-driven decisions to grow your business. It doesn’t matter if you have an ecommerce store or brick and mortar locations. If you have a digitally enhanced business, optimizing revenue is vital to growth.

Learn about the key concepts needed to create an effective revenue operations strategy.

What Is A Revenue Operations Strategy?

Traditionally, teams like sales, marketing, and customer success operated more in a silo, and each had their own responsibilities, goals, processes, and technology to apply. These departments would occasionally interact, but in general, they would act as separate entities.

The lifecycle of a consumer is far different now than it was only a few years ago. Purchasing a product or service, especially something of high value, isn’t a quick decision. And, prospects have a high expectation in regards to the level of personal service they anticipate to receive from your company.

Revenue operations, also known as RevOps, breaks down the walls between departments and allows your company to have a 360-degree view of your prospects and clients. A revenue operations strategy is a plan for how your company will interact with those prospects and clients at every stage in the buyer’s journey and provides the prospect with a seamless, personalized experience that helps to increase revenue, reduce the length of the sales cycle, and increase customer loyalty.

Creating Your Revenue Operations Team

The first step is to create a Revenue Operations team. One important item to note when deciding where to place this team in your organization is to whom the team will ultimately report. The RevOps team should be independent of the sales and marketing teams, as priorities for the business should not be influenced by one group or another. RevOps needs the ability to prioritize projects based on what would be best for the business as a whole, not just what is desired by a particular team.

The RevOps team utilizes systems thinking concepts to analyze how the entire company’s departmental systems work together to create a larger overarching system, which takes a prospect through the entire marketing, sales, and customer success cycles. They are responsible for understanding how all of the parts interrelate and how the larger system functions over time. Consequently, they can prioritize the work that will make the largest positive impact on the business.

Team members generally consist of a leader, like a Director of Revenue Operations or a VP or Revenue Operations, along with various team members who specialize in operations for specific business areas. These specialists might include a Manager of Sales Operations, a Customer Success Operations Specialist, or a Marketing Operations Manager. These specialists act as the primary liaison between the Revenue Operations team and the company’s respective functional groups yet work together to create strategies that will help the functional groups accomplish their goals while still keeping how the larger system functions in mind.

Business Process image. Shows a man surrounded by words that build business processes, like develop, design, investigate, analyze, implement and test.

Develop Critical Business Processes

The management team works with each core group to provide data sharing processes, insights into how each team impacts the other, and how they can leverage data to make each group more efficient.

Technology such as Salesforce and Salesloft provide the groups with the information they need without being overburdened by work and data collection. These platforms collect the data and have processes within them to provide the right information to each team.

These processes allow sales and marketing to work together to improve the processes for each, such as research and data for marketing conversions and which channels yield the best customers.

Implement Needed Technology Improvements

Technology plays an important part in the RevOps strategy. It includes the primary customer relationship management (CRM) platform, like Salesforce, marketing automation tools like Pardot, and various other sales enablement, communication, and analytics software like Salesloft and Drift.

The goal for the RevOps team in regards to technology improvements is to keep things as simple as possible. They want to minimize the amount of time spent adding data into these systems and maximize the amount of time that the end users can spend on more fun aspects of their job.

Integration and automation are key here. Regardless of the number of platforms needed, they want to develop a system to automate menial, repetitive tasks and combine platforms into a very simple user interface for the end users.

They also want to get the end users away from using spreadsheets and instead leverage the power of the integrated tech stack to bring visibility to the data to begin to build that 360-degree view of the customer, regardless of how they interact with the company.

For example, suppose a prospect filled out a form on a website, sent an email directly to a salesperson, and called the company’s main phone line. In that case, the team would want all of that information to flow through their systems into a central repository in the CRM. That way, whoever is responding to the prospect can understand all of the prospect’s actions and reply appropriately.

Moving data from spreadsheets into a cloud-based CRM also helps break down the silos of information between departments. Now, a member of the sales team would have real-time information about actions a prospect is taking with various marketing materials and can use that information to tailor their responses to the prospect to provide a personalized experience that speaks directly to their interests.

Develop and Share Departmental Processes

Process maps are a key part of a revenue operations strategy. They help you to think through what you’re doing at each stage of the process, what the entrance and exit criteria are for each stage, and surface any redundant processes that may have developed organically over time.

Each functional group should be tasked with mapping out their processes and defining the entrance and exit criteria for each stage. These processes should explicitly state who is involved in that step and also what technology is being used.

Once the process maps have been created, a Revenue Operations team member can work with the functional group to eliminate redundancies and develop an efficient system to move prospects or clients through their section of the funnel. This might involve adding or eliminating some technology, requiring specific data at a certain step to account for dependencies, or eliminating stages in the process that create unnecessary work.

The Revenue Operations team member will also work with the rest of their team to map out how each functional groups’ system works together and identify bottlenecks, gaps, or dependencies that need to be addressed.

Collect the Data and Determine KPIs

Data is the backbone of the RevOps strategy. The team needs to determine what’s going right, what’s going wrong, and figure out the effect that changes have on the system. Each of the tech systems that they’ve integrated gathers all sorts of data, from the job title and location of an incoming lead to a major pain point a company is experiencing.

The Revenue Operations team will help the functional groups develop and build reports and dashboards that show some of the most important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Platforms like Salesforce, Salesloft, and Tableau can be used to visualize the data and help executives at your company understand what’s happening so that they can make data-driven decisions to drive the business forward.

KPIs can include metrics like the number of new leads created this month, the percentage of leads converted to opportunities, new versus renewal revenue generated this year, and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores. How is this data trending, and what does the forecast look like against the company goals?

The management team should have a process for reviewing KPIs regularly. Some KPIs are best to view on a daily or weekly basis, while others are best analyzed during a monthly pipeline review. If the data isn’t trending in a favorable direction, the team can determine whether they need to pivot and alter their strategy to change the trend from negative to positive.

Benefits of Revenue Strategic Consulting

You now have the information you need to create a RevOps strategy, but what’s the benefit of doing it? The RevOps strategy impacts every area of your business and allows streamlined communication and accountability between sales, marketing, and customer service.

Data collection lets you see the direction your business is heading, so you can predict growth and make investments in technology and other areas. You see how the strategies impact each group and can make changes for better optimization.

The goal of the strategy is revenue growth, which you will ultimately see reflected in increased sales and higher customer retention rates, which both lead to increased customer loyalty. You can improve revenue without bringing in additional people or resources.

In this day and age, things change quickly, and to stay relevant to your prospects and customers, you need to be able to change right along with them. Your RevOps strategy will allow you to stay agile and afford you the visibility into what’s changing when it’s changing, and why so that you can make the best decision to continue to grow your business.

However, not all companies have the resources or personnel on hand to build out a revenue operations strategy. That’s where a revenue operations consulting firm, like Revenue Ops LLC, can help. Our certified industry experts can help you develop necessary processes, implement or optimize technology, and develop the data and analytics needed to maximize your revenue.

Revenue Growth Is Your Future

If you want to grow your business, then you need to optimize your current revenue operations model. A revenue operations strategy provides this not only by increasing your sales and conversions through prospect and client personalized communications but by streamlining your tech stack and visualizing important data so that you can make the decisions that are right for your business.

If you want to learn more about revenue operations strategies or talk to us about how we can help you by becoming an extension of your team, explore our website, or contact us directly at contact@revenueopsllc.com.

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