Revenue Operations 101: What Is RevOps, and Why Is It Important?

5 minutes
Dec 03, 2021
Data ManagementPlanning & Forecasting

If you’re in the early stages of pivoting to an account-based marketing approach — or simply considering a pivot — you’re probably doing a lot of research. And that means you’ve probably...

If you’re in the early stages of pivoting to an account-based marketing approach — or simply considering a pivot — you’re probably doing a lot of research. And that means you’ve probably encountered the term “RevOps,” or revenue operations.

It’s a fast-growing title in the tech industry, but still relatively new, so it’s possible you might be wondering: What is RevOps, really? Is it just a slick, new name for sales operations, or is it something different? And most importantly, is this something that your org needs?

Keep reading to get the answers to these questions, and more.

What is RevOps, Anyway?

To put it in the simplest terms, revenue operations (RevOps) is where sales, marketing, and customer success meet to drive revenue

It’s easier to understand the “what” once you understand the “how.” RevOps drives revenue by bringing these teams together and empowering them with tools, technology, and data to make them more successful. 

Some major functions of RevOps can include:

  • Providing revenue teams with customer insights by managing software platforms that make data consistent, shareable, and understandable across the organization
  • Driving operational and cost efficiencies by helping revenue teams prioritize in-market ideal customer profiles
  • Delivering predictable operating plans based on account-based metrics
  • Setting up sales for success by automating data collection and enrichment
  • Centering the customer experience with campaigns and outreach based on AI-driven predictive analytics
  • Enabling revenue teams with digestible, actionable insights

If you’re familiar with sales and marketing operations, you may recognize some overlap. What makes RevOps unique? Not only does RevOps bring sales and marketing operations together, it also includes another part of the revenue team that tends to get overlooked with old-school sales approaches.

How is RevOps Different From Traditional Sales Ops?

In the traditional approach, sales and marketing operate in their own disconnected bubbles. There are lots of silos and little alignment, and disagreements on which accounts should be targeted are common.

The ABM approach alleviates much of this stress by aligning sales and marketing. There’s another major player in a successful ABM strategy, however: customer success

Sales and marketing have the important job of winning over the hearts and minds — and revenue — of new customers. But just as the buyer’s journey starts way before the Awareness stage, it doesn’t end with the Purchase stage, either. Customer success has the equally critical role of upselling, cross-selling, and reducing customer churn. 

Including customer success under the RevOps umbrella creates an all-encompassing revenue team that can help reap the following benefits:

  • Increased customer retention
  • More customer loyalty
  • Boosts in customer satisfaction
  • Lifts in revenue growth

Where Does RevOps Exist on an Org Chart?

Now that you know what RevOps does, the next question to answer is: Where does it  fit within your organizational structure? This can vary from company to company. If you have a CRO, the RevOps team will likely be their responsibility. There may be a head of RevOps that reports to the CRO, or it could be the head of marketing and sales. 

What the department is called also depends on the organization. It may be known as Go-To-Market Operations or Business Operations, or go under the “traditional” name of Sales Operations. 

It’s important to note that for some companies, RevOps might not be an official department at all, and exists instead as a general philosophy that brings together all people, processes and tools related to revenue.

Building Out Your RevOps Team

If you decide to go all-in on ABM, you’ll soon be tasked with:

  • Getting sales and marketing on the same page
  • Driving a world-class customer experience with a customer success team
  • And making sure they all have the technology, data, and insights they need

That means you’ll need to assemble a crack RevOps team.

Since RevOps is a fairly new job function, you might have a hard time finding people with experience in the exact field. The solution is to look for talent in marketing and sales operations who also possess the following characteristics, whether you’re looking for new hires or searching for talent on existing teams:

Process-Minded

From managing technology to gathering data to helping revenue teams orchestrate impactful campaigns and outreach, RevOps is all about processes. Select team members who can keep all these processes in order, and keep up with the ongoing training they’ll need to help effectively optimize tasks such as managing CRM and MAP platforms and generating dashboards and reports.

Quick on Their Feet

RevOps is the driving engine of the business, which means it moves fast. In these environments, change can occur with practically no notice. Ideal candidates understand that since their work impacts how data is collected and analyzed, quality is key, but they also know that sometimes “done” is better than “perfect.”

Calculated Risk-Taker

Because RevOps personnel have unparalleled visibility into the convergence of data and analytics, they are uniquely positioned to advise stakeholders on everything from customer engagement to expanding an ICP. Look for folks who can help make tough — but educated — decisions based on the best projected outcome for the revenue team.

Conclusion

If the idea of building a new RevOps team and rearranging your org chart sounds daunting — or if you don’t have the resources to start right away — don’t worry.

Remember, revenue operations doesn’t have to be an official department. Instead, it can simply be an approach to unifying all things revenue

A pivot to ABM might be harder without a RevOps team managing tech tools, generating reports and providing analysis, but as long as you put the effort into aligning, supporting, and empowering your sales, marketing, and customer success teams — which can be made easier with the right revenue technology platform — it’s an attainable goal to achieve, and a worthy one to pursue.