Although revenue operations (RevOps) is the new kid on the block next to sales operations and marketing operations, it’s quickly being adopted by businesses, particularly in the B2B and SaaS space. RevOps job titles have exploded, with VP of Revenue Operations titles increasing by 300% on LinkedIn over the past 18 months, according to Clari.
As the opportunity grows, many business leaders are wondering what RevOps does, how it differs from sales ops, and when to start hiring for it. Our guide will answer the questions we’re hearing most about this developing field and explain why you should consider adding RevOps to your organization.
What Is Revenue Operations Responsible For and Why Is It on the Rise?
Revenue operations (often called RevOps) is a department that aligns a company’s core teams — sales, marketing, customer success, finance, and product or services — to drive revenue growth, boost information visibility, unearth insights, and offer tactical guidance.
If that sounds like a wide scope, that’s because it is. For years, teams have traditionally managed their own ecosystem of technology stacks, customer data, metrics, and reports. At best, it’s led to department-level tunnel vision and inefficiencies (think contradictory data findings or duplicative tasks). At worst, it’s created a broken customer experience and blind spots for the business.
In fact, one Salesforce study revealed that 58% of business leaders felt that “customer, prospect, and account data comes from too many sources to easily make sense of it.”
RevOps is emerging precisely because businesses can’t compete effectively with siloed departments or disconnected workflows anymore. Prospects expect a seamless, personalized journey from first to last touch, which means each team needs a centralized, user-friendly view of information. And more than ever, accurate sales forecasting depends on pulling consistent data from all sources.
Revenue operations is the eye in the sky that businesses are searching for — facilitating cross-functional collaboration so that every part of their revenue engine can perform its best. So, what does a RevOps team do to make this possible? We can break it down into three key areas:
- Data analysis and forecasting: Building powerful dashboards, monitoring performance metrics, and distilling data into actionable reports and reliable forecasts.
- Systems administration: Optimizing tech stacks, diagnosing problems, and finding ways to increase productivity, especially with sales pipeline management and customer relationship management (CRM) software.
- Sales enablement: Improving the sales process and creating quality training resources through data analysis and cross-team collaboration.
With a RevOps function at your disposal, you’re equipped to develop effective business strategies, and your team is equipped to execute them with ease.
Sales Operations vs. Revenue Operations
The main difference between sales operations (sales ops) and revenue operations is scope, but it’s common to see overlap between these two departments.
Sales ops is zeroed in on sales systems, strategies, and tactics, allowing your salesforce to do what they do best — sell. This team may focus on sales process mastery, compensation plans for sales leaders, sales managers, and account executives, territory allocation, lead management, tech tools, and more.
RevOps looks at the bigger picture, working closely with sales teams, marketing teams, and customer success teams to enhance the company’s go-to-market strategy, maximize tech usage, and ultimately drive sales.
Who Does RevOps Report To?
In early-stage companies, a RevOps team typically rolls up to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or Chief Operating Officer (COO). In mid-to-late stage companies, RevOps teams often report to the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), another role that’s on the rise.
How Does a RevOps Team Make a Sales Team Better?
One of the biggest benefits of investing in revenue operations is the many ways it streamlines selling and proactively prevents roadblocks in the first place. Take a closer look at some of the advantages below.
Develops a More Efficient Sales Process
RevOps can work on its own or in tandem with your current sales ops team to improve each stage of the sales process, from lead prospecting to customer retention.
For example, they can use automation to help sales reps qualify leads faster, log a deal in two clicks instead of 10, and follow up at the right time, every time. Their access to data and cross-functional focus allows RevOps teams to deliver better onboarding and coaching resources, such as sales pitches.
Breaks Down Organizational Silos
Businesses are always looking for ways to eliminate friction between teams — we’ve all seen an email chain between two departments trying to understand whether a customer is new or existing, or what happened during the last conversation.
RevOps bridges the gaps by taking a collective approach to revenue generation, creating visibility into important information across tech stacks and teams.
Builds More Accurate Sales Quotas and Forecasts
Having a team that’s focused on unifying data can yield a variety of benefits. A RevOps function can help sales leaders set more realistic sales quotas and key performance indicators (KPIs), which can in turn lead to predictable growth for the entire organization. They can also keep everyone on the same page by facilitating cross-team meetings throughout the sales cycle.
Boosts Team Morale
All of the activities we’ve covered — from software optimization to data-driven strategy development — add up to one major morale booster for your salesforce. For instance, RevOps can help with better account scoring and lead distribution, so reps won’t be frustrated by a bad book of business.
With better training and more accurate targets, your salespeople will head into each deal with more confidence. Managers can set expectations and properly incentivize each rep, allowing everyone to make more money.
When Should You Add a RevOps Role or Team?
We recommend adding a RevOps partner, like a Director of Revenue Operations or Revenue Operations Manager, once your sales team hits 5 to 10 sales reps or your business reaches a few million dollars in revenue.
The sooner you build a RevOps team, the better.
In general, you don’t want mindshare being stolen by systems admin or data hygiene tasks. If your VP of Sales is figuring out how to add contact fields to your CRM or building dashboards, it might be time to bring on a RevOps professional.
Here are some other signs that you need a RevOps function:
- Your sales process isn’t flowing smoothly.
- Your data isn’t revealing which campaigns and tactics are most effective.
- Your software tools aren’t working together.
- Your sales forecasts are frequently off the mark.
- You’re sensing gaps in the customer journey.
The size of your first revenue operations team depends on a variety of factors, including whether your company is product-lead or sales-led, and your operations spend relative to revenue.
Once you’ve decided the time is right, plan to provide training to educate all your teams about why you’re adding revenue operations and how their departments will work together successfully.
What Should You Look For in a RevOps Professional?
The right type of revenue operations talent is just now becoming available to the marketplace. This role usually requires a diverse skill set, including the following:
- Background in revenue operations, sales operations, or business operations
- Understanding of how to optimize sales and marketing software tools and set up complex integrations
- Proven experience designing cross-functional processes and workflows that scale
- Extensive knowledge of how to organize, sync, and analyze company-wide data
- Strong project management, problem-solving, and communication skills
Overhead cost is a common obstacle to launching a RevOps role or team. We’ve seen companies that don’t want the added cost center, or seek maximum output with minimum pay. However, when RevOps is launched the right way, the exponential jump in revenue easily covers the overhead.
Ready to Invest in Revenue Operations?
The focus of your RevOps team will depend on your company’s needs. However, revenue operations is ultimately about connecting the dots across your organization so you can increase sales and reduce customer churn.
If you’re ready to get started, Sales Assembly’s RevOps training resources can help you avoid common pitfalls and see results faster. Just look at Telnyx, a communications tech company that’s operating at nearly 100% efficiency using our courses, advisory tools, and peer groups.
Contact us to learn more about building a powerful revenue ops function.