Why you need a RevOps leader
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In my company, we love to conduct surveys, so we did one to see what CEOs and executives think about revenue operations, or RevOps:
Yes, in the new world of Go-to-Market (GTM), sales, marketing and customer success work together as a unified, high-performing revenue team with a silo-less focus on RevOps. Rather than trying to do everything as efficiently as possible for their individual departments, everyone works together to create an effective business model for the entire company.
To do this, they need to work well together so that they can discern where the business should be heading, what it should invest in, what works and what doesn’t, which systems are duplicating, etc.
Think about it: How can you use the information you gain about customers through marketing and sales and put it in the hands of Customer Success so they can determine what is working and what is not? How to retrieve data on bad customers from Customer Success to Marketing and Sales?
This two-way data exchange is difficult to achieve when your teams are siled.
In fact, this difficulty could be the exact reason why you feel stuck at some point in your business’s maturity. This is also the reason why sales and marketing come up with different numbers and conflicting data and then spend inordinate time trying to justify them rather than working from a single source of truth.
I call it the “who moved my cheese” phenomenon. It’s hysterical:
- “We have the right data,” Marketing says. “Our data is up to date.”
- “No, our data says something different,” Sales replies, “and it’s more up to date than yours.”
This is where planes stall and fall from the sky. Or, more broadly, that’s when your new airport terminal turns into a ghost town because customers aren’t going there.
If you don’t have a single source of truth by the time you get to the transition stage of GTM maturity – if your silos are still firmly in place – you’re screwed.
Creating a New RevOps Role
I suggest that in the new world you break down the silos and bring your teams together.
Create a new role, RevOps, to lead and report on the operations team
either to the CFO or COO (maybe even the CEO) rather than one of the team leaders, so that the new head of revenue operations can act independently without any party taken towards a specific function. Otherwise, the leader will tend to focus on his own department rather than the overall results of the company.
According to TOPO (now part of Gartner), “Revenue Operations is the modern operating model for generating efficient and predictable revenue using an interconnected, observable, end-to-end process. “
This is what this new organizational structure could look like:
While the revenue manager provides support for marketing, sales, and customer success, they should function independently and without bias towards a specific department, so they can focus on the overall effectiveness of the business model.
This objectivity and alignment will allow the RevOps leader to answer questions such as the following:
- How do we create repeatable processes?
- How can we make sure that our customer data is as clean as possible so that we can determine what is working for which segments and why?
- How can we make sure that our systems are performing as they are supposed to be so that we can create more predictable and reliable data?
- What metrics should we use to measure our success in the market?
Of course, you don’t want to lose efficiency. The focus on efficiency should not come at the expense of being able to create landing pages, move data quickly, create weighted forecasts, or run NPS surveys. You still need a representative operations manager for each division of your revenue team, but everything is done to serve your business results.
When done right, your new aligned revenue team (Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success) gains insight into overall business performance, as well as the performance of individual teams so they can make decisions about the next investments.
Imagine not every department bringing their own numbers to the meeting room, so you have to put them together in some way to create a bigger picture of the company.
What if, instead, you had a single leader, RevOps, who presented you with a dashboard that revealed the health of the business as a whole and at a glance?
You would have only one source of truth.
Keep in mind that if you are in the ideation stage of business maturity, you might be fine with just marketing and sales operations. After all, you have just stepped off the launch pad.
However, once you move into the transition phase, it becomes imperative to bring together sales, marketing, and customer success as soon as possible. The success of your business will demand it.
Therefore, you need to have income trading in mind even at the ideation stage.
So how do you answer the question “What do we need to be able to function effectively?” “
- Unify and create a RevOps function to support marketing, sales, and customer success, and put the right pieces in place.
- Identify and implement a repeatable process that standardizes data, your systems, and your technology stack, as well as a set of metrics. No more talking about who moved my cheese (i.e. where my numbers are).
- Perform this process weekly at the executive level so that you can help identify what should be the next step for your organization.
This article is based on excerpts from MOVE: the marketing framework in 4 questions.
More resources on revenue operations
Revenue Operations: A Game Changer for B2B Marketers
The rise of revenue operations [Infographic]
Top 5 Predictions For The Future Of Sales And Marketing Alignment [Infographic]