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A Step-by-Step Guide to Revenue Operations

Perhaps you have new team members bringing fresh ideas to your company. And maybe one of them mentioned revenue operations (RevOps). Pay attention. It’s a much more streamlined approach to every part of your business. In short, it’s a different approach that challenges existing processes, as you'll see in this guide to revenue operations. It asks hard questions of your team (e.g., why they do what they do). But it’s a methodology that increases business success in the modern business world.

Problem: Your tech stack is cumbersome and complicated. And although you know things should get streamlined, they're not. As a result, your divisions operate in siloes, causing your revenue to stall.

Opportunity: What if there were a way to remove your company's invisible and visible barriers? Would you do it? The answer to ensuring streamlined and integrated information and explosive growth is simple. It’s called revenue operations (RevOps).

Resolution: When you decide to shift to RevOps you take the bull by the horns. Sure, it takes commitment and work. However, no other model is streamlined, systemic, and integrated. Ultimately, it means better coordination. And that means increased profitability.

In a new business environment, the old ways of doing things can continue unnoticed. However, what’s needed now is a culture of transparency, accountability, and efficiency. This article will explore what you need to know about RevOps.

Understanding Revenue Operations

Several core features exemplify RevOps. For instance, it encompasses all the functions, people, and systems necessary to bring in and spend revenue. The easiest way to think of it is as a hub-and-spoke approach. At the heart of your business is something called revenue operations. As you’ll see in this guide to revenue operations, the methodology encompasses the processes by which a company's business takes place. All of it is akin to the heart or brain of your company.

As a functioning entity, it has a central nervous system, which translates to data for our purposes. So, data and information pass through the RevOps ecosystem. Moreover, every aspect of your business flows through RevOps. Sales, marketing, human resources, operations, and R&D all get integrated into the RevOps central nervous system.

What does that accomplish? Well, first, silos get eliminated. Everything gets captured because of technology integrated into a seamless (and not complex) architecture. As a result, data flows through every area of your company to the centralized RevOps team. Think of your RevOps group as a team of multi-disciplinary experts as you would find in an operating room.

The output of revenue operations is actionable intelligence for all business leaders. Let's face it. The most crucial element of your business today—aside from profitability—is data. You need the correct data on time and with spot-on accuracy. And that's what reorienting your company to RevOps accomplishes.

The Importance of Getting Leaders on Board

As with anything in business, revenue operations also take leadership. In this guide to revenue operations, we're not going to tell you that, poof, within 90 days, you have a new magic formula. But, what we will say to you is that if you do it right, you'll get explosive growth. However, the only way you can achieve success is with solid leadership.

For the reorientation toward RevOps, the entire leadership team needs to be on the same page. Most people don't know how to work within a cohesive ecosystem. So, it requires a change in perspective. But it also means a change in bad habits. For instance, protecting (i.e., selectively disseminating) information disappears with RevOps. Leaders will get the whole story and picture every time. Still, that requires changes in human behaviors.

While getting the C-Suite on board with the vision is essential, getting the team on board is even more critical. Everyone’s got to buy into the fact that you need to run a business. And that means that the success of your business is the success of everyone. When everyone is working toward the same goal, success is almost guaranteed.

It is also about getting behind the fact the team needs to collaborate to execute the plan. This means that the team needs to work together instead of against each other. And once and always, it’s all about the good of the whole. In so doing, individuals also achieve success. So, the only way to ensure that kind of success is with robust leadership.

Aligning Your Corporation Around Revenue Operations

Once you have all the leadership on board with the importance of revenue operations, the next step is to align your corporation around the principles of profitability, sustainability, and growth. Your team needs to realize that increased profits will flow when there’s alignment among all divisions.

So, profits naturally flow when each team knows what you expect of them and how they contribute. To create an environment of alignment, you need to communicate the 'why' behind certain decisions. Moreover, they need to realize that data and the creation of an ecosystem are crucial to beating the competition. And the only way to achieve it is through seamless and integrated tech.

Sure, this can be difficult at first. But it’s crucial to having a successful business. Communication is key. If people don’t understand why they have to do something, inevitably, they’ll choose the easiest option. The harder option might be more appropriate. But if no one explains why the easy path always wins.

Getting Buy-In from Your Team for Revenue Operations

The best way to get buy-in from your team for revenue operations is to get involved yourself. If you want your team to understand the importance of RevOps, you need to put in the time. If you're going to make a change, you need to be part of the process. And that means you and your leadership team have to embrace RevOps.

The likelihood is new faces may appear with more multi-discipline experts. Or perhaps your current team notices the shift in doing things differently. As it starts to happen in action, you'll need to remind them why revenue operations methods are implemented. Talk is talk. And as we know, action speaks louder than words. Once you start the effort, you need to continue leading the change.

When you explain the new ways of doing things and the reasons for these changes, you’ll achieve your RevOps goals. But it takes time and constant action. You can't let up every day, particularly around the first 90 days. One of the best things is to incentivize your team to achieve incremental milestones along the way.

What Does the Revenue Operations Team Do?

If you fully embrace revenue operations, you'll create a team of experts with different expertise. For example, you'll have pros from marketing, sales, operations, R&D, customer engagement, finance, etc. At the core, the RevOps team is responsible for helping to ensure the business’s revenue. This work gets accomplished by ensuring all data and information gets centralized. This is the hub of your revenue operations, and they provide actionable intelligence to leaders and teams.

The revenue operations team is also responsible for ensuring that the revenue stays within the business. They do it because data provides efficiencies. The group's also responsible for keeping the leadership informed on the business's financial health. This includes giving c-suite executives robust dashboard reporting and any other reports they might require.

Hiring for Revenue Operations

When it comes down to it, the hardest part of revenue operations is hiring the right people. After that, the procedures themselves are pretty straightforward. The only problem is that the right people are hard to find. This is where employers stand to gain. They can make better hiring decisions with a better understanding of RevOps and what it takes to succeed.

Some of the skills that a revenue operations professional should have include the following:

  • Analytical skills. The ability to think critically is a must for any professional. They need to think about things differently and approach problems with a curious mindset.
  • Sensitivity and tact. Simply put, people need to engage with others well. And that means you need a team of people with high emotional intelligence.
  • Self-management. Being able to manage one’s own time is crucial. This is particularly true in remote and hybrid work environments.
  • Data technology skills. Revenue operations feed on tech and data. So, you need people on the team who are data and tech evangelists.

The Role of the RevOps Leader

In this guide to revenue operations, we’ll say it—the team leader plays an important role. They ensure that the team has everything they need to do their jobs effectively. This includes ensuring that the team has the right tools and uses them effectively. They also ensure that the team has the support they need—especially during the transition—for RevOps to succeed.

The RevOps leader also plays a crucial role in ensuring the team is accountable. When a team member makes a mistake, the leader must let them know. Further, they work with the team and divisions to correct any issues. Also, the RevOps leader knows they serve all divisions and departments. So, they’re accountable to them as well.

Also, the RevOps leader plays a crucial role in making sure that the team is transparent. Transparency ensures that everyone’s aware of what’s happening within the group. For instance, it means communicating clear expectations. Also, it means negotiating with other company members about what measurable success means.

Measuring Success for Revenue Operations

To fully implement revenue operations, knowing what success looks like is essential. You need to take three critical factors into account:

  • Sales and increased profitability.
  • Dissemination of data information throughout the company (not siloed).
  • Increased customer engagement and satisfaction.

With revenue operations, it's essential to measure success for each revenue stream. This helps you determine which streams work best for your company. Further, it informs changes you need to make them more profitable. RevOps provides crucial data.

For example, maybe a particular revenue stream isn’t driving the desired profit margins. In this guide to revenue operations, we want to reaffirm something that's vital. Revenue operations provide you with objective data to determine how much it costs to generate that revenue and whether opportunities exist for cost-cutting.

If you want to increase your business’s revenue, the process starts with understanding where your money is coming from with customers. RevOps gives you a clearer picture of what your leads and customers want or not. Ultimately, knowing this information allows your company to develop customer-centric plans to generate more wealth by changing your processes and products as outlined in this guide to revenue operations.



Ben Stroup is Chief Growth Architect and President at Velocity Strategy Solutions where he helps leaders design, develop, and deploy smarter business growth strategies. Ben is a futurist, disruptor, and data champion. He leads a team that takes a structured learning approach to business challenges, which allows them to assist leaders in bridging the gap between ideas, innovation, and revenue—taking ideas from mind to market.

Velocity Strategy Solutions is an on-demand, next-generation business strategy and management consulting firm which provides clients with a relentless focus on data, execution, and results that positively impact the bottom line. Velocity delivers integrated people and revenue strategies combined with a disciplined approach to growth architecture that elevates the capacity of leaders, teams, and organizations to succeed and win more.

Topics:   Change