Today’s buyers no longer follow a linear path toward conversion or purchase -- a shift that was underway and further propelled by the pandemic. A prospect might take a winding path that oscillates between education and engagement, making the traditional hand-off from marketing to sales a repeated step rather than a one-time event.
To be successful in this landscape of non-linear, digital-first buying journeys, organizations need to be creative and adaptable. For sales, marketing and technology leaders, this means evolving from a sales-focused organization to a revenue-focused one. This is where revenue operations comes in.
A revenue operations (RevOps) model unites people, processes and data across various business functions under a shared goal: create a singular, cohesive experience for consumers to generate more revenue. The rise of RevOps comes as companies are increasingly prioritizing customer experiences. This model has advantages in catering to today’s more complex, digital customer journeys by ensuring marketing, sales and other functions operate with shared strategies and goals.
Looking ahead to 2023, revenue is top of mind. Whether businesses are aiming to recoup lost revenue from the events of the past three years or pivoting to reach digital consumers for the first time, RevOps can and should be a cornerstone of your strategy. For marketing, sales or IT leaders exploring this model for the first time, here’s where to start:
1. Unify teams
At its core, RevOps is all about unification. As a first step to deploying this model in your business, audit all processes and teams to pinpoint areas of disconnection. Once you have a clear idea of any misalignment, you can work towards a more cohesive marketing, sales and IT team.
Start by reframing your perspective on marketing and sales to view them as collaborators vs. competitors. These functions should operate as a continuum of the same journey, not competing forces for a customer’s attention. Next, reallocate resources and bring these unified teams under one budget. Marrying the marketing and sales budget might feel extreme, but it allows you to support revenue efforts where they’re most needed.
2. Define your sales funnel stages
To define your sales funnel stages, you’ll want to first identify all current marketing efforts. Examine what tactics are used and which are successful. Once you have a complete picture of the marketing activities, think about how they map to different phases of the funnel and address prospects’ needs during each stage of the buying process.
During this step, you’ll also need to establish a singular lead-scoring framework for marketing and sales teams to use. This takes the guesswork out of lead qualification, creates a more seamless hand-off process and ensures leads don’t get lost in the funnel. In addition to keeping track of lead positions within the pipeline, this scoring framework can improve collaboration between sales and marketing teams – fostering a better understanding of the other’s perspective and unifying around the customer experience.
3. Utilize a single source of data
Uniting behind a single data source serves two important purposes: it ensures all teams have the same view of a prospect, and it affords more personalization when targeting and nurturing leads. However, many businesses still operate with siloed data, where the CRM data and other tools in the tech stack don’t integrate or connect properly. This fragmented data prevents seamless hand-offs, hinders lead nurturing and can result in duplicate records.
By establishing one pool of data, businesses can eliminate gaps in customer profiles and minimize the possibility of duplicate data. With this approach, all information is stored, sorted and shared, and can be used by both marketing and sales teams. The result is a better customer experience, which drives revenue.
4. Invest in the right tech
Next, take inventory of the current technologies sales, marketing and customer service teams use. United teams require connected tools to keep everyone in sync, so investing in a proper tech stack is imperative. Building on top of the centralized source of data, layer tools like data enrichment, marketing and sales automation, and business intelligence. These technologies, which should integrate with one another, help your business maximize the value of its data, create deeper customer profiles, discover new revenue opportunities and derive actionable insights.
5. Maintain consistency with your strategy
Finally, establish regular check-ins to ensure your RevOps strategy is working in a way that’s effective and sustainable for your team. Use this time to reiterate revenue goals and growth plans with marketing, sales, customer service and IT teams to ensure they’re all on the same page. RevOps is only as impactful as the implementation and follow-through, so maintain an open line of communication to keep your revenue strategy on track.
Transitioning to RevOps
RevOps models are still relatively early in adoption but are increasingly embraced by organizations attempting to drive revenue within today’s buying and selling dynamic. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2025, 75% of the highest-growth companies globally will deploy a revenue operations model. But, where does that leave us today? For organizations that want to see sustained revenue growth, team alignment and effective sales funnels built around the customer journey – it’s time to think about RevOps.