The increasingly multi-faceted nature of the digital age’s sales process has created the need for a more nuanced approach to enhancing revenue.
Which is a long-winded way of saying: stuff’s more complicated, competition is stiffer, and the sales process has to reflect this if your organization is serious about long-term, sustainable success.
These realities have driven the growth of Revenue Operations (Rev Ops) comes in. Rev Ops is a more comprehensive approach to the entire revenue-generating process. It looks at the whole customer journey, as opposed to sales operations (Sales Ops) which has the singular focus of sales.
What is Sales Operations?
Sales Ops is about helping the front-line sales reps focus solely on their job.
This help is provided by focusing on the processes and activities within a sales organization that enable, support, and drive front-line sales teams to be more efficient.
This efficiency comes in the form of a system.
By systematizing the sales process and implementing training, engagement techniques, and software technology stacks, Sales Op leaders can create an environment for successful sales reps.
What is Revenue Operations?
Where Sales Op is focused exclusively on sales, Rev Ops fills in the gaps.
There’s so much leg work that happens before a salesperson gets on the phone with a qualified lead. And then all the things which occur post-sale.
Rev Ops focuses on the whole revenue-generating process. This focus includes everything from marketing and sales to renewals and expansion.
Three tips for effective sales operations
Implementing systems is often the best way to succeed and then to scale that success. That’s why sales operations are such a vital part of the sales process.
For effective sales operations, you want to consider the following:
Data management and reporting
How you manage your data and how you report it can make or break your sales department. Because let’s face it, sales have a steady—if not high—turnover.
Not having an effective data management system to ensure all leads, accounts, and pipelines are updated and fed to the right departments can result in the loss of business.
An effective data management system also makes analyzing and reporting more reliable and useful. Having access to up-to-date is helpful not only for making decisions but also for keeping management and stakeholders informed of success.
Leverage new technology
With project management and task management software available, there’s no excuse for dozens of spreadsheets, folders in emails, different calendars, memos, and so on.
We all make mistakes, and we all forget things. Under normal circumstances, this is—usually—fine. But in sales it’s costly. Time is a big factor, and if you forget to follow up a lead for even a week, there’s a good chance you’ve missed an opportunity.
Leveraging the wealth of technology currently available and creating your own sales operations technology stack can help streamline workflow and ensure everyone is on the right page.
Focus more time on selling
Effective sales operations mean spending time being more involved in the sales process. The bulk of a sales rep’s time should be: on calls, in meetings, scheduling and arranging live demos, and working with marketing on calls-to-actions and messaging for campaigns.
Which is how leveraging new technology can help. Automate what can be automated so sales reps can do more of what brings them, and the organization, more consistent value.
Three tips for effective revenue operations
The tips for effective revenue operations look remarkably similar to the recommendations for sales operations.
And that’s because the same principles apply. Data management is vital, and so too is the right technology stack. Collaboration and communication are, however, even more critical in Rev Ops.
Sales Ops is all about information inside the sales department.
Whereas Rev Ops deals with company-wide operations. And, indeed, Rev Ops tends to facilitate the breakdown between different departments in an organization. This enhanced collaboration and communication have been shown to improve efficiencies in customer service and retention drastically.
The right Rev Ops technology stack usually includes:
- A CRM
- Customer order management
- Marketing automation tools
- Website analytics
- Partner relationship management
- Some customer communication tracking
The advantage of this technology stack is that it will help you set-up, implement, and scale Rev Ops in a way that drives consistent revenue intake.
Because there are many more departments in Rev Ops than Sales Ops, not only is data analysis and reporting necessary, so too is keeping track of KPIs.
Not every department involved in Rev Ops is directly responsible for sales. It is necessary to establish clear KPIs at the outset, which helps provide clear expectations for each department.
For your Rev Ops division to be successful, you need to bring people in from different departments. Specifically, customer service, sales, and marketing.
Cross functional collaboration focuses on the importance of communication, problem-solving, and each person playing to their strengths. A cross-functional team, run well, will be critical to the ongoing success and scalability of your organization’s Rev Ops.
Revenue Operations vs Sales Operations
It’s not really about Rev Ops or Sales Ops.
Both are useful. And in some cases, both are necessary. Sales Ops allows your sales team to ensure they produce the best results. As well as ensuring that turnover doesn’t affect the companies forecasted sales.
Whereas Rev Ops is all about revenue growth via company-wide operational efficiency. So, it’s better to think of them as two ways to increase revenue consistently.
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Living Enablement as a practitioner and as a leader. I’ve seen the confusion and frustration that many practitioners live. From working in other areas of the business, I’ve also seen the genuine need for the capabilities that enablement provides.