Revenue Operations 101: The Details You Need Now

Revenue Operations (Rev Ops) is a hot new buzzword, but what is it? And how does it compare to Sales Operations?Revenue Operations (Rev Ops) is a hot new buzzword, but what is it? And how does it compare to Sales Operations?

Revenue Operations should provide a complete approach to your go-to-market strategy, pairing with Revenue Enablement to drive efficiencies and effectiveness and lead to accelerated business growth.

Let’s go deeper.

What is Sales Operations?

Sales Operations focuses on the processes and activities within a sales organization that enable, support, and drive front-line sales teams to be more efficient.

Sales Ops creates systems and structures while delivering technologies to support data-driven and incremental improvements to the sales motion.

What is Revenue Operations?

Where Sales Op is focused exclusively on sales, Rev Ops takes a much broader view.

Like Revenue Enablement, Revenue Operations teams look at the buyer journey through marketing, sales, and finance, then through the customer journey with sales, customer success, and customer support.

This broader view enables the identification of friction for prospects and sellers at all points, creating opportunities for improvement at any point covered by your go-to-market strategy.

Revenue Operations vs Sales Operations

Revenue Operations represent the realization that companies must support the buyer and customer journey via data and technology. Sales operations are also focused on data and technology, but it focuses on the journey through the sales funnel only.

Three tips for effective sales operations

While there will be similarities in our recommendations, let’s take a moment to share a few best practices for Sales Operations teams, then we’ll do the same for Revenue Operations.

For effective sales operations, you want to consider the following:

Data management and reporting

How you manage your data and report it can make or break your sales department. 

Not having an effective data management system to ensure all leads, accounts, and pipelines are updated and fed to the proper departments can result in the loss of business.

A solid data management approach aids decision-making and supports 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. 

Leveraging the current wealth of technology and creating your own sales operations technology stack can help streamline workflow and ensure everyone is on the right page.

And building this tech stack around your current CRM is critical. Read our recommendations on The Best Sales Tools (our Research arm) for businesses using SalesforceMicrosoft, or Hubspot backends.

Focus more time on selling

Effective sales operations help your sales reps spend time selling, not on data entry.  

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.

Automate what can be automated so sales reps can do more of what brings them and the organization sales.

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. However, collaboration and communication are even more critical in Rev Ops.

Sales Ops is all about information inside the sales department — Rev Ops deals with company-wide operations.

And indeed, Revenue Operations and Revenue Enablement facilitate the breakdown between different departments in an organization. This enhanced collaboration and communication improve customer service and retention efficiencies.

Technology

The right Rev Ops technology stack usually includes:

  • A CRM – See our CRM Selection Guide
  • 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. 

Data management

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. Establishing clear KPIs at the outset is necessary, which helps provide clear expectations for each department.

Cross-functional collaboration

For your Rev Ops division to succeed, you need to bring people in from different departments. Specifically, customer service, sales, and marketing.

The 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.

What Roles Are Part Of The Revenue Operations Team?

While your revenue operations strategy will define exact roles and team size, the revenue operations team will generally consist of the following positions.

Revenue Analyst

The revenue analyst is responsible for analyzing the data and providing insights that will help drive revenue.

Revenue Operations Manager

The revenue operations manager is responsible for overseeing the entire Rev Ops team.

Read the next section to learn more about this role.

Marketing Operations Manager

The marketing operations manager is responsible for overseeing the data and technology of the entire marketing team.

Customer Success Operations Manager

The customer success operations manager is responsible for overseeing the data and technology of the entire customer success team.

Partner Operations Manager

The partner operations manager is responsible for overseeing the data and technology of the entire partner team.

Note: Only larger teams will have the more segmented positions for the marketing, partner, and customer success teams.

Let’s discuss your Revenue Operations Manager

The Revenue Operations Manager is the backbone of the Rev Ops team. They are responsible for ensuring that revenue goals are met and exceeded.

According to Glassdoor, in the United States, the average Revenue Operations Manager makes $92,472 annually.

Revenue Operations Manager Salary

How does your Salary compare?

5 Best Practices for a Revenue Operations Manager

  • Build a deep understanding of corporate revenue goals.
  • Collaborate across all revenue teams to understand strategies and tactics beyond leveraged.
  • Build processes for scale – but only when and where needed.
  • Help the team be data-aware – communicate leading and lagging indicators to guide the way.
  • Develop and leverage an integrated technology stack

 

What Metrics Does Operations Focus On?

Note: For each of these, read our detailed article on business metrics to learn more.

The list of possible metrics is long, what are the most common ones for revenue operations teams?

  • Customer lifetime value
  • Revenue growth
  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Customer churn
  • Annual recurring revenue
  • Marketing costs
  • Forecast accuracy
  • Revenue predictability
  • Pipeline velocity

And, of course, they are always concerned about improving data quality in all technologies used by the go-to-market teams.


When should your business invest in revenue operations?

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