If you’re like most software or tech organizations, your business has always been a bit of a mess behind-the-scenes because marketing, sales and customer success teams are all using different processes, technology and strategy. Nothing seems to be cohesive, and everyone’s structure or approach is slightly different. Sound familiar?
What you’re experiencing has a name: revenue operations…or more specifically, a LACK of revenue operations.
By now, most people have at least heard the term “RevOps,” but it’s not uncommon to be confused or overwhelmed with exactly how to get started at your tech company. (In fact, according to our recent survey only 15% of companies had a dedicated RevOps specialist on staff, while 27% said that no one was in charge of RevOps at their organization.)
Deep breath. We’ve compiled some simple steps to get you on the right track to implementing RevOps and focusing each team on the bigger picture.
Step #1: Take Inventory
Auditing is rarely fun, but it is going to give you unprecedented insight into how your departments function. Of course you know what CRM the sales team is using, but are you aware of all the prehistoric and glitchy customizations in place to make it function? You already know what help desk platform the customer success team is using, but are they also utilizing add-ons via Zapier? And what about your marketing team…do you have SaaS subscriptions that are underutilized or were abandoned months ago?
During this process, we can guarantee there are overlaps and gaps in technology as well as unseen integration opportunities. In fact, Blissfully reports that medium-sized companies have, on average, 4.3 abandoned subscriptions and 5.8 duplicate subscriptions. Yikes.
You should also consider doing a full website and content audit. Assuming you know your target audience and the journey they take during the sales process, do you have enough high-quality content to speak to every buyer at every stage of the funnel? For example, do you have specific content for both CEOs at a decision-making stage AND IT Managers at an awareness stage? Our bet is by reviewing your blog, white papers, website pages and more, you’ll find that the messaging is heavily skewed toward one type of buyer or one stage in the funnel. (Psst… we can help with this!)
Moral of the story? Identify the gaps. Make a plan to fill those gaps. Keep moving forward.
Step #2: Identify KPIs
Not all KPIs are created equal, but the old saying goes that if you let a marketing team define performance, a sales team will go its whole life believing it is failing. Or something like that.
If only one department in your organization is involved in defining RevOps KPIs, you will never get the full picture of your customer lifecycle and you will likely miss out on important data.
Read up on the KPIs that top SaaS companies are using to measure their RevOps success to help you brainstorm, but keep in mind no two companies are alike. (That said, the top RevOps KPI in our survey was win rate; 62% of survey respondents use that metric at their tech company.)
The most important part is getting alignment between internal teams to define metrics that make the most sense with your specific products and services. Then, don’t forget to build a dashboard (perhaps using a platform from your freshly audited martech stack) and review on a regular basis to hold everyone accountable.
Step #3: Appoint a RevOps Champion
In our recent survey of tech marketers, 27% of respondents said that they do not have someone in charge of revenue operations at their company AT ALL. Now, you don’t necessarily have to have a singular dedicated RevOps expert to be successful, but at minimum you need to define clear cut responsibilities to a group of people in order to keep the process efficient. Otherwise, if no one is in charge then you KNOW RevOps is always going to fall to the bottom of the priority list.
When choosing a RevOps champion from an existing department, there are always going to be benefits and drawbacks associated with the person chosen to take the lead, but ultimately you have to decide what works best for your company. Our advice? Choose the person who was the most passionate and competent about RevOps from the earlier steps. If you’re looking to industry peers for advice, however, our survey found that 19% use someone from marketing, 15% use a C-Suite exec, 4% use someone from sales and 4% use a tech/dev person.
Step #4: Create a Plan
Remember the tech/content audit you performed? The KPIs you defined as a company? Well, it’s finally time for the newly appointed RevOps champion to set goals and develop a plan to achieve them.
By now, we’re sure you’ve heard of SMART goals—an acronym meaning a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and anchored within a Time Frame. Use this framework to set realistic goals
Here are some examples of SMART RevOps goals with an associated plan to achieve them:
What you want to do: Increase MRR by 10% from $300K to $330K by the end of Q4
How you’re going to do it: Marketing will run a lead nurture campaign targeting enterprise-level accounts in the most popular vertical; sales will run a promotion discounting add-ons for new and existing customers; customer success will implement NPS surveys and assign a rep to contact anyone with a neutral score
What you want to do: Reduce sales cycle time for sales above $60K from 12 weeks to 10 weeks by the end of Q1
How you’re going to do it: Marketing will reevaluate lead scoring criteria to make sure SQLs are fully qualified; sales will use software to create automated sequences of emails, phone calls and tasks; customer success will create video case studies as proof content for current prospects
Remember that these goals can evolve over time as you become more familiar with RevOps and find more ways to optimize your processes.
Step #5: Keeping testing and optimizing
These few steps on your RevOps journey will not transform your revenue and everyday experiences between your teams overnight. What they will do is get you thinking and out of the "what-the-heck-am-I-doing paralysis" that can so often consume you when implementing new processes or ways of operating.
To find out more about RevOps, check out the HubSpot User Group we hosted about “How B2B Tech Companies Can Leverage HubSpot for Long-Term RevOps Success” or find out how you stack up against other software + tech companies in the first installment of our Tech Marketing Survey Series focused on RevOps and tech stacks.