What is Revenue Operations, or Revops, Anyway?

what is revenue operations

If you regularly read business blogs, attend industry conferences, or you’re just generally an “in-the-know” kind of person, you’ve very likely come across the term “revenue operations.” Just when you thought you had business models all figured out, the world turns and adds yet another department. And if you’ve ever seen a revenue operations job description and thought “What in the world?” you’re not alone.

I’ll admit, I was originally skeptical of the term. I thought perhaps it was a fancy new title that sales teams had adopted. As it turns out, revops solves a major, and common, issue. If you read our customer churn blog series, this is the type of problem a crack shot revenue operations manager would prevent.

prevent customer churn with predictive analytics

In short, think of a revops team as the point guard in basketball. The other players on the court represent the departments in your business that directly drive revenue. So your sales reps, marketing and customer success teams are the other positions (sorry, Human Resources).

Who do you think would be the head coach in this analogy? You get one guess… it’s your leadership team! The coach calls out the plays to the point guard, who facilitates the plan from there.

RevOps team as the point guard in basketball

Revops vs. Sales Ops

If you are already familiar with sales ops, you may be wondering how the two compare. They are very similar, indeed, and many in a head of revenue operations role have had previous experience as an operations manager, customer experience, and in sales. Both roles facilitate operations, ensure high levels of quality, and assist in the overall business process. The key difference is that sales ops teams mainly assist the sales team with administrative tasks, while revops teams coordinate cross-department communication and make sure that everyone’s goals are aligned. As much as I despise cliches, they ensure synergy.

revenue operations can boost synergy

While there isn’t a universal structure for revops teams, sales ops very often sits on the revenue operations teams, along with specific positions for marketing ops, customer success ops and ops for any other teams that generate revenue from operations.

The Revenue Operations Model

To recap the customer churn blog series, our fictional company, Magenta, realized that their customer churn problems spawned from having disparate systems across teams. The sales team lost sight of customers once they moved to order fulfillment. Worse still, the sales team was not able to see their customers’ inquiries to the customer service team.

Revenue operations teams structure, marketing ops, sales ops, customer success

Unfortunately for many businesses, these teams often become siloed from one another. Not only do they use different technologies, but the teams can become isolated from one another, have different goals, and can even start competing against each other. Again, I really don’t want to use another cliche, but we’re all on the same team.

This is exactly what’s caused the rise of revenue operations. The revops model places a brand new team in the middle of these departments. Companies that have adopted this approach have certainly reaped the benefits.

The Boston Consulting Group found revenue operations for SaaS businesses achieved:

  • digital marketing ROI increases from 100% to 200%
  • 10% increases in lead acceptance
  • 15% to 20% increases in internal customer satisfaction
  • 30% reductions in go-to-market expenses

When done properly, revops decreases operating expenses and boosts companies’ sales cycles. It’s no surprise, then, that 89% of respondents in a survey commissioned by Salesforce said that they plan to create a revops role within the next two years.

We’ve touched on the idea that this model helps facilitate open and transparent communication, but how exactly does it accomplish this? How do you staff a revops team? This will all depend on the size of your operation, your individual needs, and the challenges you face. Atrium can help you nail down exactly what you need to get started with our data-driven approach to identify key problem areas and their appropriate solutions.

Implementing a revops structure in your business

You may be thinking that revops teams simply hold meetings and translate “sales speak” to “customer service speak” and vice-versa, but this is just a tiny part of the typical revops job description.

Back to our customer churn series: our fictional company Magenta had their different teams using many different systems. If this is something that you face, then it’s the first place to start. Integrating this data into Snowflake is a fantastic solution due to its ability to ingest data from multiple sources, and then connect this data into Salesforce. Having all information in one place ensures that nothing gets scattered.

preventing customer churn infographic

View the full infographic on preventing customer churn

Automation is a huge part of creating a successful revenue operations team. In essence, it’s using data as a method of communication to identify new opportunities to increase revenue. This data needs to be captured, cleaned, and organized in a consistent and predictable manner so that actionable insights can be realized.

Many early adopters are no longer gambling with their limited marketing and sales resources. If you want to do the same, we have a demo that showcases how you can take the right actions in your business to keep the customers you have and attract the ones you want.

revops demo

Who comprises a revops team?

Everyone who’s involved in the product-to-cash lifecycle needs to be under your revops team. This team can be anything from a single employee to an entire department, depending on the size of your business. The ideal Head of Revenue Operations would have diverse experience across numerous teams. You should also have data analysts who not only make sure that the input data streams remain intact, but also sift through the information to develop new go-to-market strategies.

You can definitely make use of a revops team, but if you don’t know exactly where to start, have no fear! Atrium has experience helping clients in a wide range of industries adopt similar solutions. Our Elevate service can get you started on your revops journey with advice on your analytics approach, including optimizing and managing existing solutions. We help you build better enterprise analytics within Salesforce and its reporting tools, which turn insights into action into impact and revenue.