I talk with CEOs, marketing leaders, sales professionals and business owners in small to medium-sized businesses every single week. Many of them are asking, “What do we have to do to grow our company?”
The answer is multifaceted, but one of the most common responses I share is around the idea of adding a revenue operations (RevOps) function to the organization.
If you want to know more about revenue operations and how your company would benefit from it, here’s an article from our blog.
If you’re more familiar with revenue operations, here are eight of the best practices we’ve learned over the years while deploying revenue operations services to clients.
A lot of companies look at CRM and marketing automation tools as two separate suites, two separate tool kits and two separate initiatives. This is old-school thinking. Today, you need a revenue operations platform that spans marketing, sales and customer service while also including your website.
Having separate technologies for these four parts of the business might be holding you back, limiting your access to data and requiring more time than necessary to execute revenue generating programs.
Instead, take a more holistic approach to the technology you’re deploying across all the areas of the business that impact revenue generation. Having one platform where data moves seamlessly across all marketing, sales and customer service is going to make it much easier to get data out, optimize execution and automate repetitive tasks.
Also, having one technology, like HubSpot, across all three areas means you can focus your resources, skills and technical capabilities on one tool kit. This is going to help you leverage these tools and lean into the expertise so you can push the capabilities of your tech stack and get the most from this investment.
One of the major shifts going on across businesses today is moving away from opinion- and assumption-based decisions and moving to data-driven decision-making. One individual’s opinion is far less interesting than the data that supports the actual behavior of your prospects or customers.
Having a strong revenue operations function and active resources in your company is going to allow you to leverage the data already resident in your company to make smarter, faster and more accurate decisions around everything related to marketing, sales and customer service execution.
The secret in using data to make better decisions is not in collecting the data nor is it in the reporting of the data. While these both seem important – and they are – the big gains come from uncovering the insights buried in the data.
Revenue operations roles and RevOps agencies are starting to leverage their experiences across companies and help organizations find these buried insights.
The insights then inform the action plans and revenue grows. Don’t stop your initiative once you have a set of dashboards. Make sure you’re getting key learnings from the data and using those to improve business outcomes and results.
Breaking down silos between marketing, sales and customer success teams is essential for an efficient RevOps strategy. Facilitating cross-departmental collaboration fosters open communication, enhances knowledge sharing and encourages a unified approach to revenue generation. Regular meetings and shared goals help create a cohesive revenue-focused culture within the organization.
Consider a weekly revenue team meeting that includes leaders from marketing, sales and customer service. This meeting should be working on a common goal – hit the revenue numbers monthly. Use a scorecard that includes metrics from marketing, sales and customer service.
There should be active conversations about new customers who are about to close and what the extended team can do to get those deals over the finish line.
Everyone should be sharing feedback on marketing program execution, sales process execution and customer retention. This is the only way you leverage cross-departmental energy to help you to hit your revenue goals.
We’ve written about this numerous times, but it’s more important today than ever before. You have to create an experience for your prospects from their first click on your website to their final paperwork getting signed electronically.
The better the experience, the more leads, the higher the quality of leads, the more they convert into sales opportunities, the shorter the sales cycle and the higher the close rate. All these metrics combine for a revenue generation machine that can take you to the next level.
But you have to recognize the importance of the prospect experience. Every touch point must be optimized, and revenue operations roles allow you to put someone on this optimization effort.
Data has to be analyzed to uncover problem areas, experiments need to be run with assets to improve the experience and insights have to be pulled out of the data to allow the team to focus on the most important parts of the process.
The revenue operations team needs to lead all this experiential mapping and optimization. Once you put resources on this, you’ll notice a lot of important metrics moving up and to the right. Most importantly, you’ll find it easier to hit your revenue goals month after month.
We mentioned cross-departmental collaboration above, but aligning marketing and sales is different. Synchronizing sales and marketing efforts is pivotal for a successful RevOps strategy.
This is more about tactical execution and less about overall strategic alignment at the company level.
Aligning messaging, target audience definitions and sales enablement materials help create a unified customer experience throughout the buyer’s journey. Sales and marketing should work hand-in-hand leveraging field-level data from sales with analytical insights from marketing to drive effective campaigns and boost revenue growth.
We’ve been talking a lot about new revenue from prospects, but putting the customer at the center of your revenue operations is a fundamental principle.
Understanding customer needs, preferences and pain points helps tailor marketing campaigns and sales interactions, leading to more personalized and effective customer experiences.
Happy customers are more likely to become brand advocates, contributing to increased profitability through referrals and repeat business.
As we documented in the Cyclonic Buyer Journey™, the Delivery Stage of the model is just as important as all other stages. If you fumble the ball with your customers, the revenue cycle will grind to a halt.
No references, no reviews and no referrals mean no revenue.
Make sure your revenue operations team is spending time looking at retention rates as well as upsell and cross-sell opportunities to drive new revenue from your current customer base in addition to prospects.
Your tech stack should be giving you several tools to drive a more automated approach to revenue generation across all three revenue departments.
Automation reduces manual errors, increases efficiency and allows teams to focus on strategic revenue-generating activities. From lead nurturing to customer onboarding, identifying opportunities for automation can significantly enhance overall productivity.
Automation in the marketing area can include automatically posting articles from your blog to your social accounts. Automated email nurturing can be set up to continue the conversation with prospects who convert on your website and digest your educational content.
Automation in the sales area can include setting up automated follow-up emails, connecting tasks to your sales process and automatically reminding sales reps of those tasks, notifying relevant people when prospects move through their buyer journey or through your sales process.
These notifications can trigger follow-ups, outreach or prompts for conversations inside the sales team, ensuring that prospects are being proactively and appropriately nurtured as part of your designed sales process.
There is one very important takeaway associated with ongoing revenue generation and business growth – it never stops. There’s always more that can be done. Execution can be improved. Work can be done more efficiently. Tools can function better.
RevOps resources can significantly impact your ability to generate revenue if you have them deployed around continuously improving your execution across marketing, sales and customer service.
Just imagine if your RevOps team made two improvements each week. Over a month, that’s eight improvements, and over the course of the year, that’s more than 100 improvements.
Again, these improvements are data-driven based on the activities of your actual prospects and customers. This ongoing optimization and improvement effort is critical to companies hitting their goals in 2023 and beyond.
Without this, you’re missing a significant piece of the puzzle – one that could be the difference between hitting your goals and missing them each month.
Revenue operations represents a transformative approach to driving efficiency and boosting profits. By adopting integrated technologies, data-driven decision-making and a customer-centric approach, organizations can create a unified revenue-focused culture that aligns marketing, sales and customer success efforts.
Embracing best practices such as streamlined lead-to-customer lifecycles, cross-departmental collaboration and continuous process improvement will empower businesses to thrive in today’s competitive landscape and achieve sustainable revenue growth. It’s an initiative that should be at the top of most companies’ priority list going into the second half of this year and beyond.