The Ultimate Guide to Revenue Operations (RevOps) Workflows

Revenue Operations jobs are on the rise. According to Revenue Operations Platform Clari, VP of Revenue Operations titles have for example increased by 300% over the last two years.

An increasing number of companies turn to RevOps but are quickly faced with a hard realization we’re all too familiar with: It’s pretty hard to do RevOps right.

Fret not, as we’re here to help. In this introductory post to our “Ultimate Guide to RevOps Workflows” series, we will define what RevOps entails before going over its main functions and introducing how automation can help streamline your RevOps efforts today.

Let’s get to it!

What is Revenue Operations (RevOps)?

Everybody seems to rave about RevOps, but ask that question to five different people and you might get 5 different answers. To put it simply, RevOps -standing for Revenue Operations- is the strategic alignment of the revenue-contributing departments in your organisation.

Whether we’re talking about Sales, Marketing or Customer Success, RevOps looks at optimizing and improving processes, communication and operations across the board to drive revenue growth.

RevOps Functions Image Source: Troops

Why is it important and what are some of the benefits of RevOps?

  • Preventing silos: Just as in any relationship, communication in business is key, and encouraging cross-team collaboration is one of the main elements of RevOps. No more misunderstanding and misalignment! (we’re looking at you, sales and marketing)
  • Unifying tech stacks: In 2020, organizations worldwide were using an average amount of 80 SaaS tools. If you’ve ever worked in a company, you know that there is usually a lot of disconnect there. RevOps works on improving that.
  • Improving business awareness: For upper management and the C-suite, RevOps is a key function to get a bird’s eye view of revenue-generating operations at a glance. If you’re looking to grow, this is something you want to keep an eye on.
  • Creating a better customer experience: No one likes to be told one thing from a salesperson, another from marketing material and a third from support. A harmonious, unified front is a must to provide the best possible experience.
  • Saving time and money: Enough said.

RevOps seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? But who should be in charge? And what is the scope for the role?

Usually, the Head of Revenue Operations is a hybrid role at the junction of these departments (sales, marketing, success), held by a C-level executive. In startups and SMBs, it’s often the responsibility of an experienced manager with cross-teams experience. Their role is to help the revenue-contributing team focus on their job while streamlining operations across the board, often overseeing operation managers from each functional team.

RevOps Org Chart Image Source: Sales Hacker

Now that we have a good idea of what RevOps is and who’s in charge, let’s dive deeper and explore the main functions of RevOps in more detail

The main functions of RevOps

In this section, we will look at the main functions of RevOps and give some examples of workflows that are typically associated with them.

Sales Operations

Sales is considered the heart of any business, and for good reason. With a direct impact on the revenue, it’s an important function for RevOps that often requires help from other teams and gathers precious insights that can fuel the rest of the company.

Common tools for sales operations are:

  • CRM (Salesforce, Pipedrive)
  • Business Intelligence (Gong.io)
  • Outreach tools (Growbots, Active Campaign)
  • Compensation software (Spiff, QuotaPath)

Interestingly, research also shows that on average, sales professionals spend 64% of their time working on non-sales related tasks.

Some key Sales workflows that RevOps can help with include:

  • Prospecting: Sourcing leads online, sending outbound email campaigns or cold calling potential customers. More than 40% of salespeople say this is the most challenging part of the sales process.
  • Administrative tasks: Taking CRM notes, following up on emails, data entry and documentation
  • Pipeline management: Overseeing CRM administration, handling of stale leads and opportunities
  • Sales enablement: Gathering sales scripts, marketing materials, sales deck preparations
  • Management: Recruitment and compensation model

A Boston Consulting Group study showed that RevOps can help Sales dramatically, leading to a 10% to 20% increase in sales productivity, as well as a 10% increase in lead acceptance.

Marketing Operations

We cannot talk about Sales without Marketing. These teams work hand-in-hand but misalignment is common and something that RevOps can help with. As a matter of fact, a LinkedIn report explains that 87% of sales and marketing leaders say sales and marketing alignment encourages critical business growth.

Common tools used by marketing teams for their operations are:

  • Marketing CRM (Hubspot Marketing Hub, SugarCRM)
  • Email platform (Customer.io, Mailchimp, Mailjet)
  • Advertising (Adroll, Basis)
  • SEO (Semrush, Ahrefs)
  • Social Media (Buffer, Hootsuite)

Some key Marketing workflows that RevOps can help with include:

  • Sales materials: Creating marketing presentations, decks and content for sales
  • Marketing automation: Creating transactional email campaigns, retargeting visitors
  • Conversational marketing: Leveraging chatbots to qualify leads and improve quality
  • Content alignment: Making sure that the blog and content strategy aligns with the other teams, repurposing content

Although the lines get blurry between Sales and Marketing at times, one thing is sure: They need to be aligned. Enterprise companies lose over $2.3 million every year due to opportunity costs associated with underused or unused marketing content.

Success and Support Operations

Two other departments that must work very closely with Sales are Customer Success and Customer Support. Their responsibilities can vary depending on the organization, but Customer Success is generally a more proactive department, creating relationships with customers, while Customer Support is more reactive and handles incoming issues.

Customer Success and Support teams use several tools in their operations:

  • Help Desk (Freshdesk, Intercom)
  • Customer Success platform (Churnzero, Gainsight)
  • Knowledge base (Zendesk, Help Scout)
  • User Onboarding (UserGuiding, WalkMe)

RevOps can help Customer Success and Support teams with some of their workflows, including:

  • Issue escalation: Dealing with the most pressing issues firsthand, escalating that information to the rest of the organization
  • Documentation: Creating help center articles, documenting recurring issues, providing updates
  • User engagement: Identifying patterns, providing a stellar customer experience
  • Retention and churn prevention: Proactively communicating with customers, addressing issues, upselling and cross selling depending on the organization and product

BCG observed an increase of 15% to 20% in internal customer satisfaction with B2B technology companies that have adopted RevOps processes.

Business Operations

Finally, RevOps is able to assist with business operations by providing a clearer picture of how revenue-contributing departments are performing and cooperating. Some of the common tools used for business operations include:

  • Human Resources (Workday HCM, Lattice)
  • Billing and Finance (QuickBooks, Sage)
  • Analytics (AppsFlyer, Amplitude)
  • Objectives and Key Results (OKR) (Betterworks, Koan)
  • Documentation (Notion, Coda)
  • Project Management (Monday, Trello, Asana)

Think of some of the workflows and processes automation can assist with:

  • Collaboration: Mapping out a better view of cross-functional efforts
  • Organizational structure: Setting up clearer processes and roles - Head of RevOps can directly communicate with upper management about key revenue topics.
  • Strategy: Avoiding misalignment between teams and the overall company goals

From the same BCG study quoted before, it has been reported that top B2B technology companies that have implemented RevOps have observed as much as 30% reduction in GTM expenses.

Automation for RevOps

Looking at the main functions of RevOps and how much of the business they cover, things can seem intimidating. Where to start? What to improve? We chose to highlight some workflow examples for a reason, as we believe automation is one of the best tools for RevOps teams to leverage in their quest to create a scalable revenue machine.

But hold on: Are you familiar with workflow automation?

In layman's terms, business process automation is the practice of configuring software programs to communicate with each other to conduct tasks without human input, based on a predefined set of rules.

Think of some of the tasks you do on a daily basis: Sending emails when a specific event occurs, setting up reminders for meetings, copying notes in various tools… the list goes on. None of these require your human input, they all could (and probably should) be automated for your convenience.

This is particularly relevant for RevOps teams for several reasons:

  • Reducing errors: As much as we love human creativity, soul and feelings, we gotta give to the machines, they don’t make mistakes.
  • Involving stakeholders: Implementing automation is a great way to brainstorm around cross-team processes that can otherwise turn into friction points. Think about lead handoff from marketing to sales and sales to customer success for example.
  • Increasing agility: Less dependencies on various team members for menial tasks can increase efficiency dramatically. Think of the amount of times a project is left hanging, only because someone was too busy to send a message or forgot to mark their task as “complete”.
  • Saving Time and money: That’s what it comes down to, doesn't it? Empowering your team with automation will help them focus on important tasks where their expertise is required, instead of spending their days on repetitive things.

And it doesn’t stop here. Not only have automated companies been proven to outperform their peers, they also report higher levels of engagement, satisfaction and productivity from employees, along with an increased likelihood to reach company goals:

Highly automated companies are more likely to be "extremely effective" at achieving corporate objectives Image Source: ServiceNow

I see you shuffling in your seat, so let’s cut to the chase: How to start implementing automation for RevOps?

How to automate RevOps

There are three main ways to approach automation:

Custom Development

The traditional way of doing things. Leveraging APIs and their coding skills, a development team can create custom automations. While in-house development is still the default option for a lot of companies, things have been changing these past few years, including in the automation field.

Pros:

  • Fully custom
  • Secure - no third-party
  • Proprietary

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Time-consuming
  • Very technical

Fully automating workflows using iPaaS (integration platforms)

Automation platforms have been steadily gaining more exposure over the last decade. They allow non-technical professionals to dip their toes into the world of automation without relying on developers as much, and are focused on a fully automated approach.

Pros:

  • Cheaper than a full development team
  • Accessible for non-technical professionals
  • Inspiration available from templates and other users

Cons:

  • Limited possibilities
  • Not proprietary and the data goes through another tool
  • Takes the human out of the workflow

Adopting an hybrid automation platform

Human In the Loop Automation Platform

Because RevOps is a key function that requires a lot of buy-in from various stakeholders, not everything can be automated. This is where a hybrid approach comes in handy, leveraging automation while allowing for a human touch when necessary.

Pros:

  • The best of both worlds (automation and manual)
  • Great to visual processes and cross-team collaboration
  • Affordable (Reflective is actually free - for now)

Cons:

  • Still a growing niche - not as many use cases yet

Ok, we’re pretty biased. We’ve built Reflective with the ambition to help RevOps teams with next-gen workflows, adopting a hybrid automation model between humans and machines. To learn more about our philosophy, please check out our five core principles:

  1. Empower end-users to build their own software
  2. Eliminate context switching
  3. Emphasize the human touch with augmentation
  4. Increase the agility of companies
  5. Create operational excellence feedback loops

Conclusion

RevOps is an incredibly diverse and ambitious area of business, bringing together Sales, Marketing and Success to create a scalable revenue growth machine.

In this first article of our “Ultimate Guide to Revops Workflows” series, we’ve covered what Revops is, highlighted some examples and introduced the concept of an hybrid automation model. Next, we will go over each area of RevOps, with the ambition to create a taxonomy of the top workflows in revenue operations.

Thanks for reading! Schedule a demo today.

Reflective, Inc 2021
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