With the rise of revenue operations implementations, many companies are undergoing a major financial transformation without proper guidance and best practices. That is why we’ve broken down the implementation journey into a step-by-step process that covers building a custom solution checklist, addressing the RevOps FAQs, and maintaining efforts after the initial burst of excitement.
It’s important to understand that effective revenue operations will align your sales, marketing, and customer service functions to optimize revenue generation throughout the customer lifecycle. It’s no small feat and will require getting your best people at the decision-making table.
This guide walks you through the process, giving insights into nurturing cross-functional collaboration at every transition stage. Whether you’re a startup or an established enterprise, equip your team with the knowledge and tools they need for a successful RevOps implementation.
Jump ahead by clicking on the topics covered in this blog below:
- Evaluate where you are with the four pillars of RevOps
- Get company wide buy-in before you start your implementation
- Define RevOps for your company’s specific needs
- Create a revenue operations team structure with roles
- Map the end-to-end customer lifecycle
- Build a revenue operations implementation checklist
- Establish a custom software requirements checklist
- Design a revenue operations workflow and management process
- Invest in software that is built to handle end-to-end revenue operations
- Account for ongoing support, training and RevOps development
When following any map, it’s essential to understand where you currently stand for the map to be helpful. Because RevOps emphasizes collaboration, most companies will find discrepancies in readiness within the organization. They will likely discover advanced capacity in some areas and others needing a complete overhaul. This is normal, and alignment is always tricky. It can help to have a structure to begin to ask questions. The four pillars can provide the ideal framework for teams to think about their position in relation to the core areas that revenue operations touch. Below are the four pillars and some questions for each to help your team navigate where they are in the RevOps implementation journey.
- What tools and software currently support your revenue operations efforts?
- Regarding the software utilized, how much is integrated into one centralized system?
- Who has access to revenue operations technology, and what does the access look like?
- How quickly is your team able to perform tasks related to revenue operations?
- What tasks are teams currently performing that could easily be automated?
- How reliable and timely are the revenue insights you rely on to make important decisions?
- How easily can you access revenue operations information when you need it?
- Who has access to data and who needs better access to data?
- How reliable and accurate are the reports pulled from your data?
- How often do data-related issues slow down the decision-making process?
- Is making most core strategic decisions based on accurate, timely data possible?
- How quickly can your company make strategic, data-based pivots during uncertainty?
- What friction points exist between your departments?
- Where are there bottlenecks that appear regularly in day-to-day operations?
- How consistent is customer experience at every point of the customer lifecycle?
- Where do your customers express the most discontent?
- How well-defined is the customer lifecycle and its pain points?
- Where could automation alleviate some of the stress or pain points?
- Which departments work well together and where is there room for improvement?
- What teams might struggle with change and what support do they need?
- What internal communications strategies are in place to bolster the process?
- Who are your early adapters or advocates and how can you make the most of them?
- How can you incentivize and encourage collaboration between departments?
- What training plans and support systems will be put in place to help the transition?
Defining where you’re at regarding revenue operations optimization is vital, but after that, how should one proceed? The options can be overwhelming, and many skip some of the core groundwork, leaping ahead to select solutions before they navigate the rocky territory of people’s attitudes to change. You must start communicating as early as possible, flagging the need for change, and working with teams to establish how better RevOps alignment will benefit their day-to-day goals. Helping your team understand why this change is essential and easing any worries around job loss through automation. Successful financial transformation on this scale always comes from within an organization. We recommend following the guidelines below to get buy-in:
- Set the tone by making it a truly collaborative transition. Ask questions about existing tools, processes, and gaps. Listening can help you frame the transition by highlighting how the new processes speak to existing concerns and issues.
- Make sure to position team leads and stakeholders to answer questions. Your teams will undoubtedly have concerns ranging from the minor to the major. Position trusted stakeholders in each department as go-to persons. These people will help manage the transition and ensure that everyone in your company has someone to approach if needed.
- Pitch revenue operations in terms of specific benefits to each team. You should break the pitch up and talk to groups one-on-one about the transition. Some of your team will be excited about generating more revenue. Others may be more concerned about the nitty-gritty of day-to-day operations or how they will meet new business demands. A company-wide bulletin may cause more worry than necessary in the early stages. It is essential to let teams know why this move will benefit them and the kind of time and opportunities the process will open.
- Reassure your team with realistic timelines and training. Let them know this is a process that takes time. It will be a work in progress. Make it clear that there will be training. You might also reassure them that you will set timelines and expectations collaboratively. Ensure teams don’t feel rushed or stressed and know their leaders are accounting for support and training.
Because revenue operations is a relatively new term, many companies can conflate it with sales or marketing operations. It’s essential to understand the nuances between RevOps and SalesOps, and to make sure that your teams come together to define what revenue operations will mean for your organization. There’s no one-size-fits-all version, so teams must look to create a shared vision and determine the milestones, capabilities, and responsibilities they believe this new function will cover.
In defining revenue operations, you will likely establish a need for a team to help manage all the revenue-facing teams and ensure effective collaboration. Whatever you decide, everyone must understand where you’re going, why, and what your RevOps transition will support. You might aim to work together to create a structured and transparent outline of how various teams will contribute to the overall revenue operations efforts.
Developing an effective revenue operations team structure requires a strategic approach that aligns with the organization’s unique requirements, size, and financial considerations. The process entails delineating the various roles integral to the RevOps team, which necessitates a thorough examination of the go-to-market functions and identifying potential functional gaps that need to be addressed.
It will mean your team needs to redefine existing roles and recruit specialized professionals where gaps are identified. The specific positions are contingent on factors such as the company’s scale, industry, financial health, target audience, etc. Adapting current staff members to fit the RevOps framework will necessitate supplementary training. In the case of larger multinational entities, the integration of RevOps is likely to require the recruitment of specialized experts. A strategic approach to filling RevOps roles involves seeking candidates with a comprehensive skill set, encompassing proficiency in SalesOps, MarketingOps, and CXOps, in addition to adeptness in technology, analytics, and communication.
Once the RevOps team is in place, it becomes essential to initiate the process of mapping the customer lifecycle. This strategic endeavour serves as a critical foundation for devising a roadmap that outlines the necessary alterations to tools and processes. By comprehensively understanding the journey a customer embarks upon from initial awareness to eventual purchase, an organization can strategically identify points of improvement, optimize interactions, and streamline the overall experience.
Mapping the end-to-end customer lifecycle involves creating a holistic overview of customer journeys, consolidating insights from various touchpoints. The ultimate objective is to reduce the complexity of these journeys, minimizing the steps required for customers to progress through the sales funnel. To undertake this effectively, certain steps can be followed:
Develop a thorough understanding of the ideal customer personas, encompassing their challenges, interests, and objectives.
- Focus on the most pertinent persona aligned with the company’s offerings.
- Enumerate all conceivable touchpoints where customer interactions occur.
- Identify the tools and processes that facilitate key activities at each touchpoint.
- Recognize potential obstacles that prospects might encounter during their traversal of touchpoints.
- Establish a system for periodically reviewing and updating the customer journey map to reflect changing dynamics.
By undertaking this comprehensive mapping process, revenue operations team gain insights that enable them to craft a strategic roadmap for necessary tool and process implementations. This ensures a smoother, more efficient, and customer-centric approach that fosters higher conversion rates and improved customer satisfaction.
Constructing a comprehensive revenue operations implementation checklist involves revisiting the foundational stages of the process and drawing insights from the answers to the four pillars questions. These questions form a critical framework for ensuring that all facets of the implementation are thoroughly addressed. By categorizing the checklist according to these four pillars—people, process, technology, and data—the RevOps team gains a clear perspective on where support or transformation is most required. This approach not only identifies core implementation challenges but also facilitates the creation of a roadmap that not only attends to the concerns within the people pillar but also bridges gaps revealed during the customer lifecycle mapping process.
At this crucial juncture, significant decisions can be made concerning data governance, the streamlining of go-to-market strategies and responsibilities, and the identification of requisite technologies for a seamless implementation. By aligning the checklist with the four pillars and integrating insights from each stage, organizations can ensure a comprehensive implementation plan that addresses the needs and challenges of all aspects of the revenue operations framework. This methodical approach sets the stage for a successful implementation that optimizes operational efficiency and fosters a cohesive and customer-focused revenue operations ecosystem.
Ensuring that software requirements align with the critical features identified in earlier stages of the process is essential for a successful RevOps transformation. To achieve this, teams should leverage the information gathered to construct a tailored ERP requirements checklist that directly corresponds to the goals of the transformation. The selection of appropriate software is a complex decision, and a major mistake companies often make is hastily choosing software without establishing their functional prerequisites. This impulsive approach can result in unnecessary expenditures of time, money, and resources.
While there are several downloadable ERP requirements checklists available online, many of them are inadequate as they focus on generic functionalities rather than addressing the specific needs of the team that will be utilizing the ERP for an extended period. The recommended approach is to create a personalized checklist based on the unique needs of the organization. By doing so, an organization can avoid investing in flashy features that offer little relevance to the company’s objectives. This process empowers teams to evaluate ERP systems comprehensively and identify the solution that best aligns with their requirements.
Within the RevOps framework, the creation of a robust revenue operations workflow and management process stands as a critical juncture, setting the groundwork for the entire company to operate smoothly. In building a comprehensive roadmap for this section, teams need to consider some of the core areas of the design. To effectively execute this stage, consider these critical areas:
1. Design a seamless end-to-end revenue process
Shift your focus towards shaping a comprehensive strategy that unifies multifaceted actions into a cohesive revenue-centric process. This involves pinpointing the most impactful revenue channels, setting up clear handoff protocols and service level agreements, and procuring the necessary tools and technologies to accelerate revenue cycle operations.
2. Foster collaborative communication
Forge robust lines of communication across teams, fostering a streamlined environment for collaboration. It’s imperative for team leaders and pertinent staff members from diverse departments to engage in regular gatherings, where they can share ongoing initiatives and valuable insights. This iterative feedback loop fuels a continuous enhancement of processes.
3. Enhance data transparency and centralize analytics
This phase places a spotlight on optimizing data utilization for revenue-facing teams. The consolidation of data from sales and marketing avenues is pivotal for a unified RevOps strategy. By securely centralizing data and facilitating its exchange, teams gain access to insights that drive revenue-focused decisions. This journey begins with data integration, which amalgamates data from diverse origins to provide holistic analytical insights, culminating in data visualization using graphical representations such as charts and graphs.
4. Centralize sales and marketing data strategically
Effective RevOps strategies pivot on the seamless sharing of high-calibre data. This step involves harmonizing nomenclature and integrating data from sundry sources to create a comprehensive perspective. Enabling data normalization capacities is a crucial aspect, ensuring harmony in data structures despite differing naming conventions.
When investing in software, it’s paramount for companies to seek out software with the recommended critical features. You must combine this knowledge with the gaps identified in your earlier, company-wide discovery process to define the perfect solution to meet your team’s needs. Here is a guide to the essential features and tools that characterize top-tier revenue operations software. This resource equips you with information to help make well-informed investment decisions. Whether your aim is to elevate your organizational efficiency, strengthen revenue recognition practices, or fine-tune planning strategies, this blog serves as your ultimate reference for evaluating and shortlisting the pivotal features you require.
Furthermore, it’s crucial to underscore the importance of seeking software integrators who extend support beyond just implementation and training. In the evolving landscape of business technology, ongoing assistance, and maintenance are equally vital components that ensure the sustained effectiveness of the chosen software solution.
As companies implement new technologies, strategies, and processes to adapt to rapidly changing market dynamics, the need for continuous nurturing and refinement becomes paramount. Ongoing support ensures that any issues or challenges that arise post-implementation are swiftly addressed, minimizing disruptions to operations, and maintaining optimal functionality. Training plays a pivotal role in keeping teams up to date with the latest tools and methodologies, enabling them to harness the full potential of implemented solutions.
RevOps, as the alignment of sales, marketing, and customer success functions, underpinned by data-driven insights, fosters agility and responsiveness to market shifts. Regularly refining RevOps strategies and processes ensure that a company remains competitive and can swiftly adapt its revenue generation tactics to capitalize on emerging opportunities. In this dynamic environment, where change is constant, investing in post-implementation support, training, and RevOps development isn’t just beneficial; it’s a strategic imperative for companies striving to thrive amidst uncertainty.