You may have noticed that job roles and professional networking groups in New Zealand with “revenue” in their title have been on the rise in recent months. Chief revenue officer and director of revenue operations are two of the fastest-growing job titles on LinkedIn.
What are revenue operations?
Revenue operations are the end-to-end processes, the technology platforms and the people across marketing, sales, customer success and support that together ensure predictable revenues. Treating these typically siloed functions within the business as a single focused unit creates greater predictability, transparency and efficiency in an organisation. It also has the added benefit of reducing friction in the customer journey.
Why should you think about implementing revenue operations in your business?
The research company Forrester analysed companies on the S&P 500 with and without revenue operations and found that those with revenue operations grew their revenues 2.7 times faster than those without. Boston Consulting Group also found that technology companies with revenue operations reported an increase in sales productivity of up to 20%, a jump in digital marketing spend return on investment of up to a 200%, and a rise in customer satisfaction of up to 30%.
Getting revenue operations sorted early helps early-stage companies as well.
The experience of innovative Kiwi company SafeStack is a testament to how getting revenue operations right early leads to success. They pivoted and launched their first product, SafeStack Academy, in July 2020, at the height of global uncertainty. They were aiming to give software development teams the skills needed to build security into their software from idea to deployment, and there had never been a better time to target this global market.
As confident as they were, they couldn't take any chances when it came to getting their product known and growing their customer base in a repeatable, scalable manner. They started working with Sales Leaders in March this year to build their revenue operations and sales playbook for scale.
“Ensuring our revenue operations and sales pipeline were consistent and measurable helped us grow from launch to $307,000 annual recurring revenue in our first six months, signing 35 customers in four countries,” says SafeStack’s founder, Laura Bell. “There was no large sales team or marketing budget behind this, just a great product, a passionate founder and later a driven sales lead following our playbook. By giving all leads a consistently great sales experience, we could communicate and demonstrate our unique value in a predictable and low-cost way.”
So where should you start?
Step 1: Assess your end-to-end customer journey and look for areas of disconnect between different departments. Start by looking at whether you have every stage of your customer journey – from the first point of contact, to winning a customer, to ongoing customer success – mapped out. Next, look at the different types of technology you are using and whether you have good data. Finally, map out the people, processes and marketing collateral involved throughout.
Step 2: Holistically rebuild and/or restructure your customer journey and processes to eliminate bottlenecks and disconnects between your previously siloed functions. Determine some key metrics that you will track, such as sales cycle, win rates, customer acquisition cost, renewals and upsells, customer churn, forecast accuracy, and pipeline velocity.
Step 3: Implement and optimise your new approach. Find a regular time, at least weekly, for your revenue operations team to meet. This is to ensure that sales, marketing, customer success and support are all working together towards a common goal of revenue growth and to prevent silos from forming. Continually look for opportunities to improve your processes and reduce friction throughout your customer experience.
Start building revenue operational capability in your business in 2021 to effectively achieve your goals. For more on this topic, listen to myself and Scott Leese talk about scaling startups.
What to do next?
If you would like to have a chat with Sales Leaders about building your revenue operations and your internal revenue operational capability, we are offering a free, no-pressure, 30-minute strategy session. Fill in your details on the form below and Alex McNaughten, our founder, will be in touch. We also have several free resources on the Sales Leaders website to get you started.