Revenue Operations: the New Leader in Go-to-Market

We love to run polls at my company. So we did one recently to find out what CEOs and other executive leaders thought about revenue operations (or RevOps):

In the brave new world of Go-to-Market (GTM), Sales, Marketing, Customer Success, and other departments work together as a unified, highly-performing revenue team with a focus on DevOps. Instead of trying to make their departments as efficient as possible, they work together to create a business model that works for the whole company.

They must work well together to discern the direction of their company, where to invest, what is working and what is not, which systems are duplicative, etc.

Consider this: How can Marketing and Sales use the data they’ve gathered about their customers to help Customer Success determine what works and what doesn’t? How can you send the information about bad customers that Customer Success has to Marketing and sales?

When your teams are divided, it’s hard to achieve a two-way data exchange.

This difficulty could be the reason you feel stuck in a particular stage of business maturity. This is also why Sales and Marketing provide different numbers and contradictory information and then spend an excessive amount of time trying to justify them instead of working from one source of truth.

It’s called the “who moved cheese phenomenon.” It’s hysterical:

  • Marketing claims, “We have the right data.” Our data is up-to-date.
  • Sales responds, “Our data is more recent than yours.”

Here is where planes stop and fall from the sky. This is what happens when your airport terminal turns into a ghost city because no one goes there.

You’re doomed if you still have silos in place when you reach the GTM maturity transition stage.

Create a new RevOps role.

In the new world, I suggest that you bring your teams closer together and knock down the silos.

Create a role called DevOps to lead the Operations team.

The CFO, COO, or CEO (possibly the CEO as well) should be contacted rather than the team leaders so that the new leader of revenue operations can act without bias towards a particular function. The leader would otherwise tend to focus more on the department than the overall business results.

According to TOPO (now part of Gartner), Revenue Operations is a modern operating model that drives efficient, predictable revenue using an interconnected and observable end-to-end process.

The revenue leader is responsible for supporting Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success. However, they must operate independently and without bias toward any particular department in order to focus on the business’s effectiveness.

The DevOps Leader will be able to answer questions like the following with objectivity and alignment.

  • How can we make processes repeatable?
  • How can we ensure that our customer data is as clean and accurate as possible to determine which segments are working best?
  • How can we ensure that our systems are working as they should so we have more reliable and predictable data?
  • How should we measure the success of our business?

You don’t wish to lose efficiency. Focusing on efficiency doesn’t mean sacrificing the ability to quickly create landing pages, transfer data, build weighted projections, or launch NPS surveys. It’s still important to have a representative for each division in your revenue team. But, it is all done with the goal of achieving your business objectives.

If done correctly, your newly aligned revenue teams—marketing and Sales, Customer Success, and other departments—will gain a perspective on the company’s overall performance and each team’s performance so that they can decide where to invest.

Imagine that you couldn’t bring the numbers from each department into the boardroom. You would have to put them all together to get an overall view of the company.

What if you instead had one leader, RevOps, who presented you with a scorecard that revealed your business’s overall health at a glance?

You would have one source of truth.

You might not need to worry about marketing and sales operations if your business is still in the ideation phase. You’re still just off the launch ramp.

Once you enter the transition phase, it is imperative to bring together Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success as quickly as possible. This is essential to your company’s success.

Even at the concept stage, revenue operations should be considered.

Three Takeaways

How would you answer the following question: “What are we going to need in order to be effective?”

  1. Create a RevOps to support marketing, sales, and customer success. Put the right elements in place.
  2. Find and implement a process that is repeatable and standardizes your data, systems, tech stack, and metrics. No more conversations about who moved the cheese (i.e., where are my figures).
  3. You can run this process at the executive level every week to help you identify the next steps for your company.

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