Refining RevOps Models To Gain Better Customer Insights & Promote Collaboration

Published: January 19, 2022

The days of revenue operations’ (RevOps) growing pains are almost in the past, as research predicts that 75% of the highest growth companies in the world will deploy a RevOps model by 2025. This uptick in adoption is fueled by demands for a customer-centric buyer’s journey, as RevOps effectively aligns marketing, sales and customer success and ensures the departments are working together with clients top-of-mind.

RevOps is like ABM in the sense that it quickly evolved from an industry buzzword into a full-blown, necessary business initiative. As teams continue to break down silos to promote a more sustainable work culture, they’re simultaneously meeting buyers’ demands for a self-service, cohesive experience across all stages of the buying journey.

When executed properly, RevOps unites the stray departments and transforms them into a single unit with the same processes, goals and metrics. While RevOps can drive growth by removing organizational inefficiencies, the strategy is only as successful as the data, technology and people powering it.

As more marketers put this strategy into place and others refine their current models, organizations are starting to automate key aspects of the process to streamline efficiency and promote internal alignment to drive more predicable revenue.

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“When we moved to RevOps modeling, we increased our revenue in a lot of ways — our churn went down, renewal rates went up and our account representatives spent more time on business growth instead of mundane tasks,” said Christina Kay, VP of Marketing for ResellerRatings. “In addition to impacting our business internally, our clients were happier as we moved more to a partnership approach and were able to concentrate more on conversations and getting feedback.”

Throughout this report, we’ll discuss the key benefits of deploying a RevOps model, including:

  • How RevOps tightens the lens on valuable customer insights through all stages of the buyer’s journey;
  • The rise of RevOps teams and their influence on marketing strategies;
  • The new technologies practitioners are implementing to aid RevOps efforts;
  • How organizations are increasing their dependence on automation to streamline RevOps; and
  • The more technical focus marketers are putting on their internal RevOps initiatives.

Creating Alignment Across Departments By Owning The Customer Journey

Although organizations know the dangers of operating in silos, it’s still all too common for sales, marketing and operations teams to operate independently of each other — research has found that 37% of organizational dysfunction is caused by departmental and data silos. When each team has its own processes and no effective means of communication, customers receive a disjointed experience.

“Think of your organization as a three-legged stool representing sales, marketing and operations,” said Christine Nurnberger, CMO of Bottomline Technologies. “When one of the legs of the stool is not working right, you have a problem. If you have the best sales team in the world but the marketing team doesn’t identify a buyer and understand their needs, you will fail.”

As RevOps works to unify departments and help them work together with clients top of mind, new technologies are emerging that can help businesses more easily identify inefficiencies and create new streamlined processes by analyzing reps’ sales behavior. Once employees across all departments are aware of the areas they need to improve and have optimized their performance, it creates more efficient collaboration and better workflows.

However, “when you start to shine a light with data, it makes people nervous because they are a little hesitant to have their weaknesses and processes exposed,” continued Nurnberger. “Change management around this function is really important because it’s all about growth, enablement and increasing productivity. It’s important to convey to reps that you’re not inspecting their work just for the sake of inspecting; it’s really about optimizing their abilities and streamlining their daily operations.”

Proof Point

Work management platform aligned its sales reps, customer success team and all remaining employees on its new go-to-market messaging by tracking internal adoption and identifying areas where reps needed more support. To help train, evaluate and certify the organization was all-in on the new messaging and it landed as intended, upper-level management tracked the effectiveness of this new initiative to understand which reps used the messaging and which ones needed more guidance, such as tracking whether reps used keywords in customer conversations.

Additionally, the team set up trackers for other keywords reps used on calls, specifically flagging filler words, such as “like,” “awesome,” “um” and “great” to minimize their use and focus instead on language that moves deals forward.

“Hearing a real buyer talk is way more meaningful than a sales manager telling a salesperson about the same thing,” said Jason Miller, Director of Sales in North America for Gong. “This allows to focus dedicated energy on helping reps improve. Our managers can add immediate value — the more a rep hears someone in their seat doing something correctly, the more effective it is.” 

Taking RevOps To The Next Level With Automation

With RevOps as the “nucleus” of revenue marketing, Kay explained that it’s important for organizations to add automation to their processes to manage tasks between departments. However, that streamlining of tasks is only effective if companies ensure their customer data remains up to date.

The foundation of every RevOps program must be a strong database that provides every team access to robust, high-quality data on everything from lead scoring and routing to ABM and attribution. Yet, research shows that two-thirds (66%) of B2B professionals are somewhat confident or not very confident in their organization’s data onboarding and list loading processes.

“Automation is limitless, but the data has to be clean for your RevOps model to successfully work,” she continued. “If you have a company record and all the people connected to that record don’t work there anymore, that does nothing for you. Automation helps standardized any type of manual input that a salesperson would put into a CRM, such first name and last name.”

Proof Point:

BrightTALK, a B2B webinar and virtual event platform, a B2B webinar and virtual event platform, was flooded with new prospects and customers looking to move their events online when the Covid-19 pandemic took hold of the world. After realizing its existing sales engagement tool wasn’t providing the insights and clarity it needed to take full advantage of the opportunity, the company turned to automation to gain more detailed reporting across the sales development process. Once BrightTALK’s SDRs were operating in the same platform, they had better tools and more actionable insights to improve team performance.

The relationship between sales and marketing is now more coordinated and collaborative. Using the same up-to-date insights, both teams regularly get together to better understand how customers are experiencing different sales and marketing messaging, content and tactics, and figure out where to make changes to improve the end-to-end process.

Shifting From A Sales-Centric To A Buyer-Centric Mindset

An interesting storm brewed when the Covid-19 pandemic’s forced shift toward digital selling started to blend with the younger generation’s preferences for self-service buying journeys, as 43% of Gen X customers and 54% of Millennial customers prefer rep-free interactions. With those shifting buying behaviors in mind, organizations need to move beyond messaging that promotes their products and rather focuses on targeting online buyers.

“As marketers, we tend to create product-centric messages, because selling has solely been a sales process for so long — but now it’s a buying process,” explained Nurnberger. “When you start to flip that notion and think about messaging from the buyer’s perspective, it changes key internal operations such as how you engage with prospects and customers.”

To identify which messaging will resonate best with prospects, organizations are starting to combine their RevOps strategies with ABM to focus their messaging on a key list of targeted accounts who are most likely to convert into customers to save sales rep time.

“We cleaned out our databases and reduced the target markets that we’re going after in favor of folks that have a higher propensity to buy or better product market fit,” said Nurnberger. “The process incorporates ABM and intelligent decision making with sales and product. We’re not looking at these things in isolation; we’re looking at the full picture to create a buying experience that is as delightful as possible but drives efficiency, scale and growth in the business.”

Proof Point:

Zoom eliminated its manually updated spreadsheet approach and instead adopted a RevOps automation platform that connected behavior to outcomes, surfaced key metrics and built custom benchmarks that resulted in increased pipeline and bookings. Zoom scaled its efforts by automatically capturing, analyzing and correlating sales engagement with outcomes that otherwise would have been lost. With a more approachable way to see how reps were spending their time, managers could shape coaching sessions into strategic conversations rather than reviewing past activities.

Sales leader Mark Pickart has made the solution part of his everyday work routine. “When I sit down at my machine to start the day, I look at the forecast, pipeline, emails and chat,” said Pickart. “Part of that routine is checking our automation platform to look at how our reps did — who had a busy day, and why? It helps me to know who to check in with and where to focus my conversation. As I spot check deals, especially the largest opportunities that I don’t know well, it shows me what’s happening and if I’m missing something.”

When it comes to RevOps implementation or expansion, ResellerRatings’ Kay explained that organizations often try to do too much, too fast. Instead of immediately turning to technologies to automate key processes and optimize internal teams’ effectiveness, she suggested organizations write down all current operating processes to identify areas to start with automation and provide visibility into inefficiencies.

“Don’t go too fast adopting and expanding RevOps — it’s a marathon, not a sprint,” she explained. “Let that sink in. I’ve found that I learn the most when I set my ego aside. RevOps is a journey that affects the business in many positive ways, such as streamlining efficiency, aligning teams and, ultimately, driving stronger pipeline.”

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