by Karen Schmelzer
If you are in any way interested in Revenue Operations (RevOps), you likely understand by now that its primary goal is to align your go-to-market teams.
So, how do you put this concept into practice at your own business? Since RevOps is still a faily new concept in SaaS, the market is a little sparse in terms of resources, use cases and case studies.
That’s why we put together this guide to help you understand:
- The basics of the RevOps framework
- Different RevOps considerations for three different business sizes
- Three different RevOps team structures
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Get to Know the RevOps Framework
First, before diving into the nitty-gritty of RevOps team-building, familiarize yourself with the RevOps framework. Understanding this framework is vital to the success of standing up a revenue operations team.
Even if you are a small business without the resources to create a full-fledged RevOps team, this framework offers a breakdown of the position, its responsibilities and its overall goals across the business.
The RevOps framework works to centralize and streamline four key areas across your go-to-market teams:
By uniting these four responsibilities under the RevOps umbrella, your RevOps team is able to establish centralize their goals, simplify customer lifecycle management and, ultimately, improve customer experience.
To build a team that can achieve this, you need to fully understand each individual responsibility and how it contributes to the goals of the larger RevOps function.
However, before you start the process of building out your team, make sure you are aware of these Top 5 Mistakes Companies Make When Moving to a RevOps Model.
Operations, short for operations management, has far-reaching influence. It has responsibilities not only for the big-picture planning, but also the team-specific everyday processes. Operations’ primary function is to handle strategic issues from business objectives to project management – and make sure all of these areas maintain the highest degree of efficiency.
You may have seen (or even have) a sales or marketing operations role. These roles are typically responsible for their respective team’s resources, maintaining efficiency and keeping the team aligned under the higher goal of revenue generation. Both sales and marketing operations tend to oversee and refine repetitive activities within their teams.
When new projects are underway and need alignment under the RevOps umbrella, sometimes project managers find themselves assuming operations responsibilities.
If you were to look at this framework like a sports team, operations would be the coach. They can see all of the roles as a team but aren’t afraid to work with a single player to help them get their boost their game (in this case, efficiency).
If your business already has an enablement role, it likely sits in your sales team. Enablement originated as a way to help sales team members deliver the most effective, current and relevant messages to prospective customers, while still generating high output.
People in enablement roles are enablers (hence the name). They manage onboarding, coaching, professional development and more to help teams reach their full potential.
With RevOps invited into the mix, the enablement role spreads to other teams – like marketing and customer success. This expansion gives marketing and customer success access to the same resources that sales had previously – ultimately promoting a more cohesive experience around growth, training and professional development for all the revenue-driving functions.
To return to the sports team analogy, the enablement role is like a personal trainer. They make sure that players are in tip-top shape before hitting the field. That way, they can be better, stronger and faster – not to mention less likely to be injured.
Insights roles are just what they sound like: they give your business insight into the data and metrics that determine your success.
Many positions handle data, but people in insights roles live in it. They can find the information to show you your company’s current trajectory or give you meaningful context (both internal and in the market at large) before pioneering a new initiative. Data is powerful and with good reason – it can tell you the past, present and even the future of your business. It’s the closest thing a business has to a crystal ball.
Insight roles, often comprised of a business analyst, database developer or data scientist, are an important asset to have when aligning to RevOps. After all, in a revenue-centric setup, it is vital to make sure your teams and goals are in line, and that they are all working off of the same data sets.
Insights would be your sports team statistician. If you are unfamiliar with sports, this is the person who takes all the hard data and boils it down to see how their team (and other teams) are performing. They keep track of each player’s performance, as well as the overall team. That way, they can make critical strategic decisions about how the team should tackle new challenges.
Last, but certainly not least, in the RevOps framework is tools. In a RevOps-focused business, roles that focus solely on tooling are invaluable. While operations is the coach, enablement the personal trainer and insights the team statistician, tools is your equipment manager. It oversees all of the team’s equipment, makes sure it’s functioning correctly and helps bring any new equipment into the rotation.
Tools roles in a SaaS business oversee your go-to-market team’s technology. They ultimately make the decisions about which tools should be added, removed or consolidated when centralizing around a RevOps approach. They also ensure all software tools being used by your RevOps teams are set up correctly, integrated properly and constantly maintained.
Professionals in tooling-related roles have technical experience but are also familiar with the activities and processes of the go-to-market teams.
What Team Structure Should Your Business Have?
Now that you know the basic framework of RevOps, how do you bring this concept to life in your own company? Initially, it may seem like RevOps is too complex for smaller companies – after all, there are so many potential roles within the RevOps framework.
However, this isn’t the case – RevOps is attainable for businesses of any size. What might vary is the number of dedicated roles you allot to it and how your business approaches it – as a concept or as a formal operational model.
Small companies may not have the resources to hire all the roles within the RevOps framework. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t embrace RevOps.
To drive alignment, small companies can form a RevOps committee. This committee can help align go-to-market teams and spearhead initiatives for more efficiency. With the RevOps framework in mind, they can look at the go-to-market teams through the lens of shared goals and determine how to best enable them to achieve those goals. If you’re new to forming committees, check out this great video about five things to remember about committee forming.
This approach requires fewer resources and can get up and running quickly. However, there is no one single leader in charge of RevOps, so some initiatives may fall through the cracks if the committee members become busy.
Another option is to hire (or promote) a role interally to handle various responsibilities within the RevOps framework. For example, someone may cover operations, enablement and insights for the marketing team instead of having a dedicated role for each. While this also lacks the primary leadership that a dedicated RevOps position provides, a combined position devotes more attention to the RevOps responsibilities than an assorted committee may provide.
Mid-sized companies may have more latitude than small companies. With more resources, you can incorporate the operations, enablement, insights and tools roles into your go-to-market teams. While not all of them may be feasible for your company, any of them are a good start towards RevOps alignment.
These roles go a long way in helping break the silos between teams. As they remove ineffective processes and goals for go-to-market teams, it will allow these teams to emerge more goal-driven and focused.
Likewise, with these new roles, teams are able to set and achieve cross-functional goals.
However, while this setup works well for mid-sized companies, it lacks the presence of a dedicated RevOps role or single leader to hold all of the revenue-driving functions accountable as a collective group. This can make it easier for the various functions and/or RevOps-specific roles to veer off course.
Large companies with more mature resources can afford to completely reorganize under the RevOps umbrella. They can use the necessary teams that are already in their structure, as well as hire an executive to oversee RevOps alignment.
This type of team structure places the RevOps responsibilities we mentioned earlier under a RevOps executive. This drives the most alignment out of all the team structures but can be very resource-intensive – from a monetary, staffing and company culture perspective.
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RevOps Your Own Way
RevOps is a framework. A way of thinking about your business operations. Not a hard and fast structure. As such, it can be customized to best fit your business needs.
No matter which way you approach it, aligning under revenue operations will dramatically improve the efficiency of your business, the revenue you generate and the experience your customers have with your business.
Revisit our blog for more useful insights as we continue to explore the true meaning of revenue management. Have questions? Reach out to our skilled team of B2B SaaS billing experts.