In today’s competitive business landscape, having an effective sales strategy is more important than ever. Many companies manage their sales teams separately from other departments such as marketing, operations, and customer enablement. However, this siloed approach often results in inefficiencies and subpar customer outcomes.
Lydia Sugarman of Venntive thinks a more effective alternative is to adopt a RevOps model that unites these departments and streamlines the entire customer lifecycle. With RevOps, companies can target the right accounts more effectively, maximize customer engagement, and achieve higher success rates. This not only leads to better revenue growth but also enhances overall company performance and competitive positioning. So if you’re looking to take your sales efforts to the next level, consider making a switch to RevOps today.
The traditional SalesOps pipeline approach
Make no mistake, the focus of SalesOps in moving prospects through the pipeline has served the enterprise very well. The goal of sales is getting to revenue. Sign the contract and make the handoff to customer enablement.
Sales resources are then redeployed to close more deals.
Where this approach falls short is the disconnect before and after SalesOps. The marketing to sales or Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) to Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) handoff is often contentious.
Sales and marketing are often at odds with each other, as they grapple to determine who is responsible for a lack of qualified leads or sales opportunities. In many cases, it seems that sales accuses marketing of producing too few leads, while marketing accuses sales of not following up properly on those leads.
At the heart of this issue is the role of sales development reps, or SDRs. These junior sales professionals, who are tasked with converting incoming Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) into Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs), are often undertrained and overstressed.
In most cases, their quotas are based on the number of sales meetings that they set up. If these prospects aren’t relevant or valuable, the meetings are a waste of time.
A RevOps approach can resolve this crisis by working across sales and marketing to drive better leads and more qualified sales opportunities.
The handoff to enablement can also be problematic. The close relationship and customer knowledge that the sales team gained during the sales process can be lost.
Another bigger problem is that the sales team is not closing the right deals because their compensation is tied to revenue, not customer success.
A common refrain amongst customer success teams is ‘Sales will promise anything to get the deal.’
This results in failed implementations, a high churn rate, and deploying customer success resources on doomed projects.
Revenue Operations is a way to break this cycle.
A single umbrella for marketing, sales, and customer success
The role of CRO, or Chief Revenue Officer, is becoming increasingly common within the world of business.
CROs are typically responsible for all activities related to marketing, sales, and customer success, making them a powerful force for connecting with customers and improving overall performance.
One potential benefit of this organizational change is that it can help to break down the traditional silos that often exist within sales operations.
By eliminating silos and bringing all aspects of marketing, sales, and customer success under one umbrella, CROs can better align these functions to deliver a unified customer experience from start to finish.
However, simply having the title CRO is not enough. Organizations must ensure that CROs also have the appropriate reporting authority in order to truly be effective in their roles. Without this authority, CROs may struggle to make real and impactful changes that improve both internal processes and interactions with customers.
Thus, it is critical for organizations to carefully review their CRO reporting structures from top to bottom in order to fully realize the benefits offered by this emerging role.
The steps to properly implementing RevOps
Following is a step-by-step guide to a proper setup:
Step one, do you have the right people in the organization? A RevOps person needs to bring everyone together. Old-school sales leaders can sometimes be very divisive and single-minded.
The CRO has to be qualified in all three disciplines.
Now look at the leadership of marketing, sales and customer success. Smaller companies usually can’t afford senior leaders in each of the areas in addition to the CRO in which case look for strong managers.
It will be hard for your CRO to succeed if they have to be VP of Sales, VP of Marketing, and VP of Customer Success.
Next, it’s time to start communicating better. Revenue leadership has to get the teams talking to each other and agreeing on the problems and opportunities.
Why is the churn so high? Why can’t SDRs book qualified prospects into meetings? Are we getting the right leads into the top of the funnel?
Now that we have some idea of the problems that we are trying to solve, let’s look at the tech stack which starts with nomenclature. Get everybody to agree on a name and definition of a particular term.
Very often the disconnect in the marketing and sales organization is systems that don’t report the same metrics.
The marketing automation platform isn’t talking properly to the CRM. This makes it hard to determine proper attribution.
Simple questions like “Did that campaign generate any revenue?” are often answered with approximations at best.
Identify and agree on the most critical metrics. If we can’t measure success, we will never get there. I recommend starting with just three: customer churn, lifetime value, and bottom line.
And finally, before we can start to redesign, what is the customer journey across the organization? This is one of the most important exercises and the step likely to have the greatest impact on revenue.
Consider that at any given time only roughly 3% of your prospects are ready to close. Have you ever really taken into account the specifics of what that other 97 % need? This is the heavy lifting that most organizations avoid.
You now have enough information to redesign the tech stack.
What size company should consider the move to RevOps?
The magic number to think about RevOps is probably around $20 Million in annual revenue. Companies of this size have usually gone through the growing pains of creating repeatable processes throughout the organization.
They often sense an opportunity or have the ambition to go from $20 Million to $100 million.
Companies with investors who expect exponential growth should also consider RevOps.
Regardless of a company’s size or reporting structure, RevOps emphasizes the importance of thinking about revenue generation throughout every stage of the business.
This can be especially valuable for startups, who often struggle with the barrier between sales, marketing, and customer success teams. By adopting RevOps as their guiding philosophy, startups can overcome this barrier and focus on creating a cohesive and collaborative approach to driving revenue growth.
After all, RevOps is about understanding that successful businesses are built on top of robust revenue channels that require constant attention and optimization.
So whether you’re running a small startup or a global enterprise, RevOps should be at the forefront of your mind at all times.
About Our Guest
Lydia is a sales professional with experience that spans diverse business verticals whose love of email marketing has led to where she is now, the owner/CEO of Venntive. Grew up on a farm in the Kentucky bluegrass. Had many adventures while living, working, and rearing a son in New York before moving to San Francisco in 2006.
Venntive is a Complete Business Operating System. It integrates marketing, sales, and operations to better understand prospects, customers, as well as enable barrier-free communication and collaboration…that spans the entire customer lifecycle.