Time to Shift from Sales Enablement to RevOps — Here’s Why
When a company hits an inflection point—for example, an old operating system that got you to your current level of success no longer shows business value—it’s time to hop onto the new. Sometimes the traditional structure of managing a business is no longer efficiently generating the necessary revenue growth.
Emerging technologies and consumer behavior have transformed the business scene. This shift has created a need to change how companies approach revenue, moving from a focus on sales enablement to a new system: revenue operations (RevOps).
This article will provide you with detailed answers to the questions of what revenue operations is, what benefits the new structure brings, and what key attributes it includes.
What is Revenue Operations?
RevOps is generally a business model that focuses on driving revenue by better aligning the organization’s departments and processes.
Traditionally, an organization consisted of different arms, the purpose of which was to generate revenue without necessarily working together. Marketing, sales, business development, SDRs, BDRs, customer success, they all worked in separate silos, having their own team and reporting to individual functions. And for a while, this system produced smooth running operations—until it didn’t.
Such a system creates a disjointed customer experience and internal communication gap within the organization. This is where RevOps steps in.
Revenue operations integrates marketing, sales and customer success operations across the entire customer life cycle to drive growth through operational efficiency. That way, it keeps all teams accountable for revenue.
RevOps was designed to break down internal barriers and create a unified customer experience.
A recent study shows that 48% of companies have already adopted a RevOps function, and 11% plan to do so in the next year.
Pitfalls of Sales Enablement That Led to The Rise of RevOps
Before RevOps emerged, there was sales enablement. It was an excellent way for marketers and sales reps to provide a solution in the fast-paced business world.
- Sales enablement generally refers to the iterative process of providing your business’s sales team with the resources they need to close more deals. These may include content, tools, knowledge, and information to effectively sell your product or service to customers.
Sales enablement also attempted to align the marketing and sales teams. Unfortunately, one can say that it failed and led to the rise of the revenue operations structure. Here are five challenges that drive RevOps adoption.
1. Rise of MarTech and technology complexity
On average, a marketing team at an enterprise-grade company utilizes 91 marketing cloud services. On top of those, an average sales team routinely uses more than 10 tools and plans to integrate even more in upcoming years. The technology stack for customer success teams includes several other tools that support managing the ticketing system, nurturing product adoption, and building an online community. The growing number of tools and platforms create technology complexity within the organization and further restricts transparency and flow of data.
Since many are cross-functional tools,the integration of communication across the individual silos in an organization is essential. That way, there is a smooth flow of data between departments with minimal delays, in turn, boosting productivity.
The RevOps framework is thus needed to bridge the communication gap between the trifecta: sales, marketing, and customer success.
2. A need for sales and marketing alignment
The sales and marketing teams have related yet different goals and activities within the organization. For both to be effective, they need to have access to real-time shared data across the board. Therefore, any bottlenecks in between them can cost the business leads and revenue.
Currently, 96% of sales and marketing professionals admit to having difficulties aligning strategies, objectives, and KPIs. One-third of B2B companies don’t have a standing meeting between sales and marketing, which alienates the two and keeps them out of sync.
The RevOps operations framework, on the other hand, breaks down the silos between marketing, sales and the customer success teams. It brings all of the client-facing departments together to focus on one common goal: ensuring revenue flow throughout the company.
There is a need for a unified customer experience and consistent messaging, which calls for an alignment between all the teams. That way, they can maximize this experience through access to the same data.
3. The need for personalization at scale
For just one service required by a client, a hundred companies are ready to offer their services with unique perks and access to woo them. So, now more than ever, personalization at scale is critical for attracting and retaining your customer base.
- According to IBM, personalization at scale refers to “the ability to create individual customer experiences across your entire organization based on the journey undertaken by each customer”.
A perfect personalization strategy includes even the tiniest details, from content down to the right timing, to provide a tailor-made experience for individual clients. The question running through your mind might be: how does one even provide an individual experience for a million customers?
You must assure your customers that their needs come first, whilst ensuring that their customer experience remains the same at every stage of their journey, as if one person is catering to them.
Research by Adobe outlines the opportunities you stand to gain from personalization at scale:
- 1.8x year-over-year increase in department satisfaction
- 1.7x year-over-year growth in revenue
- 2.3x year-over-year increase in customer lifetime value
One of the pitfalls of the sales enablement strategy is that it focuses on sales. There is no room for personalization, thus affecting the overall customer experience. RevOps spans further down the funnel and leverages personalization to retain more customers and grow their lifetime value in line with the expansion of revenue.
Customer needs may also change, and sales teams must be responsive to keep negotiating and winning the deals. By the time the marketing team becomes aware of the issue, then produces and provides sales with the relevant sales collateral, the opportunity will be gone.
RevOps has the correct foundational elements needed for implementing personalization at scale and speeding up the feedback loop between marketing and sales. It offers an end-to-end data utilization process to meet the individual customer needs to support this strategy.
4. Need for a consistent experience at each stage of the customer journey
Everyone wants to deal with someone they can trust. The same applies to customers; they want to work with brands they can trust and rely on.
According to Salesforce research, 67% of customers use multiple channels to connect with a brand and complete a single transaction. A consistent experience is vital at each customer journey stage to build trust. Inconsistent experiences can damage a brand’s reputation, and a confused customer is more likely to end their customer journey abruptly without closing a deal.
The sales enablement process produced the opposite effect by focusing on the sales elements of the journey. So, it was common for customers to encounter parallel experiences within the same customer journey because they were dealing with different departments.
Therefore, all client-facing departments had to synchronize to provide a seamless and consistent customer experience. The revenue operations framework solves this by allowing an alignment through data, a single platform, and aligned operations.
5. Messy data and prolonged time to insight
In the fast-paced business environment, disorganized or so-called “dirty” data increases the time needed to develop insights and equals wasted resources. It costs businesses 15 to 25 percent of revenue.
Therefore, data from marketing, sales and other operations needs to be more harmonized and efficient. That way, it is easier for the concerned parties to identify patterns and draw valuable conclusions.
Under the sales enablement system, each department develops and works with its own data. When combined, there is always room for error, miscommunication, and other issues to arise.
However, RevOps addresses this mess and overlapping tools by activating a single entity to oversee the data and tools used to track the flow of revenue through the business.
Benefits of RevOps
We introduced you to RevOps and explained how and why the framework went mainstream. However, one question remains: how will RevOps benefit your business?
Better alignment within your teams
Currently, revenue and pipeline generation ownership is divided between sales and marketing, with only 34% of companies making it the shared responsibility of both teams.
The number one goal of RevOps is to align your sales, marketing and customer success teams. It gets all the client-facing departments working on a common business goal across silos, facilitating accountability and measurement from one end to another.
With a well-coordinated business, you increase the potential for lead conversion, which in turn boosts your revenue and growth.
“Organizations that maintain focus on alignment achieve up to 19% faster revenue growth and up to 15% higher profitability than other companies,” — Marisa Kopec, chief research officer at Lux Research.
More strategic use of data and technology
A Salesforce study shows that 58% of companies lack a centralized customer database. In these cases, the customer and prospects data comes from so many resources that it’s hard to make any sense of it. It prevents companies from seeing a holistic picture and providing consistency in the customer experience.
Revenue data platforms unite many streams of customer, prospect, and lead data in a single source of truth (SSOT), ensuring every employee has clean and up-to-date data. An SSOT ensures all teams share common knowledge when analyzing customer behavior, campaign performance, or revenue growth. Data transparency ultimately leads to faster and more accurate business decisions.
Implementing a RevOps framework will help keep customer retention costs down and allow the reps to work more efficiently toward generating more revenue.
Some revenue operations figures that speak for themselves:
- B2B technology companies that adopted RevOps see 100% to 200% increases in digital marketing ROI.
- Aligned organizations have 67% higher conversion rates, and their leads generate over 209% more revenue.
- RevOps result in a 10% increase in lead acceptance.
Adapting to market changes
Surviving in today’s business environment requires constant evolution and changes. For a smooth transition, launch, or CRM implementation, there is a need for seamless communication across teams.
RevOps ensures a seamless internal communication medium with its alignment model that works across teams. You don’t have to worry about losing deals or resources whilst transitioning or making business changes. And with all your teams on the same page, you can implement any changes fast.
Four Attributes Of RevOps
For a better understanding of the RevOps models, let’s look into the four main attributes that make it happen.
1. End-to-end revenue processes
Switching from sales enablement and disjointed workflows to revenue operations takes a lot of operational changes. The new processes should ensure cross-functional collaborations, accountability for common goals, and visibility across the entire revenue team.
2. A shared source of truth
The revenue operations framework was born from the need for common ground between different customer-facing teams. A single source of truth is a critical element of RevOps that provides a holistic view of the revenue pipeline and simplifies performance analysis.
3. Unified data
The sales enablement pitfalls outlined earlier demonstrate how messy data scattered around departments negatively affects company operations and revenue growth. A RevOps framework, however, relies on data transparency and accessibility. It functions on the premise that all teams are on the same page through data synchronization and sharing.
4. Revenue team
RevOps implementation comes with team reorganization. It can mean hiring a specific RevOps specialist or distributing responsibilities among the current employees.
According to Gartner analysts:
“By 2025, 75% of the highest growth companies in the world will deploy a revenue operations (RevOps) model. A move from sales enablement to revenue enablement is needed in today’s rapidly shifting buying and selling dynamic to support this RevOps imperative.”
The question now is: will your business join these high-growth companies and adapt to the changing business environment?