Even in its brief history, the role and functions of Revenue Operations teams have changed immensely.
Even so, there are a few certainties:
Being in RevOps is not just being a technologist or solely an operational process manager. It’s not just about being a system admin. And it’s not just Sales Ops + Marketing Ops = RevOps.
Today’s RevOps teams are efficiency experts.
As RevOps.io put it, “Revenue Operations aims to drive growth throughout the customer life cycle by creating operational efficiency and making all teams accountable for a single metric – revenue.”
The activities that RevOps helps support on the GTM side don’t end once a deal has been booked — your team needs to understand how that the data quality they push downstream to Finance and Accounting can eventually come back to haunt both the teams they support as well as them.
This week, we’re going to outline a more strategic vision of RevOps’ role in the Sales-to-Cash process so they can better enable the teams that drive revenue growth and prevent revenue leakage.
The Sales-to-Cash Process is Like a Roller Coaster
Think of the overall Sales-to-Cash process like a roller coaster. It goes up that first big climb then, as it goes down on the other side of the hill is carried through that momentum and goes through a (hopefully unending) series of vertical loops like this:
In B2B SaaS terms: RevOps wants to support the teams that get the prospect to the top of that first hill (the sale) and then build enough momentum on the way down (customer experience) in order to continue looping again and again and again (renewals).
The traditional direction of Revenue Operations has had teams fully focused on the pre-sale activities, but it’s time for a newer, more broad direction.
Shifting the Focus for RevOps Teams
If there’s one thing that organizations striving for efficiency can’t have, it’s silos.
Essentially, that’s why RevOps was formed. It exists as a function to connect all of the revenue generating teams, activities, and processes under one umbrella. That way, we avoid the worst case scenarios:
- Marketing isn’t thinking their job is done as soon as they pass the lead to Sales
- Sales doesn’t think their job is done as soon as it’s marked closed-won
- Customer Success doesn’t think the job is done once that renewal is signed
As most Revenue Operations teams know, they need to help maximize the efforts of all of these teams and make their processes as efficient as possible. That means understanding what happens after that deal is closed and how that affects their teams in the long run.
The Main Problem Facing RevOps Teams Today
The pivotal point for RevOps is at the peak of the hill, where everything can possibly go wrong. Today, most Revenue Operations practitioners come from either a Sales Ops or Marketing Ops background or some mix of the two. The unintended result is a narrower focus on pre-sale activities. Let’s use an example.
Let’s say there aren’t the correct controls in place for sales opportunity creation in Salesforce. When that opp is (hopefully) closed-won, that information is likely automatically passed over to the contract and the Finance teams.
Should that information not be correct, and a customer is billed incorrectly, that will not only break trust in your organization but very likely will make the customer angry.
The result could be anything from fewer upsell opportunities, a reduction in the number of licenses they own, or customer churn.When those invoicing and revenue issues go awry, the teams that you support will be under fire and therefore RevOps will be under fire.
The time has come to expand the viewpoint.
Shifting the Focus to Sales-to-Cash Workflows
By focusing on the overall Sales-to-Cash workflow, RevOps can support two key activities: reducing revenue leakage and identifying product white space.
Revenue leakage refers to the loss of potential revenue that can occur at any point in the process where income from customers is not properly captured, based upon the terms of signed customer agreements. It is so critical for Revenue Operations teams to maintain consistent diligence in closing the gaps that can cause revenue leakage, including pricing errors, invoicing mistakes, inaccurate contracts, or poor data hygiene.
At the same time, having accurate data in your CRM can help identify where there are cross-sell or upsell opportunities that haven’t yet been capitalized upon (this is known as product white space). RevOps is in the ideal position to understand what products, features, and functionality are being used by customers (or not), and what additional products could be added to the customer’s agreement to boost their satisfaction and retain them as long-term customers.
Both of these activities can help reduce friction for the revenue-generating teams and create more value for your customers and your organization.
Where Should RevOps Begin?
Obviously, this process is not a “one-and-done” sort of thing.
Revenue Operations teams should never expect perfection, but instead should be aiming to continuously improve the overall Sales-to-Cash workflow and identify new areas ripe for optimization.
With their knowledge of efficiency and growth, RevOps is perfectly positioned to identify areas of revenue leakage and product whitespace in order to enable the teams they support to capitalize and generate more revenue. This is not only beneficial to a company’s financial health, but also provides a better experience for customers, leading to stronger retention and expansion revenue figures.
For more information on the overall Sales-to-Cash workflow, check out our overview or sign up for our newsletter below.
To learn more about how RevOps teams can use Place to optimize their workflows, check out this page.