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Revenue Operations

What is Revenue Operations and How is a RevOps Team Set Up?

Chris Black
July 14, 2022
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Revenue Operations has become the new “it” team in the modern business structure, with everyone buzzing about the magical things they can achieve for growth in a short amount of time. But with every shiny new toy in business, there’s a lot to unpack to understand what makes these revenue operations teams so successful and if/why you should consider adding them to your org. If you’ve found your way here, you’re already curious about whether or not a RevOps team is right for your business, or you’re at least interested in catching up on why this job title is suddenly popping up all over LinkedIn. This article will bring you up to speed on what a RevOps team is, how it works, and how to set one up for your business.

What is Revenue Operations?

At its core, revenue operations (also called RevOps) is a function inside a business that aims to maximize the business’ revenue potential. RevOps looks at all elements of a company’s/business’ revenue cycles and sales processes and identifies ways to improve their workflows or processes to contribute more efficient sales or higher returns overall. 

RevOps typically help unite and align sales, marketing, customer success, and internal systems. But when we’re talking about integrating RevOps into your business, we’re not just talking about adding a new management team into your ecosystem that takes on the management of three or four departments. Instead, genuinely successful RevOps integration is about rethinking how you structure your entire business. 

In short, a RevOps team ensures that the responsibility of driving sales growth goes beyond your salespeople and instead becomes the shared responsibility of all team members, client-facing and not.

So, how do they achieve this? First, let’s dive into how a RevOps team, well, operates to gain more insight into the strategies behind this anti-siloing approach. 

Typical Goals of a RevOps Team

So now that we know what RevOps are, what is it that the teams that lead them actually do? 

Lead Revenue Growth

As was likely obvious, the overarching goal of a RevOps team is to generate higher returns year-over-year. However, unlike a sales team, their work is done primarily internally by working with customer-facing teams and leadership. 

They analyze all forms of business revenue to identify areas where growth is possible and where losses may be occurring and create strategies and growth targets for the company as a whole. 

Some examples include:

  1. Analyzing which opportunities have the highest likelihood of becoming customers: RevOps teams will look at things like opportunity source, industry, the number of contacts involved in the deal cycle, and where deals are getting stuck to find areas of opportunity for the business.
  2. Defining lead response times: RevOps teams analyze when leads are most likely to book meetings and will build an SLA around responding before that cutoff.
  3. Uncovering upsell intent: RevOps teams look to understand the point at which customers are ready to grow and will create an engagement process to upsell those customers.

Unite All Teams Involved in the Customer Journey

This is where the RevOps team is responsible for reshaping the culture of revenue growth within an organization. While sales, marketing, and customer success teams may already be somewhat collaborative in their day-to-day operations, the RevOps team seeks to completely align all these teams and build growth strategies that require the full collaboration of each department.  

For example, marketing and sales development should be in lockstep when engaging inbound leads in order to increase conversion rates. Sales Development Reps (SDR’s) and Account Executives (AE’s) should have strong communication when handing over a booked demo. All contact information and call notes should be easily accessible for the AE so they understand where to pick up the conversation. 

In addition, after a deal is won, the AE should have this same line of communication with the Customer Success Manager (CSM) so the CSM knows who to speak with for specifics within an account.

Optimize Internal Processes

Another key function of the RevOps team is to evaluate the current internal processes that support the customer journey and reconfigure them to encourage collaboration and create a more united and streamlined customer workflow. Again, the aim is to break up traditional team silos and create a more holistic, growth-minded culture.

An all too common trend we tend to see is sales reps struggling to quickly and easily access company information, like sales collateral. This can often risk slowing down a deal. You want to avoid the common workflow of a prospect asking for collateral, sales pinging marketing to get what they need, and then waiting 1-2 days before finally sending it to the prospect. These internal issues are avoidable and RevOps’ goal here is to find a better process where sales can access marketing assets without having to ask every time.

Metrics That RevOps Teams Care About

Business analytics and data are other cornerstones of successful RevOps. To understand the “health” of revenue growth, some of the key metrics a RevOps team will pay special attention to will include: 

  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC): The basic costs of acquiring each customer play a crucial role in overall growth. 
  • Annual recurring revenue (ARR): Annual recurring revenue can tell a RevOps team a lot about how effective the customer success and sales teams are by measuring revenue growth year over year and what percentage of revenue is coming from returning customers. 
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV): This metric serves a similar role as annual recurring revenue. Getting an overview of the average lifetime revenue and how that improves over time is an excellent indicator of the success of RevOps implementations. 
  • Sales cycle time: For RevOps teams, sales cycle times are a key indicator of the success of the sales and marketing team’s processes.
  • Win rate: How many new customers are the sales team pulling in after first contact (expressed as a percentage), and how can they improve it? 
  • Customer churn: To keep an eye on the customer success team’s efforts, evaluating customer churn can indicate whether the team effectively addresses customer issues and promotes retention. 
  • Pipeline velocity: This is another key sales team metric, as the speed at which a customer moves through the sales funnel can drastically affect win rate and customer retention. 
  • Forecast accuracy: When it comes to evaluating their own success as a team, forecast accuracy is a crucial metric for RevOps leadership to ensure they’re hitting their intended growth targets and identify any issues preventing that. 
Revenue Operations team reviewing business metrics

Common Roles That Make Up a RevOps Team

Ok, so we’ve covered the what of RevOps; now let’s tackle the who. If you’re a small business, you may just have a single Revenue Operations Manager to help you begin identifying areas of improvement in your business processes and uniting your customer-facing teams. 

For larger businesses, you may start adding on additional specialists that can focus on specific aspects of the RevOps scope, such as customer success or business insights. You may have a VP of Revenue Operations for enterprise-level companies to handle communication with the C-suite. At the same time, day-to-day operations are supervised by a larger team of managers and specialists. 

Revenue Operations Analyst/Specialist

As you begin to expand your RevOps team, you may start to bring on specialists. These specialists will often focus on one or two branches of the RevOps responsibilities, such as sales or customer success. Typically, these are people with a background in the specialty they’re overseeing who can help inform the team of the more intricate processes of their specialty and how to improve them. 

Since this is an entry-level position, they also serve a critical support role to Revenue Operations Managers and Directors. They should be able to be called upon to support detailed work like accounting processes and data analysis. 

  • Number of people on LinkedIn with this job title: 3,330,000
  • Seniority level: Entry-Level

Revenue Operations Manager

At a minimum, a RevOps team will consist of a Revenue Operations Manager. This is someone with a background in RevOps, sales operations, or business operations that understands how to optimize internal processes and manage teams of people. 

Ideally, they’ll also be someone with extensive experience fostering collaboration between teams and building relationships. A RevOps Manager has to work with nearly everyone, so having someone in the role with exceptional people skills is vital. 

  • Number of people on LinkedIn with this job title: 3,470,000
  • Seniority level: Manager

Director of Revenue Operations

A Director of Revenue Operations role may be put in place for larger organizations to oversee and coach the RevOps team while also strategizing with senior leadership on GTM strategies and other growth initiatives. This is someone who has worked in RevOps or Finance for five to seven years, with at least two years in a team leadership position. 

  • Number of people on LinkedIn with this job title: 39,000
  • Seniority level: Director

VP of Revenue Operations

Overseeing some of the largest teams in RevOps is the VP of Revenue Operations. Like other executive positions, they serve as an expert in all things revenue growth. This role is typically seen in enterprise companies but may start to show up more in smaller, fast-growing companies that give budget priority to RevOps. 

  • Number of people on LinkedIn with this job title: 16,000
  • Seniority level: Executive

Not sure where to start with building a RevOps team? Here are some examples of RevOps team configurations for different size teams:

0-50 Employees:

  • 1 RevOps Manager

50-200 Employees:

  • 1 RevOps Manager
  • 1-2 RevOps Specialists/Analysts

200-1000 Employees:

  • 1 Director of RevOps
  • 1 RevOps Manager
  • 3-4 RevOps Specialists

1000+ Employees:

  • 1 VP of RevOps
  • 1 Director of RevOps
  • 1 RevOps Manager
  • 4+ RevOps Specialists/Analysts

Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution here. Some larger businesses still start with just one RevOps Manager to develop strategies and offer advice on how to break up their silos before jumping into hiring a full RevOps team to handle implementation. 

The Tech Stack of Modern RevOps Teams

The tech stack of RevOps teams consists of tools that help them manage the various teams that make up the customer journey. They need sales, finance, data, and project management tech to successfully track all growth areas and keep everyone in sync. 

Here are some examples of what platforms might make up each arm of a RevOps tech stack:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Salesforce
  • HubSpot CRM
  • PipeDrive
  • Zoho
Revenue Intelligence & Forecasting
  • Clari
  • InsightSquared
  • Atrium
  • BoostUp
  • Gong
  • Chorus.ai
  • People.ai
  • Revenue.io
Revenue Communications
  • Slack
  • MS Teams
  • Rattle
Sales Engagement
  • Outreach.io
  • Salesloft
  • Groove.io
  • XANT
Sales Enablement
  • Showpad
  • Highspot
  • Spekit
  • Mindtickle
  • Seismic

Data vendors

  • Zoominfo
  • Clearbit
  • D&B Hoovers
  • SalesIntel
Customer Success 
  • Gainsight
  • Totango
  • Catalyst.io
  • ChurnZero
Customer Ticketing
  • Salesforce Service Cloud
  • Zendesk
  • HelpScout
Marketing Automation Platform
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud
  • Marketo
  • HubSpot
  • Eloqua

A RevOps Tech Stack aims to have their “hand in the cookie jar” of all the different customer-facing teams while enabling seamless communication between each one. That’s why our third category in this list, revenue communications, is arguably the most important. 

Thanks to its intuitive UI and powerful communications tools, Slack is one of our favorite team communication platforms. However, we found that RevOps teams lost hours each week switching between their CRM, forecasting tools, intelligence software, and Slack. 

That’s why we developed Rattle. Rattle connects Slack or MS Teams and CRMs like Salesforce bi-directionally to keep everyone in the loop without skipping a beat. For example, a big lead is moving to a later stage of the sales cycle? Boom! Instantly update all departments. Is a customer renewal coming in soon? Schedule an automated reminder with all the details you need to pop up right inside Slack.  

Working together shouldn’t mean slowing down, but you need the right tools to move at the same speed as your motivated and talented teams. Tying together the different platforms in your tech stack with Rattle can unlock a new level of productivity that your team didn’t realize you were missing out on. 

FAQs about RevOps

Do I need a RevOps team?

If you’re looking to break down traditional silos between sales, marketing, and business intelligence, a RevOps team can help you restructure and manage communication and strategy between these teams.

What’s the difference between Revenue Operations and Sales Operations?

Sales Operations focuses on the operations specific to the sales teams, while Revenue Operations oversees operations through the entire revenue cycle (Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success). Sales Operations can operate within a Revenue Operations strategy, but Revenue Operations has a much larger scope. 

How big should my RevOps team be?

A RevOps team can be as small as a single manager or as big as a multi-layered team with Executive-level oversight. Many businesses start small and add on team members as they grow or decide to dedicate more resources to internal operations. 

When should I build a RevOps team?

The first full-time RevOps staff member should be hired around the time that a company has 10-15 customer-facing employees (sales, customer success, etc.). 

What skills should RevOps team members have?

RevOps team members should have a firm grasp of financial processes, including accounting and financial data analysis. They should also have at least a basic understanding of the entire customer journey from sales and marketing to customer success and be able to communicate with people in each of these teams effectively.

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