If you want to know how and why to build a customer-focused revenue team, but don’t have time to watch the whole video, you’ve come to the right place.

In this post, I’ll recap all the highlights and most important takeaways from Jason and Jen’s session on how to build an integrated, customer-focused revenue team.



Why Revenue Operations?

 

Jason Reichl:
It was my love of product that led to the idea of Go Nimbly becoming a RevOps company and really helping SaaS companies and technology companies grow successfully.

Great products died because they didn’t have great revenue operations, great operations, great go-to-market strategies. That really led me to where we are today.

Jen Igartua:
One of the things that we talked about before revenue operations was a term we would actually use, was unifying. Unifying the business stack is really what our messaging was around, and little did we know we were talking about revenue operations, long before it was a term.



What is a Unified Revenue Team?

 

Jason:

The unified revenue team is bringing everyone who touches your customer and who scales that experience for the customer under one umbrella.

Taking your sales, marketing, customer success, and RevOps team, and calling them the revenue team.

Sales, marketing, and customer success are your go-to-market. They shake the hands of the babies. They’re the ones that are doing the demos, they’re interacting with your customers.

Then you have your revenue operators who are behind-the-scenes. Together, they make one revenue team, all with the same goal of increasing revenue.

 

Jen:
Yeah. I like the metaphor of actors versus directors. At the end of the day, you’re both trying to make a movie, so the goal is really obvious. In our case, it’s revenue.

But I think that’s really important, that they’re working together, and one is not working for the other. Historically, there’s been this idea that operations is a support function and I think breaking that dynamic and realizing they’re on a level playing field is important.



What is the Value of a Unified Revenue Team?

 

Jason:
When you have a unified revenue team, things that used to be aspirational for legacy go-to-market teams become tangible.

I’ll give you an example: Everyone in any company is going to say, “Hey, we have to deliver a great buying experience for our customer.”


But the moment you put any pressure onto that, it becomes very clear that people’s knowledge of that experience ends where their team’s interaction with that customer ends.

 So if you put pressure on marketing, okay, great. You want a great customer experience. Okay. What happens as soon as they do their first demo? “Oh, I don’t know that, that’s a sales function.”  You realize that even though everyone says these things, it’s very different to be able to act on them.

 

So, one of the values of a unified revenue team is that you get that holistic experience. You have the ability to prioritize the customer journey over everything else. You also get a more creative and impactful focus when everyone knows they’re in the same boat and ultimately, what this does is increase revenue.

Not bringing in new leads–although that is a byproduct–but actually increasing the value of each customer that’s actually buying from you.

 



What Does a Unified Revenue Team Look Like?

Jen:
For example, when you have a qualification problem in your early stages of an opportunity, it might actually be a targeting problem. It might be the way you’re segmenting or the individuals you’re targeting that’s causing that conversion rate to drop.

Jason:
That’s the reality, but often people can’t work that out. So, instead of increasing impactfulness and bringing creative ideas to the table, they focus all their energy on trying to secure their handoff points. They will try to maneuver the conversation to those points.

When you know what the problem is–for example, we have a fallout of X at this stage in our customer journey–what are all the levers we could possibly pull? Suddenly all the doors are open because you have a unified revenue team.

 


Reactive vs. Proactive Operations

Jason:
Management of your systems is your operations team’s responsibility. It’s required. Every piece of technology, process, enablement, data, insights that you’re driving for your business needs to be managed.

So few businesses are actually actively assigning revenue to the place it should be. As a simple benchmark, the teams that tend to grow the fastest spend about 3% of their revenue on either revenue operations or operations focused on their go-to-market strategies. Most organizations are spending less than 1%.


Imagine if you could increase everyone’s carry capacity. Imagine if you didn’t have to hire five more BDRs in order to reach X goal. That is how you invest operationally. It’s not just reactive, it’s the management of the things that work.

 

Jen:
Often, we’ll get into roadmapping and building strategy, but teams aren’t disciplined enough to say “no” when something comes up.

There’s a big difference between reacting to something like a broken lead flow or broken contact form and saying “Hey, I want to implement outreach.”

 

If something is broken, by all means, drop what you’re doing and fix it. But when someone comes up with an idea–maybe to fix a problem, maybe not–you have to have the discipline to be able to pause and say, “Is this more important than what I’m doing?”



What Does it Take to Have a Unified Revenue Team?  

 

 

Jason:
What it really takes is a move away from vanity metrics and KPIs that are just about justifying a team’s existence. You need to focus on holistic success, with the ultimate goal being revenue generation.

You have to keep internal competition friendly or avoid it. Instead of creating an environment where teams are pitted against each other for revenue, you’re prioritizing effort and where dollars are spent across the revenue team.

Everything becomes an ecosystem when you move to this unified revenue team. It’s a balancing act and people become so much more caring and so much more focused on the “the ship”, as we call it, when they feel like they’re part of it and they don’t need to defend themselves.

We focus on innovation and take responsibility for risks. A core concept we have at Go Nimbly is about pushing decision-making out to the edges of every team we work with, empowering as many people as possible. They respect and trust one another and most importantly, they let something larger than themselves drive the decision making.

 

Jen:
I just want to make the point that everybody nods and says, “Yeah, I want to share ideas freely and I want my team to focus on innovation.” But the drive to protect the thing that you are accountable for, or a team that you feel like you own, is so powerful.

 

Jason:
I think you just hit the nail on the head as to why revenue operations is so important. Even on a unified revenue team, functions have things they need to deliver tactically.

So the revenue operator is the silo-breaker that moves in and keeps those teams aligned, which is why this is impossible without revenue operations.

If you don’t have revenue operations and you say, “Okay, we’re all going to become one revenue team,” and you leave out the critical piece of having the person who’s knocking on doors and breaking down silos, you will not be successful.


Editor’s Note:

In the second half of the session (highlights coming soon), Jason and Jen talk about what causes silos and the land of the Personalized (with a capital “P”!) buying experience.