The Definition of RevOps: A Full Breakdown

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If you’re new to figuring out what Revenue Operations is all about, you’re in the right place. Let’s start at the top and then deep dive for a closer look.

DEFINITION: Revenue Operations (RevOps) is a strategic alignment of a company’s go-to-market functions that drives revenue by identifying and prioritizing work that improves the customer experience.

Simply put, the core purpose of RevOps is to align the company around the customer.

For those new to RevOps, this definition might feel equally abstract and obvious. Of course companies – SaaS, in particular – are always trying to improve the customer experience. So, what is it that makes revenue operations so distinctive in practice, and why is it such a challenge to implement? 

Here, we’ll unpack the definition of RevOps from all angles – alignment, strategy and planning. We’ll also look at some common misconceptions about RevOps for companies embarking on the transition for the first time.

The Strategic Alignment Part

Consider the most important metric for your business. Most commonly, it’s revenue that acts as the North Star, guiding the go-to-market strategy. If it’s something else, that’s fine too, as long as it’s been defined and clearly communicated across the organization.

For RevOps to be successful, the go-to-market teams need to do more than just increase the frequency of their meetings; they have to change the way they think about their roles. Marketing’s function is not just to dispense leads, Sales isn’t just about closing a deal and moving to the next one, and Customer Success isn’t relegated to only the bottom of the funnel. Instead, the lines between these teams should fade to create a seamless experience from first engagement through to customer advocacy (or the moment of churn).

This allows the Revenue Operations team to build and drive a full-funnel strategy that centers on the customer experience as a whole, rather than just focusing on its individual parts.

The Strategy & Planning Part

Revenue Operations eliminates operational silos inside organizations and leads the approach across four core capabilities: strategy, tools, enablement, and insights.

The RevOps team looks at the business holistically to uncover operational gaps and aThe RevOps team looks at the business holistically to uncover operational gaps and analyze their overall impact on revenue. Using those insights, the team will build a RevOps roadmap that prioritizes the highest impact work.

This roadmap should be a visual representation of how you plan to improve the customer experience over time. When done right, it will evolve along with your business and act as the source of truth for your revenue team, leading to increased alignment across the organization.

Some Hard Truths

Alignment isn’t the ‘Goal’ of RevOps.
It’s a common misconception that once teams are ‘aligned’, the business’ transformation is finished and everyone can move on. In reality, alignment is a by-product of healthy operations. Cross-functional alignment makes it easier to identify problems and drive change, which is where much of the ‘real’ work lies.

The GTM team isn’t RevOps’ customer.
When you have teams working so inter-connectedly, it’s easy to feel like one is beholden to the other. It’s important to remember that while the go-to-market and RevOps teams are stakeholders in each other’s work, the customer is always the customer.

The Org Chart isn’t everything.
Change is scary, especially when it’s big, transformative stuff like reworking the way your company operates. Often, leaders new to RevOps want to tackle the org chart first because it feels like fast progress, although many aren’t quite sure of the best way to structure things with RevOps in the mix. But, while the org chart is important, it’s just a small piece of the puzzle. Choosing the right type of organizational structure can happen once more foundational factors like the North Star and performance metrics have been established.

Making the Transition to RevOps

When you’re ready to implement RevOps, getting buy-in is an important early step. Without it, you’ll have a hard time driving real change for the organization. When talking to senior stakeholders and leadership, focus on revenue impact. Make sure you can speak to the gaps that already exist and are showing up as pipeline trends. That will help to strengthen the case for RevOps and show a pathway towards improvement.

Embarking on a RevOps transition in your organization? Let’s chat about how Go Nimbly can help with that.

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