Revenue Operations, or RevOps for short, is all about connecting and aligning Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service/Success teams to enhance the overall revenue performance and success of the organization.
The need for the RevOps function is built out of past successes, whereby the organization scales well but creates misalignment challenges as a bi-product.
For tactical reasons, Sales operations teams would surface, solving immediate challenges within the ever-expanding sales functions. Today, forward-thinking organizations are implementing centralized RevOps teams to bring Marketing and Customer Service/Success into the fold.
This is the first in a series of posts we’re writing on the main pillars of Revenue Operations:
In this first post we’ll focus on insights, by looking at 6 useful tips for improving your understanding of Revenue Operations.
1. Deal Conversion % - Leads
Certain types of Lead Scoring can be misleading - i.e. “90% of our leads for this product from this region convert into an opportunity – let’s show Inside Sales this great metric – these opps are hot.” This doesn’t provide the full picture: as it turns out, in this example, 0% of these opportunities have closed-won in the last 9 months. Whereas, in another region, 40% of leads convert to Opps but 70% of these Opps have closed-won in the last 9 months. Which metric is more valuable? Take the Opportunity Scoring % for closed-won opps and match them to key attributes of incoming leads–you now have a ‘Deal Conversion %’ on your new leads which is much more informative. This metric needs to be set up to learn over time–if done right, this will tell your sales teams where to focus, automatically.
2. Unique Company Leads
Quality over quantity. Watch out for demand generation leaders who play the quantity game–typical tactics include counting all leads that come from one company in the quarter [as opposed to recognizing one key lead]–multiple contacts engaging from one company is more a sign that this is a strong lead as opposed to each contact being an MQL, for example; double-counting–a lead that originated last quarter have re-engaged and connected again this quarter–it’s the same lead that is still engaged! Don’t count twice. These tactics are also misleading the conversion metrics–indirectly placing more pressure on the business development and inside sales teams. It’s not a competition. Win together and focus on quality.
3. Remove the Friction
Drop any metrics/processes that create friction around ‘sales accepted opportunities’ and the likes – design a simple ‘contract’ between inside sales and business development instead that states what an acceptable opportunity is and run with it. Refine over time but don’t set up process walls to climb. Grease the wheels.
4. One Big Metric Per Function
Sales isn’t just sales anymore. You have specialist lines of expertise in Business Development, Inside Sales, Enterprise Sales, Pre-Sales Consultants, and so on. Once you can afford it, ensure to separate these sub-functions with leaders who take ownership for a key metric. Then ensure Marketing has a key metric and finally into customer success. Map out the internal prospect through their customer journey by function/sub-function displaying the key metric per area. Sounds very simple but it works– sometimes we add layer and layer of process and we lose focus. Make these metrics visible. Drive them into your teams through incentive-based objectives. Keep the focus.
5. Deals-Won Metrics
Watch out for some pipeline metrics that provide no real value–“this is the amount of pipeline we’ve created from this amount of marketing spend on this campaign”–is not the full story. Tell me Marketing Spend -> Pipeline -> Won Deals for that campaign over a defined period. Too many take comfort in the pipeline–assess the metrics and conversions the whole way through the cycle to Deal-Won to ensure the targets are achievable.
6. Customer Engagement QA Metrics
Customer Service centers leverage formalized Quality Assurance metrics and systems to monitor and coach their agents to better customer interactions. Engagements are data-sampled and assessed by independent QA Managers with engagement scores being passed back to agents with guided coaching etc. Would it not make sense for all your customer-facing teams to do the same? How about assessing first contact prospect calls? First demo zoom calls? Now provide your sales teams with assessment scores over time based on x amount of interactions with prospects? Next, add these scores to a Gamification leaderboard and see how they rank. Add a minimum standard to achieve as one of their quarterly objectives. In the ‘new normal’, these metrics are proving hugely valuable in terms of employee engagement while ensuring the right standards are being maintained by your employees in remote workspaces.
Of course, these metric tweaks and reviews never stop so you need the right people on the bus to be dynamic, focused on improvement, and continually adding new ideas. Understand that what worked before may not work in the future. Growth mindsets across the board. The Revenue Workforce. Connected.
Neil Young is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Leaptree, a Revenue Performance Platform software company serving the Salesforce ecosystem.