Revenue Operations And Sales Automation Handbook

RevOps teams spend their days thinking about the systems that help sales orgs achieve their goals more seamlessly and at scale. RevOps teams turn sales organizations into well-oiled revenue engines.

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The importance of Revenue Operations (RevOps) just keeps on growing. Increasingly seen as essential to any modern sales organization, RevOps has become one of the fastest growing job titles among SaaS and B2B companies. Results are driving the demand; in 2019, Forrester found that organizations that deployed RevOps “in some form” grew revenue “nearly three times faster than those that didn’t,” and public companies that supported RevOps teams reported “71% higher stock performance.”

 

But what is RevOps? And what sets effective RevOps teams apart from less effective ones?

What is RevOps?

RevOps is a business function charged with maximizing an organization’s revenue-generating potential. It is characterized by the alignment and integration of all departments involved in the typical customer lifecycle—pre- and post-sale—including Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success.

 

RevOps teams are likewise characterized by a distinct mindset. For example, whereas sales professionals spend their days thinking about tactics they can employ to generate individual outcomes—how they can close the deal that’s top of mind—

 

RevOps teams spend their days thinking about the systems that help sales orgs achieve outcomes more seamlessly and at scale. One goal of RevOps is to turn sales organizations into well-oiled revenue engines.

 

 

RevOps teams who succeed to this end tend to focus on a few chief priorities. Here’s what those are, along with what executing on them looks like—and what RevOps teams need in order to do that.

1. Ensuring the sales organization achieves its revenue goals

Or, in other words, ensuring salespeople have everything they need when they need it—from support structures to timely resources—in order to focus more completely and effectively on closing new business.

 

  • What does “good” look like? 80%+ quota attainment among sales reps.
  • What do you need to achieve that? An easy way to update and track sales opportunities across the different stages of a lead’s journey; an accessible, single-source-of-truth CRM, which allows salespeople to focus more completely on closing deals; streamlined forecasting processes; a unified deal room; pipeline multiple 2 – 3x.
 

Dive Deeper: Processes and tools that mandate too much manual work on the part of sales reps—that ask account executives to update your CRM manually, for example—are prone to human error and result in delays, missed opportunities, and more inconsistent data. One key way RevOps can empower sales reps to achieve their quota attainment goals is to make their lives easier—by, for example, creating automations that allow salespeople to update CRMs through Slack.

2. Accelerating revenue velocity

Beyond just closing new business, sales teams need to close deals fast. RevOps can help, in part by ensuring the processes that support salespeople are as efficient and strategic as possible.

 

  • What does “good” look like? Sales cycles of less than 30 days in length for deals of low ACV; sales cycles of less than four months in length for deals of high ACV.
  • What do you need to achieve that? Optimized and efficient sales rep onboarding processes; decreased operational and technical complexity; accelerated time from onboarding to productivity 54%; automated lead definition at top-of-funnel.
 

Dive Deeper: The technological tools, systems, and processes that sales organizations rely upon dictate much about whether RevOps teams ultimately succeed in increasing revenue velocity. Overly complex tech stacks keep employees and data sources disconnected and out of sync, which itself renders sales processes less efficient—and salespeople less effective—because it makes your technology and data harder to use. Siloed technology systems and communication channels, for their part, create inconsistent data, breed misalignment, sow confusion, and inhibit efficient collaboration.

 

Using technology effectively, however, and in a manner that is simple and makes your people better, has the opposite effect. For example, it can reduce the number of hours required to train employees around how to use new, superfluous platforms and auxiliary systems and better ensure that salespeople always enjoy easier, more immediate access to the information they need when they need it. Effective technology use goes a long way towards increasing revenue velocity.

3. Reducing customer churn (or, improving customer satisfaction)

Customers who go on to become champions of your business, and whose partnership you can rely on, are foundational to any successful sales organization. If your customers are constantly churning, on the other hand, progress in pursuit of profitability or long-term success will be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.

 

 

  • What does “good” look like? 110%+ NRR; > 8 NPS.
  • What do you need to achieve that? Optimized customer onboarding processes; more diligent, comprehensive, and proactive monitoring of customer health; increased alignment across teams and verticals; proactive countdown cadence checking for active usage of platforms designed to invest in renewals.
 

Dive Deeper: The speed and seamlessness with which Customer Success and Account Management teams onboard new customers is crucial to setting the stage for a long and healthy client relationship. But that’s hardly where Customer Success ends. To keep clients delighted and turn them into champion partners of your business requires collaboration and insight across every vector of the sales organization. Information must be up-to-date and visible across teams at all times.

4. Increasing employee retention

Just as losing customers is expensive and forestalls forward progress, so, too, is losing marketing managers, customer success specialists, and account executives. It’s also deleterious in the sense that it diverts resources and bandwidth from more important tasks, like closing new deals. (Employer turnover statistics show that every time a salaried employee is replaced, it costs the company, on average, the equivalent of six to nine months of paid salary.)

 

 

  • What does “good” look like? < 25% sales rep turnover annually; < 8% employee turnover overall; < 3 years avg. tenure for sales employees; < 5 years avg. tenure for employees overall
  • What do you need to achieve that? Faster and more effective employee onboarding processes; easier and more effective knowledge management systems.
 

Dive Deeper: Efficiently, effectively, and seamlessly onboarding new employees is a crucial component of increasing the retention of talent at scale. So is making employees’ lives easy by empowering them to every extent possible while they’re working in your organization. (And the longer you can keep employees the better. The cost to replace a sales rep, for example, is 1.5-2 times what you’d typically pay a rep in that role. And it takes an average of 3.2 months for new salespeople to ramp to full productivity.)

 

So how do you onboard employees faster, and keep them happy longer? One way includes improving processes related to knowledge management, which refers to the variety of methods related to creating and sharing the knowledge and information of an organization. This, too, falls under the purview of RevOps.

5. Increasing GTM team alignment & visibility

Increasing alignment and visibility across sales organizations is imperative for every RevOps team and crucial to every aspect of the work they do. It’s one primary way RevOps teams ensure each person, tool, and system inside their jurisdiction works better together in pursuit of their shared goals.

 

 

  • What does “good” look like? 100% clarity and buy-in across sales organization around a shared set of goals; 100% clarity around key metrics and definitions, such as what constitutes a SQL; 100% awareness and use of accessible single-sources-of-truth for up-to-date data, documentation, metrics, and goals; RevOps acting as the arbiters of potential contentions over ambiguities and disagreements over process.
  • What do you need to achieve that? No-code orchestration and automation capabilities that empower RevOps teams to create processes that facilitate easy collaboration, automate tasks such as data-upkeep, and surface relevant data sources in a timely manner across systems and application environments.

 

Dive Deeper: You know what the opposite of alignment and visibility looks like. Campaigns that contradict and hamstring each other. Siloed systems that salespeople, customer success managers, or marketers can’t access when they need to; employees being forced to string together complicated processes—with lots of manual effort—across many different technological systems, few of which can talk to each other; team members having to update data sources and follow up with colleagues multiple times and across a suite of unconnected channels…email (Gmail)… messaging (Slack)… your CRM (Salesforce)… your project management apps (Asana). The list goes on. You know the result of all this too: inefficiency, slow response times (which leads to higher churn), a dispiriting employee experience (which hurts retention), and fewer deals closed.

 

The slide into such a reality is what RevOps teams must combat. The steps above help.

Want to read more handbooks like this one? Check out the Ops Academy. And if you’re ready to learn more about how no-code automation can help Ops level up, sign up for a Tonkean trial.

Glossary of terms

  • ACV – Annual contract value
  • CRM – Customer relations management
  • NRR – Net revenue retention
  • QTC – Quote to cash
  • SQL – Sales qualified lead

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