Sales operations is the practice of facilitating and supporting one’s sales department to enable them to go out and do what they do best; make sales. This means that sales operations encompass a number of key technical aspects including business analytics, business process improvement, and operations management which includes revenue attainment planning, sales forecasting, quote to cash management as well as process automation.
The usual sales operation is led by the head of sales who will often have a number of team members reporting to them. These positions include sales representatives, Account Executives, Sales Managers, and analysts. As a result, sales head is often distracted by a variety of different issues.
The team structure of a sales operations unit comes in all shapes and colors. While sales operations have become an integral part of the sales organization, variations in terms of structure, role, and implementation exist across businesses and industries. Startups might simply promote a seasoned business development manager. In contrast, a large organization will likely set up a team with technical gurus, sales effectiveness managers, and a sales operations manager.
While this is understandable in smaller enterprises where there is already a degree of cooperation between colleagues this lack of focus is unacceptable for both medium to large companies, and those with ambition to grow. Sales is so much more than just closing deals, it is a multifaceted and complicated business that relies on marketing, social media, internal collaboration and much more to succeed.
What is Revenue Operations?
Revenue operations is the response to the requirement of companies for a multi-faceted approach to sales. Also known by its abbreviated name Rev Ops, revenue operations represent the connection between sales, marketing, and customer success. The purpose of aligning these departments is to ensure cross-team adoption of best practices and to improve efficiency and accountability. Moreover, it is to make sure that business functions are ‘un-siloed’ and are measured correctly based on one key metric i.e. Revenue Generation.
This doesn’t mean that every team implements these varying issues by themselves. On the contrary, revenue operations require a degree of separation to function effectively, allowing the revenue operations team leader to act objectively without bias. The sales, marketing, and other teams remain in place while a separate revenue operations team can act as the interface between all these functions.
Revenue operations team members handle tech-stack, which include marketing automation tools, Customer Relationship Management tools (CRM) as well as data analytics tools. In addition, they help structure scalable business processes in order to bring all the elements of their business together. Revenue operations act as the bricks and mortar your company is based on.
Why is Revenue Operations good for your organization?
Under revenue operations, sales operations can continue but on a more focused micro level. The members of the sales team focus on the essentials, as can their marketing counterparts, and the revenue operations team can act as the planner and troubleshooter bringing all the different aspects of the company to bear on success. Miscommunication is diminished and idea collaboration happens more effectively, all because you have specialized operations team members.
This means that you can adapt your sales funnel to meet new challenges as they emerge. Improved business intelligence also means that you can identify leads more efficiently and tailor your customer experience to improve customer retention. The centralized approach to the organization also means that sales operations are more long term.
It’s not just the day to day aspect of your business that’s improved by revenue operations. By leveraging data, insight, and technology, Revenue operations is now a critical piece of sales organizations of any size. Yes, indeed, the work of these departments goes largely unnoticed in day to day life, but in the long run, Revenue operations support almost everything the sales teams do.
Want to make sure your sales team is making the most of your time? Our team will give you a step by step methodology for setting up your revenue operations team!