What is Revenue Operations (RevOps) and how to optimize it for growth?

Every business in this world exists to fulfill the major two goals:

  • to serve its customers
  • to drive revenue

Both of these goals are symbiotic in nature—you can’t achieve one without the other. And at some point in your growth, generating revenue becomes a matter of survival because you can’t sustain your business for too long if it isn’t driving enough revenue.

And if you are building a sustainable business—the goal is not just to generate revenue but to bring predictability and optimization into the process of generating revenue. In a nutshell, that’s what revenue operations is all about. And that’s exactly what we are going to talk about in this post.

In this post we will cover:

  • What is revenue operations or RevOps?
  • Why is it more than just sales and marketing alignment?
  • How to leverage deal intelligence to improve RevOps

What is Revenue Operations (RevOps)?

RevOps is the umbrella term to define everything that you do in your business to generate revenue or to bring predictability and optimization into the process of generating revenue. For example, bringing cross-functional alignment and collaboration across your organization is an outcome under RevOps. Reshuffling a business function (e.g., customer success) to make it more accountable for revenue is also an exercise under RevOps.

RevOps is a strategic alignment of all your resources to bring clarity, transparency, and efficiency in your internal processes to achieve (or exceed) your revenue goals. It leverages people, processes, and technology, and optimizes them meaningfully to contribute to your company’s revenue growth.

However, the concept extends beyond the simplistic understanding of bringing alignment between marketing and sales. Essentially, here’s what RevOps looks like in a Venn diagram:

By aligning your resources and enhancing cross-functional collaboration, RevOps not only improves your bottom line but also creates a great customer experience that feeds back to your recurring revenue.

RevOps is more than just sales and marketing alignment

The most common myth around RevOps is that it’s a binding agent between sales and marketing. While it’s true, that understanding doesn’t encapsulate the entirety of RevOps. For instance, marketing and sales are not the only teams that contribute to an organization's revenue. If your other functions such as customer success and customer support are not on the same page towards contributing to revenue—your RevOps is far from being perfect.

That’s because customer success and customer support help you fight customer churn and improve retention. You can’t build a predictable revenue pipeline—especially in SaaS—if your revenue generation activities are not in sync with your retention process.

Secondly, the alignment between cross-functional teams and their resources is a byproduct of RevOps—not its goal. RevOps is the oil that revs your revenue engine and gives it more mileage. Therefore, the alignment part is an ancillary outcome that takes place when you start optimizing your processes for revenue.

RevOps’ impact on north star metrics

Your north star metrics are usually the most accurate leading indicators of your long-term success. For example, a metric such as “number of trial users converting per week” might be a leading indicator of success. On the other hand, monthly recurring revenue (MRR) and average revenue per user (ARPU) are great metrics to measure your company’s current performance—but they are historic data that don’t necessarily tell you about the likelihood of future success. 

To be a good north star, a metric must meet four important criteria:

  • It should measure progress
  • It should demonstrate customer value
  • It should lead to revenue
  • It should aggregate historical data with future potential

RevOps directly impacts your company’s north star metrics because—more often than not—revenue is your biggest north star metric. A recent survey from SiriusDecision found that companies that implemented strategies to improve their RevOps witnessed up to 36% more growth than the ones that didn’t. The survey also found that the publicly traded companies that used RevOps had their stock prices up by 71% than other firms in their category.

Therefore, revenue is the north star metric that helps you achieve all other north star metrics. That’s because revenue is the price your customers pay in return for the value—or a set of values—they get out of that price. Being able to deliver the value to the customers is usually your true north.

How to leverage Deal Intelligence to improve revenue operations

Revenue predictability is critical to building your revenue operations as it helps you allocate the right resources, assemble the right team and individuals to drive the desired outcome. But building predictable revenue is a tough nut to crack. Going by the recent estimates, 80% of companies in 2019 failed to exceed revenue goals while 38% of them fell short of meeting 90% of their goals.

To improve RevOps, you need a system that can diagnose current problems or highlight opportunities in your revenue pipeline and can give you insights to move a deal to closure.

This is where ‘Deal intelligence’ helps. It gives you visibility into the status and engagement level of all the deals in your pipeline and offers insights that can potentially help you get deals across the line.

What is deal intelligence?

The scope of deal intelligence isn't just limited to analyzing sales and customer conversations but spans across capturing and analyzing activities across the stages of a deal. 

Most B2B organizations face a common pain point – lack of alignment between marketing, sales, and success teams. Furthermore, the misalignment typically extends to a lack of seamless integration between the tools used by marketing, sales, and success tools, thus impacting end-to-end visibility. 

Deal Intelligence software solves this problem by automatically collecting and analyzing data across all your customer-facing teams and making it accessible with actionable insights for everyone in the organization. This approach empowers all revenue teams to collaborate and strategize faster on revenue growth initiatives.

Deal Intelligence in Avoma

In other words, deal intelligence is the micro-level visibility of a deal’s health in your revenue pipeline. With deal intelligence—you can track the progress of the deal, view the deals that are potentially at risk, or identify the ones that you can expedite. Let’s take an example to understand this better. 

At any given point, you have multiple accounts in your sales pipeline that you have qualified as potential customers. Using Avoma’s Deal Intelligence capability, here are a few things that you will get:

  • An overview of customer engagement across deals such as calls, meetings, and emails
  • Detailed insights into all interactions, competitor mentions, number of activities, and more
  • Collaborative experience to strategize and provide feedback to unblock reps and move deals forward

How Deal Intelligence helps you optimize your RevOps

There are three core areas where Deal Intelligence helps you optimize your revenue operations.

1. Transparency and accountability

Let’s say you have an ongoing deal. Using Avoma’s Deal Intelligence, you can get insights such as—when was the latest engagement on a deal, was it via email or call or a meeting, who are the decision-makers involved from the prospect’s side as well as from your organization, so on and so forth.

Therefore from a RevOps standpoint, you have complete clarity on where a deal stands, who’s working on it, is the deal progressing or stalling at any specific stage helping you course-correct the deal progression in real-time. 

2. Cross-functional alignment and collaboration

Deal Intelligence helps you break down the silos and work together as one revenue team. In traditional organizations, different teams would collect their own data, interpret the insights in their own terms, and interact with customers —and all these golden nuggets of information get either siloed or lost in thin air. All this, despite them working towards the common goal of improving revenue. When different teams pull the customers in separate directions, they not only strain the customer experience but also hurt revenue.

How to improve cross-functional collaboration?

Deal Intelligence helps you solve this problem by involving the right stakeholders at the right time. For instance, you can pull in someone from your legal team if the clients have a compliance-related question or have a product expert call the customers to explain to them about your product’s roadmap. 

All in all, Deal Intelligence becomes the common denominator that brings all your customer-facing teams together to impact your organization’s RevOps.

3. Align all your business metrics

Revenue Operations teams can leverage deal intelligence as a single source of truth to measure and analyze the entire funnel, reduce friction between go-to-market teams, and make decisions to achieve collective goals.

Thus, aligning your business metrics across the various organizational functions will help you solve multiple problems in one go. For example, all your hiring can be tied to RevOps, i.e., if you want to increase your sales revenue by 45% this year, adding more salespeople to your team needs to be factored in as part of the key results contributing to that objective. 

RevOps, in this sense, is a virtuous cycle that synchronizes your teams in an operational rhythm and moves the needle of progress simultaneously.

Leverage RevOps to improve customer experience

Like we discussed at the beginning of this post, the goal of every business is also to serve its customer base. And although RevOps prioritizes and optimizes for revenue, it’s a process that should help you maximize customer value. If your RevOps doesn’t factor in customer experience, it ends up becoming a short-sighted, self-serving goal that won’t take you far.

Improving customer retention by maximizing customer value

That’s because RevOps is not just about improving your sales processes and close rates. It’s also about improving your renewal rates, creating upsell opportunities, and identifying cross-sell avenues—among many other retention goals that bring predictability to your revenue pipeline. Developing the RevOps muscle means taking an outside-in approach to start looking at deals from the customers’ standpoint and maximizing their lifetime value with your brand.

For you to gain that kind of pipeline visibility, you must first improve the buyer’s journey. It starts with understanding the buyer journey and optimizing all the processes around it—across all functions. And in this context, Deal Intelligence plays a critical role in helping you transcend from the traditional way of selling—e.g., having a great first call close rate—to optimizing your RevOps for repeat business—e.g., first touch to renewal.