The Rise of Revenue Operations: We all play for Team Revenue

Bec Henrich VP of Marketing

The age-old question of how to generate more revenue has given rise to a number of innovations in how companies organize their departments. Research from SiriusDecisions suggests that inter-departmental alignment between Sales, Marketing and Customer Success drives up to 36% of revenue growth. This is where Revenue Operations (RevOps) comes in.

As its name implies, RevOps is a department whose primary mandate is to grow company revenue. The unbiased umpire you never knew you needed, RevOps and the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) are able to align every layer of your sales funnel in large part through ownership of technology. RevOps keeps Marketing, Sales and Customer Success accountable to the same goals and metrics.

Before the Chief Revenue Officer, there was the “Nerdy Propeller-Head”


When looking at the development of RevOps, it’s important to understand shifts in departmental thinking. Marketing in particular has undergone substantial adaptations due to the ubiquity of the smartphone. The classic image of the marketing executive as slick, whiskey-swilling Jon Hamm with a faraway look in his eye has lost relevance as a result. This go-with-your-gut, visionary CMO is less effective in a marketing world as intertwined with technology and data as ours.

This digital landscape has necessitated what Chris Peacock, CMO of Traction on Demand, calls the “nerdy propeller-head” CMO. “If your CMO is not looking at dashboards as often as they’re being creative, they’re doing a bad job,” says Peacock.

With a heavier workload that includes content marketing and demand generation, Marketing is increasingly relied on for tech expertise. No longer the sole purview of IT, systems like Salesforce often live within Marketing while additional tools exist in silos within Sales and Customer Success. A structure like this is more likely to drive a wedge between departments, leading to poor organizational alignment and sub-optimal revenue.

Unify Systems, Measures and Purpose


The specific technology needs of Marketing, Sales and Customer Success have traditionally been supported by specialized employees devoted to operations within each department. Like the disparate systems they work with, these Business Analysts, Data Managers and System Administrators often lack a broader understanding of what is happening in other departments. Sales and Marketing may employ different metrics, while Sales and Customer Success may use the same metrics incongruously. Without alignment, even the nerdiest and most capable propeller-heads will be driving each department in a different direction.

This is where RevOps can make a big difference. Just as it’s undesirable to store customer data in silos, it’s also best to prevent your technology experts from working in departmental silos. Bringing all of those analysts and data wizards under one umbrella allows them to own all tools and systems, defining metrics that will be shared by Marketing, Sales and Customer Success. Free from operational duties, each department can focus solely on building pipeline, converting sales and generating opportunities with existing customers.

Incorporating RevOps


Incorporating RevOps into your organizational structure is one way to increase alignment between revenue-driving departments. Whether or not RevOps makes sense for your organization, there is a lot of value in defining consistent goals, metrics, processes and system ownership that foster cooperation between Sales, Marketing and Customer Success. Whether that means automating lead assignment or improving the hand-off process, increased revenue should be the end goal.