The starting point for alignment at scale is creating a shared source of truth. An SSOT is a system that is always up to date and centralizes your organization's revenue data. It’s a critical foundation for revenue operations excellence, process rigor, and predictable growth.
In addition to your shared source of truth, you also need supporting documentation that defines how the team should add data to or interact with their SSOT, considering it’s only as good as the data it’s provided.
The Revenue Operations Council, a group of world-class RevOps leaders, shares how they created SSOTs and supporting documentation to drive alignment in their research paper, "Establishing Your Shared Source of Truth."
Understanding the value of an SSOT is one thing. But implementing one across your team and applying these practices to your everyday deals can feel challenging. That’s why we created three worksheets based on the ROC’s research to walk you through the process.
Leverage these ready-to-use RevOps worksheets at your organization today:
- KPI definitions
- Sales stages
- Forecast terminology
KPI lexicon and calculations worksheet
Productive conversations are difficult if your team members don’t speak the same language. Determining—and aligning on—universal definitions is vital to executing revenue strategy.
You need to agree on:
- Which metrics are you tracking?
- How are you calculating those?
- Where does the data come from?
- What are key revenue process definitions used by your revenue team?
ROC member Karan Singh, vice president of revenue operations at Procore Technologies, experienced the value of shared definitions of key performance indicators firsthand.
“We just went through an eight-month KPI standardization process,” says Singh. “We asked ourselves: ‘What is annual contract value? How do we define a customer? What do our KPIs actually mean down to the field level?’ Aligning on these definitions is critical to ensuring the entire revenue team is on the same page every step of the way.”
Without a foundation like a KPI lexicon in place, it’s almost impossible to drive accountability. Even if your team runs weekly one-on-ones and holds regular pipeline reviews, sharing common language will help make them more productive.
Sales stages worksheet
Documenting your sales stages is critical for effective deal progression. Without agreed-upon sales stages in place, it’s almost impossible to drive accountability.
One person’s idea of Stage 1 could be another’s Stage 2. Likewise, reps also need to know their exact roles and responsibilities for progressing deals, from initial meetings to close. Sharing common language will help make weekly one-on-ones and pipeline reviews more productive—and help win more business.
For example, say you have two sales reps reporting $500,000 in commit, ready to close at the end of the quarter, but each rep has different criteria for what commit actually means. As a RevOps leader, you may see two commits, but one ultimately falls through, meaning your forecast wasn't as accurate as it could have been. Suddenly the opportunities you once expected to close aren’t as reliable as you thought, potentially throwing off your larger forecast.
“In the eight-plus years I've been at Workday, the number of employees has grown eight-fold,” says Ron Johnson, vice president, global revenue operations at Workday. “That rapid growth led to a proliferation of tools, analytics, and processes across the board for each different team. Building commonly understood frameworks is key for us, because otherwise, we’d be drowning in complexity.”
Forecast category and terminology worksheet
Your forecasting terminology is critical to creating a true and objective representation of your business. These standardized definitions support alignment across your go-to-market teams and keep conversations focused on action.
“Forecast meetings should be less about making sure we agree on the numbers, and more about what actions we should be taking in response to the numbers,” says Phillip Jones, vice president, sales operations at Alteryx.
If you have new reps or reps forecasting for the first time, and you don’t have definitions for categories like “commit” or “upside,” reps have to make their own judgment calls. These variables are exactly what you want to avoid.
Here are some examples of key forecasting terminology:
- Forecast category: This is a value at the opportunity level, and it indicates how confident you are that a deal is going to close.
- Forecast call: This is your individual judgment on what you believe you will close by the end of the period, based on your experience and the data at hand.
“We all need a clear view of what's happening throughout the funnel—from initial interest through to customer success and growth,” says Johnson from Workday. “We also need to complement that clear view with a consistent set of processes and definitions, because we all want to speak the same language.”
Investing in alignment upfront, at all levels, can save organizations from preventable growing pains in the long term. Standardization paves the way for scale.