The way winning B2B companies generate revenue is fundamentally changing. Today buyers are exposed to and engage with a lot of information before they ever even talk to you. In fact, most buyers prefer to research independently and progress more than 70% of the way through the decision-making process before ever engaging a sales representative.
"Customers do not care about your silos,” says Yamini Rangan, Chief Customer Officer at Dropbox. “You need to run operations based on the way customers need to experience you rather than on some internal structure."
Now more than ever it’s critical for everyone on the revenue team to be aligned and connected throughout the entire buyer’s journey. Gone are the days organizations can pass prospects from marketing to sales to customer success simply tossing them over an imaginary fence with little to no communication.
The State of Disconnected Go-to-Market Teams
This disconnection is status quo for most organizations and it typically looks like this:
Marketing is tasked with building pipeline and driving conversions to hit revenue targets, but is disconnected from how sales is working those leads and who they’re engaging with.
With no visibility into how prospects are engaging with sales later in the funnel, marketing is unable to provide air coverage and strategically nurture prospects to help increase pipeline conversion.
Unable to understand what’s influencing closed opportunities, marketers can’t optimize future investment or secure budgets needed to support the sales effort and drive revenue results.
Marketing is often left to sit on their hands after leads have passed on to the sales team. And that’s a problem: If marketing is delivering what they believe are qualified leads according to plan, but sales isn’t working those leads and don’t hit their number, that’s still a fail.
Or alternatively, if sales doesn’t find those leads qualified enough to work, but never communicates this to marketing, marketing will continue to generate leads sales doesn’t deem valuable, wasting valuable time and resources.
This disconnection puts the entire revenue organization at risk.
So the question is: As marketers, what can you do to impact revenue throughout the entire buying journey — from first touch to closed opportunities, and customer renewals to upsells?
One way: Embrace the revenue operations mentality.
What is revenue operations (revops)?
Revenue operations (RevOps) is the strategic convergence of sales, marketing, and customer success to drive full funnel accountability across the revenue engine.
The role of revenue operations teams is to accelerate growth and provide more predictable revenue, by unifying and optimizing the processes that generate the company’s top line success.
What does revenue operations mean for marketers?
This new way to work is emerging to accommodate every stage of the modern buyer’s journey.
With the rise of software-as-a-service and subscription business models, renewing customers year-after-year is critical for recovering customer acquisition costs and continued growth. Every touch point from the first time they see an ad or blog to what happens after the ink has dried on the contract is equally critical to maximizing revenue opportunity.
“Revenue is an enterprise sport. It’s not just the sales responsibility or the marketing responsibility,” says Carl Eschenbach, Partner at Sequoia Capital and former President of VMware who took the company from $31m in revenue to $7b.
Marketers must think of themselves as an integral part of the entire seamless, but often windy buyer’s journey. They can no longer just consider themselves the tip of the spear in a disjointed step-by-step process. They must be involved in all stages of the buying cycle from start to finish. Seeing yourself as part of the larger revenue team and actively involved in all stages of the buying cycle is the first major step.
According to SiriusDecisions, companies that align go-to-market teams see:
- 3X faster growth
- 71% higher stock performance
The outcomes are clear. So what does this look like in practice?
Revenue operations realized
Customers’ expectation of a seamless brand experience and the emergence of new technologies allowing for the automation and consolidation of critical sales activity and customer engagement data are driving this new era of connected revenue operations teams.
Siloed teams are quickly becoming a thing of the past in favor of a more connected, unified go-to-market mindset.
Embracing revenue operations means varying levels of alignment depending on the organization. Here are three different potential structures:
People Aligned. Marketers receive a shared revenue target along with the rest of the revenue team. This means agreeing on the metrics that will create real business impact, not just MQLs that might never convert.
Data Aligned. The entire revenue team has access and can take action based on this single source of truth thanks to the integration of tech stacks, including marketing automation. Transparency and trust is a must.
Processes Aligned. Marketing is not only in attendance, but also an active participant in sales 1:1s, QBRs, forecast calls and more. Marketing is just as invested in making the number as their revops counterparts.
Revenue operations doesn’t happen overnight, but teams that adopt a revenue operations model do see results. Here are some additional revenue operations-related materials that might be helpful:
- Revenue Operations Is More Than Sales and Marketing Alignment
- How to Make the Transition to Revenue Operations
- The New Era of Alignment: Revenue Operations
- Masters of Revenue: Episode 1
For more ways marketers can adopt a revenue mindset, download our new ebook: How Growth Marketers Impact Revenue.