What advice would you give to someone tasked with establishing revenue operations function in an existing business structure?
My first piece of advice would be to learn. Learn as much as you can about the total addressable market, the product market fit and the buyer's journey for the product or service that your new company is selling. Spend time in the field with sales and SDRs. Read online reviews about your company. Take a sales leader out for dinner/drinks and ask them how they get deals done at your company. Take the AE onboarding courses for new sellers joining your company. Read old board decks and study the metrics. What have been the trends over time? What appear to the the strengths and weaknesses of the revenue engine?
Once you've made good progress in your learning tour, start compiling a list of opportunities - divided between quick wins that can be implemented now and longer term initiative that will require more lift and more change management.
On the hiring front, fight hard for your rev ops budget. You only have one shot to get this right and you need to make a compelling business case for investments in enablement, tools and hiring top notch talent.
Start with identifying what parts of the organization your RevOps team will be supporting. Then find the resources in each of these teams you will be supporting to either become your stakeholders and partners or if you do have the option to hire, bring them into your org. When you hire internally from the teams that you want to Support, these people can help you realize problems that your team needs to solve before someone else has to ask for them.
Think about revenue operations as the glue that holds and connects the different parts of the business and aligns them all to the same strategic objectives. You might already have sales, services, and marketing teams, and maybe even operations people embedded within each, but it's likely that the connection points and collaboration between all these different functions is lacking.
Sales might be so focused on closing deals and not providing feedback to Marketing on what types of demand are the most effective. Marketing might be driving a ton of volume but it's the wrong volume, and for example, RevOps can help these functions get on the same page where Marketing Ops is optimizing the demand channel mix based on more detailed from their teammates on Sales Ops. I've seen this at many different types of businesses, small and large, and RevOps has the ability to align functions, disparate KPIs, and people to make sure you're all working in sync to drive more revenue.
Establishing a Revenue Operations function in an existing business structure, especially as the first hire in this area, is a significant undertaking, as it would involve not just setting up processes and systems, but also fostering a culture of collaboration and strategic thinking. On the other hand, as the first RevOps hire, you have the unique opportunity to shape the function from the ground up, so my first advice is to approach this role with a strategic and growth mindset, focusing on collaboration, process optimisation, data-driven decision-making, and continuous improvement. Think that your ultimate goal here should be to create a RevOps function that not only enhances operational efficiency but also contributes significantly to the company's growth and success.
Here’s a good list of things I believe you should consider in order to approach this task:
1. Understand the Business Inside Out:
Spend time understanding the current sales, marketing, and customer success processes. Get to know the products or services, market positioning, and competitive landscape.
Look for bottlenecks or inefficiencies in the current processes that RevOps can address.
2. Define Clear Objectives:
Ensure that your objectives for RevOps align with the overall business strategy.
Establish clear, measurable goals for what you want to achieve in the short and long term.
3. Build Relationships and Foster Collaboration:
Build strong relationships with key stakeholders in sales, marketing, and customer success. Understand their challenges and goals.
Articulate how RevOps will benefit each department and the business as a whole.
4. Start with the basics. Establish Key Processes and Systems:
Set up or optimise CRM systems, data management tools, and reporting frameworks.
Create standardised processes for lead and opportunity management, data handling, and cross-departmental workflows.
5. Focus on Data and Analytics:
Foster a culture where decisions are based on data and analytics.
identify and track key metrics that will measure the success of the RevOps function.
6. Implement a Phased Approach:
Begin with initiatives that can yield quick wins or address the most pressing challenges.
Expand your efforts as you demonstrate value and gain more buy-in.
7. Continuous Learning and Adaptation:
Keep up with industry trends and best practices in RevOps.
Continuously refine and adapt your strategies based on feedback and performance data.
8. Seek Executive Support:
Ensure that you have the backing of the senior leadership. Their support can be crucial in driving cross-functional collaboration.
9. Promote a Unified Customer Journey:
Align all functions to focus on delivering a seamless and positive customer experience.
10. Prepare for Change Management:
Be prepared to address resistance to new processes or tools. Effective change management involves clear communication, training, and support.