Complete Guide: How to Stand-up RevOps in your Org... (Successfully)

How to Stand-up RevOps in your Org... (Successfully)

Jeremy Steinbring

Founder

Among the many questions leaders ask, the one that consistently leaves them puzzled is, "How can I encourage my company to adopt RevOps?"

The answer... "It's complicated" 🤷

... and this is our reality because most of us can't even align on a definition. According to Forbes, only 41% of executives are confident they understand it.

"While more than 85% of executives agree that revenue operations is important to meet their goals, just 41% are very confident they understand what it is." ~ Source Article: The Rise of RevOps

However, one thing we can be confident about is that the journey to implement it is worth the effort.

RevOps can dramatically transform your business by:

🏆 Increasing revenue-generating potential across your entire company

🏆 Breaking down harmful silos between Go-To-Market teams

🏆 Simplifying your tech stack & increasing user adoption

🏆 Improving data-driven decision making

So let's dive into this actionable guide, where I'll show you how to stand-up a RevOps function in your org and help you avoid the painful pitfalls along the way. We'll start by getting on the same page...

What is RevOps? (...and what it's not)

You'll hear 100+ different definitions of Revenue Operations depending on who you ask, which is the first hurdle you'll encounter. Everyone needs to have the same foundational understanding before you can get to Step #1 in our plan: Buy-In.

"RevOps is a philosophy: the idea that Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, & Product should work together to improve the customer experience and drive more revenue using process & technology." Jeremy Steinbring, Founder @ RevOnyx)

💡 Listen to the whole conversation on the RevOps Unboxed Podcast: "Why more RevOps tools won't solve your problems"

When you boil it down, RevOps always relates back to the customer journey and optimizing the way customers interact with your business.

What it's not...

It can be improperly thought of as just another name for "Sales Operations," which only has representation from one team. It is also commonly misclassified as your Systems Admins team for CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools like Salesforce & HubSpot

These are important pieces of RevOps, but as we discussed, doesn't capture the full picture. Now that we are aligned, let's jump in...

Step 1: Buy-In

Leadership buy-in is the first stop on this magic carpet ride, and it's by far the most important. You have to effectively explain what RevOps is, what pain it's going to solve, and tell the story of what business will feel like after it's adopted.

Remember, everyone you speak to is focused on different priorities: Sales is usually focused on winning new business, while Marketing is focused on building awareness and creating hand-raisers. Do your homework and tailor your conversations to each leader's priorities.

The goal is to create internal advocates, individually, to help you win over the rest of the org. (If you've played RISK, start with Australia and work your way across the map 😉)

Action:

  • Schedule a 15-minute meeting (it's meant to be quick) with the leader you have the best working relationship with. They represent your Australia 🇦🇺.
  • Get their buy-in first and have them help you with the next conversation.
  • Don't stop until you have buy-in from Sales, Marketing, CS, & Product.

Step 2: Org Structure

Once you have buy-in, it's time to situate the org structure, so that each team can begin working together more seamlessly. The makeup of the team will vary based on your existing team members, but it's crucial to ensure representation from every stage of the customer journey.

Titles & org charts are a thing of the past when it comes to RevOps. You'll want to build the team based on job function, regardless of titles. You'll also want to create a structure that can be scaled easily from a single RevOps person, providing you the utmost flexibility. It's not uncommon to start with a single RevOps leader running the show.

💡Tip: As someone who's been in this situation more than once, I wouldn't recommend the "one person show" approach ~ invest in the correct amount of resources for your org size. You get out what you put in!)

Here is an example org structure showing the GTM & RevOps teams with key job functions:

GTM & RevOps Team Org Structure Diagram

Action:

  • Steal this template and build your own version identifying the correct people within the company for each function.
  • Determine who will play the RevOps Leader role and which functions they'll be responsible for based on experience.
  • Identify the functions they don't have bandwidth/skill sets for (if any) and consider hiring or finding a RevOps Partner like RevOnyx to fill the gaps.

Step 3: Customer Journey

Now that you have the org structure solidified, it's time to dig into your current customer journey with GTM & RevOps team leaders.

💡Tip: Schedule a recurring meeting organized by the RevOps Leader, which includes representation from Marketing, Sales, CS & Product. This group will help determine the highest priorities to focus on, and share valuable information about opportunities for improvement.

What is a Customer Journey?

A "Customer Journey" is defined as a path of interactions an individual has with your company. This could be something tangible like reaching out to the sales team for a demo or intangible like opening a piece of marketing collateral.

The purpose is to create a visual representation of the steps an individual would take to learn about your brand, purchase your products & services, and renew/refer new business as a promoter. We are creating an ideal path that will lead to a positive and productive relationship.

Part of this exercise is to identify what's working and what can be improved. Below is an example of a basic, top-of-funnel customer journey for a SaaS company:

Top-of-funnel Customer Journey Flow Chart Diagram

By documenting the journey, separate from the technology, we can quickly see where opportunities for improvement exist. In this case, when a demo is requested on the website, sales managers are manually assigning and sending emails to the correct team member. This takes time, effort, and there is an aspect of human error that can impact chances of conversion.

💡Tip: Build your customer journey in tools like LucidChart or Draw.io (free), so that it can be saved and edited as your business changes. Keeping proper documentation is essential to making future improvements and getting new team members up to speed quickly.

Action:

  • Meet with a leader from each department (typically someone with working knowledge of the strategy & current setup - Manager/Director). Document all the ways that team interacts with prospects/customers.
  • Repeat this step with the entire GTM & Product teams, to connect all of the touch points together on a single canvas.
  • Identify areas of opportunity and document them on the flow chart diagram & in a project management tool.
  • Identify which of these improvements will make the biggest impact to revenue generation, time savings, cost savings, etc.

Step 4: Systems

This is where we start cooking with fire 🔥. Once we've identified the process gaps in the Customer Journey, it's time to dig into systems. A warning to those that have not gone through this before, it can get complicated quickly. Most businesses have never gone through this exercise, so I'd expect you'd find a lot of waste and issues. (A good thing!)

Work with the leadership & finance teams to document every RevOps tool you currently pay for. Create a Google Sheet or Excel workbook and jot down the following:

  • System Name, License Count, Cost, Contract Start/End Dates, & Owner (internal team / person) - this will be helpful in identifying which systems to consolidate & cancel.

Partner with the current systems admin for each tool on the list to understand how the system supports the customer journey you just built.

💡 Tip: Anything that doesn't support the customer journey or doesn't have a use case for the business today should be removed. Download any historical data you might want to keep for the future and cancel it. Instant savings on subscription fees!

When your discovery is complete, the next step is to overlay the systems configuration on top of your customer journey. You'll end up for a flow chart looking something like this:

Customer Journey & Systems Flow Chart Diagram

You'll again identify opportunities for improvement with your RevOps tech stack. Document each one and prioritize them by the items that will make the biggest business impact.

Action:

  • Document your current RevOps tech stack in a matrix with the following information: System Name, License Count, Cost, Contract Start/End Dates, & Owner
  • Schedule discovery meetings with your team's systems admins and overlay the technical setup on top of your customer journey.
  • Identify opportunities for improvement and document them in order of priority.

Step 5: Execute & Share

We now have our plan documented and it's time to start making changes. The role of the RevOps Leader is to play quarterback: manage projects, set expectations, and provide updates. I recommend setting up weekly RevOps Team Meetings with key stakeholders from each department to share progress updates. It's always a great way to get feedback and ask additional discovery questions as you start making tweaks.

I'd also recommend using a project management tool to collaborate & organize your projects. At RevOnyx, we use ClickUp. It's affordable, allows you manage sprints, gives users the ability to work asynchronously, & it comes with ClickUp Docs. (My favorite feature: no more copying and pasting Google Doc links 👌).

ClickUp Project Timeline View Example

It's also time to share your progress and the impact you're making with each initiative that's completed. Create videos using tools like Loom for training purpose, demos, & walkthrough for your leadership team and GTM team members.

Trust me, video will be faster to create & they will make it more engaging for your team. More engagement > better adoption. You can also create an organized video library and start building your own knowledge base.

Repeat the Cycle 🔑

Congrats, you're officially RevOps'ing! 🎉

But the work has just begun...

The most important piece of advice I can give you is to "Repeat the Cycle." Your team is constantly growing and changing, so there's always opportunity for improvement. Use the documentation we created throughout this guide as a template for ongoing work.

Obstacles to Avoid

There are a handful of "gotchas" that can trip you up along the way that deserve our attention:

- Don't Skip Steps

It's going to be tempting to jump right into Systems and start tinkering, don't! If you don't have the Customer Journey documented, you won't know how to design the technology to support your team. When you go through this exercise, complete the steps in order ~ you'll thank us later!

- Keep Advocating for RevOps

You should consistently share the value of RevOps and showcase the impact it's having on revenue generation. Even after you've received initial buy-in from leadership and you've started executing on projects, continue to share the tangible wins:

  • Time saved across the organization
  • Money saved by consolidating tools
  • New revenue-potential created

If you don't repeat the cycle, you're bound to run into obstacles in the future. What happens if your internal advocate or decision maker is no longer the one calling the shots? Again, you'll have to prove to the entire org that RevOps is worth the investment - which it most definitely is.

- When it's Needed, Ask for Help

Any time we try something new, it can feel overwhelming ~ we are busy and might not have the time to learn everything ourselves. The good news is you're not alone! Where ever you are in your RevOps journey, RevOnyx is here to help.

What could you accomplish if your entire GTM team was 15%+ more efficient?

Click "Let's Talk" to find out.