There’s so much you could do this year, but what should you do?
What can you put in place so your revenue operations team can start being more proactive and less reactive?
How do you show the value of strategic revenue operations in your company? It starts with building a revenue operations strategy.
What is a revenue operations strategy?
Put simply, a revenue operations strategy is a goal for what your RevOps team will accomplish over a period of time, plus the steps you’ll take to get there.
Revenue operations is at the intersection of marketing, sales, and operations – the central point of a company’s go-to-market strategy. Having a clear vision for what a RevOps function should tackle in terms of highest priority impact to the business will help you, your team members, and company leaders see the value of the everyday work you do and buy-in to your approach.
Who should be involved in creating a revenue operations strategy?
RevOps leaders drive the strategy creation, but there are other members of the team that should be involved, such as:
Your revenue operations strategy: 7 key things to include
Here’s a list of the top seven things to include in your revenue operations strategy that we’ll cover:
Build an intake system
Create a roadmap and communicate it to stakeholders
Automate what’s working in your sales process
Find your missing sales data
Define a strategy for ongoing data quality
Help your sales leaders track the right sales rep efficiency metrics
Schedule regular reviews with leaders and talk about impact
#1: Build an intake system
Constant pings from Slack and Gmail, and request after request from different channels make it hard to manage your day-to-day operations.
RevOps teams find it difficult to be strategic when they’re stuck with keeping track of urgent requests. Create an intake system to alleviate the burden and free up your time for more strategic work.
If you haven't already, make it a priority to build an intake system and create a central place for all your requests. Define the minimum amount of information you need to take action on a task.
For example, if users report errors, the least you need is a screenshot and recording of the problem. For feature requests, you need a description of the proposed feature, use cases, and business value.
#2: Create a roadmap and communicate it to key stakeholders
RevOps implementation has ripple effects across multiple teams, strategies, and processes. Each of these has multiple stakeholders. You can't just get approval from one stakeholder and expect everyone to understand the full picture.
“A common mistake with revenue operations plans is a lack of alignment between sales, marketing, and customer success teams. Before kicking off the plan, create a stakeholder map outlining all of the required members and their roles in the process. Once you have that complete, walk the leaders from each organization through the map to ensure alignment and buy in,” said Andrew Goncalves Whitney, Senior Program Manager, Revenue Operations, Strategic Programs & Technology at Workday.
A roadmap helps organize your priorities and get backing from leadership on how you’ll allocate resources.
While this could be as simple as defining your OKRs, a role as cross-functional as RevOps requires many inputs from across the organization.
#3: Automate what’s working in your sales process (and reduce manual steps)
Even if your sales cycle is long – 9 months, 12 months, or more – it doesn’t mean you should wait that long to reevaluate what’s working (and what’s not) in the sales process.
And ongoing sales process optimization is easier when you have a baseline on what works, and it’s as automated as possible.
High-performing companies are twice as likely to describe their sales process as “closely monitored” or “strictly enforced or automate” according to Velocify.
But it’s not always easy to break down your sales process into clear steps when it’s complex and there are many stakeholders involved. However, it’s revenue operations job to find gaps, and solve for them. How?
"What's working and what's not? What processes have been most effective? What levers should you continue to pull?” These are the questions Brianna Doe, Director of Demand Generation at Aion, suggests asking when you start to audit your sales process.
When it comes to automation, Brianna suggests going directly to your team and asking them what's consuming their time the most.
“Ask each person for a list of 2-3 repetitive tasks that they think are drawing their attention away from other (more important) projects. As the leader, the final decision is up to you, but it's always better to get your team's feedback.”
Andrew Goncalves Whitney also suggests documenting the tasks that are cropping up and slowing everyone down. “Create a centralized list that team members can add to on a continuous basis. Start tracking the hours your team is spending on the identified repetitive tasks. This will create a baseline that you can use to compare the productivity you have gained through process/technology changes.”
For example, are reps spending too much time generating quotes, creating documentation, and completing data entry? If yes, automate administrative tasks so reps can spend more time on high-impact sales activities.
#4: Find your missing sales data
The data you get is a byproduct of your processes. When departments work in silos, they collect data in their own way. When tools don’t sync properly, or don’t have the capability to customize to what you need, data is lost.
This results in an incomplete CRM, which ideally should be a single source of truth where all prospect and customer data exists. Ninety percent of organizations consider siloed data a huge challenge to growth. These silos lead to unreliable decision-making that harms revenue.
How do you figure out what’s missing from your CRM? SetSail’s CRM Health Grader can quickly scan your Salesforce and see the following information:
Opportunities without recent activity
Contacts missing key data
Poor account coverage
Low rep activity levels
You’ll get a CRM Health Score plus immediate next steps to take depending on the type of sales activity data you’re missing in your Salesforce.
#5: Define a strategy for ongoing data quality
Garbage in, garbage out. According to Salesforce, 91% of CRM data is incomplete, and 70% of that data deteriorates and becomes inaccurate annually.
You can have the best analytics and processes in place, but with dirty or incomplete data, you only get half the picture.
Poor data quality also damages account expansion. When sales lack visibility in who to cross-sell, which accounts to prioritize, what the customer's history is, and spends all its efforts rectifying data errors, there is no room to focus on the customer. Inaccurate B2B contact data wastes 27.3% of sales reps' time - time which could have been spent on finding new leads or expanding existing relationships.
The good thing is, poor data quality is a fixable issue. Here's what you can do:
Automate data capture
Manual data entry results in inaccurate data and reps that would rather do anything else. Invest in a solution that captures data from your entire go-to-market tech stack and writes it back correctly to your CRM.
Enforce data hygiene
Involve stakeholders from different departments in data quality management. Implement guidelines that ensure accuracy that apply to everyone involved in data that goes in the CRM.
Dana Therrien, VP of Sales Performance Management and Revenue Operations Advisory Practice at Anaplan, says you can make significant progress by just getting clear on definitions, and having conversations across your organization.
“Start with a data dictionary and agree on terminology across the organization, that's everything from a marketing-qualified lead to a region in an area. You need to have conversations across these organizations so you can look at things and then design your optimum operational report by the audience, from the executive to the sales executive to the manager to the salesperson.”
Double-check your sales tool integrations
Review tech integrations and check if they're writing to the CRM correctly. Identify duplicate or missing fields and address them immediately.
Update existing contacts
Eliminate duplicate contacts, fill in missing or incomplete fields, and link contacts to accounts if they don't already have one. Up-to-date contact information enables your reps to deliver a more personalized customer experience and prevents them from wasting time on irrelevant contacts.
#6: Help your sales leaders track the right sales rep efficiency metrics
Help your sales management team have better rep coaching conversations, and ramp new reps faster by identifying the sales efficiency metrics that matter.
Many teams score their reps on volume – number of calls, number of meetings, etc. But is that what’s really moving the needle?
Your role as a revenue operations leader is to go a level deeper on the data.
For example, your sales activity data plus closed deal metrics might tell you that reps have the most success when they engage with at least five stakeholders in a buying group. A quantified metric sales managers can track is the number of touchpoints reps are having with each stakeholder within a deal in progress.
More sales activity data questions you can ask:
How many meetings does it take to close a deal?
What do the top reps do differently?
Are deals more likely to close if reps are able to multi-thread?
#7: Schedule regular reviews with leaders and talk about impact
Regular reviews give everyone an opportunity to come together and discuss the impact of changes, performance trends, and strategy shifts.
Don’t just focus on revenue numbers – it doesn’t tell the whole story about the impact of revenue operations. Go deeper and look at:
Sales rep efficiency: Are your reps spending more time on customer-facing activities?
Pipeline velocity: Is the sales process moving faster?
Predictable growth: Do you see more consistent performance?
Response to market changes: How quickly can you adjust sales strategy?
Beyond painting a full picture of revenue operations impact, make it actionable for your leaders.
Do you need their support to implement new initiatives?
If you had more budget or headcount, what else could you do?
Do they have feedback for you on how you can better align your efforts to the ever-evolving business strategy?
Build your revenue operations strategy based on data
Your revenue operations strategy will define the impact your team has this year. Need more support driving revenue with complete, actionable sales data? SetSail can help.
Kiran Shahid is a content marketing specialist who creates compelling, data-driven content for B2B SaaS companies. With over 9 years of content writing experience, Kiran has contributed to successful campaigns for tech companies such as HubSpot and Helpjuice. Connect with Kiran on LinkedIn.