In less than a decade, revenue operations, or RevOps, has exploded in popularity amongst the SaaS world. Organizations from all growth stages continue to add this function to their business model. As RevOps continues to grow and evolve, we tapped our first Director of RevOps Ryan Milligan for five best practices.
What is RevOps, and why now?
RevOps serves as the data thread that connects sales, marketing, and customer teams with the goal to increase revenue. RevOps leaders set up communication systems to eliminate silos between teams and create feedback loops. They also review operational models and means of technology to identify what works and what can go.
Oh, and data. Lots of data.
RevOps bring to light buried data that organizations struggled to uncover before from the sales and customer experiences. Then they make it easy for the marketing, sales, and customer teams to access it and understand it.
“RevOps emerged as a methodology for solving the customer’s needs while optimizing every area that touches revenue generation,” wrote Aubrey Morgan, in her article “What is RevOps?”
The timing of RevOps’ surge in popularity aligns with the never-ending stream of marketing, sales, and CRM apps and tools that all promise to drive growth.
“Leading companies are restructuring their organizations to address the app bloat that is happening across marketing and sales, and the new operational force needed to tame it. This movement is called RevOps,” said Bhaskar Roy in his Forbes article, “The Rise Of RevOps.”
It’s been a few months since Ryan joined our team, and already we’ve felt his impact.
Ryan and his team have set up a data warehouse, launched an automated lead-to-MQL (marketing qualified lead) conversion process, and developed a repeatable outbound sales process. All of these efforts have resulted in immediate efficiencies across our team, topped off with a flood of Ryan-aimed #shoutouts in our dedicated Slack channel.
As Ryan continues to build out and finesse our RevOps model, we asked him to share his learnings. Whether you’re a growing company looking to spin up RevOps from the ground up, or a seasoned RevOps team hoping to improve, check out Ryan’s five RevOps best practices.
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RevOps Best Practices
1. Make sure the data is correct
Correct data ensures you pay your sales teams accurately. Plus, accurate data allows the finance department to make better projections. When incorrect data spoils a spreadsheet, that means payouts to your reps and financial projections will be wrong. This can lead to strategic missteps, frustrated reps, and growing toxicity within the sales organization.
Ryan said, “It’s important that people understand how we calculate the data because the wrong conclusions can be drawn. Your reputation is based on telling people the right thing to do. The other big risk is if the data is wrong, your business can take incorrect actions.”
2. Understand the company’s revenue goals
RevOps leaders serve as the liaison between sales and marketing operations. They own the entire sales funnel to make sure the company continues to generate revenue. RevOps then works together with finance to understand the company’s revenue goals in order to set quotas for the sales team that profit the business and competitively reward the rep.
Ryan highlighted how all of the data works together to create a healthy functional company. “Compensation planning, quota attainment, and sales numbers play major factors in creating a financial plan for the business. Understanding these areas helps us identify the amount of money we need to get, and how we’re going to get it.”
3. Use QuotaPath for commission tracking
RevOps spends a lot of time deep in spreadsheets. One area of the biz where they can afford to drop a spreadsheet is in sales commissions. By implementing QuotaPath, sales, finance, and RevOps can focus elsewhere by allowing our system to automatically load deal data and calculate commissions in real-time. Native integrations with Salesforce, HubSpot, or Close CRMs ensure the accuracy of the data. No double-checking is necessary.
Additionally, QuotaPath helps RevOps leaders save time by making it easier to adjust commission plans, deals, and earnings. Plus, our new features Plan Verification and Deal Flagging create more in-app communication and transparency for commissions and compensation plans.
4. Have your peers verify the data
Once you have verified your own data, have a peer or supervisor double-check it for you. Your work reflects your department and your boss, and that data will determine the next steps for multiple departments within the company.
“I lean on peer-reviewing a lot to double-check my work, whether it be the VP of Sales or VP of Finance. I also set up validation rules in spreadsheets, so that I receive a flag if someone entered data incorrectly,” said Ryan.
5. Offer a desirable comp plan to incentivize the sales team
Once RevOps leaders understand company goals, then they can set strategic expectations for the sales team. By expectations, we of course mean quotas. These should be attainable and realistic, and you can use this tool to see how your quotas line up. If the sales team believes they can reach quota, they will perform better to meet their goals as well as the company’s.
“Sometimes RevOps leaders make the mistake of not asking the sales team what they need, what they see in the market, and how they want to be measured,” Ryan said. “By gathering this feedback from the sales team, I can incentivize the team through compensation plans that drive results and keep the team motivated and happy.”
RevOps leaders carry a heavy load managing the sales funnel, financial projections, and company growth. We hope Ryan’s RevOps best practices help to lighten the load.
Thanks so much for sharing your RevOps best practices, Ryan!