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Why we care about RevOps: A marketer’s guide

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Why we care about RevOps: A marketer’s guide


The siloing of marketing and sales has never been good for business, and organizations are starting to agree. That’s given rise to RevOps, short for revenue operations, which is a relatively new organizational structure that seeks to improve alignment between marketing, sales and customer success by bringing separate operation teams together, establishing one reporting line and driving common revenue goals.

The rise of RevOps comes as companies realize that providing a stellar customer experience across all interactions from marketing, sales and service is key to driving revenue. And as customer journeys become more complex and more digital than ever, an alignment model like RevOps can ensure all teams are operating with shared goals and strategies.

But while the high-level promise of organizing these teams in RevOps models is attractive, these are still in the early phase of adoption and are being embraced in different forms by different brands.

This article provides an overview of what RevOps is, why organizations are rapidly embracing the concept, and how you can start taking steps toward implementing RevOps in your organization. We’ll cover:

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

What is RevOps?

RevOps brings together people, processes, and data from across various departments in an organization, aligning them on three common goals::

  • Increasing profits by maximizing customer conversion and profit margin on sales. 
  • Cutting costs across various departments.
  • Finding new opportunities for revenue generation.

With RevOps, you have a dedicated function solely focused on analyzing and overseeing revenue maximization opportunities across the entire organization and customer life cycle.

What’s causing the rise in RevOps?

Traditionally, disconnected sales and marketing teams were the norm and seemed to be working well enough. Each department was expected to work toward meeting its own goals with little to no involvement in the financial and operational planning of another department.

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However, this resulted in frequent miscommunication, duplicated efforts, and inconsistencies. Not to mention it only gets messier as you scale up and provide more offerings. There was a clear need for a better, more comprehensive business function that can maximize marketing budgets and user experience without causing big dents in the company’s operational budget.

RevOps is the perfect solution for this because it: 

  • Helps cut costs and save on the company’s overall expenditure. 
  • Looks for new opportunities for revenue generation.
issues revops is designed to tackle

How to ensure your RevOps team is successful

Revenue operations, like any other business function, needs to be implemented properly or else it runs the risk of failure. A survey of 270 B2B professionals in the US by RevOps automation vendor Openprise suggests RevOps is falling short and has yet to solve the long-established problem of aligning sales and marketing teams. So, how do you ensure your RevOps strategy is successful?

Let’s start with their fundamental structure. RevOps aims to link marketing, sales, and customer success. Both that doesn’t mean the entirety of those teams is linked into one gargantuan RevOps team. Rather, RevOps teams are compiled by linking key operations talent from within sales and marketing and organizing them into a single operating team.

The success of your RevOps team relies on their ability to act on three important pillars.

Strategy

The RevOps team’s job is to ease processes, find more efficient connections between the siloed departments, and detect pain points. It can do this by strategizing actionable, well-defined plans that are also goal-oriented and effectively communicated throughout the organization. 

Keeping your internal and external stakeholders in the loop and ensuring all departments work toward a common goal can help them make better decisions. The RevOps team is also expected to run regular analyses which evaluate market trends and opportunities. These can then be used to shape your business strategies and the actions of different departments. Simply put, supply your RevOps team with tons of market data. It’ll help them make better-informed decisions.

Process

Your RevOps team is also in charge of ensuring that all areas of the organization are running smoothly. A well-defined strategy leads to a smooth business process that ensures maximum efficiency and minimal usage of money and manpower. It’s up to the RevOps team to develop a smooth business process, communicate clearly with all teams involved, and regularly assess each step for effectiveness and potential areas of improvement.

If steps of the process are missed, or stages are out of order, it could ultimately result in inefficiency, delays, added costs, and customer dissatisfaction.

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Insights

Insights allow for a consistent feedback loop regarding the above-mentioned strategies and processes. It provides answers to the questions: What are we doing? Is that working for the company? Is there scope for improvement? What other aspects of the strategy and process could be influencing our outcomes?

As mentioned above, industry insights are all about good data. These insights inform your RevOps team of current trends and how (and to what extent) they can be leveraged to help your business. Ultimately, RevOps is about finding and maximizing business opportunities.


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The benefits of RevOps implementation

People, processes, and information working in isolation within an organization can lead to many problems like duplicated efforts, miscommunication, inconsistencies, and inaccurate financial projections. Here’s how RevOps can help solve this:

  • Alignment: By bringing together customer-facing departments like sales, marketing, and customer service, businesses can focus on shared goals across departments. It can also ensure that the results of every campaign and customer initiative are measurable from beginning to end.
  • Simplification: Employing RevOps simplifies collaboration, removes conflicts and silos amongst departments, and allows for better communication and data to support team members, empowering them to make better decisions and achieve better outcomes. This boosts overall efficiency and creates a better customer experience. 
  • More accuracy: Forecasting also becomes more accurate, as information is accessible across departments. Having a special RevOps team can make it easier for different teams to collaborate and come up with robust business strategies.
  • More strategic use of technology: RevOps can help a company make better use of its technological resources. It can increase conversion, shorten sales cycles, and improve forecast accuracy by using AI and automation to boost accountability across the customer-facing teams.
  • Better culture: When you use RevOps to bring teams together and share information, you’re redirecting to transparency and data-driven teamwork. There is a common goal and measurable results that everyone can work toward, preventing conflicts regarding blame or credit.

Ultimately, all of these benefits result in higher success rates and shorter sales cycles, which, in turn, translates to higher revenue and growth.

Frequently asked questions about RevOps

Here are some of the most popular questions marketers ask regarding RevOps.

What is the difference between RevOps and Sales Ops?

Sales operations focus on facilitating sales functions and allowing sales representatives to focus on selling.

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On the other hand, revenue operations is about making the entire revenue-generating side of the business more effective at what they do. It works by centralizing four previously disconnected departments, including sales operations, marketing operations, customer success operations, and systems. RevOps is not only about achieving revenue goals but also about providing a positive experience for employees and customers.

What problems does RevOps solve?

Although RevOps focuses on maximizing brand revenue, its benefits go beyond this function. A well-trained RevOps team can resolve a whole host of problems, from improving data quality to building more sustainable work processes.

RevOps builds processes at every stage. RevOps teams help brands unify processes across every department by aligning their functions with campaign goals. Aligning these processes can also help prevent discrepancies in communication, helping craft a consistent and excellent experience for customers. 

It addresses inconsistent data and duplicated efforts. RevOps can help marketers identify data issues such as duplicate contacts, inconsistent records, and more. This can help it track the flow of (and any leaks in) revenue throughout the organization.

It breaks down departmental and data silos. RevOps facilitates the breakdown of company silos by tying the revenue success of every department together. It can help resolve disputes between departments by creating a collaborative mindset with a unified goal.

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How do you measure the success of RevOps?

​​RevOps is a collaborative, customer-centric approach to maximizing a business’s revenue potential and minimizing leaks. To measure how well your RevOps team is doing, you should turn toward a constant feedback loop and transparent sharing of information. However, the size of your venture and the length of the project would also play a role in gauging RevOps success. 

Ideally, you can track progress by assessing your short-term and long-term revenue goals. You can align short-term goals with your company’s strategies, which can then be divided into actionable parts. The outcome of these actions can be measured, with reference to your goals, through a goal-setting framework.

Long-term goals are slightly more complicated to measure and involve various analyses, such as evaluating your pricing, competition, sales funnel, and churn:

Pricing analysis. Knowing your company’s pricing history can help you understand how customers view your product. It can also help you understand whether you can increase prices without losing customers.

Competitor analysis. It’s also helpful to understand what your competitors are doing. This doesn’t have to influence your pricing, but it can help you reevaluate your selling strategy and revisit your value proposition.

Sales funnel analysis. This allows you to focus on revenue leaks by identifying the barriers to successful conversions. Knowing this information can help your team understand why there is a drop-off at a certain stage and take corrective measures.

Churn analysis. This helps you understand why customers aren’t coming back for repeat business. It may be the case that you have a solid selling strategy, but your product just isn’t good enough. If that is the case, it makes sense to invest time in improving your product before trying to sell more.

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How to make the transition to RevOps

According to Gartner, 75% of the top companies in the world (in terms of growth) will deploy a RevOps model by 2025. Plus, the number of “director of revenue operations” and “VP of revenue operations” job titles is rapidly increasing. 

Are you wondering how you can join the ever-increasing number of companies using RevOps? Here are a few ways: 

Audit your processes to find areas of disconnect between departments. Gather and align all your existing data with your customer’s lifecycle stage and create a plan to fill in any gaps. Audit the technology you use in each of your customer-facing departments to ensure that they’re accurately tracking data.

Define your lifecycle stage definitions for your team. Evaluate your data to ensure you’re getting insights into the entire 360-degree customer journey and the financial health of your business. In addition, regularly audit your tech stack to identify and combat any redundancies and discrepancies, and brief your team about the impact RevOps processes have on various aspects of a company’s revenue.

Improve your customer experience. Put together a plan for improving customer acquisition, relying on inbound sales strategies, follow-up emails, and outbound sales outreach emails. Build a RevOps dashboard that highlights your current problem areas.

Maintain consistency with your RevOps growth strategy. Set regular RevOps check-ins to maintain alignment by reinforcing revenue and growth goals with marketing, sales, and service heads to ensure that they’re all on the same page. Create and follow an implementation plan to boost the adoption and optimization of your RevOps strategy.

Resources for learning more about RevOps

Maximizing revenue operations for your organization is no simple task. But, with a qualified team and the right assets, marketers will have a greater chance of achieving their goals.

Here are some helpful RevOps resources to help you choose the best solutions for your organization:

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About The Author

Akshat Biyani is a Contributing Editor to MarTech, a former analyst who has a strong interest in writing about technology and its effect on marketing.



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MARKETING

8 major email marketing mistakes and how to avoid them

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8 major email marketing mistakes and how to avoid them

As email marketers, we know we need to personalize the messages we send to subscribers and customers. I can’t think of a single statistic, case study or survey claiming an email program of one-to-everyone campaigns outperforms personalization.

Instead, you’ll find statistics like these:

  • 72% of customers will engage only with personalized messages (Wunderkind Audiences, formerly SmarterHQ)
  • 70% of consumers say that how well a company understands their individual needs affects their loyalty (Salesforce)
  • 71% of customers are frustrated by impersonal shopping experiences (Segment)

But what marketers often don’t understand, especially if they’re new to personalization, is that personalization is not an end in itself. Your objective is not to personalize your email campaigns and lifecycle messages. 

Rather, your objective is to enhance your customer’s experience with your brand. Personalization is one method that can do that, but it’s more than just another tactic. 

It is both an art and a science. The science is having the data and automations to create personalized, one-to-one messages at scale. The art is knowing when and how to use it.

We run into trouble when we think of personalization as the goal instead of the means to achieve a goal. In my work consulting with marketers for both business and consumer brands, I find this misunderstanding leads to eight major marketing mistakes – any of which can prevent you from realizing the immense benefits of personalization.

Mistake #1. Operating without an overall personalization strategy

I see this all too often: marketers find themselves overwhelmed by all the choices they face: 

  • Which personalization technologies to use
  • What to do with all the data they have
  • How to use their data and technology effectively
  • Whether their personalization efforts are paying off

This stems from jumping headfirst into personalization without thinking about how to use it to meet customers’ needs or help them solve problems. 

To avoid being overwhelmed with the mechanics of personalization, follow this three-step process:

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  • Start small. If you aren’t using personalization now, don’t try to set up a full-fledged program right away. Instead, look for quick wins – small areas where you can use basic personalized data to begin creating one-to-one messages. That will get you into the swing of things quickly, without significant investment in time and money. Adding personal data to the body of an email is about as basic as you’ll get, but it can be a start.
  • Test each tactic. See whether that new tactic helps or hurts your work toward your goal. Does adding personal data to each message correlate with higher clicks to your landing page, more conversion or whatever success metric you have chosen?
  • Optimize and move on. Use your testing results to improve each tactic. Then, take what you learned to select and add another personalization tactic, such as adding a module of dynamic content to a broadcast (one to everyone) campaign. 

Mistake #2. Not using both overt and covert personalization

Up to now, you might have thought of in specific terms: personalized subject lines, data reflecting specific actions in the email copy, triggered messages that launch when a customer’s behavior matches your automation settings and other “overt” (or visible) personalization tactics.

“Covert” personalization also employs customer preference or behavior data but doesn’t draw attention to it. Instead of sending an abandoned-browse message that says “We noticed you were viewing this item on our website,” you could add a content module in your next campaign that features those browsed items as recommended purchases, without calling attention to their behavior. It’s a great tactic to use to avoid being seen as creepy.

Think back to my opening statement that personalization is both an art and a science. Here, the art of personalization is knowing when to use overt personalization – purchase and shipping confirmations come to mind – and when you want to take a more covert route. 

Mistake #3. Not maximizing lifecycle automations

Lifecycle automations such as onboarding/first-purchase programs, win-back and reactivation campaigns and other programs tied to the customer lifecycle are innately personalized. 

The copy will be highly personal and the timing spot-on because they are based on customer actions (opting in, purchases, downloads) or inactions (not opening emails, not buying for the first time or showing signs of lapsing after purchasing). 

Better yet, these emails launch automatically – you don’t have to create, schedule or send any of these emails because your marketing automation platform does that for you after you set it up. 

You squander these opportunities if you don’t do everything you can to understand your customer lifecycle and then create automated messaging that reaches out to your customers at these crucial points. This can cost you the customers you worked so hard to acquire, along with their revenue potential.

Mistake #4. Not testing effectively or for long-term gain

Testing helps you discover whether your personalization efforts are bearing fruit. But all too often, marketers test only individual elements of a specific campaign – subject lines, calls to action, images versus no images, personalization versus no personalization  – without looking at whether personalization enhances the customer experience in the long term.

How you measure success is a key part of this equation. The metrics you choose must line up with your objectives. That’s one reason I’ve warned marketers for years against relying on the open rate to measure campaign success. A 50% open rate might be fantastic, but if you didn’t make your goal for sales, revenue, downloads or other conversions, you can’t consider your campaign a success.

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As the objective of personalizing is to enhance the customer journey, it makes sense then that customer lifetime value is a valid metric to measure success on.  To measure how effective your personalization use is, use customer lifetime value over a long time period – months, even years – and compare the results with those from a control group, which receives no personalization. Don’t ignore campaign-level results, but log them and view them over time.

(For more detailed information on testing mistakes and how to avoid them, see my MarTech column 7 Common Problems that Derail A/B/N Email Testing Success.)

Mistake #5. Over-segmenting your customer base

Segmentation is a valuable form of personalization, but it’s easy to go too far with it. If you send only highly segmented campaigns, you could be exclude – and end up losing because of failure to contact – many customers who don’t fit your segmentation criteria. That costs you customers, their potential revenue and the data they would have generated to help you better understand your customer base.

You can avoid this problem with a data-guided segmentation plan that you review and test frequently, a set of automated triggers to enhance the customer’s lifecycle and a well-thought-out program of default or catch-all campaigns for subscribers who don’t meet your other criteria. 

Mistake #6. Not including dynamic content in general email campaigns

We usually think of personalized email as messages in which all the content lines up with customer behavior or preference data, whether overt, as in an abandoned-cart message, or covert, where the content is subtly relevant.

That’s one highly sophisticated approach. It incorporates real-time messaging driven by artificial intelligence and complex integrations with your ecommerce or CRM platforms. But a simple dynamic content module can help you achieve a similar result. I call that “serendipity.”  

When you weave this dynamic content into your general message, it can be a pleasant surprise for your customers and make your relevant content stand out even more. 

Let’s say your company is a cruise line. Customer A opens your emails from time to time but hasn’t booked a cruise yet or browsed different tours on your website. Your next email campaign to this customer – and to everyone else on whom you have little or no data – promotes discounted trips to Hawaii, Fiji and the Mediterranean.

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Customer B hasn’t booked a cruise either, but your data tells you she has browsed your Iceland-Denmark-Greenland cruise recently. With a dynamic content module, her email could show her your Hawaii and Mediterranean cruise offers – and a great price on a trip to Iceland, Denmark and Greenland. Fancy that! 

An email like this conveys the impression that your brand offers exactly what your customers are looking for (covert personalization) without the overt approach of an abandoned-browse email.

Mistake #7. Not using a personal tone in your copy

You can personalize your email copy without a single data point, simply by writing as if you were speaking to your customer face to face. Use a warm, human tone of voice, which ideally should reflect your brand voice. Write copy that sounds like a one-to-one conversation instead of a sales pitch. 

This is where my concept of “helpful marketing” comes into play. How does your brand help your customers achieve their own goals, solve their problems or make them understand you know them as people, not just data points?  

Mistake #8. Not personalizing the entire journey

Once again, this is a scenario in which you take a short-sighted view of personalization – “How do I add personalization to this email campaign?” – instead of looking at the long-term gain: “How can I use personalization to enhance my customer’s experience?”

Personalization doesn’t stop when your customer clicks on your email. It should continue on to your landing page and even be reflected in the website content your customer views. Remember, it’s all about enhancing your customer’s experience.

What happens when your customers click on a personalized offer? Does your landing page greet your customers by name? Show the items they clicked? Present copy that reflects their interests, their loyalty program standing or any other data that’s unique to them?  

Personalization is worth the effort

Yes, personalization takes both art and science into account. You need to handle it carefully so your messages come off as helpful and relevant without veering into creepy territory through data overreaches. But this strategic effort pays off when you can use the power of personalized email to reach out, connect with and retain customers – achieving your goal of enhancing the customer experience.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Kath Pay is CEO at Holistic Email Marketing and the author of the award-winning Amazon #1 best-seller “Holistic Email Marketing: A practical philosophy to revolutionise your business and delight your customers.”

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