I’ve built and exited 2 seven figure businesses. I’ve worked with dozens of mid-six figure to mid-seven figure companies, helping them make more money, take home more profit, and be acquired. I hear one thing constantly: “The team doesn’t seem to be after the same goals. No one is working together.”
Sound familiar? No kidding, it’s one of the most common complaints from business owners. Aside from not taking home nearly as much money as they thought they would.
Converting your organization to be obsessed with revenue and everything that touches revenue is a surefire way to get things aligned and profitable. Revenue Operations, or RevOps, breaks down silos and team chaos by shifting the focus away from individuals to a unified mindset that looks at the company as a system which generates revenue.
Brief History of RevOps
I won’t write in detail here because there's already so much content on the history of RevOps. Articles from revops.io, raconteur.net, and forbes.com all have great in-depth histories on where RevOps came from, but in short, RevOps combines the traditional roles of sales, marketing, customer success and finance into a single, unified strategy that can help you take your business to the next level. Read on to learn more about what RevOps is, its key principles and how you can get started.
What are the benefits of RevOps for businesses?
With RevOps, businesses have access to an efficient system that synchronizes their revenue-generating processes for better performance improving the financial bottom line. RevOps makes it easier to identify trends and closely track the success of individual efforts within each department. This deeper level of insight allows businesses to remain agile and make decisions quickly while ensuring they don’t sacrifice accuracy or quality.
Finally, properly aligning a business's teams with a unified RevOps strategy enables them to celebrate collective success more easily and ensure everyone is working towards the same goals. Creating a unified revenue strategy is the natural progression from a past of highly fragmented and often contradictory business units. Heads of sales and marketing are pretty notorious for not working together on unified goals and instead picking what they think is the most important metric or sets of metrics. In the past, they’ve easily siloed themselves and their teams into their respective funnel-focuses.
As far as I can tell from experience and research, it was Hubspot (the reigning kings of sales and marketing SEO) that popularized the transition from funnel to flywheel.
If you want to visualize RevOps in a single graphic, this is the one you should memorize.
How to get started with RevOps in your business
Getting your business started with a RevOps strategy can be daunting, but also extremely beneficial. Begin by accessing your current system and finding out what works and what could use improvement—this gives you a baseline on which to build upon. For a small, founder-led business in the high six figures or mid seven figures, you should consider contracting a fractional CRO to support you on the transition.
From there, create goals that reflect the desired outcome of your RevOps setup, whether that's cost savings, increased efficiency, or streamlined cross-departmental coordination. Finally, involve all stakeholders in the decision-making process; it's important that everyone's voice is heard before proceeding with any changes. With your team's input and an aligned goal for success, RevOps can help your business reach new heights of efficiency and generate lasting results.
One really actionable step I’ve found is to first incorporate the idea of an accountability chart into your business. The accountability chart has been popularized in the book Traction and the EOS System. Shout out to Gino, the author, for leaving this old video up!
By adopting an accountability chart first, you’ll be able to assign the transition to RevOps to team members who can not only competently handle the task but who are able to display a desire to transform the business.
RevOps is Not Just for Large Businesses
If you’re not thinking about your business as an organization that provides delight to your customer which then generates revenue, you’re going to be out-competed by those who are. Customer expectations have never been higher. As both Millenials and Gen-Z move into positions of purchasing power, they’ll expect that customer experience remains at the forefront of every business. If not, they’ll punish those businesses.
For small businesses, that means the dreaded barrage of mass negative reviews. Gartner, a research group, predicts that by 2025 75% of the world’s highest growth companies will employ RevOps as their primary sales tactic to stay ahead of the competition. Search trends on Google continue to ramp up as well. More and more leaders are looking at RevOps as a way to compete.
The key components of a successful RevOps strategy
A successful RevOps strategy is a cornerstone for any business looking to expand its growth. RevOps is an integrated team approach focused on ensuring you can meet current and future goals with maximum efficiency. It combines the traditional roles of Revenue, Strategy, Innovation, Operations and Customer Success into one powerful unified strategy. The key components of a successful RevOps strategy are:
- alignment of vision, processes and data between departments
- creating internal best practices
- integrating automation into processes
- leveraging analytics to measure ROI & KPIs
- ongoing communication & feedback loops
When these components come together in a coherent manner, small businesses can unlock the immense potential within their teams and create raving customers who will advocate your brand.
Actionable Tips for Implementing a Successful RevOps Strategy
I imagine a lot of small business owners read the previous list and just shuttled it into the never ending list of ‘someday.’ So, let’s get a little more actionable on the list above:
- Action: Read the section of the book Traction on the accountability chart and build it into your business.
- Sit down with your 2nd in command and list the top ten most important daily processes your business undertakes. Write 1-5 sub-tasks for each one. Head over to ChatGPT and ask it to make a SOP template for you based on the 10 processes and the 5 sub-tasks of each process. You’ll now have the basic processes detailed.
- Automation is key but it isn’t an easy process to just start. Talk to a few automation experts on how to get started. The most powerful place to start is with customer communication. Get that process automated, smooth, and seamless and you’ll make a real positive impact on long-term value (LTV).
- Analytics is actually easier than you think. You need to sort out the most important KPIs for your business. Don’t start with 10+ metrics, just 3 or 4 should do it. For example:
- Trades services (construction, plumbing, etc.) should be looking at revenue generation per employee and closing time to project. Keeping employees above a minimum revenue threshold and moving projects to the ‘Done’ board are, in my experience, the two best indicators of a profitable company.
- Digital services should be looking at metrics through their funnel. Traffic to site, conversion rate on site, and LTV. That way you can break the funnel into the flywheel: what is your offer? (marketing); how are leads being generated (marketing); how is your team converting (sales); how long are customers staying with you (customer service); and are they referring you to others (customer experience and sales)
- Starting with the accountability chart, as RevOps adoption ramps up, you’ll need to be in communication with your key team members and even more so, ensuring everyone is accountable to the truth of the data coming back in.
Maintaining a successful RevOps strategy over time
RevOps is all about empowering teams to optimize processes and drive key business objectives. Create a roadmap to:
- define goals & align them with stakeholders’ needs
- monitor revenue markers regularly
- leverage automation tools and services
- perform agile optimization of existing operations
In addition, it is also essential to build relevant cross-team collaboration as well as assign clear ownership for every part of the operation. Ultimately, a successful RevOps strategy enables businesses to quickly adapt changes in the market landscape while achieving outstanding performance from their teams.
RevOps is an emerging trend that provides businesses with a comprehensive system for managing their revenue operations. It doesn’t matter if you are a small business or a large multinational one—applying RevOps principles to your organization will lead to improved efficiency, better customer service levels and higher revenues in the long run. All in all, integrating RevOps into your business will create positive outcomes.
Tell me what you think
As a practitioner, I am always interested in how small business owners are using new tools to create more success. How have you seen RevOps applied successfully to small businesses? Reach out to me on LinkedIn and let’s have a conversation!