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RevOps Strategy
Revenue Operations Team Structure

The mandate of Revenue Operations teams varies from company to company and industry to industry. Company side and quirks of industry specific functions make it impossible to define a universal Revenue Operations team structure.

For example, in the Media industry, AdOps dominates the structure of most rev ops teams and managing data flows through the ecosystem of third party advertising networks and platforms dominates the focus of this team. In SaaS a most predictable model is forming, and it is this industry we will focus on, as SaaS tends to lead the way in defining the future operating models of many more traditional industries.

This article will review the following functions in detail: Sales Ops, Marketing Ops, Customer Success Ops, Billing Ops (sometimes called Finance Ops, but more often a separate function that has a more limited scope).  

Other common Revenue Operations team structures include the management and oversight of a central data warehousing function and the associated business intelligence and data engineering functions.  In larger organizations this is more likely to be carved into its own department (IT, IS or Data).  This can often depend on where the “single source of truth” of revenue and customer data resides.  

Marketing Operations

Responsible for managing the lead lifecycle. Marketing ops typically partners with demand generation/email marketing in order to execute and track marketing campaigns and measure their performance.

Typical processes include (but aren’t limited to):

Lead Lifecycle Management: The process of recording and deploying proper follow-up when a lead engages with a company.  This function includes the following processes:

○        Lead uploads - Uploading new lead lists into your system of record

○        Lead enrichment - Using data enrichment to complete missing lead info or add business demographic details (Zoominfo and Clearbit)

○ Lead-to-account matching - Matching leads to existing accounts in salesforce (allows us to connect leads from accounts we might be targeting via ABM software and outbound sales strategy, or linking support contacts to existing accounts)

Lead scoring - Flagging the hottest leads for sales to follow up with first (MQLs and PQLs), either manually or with a lead scoring tool

○        Lead qualification - Working with sales development representative (SDR) teams to qualify leads for sales for upsell or initial engagement

○        Lead routing - Routing appropriate leads to various sales team reps based on criteria

Shared processes with Demand Gen function include:

  •   Lead nurture processes, re-engagement campaigns, outreach campaign asset management (webinars, content, events tracking)
  • Attribution analysis
  • Own list management, not just for the marketing team, but for any other team that may need to communicate with customers
  • Own integrations marketing automation platform’s integration and data flow  with other platforms such as Salesforce

Typical tech stack components include (but aren’t limited to):

Sales Operations

Responsible for increasing the overall productivity of the sales organization. Sales ops teams also manage sales enablement, sales data (win/loss, velocity, qualitative data collection, contracts, proposals, renewals, communication activity etc.), opportunity stages/funnel process, and strategic planning for budgets, team structure, compensation, performance measurement, and sales process via the sales tech stack.

Typical processes include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Quote to cash: The process of converting closed-won deals to revenue by processing contracts and payment details.
  • Deal desk: The process of efficiently building consensus and approvals for non-standard sales deals among a variety of teams, including sales, legal, finance, and customer success.
  • New customer handoff: The process of arranging the transition of new accounts from the sales cycle into the customer success cycle
  • Forecasting: The process of forecasting future sales based on current and future sales team capacity and pipeline (weighted on pipeline stage and other relevant data points like deal age, lead score, and others)
  • Territory/Vertical/Segment management: The process of divvying up sales teams to assign, and manage/update, based on some strategic approach to organizing the team.  Often this is based on customer size (SMB, Mid Market, and Senior), channel (split into outbound & Inbound), geographic region, or industry vertical
  • Commissions modeling and reporting
  • Enablement: The process of training and enabling sales with appropriate collateral.  Involves content and training plan creation and coordination with product marketing and demand gen teams
  • Sales development/outbound: Sales operations professionals also frequently partner with SDR/BDR teams to coordinate outbound sales motion
  • Maintaining and managing sales systems and tech stack: Negotiating contracts, implementing and integrating the platform, creating processes around it  and training sales reps
  • Evaluating and developing sales processes: Tweaking or creating new sales processes to help the sales org run smoothly and efficiently, while keeping customer experience in mind
  • Reporting: Analyzing sales performance. This includes process performance, sales team performance, individual sales rep performance and creating action items to help the sales team meet their goals

Typical tech stack components include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform (such as Salesforce, hubspot, Copper, Microsoft Dynamics 365)
  • Outbound email/sales intelligence platform (such as Outreach, Salesloft, Dialpad)
  • Configure-price-quote (CPQ) platform (such as Salesforce CPQ)
  • Contract management
  • Conversation intelligence (such as Gong.io and Drift)
  • Sales productivity support tools
  • Third party Integrations platforms
  • Lead routing
  • Lead management tools (for example, data deduping tools, data cleansing, enrichment tools like clearbit/zoominfo, lead sourcing tools like Linkedin Navigator or LinkedIn automation software, contract management platforms such as Iron Clad or pandadoc)

To learn more, read this article about how SalesOps and RevOps interrelate.

Customer Operations

The customer support operations function enables customers to succeed by working closely on specific projects and troubleshooting (often partnering with solutions architects). Customer Ops teams also manage the status of customer accounts for renewal, upsell, or churn via helpdesk, success platforms, and other apps in the customer operations stack.  While not all businesses have this function staffed with CS Reps (for example B2C products commonly are “tech touch” only), many businesses increasingly leverage CS automation to serve customers more effectively.

Typical processes include (but aren’t limited to):

  • CS Helpdesk for tool management, communications automation, and data cleanup
  • Prioritizing helpdesk tickets: Ensuring the most important issues from the highest-priority customers always come first in the queue
  • Logging notes from customer calls and emails: Recording new issues and progress on ongoing projects  and engagement
  • Coordinating renewals and upsells: Working to prevent churn and grow revenue opportunities for existing customers
  • Expansion/Upsell/Renewal opportunities management and forecasting
  • Creating playbooks for customer success and onboarding managers
  • Analyzing touch points throughout the customer lifecycle post sales
  • Tiering CSM teams to help better service our customers via specialization/segmentation
  • Support customer marketing efforts through customer/role segmentation
  • Enabling the CS team

Typical tech stack components include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Helpdesk (such as Zendesk, Freshdesk)
  • Customer success platform (such as Gainsight, Totango) > generally layered on top of a CRM system that handles account data
  • Campaign management platforms (email automation or sales engagement tools like Outbound)
  • Contract/entitlement management (such as PandaDoc, SpringCM)
  • Customer surveys (such as Qualtrics, SurveyMonkey)

Billing Operations  

This function serves to connect the functions of account creation, invoicing, payment processing, collections, and financial reporting.  Occasionally this is owned by a separate Financial Operations function within the finance department, but often it is part of the rev ops team and serves as the connecting layer between the commercial teams and accounting department.

Typical processes include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Customer account and contract data management and validation
  • Price books and SKU/Promo management
  • AR automation (linking account creation and billing data with accounting systems to automate downstream reconciliation and reporting processes)
  • Troubleshoot billing and revenue reporting issues and coordinate data cleanup
  • Dunning & collections
  • Training and enablement for billing support functions

Typical tech stack components include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Payment processors (payment gateways or partner tools such as paypal or stripe)
  • CPQ & contract objects within CRM
  • Invoicing/billing platforms (Zuora, Workday billing, Stripe, etc.)
By Phil Gray

Philip Gray is the COO of Black and White Zebra, a digital publishing and tech company. He hails from rainy Glasgow, Scotland transplanted in not quite as rainy Vancouver, BC, Canada. With 10+ years of experience in leadership and operations in industries that include biotechnology, healthcare, logistics, and SaaS, he applies a considerable broad scope of experience in business that lets him see the big picture. His love for data and all things revenue operations landed him this role as resident big brain for the RevOpsTeam. A business renaissance man with his hands in many departmental pies, he is an advocate of centralized data management, holistic planning, and process automation. An unapologetic buzzword apologist, you can often find him double clicking, drilling down, and unpacking all the things.

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