Getting higher ROI from RevOps for B2B software companies
Whether you have bootstrapped your way to high-growth or have a mature software company with multiple acquisitions, you have made some kind of investment in technology to manage your sales and/or marketing function(s). In the early days, you probably chose a less expensive Customer Relationship Management (CRM), because it’s what you could afford. Larger, mature companies have likely made a sizable investment in CRM and Marketing Automation (MA) technology. But just having technology – whatever it is – does not give you a Revenue Operations foundation.
What do I mean? “Revenue Operations,” or “RevOps,” is a particular discipline that aligns your processes from marketing to sales to customer success, accelerates growth and optimizes marketing and sales investments to deliver higher ROI. Unfortunately, despite the investment, your CRM and MA systems will not give you what you need to create a RevOps foundation. If you find yourself throwing up your hands and saying, “I just want the stuff I have to work,” you are not alone. The good news is the systems you have invested in CAN work with the right RevOps approach.
Creating intelligent RevOps in your organization requires a specific approach that involves process definition, systems configuration, metrics-based optimization, and organizational change – regardless of the systems you’ve chosen. Let’s go through these in order.
RevOps Process Definition
Creating an efficient RevOps process is both an art and a science. While we have templated best practices from decades of RevOps process consulting, there is always something unique about the organization or the resources that requires some finessing. The most critical part of creating a great RevOps process is SIMPLIFICATION. I always think of the Mark Twain quote, “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” Making a process simple requires deep understanding of the essential elements. For RevOps, some of the essential elements include defining separate revenue processes, the right number of process stages with entry/exit criteria per process, consistent stage ownership among teams, well-defined handoffs, and service level agreements.
Most companies we work with suffer from one or more of these issues:
- The processes are not well defined
- The processes are not configured in the system
- The processes are not followed
RevOps requires well-defined processes to be configured in the system to make it easy for everyone to follow. Which gets us to Configuration.
RevOps Systems Configuration
There is no gentle way to say this – you have to know what you are doing to configure a CRM and MA properly for RevOps. If you don’t know what answers your company will need from your data 5 years from now, then you shouldn’t be tasked with configuring these systems. It matters.
It is not that configuring the systems properly for RevOps is complicated. It’s actually not, if you know what you are doing; but systems can be configured in so many ways that every way is “not complicated.” I might have complicated that thought – but small decisions in how fields are related or calculated, or what custom fields are created in the first place, can make a huge impact down the road. I’ve seen it so many times – the system administrator made a seemingly smart choice in calculating a field, but it prevented historic trending so we can’t see basic reports that every Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) will want to see. No wonder the CRO says, “this system is garbage, it can’t even produce this report.” He or she is right, the system can’t today, because of how it was configured 2 years ago.
So fair warning – you can either get a RevOps professional early on to architect your systems properly, or you can hit a wall in a few years which requires you to reimplement. In addition, the latter also means you may not have historic data for performance visibility.
Here’s where the major rub comes. You’re going to need an analytics tool. No CRM I’ve ever worked with can produce the right metrics in the right context, unless you want to build a custom system yourself, or hire a consultant to build and maintain it for you. However, an analytics tool is also not enough. Why? Because typical sales and marketing analytics tools will tell you your current performance – even trends in your current performance over time. I know, you’re scratching your head…. That’s what I need to see, right?
Not if you want to optimize your process and know where to focus first. Is your performance good or bad? Is a larger negative trend in one metric more important than a smaller negative trend in another? That’s the question!
You won’t be able to answer that question unless you have something to compare your performance against. You need a RevOps Model that shows you what your performance needs to be at every step of the RevOps process in order to achieve your bookings, revenue, and growth targets. If you don’t have a model, you don’t know where to focus your resources to get the most impact.
I have a lot more to say about the modeling… But let’s look at organizational change.
You know you’ve created a valuable RevOps foundation when you run your meetings based on RevOps dashboards, and planning becomes a “what-if” scenario analysis. You will clearly see where investments need to be made based on deviations of actual performance against model. You will also no longer guess when setting next year’s bookings targets and hope that you will meet them, because you will know exactly what targets you will hit. When everyone buys into the plan, because it is based on data, not based on opinion, team dynamics profoundly change. Check out some of our other blogs to explore the topic of RevOps culture.
What about the CRM?
Back to the topic of this blog. Now that you see what is required to create a RevOps-based growth engine, the CRM you choose is trivial. Why? Consider this:
- Every CRM will capture the data required to optimize performance against a RevOps model.
- No CRM itself will provide the visibility required to optimize RevOps.
So, keep your CRM. Add on a RevOps platform with built-in process, modeling, and optimization analytics. Make sure you partner with a RevOps solution provider that has deep expertise in process, proper systems configuration, and organizational change. This is by far the higher ROI approach – faster, less expensive, and higher impact on growth.
Request a demo and see how ayeQ has pioneered this approach to RevOps.