revenue operations (RevOps)

Revenue operations (RevOps) is the strategic integration of sales, marketing and service departments to provide a better end-to-end view to administration and management, while leaving day-to-day processes within the departments. The holistic approach of revenue ops is designed to break down silos between departments. As digital customer experience evolves, the need for various departments to share information has grown; revenue ops is the strategy to bring them all together and more precisely measure the return on investment (ROI) in those departments.

A revenue ops team or approach can act as the central hub for customer information for the organization, with focus on customer acquisition, bookings, recurring revenue, customer churn and satisfaction, and other customer-centric metrics. IT enables revenue ops with tools such as analytics and AI to discover both trends and opportunities driving revenue streams.

Unlike other, similarly named strategies, like business operations or sales operations, revenue ops focuses on revenue growth, which can include sales operations but also ties in other customer-facing departments, like marketing and service. What revenue operations doesn't include is departments that are more internal, such as human resources (HR) or the legal department. Revenue ops facilitates collaboration between departments that have a direct effect on a company's or organization's revenue.

Importance of revenue ops

The introduction of revenue ops as a term and strategy is relatively new but is tied directly to a changing landscape of how organizations market, sell and serve their customers. Customers now expect a positive online experience. They also expect companies to know about previous interactions and inquiries, without having to repeat details over the course of multiple interactions. Thus, connecting sales, marketing and service teams through revenue ops is a method to meet those customer expectations.

This panel discusses the importance of data
in the broader revenue ops scheme.

With customer information coming from more touchpoints than ever before, revenue ops teams or administrators are tasked with making that data and information collection easy and transparent -- using both technology and organizational strategy.

Revenue ops ties directly to an organization's data, which continues to grow in importance. The main goal of revenue operations is to connect data from sales, marketing and service departments to help provide a better 360-degree customer view before, during and after the sale.

Revenue ops framework

Organizations are starting to adopt revenue ops teams or executives to help manage this strategic coming together of various departments. A company like Salesforce has a RevOps department and an executive reporting to its chief financial officer (CFO). Other methods of a revenue ops framework can include an administrative team, such as management from sales, marketing and service. Other companies have begun adding a chief revenue officer that either reports to the CFO or chief executive officer (CEO).

Software vendors create technology and tools to make it easier for organizations to break down silos within various departments and to better share data and information across the customer-facing departments. Companies like Radius, InsightSquared and Salesforce have tools that claim to improve data integration between departments and remove those silos.

While revenue ops helps bring together sales, marketing and service departments, it can vary depending on the organization as to where the primary focus is for the revenue ops team. Some organizations will focus more on marketing operations to drive revenue, while others will determine more emphasis needs to be put on sales prospecting and others will determine that the service department needs to improve its upsell and cross-sell capabilities.

Benefits of revenue ops

Beyond driving better revenue growth for the organization, the addition of a revenue ops team or strategy has other benefits:

  • Alignment: Bringing customer-facing departments together ensures every campaign and customer initiative has a measurable outcome on the sales funnel from the start of the campaign to post-sale service needs.
  • Creating focus: By bringing together sales, marketing and service, organizations can focus goals across the departments and get each group on the same page with the same endpoint in mind, such as generating leads, closing deals and expanding existing accounts.
  • Simplification: By establishing a revenue ops approach, organizations can remove roadblocks and silos within departments, increasing companywide efficiency and creating a better customer experience.
This was last updated in September 2018

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