- The price point for fully online B2B purchases has increased over the last year
- An explosion of marketing, sales, and customer support technology has lead to an increasingly complex tech stack
- That age-old problem of misalignment between sales and marketing
- An increased need for data-driven decision making
- A customer journey isn’t departmental
If you’ve been watching the news, reading any number of the surplus of newsletters, or listening to the ever-growing number of podcasts, you’ve certainly heard about the changes in buying habits in the consumer market. It’s nearly impossible to have missed. Social distancing measures helped to move e-commerce forward some 5 years.
What you might not have heard is that purchasing behaviors in business markets have been changing in many of the same ways. Enterprise and mid-market clients have grown increasingly comfortable making hefty online purchases, demanding similar levels of self-serve and digital interactions most often experienced in consumer markets. Product-led growth, a move towards mainly digital or self-serve interactions with customers, is taking marketing, sales and customer acquisition departments across industries by storm. Many companies are responding to the challenge by creating a new organizational function – Revenue Operation – responsible for the optimization of the end-to-end customer experience.
The function is new, and thus still being defined. With respect to that fact, rather than write a full job rec for RevOps here, we’ve identified 5 pain points the RevOps function solves for. If any of these reasons resonate with you, we suggest you go ahead and take the plunge. Streamlined customer experiences and sales growth awaits.
Reason #1: Increase in Online Sales of High-Priced B2B Products
A 2020 McKinsey Report on the state of the B2B market in the wake of COVID details an increase in the willingness of corporate buyers to make purchases totalling up to $500,000 through digital and completely self-serve channels. With 70-80% of buyers preferring digital and self-serve models of purchasing, the report also details indications from respondents that the move towards a digitized sales process is not temporary. 89% of respondents also note that they expect the adjustments made towards digital channels to last.
Buyers enjoy digitization for a variety of reasons, but three specifically mentioned in the report are savings on expenses, safety, and ease. To adjust for this change, companies have begun to focus heavily on customer experience by creating a RevOps role aimed at optimizing and aligning sales, marketing, and customer success efforts in a digital first acquisition funnel.
Buyers are certainly not the only entity to benefit from the change. Those focused on the increasingly digitized self-serve approach also benefit from increased unit economics with reduction to opex and capex.
Reason #2: Increased Complexity in Tech Stacks Supporting Marketing, Sales and Customer Success
If you’re just hearing about the emergence of RevOps and are yet to be convinced of its efficacy for your company, we’re convinced that this by itself might make the creation of a RevOps function worth it.
No one denies that technology has forever changed the way business is done. Technologies have been built to support most every aspect of an organization. For instance, marketing teams use technology to build and improve everything from infrastructure and data collection to execution and measurement. These technologies are connected to share data, making the marketing’s job a bit easier. This arrangement in a single silo is no problem when reviewing data departmentally, but that changes when marketing, sales, and customer success utilize different technologies that apply different sources and tracking techniques. These differences often result in glaring gaps and conflicting measurements in the customer journey.
Companies are addressing the rampant complexity and misalignment here with the RevOps function. Here, RevOps takes ownership of the systems and processes across the customer journey, as well as data produced to provide a source of truth to make decisions across go-to-market teams. And RevOps isn’t just for large companies, we’re seeing creation of this function in teams SME to Enterprise as early as Series A.
Reason #3: Misalignment between Sales and Marketing
Friction between sales and marketing teams has been consistent for decades, it’s largely thought of as an inherent aspect of business. An article by Sales for Life CEO Jamie Shanks details the differences between marketers and salespeople as being tied to fundamental differences in goals, compensation structure, and risk tolerance.
Differences in goals creates a gap between Sales and Marketing, where marketing teams focus on increasing lead volume through a strategic lens while Sales focuses on reaching clients and closing deals with a transactional approach. Shanks argues both should adopt a customer centric approach, an approach many companies have begun to implement through the adoption of the RevOps function.
RevOps focuses on aligning sales, marketing, and customer success into a concept Saad Shaikh, Head of Revenue Operations at BigPanda, describes RevOps as looking at your “go-to-market as a product with the Chief Revenue Officer as the customer”. The concept refers to an end to end understanding of the customer journey, eliminating gaps, and aligning go-to-market operational efforts to optimize your customer experience.
Reason #4: Increased Need for Data-Driven Decision Making
A 2019 LeanData Report surveyed over 2,500 marketing and sales professionals details the current state of the RevOps function. One of the most important findings in the report, as described in the second reason of this article, is that MarkOps, SalesOps and SuccessOps often operate based on conflicting data points which can make cross functional decision making difficult, to put it mildly. A RevOps function determines the metrics are most important to revenue success, which system they come from and shares the data across the operational teams to ensure decision making is based on the same data.
Reason #5: The Customer Journey is NOT Departmental
You’d be hard pressed to find someone to disagree with us here, but while known in theory, this is practiced less often. LeanData’s 2019 report details that of the ~2,500 marketing and sales professional respondents, 84% agree that marketing, sales, and customer success share responsibility in achieving revenue goals, but only 34% of those same respondents agree that their current organization sufficiently aligns the departments to achieve desired results.
Basile Senesi Sr. Director of Revenue Operations at Fundbox describes the RevOps role as the connective tissue between revenue and go-to-market teams – leaning on an optimized partnership between the marketing, sales and customer success operations.
Rapid growth in digital B2B purchasing, accelerated by COVID-19 has fast forwarded the adoption of the RevOps as more companies look to optimize their go-to-market around the customer experience. Jonnie Cartmill, VP of Sales at SendCloud said it best, “[the] advantage boils down to doing everything right by your customer”.