RevOps and Sales Development - The Four Tenets of Success

August 12, 2019 David Dulany

“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.” - Definition of Whatis.com

In working with hundreds of companies of the past few years here at Tenbound, we’ve seen first hand how Revenue Operations (RevOps), as it’s described above, can come together like a well-oiled machine, or fall apart like a beat up old jalopy.

Whether we’re working with micro start-up or an enterprise company, the importance of a well functioning RevOps structure cannot be understated as critical for maximizing investments and streamlining processes. Especially as it relates to Sales Development.

A misaligned system causes wasted time, money and effort. Think of a Rube Goldberg Machine. On the other hand, a well designed RevOps system can be crucial in ensuring SDRs are seamlessly spending their time doing the most important part of their job: having conversations with potential prospects.

This is as opposed to what we see them actually spend their time doing at most companies; endless researching, find their own contact info, calling the wrong prospects, logging notes in separate systems, searching, duplicating processes, stalling out.

Good Sales Development requires the SDRs can enter a state of “flow”, where a system is designed to allow them to focus on perfecting their messaging, tonality and pitch on the phone, in videos and in written communications, as opposed to constantly code switching between researching prospects, doing data entry and being pulled in multiple directions. They need to get in “the zone”. RevOps can help them.

Beyond the distractions a poorly designed system can create, the fact of living in our present era creates a million and one built-in distractions; pinging cell phone alerts, instagram posts, foosball tournaments, office birthday parties etc. It’s hard for anyone to stay focused.

Think of RevOps as the critical system, the backbone, the overall engine to help SDRs stay on track and contribute to the revenue growth you need.

Your RevOps system must be well designed, in-sync and well maintained to produce optimal results. This creates a fantastic opportunity for the new generation of RevOps and Sales Development leaders coming up to step up and really own this process.

Ready to rev up your RevOps?

Here are the 4 main tenets to keep in mind when setting it up or running your RevOps engine:

  • Always map out the overall process strategically, with reporting and efficiently in mind
  • Always identify any gaps in the process and bring them to the forefront continuously
  • Always break down department silos - dogma is not important, practicality is what counts
  • Always ensure goals are aligned - work together toward one mission

Always map out the overall process strategically, with reporting and efficiently in mind

When thinking about creating this machine, start with a blueprint. Think about the factors involved such as inbound interest, lead prioritization, account-based marketing, lead routing, SDR headcount, AE headcount, territories and other considerations. Map it out graphically. At Tenbound we like to use Lucidchart, but even if it’s a whiteboard, layout the structure visually. Then ask yourself, how do we perfect this system? What is working well and what is missing? Are the main players on the same page? How do we start to truly integrate Demand Gen with Marketing Ops with Sales Ops with Cadence tools with our CRM so SDRs can take the info and run with it?

Always identify any gaps in the process and bring them to the forefront continuously

Now, and moving forward, bring in leaders and reps in Marketing, Sales Dev and Sales to look at the visualization and identify where parts are broken or missing. What are we missing here? Do we need better data, more inbound leads, better prioritization, better routing? Are there any big campaigns coming up that will put pressure on the system? Are there any major bottlenecks? How will we address those? Who is going to be responsible for different parts of the campaigns and ensuring the system stays on track?

Always break down department silos - dogma is not important, practicality is what counts

RevOps has no room for silos. The machine has to work seamlessly, and so all involved have to step up and work as a team. Nobody should be in the meeting looking at their Slack messages and dodging responsibility. If any parts of the machine are breaking down (not completed commitments, withholding information, not participating in the process) they need to be counseled. RevOps needs full commitment across the departments. Everyone needs to step up to support it.

Always ensure goals are aligned - work together toward one mission

Everyone should be working toward a number, leading toward an overall revenue goal. RevOps causes you to ask the tough questions. How is marketing going to support Sales Development? How is Sales Development going to take that material and turn it in to appointments for the Sales team? How is the Sales team doing move those appointments to pipeline? Who is going to report wins and learnings back to marketing and even product? No longer is anyone hiding behind vanity metrics, RevOps is about being realistic and practical. And being accountable to the goal.

The key to a killer RevOps program to support Sales Development?

Leadership.

Setting up this program takes a leader (not necessarily with a big title) to set it up, run it and care about it. With a strong leader, RevOps can succeed, and truly empower the SDRs to focus and do better work.

Have you been successful with RevOps? What tenets should we add? Leave a comment!

About the Author

David Dulany

David Dulany has built high-performance Sales Development programs for Glassdoor, OpenDNS, Infer and Act-On Software. At Tenbound, he helps companies start, optimize and turn around Sales Development programs. The Sales Development Conference 2019 is August 23rd in San Francisco. For more information, visit daviddulany.com and tenbound.com.

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