Whether in politics, athletics, or business, every successful team needs a goal-oriented leader to steer the way. Without leadership, there is a lack of direction, disorganization, and little chance to achieve the desired outcome.
Influential leaders can unite otherwise separate groups to combine resources and work together. In business, joining different sources is feasible with a revenue operations approach.
When discussing RevOps, which combines an organization's marketing, sales, and customer success teams, marketing Ops and Sales Ops are often thrown in the mix.
These three terms continue to baffle business leaders and marketing and sales professionals. They strive to define what they mean clearly and the unique functions and responsibilities that these entail.
In this article, we will explain the differences between these popular but ambiguous terms.
Revenue operations mean different things to different people. However, its core component is unification and collaboration. With a sound revenue operations strategy, an organization can align its departments to ignite its revenue engine.
Organizations that align their revenue engine can grow 12-15 times faster than non-aligned companies and can be up to 34% more profitable.
Alignment facilitates team collaboration across the board. Sharing relevant data and defined metrics, marketing, sales, and customer success professionals can ensure that everyone works toward the same business objectives.
Doug Brown of Business Success Factors shared her organization's insight on revenue operations.
"A successful company does not separate marketing, sales, and operations, but rather, it intertwines them so that they are all working together to help elevate the client experience along the full customer journey. Although each department may have a differentiated role, they all work together in tandem to increase revenue."
These characteristics allow organizations to improve their customer lifetime value (LTV), enhance their operations' efficiency, and involve all customer-facing departments in every stage of the customer's journey.
As revenue operations combine these, it brings sales ops more significant opportunities to connect with potential customers earlier along the buyer's journey and not just when the prospect is almost ready to start talking with the sales team.
In the same way, RevOps gives the marketing operations team more opportunities to involve themselves in the customer journey beyond its initials efforts to attract high-quality leads.
Understanding RevOps, Marketing Ops, and Sales Ops
Under the RevOps umbrella, we find marketing and sales ops. These operational teams, along with customer success, drive a unified strategy to increase business revenue.
Johnathan Partouche of WAGAS Group explains how his company approaches operations.
"Marketing, sales, and revenue operations are mostly siloed activities within a company. Yet at WAGAS, we have nurtured these operations teams' seamless alignment by creating a culture of knowledge sharing within stakeholders to nurture efficient communications between our companies' units & customers.
The most important aspects of achieving have been to create trust between teams, build a comprehensive repository of documentation, define common GOSTs (goals, objectives, strategies, tactics) & control processes with recurrent feedback loops."
For WAGAS Group, the continual collaboration between operations teams has been the key to building trust and keeping track of the cross-departmental objectives and strategies implemented.
Regardless of budget limitations, any organization can carry out a similar approach that fits its capabilities and needs.
Sales operations is responsible for a wide range of functions, including sales strategy and automation, lead management, sales training, optimizing the sales process, and data analytics. It is also tasked with establishing and maintaining sales practices that nurture sales growth.
The purpose of sales ops is to decrease friction in the sales process, enabling team member’s productivity to close more deals and generate more revenue for the organization.
No two sales ops teams are the same – their structure and functionalities will differ according to the size of the organization they belong to and how far along in the sales learning process.
Sales operations can be divided into four subcategories, and each of these will handle a range of capabilities. These responsibilities are typically determined by sales management.
- Data assessment
- Sales projection
- Sales optimization
- Defining to achieve goals
- Process evaluation
- Sales modeling
- Task assignments
- Use of a unified CRM with other departments
- Tool integration
- Interdepartmental communication management
- Lead management
- Compensation & incentive packages
- Sales policy & incentive packages
- Identifying Sales KPIs and metrics
- Hiring & onboarding
- Knowledge base management
- Market intelligence
- Service level agreements
Fully functional sales ops teams have the resources and workforce to create, implement, and execute a sales process capable of generating consistent sales. The extent to which a sales ops team is successful will depend on it overcoming its sales learning curve and how knowledgeable it is about its product(s), service(s), and target audience(s).
Successful sales processes are tried and proven to bring in new customers and can be devised into a template. These templates serve as reference points that other sales staff can refer to when trying to overcome challenges to closing a deal.
Sales Ops vs. Sales Enablement
The terms sales operations and sales enablement are often interchanged. This can lead to confusion regarding digital marketing and operations professionals confused over the differences between the two.
As stated before, sales ops teams are generally responsible for analyzing sales data and other information relevant to sales and generate and perfect sales strategies. Every decision made by sales management needs to align with the organization's revenue goals.
Sales ops are involved in every aspect of the buyer's journey. From the first touchpoint a potential customer has with your brand down to the delight stage in which the end goal is to gain customer loyalty, sales can play a role.
Sales ops are concerned with keeping the sales department alive – its strategy, negotiation, and closing of sales.
On the other hand, sales enablement is predominately involved in ensuring that sales team members have the knowledge required to fulfill their responsibilities. Enablement teams are responsible that everyone in sales has the resources they need to close more deals and increase revenue.
Sales ops and sales enablement teams should not overlap in responsibilities nor compete with each other. To avoid this, each department should assign itself independent goals.
Marketing operations define the process of strategizing and optimizing, while marketing ops management defines how that happens. This includes keeping track of the efficiency of all marketing activities.
Like sales ops, an organization's marketing operations department's functionalities will largely depend on the organization.
For example, a small company could depend on its revenue operations team to oversee all of the technology that marketing, sales, and customer success use to get the job done. While this may be a challenging task to fulfill, organizations with limited budgets have to adjust.
On the other hand, an enterprise with a sound budget could put the marketing ops team in charge of the technology and processes need to make the marketing team run effectively.
As a pillar to revenue operations, marketing ops teams are a focal point. As the image above illustrates, marketing operations is a combination of marketing, and IT functions.
These two disciplines come together to create marketing technology and infrastructure and supplier management.
Marketing Operations Management
Under the umbrella of marketing operations management, marketing ops addresses all aspects of a fully functional marketing department. Its goal is to make all marketing activities efficient and cost-effective.
This includes creating, implementing, and improving marketing strategies, marketing campaigns, content planning and management, and analyzing results – all aimed at delivering a better customer experience at every touchpoint of the buyer's journey.
Marketing Technology and Infrastructure
This refers to the technology, including the tools, platforms, and other software a marketing ops team requires to fulfill responsibilities.
Examples of this technology include the company website, the CRM used across all departments, social media, ABM marketing tactics, data analytics, and platforms to advertise the company brand.
Supplier management is the process that ensures maximum value is received for the money an organization pays to its suppliers.
In a marketing operations environment, supplier management refers to identifying, selecting, and managing the suppliers that an organization does business with. This includes ensuring that the technology utilized is efficient at planning, executing, and managing marketing campaigns.
Why you need Marketing Operations
Often, marketing ops are tasked with overseeing the processes, ranging from access to data, permissions, user data, lead generation, and email marketing.
By aligning these processes and the goals, technology, and data that other departments are also prioritizing, marketing ops can ensure that it addresses the customer journey in the best way it can from a marketing standpoint.
When all of these elements are in place, marketing operations can positively influence RevOps strategies, ensuring that as far as marketing is concerned, potential customers will be taken care of as they move along the customer journey.
The difference between RevOps, Sales Ops, and Marketing Ops
Revenue operations center on creating and implementing a go-to-market strategy and aligning the people, resources, and objectives of diverse departments within the same organization.
It strives to eliminate friction between all teams and oversee all teams' processes, tools, technology, and strategies to drive revenue.
RevOps oversees an organization's revenue functions, including marketing, sales, customer success, finance, and product development.
Sales and marketing ops often develop into revenue operations because they all serve the same goal: to drive revenue. This divergence happens when sales ops laser-focuses on driving revenue through sales activities and marketing ops through marketing endeavors.