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What’s the Difference between Revenue Operations and Sales Operations?

2021 December 18 15:16 GMT-07:00

The landscape of the workforce is changing. There are new industries emerging. Business processes are further being digitized. That’s why it really is no surprise that there are also new job positions and responsibilities being created each year.

The tech industry is notorious for coming up with out-of-box job titles such as Dream Alchemist or Chief Heart Officer.

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Don’t worry, not all new titles sound straight out of young adult fiction - such as sales operations and revenue operations.

What Is Revenue Operations?

Between the two titles, revenue operations are the more recent ones. While we haven’t found any information as to when this job title was actually coined, we have noticed a rise in revenue operation titles in the past five years.

We understand why. There is nothing more challenging than collaboration between departments. After all, their priorities, even while they do serve the same objectives, can be in conflict most of the time. We believe that the biggest challenge is the different points of view that your team members are coming from. For instance, those in finance may not always understand the budget that the marketing team requires.

Also referred to as RevOps, the revenue operations department and its team members are essentially in charge of breaking down silos between departments and making sure that each is operating to maximize revenue goals.

What is Sales Operations?

On the other hand, sales operations exist to ensure that your sales team is more productive and efficient. They are in charge of streamlining workflows, managing your sales reps, and making sure that sales strategies are being executed without a hitch.

They can also help in managing sales training, utilizing sales tools, and researching other ways to improve your numbers, essentially lifting that burden from your sales team so that they can focus on what’s really important: making sales.

How are they similar?

There’s a reason why revenue operations and sales operations are commonly compared with each other. That’s because they both collaborate with different departments. In a way, they share the same objective too. They help ensure that your company is operating the way it should and that it’s safe from any form of financial risk.

How Are They Different?

The best way to understand the difference between revenue operations and sales operations is to determine the essential contrast between sales and profit. Consider this: high sales don’t always translate to maximized profit. There are various factors that might be holding back your revenue like job satisfaction and customer retention.

Here’s an example. Suppose that you are determining your marketing budget. Sales operations are in charge of working with both the sales and marketing teams to determine the best strategy. Meanwhile, RevOps will take on the responsibility of coordinating with finance, human resources (in the event that new talents are required to put the sales campaign into action), and other departments that will also play the role in the campaign.

Revenue Operations vs. Sales Operations

We’re not saying that the points we have mentioned above are absolute, though. You need to understand that each company has its own definition of revenue operations and sales operations.

We know of some companies that consider them one and the same; that revenue operations are simply an evolved state of sales operations. Meanwhile, others place revenue operations higher in the business hierarchy than sales operations, while also belonging in different tiers. This means that they won’t necessarily work with each other.

For the purposes of this article, though, we believe that it’s best to view them this way:

Sales operations are there for your sales department. They exist to make your sales teams more efficient and productive. You can consider them as the protective shell that protects the core or heart of your business.

On the other hand, revenue operations are there for both your employees and your customers. They ensure a holistically positive customer experience from marketing all the way to fulfillment and customer support. It is also up to them to make sure that all of the departments are united in the same revenue-related goals. Instead of just the core, RevOps look at the bigger picture.

Which one does your company need?

If you’re going to consider the history of when these departments and positions were formed, then it’s only normal to assume that companies need sales operations first before they require revenue operations.

However, there are also other factors to consider, like the size of your organization and the current state of your company.

If you notice that your sales teams are taking a long time analyzing sales data and strategic planning than actually making sales, then it is a good indication that your company needs a sales operations team.

If your sales team is meeting their sales quotas but you feel that there are still processes that can be improved and you don’t know how to go about it, then it’s a sign that you need sales operations.

On the other hand, if you believe that your business processes have hit a ceiling or that they seem outdated and in dire need of modernization, then forming a RevOps team can bring it back to life.

If you think that you have an abundance of business tools but your company isn’t making the most out of them, or that you have an impressive amount of talent in various departments yet they’re not working together towards the same goals, then those are certainly challenges that revenue operations will be able to handle.

Both teams can exist within the same company. In fact, that’s the ideal route for big organizations. That being said, it is also possible for a business to need only one of the two and still meet both sales and revenue goals.

In the end, it will be up to you to determine which of them your company needs more. Either way, operations remain to play a major role in the growth and success of any company. Both sales operations and revenue operations will be a welcome addition to any organization.

Mike Austin

Written by Mike Austin

Mike Austin is a marketing and creative content specialist at Adrack.com and working in the digital marketing industry since 2009. As a conversion-driven marketer, he is passionate about helping businesses expand their online visibility and reach their goals.

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