A huge trend within the SaaS industry at the moment is the emergence of the Revenue Operations (RevOps) role. The RevOps role unifies and reduces friction between the Sales, Marketing & Customer Success departments. This involves streamlining processes and the way in which tech is used across each of these departments. The end goal is to create a digestible stream of data that can be understood in the context of it’s inferred contribution to revenue. The RevOps role redefines historic operations roles; making all formerly indirect revenue tasks more revenue-driven. For a longer explanation of what the RevOps role entails, head here.
So you may be wondering, do we need a RevOps role within our organization? Maybe not, it depends on where you are in your lifecycle as a company. However, if you don’t have a dedicated RevOps executive, I believe that someone should try to adopt the Revenue Operations mindset. This means taking a bit of responsibility for unifying the sales, marketing and operations departments in order to maximise revenue streams. RevOps is deemed to have a major impact on revenue success, transforming the way organisations operate. It would therefore make sense for everyone within the organisation to adopt the Rev Ops mindset to some degree.
I believe that if sales development reps adopted a RevOps mindset, or in other words, better understood what restricts and what enables the flow of revenue throughout the whole organisation, they’d find it easier to hit their targets.
Below you will find 3 recommendations for how sales development reps (can also be applied to Marketing and Customer Success) can adopt a RevOps mindset.
1. Data-informed decision making
When engaged in revenue-driven activities like prospecting, cold calling or social selling it can be difficult to see the importance of tracking specific metrics or using your CRM to record data. This data, however, is essential and often forms the back-bone of strategic decisions that influence the way the sales team operates.
For example, I recently heard a sales leader talk about the importance of recording and tracking accurate data for the overall success of his sales team. Through tracking call-connection rates, he was able to observe a dip in the number of prospects connecting on calls throughout Q3 and Q4. Times that had proven to be optimal in the past, were no longer producing the best call-connection rates. He realised that he needed to update the team’s outreach strategy to align with what this new data was telling him. He assumed that the changes were COVID-19 related, like changes in working hours due to remote-working. From this, he was able to make decisions that boosted call connection rates, increased the number of meetings booked and resulted in the sales development team exceeding their targets with minimal additional effort on their behalf.
So using this example, we can see how accurate data informs good strategic decision-making. The failure to record data accurately leads to poor strategic decision-making (which will eventually bite you in the butt when you find it hard to hit your targets).
The data you are expected to record and track regularly will help managers know which activities are helping you hit your targets and are therefore worth spending more time on. But, recording data isn’t enough. Data and insights need to be shared throughout the organisation quickly and efficiently so that incremental changes can be applied. It is often the small changes that lead to exponential improvements in outcomes. Therefore, take the responsibility upon yourself to share your data and insights with your team as soon as possible. Your insights, if applied properly, could really help boost the company’s performance.
Recommendation 1: Record data accurately and share data quickly
2. Automating processes with a RevOps mindset
Similar to recording and tracking data, having a birds-eye perspective of the whole process – from initial contact with prospects, to closing and then to regular account management or customer success efforts – can be difficult for a sales development representative who is on the front line. So, how to see the bigger picture? Well, RevOps incorporates the breaking down of silos within an organisation. So, try and schedule time with your Account Executives, the Marketing team and the Customer Success team to understand more about their processes and the impact of those on the overall success of the organisation. When you do this, you’ll have a better understanding of how your efforts fit in and contribute. You will also want to become more efficient in your own daily pipeline building activities.
At times your longing for process efficiency will only be satisfied through automation. It’s vital that sales is personal, real and authentic in order to build trust, but that doesn’t mean you need to avoid automation. If harnessed correctly, automation can increase efficiencies immeasurably. Automation can be used for emails, follow-up emails, scheduling calls and meetings, logging prospecting activities and prospect’s data, lead scoring and lead enrichment, deal creation and management, and more. Regardless of the automation that you choose, the important thing is that your motivation to incorporate automation comes from the RevOps interdepartmental perspective. There’s no doubt that the incorporation of automation will reduce the time spent on daily process inefficiencies and therefore, will help you hit your targets.
Recommendation 2: Smash silos through understanding the whole customer journey and incorporate automation
3. Create a Personal Forecast
Provided you have the accurate data, you will be able to gauge the likelihood of achieving your targets for the month or even the quarter through a personal forecast. If your conversion rates (from outbound activities calls, emails & messaging) to qualified opportunities ratio is accessible, you should be able to plan your daily activities accordingly. Nothing is certain and there have been plenty of anomalies in basing daily efforts on historical data. However, as mentioned before, the data informs you as to the most effective use of your time and efforts and should therefore be treasured and utilised.
If the data suggests that it takes 40 LinkedIn messages to find a qualified opportunity and you know that you can send at least 30 messages a day, then you can make a personal forecast of 15 qualified leads a month (0.75 qualified leads per day x 20 days per month). Remember, many other activities are involved in finding qualified opportunities, so this won’t be transferrable to you. But, it’s an example of how a personal forecast could be created from your own data and the importance of this forecast should not be underestimated. Such a forecast can give you a forward-thinking perspective and motivate you to be disciplined in your daily outbound activities. It also gives you enough time to adjust what you’re doing and improve your outcomes far before it gets to the end of the quarter. Don’t let the end of the month blindside you by failing to forecast.
Recommendation 3: Analyse and apply data to plan your monthly outcomes