The idea of revenue operations (RevOps) began to circulate in the early 2000s as organizations started to experience a shift in buyer behavior and expectations. Businesses began to realize that siloed operations functions were not optimized to deliver the value that buyers and customers required. Recognizing this shift, Forrester sought to understand the perceived and experienced benefits of establishing a RevOps capability. In Forrester’s 2021 Revenue Operations And Buying Groups Survey, we asked respondents, “How have benefits of your operations function most impacted your organization overall?” The top three impacts selected included:
- Improved revenue growth (41% of respondents selected).
- Improved customer satisfaction (36% selected).
- Increased profitability (35% selected).
On June 1, 2023, Forrester launched its Forrester Decisions for Revenue Operations service and officially defines revenue operations as:
A highly configured, iterative commercial execution strategy designed to maximize customer value and company performance. Revenue operations unifies and optimizes data, processes, technology, and talent to better serve the customer lifecycle.
In preparation for the launch of Forrester’s revenue operations service, we interviewed leaders across marketing, sales, and revenue operations. We sought to understand why revenue operations has dramatically grown over the past few years and what assumptions these leaders were making about revenue operations. We also asked about the benefits that organizations were seeing from establishing and growing a revenue operations culture, mindset, and organization. While we heard a multitude of benefits, most of them can be allocated to one of these three categories:
- Improved revenue predictability. “A unified revenue operations team comes with a single answer and source of truth. This prevents meetings where there are multiple, different answers to the same question,” said Josh VanGeest, VP of revenue operations at Clari. By aligning RevOps functions across marketing, sales, and customer success, organizations can better access and leverage data to glean insights that allow leaders to predict revenue streams and fluctuations more accurately. As a result, better strategic business decisions, both in the short term and long term, can be made.
- Accelerated organizational agility and efficiency. “You’re not going to be close enough to the business being functionally aligned in silos. You’re not going to be able to move fast enough anymore,” said Carolyn Mellor, SVP of revenue strategy and operations at Alteryx. Organizations with a revenue operations function are reporting greater organizational agility, innovation, and accountability. These organizations can rationalize their technology stacks across the revenue ecosystem because shared metrics are driving decision-making. They can make more strategic investments in resources and talent, and they are able to evaluate, refine, and implement processes that support the workflows across the revenue ecosystem.
- Increased customer value. “We’re squeezing as much as we can out of the current model. Our customers are telling us to do better … we’re realizing the importance of making sure that all of the revenue functions are as close to the customer as possible,” said Mark Bryan, VP of revenue operations with TriNet. Buyers and buying groups are increasingly embarking upon a digital journey, absent of a seller or sales team, until well into the buyer journey. The ability to “see” the entire buyer journey, connect those interactions, and convey the insights to sales and customer success delivers meaningful (and measurable) value for buyers and customers and for your organization to continue to improve.
Interested in learning more about the evolution of revenue operations? Wondering how you can create a revenue operations function at your organization? Want to share the benefits that your organization has realized from revenue operations? Connect with me.