When Michael Lewis wrote Moneyball, the world shifted. A small-market baseball team defies the odds against titans of industry like the New York Yankees by flipping conventional wisdom on its head. They outsmart their opponents by getting better data, analyzing that data, and acting on it.
Before Uber for (Name An Industry) Mania there was Moneyball for (Name An Industry) Mania. Moneyball didn’t just inspire other baseball teams, it inspired other industries. Everyone started searching for the next statistical, competitive advantage to win more with less. To find the next blind spot that’s hidden in the fog right in front of our faces.
At the time of Moneyball’s release, Silicon Valley and the Tech industry were still in the early years of recovery from the dot com crash, but just embarking on a growth trajectory that would last for the next two decades.
As the tech industry grew, companies focused on growth at all costs. And it worked.
New tech companies were founded to support the larger ones and the technology used by customer success, sales, and marketing teams evolved. It led to greater efficiency in each department, but created more silos separating them. Each using their own technology, chasing after their own individual metrics, and no one working towards a common goal.
Marketing got leads from the “internet,” sales hated those leads, and customer success hated sales for dumping them in their lap after they signed a contract. And everyone called it ARR.
The industry continued to grow, but a few things began to change.
Freemium or PLG models meant that leads were now people who already used the product so generating leads with 1-800 numbers (formerly known as MQLs) lost some importance.
Then recently, the government stopped letting people borrow money for free. Tech companies are no longer evaluated on growth at all costs. Instead, they’re measured on revenue, profit, and efficient growth. Durability is the new standard. (Kinda makes you wonder why that wasn’t always the case, but that’s for someone else to blog about.)
Most importantly the customer changed. They became more educated on products they want to buy and also wary of the traditional sales funnel.
Eventually, tech outgrew conventional wisdom. Much like the baseball scouts who thought having an ugly girlfriend was a sign that a Left Fielder had poor plate discipline.
The time came for a new Moneyball moment. But it actually already happened.
The time came for a new Moneyball moment. But it actually already happened.
It’s called RevOps.
No, RevOps is not a fancy name for SalesOps. It’s more like a COO of the GTM team.
VP of Revenue Operations at Skaled Consulting, Brianna Dunbar-DeMike has her own theory. “The CEO probably said, I'm not doing it. And the COO was like, I'm not doing it. So they said, let's create… RevOps and RevOps will oversee marketing, sales, and fulfillment. And so for me, I think RevOps is all three of those together,” she stated on the Beyond Quota podcast. It functions similarly to a CRO, “but the CRO is the profitability of the entire company, not just the marketing, sales and fulfillment that you're doing.” A.k.a. The GTM Team.
RevOps’ goal is to re-align all three and create an end-to-end customer experience that fills in the gaps and creates one source of truth. This results in a more efficient and predictable revenue cycle. “The operations of all of your revenue, don't stop at [any] of those departments,” says Dunbar-DeMike. “Bravo, you made some revenue, but it does not matter if it's costing you more to fulfill that revenue than what you sold it for.”
Sounds simple. Like it was hiding in plain sight the whole time. But does implementing RevOps at your company really make a difference?
Here are some stats from a Boston Consulting Group study on RevOps' impact:
- 10-20% increase in sales productivity.
- 15-20% increase in internal customer satisfaction.
- 30% reductions in GTM expenses.
- 19% faster growth.
- 15% more profits.
Forrester Consulting also showed that public companies saw a 71% higher stock performance.
In a time where it’s more important than ever to do more with less, companies need to invest in RevOps. Or else you’re just leaving food on the table.
But while 86% of executives told Forrester Consulting that revenue operations is important to meet their goals, just 41% are very confident they understand what it is, according to a 2021 study commissioned by Salesforce.
So what is a “confident understanding” of RevOps?
Here are some answers from a Ross Pomerantz LinkedIn post asking that exact question:
While all of these are suitable answers, Sales Process Nerd, Brandon Bean states the most important part:
In order to truly understand what RevOps does, one must look at the Revenue Team - its people, processes and tech stack - from a novel perspective: The customer.
The original motivation behind sales ops, marketing ops, and customer success ops to control their own tech stacks and processes independently was efficiency. But when there is no alignment, it leads to duplication of work, tools, higher operating costs, and no shared source of truth.
This unintended inefficiency hurts companies in many ways, but is even more damaging to the customer journey.
“The traditional sales and marketing funnel — which included clean handoffs between Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success — has been replaced by a funnel where all client-facing teams have responsibilities throughout the funnel,” according to Taft Love at Sales Hacker.
Today, GTM teams battle with bloated tech stacks and inconsistent processes because each department was focused on growth of users at all costs. Now that’s shifted to doing more with less and maximizing the efficiency of your business model. RevOps is a better way of organizing all three phases of the GTM function around two goals: what is best for the company and what is best for the customer journey.
“We think of all these groups (sales, marketing, customer success) as our stakeholders with the customer being at the top. Everything we do should still make their life easier,” says Jani McConnell, Director of Global Revenue Operations at Persefoni.
You’ve seen the results, you understand the role… So how do we execute?
According to McConnell, “Everything starts from the CRM and goes outward. And then everything starts with metrics and you work backwards.
- What are we trying to measure today and then what are the processes that lead to this point?
- What are the current tools in place and how do they interact?
- What are the additional gaps and tools that we would need to be able to support these processes?”
Making sure your CRM is a single source of truth is imperative, but it’s not that easy.
While it’s an amazing CRM, Salesforce is not designed to fit into a salesperson or account managers workflow. Instead of inputting all of the necessary data directly into it, employees will revert to what’s easiest which is taking notes in docs or spreadsheets or sticky notes and then copy and pasting at a later date. This means missing data, outdated data, and a poor customer journey that’s going to affect your bottom line.
“Instead of saying, I'm just gonna set 50 validation rules and force you guys to fill them so we have pipeline hygiene, we’re giving them the tools and enablement to make it easier to follow the process that we need to make our customer journey as smooth and fast as possible. If you give sales a workspace like Scratchpad to make their lives easier, then you can ask more from them.”
In this example, Scratchpad supports your investment in Salesforce by making it easier for sales and customer success to follow the process you need and thus, achieve accurate metrics to measure your business by.
“The people who had been using Scratchpad were the ones with the most accurate forecast, the ones updating real time, next steps on a deal. They had deals in the right sales stage. And that information was crucial,” says Michelle Adams, CRO at Algolia.
But there is no end in RevOps’ mission of Reaven (when your tools, processes and people are in harmony). Things get messy and there needs to be a constant feedback loop with all of the stakeholders that McConnell mentioned above.
Whenever you do want to address a gap in your process or tech stack, it’s important to ask yourself “How does this impact the business as a whole? How does this impact the customer journey as a whole? If we add a new tool, is it disrupting the customer journey or help support it?”
In order to answer these questions, it’s imperative to build relationships with stakeholders in each department of the GTM function. “RevOps is not just systems, it's psychological. It's understanding people. You shouldn't ever design something that makes a person not want to follow the process. It's the empathetic part of it. That is so important because you're impacting so many people with any new tool or system or process that you push across so empathy and constant communication is key.”
It’s never too late or too early to implement RevOps at your company. Whether you are enterprise, mid-market, or a startup, it’s always important to ensure your processes, systems, and people people are aligned.
Just like the data-revolution spurred by Moneyball in the early 2000s, RevOps is changing the way companies operate with a renewed focus on efficiency and serving the customer.
For more ways Scratchpad can serve RevOps, see our RevOps Page.