Revenue Operations

[Free Checklist] New Year, New Goals, New Revenue Operations Strategy


2022 has been hectic, to say the least. 

Back to normal, fast-paced life.

More in-person client meetings, more industry events, more business workshops, more in-person Christmas office parties (at least in Australia!) and more clinking of champagne flutes. IYKYK!

I sure did not expect international travel to be even possible in 2022. This year, I ended up spending 3 months in Malaysia visiting family/friends (escaping winter!), 2 weeks in New Zealand for a long awaited family holiday learning the Mauri culture and several local work trips. 

The speed at which your business had to accelerate to match the pace of life as we settle back into normality probably meant you had to “make do” with the systems you have now at times… scramble to get more leads through the door as competition rises or if you’re the lucky ones, scramble to manage the influx of leads and deals… and hire more team members to manage the workload - often without having the time to prioritise accountability, techstack and operational efficiency. 

Getting s*** done was more important and reviewing techstack and processes had to take the backseat.

As we’re approaching the quieter time of year, it’s your opportunity to take a step back and strategise for a stronger 2023. A systematic approach to do this is through *drum roll please*... Revenue Operations (Hint: it’s about people, data and processes).

Quick Recap: What & Why Revenue Operations (RevOps)?

A profound shift is happening in the way companies are thinking about their revenue process. The need for transparency, accountability, and predictability is greater than ever before.

In the past, revenue teams (sales, marketing and customer success) usually have unaligned processes and KPIs and unaligned systems (CRM, spreadsheets, automation) leading to big disconnects in data and therefore, relationships. This makes making informed and accurate decisions very tricky.

Customers expect a seamless buying experience from the first experience with the brand to contract renewal. You know what it’s like having to repeat pain points, business goals, issues/feedback every time you interact with a new team member of the company. It’s simply annoying!

Which brings us to the purpose of RevOps:

  1. Have unity and clarity across the entire revenue team
  2. Improve efficiency
  3. Drive revenue predictability
  4. Ultimately, reach revenue goals - together!

2023 is going to be your year of the 3 P’s:

  • People: To deliver even better, more consistent customer experience throughout the customer journey.
  • Process: To accelerate your business flywheel by aligning teams’ KPIs to revenue and building repeatable, scalable processes.
  • Platform: To prioritise CRM data strategy so you can easily extract insights.

This is no longer a nice to have, it’s a necessity! 

The Revenue Operations movement is here to stay — and companies are already seeing the benefits of this new way to revenue. 

It’s time to say goodbye to:

  • Disconnected customer experiences
  • Disjointed systems and processes
  • Siloed departments and data
  • Outdated technology
  • Unaligned KPIs
  • Double handling

What My Clients Have Achieved From RevOps Over The Past Years

Over the past few years, I’ve been working with businesses across different industries from SaaS to manufacturing (from scale up start ups to enterprise businesses) to align teams and processes and implement HubSpot as their central business engine. 

I have 

… turned existing CRMs and automations upside down to ensure businesses have the right data in the right place to gain insights and be able to report easily. 

… migrated CRM data from MANY MANY spreadsheets, Salesforce, Pipedrive, Microsoft Dynamics and other systems into HubSpot.

… the opportunity to get to know the ins and outs of many different businesses’ processes and my hands deep into the strategy and implementation of HubSpot. Getting HubSpot (or your CRM) architecture right is KEY.

My clients all have tailored strategies and architecture SPECIFIC to THEM. As a result of a strategic RevOps implementation, they are able to

… trust their data and extract insights

… manage and optimise processes and scale easily because everyone knows what they need to do and how

… They aren’t spending a lot of time just to pull data, infact their dashboard is live with real-time data and can now optimise their sales and marketing strategies in a data-driven way

… Sales teams are having more productive and insightful conversations about their deals and lead management.

I can’t go into the details - but I can say for sure, their revenue grew, efficiency increased, way less guess work, no more money spent on unnecessary techstack and they understand how each team affects one another and are continuously improving their processes.

90% of my business comes from referrals so I can tell you this works.

To help you get started on your RevOps journey, here is a checklist for each part of the revenue cycle and revenue team. Even if you’re not a HubSpot user, download the checklist below and implement RevOps for your business. It’s still very much applicable!

If you like scribbling notes and ticking things off lists, like me, here’s a free printable checklist. Download now

CRM Data

If you're searching for a customer relationship management software, you've probably surpassed the point where spreadsheets of prospect/customer data, previous correspondence and notes – have become unorganised and inefficient. Frankly impossible to find or make sense of, am I right?

Or you already have a CRM but starting to notice the pinch of choosing a lower cost product and realising you can’t scale your business on it.

Strategy

  • Do you have a CRM strategy/plan?
  • Do you have a CRM that your business can scale with? Changing CRMs is no small feat.

Support & Training

  • Does your CRM come with sufficient technical support?
  • Do you have a dedicated person/team responsible for updating the CRM when processes and goals change?
  • Is there consistent CRM usage across the team?
  • Is there a standard naming convention that is understood by everyone?
  • When there are new users, do they undergo training?
  • Has the team evolved and therefore, need to update user access?
  • Are there a restricted number of “Super Admins” (that’s HubSpot lingo, but other CRMs will have their own version)?
  • Do you have a data dictionary of shared terminology and usage? I can’t stress enough how important it is especially for a growing team.

Data Management

  • Most businesses should and will have a handful of critical data points which often affect automations, reporting and other parts of the business. For my regular clients, I periodically do random spot checks to ensure the data in my clients’ CRM are as expected. So have a think about what logic you can put together to ensure you catch any errors as early as possible.
  • Do you have many unused custom fields?
  • Is there a restricted number of people who can import data into the CRM?
  • Is there a standard operating procedure for CRM activities such as updating records, importing data, naming convention etc?
  • If applicable to you, have you checked if you are using the data in accordance with GDPR or your country’s data protection requirements?
  • Have you reviewed your integrations recently? It’s common to have unnecessary integrations and forgetting to disconnect the systems if no longer needed.
  • Have you got a dedicated vendor who understands your business needs and CRM strategy well enough to be able to support your team?
  • Is your CRM/tech stack set up as best as possible to encourage revenue teams to update/enter data easily?
  • Is your data structured strategically and logically such that CRM users can extract the data they need easily?
  • Have you deduped contact and company records and a regular plan to do so?
  • My favourite question #1: Can you extract business insights from your CRM data and trust the data? If yes, what other insights do you want to extract? Then work backwards from there.
  • My favourite question #2: Have you got a data dashboard that helps you visualise data issues? This is something I definitely set up for all my clients on retainer/ongoing basis and implementation projects. 

Fast track your CRM strategy and setup and book yourself a free consultation with me here. 

Marketing Operations

Strategy

  • What’s your Q1 goals and KPIs? 
  • How are you planning to track them to ensure you will reach or exceed them?
  • Are there new initiatives you’d like to implement?
  • Are there new experiments you’d like to test out? I love having a running list of ideas that I can pull out when my creative juices need a bit of a boost.
  • Have you set regular cadences to review email performance - especially bounce and spam rates?
  • Conversion rates do matter… How's the page load speed? Do you have a tactical plan to improve this? If you have HubSpot Marketing Enterprise, you can do adaptive page test.
  • Take a step back and walk in the shoes of your prospect. Run through what it would be like to be in their shoes interaction with the brand online and offline and what the experience would be like during their marketing interactions. Take the same detailed steps they would and note down concerns, expectations, questions that ran through your mind.

Support & Training

  • Do you have SOPs to ensure everyone’s got a central document to refer to for important information such as naming convention, automations to be aware of, definitions of lifecycle stages etc.

Alignment & SLAs

  • Do you have a clear handoff from marketing to sales? If yes, how else could it be refined to reduce the friction even more. How can conversion rates be improved?
  • As marketers, you’re working towards bringing in qualified leads to sales. How are you tracking your SLAs with sales?

Tech Stack

  • Are you able to track page visits, email opens, email clicks, task completion, form submissions directly from your CRM?
  • Automation is great but it can also be dangerous when there are too many cooks in the kitchen. Is there a primary person or team that is allowed to create automations. The automations can’t be built in silo as they may interfere with each other and cause more harm than good.
  • With the tool(s) you are using for your marketing campaigns and activities, do they allow you to control who accesses which assets and have an approval process? For example, if developers are not needed in emails make sure they only have view or no access to the emails section of your tools/HubSpot.
  • What marketing tools do you NOT use or do NOT serve you anymore?
  • What marketing software or tools do you wish “talk” to each other? It could be worth revisiting the integrations that you have set up.
  • If you have integrations, are they setup optimally? Could the integrations be improved?
  • If you run regular campaigns or events, how is your MarTech serving you right now in terms of analytics, reporting, automation and efficiency?
  • If you run regular campaigns or events, could your campaign development/build process be more efficient? For example, if you’re a HubSpot user, there’s a “Clone” feature in Campaigns which means you can duplicate all assets in the campaign - with just one click!
  • Is the marketing team able to build pages on the fly - without much development support?
  • Calling HubSpot users: Are you using smart content and smart CTA? It is a nice to have and a powerful one. Perhaps consider if there are areas where this is applicable so that marketing can be streamlined.

Tracking & Reporting

  • Are you able to tie back marketing campaigns to deal/sales/revenue? 
  • Have you got automations running that should be switched off?
  • Could some of the automations be developed in a more optimal/efficient way?
  • Have you got any drafts and test assets that should be archived or deleted?
  • Are there forms that have never been in use and need to be deleted? One of my pet hates are duplicate forms as it causes alot of tracking issues down the line.
  • Do you spend extensive time trying to pull marketing reports? I mean basic reports. Some complex reports will take time and require out-of-the-box thinking and development.
  • How are you tracking your ads in your CRM? If you’re using HubSpot, make sure you have your ads accounts linked to it so you can see exactly who clicked and interacted with your ads throughout their customer journey.
  • Have you got your UTMs in order? Especially from offline/external website referrers such as your partner’s website banner image, native article, emails and more.
  • If you are still manually putting UTMs together, it might be time to reconsider your MarTech stack. If you’re using HubSpot, most of the UTMs are not necessary as HubSpot takes the manual work away!
  • Are you able to segment your data easily? I mean EASILY… as in minutes without using Excel. This is critical for marketers to have more relevant and targeted messaging.

Feel free to book a time for a 30 minute AMA if you’re feeling stuck already or have some questions.

 Remember: Every business of varying sizes had different processes, goals and KPIs. Make sure RevOps plan is tailored to YOU. And, just start!!

Sales Operations & Enablement

Strategy

  • Schedule time with marketing for a few hours to analyse and review how leads are performing, how marketing can help sales, what information sales needs to provide marketing, share knowledge about interesting results, understand how to supplement sales with more inbound and outbound leads. 
  • Analyse quality and performance of inbound vs outbound sales leads.
  • Does sales have sufficient, relevant and latest content that can be used as collateral during the sales process?
  • What does growth and success look like for you in the next year and coming few years?
  • Take a step back and walk in the shoes of your team. Run through what it would be like to be in their shoes, take the same detailed steps they would and note down inefficiencies and bottlenecks. This is a great way to identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Take a step back and walk in the shoes of your prospect. Run through what it would be like to be in their shoes interaction with the brand online and offline and what the experience would be like during the sales process. Take the same detailed steps they would and note down concerns, expectations, questions that ran through your mind.
  • What kind of talent do you need in your team to fill the gaps?

Support & Training

  • Like any scaling company, you want to be able to scale your processes too. Which means onboarding consistently and fast. Are you leveraging tools like playbooks, sales email templates and sequences (aka automated sales emails/tasks)?
    • If yes, do they need to be spruced up and updated with new content and notes?
    • If not, how are you planning to implement these tools into the processes in the next year?

  • What repetitive tasks does the team do that isn’t automated yet?
  • Do your sales team have a shared consistent process of what needs to be done in the CRM or are they making assumptions and “winging” it? Getting as much consistency and shared knowledge as possible is important to minimise angst about data.
  • Is the CRM setup to encourage data entry?

Alignment & SLAs

  • Have you reviewed the handoff between marketing and sales recently?
  • Does your territory planning for the sales team need to change or be tweaked? Keep in mind the consequences and update accordingly.

Techstack

  • What is your sales’ techstack - Do they have any tools they need to improve efficiency and accuracy? Do they have tools they are underutilising? If possible, are they integrated into the CRM?
  • Are there data enrichment services/tools you are looking to use?

Tracking & Reporting

  • Reports, reports, reports. The holy grail. Are you getting sufficient insights from your dashboards? Or perhaps step back to think about what insights you want about your sales team, deals, process, SLAs, KPIs, interesting behaviour of deals of certain industries, lead source or other criteria that makes sense for your industry?
  • Do you have individual dashboards setup so that you can have productive 1-1s with your team to help them with their sales training and performance?
  • How are you measuring the sales team’s performance and forecast?
  • Do you have notifications or triggers setup so that the sales manager is notified when they should step in to help their team with bigger/complex deals?
  • Where are the biggest drop offs in the sales process?
  • What point of the sales process are deals stopping and going to the closed lost stage?
  • Which part of the sales process has the biggest friction? This is important to improve conversion rates.

Side note sales ops, if you haven’t read Sales Acceleration, you really must. It’s an intelligent book about measuring sales to accelerate growth by Mark Roberge. Here’s a video: The Sales Acceleration Formula | Mark Roberge | Talks at Google

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RG_eyn0fRXs

Customer Service and Success

Strategy

  • Take a step back and walk in the shoes of your team. Run through what it would be like to be in their shoes, take the same detailed steps they would and note down inefficiencies and bottlenecks. This is a great way to identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Take a step back and walk in the shoes of your prospect. Run through what it would be like to be in their shoes interaction with the brand online and offline and what the experience would be like during the customer success process. Take the same detailed steps they would and note down concerns, expectations, questions that ran through your mind.
  • Are you giving your customers an opportunity to provide you honest feedback about the service, experience or perhaps even ideas on how they want to be helped. Essentially, a customer voice strategy!

Support & Training

  • The goal of a customer success manager is to retain and expand the account. So there needs to be a structured plan as well as proactive actions to ensure the customers are supported, getting what they want (and even what the customers don’t know they might need) and on track to maximise their relationship with you.
    • Do you have check in tasks automated based on certain triggers or dates?
    • Have you got automated task reminders to run Quarterly Business Reviews with your customers?
    • Are you tiering your customers so you can manage your time and resources across the customers accordingly?
    • Do your customers know what to expect from the company as well as your customer success?
    • Is there a consistent approach to how your customer success managers manage their accounts?
    • How are your CSMs strategising with your customers so they achieve their ultimate goal?
    • How are your CSMs providing tips and updates?
    • Is the team taught to anticipate problems?

  • Much like the sales section above, you want to be able to scale your customer success processes too. Which means onboarding consistently and fast. Are you leveraging tools like playbooks, email templates and task queues?
    • If yes, do they need to be spruced up and updated with new content and notes?
    • If not, how are you planning to implement these tools into the processes in the next year?
    • Have you got an automated onboarding process and email communications?

Alignment & SLAs

  • Do you have a process where the customer service team can easily and transparently escalate urgent issues with management?
  • Have you reviewed the handoff between sales and customer service/success recently?
  • Does the customer service and success team have the necessary collateral to help them in their interactions with the customer?

Techstack

  • What steps are the customer service/success team often forgetting or accidentally missing?
  • What repetitive tasks does the team do that isn’t automated yet?
  • There will come a time when you will need external products to further support your CS team such as getting product usage insights that a CRM like HubSpot may not be able to support with. But make sure it’s integrated, where possible.

Tracking & Reporting

  • How are you measuring important metrics such as Time to response, Customer satisfaction, RAG status based on customer service last ticket activity date?
  • How are you measuring important SaaS metrics such as Expansion rate, Churn rate, Average MRR, LTV, Customer health etc?
  • Does the team have a team and individual dashboard to keep track of progress, things that slip through the cracks, KPIs and SLAs?
  • If you’re in SaaS, how are you measuring product adoption and leveraging that leading indicator of product stickiness and success? If you’re not in SaaS, think about what your leading indicators are. Check out this article about leading vs lagging indicator.

Instead of having insights and data spread across your business and systems, aggregate all the information you’ve gathered in a centralised system can greatly improve your bottom line and customer experience. 

Revenue Operations will give your business the foundation it needs to grow and scale - sustainably. 

So, let’s get excited and start planning what you could do in the next few months to prepare for the new year!! But first crack open that icy beer out of the fridge and book yourself a free workshop with me here. Or glühwein if you’re in the northern hemisphere.

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