B2B organizations face dual challenges: rapidly changing market dynamics and the lingering supply chain disruptions of the past two years. Now more than ever, it is imperative for organizations to become more efficient while achieving their business growth objectives. It’s a tall order, and some of those making it work have rethought how to best support all commercial teams – not just sales – in a unified manner known as “revenue operations.”
This move calls for an integrated, frictionless way of working (in the next normal). Organizations that successfully embrace revenue operations do so by presenting a single face to customers, with everyone on the same page providing seamless interactions. And even if a customer sees more than one face, every interaction feels consistent, natural, and non-repetitive.
Achieving this degree of integration requires a blending of analytics, insights, reporting, and resources across all relevant areas of revenue operations: sales, marketing, customer service/success, customer experience, and channel/partner management (where relevant).
But most organizations struggle to drive cross-functional collaboration in a way that aligns teams, systems, and processes to drive growth and improve sales ROI. This is where moving beyond the classic construct of sales operations to revenue operations can help, both practically (in terms of more efficient operations) and financially (in terms of increased revenue productivity).
In our research at McKinsey, we found that companies taking advantage of fully integrated revenue operations achieved organic growth rates at least 5% greater than their peers, more often than those who relied on traditional sales operations (see chart below).
Building an integrated revenue operations function typically involves merging four areas of the organization: sales strategy and planning; commercial process engineering (i.e., roles and responsibilities, handoffs across customer-facing sales, marketing, insights and analytics, sales operations); performance management (e.g., sales compensation, coaching, KPIs); and quote-to-cash operations (e.g., bid/deal desk and pricing support). However, reaching this level of integration across the four areas of revenue operations is often easier said than done.
Fortunately, there are smaller actionable steps companies can take to mimic best practices and begin the journey to standing up a revenue operations function. Here are three concrete steps organizations can take now:
1. Put customers first
2. Go micro
3. Work agile
Transforming traditional sales operations into modern revenue operations will reap rich rewards for those organizations willing to invest the time and energy, and there are easy, focused ways to get started.
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