Improving RevOps with Team Alignment Across the Customer Lifecycle

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Getting sales, marketing, and customer success teams aligned in perfect harmony often feels more like directing a middle school band than a classically trained orchestra. Business is hard, and getting everyone in sync isn’t just about having them on the same stage—it’s about playing the same song together (i.e., aligning efforts to drive revenue).

But how do you even know where to begin? Explore the ins and outs of revenue operations (RevOps) and alignment, from mistakes to avoid to best practices and benefits of pursuing a growth-oriented ecosystem.

Alignment Gone Wrong

Sales, RevOps, marketing, and customer success teams need to work like a well-oiled machine to have the most positive impact on your business. If any of these areas falls out of sync, you feel it immediately.

Think about management for a moment. Your organization might have several layers of leadership, all of whom report to different higher-level leaders—and if they don’t get to connect on a consistent basis, the side effects can include disorganization, miscommunication, and knowledge gaps.

And what about your technology? Teams often use disparate, non-integrated tools and systems. When this is the case, you don’t get access to a closed-loop view of the customer journey. Leads come from marketing, transition to sales to become closed won, and move on to the customer success team … but you can’t see every step when tools are disconnected.

Impact of Misalignment

Not having your ducks in a row—or your teams aligned, as the case may be—really can dry up your revenue opportunities. For example, say marketing and sales are operating on completely different wavelengths. You might see an uptick in unqualified leads and lost deals because marketing doesn’t know the leads they’re passing don’t fit the bill—and may not even have insight into the deals sales is winning to understand what’s driving revenue.

The same goes for customer success. In an agency, you have an opportunity for the sales team to know when a client churns or if there’s some form of misalignment. But if you operate in your own corners and don’t integrate with the same systems, there’s less opportunity to course-correct, maximize revenue opportunities, or improve efficiency. Instead, teams are left dealing with redundant work and miscommunication.

For our part, SmartBug Media works to maintain alignment by keeping our entire operation inextricably linked. Sales and marketing report to the same department head, making it that much easier for us to have weekly meetings between sales, marketing, and customer success teams to talk through priorities, upcoming projects, departmental friction points, client churn risks, and other challenges we want to solve. But what brings it all together is using HubSpot as the central CRM and source of truth for the entire customer lifecycle. Every team from marketing to sales to customer success manages their end of the business in HubSpot, all while we keep an eye on and update subscriptions and active client information.

RevOps Strategy Starting Points

You shouldn’t go into a strategy already armed with assumptions. Instead, do the hard work to determine any potential impacts of your initiatives, using discovery to better define your goals and working toward ways to satisfy organizational needs.

Understand the end goal and conduct a discovery process.

What do you really want to achieve? RevOps isn’t about jumping in with both feet; it’s calculated and intentional. So start by determining your end goal.

That’s where discovery comes in. By conducting discovery, you open opportunities to meet with various teams and ask questions, such as:

  • What’s working for them in day-to-day operations?
  • What gaps and friction points are they encountering?

This input can guide you so you can start to determine priorities that will move the needle in a likely months-long RevOps program rollout.

Prioritize projects and assign metrics for success.

“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.” —Spock, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Turns out Spock was ahead of his time. You can’t address everything at once, so use what you’ve learned in discovery to prioritize initiatives that impact the most people or have the biggest impact. Work with stakeholders across the organization to determine how mission-critical items are, where there is overlap, and what could happen if friction points aren’t addressed. This information should help inform your priorities and create a timeline.

Once you do this, start thinking about how to measure whether your changes made a positive impact and set your benchmarks. Your metrics might include:

  • MRR and ARR
  • Retention
  • Acquisition costs
  • Pipeline velocity
  • Churn rate
  • Net promoter score
  • Conversion rates

Ensure stakeholder buy-in and develop a communication strategy.

From before you kick off an initiative all the way throughout its lifecycle, make sure everyone’s on board so you don’t spend time on something that seems important only for it to fall short in practice.

RevOps projects aren’t solo acts; the whole orchestra plays a part, from delivery to sales to marketing revenue. And remember the top brass along the way, too. Revenue issues bring a lot of leaders and executives to the conversation, and they all have different needs.

Think about the best way to keep all these different parties in the loop. Create a communication strategy that answers key questions, such as:

  • How do they best receive information?
  • How often does it make sense to provide updates?
  • How often should you meet versus send updates?

Evolving RevOps

RevOps takes different forms depending on your business. Companies in one corner operate one-person departments, whereas companies in another build out large teams—with reporting structures that vary just as widely. But no matter what it looks like or how you talk about it, it boils down to how operations impact the bottom line.

RevOps is surging to help businesses fill gaps and regain lost revenue. Companies often don’t have alignment across different departments, so we see them hire a mix of internal experts and agencies for RevOps to obtain this and move toward full customer lifecycle work. But remember: No matter what pieces you add, evolving RevOps across your organization is a tremendous effort. Try to be realistic with your expectations—it can take months to successfully implement your program.

Target Audience for RevOps Packages

To whom does this all matter? In the past, RevOps was geared toward marketing or sales, but it has expanded to C-suite audiences. Engaging with chief revenue officers, chief marketing officers, chief customer officers, and even sometimes sales VPs has become valuable thanks to their decision-making authority. But no matter the target, they need access to a point person to manage the associated tech stack—whether that means HubSpot or something else—to ensure consistency and closed-loop reporting.

Implement RevOps for Sustained Success

RevOps is picking up steam as companies continue to maximize their revenue potential, and aligning both teams and departments is a leap forward toward sustained success.

Without RevOps, you may as well turn your nose up at opportunity. RevOps isn’t a fad—it’s a smart way for businesses to adapt to the changing revenue landscape with a clear path for growth-focused operations. By going all-in, you can pursue goals that benefit the broader organization and leverage best-in-breed tools to manage the customer lifecycle.

Aubreigh Blair
Aubreigh Blair is VP of Client Strategy and Growth at SmartBug Media. An alumnus of Michigan State University, Aubreigh has over 10 years of marketing and revenue operations experience. She has a passion for coaching individuals and helping clients grow their businesses through marketing, sales, and customer success strategies.

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