RevOps is breaking out of its supporting role and taking center stage as a strategic powerhouse. The shift to RevOps — which 72% of companies currently utilize — is propelled by a convergence of technological advancements, data-driven methodologies and a marked shift toward customer-centricity.
However, it’s not all smooth sailing for RevOps strategies: The need for effective data governance remains a critical concern, while balancing technological adoption with human intuition also necessitates careful consideration. And, despite its widespread adoption, just 39% of practitioners said that their RevOps strategy is mature.
“Organizations often have multiple teams that all have different goals and measurement requirements around how they're engaging with prospects and customers, and they're doing this through multiple different technology platforms,” said Amy Hawthorne, a Principal Analyst at Forrester, at the B2B Marketing Exchange (#B2BMX). “We have multiple teams executing out of multiple platforms with different goals, and we have different messages being broadcast across multiple technology platforms by different teams. This doesn't make it easy to ensure that we're aligned to the customer — in fact, it forces us to have a playbook.”
As organizations seek to consolidate tech stacks and improve internal alignment, they’re cultivating their RevOps playbooks by embracing AI-powered insights and nurturing interdepartmental communications. Throughout this special report, we’ll dive into the current state of RevOps and discuss:
- The technologies marketers are adopting to improve their performance, such as CRM systems, marketing automation platforms and sales engagement platforms;
- The steps companies are taking to align internal teams to streamline workflows, increase collaboration and enhance personalization;
- How to strike a balance between technological adoption and maintaining the personal touch in customer/prospects relationships;
- The importance of data-driven decisions in identifying and targeting the right customers, qualifying leads and tracking pipeline performance; and
- The role of automation and AI technologies in predicting buyer behaviors and informing next-best actions.
Updating Tech Stacks & Eliminating Lagging Solutions
It doesn’t take more than a quick glance at Scott Brinker’s 2023 Martech Map to realize there’s an overwhelming amount of marketing technology available for practitioners. With such a high quantity of solutions with overlapping capabilities, practitioners must evaluate these technologies carefully.
Duffy continued that content AI is something organizations “definitely need,” noting that companies can’t make content fast enough. With that in mind, she suggested that marketers first look at the assets they’re trying to create and determine what pieces of technology would be best suited for that endeavor.
Building on those AI insights, Andrea Eaton, another panelist and the VP Global Revenue Marketing at low-code development platform Outsystems, added that she puts AI tools in three buckets:
- Those that help practitioners understand the past;
- Those that help teams work better and smarter; and
- Those that help promote future growth.
But incorporating new technology often goes hand-in-hand with budgeting — and with 53% of practitioners pointing to issues with legacy technologies, Eaton encouraged practitioners to be discerning about the technology they keep around. As 2024 draws closer, organizations should audit their tech stacks to identify strengths and cut weaknesses.
“Don't be afraid to reevaluate your tech stack: Just because you invested in something previously doesn't mean it's the right thing for you anymore,” said Eaton. “If it’s something you haven’t been able to see value from or didn't have the bandwidth to truly ever implement, I think making those decisions to not renew or somehow repurpose the investment is OK.”
Unifying Teams By Understanding Commonalities
The effort to align sales and marketing is a tale as old as time: Year-over-year, Demand Gen Report research research shows that despite more people indicating they’re prioritizing alignment, they’re still greatly struggling. For example, while more than one-third of practitioners agreed that sales and marketing are aligned on ICP and already have strong coverage, the same survey revealed that 67% want better sales and marketing alignment. However, the most successfully aligned teams start at the top — and there’s a slew of new revenue-related roles that are ready to unite teams.
“A recent LinkedIn post found that revenue roles — CRO, Head of RevOps, etc. — are one of the fastest growing jobs, and it can really head up sales and marketing,” said Eaton. “Regardless of structure, alignment must come from business planning and a shared understanding of your customer. Once you understand your targets for the year and where they’re supposed to come from, then teams can work together to form joint plays and discuss how to make it work.”
Promisingly, research revealed that 53% of practitioners currently utilize a centralized hub of information that all teams can access. Eaton continued that other shared understandings should include:
- Who the ideal customer is;
- What motivates key personas within buying groups;
- How to best convey messaging to those personas;
- The best way to differentiate delivery and messaging; and
- Alignment on the value proposition to help with acquisition and retention.
Creating Customer-Centric Experiences & Cohesive Narratives
The ghosts of B2B marketing’s past relied on hitting prospects and buyers over the head with wordy product information and overt sales pitches, which came at the expense of personalization and strong relationships. In the modern era of marketing, however, B2B practitioners are much more apt to take a personalization page out of B2C’s handbook.
“For a long time, people said, ‘Oh, we’re selling to businesses; they don’t care about our brand or what we stand for,’” said Duffy. “But, at the end of the day, your buyers are human and brand matters to them. More times than not, people aren’t ready to buy what you’re selling but over time, they will be, so it's important to stay in front of them.”
Duffy continued that while she believes organizations should keep an eye on their competition, it’s more important to focus on what their customers care about. She explained that there are a lot of similar choices out there, and a specific feature or price tag isn’t going to move the needle. Instead, building trust across the customer lifecycle will.
Eaton doubled down on Duffy’s insights, pointing to the power of constructing a strong brand narrative and voice throughout all communications. As an example, she pointed to the infamous dark funnel — while marketers might not be able to fully illuminate it, they can control the messaging prospects see related to their brand.
“Marketers need to be cognizant that they’re representing their brand in the way they want it to be perceived across every touchpoint,” continued Eaton. “Storytelling is key when it comes to prospect and customer engagement — some of the best programs I’ve seen all tell stories about how similar prospects saw success and achieved great business outcomes with a particular solution.”
The core tenants of a strong RevOps strategy — or playbook — undoubtedly revolve around efficient use of technology, strong internal alignment and a hyper-focus on humanizing experiences and connecting with prospects at a personal. All business comes down to one thing: Engaging and converting customers, and the best way to accomplish that is to ensure all systems and people are aligned on creating a seamless customer experience.
“Organizations that are customer obsessed are experiencing exponential revenue growth, profitability growth, customer retention growth, employee engagement and overall customer trust,” said Forrester’s Hawthorne. “Aligning to our customers is the best strategy to ultimately deliver our value, our promise and to win deals.”