Having a revenue operations team can put you way ahead of your competitors.
However, creating such a team is not enough to enjoy the benefits that skilled RevOps specialists can bring to the table.
If you want the investment in revenue operations to pay for itself, your team has to deliver results.
You want it to help your company grow. The key to doing that?
Creating an effective RevOps framework for your team to follow.
The goals of a RevOps framework
A framework is a set of processes designed to help your team or department achieve its goals. For RevOps, those goals are tied to revenue growth. So, when choosing the framework, you want it to help you achieve a few goals.
- Assist the team (especially managers) in overseeing and planning revenue-driving tasks.
- Streamline and organize processes across key revenue-driving teams. These include sales, marketing, and customer success teams.
- Create an opportunity to document a set of best practices for revenue-generating teams.
- Improve data exchange and decision-making processes between the unified teams. This includes automating some of their tasks. The good news is that most of these can be achieved with the proper revenue operations software.
- Help the RevOps team strengthen existing and find new revenue streams.
- Lead to revenue growth. This is the ultimate goal of the framework and the #1 reason you should implement it.
Creating such a framework is not easy, especially if you want it to be effective. But, when implemented properly, it doesn’t just bring your company closer to its revenue goals. As it turns out, a good RevOps framework allows you to enjoy several other benefits that are a “byproduct” of reaching those revenue goals.
The benefits of implementing a RevOps framework
A good framework allows your RevOps team to enjoy a few extra benefits:
- A good framework is like a roadmap. It shows each employee a path they should follow, increasing their efficiency.
- It also demands that the team measures team performance regularly. This helps optimize revenue processes and find areas for improvement.
- Every framework deals with collecting and processing data. Thanks to that data, your RevOps team can make better pricing and product decisions.
- Streamlining customer success processes helps companies improve customer satisfaction. This, in turn, helps increase the number of recurring customers, further increasing revenue.
- Lastly, revenue process optimization doesn’t just help drive revenue up. Rather, it helps reduce the total cost of generating revenue. All this has a positive impact on the company’s ROI.
But, to get all those benefits, you want to make sure you pick the right framework for your company and its needs.
The different RevOps frameworks
Every framework is made up of the same essential elements:
- People – the core of every revenue operations team. Both leaders and RevOps specialists are responsible for implementing the framework.
- Processes – every framework is built around processes. In RevOps, they belong to different departments: sales, marketing, and customer success.
- Technology – the latest revenue operations software. It helps you exchange data, segment your audience, or automate workflows.
- Data – collecting data is key to making data-driven decisions regarding company revenue.
While all frameworks are centered around the same elements, they don’t approach them the same way. Common differences include the way you exchange data or cooperate with different teams.
In fact, even if you rely on an established framework, most companies still tweak it to their own needs. That’s because the key to success isn’t just to have a framework.
It also has to help you reach your RevOps goals in a way that makes the most sense, given your current situation. That‘s why there’s no single revenue operations framework that’d suit all businesses.
In the following section, we’ll look at a few different frameworks. They were developed by either revenue consulting companies or RevOps software providers. But first, let’s look at the different models that those frameworks can be based on – a waterfall and an agile model.
The waterfall model vs. the agile model
Companies with a very linear revenue process often use the waterfall model. In this model, every stage of that process is completed before moving on to the next. This makes the entire process clear and easy to follow. Thanks to that, each team member knows the goal for each stage – and what to do to move the process forward.
The agile model is typically used in software development and IT project management. However, it can easily be applied to marketing or a revenue operations framework. Its biggest advantage over the waterfall model is that it’s more flexible and responsive to change.
In this model, the revenue process is divided into smaller, more manageable chunks. Additionally, the RevOps team may be split into smaller sub-teams. Each sub-team can then work on different parts of the process simultaneously. Here’s what such a model could look like in the marketing part of revenue operations:
Another big advantage of the agile model over the waterfall model is speed. By dividing the work, the team can implement changes quickly. On the other hand, the model makes it a bit hard to track progress or identify issues.
Of course, the model that you choose will depend on your industry, company goals, and business goals. And, of course, it has to suit the RevOps framework that you choose to use in your business.
Gartner’s RevOps model
The Gartner model organizes revenue operations around six core elements. In this section, we’ve described three of them – data, technology stack, and processes. However, the model adds three more: analysis, workflow, and strategy.
- Strategy. This is a top-level plan that ensures alignment among all revenue-driving teams.
- Workflow. These are all processes required to create a complete revenue process.
- Analysis. Activities to monitor and measure revenue-driving activities.
Additionally, the model lists three key attributes of RevOps model:
- The RevOps process design is end-to-end. This means it has to support the entire customer life cycle. A similar approach can be seen in other models, for example, Clari’s model. However, the structure of that model is slightly different.
- A successful revenue model uses workflows to bring together systems, data, and functions.
- It provides team members the visibility into both execution and outcomes across the entire revenue process.
Clari RevOps framework
Clari is one of the most popular revenue operations SaaS platforms. The tool helps go-to-market teams take control of their revenue operations. The platform includes features such as sales forecasting, pipeline management, and revenue intelligence.
Their framework is divided into three different stages: engage, execute, and expand.
In the first phase (engage), the team works on generating awareness and demand within your target segments. In this phase, the team’s mainly focused on different growth marketing activities. The main KPI is that of a qualified pipeline. Just like the KPI, the metrics revolve around the pipeline, and include:
- Quarter-to-date pipeline created and pipeline quality.
- Pipeline acceleration
- Target account engagement
- Next quarter coverage
The core of the team’s tech stack is a revenue operations platform like Clari itself. Other tools include marketing automation or conversational marketing software.
In the second phase (execute), the ball is in the field sales team’s field. In this stage, the net new ARR (annual recurring revenue) becomes the new KPI. The metrics focus on increasing that ARR and include:
- Win rate
- Sales cycle time
- Average selling price
- Forecast accuracy
- Slip rate
- Quota attainment
On top of a RevOps platform, the key software list includes CRM and sales enablement tools.
In the third phase (expand), the focus becomes twofold. On the one hand, the team has to keep attracting new customers. On the other hand, they also need to work on customer retention. That part is critical, especially for businesses that rely on subscriptions, such as SaaS companies.
The phase is led primarily by customer success and account management teams. But, marketing and sales are just as responsible for the overall ARR.
This phase has two KPIs:
- Renewals (retention rate)
- ARR expansion
Key metrics include those related to the KPIs: churn rate, upsells, or customer lifetime value. Key software in this phase is that which can help increase retention rates. This includes tools such as product analytics or customer success platforms.
McAlign RevOps Framework
McAlign is an international digital technology consulting firm headquartered in the US. They help companies manage their sales and revenue processes. Their revenue operations framework aims to align four key RevOps pillars. These include people, processes, the platform, and insights.
To do that, you need a unified sales, marketing, customer success, and revenue operations strategy:
Other key elements of the McAlign framework include unified performance metrics. They also emphasize the importance of analytics and collecting data. As a software company, they recommend the use of analytics coupled with AI and machine learning technologies.
RevOps teams can get even more accurate data and create better predictions. This, in turn, gives them a significant competitive advantage, especially if they go beyond forecasting and implement intelligent automation or hyper-personalization.
Another interesting tool offered by McAlign is its revenue operations assessment framework. While not a full RevOps framework, it allows organizations to self-assess. This, in turn, shows them the maturity of their revenue operations and helps them understand which areas need the most work:
SaaS revenue framework (powered by Chargebee)
The third framework in our list has been defined by Chargebee – a revenue operations platform.
The framework is split into four different layers, all focused on the operational maturity of the SaaS business. The stages all revolve around billing:
- Payment processing
- Billing automation
- Subscription management
- Revenue operations
But, it isn’t until the business reaches the fourth stage – revenue operations – that it can be considered mature:
In the payment processing stage, your SaaS is concerned with managing basic recurring billing. The goal is to find the easiest way for the customer to pay. Typically, this is done by using one of the popular payment gateways. The only problem is that this setup offers a poor customer experience. This is especially true for things like invoicing or collecting recurring payments. That’s why, to reach more demanding customers, your team has to move to the next stage.
In the billing automation stage, your company usually has the resources to build a robust invoicing system. It’s built on top of a scalable API layer connecting all elements of the payment process. These include checkout, scheduling, or features like proration.
Unfortunately, this approach focuses on the technical side of billing. So, while the technology works great, it rarely offers a great customer experience. Additionally, most features are usually set in stone. As a result, there’s usually little room for flexibility around payment plans and pricing.
In the third stage, your team fully controls the plan and pricing configurations. Thanks to a customer portal, the support and success teams no longer have to handle billing-related queries. You can also implement advanced invoicing, custom pricing, or quoting. All that allows you to go after enterprise customers.
This is also the stage at which your team will reconsider many of its old processes and tools.
The last stage – the revenue operations stage – is named the promised land for SaaS revenue workflows. In this stage, your operations have scaled and matured. You’re capable of seamlessly supporting changes to top-level tools and processes. Moreover, all revenue operations teams can come together and reduce the risk of bottlenecks. In this stage, the full focus is on maximizing revenue opportunities and minimizing revenue leakage.
An example of a RevOps framework for renewals
One of the problems with many revenue operations frameworks is that some of them put too little emphasis on recurring revenue. Yet, that’s often the key revenue-generating area for many businesses.
Proof? A 5% increase in customer retention can produce more than a 25% increase in profit. And if you look at the business model of most SaaS businesses, you can be sure that this number would go up even higher!
To counter this problem, the team behind RevOps.io – a revenue operations platform – developed a RevOps framework for renewals.
The key goal is to empower the team responsible for renewals to retain as many customers as possible. Usually, that’s either the customer success or the account management team. How to do that?
The framework is based on four key elements: processes, systems, analytics, and enablement.
The first element focuses on all the key processes in the renewal cycle. This includes finding out which steps can be automated or the right time to reach out to ask for a renewal. It also deals with collecting and processing customer feedback (as well as the way you respond to it).
The systems are about finding a way to support all the processes you need to polish or implement. They also need to take into account communication between your revenue-driving teams.
As you define processes and build systems to support them, you also want to find a way to collect data. That data should help you reach your key revenue operations KPIs. Ideally, you should also be able to use it to improve your revenue operations setup even further.
Lastly, you need enablement. That step is there to help you ensure that all revenue-driving teams understand how all these other elements work together.
Pick the right Framework – but don’t obsess over It
Some revenue operations frameworks focus on the entire revenue process. Others emphasize just one key part of it.
That’s because, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter which framework your company chooses.
The key to success is to start implementing one. When making a choice, try to find one that you believe is most aligned with your company structure and goals.
But don’t forget that a framework is not set in stone. At its core, it’s a roadmap for your team to follow. And as your company grows and matures, you’re free to adjust it to its changing goals or market situation.
But to make those adjustments, you need first to make a decision and give a framework a try. You also want to take advantage of tools that can help you automate processes and collect data. Lastly, you want to keep looking for solutions that can drive the cost of generating revenue down.
One such tool that can help both the sales and marketing part of your revenue operations is Encharge.
Its built-in customer segmentation helps you better understand your audience. You can also score your leads and find those most eager to make a purchase. And thanks to marketing automation features, you can build more effective marketing campaigns. To find out how to make Encharge a part of your revenue operations framework, schedule a quick demo call.