In many businesses (your industry included), the unfortunate reality is that siloed teams and disjointed data are all too often. But according to research, aligned organizations grow revenues 19% faster and achieve 15% higher profitability. 

So, that means you can’t settle for fragmented business functions(hello, sales reps, marketing, and success teams!)—especially when revenue is on the line. That’s why you need a strategic approach that will unite everyone in the business toward a common goal. And this, actually, is one of the biggest responsibilities of RevOps (revenue operations).

In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into what revenue ops is, why it’s essential for subscription businesses, and how you can implement it.

What is revenue operations (RevOps)?

Revenue operations and data being discussed by the management team

RevOps (also referred to as Rev Ops), works by optimizing all revenue-generating functions within an organization. Put simply, the goal is to maximize your revenue growth rate by improving the collaboration between your different departments whose work affects revenue. It may be a relatively new business strategy but many businesses, including subscription-based, already embrace the concept—in fact, there’s a 55% year-over-year growth in dedicated RevOps teams. 

But if you still find the strategy’s concept to be a little confusing, just imagine it like this: “The marketing team attracts and nurtures high-quality leads, the sales team converts them into paying customers, and the customer success team ensures those customers stick around and stay happy. And one control center oversees it.” 

To create a cohesive, data-driven approach to revenue generation, Rev Ops focuses on these four building blocks: 

  1. People – refers to the individuals and teams involved in the revenue-generating process
  2. Data – valuable insights into customer behavior, marketing campaign effectiveness, sales performance, and overall revenue trends
  3. Tools – the technology stack to support revenue operations
  4. Process – identifies inefficiencies, streamlines workflows, and implements best practices to improve productivity and customer experience

Why do subscription businesses need RevOps?

Management team reviewing subscription business customer journey and revenue growth

Implementing revenue Ops has many advantages. But let’s be clear that not all subscription-based companies are required to implement the strategy—especially if you’re a start-up. Anyhow, here are the reasons why:

Cross-functional alignment

If your subscription businesses rely on multiple teams to drive revenue, it’s best that they all work in harmony. Just alignment from marketing and sales results in a 208% increase in revenue. 

Customer lifecycle management

In most SaaS, the customer lifecycle isn’t linear. It involves many touchpoints—from customer acquisition, to onboarding (research suggests that it typically takes eight interactions to close a sale), upselling, cross-selling, and renewals—each of which impacts customer retention and sales. RevOps optimizes these touchpoints, giving customers a seamless and delightful experience that keeps them engaged and reduces churn.

Revenue forecasting

Within the context of RevOps, this is a more comprehensive and holistic approach compared to sales forecasting which relies primarily on data from the CRM and the sales funnel and pipeline. The RevOps revenue forecasting system incorporates data from multiple sources, including billing systems, marketing automation platforms, customer support tools, and usage data.

Shorten the sales cycle

Subscription industry is known to have a long buyer’s journey. As much as possible, you have to identify and eliminate the bottlenecks in the sales process before closing deals. Rev Ops does that—it’s sales enablement. It equips sales teams with the necessary tools, training, and resources to have more informed conversations and close deals faster.

Customer satisfaction and retention

Rev Ops also involves customer health monitoring. And you can do it by integrating data from multiple sources and monitoring customer health metrics like product usage, support ticket trends, and payment history. Proactive monitoring helps identify potential churn risks and supports quick responses to customer concerns

Scalability

As you grow, your operations may get complex. RevOps provides the framework and processes necessary to scale efficiently. So you can still maintain a high level of service despite increased customer volumes. 

Sales Ops vs Marketing Ops vs Rev Ops

Diagram differentiating sales from marketing from revenue operations team

Now, I can almost hear you—why do we have so many kinds of operations? Sales Operations (Sales Ops), Marketing Operations (Marketing Ops), and Revenue Operations (RevOps)? Well, they’re interconnected functions.

First, let’s talk about sales operations. Sales Ops is laser-focused on empowering and enabling the sales team. And its end goal is to optimize sales processes. Next, marketing ops. It concentrates on streamlining marketing operations and maximizing its efficiency so marketers capture more qualified leads for the sales team.

Compared to the two, RevOps is more holistic. The promotes cross-functional collaboration around common goals. In essence, the key differences are:

  • RevOps encompasses all revenue-generating functions, while Sales Ops focuses on sales and Marketing Ops on marketing.
  • Sales Ops and Marketing Ops are more function-specific.
  • RevOps aims to drive overall revenue growth, while Sales Ops focuses on selling efficiency and Marketing Ops on marketing performance.

7 benefits of implementing a RevOps strategy

Revenue operations team discussing strategies for predictable business growth

Let’s dive into the specific benefits that RevOps can bring to your subscription business.

1. You’ll see increased revenue.

You can attribute this to better coordination between departments. The RevOps strategy includes streamlining lead management processes and how these leads can move through the pipeline faster. Aligned departments can increase sales win rates by 38%.

2. You can identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities more effectively.

RevOps strategy supports retaining customers and maximizing their lifetime value. With a comprehensive view of customer data and behavior, RevOps lets you identify and capitalize on additional sales opportunities more effectively. 

Here’s an example—data analytics can help you decide the best time to offer upgrades or add-ons based on customer behavior. Maybe customers who use a certain feature heavily would benefit from a premium plan. Or a particular group could use a complementary product. With all your data in one place, these insights become crystal clear.

3. There’s shared accountability from cross-functional collaboration.

This is about your teams rowing in the same direction. Your teams now have a vested interest in the same revenue goals and KPIs. There’s shared accountability for driving growth across the entire customer lifecycle. Everyone understands how their work impacts the bottom line and has a stake in making data-driven decisions. If customer retention really dips or an upsell campaign flops, all the key players come together, look at the data, and make the necessary adjustments.

4. Better compliance with industry regulations.

Compliance extends to areas like subscription renewal notices, payment processing details, and accurate billing. With the RevOps strategy in place, you can validate that communications and financial processes are standardized and compliant. Plus, having a single source of truth from integrated data management allows you to easily update company-wide processes. 

5. It’s your competitive advantage.

With a traditional siloed approach, getting a comprehensive view of the entire customer journey and making data-driven decisions is painfully slow. (manually pulling reports from disparate systems?) But Rev Ops eliminates those delays by consolidating customer data lets your customers have faster time-to-value. And this can make your business stand out.

6. You can reduce costs.

Yes, having a revenue ops strategy can help you cut costs and boost that bottom line. Think of your business as a manufacturing facility. If your production line is clunky and inefficient, you’re wasting resources (which is money). RevOps analyzes your entire revenue-generating flow and finds those inefficiencies. By automating tasks, removing redundancies, and optimizing workflows, you’ll be surprised how much time and money you can save.

7. You’ll better know which technology stack to implement. 

Technology optimization. If operational inefficiencies and tech gaps exist, RevOps can spot these pain points and implement the tech integrations and process automation that would be the most impactful investments. RevOps strategically selects and implements the right technology stack, focusing on scalability, integration capabilities, cost-effectiveness, and user-friendliness. 

Potential challenges when implementing RevOps

Revenue team frustrated at challenges

Though RevOps is a powerful strategy, implementing it can be challenging for a number of reasons:

Change is hard (especially when resistance to change is internal)

Human nature? If we get comfortable with familiar routines and processes, disrupting them is challenging. Mindset shifts from siloed operations to cross-functional collaboration and shared accountability can be difficult for teams long accustomed to operating within their own domains, processes, and metrics. 

Skill and resource gaps 

At its core, RevOps requires a unique combination of analytical, technical, and operational competencies difficult to find in one resource. So, you must either re-train and upskill current employees or hire a new revenue operations team with RevOps technical stack expertise.

Budget constraints

A logical consequence of having skill and resource gaps is the challenge in terms of costs. Implementing RevOps can require significant investments in technology, training, and personnel. For smaller businesses or those with limited resources, this is a barrier to adoption.

Conflicting Goals

Sales, marketing, and customer success teams traditionally have different priorities, revenue targets, and metrics. Aligning these goals and getting everyone to focus on a common revenue objective can be tricky.

Low awareness of RevOps

Many people, even within organizations, may not fully understand what RevOps is, its benefits, or how it differs from traditional approaches. This lack of understanding makes it difficult to secure buy-in from stakeholders.

So, to overcome these challenges, here are some actionable tips to maximize your subscription business’ revenue growth potential. 

Best practices for RevOps

They say RevOps isn’t just about doing things differently—it’s about doing things smarter. So, here are some of our recommended approaches:

  1. Form your RevOps team composed of functionally diverse members. 
  2. Communicate—especially with all the stakeholders. Explain complex concepts and clearly present data.
  3. Determine how to measure success over time and track progress through key performance indicators (KPIs).
  4. Consider CRM systems, marketing automation platforms, sales enablement tools, and customer success platforms that can support your strategy. Integrate these systems so that data can be shared seamlessly across departments.
  5. Identify areas that can be improved by mapping the customer journey. Refine your processes based on customer feedback, and improve their experience overall.

Rev up with RevOps

RevOps is a strategic approach. Employed correctly, it brings together people, processes, data, and technology to optimize an organization’s revenue-generating efforts. For subscription-based businesses, it’s a way to drive growth, improve efficiency, and deliver superior customer service.

And here’s another way to keep your revenue healthy: Don’t let failed payments chip away at your money. While you embrace RevOps, couple it with the power of specialized recovery solutions.

Ready to turn failed payments into recovered revenue? Let our expert team at Recover Payments help you recover failed payments and maintain healthy revenue streams. Contact us today for a free consultation and discover how we can tailor a solution to meet your specific needs.