Recession Proofing with Revenue Operations
| Published: October 25, 2022
Getting a return on investment (ROI) is always important when it comes to the sales or marketing platforms we use every day. With budget increasingly under the microscope now, how can we extract the most value from these tools?
High inflation, a skilled labour shortage, and the economic slowdown have created a perfect storm for scaling businesses. Right now, business leaders are counting every dollar they spend across all marketing, sales, and customer success operations.
Recently we hosted a webinar to learn how companies can use Revenue Operations or RevOps (definition here) to survive and even thrive. Check out the webinar video or read our synopsis below, which features insights from Sarita Dobing of Bridgit, Amy Luk of RouteThis, and Jessica McAulay of Inflectiv.
From your perspective, how advanced are companies when it comes to using revenue operations principles and best practices? Generally speaking, how are they measuring ROI?
Some companies have employees doing RevOps “from the side of their desk,” where one employee spends only some of their time on it. Without RevOps, it can be a challenge for a company to make a data-driven decision.
By investing in a system or CRM as one source of truth, then they can focus on refining the sales process, have governance in place, ensure the right deals are populated without restricting the sales team, and monitor to understand any gaps.
Focusing on marketing operations and bringing the key metrics to the fore allows companies to manage everything all the way down. It’s all about having the right data in place to track that, and then meeting regularly to take action based on what the data uncovers.
Lots of companies are still in the build stage of revenue operations. When it comes to the best way to measure ROI, sales velocity is an important metric. That helps to align the sales team and identify gaps in the process where things can be improved.
When it comes to ROI, it’s important to steer clear of vanity metrics that may not be essential. For example, open rates may not be as important as conversion rates.
We know that in the pending economic downturn, companies are scrutinizing their budget even more. What is the go-to low hanging fruit that people in RevOps can do to maximize budget?
One place to start is your tech stack. Many companies have a deep tech debt, and many leaders have certain tools they prefer. It’s vital to start by putting the entire tech stack into one budget, and have one set of eyes on the tech stack. If you split the budget across different teams, you’ll have a lot of duplication of tools and siloing. There is often overlap; it doesn’t make sense to have multiple tools doing the same thing.
Pro tip: map the tools along your customer journey to clearly see the function of each tool and if there is overlap. Be sure to centralize the management of governance, budget, and renewals for each platform. It can be hard as some people want to fight for the budget, but it’s typically worth fighting for.
One example mentioned related to a customer success tool. There was a dedicated team to get things up and running, and the company was able to determine the “need to have” vs. the “nice to haves” with this tool. In the end a lot of the functionality could be replicated elsewhere to save money.
Also keep an eye on the number of licenses you have. When you purchase a tool, you want to get a handle on who is actually using it. Then you can restrict the licenses to whoever is actually using it.
Amy Luk suggested using a form that colleagues must complete before any new tech purchase, with the following questions:
- Why do you need this tool?
- What exactly do you want this tool to do?
- Can any other tool do this thing that you’d like to do?
Conduct a feature comparison or pro’s and con’s list, or score them, to get to a solid decision. Can we save the sales team time? Can we improve a specific metric?
Buying a new tool is often not the most efficient way to solve the problem or business need. The more tools you have, the more difficult it is to consolidate that data. You then need workarounds and accommodations to get everything working.
“You really want to have the least amount of tech solve as many business problems as possible.”
– Amy Luk, RouteThis
Make sure to sit in on all the product demos. Take the time to evaluate the tools, the features, and understand who is (or should be) using them effectively.
Sarita stressed how important it is to have a strategic or business owner for every tool; it can’t just be the RevOps person.
What are some of the most useful tools companies should use in its tech stack to get ROI?
It’s very subjective. Be sure to start with one source of truth, a CRM like HubSpot or Salesforce for the sales team to use that integrates with other software. Marketing automation systems enable your team to work smarter and not harder.
After that you may want to look at the following tools:
- Business intelligence (BI) or data tools like Insight Squared or Domo can bring all the data into one view and do deeper analysis.
- Data enrichment tools like Zoominfo can be incredibly useful to certain industries.
- Sales tools like Gong, which records the sales team can identify insights for improvement
- BDR tool like Outreach or lead scoring tools could be very useful as well
- A data cleaning tool like Incycle or parts of HubSpot Operations Hub.
What strategies are you using with RevOps given the current times?
If you are reviewing your pipeline or forecast monthly or bi-monthly, now would be the time increase the frequency so you can be agile.
Zero in on your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and customer journey to ensure that everything you’re doing is to find and win with that specific type of customer. If you’re going too broad, you might not have the most efficient spend.
“Right now we can’t rely on historical data because these times are unprecedented. You have to be ready to respond when you see that data or dip, or if something is not working, you need pivot and pivot fast.”
– Sarita Dobing, Bridgit
If a company doesn’t have a RevOps team, would now be a good time to create one?
There is always an uptick when a company invests in revenue operations. Getting a grasp of your data and processes will find you efficiencies. Now, more than ever, it’s important to invest in RevOps, whether you hire an employee or bring in consultants to move faster, said Sarita.
Are you looking for help with revenue operations, your tech stack, or sales velocity? Reach out anytime to chat with an expert.