If you are on an ops team (RevOps, Sales Ops, Marketing Ops), you are no stranger to the incessant “buzz” of Slack or Gmail alerts.
Your stakeholders need you right now.
Salesforce broke, and they can’t move an opportunity to the next stage. They can’t save a record because of some weird error at the top that says “Required field is missing”. Wonder what that one could be?
But you want to be helpful. So you respond to the Slacks and emails. Before you know it, there are several threads with multiple people for a myriad of requests, and your productivity is gone. Remember your RevOps roadmap? Down the drain it goes.
But isn’t your job as RevOps to fix Salesforce? Why do you need a roadmap? Aren’t you a glorified system admin? If your sales team can’t move their opportunity stages, are you hindering their ability to generate revenue?
There are lots of opinions these days about what RevOps is or what RevOps means to people.
- Gartner defines RevOps as “The function that designs, manages, and tracks non-product experiences across the entire lifecycle.”
- GoNimbly says “The purpose of RevOps is to maximize the value of every “yes” you get from a buyer, and the way you do that is by consistently working to improve the buying experience.”
- Digital Utopia describes “Revenue Operations (RevOps) is a business function that aims to maximize an organization’s revenue potential.”
But what is it really?
A non-sexy case for process
Let’s talk about PEAS from the Head of Revenue and Growth Operations at Upkeep, Jeff Ignacio. Process, Enablement, Advisory, and Systems. There’s a common thread among those definitions. Process is the building block of a successful revenue engine.
The RevOps organization is responsible for defining, building, improving, implementing, and maintaining scalable go-to-market processes. Process-driven organizations will generate more revenue by enabling your revenue teams to focus on what they do best: generate revenue.
Look, we get it. Reports and dashboards are sexy. Numbers, metrics, KPIs, oh my! And don’t get it wrong. Reporting and analytics are important. They give you insight into your business and allow leadership to make data driven decisions. Your CRM needs maintenance, changes, and a few new features, too. But what do you need before you get there? Processes.
Processes may seem boring, but they are a critical pillar of the RevOps function. If you don’t have a process in place, there are no reports, no pretty dashboards, and no data-driven decision-making. So defining your go-to marketing processes is crucial to the sole reason RevOps exists: enable revenue teams to do what they do best, generate revenue!
You may be thinking: okay, processes, I need them. Understood. But where do I start?
A good place to begin is with a defined request intake process. With COVID-19 and remote work, people have more digital channels to ping someone for everything they need. Salesforce is down. HubSpot is down. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is down. I need an email alert when I close a deal. How do you manage all these requests without losing your sanity?
A request process is key. You will be able to mute Slack and Google notifications because all your requests come through one defined channel. You’ll be able to prioritize, work through things, and identify gaps in business processes or systems. You can accomplish this with a few easy steps.
1. Define your categories of requests
What types of requests are you seeing the most often? Or are you stuck on where to start? It isn’t necessary to do an analysis on your backlog of requests living in multiple communication channels. You can start with a few categories and change them as you go. The beauty of building processes is you can evaluate them, then make changes if you need to.
- Choose your categories: bug, feature request, data import, and other. It can be as simple as four categories. Here’s an example of the ones I personally use:
The easier it is to submit a request, the stronger adoption will be. Once you have the categories, give them a short definition. This is so people will know which category to choose when submitting a request. At first, you will most likely need to re-categorize requests yourself. As time goes on, people will understand contact owners being assigned to account owners is a feature request and not a bug. They’ll get there. Baby steps.
2. Define information you need from stakeholders
What is the minimum amount of information you need to start working on your request? If it’s a system bug, you’ll need a link to the record and a screenshot. If it’s a feature request, you’ll need some details about what your stakeholder is looking to achieve with adding a new feature to a system.
You’ll need to provide a space for a description of the request, you’ll need your categories, priority level, and a place to drop screenshots or links.
Here’s an example for a feature request, which is a common ask in many orgs:
3. Choose your tool
Now that you have your process defined, the fun part is choosing your tool to build your form.
If you don’t have a budget yet, start with a Google form, but don’t use an Excel sheet if you care to have a sustainable process and not become overwhelmed with requests. Build a form and request workflow in SharePoint to manage requests. Whatever tool you use, make sure you have a centralized place to view and work through all of your requests.
4. Communicate your new (or updated) process
Human beings do not like change. Our brains are biologically programmed to resist change. The best way to increase adoption of the process is to prepare people ahead of time. You can start with an announcement you will change the request process.
Give an update as you’re creating the form. And an update before the go-live. A little patience as people adjust to something new, and your revenue engine will be humming smoothly in no time.
Whether you are a RevOps team of one or many, establishing processes for your revenue teams remains vital to the success of your revenue engine. As you build or redefine your RevOps function, remember the first letter of PEAS: process.
Process is the seemingly boring underbelly of operations, but important nonetheless. Start small, with a request process. A defined way for your stakeholders to submit their burning questions and desires to RevOps.
Having a formally defined request process will allow you to manage things in a centralized place, prioritize against existing projects and business objectives, identify gaps, and allow you to keep your sanity – especially if you are a RevOps team of one.
Identify your request categories, decide what information you need from your stakeholders, choose your tool, and communicate your changes to the end-users. There you have it. You’ve leveled up your RevOps org in four easy steps. Most importantly, your Slack and Gmail will thank you.