The Revenue Operations Triangle: Giving Shape to an Idea

~ 7 min read | October 8

The stage is set. You define a revenue target and let the best of your crew run to achieve it.

Your Marketing team is trying to identify new channels and strategies to keep up with the growing lead target.

The Sales team is on a mission to reduce the sales cycle while increasing the average deal value.

Finance is making sure you align with the annual budget, your financial forecast, and all your hard-earned revenue is recognized accurately.

However, something is amiss. Your machinery is not as well-oiled as you want it to be. The unseen friction caused by siloed data and duct-taped processes seems to birth a gaping chasm between you and your maximum revenue potential.

The result? A fair share of your revenue is sucked into the chasm, tossing efforts into a scrap heap.

PS: If you want to read on how inefficiencies, the sworn enemy of growth, are secretly driving businesses to head here.


Multiple leaders, multiple goals, multiple metrics, multiple training programs, multiple tools – no wonder there was misalignment!

– Chris Walker, CEO at Refine Labs

How do you enable functions to look beyond a team’s individual goals and run towards common revenue goals? What’s the one picture that helps teams meet the north star metrics of the company?

Who will orchestrate the grand symphony of revenue optimization?

Meet Revenue Operations (if you haven’t yet).

The goal of Revenue Operations is to achieve strategic alignment throughout all your revenue-driving functions — marketing, sales, operations, finance, and customer success —across the entire customer lifecycle, to drive uninhibited growth.

These RevOps heroes exist in your organization already. Masquerading under the name of Ops, they are busy fighting silos and inefficiencies. And that’s why businesses buy the idea of Revenue Operations without batting an eyelid. The real struggle is when businesses try to define and give shape to the RevOps function in a way that maximizes revenue opportunities.

So, how do you tailor it to your business rules and bring your existing revenue-driving functions together?

revenue operations-framework

The Revenue Operations Framework

People

Because when you’re trying to cut wood, you not only need the right tools but also the right hands.

Every company is in a different stage of growth and has different priorities. No matter where you are, it’s going to be chaotic – new tools as your teams grow, process requests to bridge these tools, experiments to test new revenue opportunities. The small fires could consume every bit of your mind space that you miss out on thinking long-term goals. Unless you’re Bob Dylan, chaos isn’t your friend.

Your RevOps team will be the hub of all your revenue-driving teams wearing both the reactive and proactive coat as they go. They will be reactive in terms of channelizing requests from different teams and picking battles they have to fight. And proactive by helping teams make the right decisions by bubbling up the right insights. For Revenue Operations to draw the right insights and handle requirements elegantly, they will need the right tools to work with and processes to supplement the efforts.

Tools

It’s better to focus on strategizing new solutions than running around plumbing, duct-taping, and fixing the leaks in your existing tools.

As you grow, you’ll want to run experiments for maximizing revenue opportunities. It could be anything from running pricing experiments,  localizing your invoices and email communications, to trial experiments. Your revenue infrastructure will need to support all this and open up possibilities that are otherwise unseen.

Apart from that, your teams will also inevitably grow out of tools they started off with. You will need to build processes from scratch, migrate the existing data whilst maintaining sanity, and stitch it with your existing tech stack.

When choosing software and working on the implementation of this size, I always think of;

1) the integrations it has available to the existing Software Stack.
2) if it can increase the power of the existing Software Stack, and how?
3) the implications if we are to integrate and the risk if we do and do not do this.

— Jay Khiroya, Head of Revenue Operations, Doctify

Plugging and unplugging tools in your tech stack is the inevitability you need to prepare yourself for. But your underlying revenue infrastructure – the one that houses all your billing, subscription and payment data – needs to facilitate the switch and dampen the effects of this inevitability.

With the right tools, the right hands and a solid infrastructure, you help buy your teams the valuable time and you reduce inefficiencies that could creep into the system. 

Let’s say you’ve the best people on board. And you now know the right tools to work with. What next?

Processes 

The waves of SaaS have erased the line between all revenue-driving teams. The coming together needs to reflect on how the processes are set up as well.

Your Marketing team is running a discount campaign for targeted customers. But they are yet to receive the subscription data from your Operations team. For that to happen, your subscription intelligence needs to flow into the marketing automation tool.

Your Account Executive just got off a huge deal call and wants to send a Quote right away. But to generate a Quote from the Finance team is a long-drawn process, one that costs time. To expedite this, a deal desk needs to step in, and handle quotes and approvals to free up the AE to go after the next deal.

Your finance team is trying to align the numbers in your book to the revenue in your account. But with all the mid-cycle upgrades/downgrades and delinquent churns, it is a hassle. For this to be a less-frustrating process, you will need a billing operations team to keep track of all the mid-cycle changes.

All this friction costs time, hinders long-term growth and leaves money on the table. You’ll need to figure out the best processes that flow without hiccups to remove this friction. And when we say processes, it’s not about clunky and tangled processes that solve immediate needs. But a neatly stitched tech stack to streamline the flow of your revenue.

Analytics

Data births stories. And stories as such are open to interpretation. But there is only one truth and the truth would open up avenues for revenue.

Each team has its own success metrics and data sources to rely on, opening up huge possibilities to have a story that is far-off from the truth. And the story will influence the battles that your teams wage on a day-to-day basis.

Marketing’s battle would be about budget constraints on generating quality leads, while Sales’ would be about converting those deals into consistent revenue. To the Success team, it would encompass dealing with a higher churn because of low-quality deal conversion.

And with Finance in the picture, it becomes a question of understanding metrics that improve the bottom line and overall growth — What happens when you expand to new geographies? What happens when you have different product lines, each with different ARPU? Are you meeting the revenue guidelines dictated by the market or the board?

To resolve many of these issues, you’d require end-to-end visibility. Unless you figure out the metrics that supercharge your growth, you will reek of revenue losses.

The processes need to ensure your teams have 360-degree visibility into your revenue metrics and your tools need to bolster the data flow. All functions need to come together to contribute to your company’s strategic revenue.

RevOps brings together a coherent insight with deeper contextual knowledge of these teams’ success metrics from an efficiency standpoint and helps drive decisions for the future.

Have you started thinking about RevOps already? I would love to hear how you go about it. Write to me at swetha@chargebee.com.

If you want to learn how Chargebee solves for Revenue Operations team across the globe, jump here.

Swetha M

Product Marketer | Chargebee