By Adam Ady
Director of Sales Operations, True Influence
A huge component of RevOps is attribution technology that tracks leads and prospects not only to sales qualification, but also to closed business. This requires a streamlined technology stack that gathers, analyzes and publishes data from a single clean source.
Unfortunately, sales and marketing technology is a jumbled mess at many organizations right now. True Influence Senior Vice President, Ken Lordy, recently posted about the ongoing push for consolidation in the martech stack, suggesting that sellers simplify to a central workflow system for marketers, supported by perhaps four or so complementary systems for niche functions.
A key to this tech consolidation will be sharing data between systems, and that should definitely extend to sales (and customer service) platforms. Each of these systems will have features and functions specific to the job at hand – sales people don’t cut email lists, and marketers don’t schedule field sales calls. But each should pass data back and forth to a central, optimized store. And this should encompass qualitative feedback, like notes on calls from sales that can be used to hone marketing’s targeting personas.
I think these tools should also report key metrics about the overall health of the RevOps pipeline to everyone involved in the process. Again, sales doesn’t need to see campaign-by-campaign response rates – too much data can become overwhelming. But some indicators for overall account and funnel status, perhaps by key persona, would be a useful insight for everyone. There’s no reason to wait three months to react to a shift in the market when the data is immediately available.
I foresee a RevOps stack that includes a daily operational platform for marketing, sales and probably customer service, along with a few niche tools for specific functions, such as data acquisition – more on that in a bit.
You’ve probably noticed that the organizational changes I’ve discussed all rely on analyzing and sharing data. Lots of data. More data than your own sales and marketing teams can create, in fact.
Identifying and filling gaps in marketing and sales data is a pillar of modern B2B selling, and its importance will only grow as both marketing and sales track and acquire data for their own purposes. All feedback sales gives on a lead should drive metric re-evaluation. And any third-party firmographic information marketing acquires from a data mart should immediately be validated against every other bit of knowledge you have about target accounts.
In fact, the ability and need to collect and share so much data will only amplify the misalignment between marketing and sales, unless that process is centralized under a unified policy and management – which is the whole premise of RevOps.
In this area, the CRO’s new best friend will be the Chief Data Officer, who should be in charge of data quality and security for the whole organization. Our own CIO, Ray Estevez, wrote recently about the value of setting up Centers of Data Excellence in your organization, and which data science skills are at a premium for modern B2B sellers. CROs don’t necessarily need to oversee these number-crunching centers, of course, but having a single voice for how data is used to drive revenue is essential.
RevOps should also help set guidelines for acquiring third-party data from the multitude of data marketplaces and partners now available to B2B marketers. We’ve developed our True Influence Marketing Cloud to offer simple, powerful tools to segment and inject data at any stage of the RevOps pipeline, and I think that’s the model most CROs will want to employ for their operations.
In fact, data acquisition is one of the “niche” areas that justifies an entry in the RevOps stack, I believe. It all boils down to getting everyone engaged with the big picture, while giving them tools to execute their critical role in the process.
RevOps may prove to be a key organizational step in breaking down the daily barriers that have undermined B2B sales and marketing for so long. The best CROs are going to find ways to focus everybody’s attention on finding and winning the best customers. This includes building a culture where everybody can challenge assumptions and find better ways.
For more on the RevOps role, see these articles: