Last week, more than 260 marketing, sales, and customer success leaders gathered at the first ever OpsStars roadshow event, in New York City. This one-day event featured sessions and workshops focused on the emerging category of revenue operations, which calls for all revenue teams—across marketing, sales, and customer success—to unify under the umbrella of revenue operations for better internal processes that make for an optimal customer experience and accelerate growth. Here are the top four takeaways to consider as you continue strategic planning in your business:
Start thinking about revenue operations.
Whether you’re already calling it revenue operations or not, organizations are seeing value in shifting their internal processes to better align across teams on go-to-market (GTM) motions. Building a comprehensive end-to-end customer journey that delivers the best possible customer experience is resulting in true revenue results. But to do so, marketing, sales, and customer success need to be aligned so that customers aren’t handed off from one org to the next; rather, they move smoothly and seamlessly on a continuum.
The emerging category of revenue operations aligns teams under shared goals and full transparency of the customer journey. Some organizations are formalizing revenue operations with organizational shifts, designating a chief revenue officer (CRO) or revenue operations leader, while others are taking steps to align processes across marketing, sales, and customer success operations.
As revenue operations continues to emerge and take form in many businesses, there is no one direct path. It’s about analyzing your end-to-end customer journey and ensuring there is full alignment at each internal touchpoint, so that there aren’t gaps in your data or inefficiencies in your process.
The customer experience is part of sales.
Gone are the days of the handoff. A seamless customer experience doesn’t happen when marketing passes leads to sales and sales passes customers off to the customer team. To successfully retain lifelong customers, businesses are building smooth transitions between business units. All teams that influence customer behavior and satisfaction—marketing, sales, customer success—need to be aligned to not only earn new business, but to retain it as well.
When prospects convert to customers, marketing and sales need to continue to work with customer success organizations to build cross-sell, upsell, and renewal campaigns.
ABM is NOT just a marketing play.
Account-based strategies are a great way to build targeted experiences, but they aren’t just marketing plays. An ABM (account-based marketing) or ABS (account-based sales) play is a great way to focus on target prospect accounts, but what about current customers? Account-based strategies are great for customers!
Leverage your customer roadmap to create specific campaigns designed to accelerate your customers’ experience. If they are currently using your product at a basic or entry level, build plays that educate them on becoming a premier or advanced user. Account-based plays that show the value of your other offerings are easy wins because they are already committed to you as a provider.
Don’t skip steps.
Whether you are a small business, or enterprise, all of these takeaways and other insights gained at OpsStars are achievable. It’s all about identifying what is currently working in your organization and scaling those efforts. Growth is very exciting and sometimes we want to skip ahead to the results, or we just want to focus on our pipeline and the potential revenue that brings to the business, but all of that can hurt your customers’ experience. Being too top heavy leaves room for a poor customer experience once they convert.
Build a framework for success that involves the ideal customer journey. Map out the specific touchpoints your customers need to hit in order to succeed. Earning the business of customers is one thing, but keeping it is most important in order to build your revenue machine because they can be your greatest advocates. Continue to nurture and support them.
On the sales and marketing front, don’t skip steps here either! What is the ideal experience you want for prospects? Think of their journey as part of the customer journey, it just happens at the front end of the continuum. The white glove service you provide customers should be conveyed to prospects. Give them a taste of what they’ll be getting upfront so that they know what to expect and can sign on as a customer with confidence.