If you feel like your sales process is only getting more complex, you’re not alone. The vast majority (85 percent) of B2B sales and marketing professionals told us in a recent survey that they are experiencing a high level of complexity in managing internal and external sales process factors. More than one in three survey respondents reported a “very high” level of complexity.
This data is consistent with what we’ve heard over and over again from B2B organizations over the past five years. Thankfully, the growth of sales and marketing operations teams and tools, as well as those who are managing customer-facing operations in a coordinated/integrated way via “revenue operations”, are finally reporting less complexity and greater sales results by adopting smarter go-to-market management tools and strategies.
Even those who have implemented revenue operations practices for a year or less report less complexity in their sales process. I don’t believe that qualifies revenue operations as a “quick win”, but it certainly indicates that smarter practices can lead to more consistent, positive results.
Next week in New York City, as well as next month in Boston, I will be unveiling further detail and insights from a deep-dive set of research we recently completed with LeanData highlighting the impact of revenue operations on companies from a wide variety of sizes, industries and states of go-to-market maturity.
The survey results were overall sobering, but also highlighted a minority of companies who are seeing greater sales results, better marketing performance, less complex sales processes and more effective go-to-market programs. Most respondents have some form of sales and marketing operations in place already. And the vast majority (71 percent) reported that revenue operations has become increasingly important to achieving their goals.
And although effective revenue operations requires an investment of time, people and tools, the results are starting to shine through. Almost two-thirds of respondents reported an increase in sales conversion as a result of revenue operations. Twenty-one percent of respondents reported a sales conversion rate higher than 10 percent in 2018.
Key to making these numbers clearly includes a tight collaboration between sales and marketing. The majority of revenue operations programs were reported to be run jointly by marketing and sales. Among those respondents on track to hit their number, “strong alignment between sales and marketing” was cited as rated as the highest sales enablement need. And when we dug deeper into the revenue operations programs with the highest, most consistent and repeatable performances, we found several trends in how and where they focus.
For example, they spend a high percentage of their time planning to execute. They obsess about target market, the buying committee and buying journey, as well as tight, distinct roles across the sales and marketing organization. They also invest in the right technology but manage it closely, ensuring each addition to the marketing technology stack has an objective and is audited regularly.
Finally, the revenue operations leaders – the OpsStars – understand the difference between their operational scorecard and their executive scorecard. They separate the metrics that observe marketing execution from those that indicate sales and marketing impact. If you’d like to learn more about the research findings as well as the best practices that resulted, please join us at one of the OpsStars tour dates.