Revenue Operations: The Foundation for a Unified Understanding of Customer Journey
Explore Revenue Operations as the cornerstone for a cohesive view of the customer journey, driving growth & business synergy.
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Revenue Operations: The Foundation for a Unified Understanding of Customer Journey
Revenue operations are tasked with transforming the approach to revenue growth, orchestrating a harmonious relationship and unified understanding among all teams that play a role in the customer’s journey. From marketing and sales to customer success and product user experience, the customer interacts with many different functions in the company, and it is only revenue operations that works across these functions and can ensure a holistic view of customer engagement.
The journey of today’s customers is intricate, involving multiple channels and generally necessitating around 6-8 interactions to convert a lead successfully.
Naturally, companies distribute tasks among different departments and teams. Marketing is in charge of external communications, sales manages prospective customers, while customer service takes care of pre-and-post customer interactions. Each of these units has specific responsibilities and workflows defined by their roles. Nevertheless, the customer journey traverses all these distinct departments. So, who’s responsible for maintaining an overarching perspective on shaping the customer experience? This is where revenue operations come in.
A revenue operations team is open to marketing, sales, or customer service. Still, instead, it’s a special task force that aligns these three sectors towards a singular objective: augmenting revenue by enhancing customer satisfaction. To achieve this, revenue operations may strategize for various milestones. These include prolonging customer lifespan, enhancing value-added services, minimizing customer attrition, or accelerating the sales cycle. The customer journey ought to be an engaging and fulfilling experience, and revenue operations exist to ensure this is the case.
The forces behind building a unified customer journey
Think of a typical customer’s journey. Initially, as strangers, they’re introduced to your company through marketing, converted to customers by sales, and nurtured into loyal clients by customer success teams. This journey, from initial contact to recurring revenue generation touches different functions in the go-to-market chain, and all these functions are commonly overseen by revenue operations.
Let’s look at some of the factors in revenue operations that aid in building unified customer journeys.
Interconnected Goals And Strategies
Marketing, sales, and customer success teams perform critical roles but often operate in silos with differing success measures. Revenue operations bridge these gaps, ensuring that all departments play synergistic roles in driving revenue. It fosters a sense of shared responsibility for minimizing revenue leaks and revenue goals and encourages inter-departmental collaboration. For example, it prompts marketing to provide solid prospects for sales and sales to enhance marketing’s strategies for lead conversion, involving all stakeholders in a united revenue-driven effort. When cross-functional GTM teams are aligned on their goals, they are incentivized to look at the overall customer perspective.
Integrated Go-to-Market Data
Revenue operations aim to create operational harmony, starting with the data that typically sits in siloed systems managed by different GTM functions. The CRM software is critical to a revenue operations tech stack, supplemented by technologies like marketing automation, sales engagement, conversational intelligence, product analytics, etc. The effectiveness of these independent tools in the GTM tech stack increases with integration and directly impacts operational performance, profitability, and when explored from the buyer’s perspective , enhances understanding of overall customer journey.
Focus on Customer Experience
Market focus has shifted in recent times to retaining and growing existing customers rather than unilaterally striving for new business growth. This change in mindset means that organizations must support customers where and when they are. How regularly is the customer using the product? How many individuals within the company? Are they getting the value from the product that they expected when they signed up? How often is the customer success team engaged with the customer? Is the sales or CS organization having the upsell/cross-sell discussion with the right set of customers? What was their experience with marketing and sales before they signed on as a customer and what bearing will that have on future buying decisions?
All of these questions need to be answered by keeping the customer at the center of every revenue operations decision. A team with a unified understanding of the customer journey is best positioned to deliver the best customer experience possible.
How Revenue Operations Streamlines the Customer Journey
Revenue operations because of its end-to-end charter across marketing, sales, product and customer success, has an opportunity to optimize the full customer journey, by focusing on the customer’s perspective throughout the buying process, scrutinizing everything from initial advertisement exposure to marketing campaigns to SDR and sales interactions to product user experience and post-sales engagement. It aims to identify any elements that may frustrate, confuse, or could be enhanced for a more cohesive and value-added customer experience.
Success in revenue operations is gauged through critical metrics like Annual Recurring Revenue, Customer Lifetime Value, Customer Retention Rate, Sales Cycle Time, and Win Rate. By targeting these goals in conjunction with a unified understanding of customer journey, revenue operations can bolster sales, customer satisfaction, and loyalty and retention. Aligning Marketing and Sales in the Buyer’s Journey
Consistency between marketing and sales has always been vital, yet incongruity is the norm. Marketing pushes campaigns towards leads in most cases without any account level visibility. How many other leads from the same account are engaging with us? Has this account ever been approached by our sales organization and what was their response at the time? Similarly, when sales is working opportunities, they are unaware with marketing lead sources, campaigns and activity touchpoints each contact engaged with and what that means for their overall purchase readiness. This disparity can lead to a jarring customer transition, potentially losing leads.
Revenue operations address this by ensuring a holistic alignment between marketing and sales. It ensures the customer’s journey, promised by marketing, extends seamlessly into the sales phase. This guides marketing and prompts sales to evolve based on the overall customer insights gleaned by both functions resulting in a smoother transition from initial marketing contact through to the buying experience.
Incorporating the Product User Experience
How customers use the product in both the pre-sales and post-sales phase is a blind spot that most organizations continue to endure, even though it is a critical piece of the overall customer journey. Product usage details during the POC (amount of time spent on the product, number of product features used, etc.) can be a strong indicator of the customer’s interest in the product. After the sale, lack of regular logins, or the limitation of product usage to just a few individuals can be indicators of future churn risk. When this data is combined with pre-sales journey data such as customer pain points, it will be possible to assess how well the company is doing in addressing the customer’s needs and take action to remediate that.
The Return Customer and Cycle of Loyalty
Incorporating customer success into the customer journey is the next logical move. Customers facing product issues or otherwise requiring assistance inevitably interact with customer support and file service tickets. This interaction should reflect the brand’s personality and meet customer expectations. It should leverage previous interaction records to treat each interaction as continuing an ongoing conversation, making customers feel valued and remembered. It should help guide sales or CSM reps when it may be appropriate or inappropriate to bring up renewal or upsell conversations with the customer. It should leverage aforementioned product usage information to alert the CSM team on when to proactively engage a customer who appears to be using the product sub-optimally.
How to measure customer journey in revenue operations
To evaluate the customer journey, revenue operations utilize diverse techniques and metrics to understand the efficacy of each stage. Let’s explore critical measurement methods revenue operations use in the customer journey.
Revenue operations teams already monitor lead generation metrics like website traffic, lead sources, and conversion rates. They also assess marketing campaign performance through impressions, clicks, and engagement rates. In addition, it helps to track which campaign activities leads engage with creating touchpoints with the marketing team. Tracking this at the account level will also help raise triggers for hot leads when multiple leads from the same account start consuming marketing content from the company within the same timeframe.
The revenue operations team can monitor lead progression through the sales pipeline to gauge the sales process’s efficacy. From a Revops standpoint, vital metrics include stage-wise conversion rates, average lead transition time between stages, and win/loss rates. In addition, from a customer journey standpoint, other things to track include the number of contacts in the account, how often they are being engaged by the rep, positive/negative sentiment of the customer during these meetings and whether the customer is also interacting with the company in other ways (e.g. website, marketing campaigns) during the pre-sales phase.
Things to measure on the product side vis-a-vis the customer journey include number of logins in a defined timeframe, how much time the user spends in the product, which parts of the product they visit and what actions they take from those product components. When this information is cross-referenced with other customer journey data, e.g. what the primary pain point was that they were trying to solve, whether they have filed any support tickets, and when their renewal is up, this information paints a fuller picture on what actions we need to take to help the customer along in their journey.
Revenue operations can evaluate customer satisfaction through metrics like feedback scores such as CSAT or NPS. While CSAT provides an estimation of how satisfied the customer is with the company’s product or service, NPS provides a gauge of how likely the customer is to refer the company to his/her peers. Companies also gather customer feedback via in-app polls, third-party reviews, and tracking sentiment data from meetings with CSM to assess overall satisfaction and pinpoint improvement areas in the customer journey. When this information is filtered down to pertinent cohorts and cross-referenced with support ticket data, or CSM engagement data, it may provide greater insights into the health of this account and its potential impact on churn/renewal and upsell/cross-sell. These metrics offer insights into the organization’s effectiveness in fulfilling customer needs throughout their journey and the overall customer experience.
BigLittle: Innovating the RevOps Horizon by Streamlining and Integrating Revenue Operations Across Diverse Sectors
At BigLittle, we’re at the cutting edge of the RevOps evolution. As the strategic guide and orchestrator for RevOps teams, we’re equipped to supervise and simplify all aspects of revenue operations, encompassing marketing, sales, and the comprehensive customer journey. Operating in harmony with and at a layer above traditional operational tools, we provide end-to-end visibility into all interactions of each customer contact with marketing, SDR, sales, customer success and product, thus enabling RevOps teams to be able to visualize the entire journey for each customer in one place.
Get in touch with us today to learn more.