With an ever-evolving buying journey, businesses need a revenue team behind them to create the best experiences for customers, build key relationships that matter, and grow and retain revenue in accounts.
We’ve seen the era of lone wolf sellers come and go. Those sellers are quickly seeing the rug pulled out from under their feet as buyers are looking for the human touch to help guide them through big B2B purchases. Relationship management has never been more important in sales, and it takes a revenue team to build vital relationships with the people that matter.
What is a revenue operations team?
A revenue operations team is a group of professionals across different functions, all banded together toward the common goal of driving revenue. This means that instead of different departments working in disparate silos, every function is part of a greater whole aimed at generating mutual success. This includes, primarily, people in marketing, sales, and customer success teams.
Do you need a revenue team?
That depends. In short, if you are dealing with complex B2B sales where buying groups are often involved, then you need a revenue team.
There are a few reasons for this. One of them surrounds the growing complexity of deals. Buyers are spending more time, and doing more due diligence, when deciding on a potential solution provider.
Meanwhile, the buying journey is shifting from time spent with the seller. This is not to say that the seller doesn’t matter – they are critical in complex deals. But what it does mean is that sellers need to make the most of their time with buyers. This means having the right resources, content, and marketing in place to maximize the experience in every single interaction is vital.
What selling looked like before
A strategic, multi-armed approach to sales is something that’s been missing in the B2B sales world for a long time. Often, what we’re seeing is sellers gathering what basic information they can, shooting that off to a buyer in the form of a proposal, and then moving on to the next big deal.
The problem is, buyers expect more. They are not looking to be a number in a CRM – they are looking for the human touch. Recent studies point to the importance of relationship selling, the resurgence of face-to-face time in complex buying motions, and the need for sellers when deals are complex.
It takes a team of sellers, marketers, and customer success professionals to give customers what they need to succeed before and after the sale.
It takes a village to close a deal – enter ABM and ABS
An important step in this evolution away from old, outdated sales tactics is towards a more targeted approach. Just as sellers functioned in a way that did not give them what they needed to truly impact the buying journey, marketing was caught up in a “spray and pray” approach towards marketing efforts – growing the funnel wide and hoping something would stick.
Today, marketing and sales are closely joined together in the best sales organizations, working together on account plans, and working towards a clearly defined ideal customer profile in select markets, treating each account as a market of one. This approach is called an account-based marketing and account-based sales model, and the revenue team is the foundation on which it is built.
Armed with this sort of strategic oversight, sellers can position themselves as trusted advisors within their accounts and be seen as more than just another vendor. Marketing plays a particularly unique role here. Through strategic initiatives and working closely with sales, marketing can:
- Move a targeted account from disinterest or lack of awareness to engagement and awareness of your company’s solutions.
- Create campaigns leading to opportunities to position your company as the preferred provider of choice.
- Achieve strategic relevance with sales nurturing to strengthen account position for broad and deep penetration.
Benefits of a revenue team
Apart from giving sellers what they need to make the most out of their interactions with sellers, there are several other reasons to consider a revenue team. These include:
- Improved revenue growth: Revenue teams can help you identify and capitalize on new revenue opportunities. They can also help you optimize your existing sales and marketing processes to drive more leads and close more deals.
- Increased collaboration: One of greatest benefits of the revenue team is collaboration. Instead of vital, customer facing roles operating in their own silos, a revenue team challenges sales, marketing, and customer success teams to collaborate with one another on all aspects of the customer journey.
- Better decision-making: Revenue teams can help you collect and analyze data to make better decisions about your business. They can also help you track your progress and measure the ROI of your revenue-generating activities.
- Full funnel accountability: Instead of parsing out who is responsible for what, marketing, sales and customer success are responsible for the full funnel. When potential customers engage with you, they don’t see the lines in the sand that denote different departments. They see one company.
Revenue operations team structure
Plenty of resources go into building out an effective revenue team. For this reason, businesses will need to put plenty of thought and effort into developing their revenue team’s structure. While this will undoubtedly vary depending on the size and complexity of each business, there are a few core roles that typically comprise a revenue team.
In many ways, the entire revenue team is based behind the seller – arming them with what they need to build the best possible relationships with customers, both current and prospective. In a revenue operations team model, sales will typically work with the marketing team to develop and execute sales strategies, and they will also work with the customer success team to ensure that customers are satisfied with their purchase and find new ways to target whitespace and upsell opportunities within an account.
In a revenue approach, marketing is geared towards a hyper-segmented audience, oftentimes including personalized content to target members within the target account. Thanks to this, marketing has a stronger, more detailed image of their ideal customer profile. In turn, this helps all messaging and content assets to better target key players in target accounts, avoiding the spray and pray approach. It’s spear fishing, not trawling.
Customer success teams are focused on treating the customer not as a transaction but as a real relationship – helping sellers turn existing customers into opportunities to grow and retain revenue.
The structure of the revenue team will also depend on the specific goals of the business. For example, a business that is focused on acquiring new customers may have a larger sales team, while a business that is focused on retaining customers may have a larger customer success team.
No matter what the size or structure of the revenue team, it is important that all members are aligned with the overall goals of the business. The revenue team should work together to create a seamless customer experience, from the initial lead generation to the final sale.
Revenue team – core pillars for success
With the revenue team fully assembled, there are a few key components revenue team leaders should keep in mind as they continue to refine their approach. Here are a few core pillars that revenue teams should look to build:
- Effective coaching for sellers: making relationships a priority starts internally. Sellers need top-notch coaching and mentorship as they work through deals.
- Collaboration: it’s often been said that the difference between a good account plan and a great one is collaboration. Therefore, regular collaboration on account plans between sellers, leaders, marketing professionals and customer success team members is vital to tackling accounts as one cohesive revenue team.
- Sales enablement: as teams work through their account plans together, they can begin to strategize on ways to effectively support sellers through content, sales enablement, customer success stories and added training. This is where marketing and customer success can really impact on the bottom line, helping coalesce the insights from the entire revenue team in the form of a deal review to get the seller on the best possible foot that takes the deal across the finish-line.
The revenue team puts customers and relationships at their center
Making the shift to a revenue operations team is challenging, but it can have a revolutionary impact on your business. In many ways, it’s the solution to the many seemingly impossible challenges sellers face today, including expanding buying groups, shrinking face time with customers, and a heightened premium placed on the personal touch in complex, B2B buying cycles. By taking the revenue team approach, your sellers will have what they need to tackle the demands by bringing their best foot forward in every interaction that matters with potential buyers.