Sales Ops vs. RevOps


RevOps, i.e. Revenue Operations, is a buzzword in the sales industry at the moment. Apart from being the most talked-about subject, the roles, including the word "Revenue", have been steadily increasing in recent years. However, what's with this sharp increase in RevOps? Many such questions still prevail.

Sales Ops, i.e., Sales Operations, is a subset of Revenue Operations that focuses on the strategic work that the sales team requires to improve sales processes and systems and more successfully convert new clients. For many companies, Sales Ops is simply one part of their overall revenue strategy, whereas RevOps is the business architecture that balances operational demands throughout all revenue-generating teams. Because they all have the same purpose in mind: to generate money, Sales Ops frequently evolve into RevOps.

What do Revenue Operations even mean?

RevOps and Sales Ops: Are they the same?

How are these roles different?

Are they just slightly different titles that work towards driving revenue?

Let's figure out what's what. First up, let's start with Sales Ops.

Defining Sales Operations

Simply put, Sales Operations are the backup team and backbone for the sales reps. Sales Ops teams are often seen as separate entities in companies that support, enable, and drive front-line sales teams and sales individuals to sell better, faster, and more efficiently. The goal of sales ops is to reduce friction in the sales process so that team members can complete more transactions and create more money for the company.

Sales Operations allow sales reps to be productive and successful and focus on what they're good at - closing deals. Sales Ops bring a system to selling. But perhaps more than anything else, their overall goal is to create and sustain growth.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Sales Operations Representative

The broader purpose of sales operations is to boost productivity, enhance effectiveness, increase efficiency, and the overall impact that your sales team has on your organization's performance. To achieve this, your sales ops department has many roles and responsibilities.

Here are a few areas of responsibilities for Sales Operations:

1. Data Management

Measuring and evaluating the sales data to determine how effective a product, sales process, or campaign has been.

2. Forecasting

By examining and understanding past data and performance trends, Sales Ops forecasts future sales growth, its needs, and future campaigns and goals.

3. Sales Tactics

Sales Ops use their data analysis findings and forecasting to create a sales strategy. They create a tactical sales strategy and set objectives based on the analysis.

4. Sales Team Support

Sales Operations exist to help sales representatives become more efficient and impactful. They do this by tracking the communications, providing leads, preparing quotations, providing sales-related training, etc.

5. Lead Generation

Managing and handling administrative tasks like lead generation, i.e., attracting and converting prospects into leads, scheduling appointments with the leads and contacts, etc.

6. Sales Incentives/Commissions Calculation

Identifying, managing, and aligning value for the three greatest stakeholders impacted by incentives or commissions: Organizational leaders, customers, and, most importantly, salespeople.

What is Revenue Operations?

RevOps is like the new kid on the block. There is a lot of confusion about this new term and how it is related to established business functions like Sales Ops.

RevOps is an all-encompassing role that represents the intersection of sales, marketing, finance, customer service, and other key business departments. It unites the aims of various departments and guarantees that each team has access to the same targets, database, and technology stack. The main mission of RevOps is to break down silos between these departments and drive performance across each business unit with the organization's big picture in mind. From prospect marketing through renewals, RevOps is meant to give a holistic picture of a company.

RevOps is a strategic alignment that extends beyond sales teams into other departments to touch every part of the customer lifecycle. While keeping the big picture in mind, this alignment aims to improve efficiency and accountability and ultimately fuel revenue growth.

What is the Role of Revenue Operations?

Due to the alignment across various operations, RevOps provides customers with a comprehensive and unified journey. RevOps brings together strategy, technology, and processes to improve efficiency across the revenue process, drive revenue predictability, and achieve revenue growth.

Unlike sales reps, the RevOps team's role is to close the sales deal and ensure that customers get long-term benefits from using your products and services. The team is also focused on giving the customer the right information at the right time and supporting them in their decision-making journey.

The four main areas RevOps is responsible for:

1. Operations Management

Through operations management, RevOps works across micro and macro levels in the company. It manages and optimizes resources to ensure every outcome aligns with business growth objectives. This also means managing specific operational units such as sales operations, marketing operations, customer success operations, project management, etc.

2. Enablement

As you know, sales enablement provides salespeople with the data, tools, content, and other support they need to sell efficiently and at a higher velocity. In RevOps, the enablement team gives sales, marketing, and customer success teams the same support. RevOps provides sales enablement, learning management, and performance management.

3. Data Analysis and Insights

RevOps team is responsible for gathering data to give you confidence in your decisions. It provides the data, analysis, and insights into the full customer journey. Through this comprehensive data, RevOps forms the basis of day-to-day operations and long-term strategic planning.

4. Tools

RevOps is also responsible for all technology across sales, marketing, and customer success. Evaluation and procurement of the tech stack, integration, and systems administration are a few responsibilities of the RevOps team. Along with technical capabilities, the team strongly understands CRM and business processes.

Final Thoughts!

RevOps can be an incredible addition to any company whose business operations can be compared to a cluster of leaking buckets. With the overall escalating organizational benefits such as business growth and increased sales, we're likely to see the need for RevOps (more than Sales Operations) continue to rise.

While Sales Ops continue to serve as a critical part of the sales process and help the sales team create a system for selling, RevOps is all about breaking down departmental silos and getting a new collaborative centralized way of thinking and operating to achieve revenue goals.

If Sales Ops and RevOps are already in place at your company, it's critical that they function together and are focused on the same KPIs, goals, and procedures.

About Author

Amit Jain

Sales Compensation Expert, Founder, Mentor - Helping organizations transform their sales incentive programs into growth engines