Remember when 2021 was supposed to behold a “new normal” for us? Back to stability and predictability? It has been over 18 months since COVID-19 became rampant in the United States, and with looming variants, “back to normal” seems to be getting further and further away.
However, over the past 18+ months, organizations have found ways to survive, adapt, and evolve their go-to-market approaches. Market-leading CEOs adopted a Growth Leader’s Mindset, segmenting growth initiatives into two horizons: Horizon 1 focusing on the next 18 months, and Horizon 2 centered on a 3-5 year growth strategy. How were these companies able to accomplish this? Revenue Operations helps prioritize growth initiatives across the go-to-market function through data-driven insights, processes, and technology.
Two Perspectives on Revenue Operations
For some, it’s obvious that empowering and partnering with Revenue Operations will positively impact future growth. However, many C-Suite leaders continue to overburden RevOps leaders with tactical work. This is highlighted in LinkedIn’s recent State of Sales Operations in 2021 study, where the number one priority Sales Leaders cited from Sales Operations is “Managing CRM Data.” This is in stark contrast to the expectations that market-leading C-Suites have.
“Sales Operations has emerged as a strategic differentiator for the GTM organization. Although operations will always be responsible for the tactical execution, the real value of operations is being the strategic business partner to the rest of the leadership team.” – Rosalyn Santa Elena, Head of Revenue Operations at Clari
2022 will continue to reward organizations that leverage the data-driven insights Revenue Operations provides. In a recent CEO Survey conducted by SBI, CEOs are 33% more likely than peers to take a focused approach to 2022 plans, leveraging data-driven insights to place their bets on a limited set of growth initiatives centered around high-demand products and markets. In order to unlock Revenue Operations’ full impact on growth, ensure you are appropriately involving them in the annual planning process for FY22 (Horizon 1).
SBI’s Five Key Steps to Involve Revenue Operations During Annual Planning
- Establish the Fact Base: Baseline go-to-market capabilities. Understand your company’s current GTM maturity (SBI Index Maturity Model) to make stage-appropriate bets. Evaluate performance with leading and lagging indicators to understand how you are executing. Revenue Operations should provide key performance metrics across go-to-market functions.
- Inventory Bets: Identify the possible avenues to achieve and reach growth objectives. Executive leaders work with their teams to evaluate how and where they can contribute to growth. Executives gather to discuss and evaluate the possible levers to activate strategic priorities. It is critical for Revenue Operations to be involved, quantifying the potential growth impact each big bet can have and helping leadership understand potential risks.
- Place Bets: Task Revenue Operations with the evaluation of big bets based on time to realization, level of effort, and impact to revenue. Revenue Operations leaders help their CEO and CFO narrow the list of bets to the top 3-5 strategic priorities.
- Build the Revenue Plan: Create a forum for RevOps to support the C-Suite’s prioritization of growth objectives and select the best ones. Use a bottoms-up analysis to determine what can be achieved. Define the gap to growth targets. Create a revenue plan of how GTM teams will strategically align to execute the bets and achieve targets.
- Execute and Rollout: Finally, engage RevOps to create a detailed execution cadence to align the GTM teams to drive desired results. The executive team sets the annual priorities, commercial leaders will then break initiatives into quarterly and weekly priorities. Revenue Operations plays a critical role in ensuring ongoing progress is made against each big bet. Many organizations will have their Revenue Operations team deploy and programmatically lead their Growth Office to ensure momentum and cross-functional interlock are upheld across initiatives.
Now is the time to finalize strategic goals and begin planning execution. Depending on where your organization is in the planning cycle, if Revenue Operations is not intimately involved in building the strategy, now is the time to pivot, or be left behind in 2022. Use the SBI Index Maturity Model diagnostic to quickly diagnose and pinpoint areas of strength and opportunity in your organization’s GTM capabilities, and identify where to prioritize Revenue Operations’ time.