Is revenue operations the same as sales operations?
While they are often discussed together and sometimes considered interchangeable, revenue operations (RevOps) and sales operations (Sales Ops) each serve a distinct purpose and have particular responsibilities. Organizations generally need both because each offers unique expertise and benefits.
Revenue operations vs sales operations
The main areas of difference between revenue operations and sales operations come down to each department’s overall purpose, areas of focus, and unique responsibilities. Because of these differences, revenue operations team structure and sales operations team structure are very different, as is the career path for employees in these departments.
What is the purpose of revenue operations?
RevOps works to unify and coordinate all revenue-generating teams — including, but certainly not limited to, the sales department. While Sales Ops’s primary purpose is to evaluate and implement tactical sales strategies and optimize the sales cycle, RevOps keeps the bigger picture of revenue growth in mind; it helps to ensure that Sales Ops and other business teams complement each other’s efforts rather than duplicate efforts or create additional work for each other to deal with.
So RevOps provides the umbrella that covers sales operations and revenue-generating departments, guiding them to more efficient and effective processes. Ultimately, successful revenue forecasting will come when RevOps and Sales Ops leverage collaborative technologies and communication to drive predictable revenue growth.
Revenue operations responsibilities
RevOps focuses its efforts on the organization’s larger revenue strategy, which incorporates (but isn’t limited to) the work of sales and sales operations. Unique revenue operations responsibilities generally include:
- Evaluating and auditing existing technologies to ensure that teams are using efficient, effective solutions that automate routine processes when appropriate and eliminate redundancies.
- Working with sales operations and other teams to improve the sales process and sales forecast, including identifying upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
- Streamlining and centralizing data collection and management in a single source of truth that all departments can tap into.
By comparison, then, Sales Ops primarily works to increase the sales team’s productivity and performance within the framework established by RevOps. It focuses on the finer details of the sales process, including:
- Analyzing and improving sales processes, e.g., how deals proceed through the sales pipeline, customer lifecycle management, and communication within the team and with other teams.
- Creating dynamic reports and dashboards and automating them whenever possible.
- Evaluating and implementing sales tools and software, including sales enablement collateral.
- Working in a CRM to keep data and sales activities accurate and up to date. Recruiting, onboarding, and training sales reps.
Building a revenue operations team
The first step to building an effective RevOps team is understanding the basic revenue operations framework, which consists of four fundamental elements:
- Developing a strategy for discovering, aligning, and unifying revenue objectives
- Recommending and implementing processes and workflows that are frictionless and repeatable
- Engaging in data analysis to evaluate, optimize, and improve revenue-generating processes
- Implementing a technology stack that will generate actionable insights, automate routine processes, and provide flexibility and adaptability for changing business needs. An advanced revenue operations platform like Collective[i]’s, for example, will use artificial intelligence (AI) to automate processes, augment existing tools and workflows with AI-enabled data, and accelerate revenue growth.
So, yes, there’s a lot on the RevOps plate. And all of it is the responsibility of RevOps because it’s crucial for revenue growth. That being said, the RevOps responsibilities described above are handled collaboratively with other departments (such as Sales Ops). This underscores one of the main points of RevOps, which is to eliminate silos and align existing teams, processes, and resources into a streamlined revenue-generating machine.
Enhancing RevOps and Sales Ops with artificial intelligence
The right technology enhances the work of RevOps and Sales Ops, helping to increase efficiency and productivity by identifying areas where workflows can be streamlined or improved and by implementing and managing new processes. For example, Collective[i]’s Intelligent WriteBackTM automates data capture, saving sellers valuable time and ensuring that data is current and correct.
Teams looking for end-to-end digital sales transformation should look for a solution that can identify and prompt sellers to prioritize the highest-impact activities. For example, Collective[i] built a tool in reaction to the fact that the top 20% of sales professionals generate 80% (!) of revenue: C[i] RecommendsTM leverages AI to study top sales performers across its IntelligenceTM network to surface which sales activities are most likely to have an outsized impact on outcomes.
When evaluating RevOps platforms, it’s important to do your homework and compare vendors. Consolidating the technology stack can help to improve efficiency and productivity. Best-in-class RevOps platforms will leverage AI and a neural network to guide sellers to the right actions throughout the sales cycle.
Explore Collective[i] to see how its AI-enabled tools can power your RevOps and Sales Ops functions.Explore Collective[i]