October 22, 2021

Written by

Collective[i] Team

  • Posted in
  • Revenue Operations

What is the difference between revenue operations and sales operations?

Companies have many functions that drive sales and improve customer experiences, such as revenue operations (RevOps) and sales operations (Sales Ops).

Sales operation teams — responsible for efficiency within the sales department — are already prominent in many companies, but not as many companies may be familiar with revenue operations. As of August 2021, a LinkedIn search showed that over 7.1 million people are working in some capacity of sales operations in the United States alone. But even so, revenue operations titles are on the rise. Another search on LinkedIn in August 2021 showed that 1.8 million people are working under the revenue operations title.

But are revenue operations the same as sales operations? Let’s take a closer look at both sales operations and revenue operations responsibilities to see how they differ in the context of B2B companies.

What is the role of revenue operations?

If a business operates as a cluster of leaking buckets, it’s time to take advantage of RevOps. The mission of RevOps is to break down silos between departments — such as sales, marketing, and customer service — and drive performance across each business unit to fuel revenue growth. Revenue operations also aims to meet revenue goals while providing a positive customer experience.

When a revenue operations team focuses on driving revenue growth by enhancing operational efficiency, it looks at departments that directly affect the organization’s revenue and are connected directly to the customer, such as marketing and success service.

Revenue operations responsibilities can be seen in four main areas:

  • Operations management: This area works across both high and low levels in a company to address strategic business objectives and tactical program design. This can also be interpreted as managing specific operational units, such as sales operations, customer success (CS) operations, etc.
  • Enablement: This area removes friction within sales teams, marketing, and customer success. For example, if customer service and marketing are sending similar emails to the same target audience at the same time, RevOps would see this and suggest merging emails or sending them at different times.
  • Insights: This area provides all departments daily insights and long-term strategic analysis based on extensive data across all business functions.
  • Tools: This area is responsible for all technology used across marketing, sales, and customer success.

In larger organizations with a built-out revenue operations function, there are often sub-specialist teams that collect under the revenue operations umbrella (e.g., sales operations, CS operations, etc.). By having a dedicated team responsible for enhancing each facet of a business, there is more oversight to make sure teams are building processes that work in harmony to deliver the best experience to customers.

RevOps teams can empower businesses to make better decisions, assisted by Collective[i]’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology, such as Intelligent WriteBackTM and Intelligent InsightsTM. Intelligent WriteBackTM helps support data management initiatives by automatically updating CRM data. Intelligent InsightsTM helps sellers understand this data by using AI, which makes predictions about how trends may change in the near future and guides their attention where it is most needed. Also, our Virtual DealRoomsTM provide shared spaces for RevOps professionals to communicate details about clients and deals in one digital room, accessible to all departments. Rather than basing future decisions and strategy on historical sales data exclusively, Collective[i] analyzes buying and selling behavior at scale so that every critical decision can be data-backed — right now and in the future.

What is the role of sales operations?

Unlike revenue operations, which deals with company-wide processes, sales operations are only responsible for supporting the functions of the sales department. A sales operations department aims to improve sales performance by taking on sales enablement, sales data, and strategic planning responsibilities. This way, sales representatives are able to focus more on selling. Sales operations teams often use data analysis and sales forecasting to establish their sales strategy; they don’t oversee other departments.

The Sales Ops domain covers anything that falls into the category of helping sales teams achieve growth. Sales operations professionals are a partner to the sales team and, inescapably, wear many hats. The areas that Sales Ops is responsible for include:

  • Cross-functional collaboration
  • Technology management
  • Sales team organization
  • Sales data management
  • Sales forecasting
  • Performance management
  • Sales plan training

Sales operations leaders are typically familiar with CRM platforms, data analytics software, email automation, and performance management software.

The future of RevOps and Sales Ops

The underlying factor for growth in B2B companies will always be successful and strategic operations. Since revenue operations aims to ensure more predictable business growth and can adapt to market changes, it will likely continue to rise in popularity rather than the siloed Sales Ops. While Sales Ops may continue to serve as a part of the sales puzzle and help the sales team, RevOps is about breaking down the walls between departments and gaining overall higher profits.

Although plenty of tools are available to help RevOps teams, few help reconnect disparate teams or deliver the data and insights needed to identify and prioritize areas where a business can improve. Collective[i] leverages powerful AI to take CRM and other data sources to the next level, where data can become actionable.

Optimize and fuel the revenue engine with Collective[i]’s AI technology.

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