aligning your customer-facing teams

Aligning your customer-facing teams is a hot topic for most organizations (and probably has been since the beginning of business). Yet consistent revenue growth is still a challenge for 78% of B2B companies across all industries.  

The foundation for getting every team responsible for the customer experience on the same page goes beyond just getting sales and marketing in the same room or setting up regular meeting cadences. You have to enable better, easier sharing of intel and collaboration – which means you need all hands on deck. 

In this post, we’re covering the steps you need to take to create alignment among your customer-facing teams using a RevOps approach.  

Step 1: Create Shared Goals 

Setting business goals for a month, quarter or year is nothing new. If you’re like most companies, you circle up with the sales, marketing and customer service department heads (after hours of preparation and fine tuning your slide deck) to present the goals and KPIs you’ve set for your team for the upcoming timeframe (and vice versa). 

While all projects are equally important – and each presentation more convincing than the last as to how it’ll boost company revenue – next thing you know, every team is knees deep in their efforts. And no one has interest (or the bandwidth) in helping each other, so you underperform as a result. 

We’ve all been there. 

Revenue operations, on the other hand, is a structural approach that businesses can take to get their sales, marketing and customer success departments working better together. But note, each company’s approach might look different depending on their type of business. For example, RevOps might consist of one person, a team of individuals or an outsourced partner (like Simple Machines Marketing) who fills that role. 

With a centralized RevOps team, sales, marketing and customer service are all responsible for revenue generation. By creating shared goals and acting as one team, each department can realign their strategies and work together to prioritize the most important strategic initiatives for the company, instead of the individual teams.  

Because RevOps helps each team set their KPIs and targets relative to revenue goals, each department can be aligned in their incentives – which makes teams more willing to step up to bat for one another and lend support where needed – increasing the teams’ and company’s likelihood of achieving the desired targets.  

For example, let’s say the marketing team is preparing to roll out a product configurator on the website and wants to see a 10% increase in web traffic in the first three months. Without shared goals, marketing and sales won’t work together to maximize the benefits (and results) this platform can provide. But with shared goals, marketing can prioritize the features that will streamline the purchasing/quoting process to attract leads, and sales can run an outreach campaign to all hot leads to help drum up higher traffic to the website which will lead to more conversions and higher revenue. It’s a win, win! 

Step 2: Build One Unified Data Source 

Connecting business activity and data across organizational silos is crucial for departments to work together and feel equipped to do their job. Not to mention, you can drive results by improving visibility, build more accurate pipelines and save time. 

But how can you define a single source of truth? 

Insert: HubSpot.  

HubSpot pulls ALL your data into one place. That’s your CRM, website CMS, social media channels, emails, paid campaigns, even your customer service data – everything. 

HubSpot makes it easy to create custom reports to answer even your most complex questions, and flexible dashboards bring multiple reports onto a single canvas to help everyone home in on the metrics that matter.  

From improving your sales cycle with customer journey mapping to increasing satisfaction with more personalized service, HubSpot provides data across the entire lifecycle of a customer. This single repository of all business activity can be segmented, mixed and forensically analyzed in one place, creating a unified source of data for monitoring and measuring your growth. 

And when it comes time for reporting, HubSpot easily integrates with powerful applications (which we use every day) so you can unify your progress towards your revenue goals. 

  • Databox: Databox is a comprehensive reporting software that tracks everything from blog visitors to keyword performance to email campaigns. It allows businesses to create fully customizable reports on key data across departments that easily sync with HubSpot’s reporting dashboards. This integration is fully automated – meaning that once you connect to the platform, Databox will continue to pull/feed data from the source without your help. So, when it comes time for reporting, all you have to worry about is your performance and your strategy moving forward. 
  • Google Analytics: Google Analytics is often a business’ constant companion. This platform tracks your website pages and campaigns, giving you the answers to your most important questions, like how many new users you’re attracting, what keywords are boosting your efforts, where your audience is coming from, etc. And GA also integrates with HubSpot, so you can bust your current reporting capabilities wide open and align your company initiatives. 

While unifying your data is extremely helpful, you must remember, this isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it situation. Maintaining a single source of data takes as much work as creating it. But don’t let this discourage you—the ROI will make your time worthwhile. 

Step 3: Consolidate Your Tech Stack 

We know you recognize customer data plays a leading role in understanding how your business is performing. But to own your customer data, you must own the tech stack. 

If you’re like most companies before RevOps, the tech stack previously selected by your sales, marketing and service teams provides individual functions with unique capabilities for that department. 

But this creates a big problem: when each team has their own data and their own systems, the data doesn’t talk to each other, resulting in no single source of truth. Not only does this decentralized model create discrepancies, it also fails to create opportunities. For example, customer service can’t easily flag a hot opportunity for sales, and sales can’t easily leverage marketing for support. 

The underlying goal when RevOps is in the picture is is to shape your technology to support the entire customer journey while opening more revenue opportunities for your organization. 

For example, HubSpot offers services for all stages of the customer journey under one roof. And HubSpot’s new Operations Hub was designed specifically with operational efficiency in mind. The platform lets you easily sync customer data, automate business processes and consolidate the different platforms your departments use within your organization into one tidy package, so you can easily put RevOps to work. (And with a HubSpot agency partner, you can get up and running quickly and cost-effectively). 

Step 4: Standardize Your Revenue Processes 

The need for transparency, accountability and predictability from the boardroom to the front line is greater than ever before. In the past, marketing would promise something in their content, sales would be on a different page and promise something else during the sales pitch and then customer support is left to put the pieces back together after a lead becomes a customer. But as businesses have quickly learned, this produces friction for your customers and makes them more likely to churn. 

A primary goal for RevOps is to create uniform processes that reduce friction, foster accountability and trust within your organization and build a culture of collaboration.  

While it might sound like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to. Here are some of the most important steps to ensure your processes (and teams) are working like a well-oiled machine. 

  • Document your current process now and identify how it could be better – from brand awareness to customer success. 
  • Audit your customer journey to find areas of disconnect between departments, then fill the gaps with streamlined processes for content marketing, inbound sales, outbound sales and customer delight. 
  • Define a common language that works for all teams involved (i.e., clearly define a lead vs. an opportunity).  
  • Create a regular meeting cadence to maintain alignment and discuss growth goals ensuring everyone (marketing, sales and service) understands their contribution and role in the revenue-producing mission.  

As your teams work together to convert prospects into raving fans, you’ll begin to see additional benefits like shorter sales cycles, improved retention and a higher volume of upsells. Not to mention, consistent processes will simplify measuring results of every campaign and customer initiative from beginning to end, so you can easily see what’s driving revenue (and what’s not worth your time).  

Centralize Your Org with RevOps 

As you can see, RevOps is so much more than just sales and marketing alignment. When everyone who impacts revenue works together towards a single, unified goal, you’ll experience improved efficiency, predictability and growth across the entire revenue process. 

If you’re still not sure whether revenue operations is a fit for your business, or want to learn more about implementing this approach, we’d love to hear from you.