Upgrading revenue operations is a goal for all businesses that want to drive growth. To boost your revenue operations, you need to change the team’s organizational structure and create a new framework of how you sell, market, and keep customers happy. 

But what exactly is revenue operations, also called Rev Ops (or RevOps)? Is it the same as sales operations? Do you need a Rev Ops team to make it work? Can you really build a sales machine by transforming your company with a revenue operations strategy? Do you need to hire people, resulting in costly onboarding and offboarding? 

The answer to creating a strong Rev Ops team that will grow into a sales machine is in the alignment of process and structure. You can then standardize and scale without a huge toll on your resources. 

What is Revenue Operations?

Revenue operations is the seamless combination of sales, marketing and customer success drivers in one organizational model. 

  • Team perspective – Rev Ops is a collaboration tool. 
  • Leadership perspective – Rev Ops is an alignment tool. 
  • Customer’s perspective – Rev Ops is a satisfaction and delight tool. 

To polish up your revenue operations framework you need to engage, execute, and continue to deliver the same quality throughout the sales cycle. 

Building a revenue operations team seems like a huge chunk to swallow at once.

But it gets simple and easy by understanding how to focus on processes and quality standards. You can do that instead of simply hiring experts you don’t need or software that doesn’t work specifically for your business.  

Revenue Operations vs. Sales Operations

Is revenue just another name for sales? Not quite – but it is connected.

In many traditional sales systems, sales reps took a large share of the responsibility in the sales cycle. 

Sales drop? Blame it on the sales department. 

However, making all revenue a product of poor sales does not give the full picture. Your company will work as a well-oiled sales machine if you reduce the missed opportunities due to lack of collaboration and information sharing between sales, marketing, and customer success.  

Sales Operations Defined

Sales Ops exist to improve sales people’s productivity, success, and to reduce the friction in the sales process by providing hands-on expertise about mundane tasks. 

A Sales Ops Manager is responsible for managing, organizing, and performance improvement of the sales team. They also run the team collaboration technology and provide training. 

Revenue Operations Defined

Rev Ops exist to improve the operational efficiency of the sales cycle within the context of the organizational structure. 

The Revenue Operations Manager will keep everyone in the Customer Success, Sales, and Marketing Team (and even Finance) accountable for generated revenues.

Rev Ops solve the issue of silo mentality in revenue generation. When you create a Rev Ops strategy, you need to consider the company-wide perspective instead of each individual department’s perspective.

That is easier said than done. Many leaders think that they will need to rehire, restructure, or create a completely new product and do it to an extent that will be unsustainable for their business. However, you need a wider perspective if you want to: 

  • Improve business resiliency
  • Keep track of individual-level, team-level, and company-level goals
  • Scale risk-free 

So, do you need to hire a Rev Ops Manager? Maybe. You don’t need to automatically think about increasing the number of staff. You can take talent or, concretely, skills, as part of revenue operations management.   

Revenue Operations vs. Talent Operations

It is out of the question that great people make great teams. So, you do need to look for talent. But talent is only one puzzle piece. Maximizing the productivity of the top-level talent in your company and keeping it accountable for the generated revenues is the task of talent operations.

Talent Operations Defined 

Talent Operations is a proactive approach to hiring and recruitment where you acquire, engage, reward, and keep accountable the top performers. 

To use a metaphor, Talent Operations is HR on steroids – the role of the hired talent needs to be clearly visible in the generation of revenue and properly rewarded. Moreover, you need to be really clear about:

  • The skills you need on your team
  • How each skill contributes to the business goals
  • How each contribution generates revenue. 

Clarity in many aspects is a very important part of revenue operations. Above all, clarity should be visible in your business strategy.   

Revenue Operations Strategy

While you need to allow for asynchronicity in communications and tasks, the rev ops strategy needs to be based on synchronicity in order to be a driver that generates revenues. 

Once you view sales, marketing, and customers holistically, it becomes clear why your business strategy needs to be a revenue operations strategy. 

To create a successful revenue-generating strategy you must answer the following two questions: 

What Do Clients Really Want?

“I will sell this or that product.” Or, “I will sell services”. The product-based approach to sales and generating revenues is only one side of the coin, The service-based approach is the other side. They are not enough to find out about your client’s specific problems, issues, and desires.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether you should sell products or services. Both work under the right circumstances and don’t work under the wrong circumstances.  

Make the answer to this question simply by being clear about the: 

  • Value you provide
  • Offer you provide

Having clear value and a clear offer works both for products and services, and it makes the sales process so much easier. 

But here is another secret: the clarity of offer and value applies to skills, too. 

So, regardless of how you position your business model or what problems you are trying to solve, you can replicate the Rev Ops strategy as many times you want by focusing it around a unique offer. That offer can work on sales operations and on talent operations.  

Which Clients Do You Want?

The spontaneous answer to the second question would be that you want big clients because you associate big clients with big profits. 

But big clients also mean big sales cycles, big dependencies, and big risks. Are you ready for this? So, have this chat with yourself to clarify your client’s attributes.

Finally, it is time to ask yourself the following essential question.  

Do You Need a Revenue Operations Manager?

A Rev Ops Manager is not the same as the Sales Operations Manager nor the same as the Talent Operations Manager. They are defined as three separate roles.

Hiring each specialist on a full-time contract can cost you a lot if you are a small business. Spreading yourself too thin is risky. So, how do you benefit from the Revenue Operations approach without getting stuck in debt? And how can you use a Rev Ops framework to scale?  

Transform the Sales Process with Freelance Rev Ops Roles

The revenue operations strategy needs to be based on standardized processes. You don’t need to individualize or personalize processes – you need standardization. 

1. Standardization

Firmly set quality standards can then be easily improved. A clear process with quality standards will work for the Sales and the Marketing Operations. It will also work for Talent Operations.

2. Transparency

Standardized clarity provides transparency by setting measurable and trackable KPIs. Once you define the tasks, the standards, the processes, and the people, you can scale without great risks. 

3. Scaling System

You can scale with automation or by hiring more people that can execute and repeat the same already defined and standardized task. Moreover, you can hire new people fast on freelance platforms.

Building a Sales Machine with Revenue Operations in 3 Easy Steps

Alignment among marketing, sales, and customers/clients is the purpose and the task of the key person responsible for making money. In most cases this will be the CEO of a small company or the person in charge of Operations Management or sometimes a Business Analyst. 

The title of the role is less important than what is the person’s job description or what is the purpose of the role, in this case – removing all obstacles to successful revenue generation. For this, you need to: 

  1. Clearly define the roles and the skills for performing those roles: 
  • Marketing Squad – responsible for sales qualified leads. 
  • Sales Squad – responsible for new closed deals
  • Client Squad – responsible for client satisfaction
  1. Create structure and processes:
  • Write forms
  • Create checklists
  • Make templates
  1. Use funnels and pipelines:
  • Track metrics
  • Improve
  • Scale

You need each of these three steps to understand the business problem and to see if the client is qualified to buy from you. It is super simple to scale when you are clear about roles, skills, processes, and metrics as parts of the revenue operations.

Don’t let vague requirements and process bottlenecks discourage you from scaling your business.

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