In recent years, businesses have encountered many challenges caused by disconnected and fragmented revenue operations processes. While it’s an added challenge in and of itself, a robust digital transformation strategy is also necessary for connecting the employee and customer experience to facilitate revenue growth.
This past September, we had the privilege of inviting Ash Finnegan, digital transformation officer at Conga, to our Spotlight on Revenue Leadership event. She spoke about how organizations can make the most out of their revenue operations process by redefining it, rather than adopting patchwork solutions that aren’t really sustainable or efficient.
Accelerating Revenue Operations
As Conga highlights in their recent ebook 7 Steps to Automate the Sales Process, the goal is to provide an automated, integrated, and intelligent customer experience across all points of the end-to-end revenue operations lifecycle, which involves the following steps:
- Propose and quote services
- Negotiate and execute contracts
- Manage and fulfill orders, invoicing, revenue recognition, etc.
- Renew and expand
Even with this process in place, you might want to consider a new one that uses new business contracts at the first step, and renewals and amendments at the final stages. In doing so, you may encounter the following common challenges in each stage:
- Proposal Stage – Missing products and off-brand proposal templates often result in revenue leakage and a longer sales cycle.
- Negotiation and Execution Stage – Lack of visibility into contracts and silos within legal teams translate into a lack of compliance and transparency to customers.
- Order Management and Fulfillment – Inaccurate invoicing and manual systems adoption spell trouble for your cashflow and the employee experience.
- Contract Renewal and Expansion – Missed renewals + downsell + higher churn rate = poor customer experience, increased revenue leakage, and a low NPS.
In addressing these issues, Ash notes how critical it is to solve a problem in one stage without causing issues to the next. This is a real challenge for organizations because it is hard enough to get one area right, let alone ensure that all areas work synergistically for the entire business.
She further cites the importance of reconciling existing legacy contracts into one system to streamline the process and avoid delays — a service that their team at Conga also provides to customers. “All legacy customer contracts are in one system and you’re taking all of them on one revenue operations lifecycle. It’s about building the single source of truth that is trusted by everyone within your organization.”
The Revenue Operations Transformation Model
As Ash tells us during the conference, it’s crucial to run an end-to-end transformation assessment as your foundation, before selecting the technology that will work for you. Conga’s strategy is to locate the biggest pain point in their customer’s revenue operations process, and build a framework that walks through its entirety — the revenue operations transformation model.
Source: Ash Finnegan | Ascent Conference
The model enables you to build one methodology, then apply it to all of the quadrants as you transform them.
- Initial – assessing the reliance of a business on manual systems, and whether or not they are still in a reactive state
- Foundation – looking at business processes at their core and get them to be at a managed state; making sure that data, new terms and conditions, and business logic are accessible and controlled
- System – getting users on the system and making repeatable processes efficient; ensuring that all brand document templates are accurate and properly organized within the system, and ensure that users are not creating their own versions
- Automation – boosting efficiency of systems; automating workflows, approval processes, and signatures
- Integration – linking your CRM and ERP systems; ensuring seamless data flow across different departments, particularly with contract management and alignment with customers
- Intelligence – optimizing business processes across all touch points in the customer journey; adapting to change through innovative strategies; gaining visibility in all systems and using optimized data to drive business outcomes
Reaping the Benefits
Reinventing your revenue operations processes may be daunting, but it has many advantages. Adopting the revenue operations maturity model can:
- Improve employee experience (delivering predictable business growth) – A more streamlined RevOps process improves team productivity and cross-functional collaboration, with teams understanding their roles within each stage. You also achieve end-to-end data transparency and agreement on metrics, and an aligned adoption of tech stack across all teams.
- Improve customer experience (maximizing revenue yield in every opportunity) – It enables you to provide customers with seamless and personalized experiences at any stage in the life cycle based on past interactions and purchase history. It also improves your cashflow, and accelerates negotiations, signatures, and contract life cycles.
Teams in marketing, sales, all the way through customer success need to collaborate to achieve a single goal: to drive revenue for the organization. It is also about building a revenue operations process backed by powerful technology that works for both the business and the people who run it.
And while the revenue operations process can look overwhelming for teams with all these modifications taking place, Ash recommends doing three important things: educate, train, and get stakeholder buy-in. “Get the buy-in and adoption at an equal level of importance. Don’t just focus on one over the other,” says Ash. “Make sure everyone is educated on the how, and communicate that you’re always there to support people on the transformation journey.”
Hear more about the transformative impact of revenue operations to business growth by watching Ash’s full session recording below:
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash