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Misalignment across departments within an organization is all too common, and Marketing remains the most difficult department to connect with the rest of the business.

That's because Marketing usually focuses on lead-based or account-based metrics, whereas Sales, Finance, and Customer Success are completely revenue-driven. The result is that Marketing is usually isolated in its tools and terminology, and in how its teams measure success.

What makes the problem especially acute is that Marketing is entirely dependent on alignment with downstream stakeholders. Inside sales and sales teams need to act in coordination with Marketing to get any sort of results from the demand that Marketing generates, or marketing dollars spent at the top of the funnel will be wasted. That makes Marketing and Sales alignment, and the handoffs between the teams, a principal concern of the CMO.

Enter revenue operations, or RevOps. The innovative practice was introduced as a way to create greater visibility and alignment across the customer lifecycle by integrating marketing, sales, and customer success operations into a single RevOps team.

The idea is to get a unified view of all revenue-facing activities and ensure Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success are all paddling in the same direction.

However, although many companies believe they are RevOps-focused, and they advertise themselves as such, they're often actually more concerned with greater efficiency for sales processes, such as sales forecasting and pipeline management. Although those are crucial business efforts, they don't constitute a new practice like RevOps; they're just sales ops rebranded. They don't address the disconnect between Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success teams that don't have a common language to discuss what's working to drive revenue.

The promise of RevOps is a broader unification of the business. If it doesn't pull in data from the entire customer journey to get everyone on the same page, it's not RevOps.

The common misunderstanding about what makes a company truly RevOps-focused is a byproduct of how businesses today are inundated with insufficient tools. For example, marketers can now choose from among 7,000+ technology tools. Some teams use up to 31 separate tools to track campaigns and data.

Such increasingly complex tech stacks are overwhelming for go-to-market teams, and they make it complicated to connect data across tools and functions, leaving no room for standardized metrics, systems, and models.

Most of the RevOps tools that promise to fix that problem are so focused on sales forecasting that they fail to truly address connecting the demand engine at all. As a result, even with what seems like thousands of tools and thousands of hours of effort, businesses are still caught in an area where 85% of executives can't clearly link marketing activities to revenue outcomes—a ubiquitous challenge that creates a credibility gap for Marketing to overcome.

For a business to be truly unified, marketing, sales, and customer success teams need a standard approach to the metrics and models that systems are built around. And because Sales and Customer Success already focus on revenue, it's Marketing that needs to make the change. In fact, 89% of executives agree that Marketing needs to align around the same success metrics as Sales.

Implementing a Revenue Marketing model—one that recenters marketing metrics on opportunities and revenue to create a common language for the business—is the prerequisite to true RevOps. It is the crucial first step for organizations pursuing a unified RevOps front and a more coordinated business.

What is Revenue Marketing?

Revenue Marketing is a new approach that shifts Marketing to a model based on opportunities and revenue so that the opportunity object can be used to track all activities—from initial engagement with a customer to close and beyond, finally uniting analysis of the customer journey with Sales and Customer Success. It allows for common metrics across the organization, eliminates silos and makes it possible to implement predictive forecasts from marketing data.

Using such an approach, Marketing's systems can be directly linked to Sales and Customer Success, enabling all three teams to agree on common metrics for measuring the customer journey and the most effective pathways to growth.

In the current lead-based or account-based models, marketing attribution is overly focused on justifying specific channels of investment, such as deciding between spending on LinkedIn or Google Ads. The problem is that by narrowly focusing on conversion rates from certain channels, Marketing misses the broader picture of the entire anatomy of the deal and the factors needed to drive repeatable success for the business.

Directly tying Marketing to opportunities and revenue makes it much easier to see how investments create successful deals and how those investments should be prioritized.

A Normalized Data Model Creates Common Ground

The reason many Revenue Operations projects fail to unify the business is the lack of a normalized data model. A common data model across all the stages of the customer journey brings together disparate siloed data to a unified front. That is what popular RevOps platforms are missing and why they fail to connect Marketing and Sales.

In Revenue Marketing, data is normalized using the common opportunity object, achieving go-to-market success and alignment across the business. Gathering information about what's working in the demand engine should be a seamless process, instead of forcing Marketing and Sales to build and manage their own isolated systems.

It shouldn't be the norm to constantly use marketing program dollars on consultants to configure those systems. Such resources can instead be allotted to more campaigns, more ads, and more events, for instance.

What to Look For in a Viable Revenues Marketing Solution

Selecting the right Revenue Marketing solution that allows Marketing to convey its value to executive peers who care about opportunities and revenue can be a gamechanger. The attributes of a viable and effective Revenue Marketing solution are as follows:

  1. Unified view of the demand engine. When marketing metrics are aligned on revenue, a solution should be able to provide a 360-degree view across Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success activities so users can get a full assessment of the impact of their initiatives
  2. Interactive and in-depth. Because of the importance of different customer segments, campaigns, and regions in driving revenue, static dashboards are not enough. Users need to be able to easily slice and dice their data and drill down into the details behind metrics.
  3. No technical effort needed. The solution shouldn't require technical effort to find compelling data stories across the customer journey. Minimal setup should be required to provide customizable views into the impact of marketing and sales initiatives.

* * *

In Revenue Marketing, it's not just about looking at the whole demand engine but also about using that unified view to finally establish cause and effect between investments and revenue outcomes. Pulling in all the data from disparate systems and tying it to revenue is key.

To truly harness a RevOps business model, it's critical to first embrace and prioritize Revenue Marketing.

More Resources on RevOps and Revenue Marketing

Marketing Just Became Invaluable: A New Revenue Marketing Model for a New World

The Importance of Revenue Operations in Your Organization: Jen Spencer on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]

From Demand Generation to Revenue Generation: How to Become a Revenue-Driven Marketer

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

image of Daniel Raskin

Daniel Raskin is a co-founder and the CMO and CPO of Mperativ, a revenue marketing platform. He has 15+ years of experience building brands and driving product leadership.

LinkedIn: Daniel Raskin