How to unite your company around revenue operations

Mini Mighty ABM

This article is part of the Mini Mighty ABM series where we ask top experts in ABM to share one actionable idea that you can use at work today. These tips are mini, but mighty. For more, visit ABM Revealed.

I get more clueless emails than I care to admit. Ones from SDRs asking for a call without realizing I’m already a client. Or from marketing teams that want to thank me for visiting their booth at a trade show I never attended.

I’ve been in the B2B tech space for 25 years and for that entire time people have talked about knowing exactly who your customers are and targeting them with laser-precise, personal offers. But it’s only lately that we’ve had the tools to consistently avoid the errors mentioned above and to put on the united front that’s being called revenue operations.

In this article, I’ll explain the power a revenue mindset can have when combined with tools and teams structured to actually act on those principles.

Rise of the revenue team

The revenue team idea is this: Sales, marketing, and success teams today are still mostly working in silos. There have been marginal advances in alignment and ABM has knocked down a few walls but they still have different practices, work with different data, and don’t quite see eye to eye. If you can unite them all under the banner of revenue operations, that philosophical alignment will seep into everything and drive cooperation and excellence. Revenue operations is about having one revenue command center that’s considering every step of the go-to-market journey and customer lifecycle and coordinating marketing, sales, and success to play a part wherever it’s appropriate.

It sounds big, and it is, but it’s also attainable. To get there you have to:

Unite your team

Lots of marketers don’t want to work for a salesperson. Lots of salespeople don’t want to work for a marketer. It’s nothing personal, but nobody wants a boss who has a different way of viewing the world. But as more and more companies are hiring VPs of revenue and Chief Revenue Officers (CROs), they’re successfully uniting their lieutenants. And with the tools and targeting we now have, it’s easier to have cross-silo conversations. Everyone can see and act on areas of mutual interest.

Unite your stack

A fractured stack is a common barrier. Even if a CRO has all their lieutenants in agreement, sales may own a set of technologies, marketing may own a set of technologies, and customer success may own a set of technologies. They may all meet in the CRM, but they do enough things differently, like store data in different schema or use different terms, that it doesn’t all coalesce. That’s where ABM software is a big help. These tools provide a universal system that tracks customers by one basic unit of demand—the account.

Unite your focus

The answer to any question around how each of the teams should do things is, what will grow revenue? This requires a high degree of cross-functional orchestration and a focus on accounts. I’ve seen from experience that you can lay the best plans and buy the best technology but if your accounts, data, and customer profiles are out of whack and reps don’t understand what’s important to the individuals within accounts, ABM won’t work. You have to prioritize that account focus and get all teams under the revenue umbrella immersed in what matters to the whole demand unit.

My actionable takeaway:

Organize your team under the philosophy of revenue operations. If everyone’s revenue-minded, you unite the team, unite the stack, and unite your focus for more and bigger wins.

Karen Steele

Chief Marketing Officer, LeanData

Karen is responsible for all aspects of product marketing, brand strategy, demand generation, customer and employee advocacy, and the customer journey. Prior to LeanData, Karen was Group Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Marketo, where she led the pioneering marketing automation company through its transformation from a public to a private company and successfully introduced the New Marketo internally and externally.