Sales and Marketing cannot be aligned without the (respective) Operations – Sales Ops, Marketing Ops & Customer success Ops teams being aligned.
In most companies, the Sales and Marketing teams seem to get the most attention, budgets and resources. For too long, they have worked in separate silos, with different priorities and KPI. Although they are the under-appreciated cogs in the corporate machine, Operations are the actual driving force to build a frame work to support the corporate mission to that deliver value, sales and profits.
Specifically, in the B2B SaaS marketing and sales world, sales and marketing alignment (aided by Ops) is necessary to:
- Maximise revenue & ROI
- Improve MQL and SQL quality (better lead scoring)
- Optimise marketing spend, content and engagement/performance by channel
- Have common goals / strategy approved by Executive team
- Improve customer NPS / CSAT scores
- Deliver better customer experience
Operations is the link between Sales and Marketing that allows alignment to happen.This Sales-Marketing alignment works ONLY and ONLY when the involved teams of Marketing Ops, Sales Ops and Customer Success Ops work together.
So how do we define these Ops teams:
Marketing Ops team – Mops focusses on evaluating marketing performance, strategic planning, selecting and implementing the right marketing technologies (stack). Mops team also makes sure the defined processes are running fine and campaigns reach their objectives.
Sales Ops team – Sales Ops creates, implements and optimizes the process, data and applications that support the sales team. They also help mould the base that feeds into Marketing, Finance and customer success.
Sales OPS can work with marketing team to fine tune brand messaging and content because sales ops team owns and has access to troves of prospect / customer behavioural data. Sales Ops team collaborates with marketing operations team to improve the ROI by helping prioritise quality of leads and sales productivity by nurturing prospects to customers.
Customer success Ops team –– CS Ops develops customer relationships that drive an emphasis on product adoption, encourage Renewals/Expansion, upsells, & cross-sells, generate customer advocacy, usage, reduce churn and increase CLTV. (Customer Lifetime value)
A new term – “Revenue Ops” has come up in the recent years.
Revenue Ops: In a survey done by LeanData and Sales Hacker, more than 70% people defined Revenue Ops as an alignment of Sales, Marketing and Customer Success Ops. In some cases, Revenue Ops is merged with Sales Ops and led by the same Sops VP/Senior Exec.
Source: “State of Revenue Ops 2018: Survey of B2B Sales & Marketing Professionals” by LeanData and Sales Hacker
When these three operations teams are working together like clockwork, then higher marketing efficiency AND higher ROI is made possible. Revenue grows faster with higher margins, cost per qualified lead is lower and conversion rate and deal size is higher. Over time, this can evolve into ABM – Account based Marketing.
Some factors that can help with alignment are:
- Common processes – Sales and Marketing teams using the correct systems and updating the correct fields at the correct time.
- Common Metrics and Goals – Win rate, Sales Cycle, Deal Size, renewal/churn rate, Lead quality (MQL / SQL), etc.
- Executive buy-in – Senior leadership, CXO / Executive team should agree to a common Strategy, Goals, Budgets and timelines.
- Integrated Sales & Marketing systems – this typically allows data to flow bi-directionally between CRM and Marketing Automation system and different teams can access the same data for every prospect or customer.
- Teams – The correct skillsets for the respective teams – a mix of IT knowhow, marketing mindset, analytics, detail orientation, etc.
- Attribution – When prospects become paying customers, attribution of the sale to the various touchpoints (across channels) that led to the sale is necessary.
So Operations is that secret sauce that makes and allows alignment to happen.
Fortunately, at Pentaur, we have all three Operations teams working with multiple clients – Marketing Ops, Sales Ops and Customer Success Ops. This helps the teams work together and share best practices and wherever possible, we ensure that alignment does happen!
What are some of the other ways, alignment can happen?
Originally posted on: LinkedIn