$6.6m Seed Round led by Craft Ventures
Read more
$6.6m Seed Round led by Craft Ventures
Read more
$6.6m Seed Round led by Craft Ventures
Read more
$6.6m Seed Round led by Craft Ventures
Read more
$6.6m Seed Round led by Craft Ventures
Read more
$6.6m Seed Round led by Craft Ventures
Read more
$6.6m Seed Round led by Craft Ventures
Read more
$6.6m Seed Round led by Craft Ventures
Read more
$6.6m Seed Round led by Craft Ventures
Read more
$6.6m Seed Round led by Craft Ventures
Read more
All Resources

4 High-Impact RevOps Strategies and Frameworks (with Pros and Cons)

Stan Rymkiewicz
April 2, 2024
8 min
4 High-Impact RevOps Strategies and Frameworks (with Pros and Cons)

RevOps teams are responsible for managing and coordinating large quantities of data, resources, and processes. But doing so without a clear strategy and operational framework is a recipe for disaster: 

  • No clear objectives and direction, resulting in misalignment
  • Wasted resources from lack of priority and direction
  • Increased risk due to no predictability or consistency in outcomes
  • No clear standards or KPIs to measure RevOps success
  • No seamless change management in RevOps implementation, resulting in gaps and error-ridden processes

Any one of these problems can result in direct revenue leakage or missed opportunities. Stack them on top of each other, and this can result in serious risk for your business.

While successful RevOps teams each swear by their methodology, in this article we’ll walk our top four picks. Read on to see each one’s pros and cons, and choose the one (or combination of several) that’s best suited to grow your business. 

The 4 pillars of every RevOps strategy & framework

Before diving in, let’s recap the four pillars of RevOps, each of which forms a critical part of the four strategies and frameworks we’re looking at in this article. 

People

No RevOps strategy works without the right people managing it. This team requires a combination of skills, including marketing, sales, finance, and data analytics. Plus, you’ll need that unicorn who understands all these functions and how they interrelate. 

Process

RevOps emphasizes consistent, cross-functional processes, tying every activity, campaign, and tool to the whole customer lifecycle—starting with initial awareness all the way to customer advocacy. These processes are in place to ensure that no one’s efforts are useless. For example, you don’t want to invest in generating marketing leads when there’s no clear process for sales handoff—otherwise those leads won’t lead to real business.

Data

The core of a well-oiled RevOps machine is data. For each function to operate in an efficient, aligned manner, all data must be centralized. Then RevOps teams can analyze the data to find trends in performance, engagement, and key triggers that can inform automation activities. 

Data-driven decision making is a fundamental RevOps principle. Every decision must be justified by existing data. If there’s insufficient data, then the first task of the RevOps team is to gather it. By operating off an objective basis for decisions, teams can reduce internal tensions among the team and increase the likelihood of operational success. 

Technology

Very little in RevOps is left to manual action. Automation and technology enable RevOps teams not only to monitor but proactively manage the entire revenue cycle. This works most effectively when RevOps teams use unified platforms to manage their processes—not disjointed point solutions

See how Default unifies RevOps functionality to reduce costs by 30% and save teams 10 hours per week. 

4 best RevOps strategies & frameworks 

Now let’s dive into the four best RevOps strategies and frameworks. Each has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, pros and cons. Read on to see which RevOps framework (or combination of frameworks) best fits your organization’s needs. 

1. Waterfall framework 

The most straightforward RevOps framework is the waterfall method. This sequential and linear approach involves passing leads and opportunities through predefined stages or “waterfalls”—in this case, Marketing, Sales, and Success. 

The waterfall framework is relatively simple to manage, but it often fails to take into account the complexities of modern B2B buying. Here are the major components of the waterfall model. 

Marketing & SDR-driven lead sourcing

In the waterfall model, everything starts with Marketing & SDRs. These teams generate leads through various channels, capturing and converting them on website forms or landing pages. This can happen through both inbound and outbound campaigns.

Under the waterfall framework, leads typically are measured as beginning their journey during their first touch with Marketing or an SDR. This results in a straightforward, if not overly simple, approach to measuring how and where leads enter an active buying journey. 

Lead qualification & one-time sales handoff

Once Marketing nurtures the leads to the point where they’re ready to engage with sales, the leads then undergo qualification. Under this framework, leads are typically qualified once and immediately handed off to Sales. After this handoff, Marketing rarely continues nurturing the leads unless the deal fails and they’re reassigned to Marketing. 

Linear sales pipeline

Once the lead enters the sales pipeline, they enter a new process managed by a new team, and RevOps teams primarily focus on identifying bottlenecks and moving opportunities forward. Often there aren’t robust ways to track double-backs or re-engagements without simply re-entering the prospect into the CRM as a new opportunity. 

Customer Success handoff

In most waterfall-based organizations, once deals are closed, the Customer Success (CS) team owns the deal. They manage not only onboarding, implementation, and activation, upsells, cross-sells, and renewals, but also gauging satisfaction and generating testimonials and referrals. 

RevOps teams, under this model, work to ensure relevant insights from CSmake their way back to Marketing. However, unless a customer disengages entirely and re-enters the waterfall, they only interact with CS over the course of their journey. 

Waterfall RevOps strategy Pros and cons

Here are the advantages of the waterfall approach to RevOps:

  • Clear process. There’s little confusion in the waterfall framework as to where each team’s responsibilities begin and end, resulting in seamless processes and cross-functional communication.
  • Defined handoffs. Clear handoff points between marketing, sales, and customer success teams ensure smooth transitions and minimize friction in the customer journey.
  • Straightforward performance tracking. The waterfall framework allows for easy tracking and monitoring of performance metrics at each stage, enabling teams to identify areas for improvement and optimize processes. 

The drawbacks of this approach, however, include:

  • Linear model. While the waterfall framework’s linear approach is straightforward, the fact is that modern B2B customer journeys aren’t linear, meaning there are gaps between the model and reality. 
  • Functional silos. Little cross-functional collaboration occurs under the waterfall model, as handoffs are unidirectional. This often results in misunderstandings and communication gaps. 
  • Limited flexibility. The waterfall model is fairly rigid and doesn’t adapt well to changing dynamics in the customer journey or business objectives. The result is often lead stagnation and a process that doesn’t align with customer realities. 

2. Agile framework

To better account for the complexities and non-linear nature of the customer journey, many RevOps organizations adopt the Agile framework for RevOps. Much like its counterpart in product development, the Agile RevOps framework emphasizes flexibility, collaboration, and continuous improvement. 

Here’s a brief overview of the Agile model and its distinctive characteristics. 

Cross-functional initiatives

Agile RevOps teams operate cross-functionally. Instead of distinct handoffs, members from Marketing, Sales, and Success collaborate and share accountability for different steps in the journey. An example is Marketing building a post-qualification nurture specifically tailored to prospects active in the Sales pipeline. 

Unified performance metrics

While each function is accountable for their own metrics, there are a range of RevOps KPIs shared among the team. For example, Marketing leads can be measured by Average Contract Value (ACV) to identify their true quality, rather than relying on an arbitrary metric or leading indicator. 

Iterative planning & execution

While the waterfall model follows a linear and rigid process, Agile RevOps teams continually evaluate their process based on feedback from customers, stakeholders, and team members. If customer behaviors aren’t aligning with the process, Agile teams change the process.

This means it’s difficult to pin down exactly what an Agile RevOps lifecycle looks like. It varies based on the unique behaviors of different verticals and ideal customer profiles (ICPs). The common thread, however, is the commitment to continually capturing feedback and adapting quickly to changing customer expectations and market dynamics. 

Pros and cons of the Agile approach

Adopting an Agile approach results in the following benefits: 

  • Accelerated revenue. By mapping processes to the customer, and not the other way around, teams can reduce customer friction, accelerating revenue. 
  • Flexibility and adaptability. Unlike the rigid waterfall approach, Agile RevOps can be  adapted to virtually any organization, industry, team size, and growth stage. 
  • Collaboration and communication. Agile RevOps teams aren’t siloed, but collaborate cross-functionally, including sharing KPIs and metrics. 

But for all its strengths, the Agile RevOps approach does have some drawbacks:

  • Complexity. The waterfall model is popular because it’s straightforward. The Agile model, on the other hand, requires more proactive planning to manage its complexity. However, this is often easier when you use a unified platform to manage cross-functional automations, processes, and data. 
  • Internal resistance. Internal teams are often comfortable in their silos and sticking to what they know. It can be difficult to get internal teams onboard with an Agile approach, and often requires you to devote internal resources to do so. 
  • Inconsistency of action. Because Agile models allow for quick change, teams may be tempted to pivot at every twist and turn along their journey. While helpful occasionally, constant change can result in inconsistency that makes it difficult to make meaningful progress toward revenue goals. 

3. Product-led growth (PLG) framework

The previous RevOps strategies have focused exclusively on sales-led growth. The product-led growth (PLG) framework is SaaS-specific and involves the following elements.

Product-centric strategy

In a PLG RevOps framework, all revenue-generating activities revolve around the product. Marketing drives users to the product, and sales and customer success work to upsell and cross-sell from the existing user base. RevOps teams, then, work hand-in-glove with product teams to drive an exceptional user experience. 

User experience

Because the RevOps strategy revolves around product users, user experience (UX) is key for acquiring, engaging, and driving customers to expand their subscription. As such, PLG emphasizes user interface (UI), feature adoption, in-app messaging, and similar methods to create a seamless user experience that drives additional revenue. 

Data-driven iteration

Like the Agile method, PLG relies heavily on data analytics and user feedback to continuously iterate and improve the product. RevOps teams use metrics like activation rate, retention rate, engagement rate, and account expansion to identify areas for optimization and improvement.

Pros and cons of the PLG approach

Here are some advantages to the PLG approach in SaaS: 

  • Scalability. By emphasizing the role of the product in driving revenue growth, a PLG approach to RevOps can be resource-light and, thus, highly scalable. 
  • Faster time-to-value. Because PLG uses free trials or freemium models to attract and convert users, delivering value from the start and driving high satisfaction and retention rates. 
  • Real-time feedback. As the product captures more data on user engagement, RevOps teams can tailor their GTM efforts, both externally and internally within the platform.

However, there are some challenges with the PLG approach, including the following:

  • Technical complexity. Implementing a PLG RevOps framework requires sophisticated technology around measuring user analytics, billing cycles, in-app messaging, and more. 
  • Churn risk. PLG models are often susceptible to churn if users don’t perceive sufficient value in the product or encounter friction throughout their journey. As such, RevOps teams must work closely with product teams to identify and respond to customer issues. 
  • Limited applicability. While PLG works great in some instances, other companies may struggle to realize value from it.

4. Account-Based Everything (ABX)

The final RevOps framework we’ll cover is the Account-Based Everything (ABX) approach, which unifies Account-Based Marketing (ABM) and Sales (ABS) under one roof. This approach works best for companies selling to lower quantities of high-value accounts with personalized messages and offerings. 

For this framework to work well, marketing and sales need to be tightly aligned, which is why ABX often goes hand in hand with RevOps. Here are some key aspects of this RevOps strategy. 

Target accounts

The ABX model works to target a small number of high-value accounts, collaborating with sales and other stakeholders to identify and prioritize relevant accounts. Often these accounts are chosen based on revenue potential, industry, or strategic importance, and RevOps organizations will devote high levels of resources to close these deals. 

Personalized messaging and content

ABX creates personalized marketing messages for each target account. This requires tight alignment between Marketing and Sales to ensure marketing materials align with the prospect’s specific pain points, as well as with Success to ensure those needs are met post-conversion.

Multi-channel engagement

The ABX approach focuses on using a combination of marketing and sales channels to reach target accounts. RevOps teams can not only measure the effectiveness of these channels in driving account engagement, they can ensure all efforts are aligned in message, timing, and relevance to maximize success. 

Pros and cons of ABX RevOps framework

Here are some of the advantages of this RevOps strategy:

  • High return on investment. By targeting high-value accounts with a high LTV, the ABX framework can drive a significant RevOps ROI.
  • High personalization. Likewise, by tailoring messages to the prospect’s specific needs, RevOps teams can drive a high degree of personalization among prospects. 
  • Tight alignment among all functions. Because ABX demands tight alignment among revenue functions, this approach fits well with the RevOps methodology.

There are some drawbacks to this framework, including the following: 

  • Resource intensive. The degree of personalization and cross-channel implementation requires a high commitment of resources. While the value of the target accounts makes this a positive ROI, if the customer doesn’t close those resources are wasted. 
  • Complexity and scalability. ABX is difficult to implement and scale, particularly for organizations with complex sales cycles. Although RevOps can make it easier to manage various stakeholders and channels, it requires careful, thoughtful planning. 
  • Longer sales cycles. ABX results in necessarily long sales cycles, which can be difficult for revenue organizations to support. 

Final thoughts on RevOps strategies & frameworks

Although the above RevOps strategies and frameworks are different, they have one thing in common: proactive consideration of RevOps goals and objectives, and aligning your efforts around those goals. Regardless of which one you choose, it’s important to carefully plan your efforts—it’s the only way to accelerate your revenue.

You’ll also need a RevOps management platform that unifies all your functionality under one roof. Default can reduce costs by 30% and save your team 10 hours per week—see it in action here. 

Revenue Operations
Stan Rymkiewicz
April 2, 2024
8 min

Subscribe to the Default's GTM newsletter

We will send you new blog posts and product updates. No spam.
Thank you for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.