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The Ultimate Guide to Revenue Operations

Stan Rymkiewicz
June 11, 2024
15 min
 By next year, 75% of companies will have a revenue operations function. So here’s our comprehensive guide on how RevOps works & how to maximize your ROI.

By next year, 75% of companies will have a revenue operations (RevOps) function (Gartner). And for good reason, since organizations implementing RevOps outpace those who don’t: 

  • 300% faster revenue growth (Forrester)
  • 100-200% higher marketing ROI & 30% reduction in GTM expenses (Boston Consulting Group
  • 59% improvement in win rates and 53% increase in net-dollar retention (HubSpot)
  • By improving speed-to-lead, RevOps helps organizations increase lead response times by as high as 100X

If you’re ready to leverage revenue operations to accelerate revenue and achieve hyper-growth this year, this comprehensive guide tells you all you need to know.  

Table of Contents

  1. What is RevOps and Why Do You Need It?
  2. How to Build a RevOps Strategy
  3. People: What Functions Do You Need to Hire For?
  4. Process: How to Differentiate & Align RevOps Functions
  5. Technology: How to Build Our Your RevOps Tech Stack
  6. Data: How to Measure & Track RevOps Success
  7. How to Track the ROI of RevOps

1. What is RevOps & Why Do You Need It? 

Revenue operations (RevOps) is an operating model that aligns the whole revenue org — marketing, sales, & success — around three principles: 

  • End-to-end customer lifecycle management
  • Cross-functional integration across marketing, sales, and success
  • Observable systems and processes

RevOps accomplishes this through four “pillars”: people, process, data, & technology. 

4 pillars of revenue operations

Pillar #1: People

Revenue operations success requires people with appropriate hard skills—marketing, sales, finance, data analytics—plus the ability to integrate and collaborate cross-functionally. Depending on your growth stage, you may have individual people dedicated to RevOps, or distribute these functions across existing GTM personnel. 

Which roles are mission critical for RevOps success? See our full list here. 

Pillar #2: Process

End-to-end, cross-functional management can’t happen accidentally. Revenue operations requires documented, repeatable processes that validate everyone’s contribution to revenue growth. What’s more, documented processes build trust and accountability among traditionally siloed teams. 

Pillar #3: Data

Cross-functionality requires a single source of truth for strategic planning, forecasting, and internal performance management. This only comes from strategic, governed data. 

Pillar #4: Technology

Automation is essential to monitor and engage customers across the buying journey in a personalized, seamless way. RevOps requires robust, unified tech stacks to monitor engagement, surface relevant insights, and enable real-time action. 

Why do hyper-growth organizations need revenue operations? 

RevOps is the only operating model that enables fast-growing organizations to scale without losing control of their operations. Here are four reasons why. 

Cross-functional alignment

By aligning your GTM functions around a single source of truth, RevOps can significantly reduce resource waste. For example, many marketing leads go uncontacted because Sales don’t know they exist. When RevOps integrates these functions, you can avoid similar wasteful mistakes.

Data integration, analysis, & KPI-setting

Integrated, cross-functional performance data can help align teams in real time, while also showing the downstream revenue impact of all activities. This helps justify revenue investments, and often can surface issues before they balloon into larger, more expensive problems. 

Process optimization

Revenue operations teams support dynamic GTM processes, using data and technology to surface and act on insights that prevent ossification. The more your processes are aligned with reality, the more likely your team will consistently follow them. 

Integrated technology use

Using the same tech stack can help prevent siloing, but often teams use technology differently and get in each other’s way. Revenue operations can manage tech use to ensure alignment and avoid duplicated efforts. 

2. How to Build a Revenue Operations Strategy

Managing just one of the four RevOps pillars is an involved process. Coordinating all four requires a strategic framework. Here are four of the most popular RevOps strategies—choose the one that best fits your organization’s needs. 

Waterfall framework 

The waterfall revenue operations framework uses a sequential and linear approach to pass leads through predefined stages or “waterfalls.” It’s relatively simple to manage, but often fails to take into account the complexities of modern B2B buying

Here are the major components of the waterfall framework: 

  • Marketing & SDR-driven lead sourcing. Under the waterfall framework, leads typically begin 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. Leads are typically qualified once and immediately handed off to Sales. After this handoff, Marketing rarely continues nurturing them unless the deal fails and they’re reassigned.
  • Linear sales pipeline. Once a lead enters the sales pipeline, there are few robust ways to track double-backs or re-engagements without re-entering the prospect as a new opportunity. 

The waterfall RevOps framework is easy for early-stage companies, as it’s a straightforward process with defined handoff points. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take into account the non-linear, complex nature of modern customer journeys, and can often create silos across GTM functions. 

Agile framework

The Agile revenue operations framework accounts for the complex, non-linear nature of modern customer journeys, emphasizing flexibility, collaboration, and continuous improvement. Its distinctive characteristics include: 

  • Cross-functionality. Instead of distinct handoffs, all functions collaborate and share accountability across the journey. 
  • Unified performance metrics. While each function is accountable for their own metrics, many RevOps KPIs are shared among the team. 
  • Iterative planning & execution. Agile RevOps teams continually capture feedback from customers, stakeholders, and team members and adjust their processes accordingly. This enables speed adjustment to changing customer expectations and market dynamics. 

The Agile framework is helpful in accelerating revenue by driving flexibility and adaptability to changing customer realities. However, it’s a complex model that can be difficult to map, which often means bumping up against internal resistance.

Product-led growth (PLG) framework

Product-led growth (PLG) revenue operations is a SaaS-specific model that involves the following elements:

  • Product-centric strategy. GTM teams work hand-in-glove with product teams to drive users to the platform and leverage an exceptional user experience to keep them there. 
  • User experience. PLG emphasizes user interface (UI), feature adoption, in-app messaging, and similar methods to create a seamless user experience that drives upsells and revenue growth.
  • Data-driven iteration. Like Agile, PLG relies heavily on data analytics and user feedback to continuously iterate and improve the product. 

The PLG approach to RevOps has some advantages in terms of scalability, fast time-to-value, and real-time feedback from user engagement. However, it’s a technically complex model that can be susceptible to churn.

Account-Based Everything (ABX)

The Account-Based Everything (ABX) revenue operations framework unifies Account-Based Marketing (ABM) and Sales (ABS). This model works best when targeting high-value accounts with high LTVs or ACVs, and requires tight alignment to be successful. 

An ABX approach to RevOps involves the following aspects: 

  • Target accounts. The ABX model requires collaboration with Sales and other stakeholders to identify high-value accounts.
  • Personalized messaging & content. ABX creates personalized marketing messages for each target account, aligning with very specific pain points, often surfaced by Sales and Success and implemented by Marketing. 
  • Multi-channel engagement. ABX involves multi-channel—both online and offline—to engage accounts, requiring tight alignment in messaging and timing to maximize success.

The ABX framework can drive high ROI because of the degree of personalization among users. However, it can also be resource-heavy, tough to scale, and require longer sales cycles than the other three frameworks. 

3. People: What Roles Do You Need in Revenue Operations?

Once you choose your RevOps strategy, it’s time to start building out your four pillars. Let’s take a deep dive into the first: people. Here are the types of employees you’ll need to hire, and which skills you need for those hires to be successful. 

4 roles every RevOps team needs to fill

Chief Revenue Officer

Strategic thinking is critical to RevOps success, so having a CRO who can engage in high-level, long-term thinking is important. Regardless of your growth stage, having a mix of short-, mid-, and long-term goals—and, more importantly, how they reinforce each other—will foster alignment and maximize your odds of success. 

Revenue Operations Manager

The Revenue Operations Manager is both a strategic and tactical role whose mandate is to keep the RevOps organization running smoothly. This project management function evaluates different requests and guides cross-functional teams along the path to full integration and alignment. 

Data Analyst & Engineer

Since RevOps rises and falls on data, you need someone with the knowledge, skills, and focus to govern, manage, analyze, and visualize your data. What’s more, you need someone who can contextualize and present data-powered insights to a non-technical audience to continually justify RevOps’s existence. 

Platform & Tech Stack Manager

Revenue operations involves orchestrating multiple tech platforms and tools. You need someone who knows which platforms you need and, more importantly, which ones you don’t. They’ll also invest in an orchestration layer to help align and standardize data from all your various platforms. 

What skills does a RevOps team member need? 

So what do you look for when building out your revenue operations team? Successful candidates will have a mix of analytical, strategic, and collaborative skills, including:

  • Process optimization. To succeed in a process-centric discipline, RevOps personnel must be able to build and manage processes that reduce bottlenecks, optimize workflows, and drive consistent results. 
  • Data analytics & performance management. Everyone on the RevOps team needs at least some data proficiency; specifically, how to measure performance, identify gaps, forecast trends, and use insights to inform strategic and tactical decisions. 
  • RevOps technology. While you’ll have someone dedicated to managing and optimizing your stack, your core RevOps team needs enough familiarity to use the tools and rely on them as a single source of truth.
  • Cross-functionality. Even RevOps team members who focus on a specific function need to be able to communicate and operate cross-functionally. Otherwise, your organization will remain siloed. 
  • Change management and adaptability. When data suggests you change course, having a team with a change mindset and willingness to adapt and be flexible is critical.

4. Process: How to Align RevOps Functions Across the Customer Journey

While every RevOps organization will have its own unique processes, all of them will map somewhere along the customer journey. Let’s take a look at key RevOps functionality and where they generally fit. 


During the awareness stage, prospects aren’t actively looking to buy. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t engaging with your brand. RevOps’s primary objective at this stage is to track as much activity as possible and identify the most impactful ways to educate prospects, build urgency, and increase brand equity. Common revenue operations processes in this stage include:

  • CRM management. The sooner you get a lead into the CRM, the more of their awareness-stage activity you can track. This enables Marketing and Sales to have more context when targeting these leads. 
  • Lead engagement tracking. Revenue operations teams should implement early-stage conversion offers to capture lead email addresses, then build more robust profiles through enrichment. 
  • Target account list building. RevOps teams also conduct comprehensive market research and analysis to compile target account lists, build out company and contact records in the CRM, and track key contact engagement.


During the consideration stage, RevOps’s job is threefold: drive urgency, remove friction, and prevent lead drop off. Common processes include: 

  • Automated account assignment. Manual lead assignment is unwieldy at scale, so RevOps teams leverage automated systems to assign leads based on predefined criteria.
  • Marketing-sales alignment. Revenue operations teams also help to drive marketing-sales alignment. For example, they can build smart automations that halt lead-gen emails when a lead enters the Sales process, and resume when they leave it. 
  • Lead routing. When a lead downloads a white paper, registers for a webinar, or requests a demo, it’s critical for Sales to engage that high-intent lead as quickly as possible. Even a delay of five minutes can severely hinder your conversion rate


No one wants inefficiencies to kill deals as they’re crossing the finish line. Nor do you want a good experience with Sales to turn into a poor experience with Success. RevOps can drive Closed-Won deals and reduce churn by implementing the following processes:

  • Contract management. Revenue operations teams can automate contract generation, delivery, and proactively manage the signing process. If concerns arise, RevOps can identify and resolve them quickly.
  • Onboarding & activation. Once a customer signs the contract, their engagement level is at its peak, so it’s important to onboard and engage them as quickly as possible. For example, automated routing to the appropriate CSM can accelerate product adoption and shorten the path to value.
  • Monitoring customer engagement. As soon as the customer is won, RevOps teams need to set up systems to monitor engagement. So when customers slow or drop off, CSMs can step in and identify the issue, reducing the likelihood of churn.


In addition to driving new business, revenue operations teams can help maximize the revenue from existing customers. These processes include the following: 

  • New vs. existing business routing. RevOps teams can build automated routing systems to differentiate among new and existing customers, ensuring connection with the right internal contact and giving that contact appropriate context. 
  • Measuring customer satisfaction. By automating and accelerating satisfaction surveys—especially by conducting them in real-time—the whole organization can ingest feedback and adjust their activities to better align with market expectations.
  • Automating upsell & cross-sell. RevOps can leverage data-driven insights to identify and automate upsell and cross-sell opportunities. For example, a contact visits a feature page for a feature not included in their current pricing tier. 


Your best marketing resources are your current customers. RevOps can help turn customers into advocates with the following processes: 

  • Automated referral requests. RevOps can send emails requesting a quick referral, to be triggered by high levels of engagement with the product—which, in turn, increases the odds of a positive response. 
  • Generating & routing testimonials. The same goes for generating testimonials—which are critical to boosting brand credibility.

5. Technology: How to Build Your RevOps Stack

Building a revenue operations tech stack without a clear strategy can cause numerous problems. With over 11,000 GTM solutions out there, it’s far too easy to load yourself with more than you need—especially since most organizations only use 42% of their GTM software capabilities

Here are the seven most critical platforms you’ll need to automate and orchestrate your RevOps functionality and accelerate growth. 

Customer relationship management (CRM)

CRMs house customer data under one roof, serving as a single source of truth for all GTM functions. Core capabilities include contact management, lead tracking, marketing and sales automation, and performance monitoring.

Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) 

Most B2B businesses have complex pricing, requiring CPQ software to automate quoting, invoicing, and ordering. CPQ often integrates directly with the CRM, enabling robust analysis of purchase data in both systems. 

Billing software

To avoid revenue leakage, there should be a seamless, automated path from CPQ to billing. B2B billing software should handle multiple pricing models and deliver robust reporting around each.

Revenue intelligence

Revenue intelligence platforms capture data from CRM, CPQ, billing, website analytics, social media platforms, marketing automation technology, call recordings, and more. Then they analyze these data to predict and forecast revenue growth, finding opportunities to close gaps and accelerate the process.

Lead capture, routing, & scheduling

Once leads start to come in, RevOps ensures they make it from Marketing to Sales and to accelerate action. This requires a system to convert high-intent leads and guide them along the path to purchase: optimized forms, lead scoring models & automated qualification, routing supported by enrichment data, scheduling and follow-up tools to prevent dropoff and attrition.

Sales enablement

After leads are handed off to sales, sales enablement technology supports your reps in closing deals. These tools include email trackers, templates, automated workflows & sequences, sentiment analysis, and more.

Analytics, reporting, and orchestration

With data and automation happening across multiple platforms, you need a way to centralize that data and orchestrate your automations to avoid errors, misfires, and revenue leakage. Here’s a look into how Default offers customizable revenue operations orchestration and support.

6. Data: How to Measure & Optimize RevOps Performance

Throughout this article, we’ve been talking about the importance of data in driving RevOps success. But exactly what kind of data do you need? Here’s a list of KPIs and metrics that every revenue operations team should start tracking today. 

Sales & revenue metrics

Every RevOps team should start with a clear picture of sales and revenue: 

  • Monthly (MRR) and Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) 
  • Weighted Pipeline Value 
  • Sales Velocity
  • Revenue Per Employee
  • Sales Quota Attainment
  • Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost Ratio (LTV:CAC)

Forecasting metrics

In addition to historical revenue metrics, it’s important to also look ahead to avoid potential problems before they happen:

  • Pipeline Predictability
  • Pipeline Coverage Ratio
  • Customer Acquisition Forecast
  • Churn Rate Forecast

Process & operation metrics

Continually measuring and optimizing your processes can ensure individual and team efforts translate into business outcomes:

  • Lead to Customer Conversion Rate
  • Sales Cycle Length to Average Deal Size Ratio
  • Conversion Rates—visitor-to-lead, lead-to-opportunity, lead qualification, win rate, free trial conversion rate, renewal rate, etc.
  • Time Spent on Manual Tasks
  • Technology Utilization Rates

Marketing metrics

Some marketing-specific metrics directly impact the revenue cycle and require active monitoring: 

  • Marketing-Sourced Revenue—either by first-touch, multi-touch, or last-touch attribution
  • Marketing-Influenced Revenue, which takes into account omnichannel customer touchpoints, double-backs, and complex decision-making units within organizations
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) by Marketing Channel
  • Sales and Marketing SLA (Service Level Agreement) Compliance

Customer success metrics

In the same vein, there are some customer success metrics that are relevant to the whole buying journey: 

  • Net Revenue Retention (NRR) — which is net recurring revenue minus revenue lost from churn or downgrades, plus revenue gained from cross-sells and upsells
  • Average Contract Value (ACV) Growth (monthly, quarterly, or annually)
  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
  • Adoption Rates

Technology & system metrics

It’s also important for revenue operations teams to measure technology usage, performance, and any potential breakdowns that can hinder productivity and slow revenue: 

  • System performance (uptime, downtime, response time, integration efficiency, platform availability, error rates)
  • Data quality
  • Internal adoption rates

7. How to Track the ROI of Revenue Operations

Once you’ve built out your four revenue operations pillars, you and your stakeholders will quickly want to know whether you’re getting a positive return on your RevOps investments. This can be challenging. Data volume can obscure relevant insights, making it challenging to link data to outcomes. 

Although a decade-old, Daniel Weisburg’s article for Google titled From data to insights: The blueprint for your business presents a still-relevant four-fold model for using data to demonstrate ROI. Let’s walk through this model and show how it’s relevant to RevOps. 

Context: Identify business goals & stakeholder expectations

Before you identify the KPIs that will best indicate the ROI of revenue operations, you need to define the business goals you hope to achieve, and stakeholder expectations that can color their reception of that data.

Need: Correlate high-impact metrics with revenue growth or savings

RevOps allows you to track both leading and lagging indicators of revenue that are impossible with a fragmented, siloed approach. But without correlating those indicators to revenue growth or savings, the meaning of those indicators won’t be clear. 

Vision: Assign specific processes & workflows

The next step is to map out specific processes and workflows that can drive those metrics. If you don’t know how a particular action is expected to contribute to the larger whole, you won’t be able to tell whether it’s driving any kind of ROI. 

Outcome: Track actual alignment with goals and forecasts

Finally, you need to see whether reality aligns with goals and forecasts. Failure to meet your KPIs doesn’t necessarily mean RevOps isn’t delivering an ROI. Rather, it could mean your assumptions and framework for tracking revenue operations ROI is flawed. The solution isn’t to throw out all of RevOps, but adjust your framework to better align with reality. 

Final Thoughts on Revenue Operations

The agility, integration, and real-time responsiveness of revenue operations requires technology built for this use case. A string of point solutions with brittle integrations won’t cut it. Neither will a siloed infrastructure. You need technology built specifically for this use case, otherwise you’ll struggle to handle the demands of successful RevOps management. 

For example, Default simplifies revenue operations by unifying lead qualification, segmentation, routing, scheduling, and automation into one platform. Users have found an overall 70% reduction in implementation time, 30% average cost savings, and 10 hours saved per week.

Learn more about how Default accelerates speed-to-lead while saving RevOps costs here.

Revenue Operations
Stan Rymkiewicz
June 11, 2024
15 min
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