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5 Ways RevOps Provides an Invaluable Inside/Outside Perspective

by Doug Davidoff | Oct 30, 2023 11:40:08 AM

Blog Feature Images-1When an employee joins Lift, we always send them on an “onboarding tour,” where they interview their new colleagues. Then, about 90 days after their start date, we ask them to create a presentation incorporating those interviews and their on-the-job experience. Their assignment is to contrast their perception of Lift when they accepted the job with their perception three months later.

Obviously, this onboarding tour helps new employees because they can get to know their colleagues and learn more about every role. 

But there’s another, less overt benefit: these presentations provide an outside perspective on Lift. I learn something new about my own company—every single time.

From my point of view, that’s a benefit I probably couldn’t get any other way.

After all, I’m the ultimate insider, at least when it comes to Lift. Sure, I can theoretically free myself from that perspective, but day-to-day, I carry that insider perspective.

So, when I’m faced with an outside perspective, any gap between my perspective and theirs creates a point of friction. That friction, in turn, creates a pause, otherwise known as an opportunity for reflection. 

This friction from a mix of inside/outside perspectives is absolutely invaluable for a successful business. That pause helps provide a balance and a diversity of perspectives. 

Now, that doesn’t mean that I hear an outside perspective and automatically dismiss my own beliefs. But it does make me pause to consider that perspective and question whether my own take is accurate. 

It may shock you to learn that I’m not always correct. (I know it shocks me.)

We’ve been hiring a lot lately at Lift, so I’ve been feeling that little jolt over and over. 

That’s one reason I wanted to write about the importance of considering both inside and outside perspectives and how you can consciously build them into your business. 

I believe this mix is especially crucial in places like a sales pipeline or forecasting, where it can help rein in any knee-jerk emotional reactions that can derail progress. 

For example, I've always been a fan of having what I call an opportunity review team to help manage certain high-value stages of the sales process. 

When I say this, it surprises some people who know me. After all, I’m a skeptical person who is normally good at envisioning what could go wrong;  I’m also pretty independent. Why would I want others weighing in on my sales?

Quite simply, a good review team provides that valuable outside perspective.

Why Your Business Needs a Mix of Perspectives

When anyone, even a skeptic like me, is deep in the sale, they tend to become an optimist. It’s the sunk-cost fallacy; they think this opportunity is definitely worth the effort. In other words, they have an inside view based on the time invested and potential payoff that makes them lose perspective. 

On the other hand, an opportunity review team—or any similar team—has the distance that allows it to maintain an outside viewpoint. The team members ask lots of questions: Have you considered this angle? What about that angle? What's the juice for the squeeze? Where are your blind sides? Are there opportunistic patterns? What are the negative patterns?

A good review team will not only help reps spend less time on opportunities that will be a waste of time, they'll also see patterns, identify paths, and flag opportunities to turn potential wins into bigger wins. They do that by identifying potential obstacles and paths around those obstacles. That collaboration helps the salesperson focus on the right actions.

In fact, introducing an opportunity review team is one of the best ways to close more revenue. In addition to the paths around obstacles, an opportunity review team removes some of the knee-jerk emotional reactions that can color the sales process. 

For example, a sales rep who just had a friendly call is likely to upgrade the likelihood of a sale closing, even if nothing else about the opportunity changed. The same holds true for a rep who just had an unpleasant call, even if everything else stayed the same. 

That mix of inside/outside views on a review team helps paint a more holistic and realistic picture. It prevents those purely emotional reactions and brings a different perspective.  

How RevOps Provides That Balanced Perspective 

Similarly, RevOps brings an outside view to your company. After all, RevOps isn’t sales or marketing or customer success. They bring a different perspective.

And it's that balance of the outside view with the inside view that actually gets you closest to reality and provides agility. That’s especially important as the world is changing (why hello, last few years) and helps your company change course while still moving toward your destination. 

What’s more, that combination of perspectives gives a clarity that enables resilience. As I’ve said before, I believe the twenty-first century is all about resilience. The people and companies that will perform the best will be the most resilient.

I don’t mean to position this as though a RevOps department alone will single-handedly save the day. It doesn’t, but like an opportunity review team, it fosters collaboration.

And like an opportunity review team, that high-level view and anticipation of obstacles leads to increased revenue. 

RevOps provides this high-level view in a number of different ways:

1. Bridging silos - Unlike many people, I don’t think silos are inherently bad. Each department works best by focusing on its specialty, building expertise and efficiency. In fact, I’d argue that silos are crucial because, when we look at a complex system, we have no choice but to break it down into its parts.

Silos are great at helping departments build expertise and efficiency. The drawback comes because the company as a whole benefits from a holistic viewpoint. This is often lost as employees focus on their specific deliverables and goals. 

RevOps, like an opportunity review team, can help each department look at the comprehensive customer journey to see how each piece from each department fits together. This ensures not just departmental success; it also reinforces a customer focus that increases revenue growth.

2. Supporting the business processes - Again, RevOps brings that outside perspective that keeps an eye on the company’s holistic goals. It provides that eagle-eye view that keeps the business process top of mind.

It’s natural for each department to focus on its own goals. RevOps is the department that ensures business processes don’t fall by the wayside, creating alignment between departments. 

In fact, its function is similar to the supply chain in manufacturing. That might sound a little far-fetched at first, but bear with me. I believe companies should be looking at growth through the lens of a manufacturing perspective. After all, the goal is “manufacturing” revenue and customers.

Supply chain became a critical, important strategic position in manufacturing because companies actually became too efficient at eliminating variance. For example, manufacturers would end up going bankrupt because they’d become so efficient that they would build a greater quantity of a product than they could sell. Supply chain was instituted to optimize the process from the beginning to the very end, so that the individual departments could understand more about how their roles affected the end goal. 

I believe RevOps is the supply chain of go-to-market.

3. Optimizing the tech stack - As a recent study showed, the average number of apps organizations deploy is 89. For large companies (defined as 2,000+ employees), the number soars to 187.

That’s a lot of apps. There’s likely quite a bit of overlap, not to mention added cost and employee confusion. That drops adoption and utilization, which reduces alignment. RevOps’ role should be to identify what apps are being used, by whom, and for what purpose. Then, keeping the business processes in mind, RevOps can identify redundancies, decide what apps should stay and go, and simplify the tech stack. To be clear, they’re not taking anything away from IT but are scrutinizing the tech stack with the business process in mind.

4. Mitigating complexity - RevOps allows the organization to concentrate on what it does best by simplifying business operations and eliminating unnecessary complexity. As I wrote in a recent blog, any company that seeks growth needs to be great at about 10 to 20 percent of what it does. Unfortunately, most companies are okay at many things but excel at nothing. That means they’re managing more and more complexity.

One of the keys to successful growth is increasing velocity. That means finding the right places to reduce complexity and slow things down. The best companies effectively manage the friction that naturally occurs in growing organizations.

RevOps does this by evaluating what’s working and what’s not and reducing unnecessary complexity. That frees your business to concentrate on its core competencies and experience scalable growth.

5. Closing the chasm between strategy and execution - An opportunity review team helps the salesperson prioritize sales based on the potential payoff and likelihood of closing. Similarly, RevOps focuses on the intended business outcomes and develops a roadmap.

In my experience, most companies have great strategies. It’s their execution that’s lacking. Every department is executing in a different way. RevOps’ role is to keep everyone aligned and on course.

Like an opportunity review team, RevOps provides an invaluable outside perspective that sees beyond each department’s insider view. That creates alignment and operational efficiency while reducing complexity. The result? Efficient, scalable growth.

PS - If you're curious about deal desks, check out The RevOps Show episode called Everything You Wanted to Know About Deal Desks But Were Afraid to Ask.


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