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Ultimate guide to revenue operations

10 min read

The Ultimate guide to revenue operations highlights the trends that make revenue operations a leading concern for enterprises seeking to transform how they do business and consistently achieve optimal business outcomes.

In this download, we'll cover:

A definition of the vital business processes included in revenue operations and how to address them.
Challenges and risks associated with legacy revenue management solutions.
How modern solutions support integrated revenue operations and what the benefits are.
Questions to ask potential vendors before making a purchase decision.

Read the report

Revenue operations: the new business imperative  

Today’s enterprises face increasingly challenging business conditions and market disruption, leading many to explore new ways to survive and thrive—from improving processes and adopting new technologies to pursuing comprehensive business transformation. Companies are discovering that an innovative revenue operations process delivers substantial competitive advantages, including a more connected customer experience, higher revenues, and more profitable growth.  

Why? Because the revenue operations process consolidates the essential activities related to facilitating transactions and closing sales, from the moment a prospect demonstrates purchase intent to the realization of revenue from that purchase. This process allows you to improve various functions along the customer journey, such as navigating catalogs; streamlining quotes, contracts, and order management; and integrating subscription, billing, and renewals functions— leading to more successful direct sales channels, partner channels, and digital commerce initiatives.  

Simply put, an effective and efficient revenue operations process empowers enterprises to achieve critical corporate goals, and provides the link between top-line growth, profitability, and customer experience. Companies that leverage the collective intelligence of their organizations improve their business outcomes. For example, revenue operations can help companies make more appealing offers, remove friction from the buying process, mitigate price erosion, and boost growth and profitability.  

In this whitepaper, we will highlight the trends that make revenue operations a leading concern for enterprises seeking to transform how they do business and consistently achieve optimal business outcomes. We will also define revenue operations and the critical components of the innovative technology solutions that are helping to transform businesses today.  Finally, we will outline how to combine comprehensive automation and new innovations to deliver powerful advantages for your business. 

What we mean by "revenue operations" 

Revenue operations include the vital business processes from the time a buyer shows interest in making a purchase until the company realizes revenue from that purchase. In short, revenue operations encompass a company’s sales, contracting, ordering, billing, and renewal responsibilities, with a focus throughout on connecting and optimizing the customer experience.  

Revenue operations are essential to effectively grow customer relationships and build omnichannel selling strategies, and their functions impact many departments. When managed correctly, they are pivotal in raising sales productivity and selling effectiveness.  

While revenue operations functions are well established, they can be difficult to master as an integrated process. Large, global organizations with distributed workforces often struggle with the innovation and agility needed to achieve competitive advantage and optimal business outcomes.  

Product portfolios, promotions, pricing, and policies have to keep up with evolving market conditions. They also have to vary as needed for different regions and channels. All partners must be supported, regardless of their levels of awareness and commitment to a provider.  

Meanwhile, companies have to find ways to consistently package and close the transactions that make sense for their businesses, generate revenue growth, and maintain margins. 

Departmental silos undermine revenue operations  

Revenue operations are among the most important of all business processes, but often they are also the most poorly implemented, riddled with manual steps and spread across departments that rely on disparate tools. One reason for this is that many companies treat the underlying responsibilities within revenue operations as separate, unrelated concerns of different departments.  

For example, sales operations and legal teams tend to have very different interests: the former focuses on helping sales close deals, while the latter wants to mitigate risk to the business. As a result, contract review processes are often poorly coordinated, leading to delays in sales cycles, and even deal slippage. 

In challenging business environments, complacency is not an option  

Enterprises are confronting a new normal as markets become more challenging and less predictable.  Business as usual is no longer realistic, as competition and commoditization upend one industry after another. Competitive landscapes are changing, and product offerings are becoming more homogenous due to:  

  • Shifts to online seats (digital commerce sites displacing brick and mortar businesses) 
  • Lower barriers to entry (accelerating routes to business for competitors) 
  • Expanding pools of suppliers of goods and services, both domestic and foreign  

An integrated global economy permits new innovations in the form of disruptive products and business models to appear from unexpected quarters. As a result, product differentiation, intellectual property advantages, and margins become vulnerable to newly emerged alternatives. 

Harness revenue operations to drive optimal business outcomes  

Regardless of the headwinds they face, executive teams must deliver on corporate goals and produce outcomes that meet or exceed shareholder expectations. They are accountable for the results that their businesses achieve each and every fiscal period. Among CEOs, CFOs, and other members of the C-Suite, the top priorities include:  

  • Revenue: Generate sales that allow the organization to consistently grow and gain market share  
  • Profitability: Secure returns from the sales team for investors and for reinvesting in the business 
  • Customer experience: Improve ease of doing business to increase market share, customer satisfaction, and repeat business 
  • People: Gain greater productivity from staff by encouraging collaboration and aligning behavior with corporate objectives  

The revenue operations process is critical to making progress with these outcomes at an operational level. It is instrumental in helping enterprises secure optimal results in sales and buying cycles. 

The three essential layers of revenue operations solutions  

Revenue operations solutions emerged over the past decade to improve productivity, agility, and selling effectiveness for enterprises of all sizes. This trend resulted from companies’ need to better integrate functions around product configuration, quoting, pricing, contract management, and ordering. Functionality typically focused on reducing errors and accelerating processes by eliminating manual steps, providing rules for product combinations, standardizing pricing, enforcing workflows, and better managing document repositories.  

As a result, integrated, single-vendor, single data model revenue operations solutions displaced standalone point solutions. Enterprises discovered that they gain far greater value when these technologies are consolidated in a single solution that supports the full revenue operations business process. 

  • Automating processes, end-to-end 
  • Influencing behaviors 
  • Embedding intelligence into processes 

Why partner with Conga for revenue operations transformation?  

Conga is a trusted business advisor, offering the most complete solution in the market for commercial operations transformation. As the industry leader in transforming revenue operations, Conga is driving the vital business processes between a buyer’s interest and the realization of revenue.  

Conga’s offerings are fueled by the Conga Commercial Operations Suite, which maximizes the entire revenue operations process by streamlining and improving business processes, aligning and driving revenue winning behaviors, and recommending relevant, intelligent actions. 

Read our full whitepaper to get the whole picture and to learn the six capabilities a revenue operations solution should support for digital commerce.