Revenue Operations to Dominate Marketing Operations

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As businesses continue to be impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, sales and marketing professionals will face several key challenges that can be mitigated in large part by rethinking what their revenue teams look like, Dun & Bradstreet suggested in a recent report.

To be successful in the future, sales and marketing teams can no longer work in silos and need to overcome traditional challenges that hinder collaboration, including company culture, aligning on goals, and having the right data.

Customer insight data can help reach, engage, and nurture customers, according to D&B. Companies can derive this data from revenue operations teams, which bring together personnel from both marketing and sales workforces into one cohesive unit.

Companies need to recognize sales, marketing, revenue, and data teams as a unified revenue team, according to D&B. “These teams will need to align in goals and purpose. Their technology solutions will also need to work together, powered by a solid foundation of quality, interconnected data, or a single source of truth.”

The answer, according to D&B, is “RevTech,” which meets the increasing need for sales and marketing data related to specific accounts, people, and technology to converge and work together to support integrated workflows and teams.

By unifying tools and data in an open and connected platform, RevTech enables revenue teams to integrate data and insights, build audiences, activate campaigns, personalize engaging experiences, and measure results, the report says.

Looking to 2022 and beyond, RevTech will help empower sales, marketing, revenue, and data teams to come together as a unified revenue team that will sustain the business and weather challenges, according to D&B, including these:

  • Privacy. People are screaming for relief and demanding more control over their own privacy. With a pending cookieless world, collecting and managing first-party data while balancing the need for customer privacy and preferences will be a top priority.
  • Personalization. This is the flip side of privacy, according to D&B: While buyers don’t want digital “noise,” they do want a personalized and efficient buyer’s journey. They expect companies to know who they are and what they want.
  • Proliferation. To reach more buyers through more channels, sales and marketing teams are juggling more tools and data sets. According to D&B, teams use approximately 10 tools on average in their combined sales and marketing technology stacks. However, some of these tools might be redundant, with only seven being used weekly.

Just to highlight how damaging COVID-19 has been, 76 percent of companies surveyed by D&B reported that the mass shift to remote workplaces has disrupted their ability to identify and reach key buyers effectively. Additionally, 61 percent said their sales and marketing performance was negatively impacted by COVID.

However, of those that were impacted (either negatively or positively) 87 percent say their performance has already returned or is starting to return to pre-pandemic levels.

According to D&B, the organizations that did best with those challenges in the last couple of years and are positioned best to handle them going into the new year have done the following:

  • aligned around a shared view of accounts;
  • engaged with relevance throughout the buyer’s journey;
  • prioritized buyers based on intent or propensity to buy;
  • effectively identified buyers;
  • used an account-based strategy;
  • integrated first- and third-party data consistently across systems and platforms;
  • increased investment in data; and
  • prioritized data quality and data stewardship.

Sales and marketing leaders also have a solid foundation of high-quality data and use data quality as a performance indicator, according to D&B. “Our survey indicates a correlation between having good data and/or good data governance policies and weathering a major business disruption such as COVID-19.”

Additionally, sales and marketing leaders are aligned with a single and complete view of accounts, according to D&B. “Data is useless, even distracting or harmful, if it’s not up to date, complete, and interconnected across the organization, yet the proliferation of data is making this harder. Revenue teams that don’t get a handle on their data will lose.”

The D&B survey also found that the top five most significant barriers to greater investment in data quality are: financial considerations (36 percent), knowledge of best practices (32 percent), support (31 percent), better returns on investments in other areas (30 percent), and skill set (29 percent).

“To win in this environment, revenue teams need to transform their digital engagement strategies, think differently, and deliver value with every buyer interaction,” the report concludes. “But they can’t do these things without the right data, tools, and support. To get there, companies need to empower their sales, marketing, revenue, and data teams to act as a unified revenue team aligned around a common and complete view of account data.”

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