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The Next Table Stakes in SalesTech: Revenue Operations and Intelligence (RO&I)
The Next Table Stakes in SalesTech: Revenue Operations and Intelligence (RO&I)
October 29, 2021
13 min read
Topics covered in this article
Evolving market conditions, elevated shareholder expectations, a more complex buying cycle, and the shift to a near completely digital selling model have put an enormous amount of pressure on revenue teams to deliver accurate, predictable forecasting and revenue.
The complexities associated with how organizations forecast have been a new driver in need for better, more complete, and customizable RevOps, Revenue Intelligence and forecasting solutions to meet the needs of modern revenue teams.
Forrester released its Now Tech Report introducing a new software category called Revenue Operations and Intelligence (RO&I) with this emergence.
We recently had the please of speaking with this esteemed panel:
- Anthony McPartlin, Sales Operations Principal Analyst at Forrester and author of the RO&I New Tech Report
- Dan Brayton, VP of Revenue Operations at Iterable
- Sharad Verma, CEO and Co-Founder at BoostUp.ai
- Carlo Caimi, SVP, Global Head of Strategy and Operations at Celonis
They unpacked what had led to the emergence of RO&I, the value to modern sales organizations, and what to look for in technologies providers in this space.
- Trends driving new tech priorities
- The emergence of RO&I, what is it and what it's not
- Where does RO&I fit into your current tech stack
- Key outcomes from RO&I (improved win rates, improved forecast accuracy, and more)
- Key considerations in the selection process
Dissecting the Revenue Operations and Intelligence (RO&I) Market
Anthony McPartlin discussed the two major shifts that have created new technologies priorities: Digital Sales Transformation and Revenue Operations. He stated, “It is now imperative for B2B organizations to have a comprehensive view into buyer relationships and engagement activity.” The reason is that organizations need to use this data, intelligence and insights to improve the buying experience and deliver a high level of value during the buying process.
Anthony, the lead author of the recently released Revenue Operations and Intelligence (RO&I) Now Tech report and Forrester define RO&I as, “Revenue Operations & Intelligence platforms leverage buyer signals and interactions to produce insights that allow GTM functions to act to improve execution performance and optimize the revenue engine continuously.”
The Value Proposition for RO&I, Defined by Forrester’s Lead, Principal Sales Operations Analyst
According to Forrester, RO&I solutions have prospered by filling feature, user experience, insights and execution gaps with and between existing categories to create an entirely new value proposition for buyers.
- Higher value engagement drives growth
- Deal ‘forensics’ make success repeatable and scalable
- More predictable revenue through transparent accountability
- Buy group identification
- Real-time revenue engine performance management
From his market research, he and his team categorized the three segments of RO&I provider focus: Engagement and Productivity Optimization, RevOps Cadence and Forecast Optimization and Revenue Engine Analysis and Optimization.
RO&I Functionality Segmentation and Key Recommendations
As Forrester and Anthony look at functional segmentation of features, he discusses they break it down into three overarching segments: Capture, Analyze and Optimize, and Predict.
Each of these functional segmentation aligns with the three segments discussed above with value levels of functionality required across each specific feature. To see how they break this down, you can download Forrester’s research on Now Tech report on RO&I. Additionally, in our roundtable recording, Anthony speaks in-depth about how they look at this.
Anthony also shared his key recommendations when looking for a Revenue Operations and Intelligence (RO&I) solution. He states, “it’s time to remove the buyer engagement blindfold.”
Anthony says, to master digital sales, recognize the step-change in buyer behavior and that automated engagement transparency and insights are now central to both tech and GTM strategy. His key recommendations are:
- Define use-case range and requirements
- Align technology and capability maturity
- Define procurement philosophy and priorities
- Push RO&I providers to expand their vision
Listen to Anthony's full session where he dissects the Revenue Operations and Intelligence market.
Revenue Operations & Intelligence Tool Selection Criteria
When Dan Brayton had the opportunity to speak, he shared his experience in Revenue Operations and his criteria for choosing the right RO&I. Dan and Iterable have been long-time customers of BoostUp.ai and we greatly appreciate their insights into this category and what to look for in a vendor.
A Centralized Revenue Operations Approach
When Dan thinks about creating a centralized approach to operations, he focuses on the customer journey. His main drivers of scale that he identifies are:
- A centralized team focused on organizational success
- Unified data and definitions
- Interdepartmental alignment champions
- Understanding and measurement of the end-to-end customer journey
This is critical as it helps him build out the Revenue Operations Model.
Key Considerations in Purchasing a RO&I Solution
When Dan looks at the Revenue Operations & Intelligence market, he looks at these key things as to how this technology can help them measure:
- Metrics: Attainment, Win-rates, Deal Size, etc.
- Pipeline Health: Pipeline Coverage, Pipeline Movement, Pipeline Breakdown
- Forecast Accuracy: Initial Call vs. Booking, Best Cast vs. Committed, Next Quarter Forecasting, etc.
- Risk Metrics: Engagement Risk, Competitive Risk, Forecast Risk, Opportunity Risk, etc.
Listen to Dan's full session where he breaks down key considerations and his decision criteria when choosing a RO&I solution.
When evaluating RO&I solutions, he discusses the following aspects that should be key considerations for Revenue Operations professionals:
- Ease of Use: Will reps adopt it? Is it easy to navigate?
- Data Accuracy: Are the numbers correct? Can it support a custom process?
- Product Roadmap Direction: What is in store for the future? What is the belief in the team?
- Reporting and Analytics: What insights can I derive? How can I slice the data? How is the data visualized?
Revenue Intelligence and Operations Technology Breakdown
RO&I is the new source of truth and emerges as the new Front-Office with the CRM receding to the back office. We see RO&I solutions, like BoostUp.ai, as the source of truth and where the entire revenue team does their work. The CRM quickly serves as a data repository because it lacks the usability and insights needed for the revenue team to succeed.
CRM Recedes to Back-Office:
- No longer the source of truth.
- No conversations. Partial activity. No Engagement.
- No longer the point of data entry for reps.
- No longer the analytical system of record.
- No longer the system of usage or engagement.
RO&I Emerges as the new Front-Office:
- New the source of truth.
- All data, activity, conversations, process, forecasts, targets, hierarchy.
- New point of data entry for reps.
- New interface for analytics and insights for the revenue team.
- System of usage, collaboration and engagement.
RO&I → The New Platform that Consolidates Apps
BoostUp provides a single platform that consolidates other point solutions and unifies all data, roles, and functionality.
- Unified User Interface: Built for the entire revenue team - from sales, post-sales, CSM, operations & leadership
- Unified Functionality and Cadence: Forecasting, pipeline management, opportunity and account management
- Unified Content and Playbooks: If/then rules to guide reps on next steps and take action
- Unified Predictive and Prescriptive AI: From historical & win/loss patterns, predict the next best action
- Unified Data Platform: Unify your data warehouses. Manage and unify data across multi-CRMs, emails, and calls.
As Sharad states, “BoostUp provides a connected experience that drives the multiplier effect of both predictability and productivity.” In addition, BoostUp offers value propositions that drive revenue accountability and revenue growth:
BoostUp ROI of RO&I Study
BoostUp customers see this value first-hand. In a recent survey, we looked at the ROI of RO&I, we have seen tremendous results in sales manager productivity:
- 15% increase in productivity
- 3-5 hours saved each week
- 10-50 more deals reviewed per week
- 1-5 more opportunities progressed per quarter
- 1-3 deals saved from slipping per quarter
- 1-3 more deals won each quarter
Listen to Sharad's entire presentation here.
How to Scale Towards RevOps & Intelligence
Carlo spoke about how to scale a revenue operations function while integrating RO& solutions. It all starts with moving from standalone, siloed systems, tools, analytics, and teams to an integrated Revenue Operations function that unifies all data, functionality and teams into a central cohesive team and platform.
Carlos then went on and shared key things he would consider when transitioning to a Revenue Operations functions. The impact to the business of potential revenue operations organizational structures should be considered by weighing the relative pros and cons for each. You need to look at talent, your organization structure, if you have business buy-in and alignment, and balance all that against the investment and the ROI of integrated your Operations teams, data and technologies.
Learn. Do. Master. Grow
Carlo left us with this interested and extremely valuable look at the maturity level when growing revenue operations functions. He stated this is very dependent on where you are in terms of growth, the size of your organization and where you are in terms of maturity.
Listen to Carlos speak how to scale towards Revenue Operations and Intelligence (RO&I).
To watch this roundtable in its entirety, click on the image below. You can watch the roundtable on-demand. We will continue to share our thoughts on key topics such as forecasting, revenue operations and revenue intelligence in future roundtables. If you are looking for a RO&I and predictive forecasting solution, you can schedule a demo with us by visiting www.boostup.ai or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.