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For Sales Ops, a Name Change Is Not Enough

In an Express Guide published to the SellingBrew Playbook, three principles from the Alexander Group make the case that in order to drive double-digit growth and adapt to changing customer needs in these challenging times, Sales Operations needs to evolve into Revenue Operations.

But before you get busy ordering new business cards, recognize that the authors are talking about a whole lot more than a mere name change.

In fact, as I read through their descriptions and explanations of what a Revenue Operations function is all about, I couldn’t stop smiling and nodding my head in complete agreement and approval. Why? Because for nearly a decade, we’ve been advocating and encouraging many of the same transitions and evolutions!

For example, here are some of the authors’ characterizations…

  • Revenue Operations aligns marketing, sales and service while providing strategic, customer-focused insights.
  • Revenue Operations ensures people across the organization speak the same language, use a common set of performance measures, and keep the customer at the center of all operations.
  • Revenue Operations’ goal is to instill a focus across the organization on Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).
  • Revenue Operations converts data into revenue and is tasked with looking for deeper insights that run across the company, not just in the marketing, sales and service functions.
  • Revenue Operations goes beyond day-to-day tactical execution to also include strategic planning and priority-setting.
  • Revenue Operations depends on its relationship with IT and the use of technology to drive efficiencies.
  • Revenue Operations is a trusted advisor and a strategic voice, contributing to the direction of the company.

When we’re beating the drum about becoming a more strategic and next-level Sales Ops function, this is the kind of stuff we’re talking about! So we’re all in on the concepts being conveyed in this Express Guide and we encourage every Sales Ops team to embrace these transformational steps.

But…what about the name? Is it really necessary to begin calling the function Revenue Operations, or Rev Ops, instead of Sales Ops?

Frankly, what a function does has always been more important than what a function is called. And it’s certainly the case that actually performing the new activities and taking on the expanded responsibilities will be far more important than adopting a new Revenue Operations moniker.

That being said, however, I have to admit that while it may not be critical, a functional name change is sometimes the clearest way to signal…to yourselves, as well as others in an organization…that things are different, that the old perceptions are no longer valid, and that there’s a new game afoot.

So, you should definitely consider it. Just don’t get ahead of yourself. Changing the name won’t matter a bit if you’re not doing the work.

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