What is product-led growth?

Successful companies grow fast by moving users swiftly through their pipeline. In an ever-evolving market, this requires frequent fresh approaches to revenue generation.  One method of supercharging growth (and used to success by companies like Slack and Candidly) is product-led growth (PLG). And with the impact of PLG on user adoption, customer satisfaction and revenue growth, it’s no wonder the B2B tech world lapping it up. 

PLG emphasizes a user-centric approach. It prizes organic growth, fosters lower customer acquisition costs and focuses on faster time to value realization for customers. This data-driven iteration on business growth can offer your organization the benefits of scalability, global reach and industry validation—if you can adopt it effectively and it’s a good fit for your company. 

Let’s find out if product-led growth is right for the next edition of your B2B RevOps playbook. 


Let’s get started!


What is PLG? 

Unlike market-led growth, product-led growth uses the product itself to drive acquisition, expansion, conversion and retention. The product is designed to be intuitive, user-friendly, and capable of delivering value to customers, requiring fewer sales or marketing efforts. Customers should move through the sales funnel almost without even knowing it. They gain hands-on practice with your product or service and get hooked at the outset. 

Key elements of PLG include providing a free or trial version of your product that allows users to experience its value before making a purchase. The product is designed to be self-serve, so users can easily sign up, onboard, and start using it without the need for extensive training.

PLG relies on the concept of product virality, where satisfied users naturally share their positive experiences with others. This leads to organic growth and increased adoption. Additionally, PLG emphasizes gathering user feedback and data to continuously improve the product and drive customer satisfaction.

By prioritizing the product and user experience, companies adopting a PLG strategy aim to drive customer acquisition, retention and expansion. And the best part, it does it all while minimizing the need for traditional sales and marketing techniques.


Who’s doing it right? 

As it becomes more popular, especially in tech, we see several companies successfully embracing a PLG strategy. Here’s what they’re doing right:

  • Slack: The popular collaboration platform has grown through a PLG approach. It offers a freemium model, allowing users to sign up and use the product for free with limited features. As teams adopt and use Slack, they often invite more users, contributing to the platform’s viral growth.
  • Dropbox: This cloud storage and file sharing service utilized a PLG strategy to achieve significant growth. By offering a free version of their product with a limited amount of storage, Dropbox attracted millions of users. Those user then shared files and invited others to join, driving growth.
  • Atlassian: A software company that offers a range of collaboration and development tools, including Jira, Confluence and Trello, Atlassian has embraced a PLG approach by providing free versions of their products, allowing users to try them out and upgrade as their needs expand.
  • Zoom: The video conferencing platform experienced exponential growth, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers a freemium model with limited meeting durations for free users, allowing individuals and businesses to experience the platform’s capabilities and subsequently upgrade to paid plans for more features and longer meetings.


These companies have a product that solves their users’ problems. They offer limited versions of their solution, incentivize usage and enable sharing right in the product and watch their loyal customer base expand with almost no lift from their marketing orgs (or their budgets). These companies demonstrate how a PLG strategy attracts, retains, and essentially clones customers by focusing on delivering value through products and facilitating organic growth through user adoption and advocacy.


What are the benefits of PLG? 

PLG offers several benefits for businesses. Key advantages include customer satisfaction, reduced sales and marketing costs, faster user adoption, viral growth and network effects, data-enabled iteration, upsell and expansion opportunities, and differentiation from competitors in an already volatile market. Whew! PLG is about as close to a secret weapon as you can get. It offers the potential for scalable and sustainable growth by aligning business success to customer success, reducing friction in the user journey, and leveraging the viral nature of happy customers.


What are the pillars of PLG?

The three pillars of PLG are as follows: 

  1. Design for the converted user
  2. Deliver value before they seek it out
  3. Investment


Pillar 1: Designing for the converted User

With PLG, we immediately put the customer in the driver’s seat of the product. They should find their problem solved as soon as they use the product. The converted user, then, refers to the practice of optimizing the product experience and features to cater to users who have already upgraded from free or trial versions to paid plans or higher tiers of the product. These users have already experienced the value of the product and have made a commitment to continue using it. The first pillar of PLG is designing for the converted user. When designing for the converted user, the focus shifts from initial user onboarding to deepening the engagement and maximizing the value for these users. 

A few key considerations to make in the process of designing for the converted user:

  1. Advanced features and functionality: Converted users often have more advanced needs and are willing to explore the full capabilities of the product. Designing and enhancing features specifically targeting their requirements can help increase their satisfaction. It’s also a great way to ensure they continue to derive value from the product.
  2. Customization and personalization: Providing options for customization and personalization allows converted users to tailor the product to their specific workflows and preferences. This flexibility enhances the user experience and further integrates the product into their daily operations.
  3. Power user tools and efficiency enhancements: For converted users who are actively using the product, incorporating power user tools and efficiency enhancements can boost productivity and streamline their workflows. This can include advanced automation features, shortcuts, integrations with other tools, or advanced reporting and analytics capabilities.
  4. Proactive support and customer success: Designing for converted users involves providing proactive support and customer success initiatives. This can include personalized guidance, targeted resources, and proactive communication to help users achieve their desired outcomes and address any challenges they may encounter.
  5. Expansion opportunities and cross-selling: Designing for converted users also involves identifying expansion opportunities within the existing user base. This can include introducing additional features or modules that align with their evolving needs, cross-selling complementary products or services, or providing seamless pathways for users to upgrade to higher tiers.


Pillar 2: Delivering value before they seek it 

With PLG, the customer gains instant gratification from using the product and solving their problem immediately. This is often done through a demo or free trial. They don’t have to seek the value out of the product because their issue is solved on the spot. Delivering value before the customer seeks it, then, refers to the concept of proactively providing a solution to users even before they explicitly express their needs. 

The goal here is to anticipate and address user needs in a way that creates a positive user experience and builds a foundation for customer success. This approach is rooted in the idea that a product should be designed to intuitively meet user needs and deliver value from the moment they start using it. This includes intuitive onboarding, default settings and presets, proactive suggestions and recommendations, automated workflows, and contextual help and support. 

The idea behind delivering value before customers seek it is to exceed their expectations, make their experience as frictionless as possible, and demonstrate the product’s value proposition from the start. By providing value upfront, businesses can increase user satisfaction, encourage adoption and engagement, and lay the foundation for long-term customer success.


Pillar 3: Investment

Introducing the customer to success before they’re handed off to Sales makes them more inclined to buy. The funnel should lead directly to product usage, not a salesperson, earning the customer’s investment seemingly before they know it. The goal is to provide a self-serve experience that empowers users to achieve their desired outcomes independently. 

Basics of funnel design

Engagement funnel

Sales funnel

  • Drives user engagement, interaction and builds relationships with your target audience. 
  • Creates meaningful interactions, increases brand awareness and nurtures potential customers.
  • Captures leads, encourages users to explore your product or content and foster ongoing engagement. 

The primary objective may not be immediate sales, but a well-designed engagement funnel can eventually lead to conversions by building trust and loyalty with your audience over time.

  • Guides users through the customer journey and optimizes conversions.
  • Moves users from initial awareness to making a purchase or completing a desired action. 
  • Involves lead generation, product education, showcasing value propositions, providing persuasive offers and facilitating the actual sales process. 

The primary objective is maximizing the conversion rate and driving revenue.


Getting the user out of the sales funnel and into the product requires an audit of your funnel structure, as well as implementation of in-product features that foster investment. These may include:

  1. Comprehensive onboarding: Design a self-guided onboarding process that helps customers understand and use the product effectively. Provide interactive tutorials, videos, and step-by-step guides that highlight key features and showcase how to achieve specific goals.
  2. In-app education and resources: Offer in-app education materials, knowledge bases and help centers that customers can access at any time. These resources should provide answers to frequently asked questions, troubleshooting guides and best practice tips to empower users to overcome challenges independently.
  3. Automated success milestones: Define success milestones within the product and track customers’ progress toward those milestones. Celebrate achievements and provide guidance or recommendations for next steps when customers reach certain points in their journey. This helps users feel a sense of accomplishment and motivates them to explore further.
  4. Product-embedded analytics: Provide customers with access to product analytics and data that help them understand how they are benefiting from the product. This can include usage statistics, performance metrics and insights into how their actions within the product contribute to their desired outcomes.
  5. Proactive communication: Establish automated, in-app messaging or email campaigns to engage customers at various stages of their journey. Send personalized messages to provide tips, feature updates and success stories that showcase the value of the product. This ongoing communication keeps customers informed and engaged, driving their success.
  6. Customer community/user forums: Foster a customer community or user forums where customers can connect, share insights, and learn from one another. Encourage engagement and provide a platform for users to ask questions, share best practices and support each other.


Is PLG right for my company?

Determining whether PLG is the right strategy for your company involves considering various factors. 

You must assess if your product has the potential to be self-serve and deliver value without extensive sales or marketing efforts. PLG works best when the product itself is intuitive, easy to adopt and provides tangible value to users. Similarly, evaluate if your target market is receptive to self-serve experiences and willing to try and adopt new products without significant assistance. PLG relies on users independently discovering, adopting and expanding their usage of the product.

Consider if your business model supports a freemium or trial-based approach, where users can start with a free version of the product and upgrade to paid plans for additional features or functionality. PLG is often effective when revenue growth comes from expansion within the existing user base.

Does your product have the potential for viral growth, where satisfied users naturally share their positive experiences with others? PLG can be particularly successful when word-of-mouth referrals and network effects contribute to organic user acquisition and adoption.

PLG relies on data-driven insights to iterate on the product, enhance the user experience, and drive customer satisfaction and retention. Determine if your company has the capabilities and processes in place to gather and analyze user data effectively.

PLG also requires a cross-functional collaboration between product, engineering, marketing, customer success and data analytics teams to ensure a cohesive strategy. Evaluate if your company culture, structure, and resources are aligned with a product-led approach. 

Finally, analyze the competitive landscape and market dynamics to understand if a product-led approach would differentiate your company and provide a competitive advantage. Consider if other successful companies in your industry have adopted PLG and if it has yielded positive results for them.

It’s important to note that PLG is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. Its suitability varies based on factors specific to your company and product. Consider conducting market research, customer surveys and analyzing your product-market fit to make an informed decision about adopting a PLG strategy. 


What does the future of PLG look like?

Initially popular among startups and SMBs, PLG is now gaining traction in the enterprise market. Companies are adopting PLG strategies to cater to the changing preferences of enterprise buyers who expect intuitive and self-serve experiences. What makes this strategy really exciting is that it continues to change. New PLG trends continue to emerge. 

For example, more companies are adopting free or freemium models as a way to attract users and provide them with a low barrier to entry. This approach allows users to experience the value of the product before committing to a paid plan.

There is an increasing emphasis on leveraging product analytics and user data to make data-driven decisions. Companies are leveraging these insights to improve the product experience, identify user behavior patterns, and drive engagement and conversion.

There is a growing ecosystem of tools and platforms specifically designed to support PLG initiatives. These tools assist with onboarding, user analytics, product tours, in-app messaging and other aspects of the PLG journey.

Artificial intelligence (AI) will play a significant role in powering PLG strategies by enhancing user experiences, enabling data-driven decision-making and automating processes. One application will have AI algorithms analyzing customer data to segment your customer base effectively. By identifying groups with similar characteristics, behaviors or needs, AI helps you target specific segments that are more likely to be receptive to upsell offers. This segmentation enables tailoring upselling strategies and messaging to maximize their effectiveness.

AI can also analyze user data, behavior and preferences to deliver personalized experiences, crucial to successful PLG. By leveraging machine learning algorithms, AI can provide tailored product recommendations, content suggestions and targeted offers to individual users, increasing engagement and conversion rates.

AI can be used to detect churn risk. Yes, churn. It gives companies insight to address customer needs and situations. And with that insight, companies are better equipped to proactively build retention programs. Sometimes those insights and signals lead to upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

And, AI algorithms can analyze user behavior and usage data to identify opportunities for upselling and expansion. By understanding user needs and preferences, AI can suggest relevant upgrades, additional features or higher-tier plans, driving revenue growth and customer satisfaction.

Remember: successful implementation of AI in PLG requires robust data infrastructure, ethical data practices, and ongoing monitoring and optimization. Additionally, AI should complement the human touch and be used to augment the user experience rather than replace it entirely.


PLG: Long story short

Remember, optimizing PLG is an iterative process that requires continuous monitoring, experimentation and adaptation. Stay customer-focused, leverage data, and be open to learning and refining your strategies to drive sustainable growth through product-led approaches.

Learn more about how you can optimize PLG with Rev’s AI-powered Sales Development Platform. Schedule a demo with us, and we’ll show you how to identify which of your customers are ready for expansion opportunities—and why.

Data integrity and revamping your ICP

Every GTM motion in a RevOps organization has its own distinct function. Yet somehow, they’re supposed to collaborate darn near seamlessly.

Data is the medium that facilitates that interdependence. It’s a common language that provides common context to everyone in RevOps, highlighting where resources are best focused and driving decision-making across the org.

But all too often, that data lacks integrity, coherence and meaning. We see this perhaps most prevalently in a RevOps team’s ICP. Where nearly every other function benefits from updated tools and cutting-edge practices, the role of data in shaping an ICP is frequently overlooked.

Here, we demonstrate the concerns with traditional ICPs that lack data. Then we look at the kind of data that can redefine and dynamize the way you identify best-fit prospects, strengthen and support the entire RevOps team and optimize your practices for driving business efficiency (and, of course, revenue).


Old-style ICPs lack data

Ideal customer profiles are as old as time… or at least as old as sales. And ICPs are rooted in sound philosophy: if you can identify what your best customers have in common, you can better identify great prospects because they’ll look alike.

Unfortunately, the ICP concept really hasn’t evolved much beyond superficial indicators in all those many years.

ICPs in practice are too often static documents with maybe half a dozen characteristics. These are usually fairly easy for salespeople to access, determine or estimate: an organization’s industry, headcount, revenue and geographic location might combine into a pretty standard ICP.

A sales team, or their company, might even settle on an ICP and rely on it for years—meaning that not only is their ICP built on superficial traits, but static ones, too.

But we know that the world is always changing. ICPs should be just as dynamic, in order to reflect the ever-evolving behaviors, strategies, attitudes and needs of your best customers (and your prospect audience).

ICPs can only become dynamic if they’re infused with meaningful, insightful data—data that goes deeper than surface-level firmographics in order to understand not only how a company looks but also how it behaves.


Exegraphics infuse dynamic ICPs with data

The demand signals missing from traditional ICPs already exist. We call them exegraphics.

Exegraphics are, in short, millions of pieces of information about a company that together build a comprehensive assessment of how that company ticks. Thus, they help B2B sales teams better understand what actually makes their best customers their bestthereby generating a much more powerful ICP.

(We call this an aiCP, for an AI-driven customer profile. At Rev, we utilize the power of AI to analyze where companies stand—and how they are shifting over time—from the value they bring to market to the functions of people within the organization.)

When companies first started aggregating consumer data in the B2C world, they focused on demographics. Learning the age, gender and ZIP code of their customers was a huge leap forward. But that leap could not compare to the leap of using psychographics. These enable retailers to predict when a couple is expecting a baby, or who is likely shopping for a new home, or any other of the uncountable predictors of customer behavior.

Exegraphics do for B2B what psychographics are doing to B2C: redefining the ways we can assess and understand our customer bases.

Think of it this way: if you specialize in HR solutions, you likely care less about a company’s headcount (firmographic) and more about where that company’s headcount is heading in the short-term future (exegraphic). Now, picture two prospects of equal headcount. What if exegraphics reveal that one is about to scale while the other is about to downsize? That knowledge, built from myriad individual data points, changes your RevOps strategy across the board.

And the whole of your RevOps organization stands to benefit.


Powerful data strengthens the entire RevOps team

RevOps teams need powerful data like exegraphics to build the strongest possible foundation for every GTM motion—not just in prospecting, but in retention, expansion and success as well.

With exegraphic data powering their ICPs, your RevOps team can: 


… better identify new market segments.

With a traditional ICP, you’ll keep targeting more of the same. Why would you go prospecting in new industries when all your best customers exist together in one?

For starters, because that’s how you open up entirely new customer segments. But there’s also high risk in venturing into a new market segment, with no guarantee of success.

Exegraphic-driven GTM motions minimize that risk when expanding into new market segments. They can target the prospects who share the right “fit” and “ready” characteristics with their best customers (even if one’s in aerospace and the other’s in medicine).

Analyzing new market segments for prospects with similar traits arms a GTM team with strategies to test surgically and precisely.


… test outbounding strategies on the right target accounts.

Whether in a new market or a familiar one, testing out new strategies and collateral costs less and leads to clearer results when your teams can target their absolute best-fit prospects. Exegraphics enable what we call a SWAT method: a small, skilled team can implement a test strategy, pivot on a dime and adapt based on real-world results.

This kind of strategy doesn’t work with a buckshot approach and little-to-no intel. You’d never know if a strategy failed because the strategy didn’t work, or because the prospects weren’t going to bite anyway.

Powerful exegraphic data can identify which prospects are most likely to engage, so you can get meaningful results—both in new customers and in tighter feedback loops—faster.


… improve and track their aim.

Our research at Rev shows that up to 2/3 of the leads in the average pipeline sit untouched. The average RevOps org loses well more than half of its best future customers, simply because the pipeline is clogged with less-than-ideal prospects. This is what happens when you cast a wide net: you catch a lot of fish, many of them not the ones you’re fishing for.

A strategy driven by strong data helps your teams improve their aim and track results over time, continuously honing the ICP based on actual results.


… strategically expand existing accounts.

Of course, an efficient RevOps organization isn’t just prospecting; it’s also expanding existing accounts. Exegraphic data demonstrates the qualities of your customers that have already expanded—and you can better understand what makes other accounts ripe for the same kinds of expansion.

After all, identifying which exegraphic predictors exist among your current customer base is far more likely to lead to new expansion than the superficial predictors we often use, like “highest spending,” “high activity” and “most friendly.”

Plus, creating aiCPs for each of your specific products or services can optimize a RevOps team for not only who is ripe for expansion, but what direction they’re ready to expand in. (Your team may even be able to speak to pain points that the customer doesn’t yet realize they’re experiencing!)


… stay ahead of churn.

Powerful data also assists with the opposite of expansion: identifying the early signals of a customer’s likelihood of dropping off.

Of course, churn happens for all kinds of reasons, many out of your control. Unless your company is brand-new, you’ve experienced it. Those lost customers are learning opportunities! Exegraphics can identify the shared traits of your lost clients just the same as it can your best ones—then anticipate the most at-risk customers based on those same trends.

Imagine your RevOps team being able to connect with those organizations—and work to resolve their pain points—long before they begin conversations to shift away from your product or service. This puts you in the proactive role of helping customers succeed, rather than reacting to their deficits once they’re too late to fix.

Being proactive in this way is a powerful approach for reducing churn and sticking with companies as they transition.


Final thoughts: The competitive edge of advancing how you use data 

Data is pervasive. It’s how organizations utilize and optimize that data that differentiates them from their competitors. It’s how they integrate data usage that connects them most efficiently with the customers that need them most.

We’re reminded of discussions around one of today’s worst baseball teams. The coaches, players, scouts and front office have access to essentially all the same data as every other team in the majors. But they don’t use the data coherently; they don’t mine it for all the value it contains; they don’t communicate it between departments and they allow old-school mentalities to override its lessons.

That baseball team is competing with the baseball equivalent of an ICP, ignoring the exegraphic-level data sitting on the tablets in the dugout. And the results show in the standings.

Data integrity matters to the success of all the GTM motions in a RevOps organization. What data is your team playing with—and are they maximizing its potential for optimizing results.

Curious to see the exegraphic data behind your best customers? Contact us and we’ll show you—and conduct a free ICP audit.

9 steps to craft your perfect go-to-market strategy

A well defined go-to-market strategy is the difference between a successful launch and a flop. It outlines your product’s target market, customers, channels, pricing and more—and makes sure that all teams are aligned and working together.

Creating and perfecting a go-to-market (GTM) strategy that works for your business is essential. It optimizes the way your business stands out from the competition, reaches more customers and increases revenue. Not only does it help you effectively communicate your value proposition and product offering, but it also helps bring customers closer to you.

Whether you’re new to building a GTM strategy—or you’re ready to refresh any areas of your existing one—this blog post is for you. You’ll get a close look at the critical components of go-to-market plans, the steps to create one and tips to help you make the most out of your strategy. 


What is a go-to market strategy?

A go-to-market strategy is a plan to introduce your product or service to the market, reach customers and generate sales. It outlines the steps you need to take to get your product or service to market and the tactics you need to use to make it successful.

GTM is a critical part of a successful business plan. It outlines how a business will make its products/services from concept to reality and create an effective path to market, fully ready for launch. It’s here in the GTM strategy that most companies create the process for identifying, segmenting, and targeting potential customers and the tactics and strategies marketing, sales and customer service will use to reach them.

Strong GTM strategies also include a combination of market research, product positioning and pricing, and orchestrated plans across marketing, sales and customer service. The comprehensive approach is what enables your product/service to reach the most potential customers.


Why do you need a go-to-market strategy?

You might already be doing several things that are part of a comprehensive GTM strategy and wondering why you need to formalize your efforts. Here’s why you need it. 

  1. Position your company against competitors: A well-designed GTM strategy ensures that you understand how you compare to your competitors. Through this process, you’ll gain insight into the key differentiators you should play up in your messaging to customers and prospects, giving you the edge with customers and any new markets you decide to enter.
  2. Create a unified inbound and outbound strategy: Far too often, companies run inbound and outbound efforts independently. With a GTM strategy, you can tightly align the two to reach more ideal prospects. You’ll also be able to create campaigns that are well-tailored for the individual needs of each potential customer segment, and regardless of how they enter your funnel, you’ll know they’re getting a consistent message from your team.
  3. Achieve your business goals: A GTM strategy gives you a roadmap of where your business wants to go and how it will get there. By positioning yourself correctly and understanding your customer base, you can adjust as needed to achieve success quicker than the competition. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to make accurate predictions and decisions that drive your business forward faster. 
  4. Reduce marketing costs: By evaluating your competition and crafting an effective inbound and outbound strategy, you can save high costs on marketing efforts. You’ll be able to focus resources on campaigns that are more likely to yield results instead of wasting money on activities that won’t drive growth. 
  5. Understand your customers: A go-to-market strategy enables you to deeply understand your customers, their needs and their pain. This data can be used to tailor your products and services (and your sales and marketing efforts) to meet their specific needs, which can help you increase customer loyalty and satisfaction. 

Components of a GTM strategy

If you’re still reading, you’ve seen the vision of what a GTM strategy can do for you and your business. Now, let’s drive into the components you need for your strategy.

  1. Product market fit: Your GTM strategy needs to ensure that your product has market fit. You’ll do this by talking to customers, conducting research and keeping a pulse on your market. It’s not enough to have market fit. Make sure your product also has a key benefit that differentiates it from the pack.
  2. Target audience: You understand how your product works—and you need to understand how your target audience could benefit from it. Knowing the ins and outs of your target market and potential customers can give you actionable data to inform the direction of your  marketing campaigns and product distribution plans.
  3. Competition and demand: You’ve got competition. (Louder for the companies in the back who think they don’t.) You shouldn’t ignore it. Get intimately familiar with how you compare to them, and what sort of demand they’re seeing compared to what you’re seeing. This assessment will help you understand if/where you need to invest in product development to stay afloat—and where you can invest in product development to take the lead.
  4. Distribution: Your GTM strategy should consider how your products will be distributed to customers. It includes understanding where potential customers are located and determining the most efficient way to get the product into their hands (or network, or database…. You get it.). 
  5. Pricing: Let’s not forget pricing. Your pricing should be based on the outcomes your product can create and its ability to solve customer pain points. Consider how you can price your products and services to maximize profits while meeting customer expectations. 
  6. Promotions: Promotional activities, such as advertising and public relations campaigns, are necessary for the success of most GTM strategies. It’s all about creating awareness of your product and aircover for when sales teams start outreach. 
  7. Measurement: Last, but certainly not least, you need to track and measure the performance of all GTM functions. This will help you understand where to double down and where to divest. 


How to build a go-to-market strategy

Whether you’re launching a new product or expanding into a new market, having an effective go-to-market strategy is vital for any business looking to increase its reach and stay ahead of the competition. So, if you’re ready, let’s get to it.

To help alleviate the confusion around GTM strategies, we’ve created this comprehensive guide on creating an impactful GTM strategy that increases visibility and drives sales and conversions. Here are 9 essential steps for creating an effective GTM plan for your products and services.


1. Get clear on your ICP (ideal customer profile)

Every company should have an ideal customer profile (ICP), which clearly documents what their dream customer looks like. This document helps the entire organization understand whom they’re selling to and why. It helps the company narrow their focus and invest their energy on the right accounts. Most ICPs include details like industry, company size and geographic location. But, that’s not enough anymore—and the companies with strong GTM strategies know that.

So, stop and really think about the characteristics that your best customers have. Are they early or late adopters? Do they have a growing or shrinking IT workforce? This level of detail that goes deep to uncover how companies operate, is called exegraphic data. And while your current ICP may have only included demographic and technographic details, you’ll change the game (for the better) by bringing exegraphics into the fold. 

Lastly, don’t be like other companies. Don’t let this doc collect dust. It should be a living document that’s adjusted to account for your product’s evolution and changing market conditions.


2. Craft a value proposition for messages

Your value proposition should be crafted to clearly articulate your product’s or service’s main benefits and how it will solve a customer’s problem. Your value proposition should be clear and tailored to your target market. It needs to be eye-catching and easy for customers to understand.

Concisely explain your product’s unique features, how it differs from competitors and how it will meet customers’ needs.

When crafting your value proposition, consider the core benefits that differentiate you from the competition and create a clear message that resonates with your target market as they browse your website.

Tip: Use customer reviews and testimonials to support your value propositions.


3. Test your messaging

Once you’ve crafted your value proposition, it’s time to test it. (After all, they need to resonate with your target audience.) You can test your messaging online and offline, with customers and prospects. Test variations of the value props to see which show the most promise. 


4. Optimize ads based on messaging tests

Once you’ve tested your value statements and determined a winner, you can start optimizing your ad campaigns. Afterall, advertising is a critical component of any go-to-market strategy as it helps to build awareness, generate leads and ultimately increase conversions.

Using the results from your messaging tests, you can create ads that target the same audience with more relevant copy and visuals. Be sure to use up-to-date data when optimizing your campaigns, so they’re consistently delivering the best results.


5. Understand your buyer’s journey

The buyer’s journey is the process by which customers become aware of, evaluate, and purchase products or services. Everyone involved in your GTM strategy needs to know what the buyer’s journey looks like as if it was the back of their hand. It’s this level of obsession that will empower everyone to spot friction and come up with innovative solutions.

As you dive into the buyer’s journey, think about the questions they have at each stage, what they’re looking for and how you can solve their problem. Creating content that resonates with your target market at every stage of their journey is important and increases the chances that they’ll stick around until the end.


6. Build awareness and brand demand with inbound and outbound methods

Building awareness is essential for any successful go-to-market strategy. You must reach your target market with the right message on the proper channels.

Inbound marketing methods such as content marketing, SEO and social media are effective ways to engage with potential customers—they’re looking for you. Outbound methods such as email, print advertising and direct mail can help you reach a broader range of potential customers.

Mixing inbound and outbound methods helps you create brand recognition, generate leads and build customer relationships.


7. Optimize your sales pipeline

Your sales pipeline is the process by which prospects move from leads to opportunities and ultimately become paying customers. Optimize your sales pipeline to maximize conversions while reducing costs.

Think about each step of the process and ensure it’s as efficient and cost-effective as possible. Consider automating specific steps, such as follow-up emails or lead qualification. Also, look at ways to measure the success of each step to identify any areas that need improvement.

Often, the first step in optimizing pipeline is making sure that your prospecting team knows who to contact and why.


8. Strategize ways to tap into your current customer database

Your existing customers are likely your most valuable source of revenue. To maximize your ROI, consider increasing existing account value by upselling or cross-selling products and services.

Also, consider what incentives you can provide for current customers and how to engage them with relevant content. These incentives should include discounts, free products or services, exclusive content and other offers to encourage customers to purchase more from you.


9. Adjust and iterate as you go

No go-to-market strategy is perfect the first time; adjustments must be made based on feedback and data analysis to get the best results. As you go along, keep track of the successes and failures so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

Make sure to track key performance indicators (KPIs), such as leads generated, conversion rate, cost per acquisition, etc., to measure success. And, be prepared to make changes quickly if something isn’t working—after all, the best go-to-market strategies are constantly being optimized.


Set your GTM strategy up for success

A GTM strategy will help your team march in unison in the right direction. But if you made even one wrong assumption at the very beginning of your launch, your team will go wildly off course and not reach your goal.

One of the most common missteps? Having an incomplete picture of who your ideal customer is. Let us help. Rev’s AI-powered Sales Development Platform can tell you the hidden characteristics that make your best customers your best—and find you others that look just like them. Our platform can show your demand gen team which accounts to target and give your SDRs a prioritized list of accounts to contact.

Contact us, and we’ll get you started with a FREE ICP audit so you can understand the deep and more meaningful characteristics of your ideal customers.

6 proven methods for reducing churn, and how to prevent it altogether

When companies wait to put customer retention strategies into action until after churn becomes an issue, they essentially write the script for their own demise. Look at once-industry leaders Blockbuster, Kodak and Sears. Each failed to adapt to an evolving market. Almost as quickly as they skyrocketed in popularity, they lost their customers and fell well behind their competitors. While these are B2C examples, we’re all familiar with B2B companies in our industries that are slipping down and to the right. Now, their logos collect dust while churn-savvy companies collect revenue.

At the other end of the spectrum are companies that prioritize customer satisfaction and get ahead of churn before it eats away at their bottom line. Churn-proof your organization and you become, in a word, timeless! Apple and Amazon are prime examples—both surely had growing and retaining a loyal customer base baked into their business strategy from the outset, making the case for early churn prevention and regular churn reduction.

The results are in. Reducing and preventing churn is an absolute must-do for successful, sustainable business growth.


Identifying customer churn

Customer churn (aka attrition or turnover) is the amount of customers that stop using a product or service over a period of time. 

High churn rates substantially decrease revenue, but having a strategy in place to act on early can change the odds of tipping the scale too far too fast to recover. A hopeful statistic: According to research from Bain & Company, just 5% increase in customer retention positively impacts profits by 25% to 95%. 

Left unchecked, however, churn will lead to a decline in revenue, lower profits and decreased market share. Identifying the warning signs of churn, then, is critical to sustaining a business. 

Traditional red flags for churn include: decreased engagement, declining usage, customer complaints, late or missed payments, low Net Promoter Score (NPS) and lack of response to outreach. There are quieter signals of churn as well—harder to spot at a glance and, therefore, detrimental to revenue growth. When a company experiences office closings or a reduction in workforce, security concerns, or fail to adapt their product or processes to sudden change (global pandemic, anyone?,) they may start the slow march to annihilation without warning. When the signs of churn are identified too late, it becomes difficult to pinpoint the reasons why your customers are churning, resulting in missed opportunities for improvement. 

Think of your last lost customer. Was the problem poor customer service, lack of perceived value or inconsistent product quality? Did you provide a poor user experience, or was it a lack of communication that drove loyal customers away? Did reducing your workforce to cut costs actually hit the end user where it hurt the most? Having strategies in place to spot and address churn early–before the possible reasons pile up and become impossible to identify (let alone correct) enables companies to remain competitive. 


How to reduce churn

Monitoring six touchpoints in your customer experience will help nurture and maintain your customer base. Relationship-building throughout the lifecycle is crucial to reduce churn. Have a strategy that supports customers during: 

  1. Onboarding
  2. Education
  3. Feedback 
  4. Product usage
  5. Engagement
  6. Follow-up


Steps to take at each touchpoint are detailed below. 


1. Improve your onboarding experience

Your first defense against churn is to help new users quickly and easily learn how to use your product or service, understand its value and achieve their desired outcomes. And remember, keep it simple. Some tactics for doing so include:

  • Providing clear and concise instructions
  • Creating a personalized approach
  • Presenting your value proposition 
  • Being interactive and engaging
  • Allowing for progress tracking
  • Offering ongoing support


Another way to optimize user experience and grow a loyal customer base during onboarding is to drive home your company values and beliefs. To do this, you’ll need to first define them. Craft a clear and concise statement that describes what your company stands for and what you want to achieve. Your values should be aligned with your brand and mission.

Next, find ways to incorporate those values into your company culture. This can include hiring practices, employee training and internal communication.

Showcase your values in your messaging. Ensure that they are prominently featured throughout your website, social media and marketing materials. Use language that reflects your values when communicating on behalf of your brand and products or services.

Engaging in social responsibility is another way to show you don’t just talk the talk. Supporting local communities, environmental sustainability and charitable causes that align with your company standards.

Finally, always engage with your customers and stakeholders in ways that reflect your company’s values and beliefs. This can include responding to customer inquiries and feedback in a timely and respectful manner, and showcasing examples of how your company is living its values in the community.


2. Educate your customer

Once your customer is onboarded, they need to be educated. Education is typically focused on building relationships and loyalty—critical to reducing churn and retaining your customer base. It builds trust and credibility and increases customer satisfaction. Provide information and resources about the features and benefits of your products or services, model how to use them effectively and reiterate your value proposition while educating your customer. 


A mini-guide to instructional content

Expert tip: Use different mediums for customer education. Here are some examples to inspire offers that teach while keeping people engaged.

To illustrate the features and benefits of your products or services, consider creating how-to videos. These videos can show step-by-step instructions on how to use the product, how to solve common problems or how to take advantage of advanced features. 

User manuals and guides can also provide detailed information about a product or service in various formats, such as PDFs or physical books. 

Tutorials and online courses provide structured learning experiences for customers. These can include interactive lessons, quizzes and other tools to help customers master a product or service. 

Webinars and live events offer customers the opportunity to learn from experts and ask questions in real time. These events can cover a wide range of topics, from product updates to industry trends and best practices. 

Additionally, infographics and other visual aids can be made to simplify complex information and make it easier for customers to understand key concepts, compare features or provide other educational information.

Give customers a hands-on experience to teach about what you do in a more interactive way. This can include product demos and/or free trials or samples. 

Take advantage of opportunities on your website to help customers learn. Consider creating an easy-to-find knowledge base: A resource library or frequently asked questions (FAQ) section on your website provides easy access to information about your products or services.

Finally, offer training or workshops. Engage users with in-depth knowledge about your products or services and how to use them to maximum impact.

Educating customers about your products or services is an ongoing process that requires a commitment to clear and effective communication. By educating strategically through multiple mediums, businesses create a broad approach that both attracts new customers and builds strong relationships with existing ones, setting themselves up to knock the main goal out of the park: buh-bye churn! 


3. Work the feedback loop

Open lines of communication are key to customer retention. Collecting feedback is essential for understanding how customers feel about your products or services and identifying areas for improvement. Here are some steps you can take to collect feedback and measure satisfaction:

  1. Define your goals: Determine what you want to achieve through customer feedback. Are you looking to improve a specific product or service? Do you want to identify customer pain points? Focus your efforts to collect the most relevant feedback.
  2. Choose your feedback channels: There are many channels you can use to collect customer feedback, such as surveys, feedback forms, social media, email or in-person interviews. Choose the one(s) most appropriate for your business and audience.
  3. Create a feedback survey: Keep it short, easy to understand and ask relevant questions. Use a mix of open-ended and closed-ended questions to gather both qualitative and quantitative data.
  4. Analyze the data: Once you have collected feedback, analyze the data to identify patterns and trends. Look for areas where customers are consistently satisfied or dissatisfied and identify opportunities for improvement.
  5. Take action: Use the feedback you have collected to make improvements to your products or services. Communicate with your customers about the changes you are making based on their feedback.
  6. Track customer satisfaction over time: Regularly measure customer satisfaction over time to track trends and identify areas where you need to make further improvements.


By listening to customer feedback and taking action based on their insights, you build stronger relationships and improve the overall customer experience, reducing the risk that they will seek alternative products and services.


4. Integrate retention hooks

In-product retention hooks encourage users to return to you. They’re a great way to keep existing customers engaged and reduce churn. 

Think about your favorite products and apps. The ones you keep coming back to. They likely integrate some mix of the following:

  • Easy-to-use interface: Simple and user-friendly
  • Personalization: Aligned with your preferences, behavior or history
  • Gamification: Including points, badges or levels 
  • Frequent updates and improvements: A demonstrated commitment to quality and satisfaction
  • Social proof: Customer reviews or endorsements that build trust 
  • Customer support: Help should be available to those who ask for it
  • Exclusivity: Unique benefits or access to a product or service


The key to using retention hooks to keep customers engaged and loyal is understanding their needs and preferences. Enhance the effect by continuously evaluating and improving retention strategies to ensure they remain effective in an evolving market.


5. Incentivize engagement

Offering a discount, promo, loyalty program, etc. gets customers to stick around. You may want to personalize offers based on a customer’s purchase history to help them feel understood. Provide excellent customer service and promptly address any issues or concerns that customers may have to earn trust and loyalty. Offer exclusive access to products, services or events so they feel valued. Then, regularly communicate with customers through email newsletters, social media or other channels to keep them engaged with the business and aware of new offerings or promotions.


6. Follow up, check in, re-engage

Retention emails provide your customer with ongoing value, keep them engaged, reduce churn and increase customer lifetime value. 

Personalized messages to inactive customers are a great way to get feedback on why they aren’t using your product or service and rehook them. 

Retention emails can also be used to encourage active customers to make repeat purchases. For example, businesses can send emails that highlight new or popular products, offer personalized recommendations based on past purchases, or provide special discounts or incentives for repeat purchases.

And don’t forget to check-in with your customer base with product updates and education. Make offers of exclusive content and promotions that are not available to the general public. 

By staying in touch with customers and offering relevant content and promotions businesses increase customer loyalty.


How to avoid churn in the first place

Stay ready and you don’t have to get ready, right? This philosophy applies to business beautifully. If you avoid churn in the first place, you don’t have to scramble and spend costly resources (and risk your foothold in your market) attempting to reduce it.

Prevention begins with spotting the deep signals that churn is brewing. Superficial indicators are external or observable factors, often based on actions that customers take or do not take, like decreased engagement, declining usage or customer complaints. Deep indicators of churn, on the other hand, are internal behaviors or traits that may drive customers to abandon a product or service that no longer serves them. In B2B, deep indicators can include changes in team structure or staffing, challenges with scaling, substitution or replacement in key roles, expansion or pivoting to new markets, and more. When a company makes adjustments to the way they operate (adjustments that aren’t apparent in their demographics but impact the behaviors of the organization) churn becomes more and more likely. 

Superficial signals of churn

  • Decreased usage and engagement              
  • Customer complaints
  • Late or missed payments
  • Low NPS
  • Lack of response to outreach

Deep signals of churn

  • Changing needs
  • External impacts on internal business structure
  • Product or service mismatch
  • Competitive pressures
  • Scaling or expanding challenges


Deep factors are difficult to observe directly, but not impossible. In fact, keeping tabs on your customers’ deep signals may save your business from going the way of the dinosaurs. 


Behave like a churn-proof company

Only by focusing on both superficial and deep indicators of churn can businesses develop a most comprehensive understanding of customer behavior and take targeted actions to increase retention and loyalty. 

And those deep signals of churn are only revealed to those with a handle on exegraphic data. Exegraphics are the quiet and early signals of your customers behavior. Understanding exegraphics—insights into how companies operate, like their investment level in customer care for example—makes swift and early intervention possible. 

Exegraphics are your churn-proofing magic wand. 

Mitigate future turbulence with retention. Preserve and protect your existing revenue stream with the pattern-predicting power of exegraphic data plugged into Rev’s Sales Development Platform. Want to see the exegraphics behind your best customers—and the ones churning? Contact us, and we’ll show you.

RevOps framework: What it is, why it works and how to use it

Revenue Operations (RevOps) is a breakthrough application of data and automation. It’s gaining in popularity across all industries—and for good reason. 

Winning organizations break down silos and optimize the flow of work across sales, marketing and customer success teams. RevOps has emerged as their key to achieving this enormous effort. In fact, According to Gartner, 75% of high-growth companies will have a RevOps model within the next two years. With a focus on alignment and collaboration, a RevOps framework reduces costs, improves customer experience and accomplishes the ever elusive goal of consistent, sustainable revenue growth. 

In short, RevOps is the intersection of data-driven and customer-centric revenue generation. Leaders who understand and are able to implement a RevOps framework realize their company’s revenue goals through integration of processes, data and technologies across teams. 


The benefits of RevOps

Streamlined processes across key teams with improved data analysis and automation deliver powerful, actionable insights into customer behavior, helping organizations find and tap new revenue streams. 

Benefits of RevOps include: 

  • Improved collaboration
  • A unified approach to revenue generation
  • Reduced inefficiencies
  • Increased productivity
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Accountability


A RevOps framework enables organizations to crush revenue goals, increase customer retention and improve overall business performance.


The elements of a RevOps framework

Every RevOps framework contains four key elements: People, processes, technology and data. 

People are the core of every revenue operations team. From leaders to specialists, all are responsible for implementing a RevOps framework. They should be able to develop and execute a cohesive strategy that aligns with the company’s overall goals and objectives.

Developing and refining processes across all revenue-related functions will increase efficiency and effectiveness. In RevOps, these processes belong to different departments, often including sales, marketing and customer success. 

Advancements in technology have produced sophisticated RevOps software. Use it! Your tech should help you exchange data, segment your audience and/or automate workflows. Integrating various technologies such as CRM, marketing automation, and customer success tools will streamline and optimize revenue operations.

Finally, being able to collect and analyze data is critical to making informed decisions under a RevOps framework. RevOps relies on key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that track revenue growth, customer acquisition and retention.

Waterfall vs. agile models

Project management methodologies waterfall and agile can be applied to RevOps frameworks, Waterfall being a traditional, sequential approach and agile being the more iterative approach involving continuous collaboration, adaptation and improvement. 

The time-saving advantages and emphasis on collaboration may make agile a good fit for your RevOps framework, although ultimately, the choice of framework will depend on the specific needs and requirements of your organization, as well as industry, size and revenue goals.


The different frameworks

Several RevOps frameworks have emerged recently, each with its own approach to optimizing revenue-generating functions within an organization. 

The Clari RevOps framework, for example, is a waterfall model that helps GTM teams take control. It focuses on four key pillars: revenue process optimization, connected intelligence, dynamic forecasting and collaborative execution. The Clari RevOps framework also includes a set of best practices, tools and technologies to help organizations implement their strategy, including data management and analytics tools, AI-powered forecasting and pipeline management, and integrations with other sales and marketing tools.

Oriented toward aligning people, process, platform and insights for revenue acceleration, the McAlign framework is another that seeks to unify sales, marketing, customer success and revenue operations under one strategy. This agile model boasts an ability to mine processes, track the customer life cycle, optimize customer journeys and create unified revenue funnel view across various revenue functions.


How to apply a RevOps framework

You know you need a RevOps framework to align fractured processes, tools and teams across your company. There are many approaches to growing this muscle within your organization, but these basics will get you started while you gather a holistic view of your revenue growth and determine (or design!) the best framework to suit your needs.

  • Step 1: Define goals and responsibilities. This could include optimizing revenue-generating processes, improving sales and marketing alignment, and managing customer experience. 
  • Step 2: Identify necessary roles and skills needed to meet those goals. This could include roles such as revenue operations manager, sales operations manager, marketing operations manager, customer success operations manager or data analyst.
  • Step 3: Determine a reporting structure. Some organizations may choose to have the team report directly to the CEO, while others may choose to have the team report to the VP of Sales or another executive.
  • Step 4: Establish collaboration between revenue-generating teams to align goals, processes and metrics. These may include sales, marketing, customer success, etc.
  • Step 5: Leverage technology and data. Your team should have access to tools and technologies that enable efficient and effective analysis of revenue-generating activities.
  • Step 6: Agree on metrics and KPIs (given the data and skills available on the team) that align with the organization’s revenue goals. Regularly report progress.


Get your RevOps framework up and running

A RevOps framework aligns and optimizes the revenue-generating functions within an organization. It’s the proven way to equip the right people with the data and technology to streamline their processes, make the right decisions for your customers and drive predictable revenue growth. 

Advancements in data analysis and automation will continue to supercharge RevOps models in the years to come. As you can imagine, the deeper the insights you have into your customers’ behavior and readiness to purchase, the stronger your RevOps foundation becomes, allowing for even more efficiencies and profits to be gained during revenue growth activities. 

Just as B2C companies have moved from demographics to psychographics, B2B needs to shift from firmographics to exegraphics—dynamic data that reveals how a company executes on its mission. Want to see the exegraphics behind your best customers so you can uncover their hidden traits and target others just like them? Contact us, and we’ll show you.

How (and why) RevOps teams use exegraphic data, with Intelligent Demand’s Nicole Davolt

RevOps teams are under enormous pressure to grow their companies, and to grow them efficiently. Even C-suites are feeling this pressure. When they do, they turn to Nicole Davolt, a RevOps strategist at Intelligent Demand.

“We align their tactics, their technology and their people into a strategic growth strategy and a program that allows them to acquire, retain and expand revenue with their best-fitting customers and prospects,” Nicole says. “But really, we just exist to help tame the complexity of modern B2B growth.”

An expert growth partner helps companies and RevOps teams align Sales and Marketing (and others within an organization) to deliver better overall customer experience, as well as improve the prioritization of operations within the sales pipeline.

To that end, we dove into conversation with Nicole about exegraphic data—how it functions, how it changes the way revenue teams can think about targeting accounts, and how it can improve precision, streamline operations, maximize resources and harmonize often competing teams within your organization. 


Exegraphics: The behavioral traits of companies

Before companies can improve the precision of their targeting with exegraphics, it helps to understand how exegraphics work.

“I like to think of them as psychographic traits for B2C, but now for B2B,” Nicole says. “Instead of those psychographic traits about an individual, exegraphics are traits about the business and how a business behaves.”

Whereas more traditional firmographics include traits such as industry, size, and revenue, exegraphics examine hundreds of other, more behavioral, traits like: Are companies early adopters of technology? Are they hiring a larger sales team? Are they expanding their marketing teams? How do they operate on the inside and on the outside?

“Exegraphics let us get a more complete picture and a more holistic view of an account,” Nicole says. “When you look at just firmographics, you might have tens or hundreds of thousands of accounts that fit that profile. When you’re conducting an account-based campaign, you need to narrow those down to who will fit your ICP best and who acts just like your best customers—the ones that you would want to clone out hundreds of times if you could.”

Whereas doing this “by hand” would be practically impossible, the AI-driven model behind exegraphics assesses hundreds of aspects to build out an image of what makes those customers the best—and identifies (and ranks) others that resemble them.

Nicole points out that the answer in identifying top prospects does not lie in plucking single exegraphic threads; it’s the composite pattern-matching that creates a more meaningful customer profile than humans could reasonably accomplish alone.

In short: “Exegraphics give us more confidence in building our ICP,” she says.


Prioritizing accounts to get to market faster

Building a quality ICP is an early step—not an end goal. For Nicole, the real power of exegraphics comes into play for prioritizing all those accounts that match your ICP.

“Clients understand generally what their ideal client looks like,” she says, “but they don’t know which ones to go after, how to go after them and who to pay special attention to.”

As an example, Intelligent Demand had a client with a target account list upward of 65,000 accounts—and they lacked the resources to tackle that entire list. So the agency assessed the client’s best customers with Rev’s AI-powered Sales Development Platform and compared them to the prospect list, in order to whittle it to something not only more manageable but more impactful.

Exegraphics trimmed that list to about 10,000 accounts—and then Nicole used them to help rank the remaining candidates.

Then, “Do we want to spread your budget evenly like peanut butter across all these accounts?” she asked. “Or are there certain accounts we want to pay more special attention to? Who do we prioritize for a specialized one-to-one outreach, one-to-few, and one-to-many? Let’s look at how closely they correlate to your best customers.”

Exegraphics (in combination with intent and campaign engagement data) identified the 200 accounts best matched to the ICP, with the highest likelihood to engage.

As Nicole puts it: “Exegraphics enabled us to get to market faster and be able to make smarter decisions at the beginning of the campaign, when we had limited amounts of data.”


Three data sets playing together: exegraphics, intent and campaign engagement

Nicole referenced intent and campaign engagement data above, and that they play well with exegraphic data to prioritize accounts. Here’s how she explains them as distinct approaches to understanding prospects:

  • Exegraphics are like the personality traits of an account: more fixed, and slower to change. “My personality traits don’t change drastically in a short amount of time,” she says. “If an account is likely to be an early adopter of technology or is in a high growth mode, they’re likely to be in that same mode six months to a year from now.”
  • Intent and campaign engagement data examines what an account is interested in. “What are they searching? Which kind of articles are they reading? What are they looking for? Are they in market for something that I have to sell right now?” These data sets are ever-changing.

When these data sets intersect, an ideal customer becomes an ideal customer right now (and thus a high priority for sales and marketing outreach). 


Maximizing limited resources

A common theme in RevOps teams that Nicole works with is this: Teams struggle with limited resources. How can they use this exegraphic data to maximize the resources that they do have?

Nicole provides these three insights into prioritizing a team’s resources in addition to prioritizing their prospects:

  • Get discovery out of the way. “Sales teams don’t have to get on a phone call to uncover the things that you can’t normally see,” she says. “We’re able to see them through exegraphics.” For instance, Intelligent Demand generally looks for clients with a certain level of marketing maturity—and exegraphics helps the Sales team assess the marketing maturity of an account directionally before even reaching out.
  • Determine your talk track. We all know that prospects have different personas that we talk to throughout the sales cycle, and many organizations have standard talk tracks for them. But how to know which ones to lead with? Exegraphics enable a team to step into conversations with high confidence that they’re using the most applicable talk track because they already understand certain behaviors (and thus certain pain points) within the organization.
  • Align Sales and Marketing. The process of using exegraphics to select accounts can actually bring Sales and Marketing teams together. “Historically, you have Marketing teams pick certain accounts for certain reasons, and Sales teams pick certain accounts for certain reasons,” Nicole says. Exegraphics help both teams hone those lists in tandem, without it being a matter of stepping on each other’s domains—instead, Sales and Marketing alignment becomes about identifying the accounts most likely to succeed with limited resources to target them. “It opens up the conversation and gives teams data points to be confident in the accounts they’re selecting, as well,” she says.


Final thoughts: Creating harmonious RevOps teams

Each step of Nicole’s exegraphic discussion comes back to prioritization:

  • Identifying what traits matter most to your ICP
  • Choosing the accounts most likely to purchase
  • Selecting other relevant data points
  • Maximizing limited resources

Exegraphic prioritization enables more than just a smoother, more efficient pipeline, though. It also creates more internal harmony within RevOps.

“When we’re aligned on a target account list, especially for an account-based campaign or an account-based play, there’s less handoff between Marketing and Sales,” Nicole says. “There’s more of What are we going to do at the same time, together? What activities are we going to do at each point in the customer life cycle to work together to get them to the next phase?”

While Marketing and Sales may each take the lead at various points, exegraphic data-driven foundation aligns them on a continuous, parallel path—for the good of your RevOps team as well as your customers.

Interested in hearing the full conversation with Nicole Davolt? Watch it here.

It’s time to improve your aim

Most revenue teams have more prospects in their CRM than they can handle. The problem, frankly, is not building up contact lists—the problem is maximizing the pipeline to identify the best prospects and engage them effectively.

The sub-par prospects that clog your pipeline still consume resources but are more unlikely ever to close. If they do close, they’re less likely to renew or become your best customers.

Our research at Rev shows that up to 66% of the leads sourced through traditional prospecting practices sit dormant, due largely to the fact that many of them shouldn’t have entered your funnel to begin with. They should have never been considered a real prospect. Meanwhile, up to 65% of five-star opportunities get straight-up missed.

Those averages are outstanding in baseball, but horrendous in your revenue functions. The culprit? Most companies don’t actually know what their real ideal customer looks like. Their ICP is incomplete. And if they can’t identify their best prospects, they certainly won’t connect with them.

Developing a high-quality, high-efficiency pipeline starts with improving the fitness of your prospects—and your aim in targeting them. After all, your aim—the percent of accounts in your pipeline that match your ICP—matters, and it should be a key metric you track. When you spend more of your resources engaging with the right prospects, the ones most likely to close and become great customers, the entire journey downstream runs more smoothly. What company doesn’t need that, especially today?

If you’re wondering how to track your aim and how to improve it, you’re in luck. This article will guide you through everything you need to know to get started.


Step 1: Identify the characteristics of your best customers

When you think about your best customers, what traits come to mind? Too many revenue teams still rely on firmographics to understand the traits of their best customers. Broad categories like industry, location, size and revenue don’t actually reveal much about the inner workings of companies and how they execute their missions.

B2C companies have been riding this train for years now. They moved beyond demographics to psychographics to better predict what individual customers want to buy. In the B2B world, you need equivalent insights to really understand your best customers (and, in turn, your best prospects). 

Exegraphics provide those demand signals. They are, essentially, any piece of information you could want to know about a company, gleaned through AI-driven analyses in three ways.

  1. Exegraphics focus on a company’s positioning in its industry and the value it brings to market.
  2. Exegraphics also evaluate the functions of the people internal to an organization, including how those functions are prioritized.
  3. Exegraphics then account for trends over time to better predict where a company is headed.


Exegraphic data digs beyond superficial indicators to evaluate broad organizational behaviors and patterns. You might have two companies that appear identical on the outside: same industry, comparable products, equivalent workforce. Yet they might operate entirely differently on the inside—and those inner workings effectively make them completely different customers.

Evaluating your existing best customers in these ways helps you understand what really makes them tick, and thus, what you really want to look for in a top prospect.


Step 2: Build a dynamic ICP

Exegraphics are precise data points. Any one of them, taken in isolation, may not mean much. But a collection of hundreds of exegraphics accomplishes what a traditional ICP hopes to: it builds a complete and thorough picture of how your actual best customers behave, and what they are most likely to need.

Even better? Exegraphics, by their very nature, enable revenue teams to create dynamic ICPs that continuously improve. (At Rev, we call these aiCPs—AI-driven ideal customer profiles.) These are ICPs that embody the current and ever-changing behaviors, strategies, attitudes and events (such as personnel and product changes) of your ideal customers.

Plus, each time you sign a new customer, or an existing customer expands its account, that customer’s exegraphic data feeds back into the model to better define what ideal means for you.

No more of the old-school, stuck-on-firmographics ICP on a PowerPoint slide that you update every few years. Equipped with a dynamic ICP, revenue teams know (essentially in real time) how their best customers behave—and what to look for in new prospects.


Step 3: See which accounts in your pipeline have the characteristics you care about most

Now that you know what your ideal customer really looks like, and have a living model in place that evolves over time, you’re ready to see how many of the accounts in your pipeline fit your ICP. In our experience working with some of the world’s top brands, it’s much less than you think.

When you evaluate the exegraphic markers of the accounts in your pipeline and compare them to your now-full-picture ICP, you’ll have an aha-moment. You’ll see why certain accounts got stuck in your pipeline with little to no progress. You’ll also see accounts that show more promise, that have leading characteristics of an account that will make its way to closed-won. Those are the accounts you’ll know to prioritize.

When you can see how closely accounts in your pipeline match your ICP, you’re able to take a data-driven approach to seal the deal. Accounts that are a clear match to your ICP could be routed to sales, while accounts with a lower match rate could be placed in a nurture track. The accounts that don’t have matching traits? Toss those. You don’t have time or budget to spend on them.


Step 4: Find new accounts that match your ICP

Now that you have fewer accounts in your pipeline, what do you do? And how do you fill it moving forward?

Volume still matters, yes. But it really needs to be more of the right stuff. More quality targets. You probably get where we’re going with this, and you’re likely saying to yourself, “Got it… but how do I find accounts that have the deep traits I care about most? If I knew how to spot them, they’d already be in my queue.”

Great point. You could try to do it manually: hire a dedicated team to determine the exegraphics behind your best customers, build a more robust ICP and evaluate the exegraphic data behind all the accounts in your pipeline. By the time they’re done running the analyses, though, the data has probably changed. Luckily, AI can tackle this workload almost immediately. It’s great for pattern matching across large data sets and language models—including all sorts of digital “breadcrumbs.”

AI can also tell you which companies match your ICP, and how closely. No more going after big, aspirational logos just to have them clog your pipeline. By using AI to find the accounts that resemble your best customers, you’ll always know which accounts to target, and when.


Step 5: Improving metrics through better aim

When companies improve their targeting efficiency through the use of exegraphics and aiCPs, they don’t just get better prospects in the funnel—they get improved results the entire way through it.


Engagement case study: Allytics

As a Central Marketing Organization (CMO) for its clients, managing everything from strategy to implementation with an eye on improving their marketing ROI, Allytics requires strong engagement on behalf of all of its customers: growing account lists, acquiring new leads, expanding pipelines for marketing and sales.

To those ends, Allytics have partnered with Rev for more than three years to support deeper lead qualification, target market expansion and nurture campaigns for their clients, with the aid of exclusively tailored Custom Lenses.

“We can come in with any angle and Rev builds a lens for us that helps our clients increase their pipeline growth by providing unique and specific targeted insights,” says Allytics President Dunya Riechelson. “This gives us clear direction and quality results.”

For Allytics, Rev’s Sales Development Platform expanded several clients’ account bases by more than 20% through lookalike targeting, providing access to a stronger pool of leads with higher levels of engagement.

VP of Marketing Services Robert Doi says: “Rev’s technology makes them a perfect partner to help our clients increase both the quality and velocity of new potential customers, closing more deals.”

And that’s not all. Allytics also saw a 50% decrease in time to find qualified leads.


Case study: Splunk

When Splunk acquired another company in the DevOps space, it set out to run a demand gen campaign to prospect for it. Splunk had developed an extensive ABM list and inherited a seed list of the acquisition’s best customers, but still struggled to gain traction and add quality prospects. 

Rev created an aiCP for Splunk, prioritized the list and ran a content syndication campaign.

Not only did the campaign result in sourcing the quality prospects Splunk desired, but it also revealed that the companies showing intent previously were not actually best-fit prospects. They were draining revenue resources with a lesser likelihood of actually closing.

Splunk’s new aiCP enabled them to prioritize the account list and focus marketing efforts. According to Joe Paone, Sr. Director of Worldwide Commercial Marketing, more than 15% of the pipeline can now be attributed to the aiCP, with increased pipeline revenue of more than $500 million.

 Did we mention they saw these results in less than 3 weeks?


Final thoughts: Keep on evaluating your pipeline

Once you achieve a stronger sense of your own ideal customers on an exegraphic basis, you can make a pretty immediate and drastic evaluation of your existing pipeline.

If you align with the averages, your revenue team isn’t even touching about 2/3 of the prospects in the pipeline. Imagine assessing the entire pipeline for the best-fit prospects—the ones most likely to close, and to become great customers—and being able to pluck those targets out of the crowd.

You can. And you can evaluate how you’re filling the pipeline based on what percentage of the prospects there match the characteristics that matter most to you. These are the metrics that can change the game for revenue leaders: early indicators of your revenue teams’ operational efficiency and ultimate success.

Doing so not once, but continuously, calibrates your teams’ efficiency and your pipeline’s quality. As Allytics’ Richelson says: “Quality is a focus from end-to-end through every touch point in the engagement. And, because the AI gets smarter over time, we can optimize as we go.”

As you need to pivot in an ever-changing market, exegraphics and aiCPs equip you to constantly refocus your aim and maximize your efforts. After all, your objectives aren’t static. Your approach doesn’t have to be, either.

These pipeline pain points are a universal experience, but they can be addressed head on by revamping how you think about your ICP and changing the way you identify and source top prospects. Refine your ICP. Contact us and get a free look at the exegraphics behind your best customers.

So you think you’ve exhausted your market?

With the economy lagging and experts forecasting possible recessions, forward-thinking companies are looking to stimulate new revenue in new markets. In a vacuum, not a bad strategy. But many companies doing so are leaving money on the table in their current markets.

If you think you’ve exhausted your market… you’re probably wrong.

In fact, a recent Gartner report recommends that tech CEOs renew their sales and marketing efforts in two areas:

  • Existing markets (where their products are proven)
  • Existing customer base (as a chance for expansion with new buying efforts)

The report does not mince words: “Tech CEOs must avoid the temptation to go after new markets and verticals (especially when there is not a clear, well-researched and validated opportunity for growth) if doing so puts success in existing markets at risk.”

Venturing too heavily into new markets is a lot like abandoning your fortress in battle: when companies lose focus on their core market, their competitors swoop in. As a result, companies forfeit the Fortress of Market Share, including both new accounts and expansion opportunities with existing ones.

This is of course not to warn ambitious orgs away from exploring new markets altogether. There are strategic reasons to leave the fortress. Yet breaking into new markets and booking revenue requires time—a resource that many companies don’t have enough of. 

Fully evaluating your current market for growth opportunities (especially when the economy is suppressed) is a worthy—and worthwhile—endeavor. Then, when looking at new markets at the right time, employing a smart, surgical strategy will maximize the return on your efforts.


Re-evaluate your market stronghold

Many times, companies that believe they’ve exhausted their market have actually exhausted their ICP. 

Too often, a traditional ICP fits in four or five bullets on a PowerPoint slide. These are usually firmographic indicators of a prospect’s industry, size, location or revenue—and are often ineffective ways of describing your actual best targets. Also too often, organizations allow their ICP to remain static for years on end, failing to reflect changes both internally and in the market.

Rev has developed AI-driven ICPs using exegraphic data to build better customer profiles that understand how companies behave and change. But even with more traditional ICPs, re-evaluating who you are selling to (and who you’ve already sold to) will help you understand who your actual ideal customers are—rather than what a PowerPoint says they are.

The benefits of re-evaluating (and re-re-evaluating) your ICP are significant:

  • Engage your current customers. Presuming that your best customers do not change over time is a sure way to lose them to competitors offering products that better suit their needs. 
  • Grab the attention of new prospects. By understanding what makes your best customers tick, you can refine your messaging to speak to the needs and pain points of act-alike companies.
  • Maximize your pipeline. You can compare accounts in your pipeline to your active ICP to determine which matches to emphasize. 
  • Maximize your resources. Ditto for the companies you have not yet made first contact with—understanding which target accounts are most likely to bite increases the power of your revenue teams.


Dig in deeper with existing accounts 

If you find through evaluating your ICP that you already have deep market penetration, it still does not mean you’ve exhausted your market. It may well mean you need to optimize your approach to account expansion. 

Companies with deep penetration and a product-led growth motion often struggle to know which accounts to target next, and why. After all, in tough economic times, upselling is not always a strategic move. Identifying which accounts will be most receptive to expansion is critical to maximizing revenue teams’ resources. 

Exegraphic data can surface those signals. Exegraphics identify the trends for the accounts that have already expanded, increasing confidence in your prioritization of the target account list for potential upsells.

The right data can also evaluate potential expansion for each one of your company’s products and services. Getting granular about not only who is ripe for expansion, but who is ripe for expansion in which direction, keeps your aim centered and results in more successful targeting. 

Depending on the size of your customer base, it might also be important to segment existing accounts into 1:1, 1:few or 1:many engagement plans, according to their exegraphic matches. This segmentation enables account managers to spend the most time with customers that are high-fit for expansion opportunities. 

No matter the scale and complexity of your offerings, the actionable insights provided by exegraphic data will help you identify which current accounts are ripe for upsells and expansion—further improving your reach into your current market, without the opportunity and financial cost of breaking into a new one.


Be savvy about leaving the fortress for new markets

Now, you may find—immediately, or in the future—that your company really has exhausted its current market. Or, perhaps entering new markets is integral to your larger GTM strategy.

In either case, tapping into new market segments opens up a world of potential new customers. It’s an aggressive strategy in times when many customers are tightening their belts—and also looking for effective solutions.

The strategy is risky, too. What if you invest marketing resources in a market segment for 12 months only to fall flat?

Fortunately, you can minimize the risk with a data-driven approach. You are starting new, but you don’t have to start cold. 


Trust your real ICP

In-depth ICPs, such as Rev’s aiCPs, will identify act-alike organizations, even if they look nothing alike (and they often don’t between markets). This enables you to get much clearer about targeting accounts in the new market: odds are, your best customers in the old market will mirror your most likely best customers in the new one.

Finding companies in a new segment that have the same “fit” and “ready” characteristics as your best customers minimizes risk and maximizes the potential for gains. Companies in very different market segments might have very similar internal operations that make them a great candidate for your product or service. 

You want to aim your outbound teams at these prospects to maximize leads they can convert into sales. Exegraphics and aiCPs equip your outbound teams to go after the best-fit targets, reducing the time spent on fruitless cold outreach.


Deploy a SWAT team

In fact, you can make this approach even more surgical to reduce risk and increase effectiveness. Before fully divesting from your company’s core focus—or before fully committing to a new market—test it with a SWAT team.

Think back to the fortress: you are unlikely to leave it in force while dispersing your forces in all directions. You’re much more likely to leave the fortress for a specific target, with a strategic approach. And why empty the fortress at all if you can send out the equivalent of a few hardy scouts to test the terrain?

Key word here is test. We recommend resisting the urge to over-rotate (and over-invest); instead, we advocate for this SWAT-team approach in a new market: lightly staffed with strong expertise, able to pivot and adapt on the fly. Think something like one business development rep, two AEs and light marketing support.

After all, if you’re using the power of exegraphics and aiCPs, you already have rigor in your process: you know you’re sending reps after prospects most likely to bite. Developing a few good pieces of early messaging and simple collateral can test the market.

Then see what happens. Do you get engagement? Are the reps able to close deals? If not, what needs to happen differently? 

This approach accelerates the information-gathering period and helps you assess, quickly and definitively, whether a new market segment is actually viable. This approach manages to get you answers in 3-6 months, not the more typical 12-18 months (plus exponential expenses) needed to determine market fit.


Final thoughts

The Gartner report referenced above could hardly sound more dire about new market expansion. It reads: “Tech CEOs face losing market share to competitors from neglecting existing customers and the expansion opportunities within them.”

The inverse is simple: Don’t neglect them. 

But what that looks like in practice is much more than the absence of neglect—it’s the presence of active re-evaluation of the current market, especially existing accounts, to develop a living, breathing, evolving ICP. 

It’s the development of exegraphic data to optimize account expansion. 

And, when new market penetration happens, it means doing so surgically and scientifically—with precision, experimentation and speed.

Take a step in the right direction, and let us build your aiCP for free. We’ll show you the exegraphics behind your best customers—and show you how to identify the accounts ready for expansion.

What is revenue operations?

You may think revenue operations (RevOps) sounds like just another buzzword. But it’s actually given a name to a function that’s been needed in the data-driven B2B world for a LONG time. 

Because for the B2B businesses that have a RevOps team, recent reports show they’ve benefited from a 100-200% increase in digital marketing ROI, a 10-20% increase in sales productivity and a 71% improvement in stock performance.

So, if RevOps is the new secret ingredient for consistent revenue growth and efficiency—you’re right to want to know how your business can implement its own RevOps function. In this case, you’ve come to the right place!

In this guide, we’ll give you an in-depth overview of revenue operations and why it’s become an increasingly important focus for B2B companies of all sizes and industries. Specifically, we’ll be discussing topics and questions like: 

  • What is revenue operations? And how is it different from other operations teams? 
  • What exactly do RevOps teams do? What are their goals, metrics and core responsibilities? 
  • Signs your organization would benefit from a RevOps team.
  • Should you build a RevOps team by recruiting new talent or reassigning responsibilities among existing employees?
  • How to build a comprehensive revenue operations strategy.
  • Resources for learning more about RevOps through online certification programs, podcasts and professional communities.

A lot to cover? Absolutely. But if your business wants a smooth transition to revenue operations, this guide will be a valuable companion. So, get comfortable, and let’s begin!


What is revenue operations (RevOps)?

Revenue operations is a team or function within your organization that focuses on optimizing revenue growth by aligning the goals and strategies of sales, marketing and customer success teams. 

Leveraging data and technology, revenue operations teams create and implement roadmaps to enable those go-to-market teams to work collaboratively toward achieving predictable revenue from new and existing customers.


What do RevOps teams do?

RevOps teams are responsible for analyzing the customer experience and identifying gaps that cause existing customers to churn and potential new customers (aka leads) to fall through the cracks. 

RevOps then works with go-to-market teams to systematically address those gaps, eliminate redundancies in revenue-generating processes and align revenue goals across all stages of the customer journey.

As they work towards those goals, some specific task and RevOps best practices include:

  • Identifying the core characteristics of a company’s ideal customer profile (ICP) for better targeting and lead generation
  • Communicating with stakeholders across the organization to ensure alignment of revenue strategies and goals
  • Leveraging key data points to improve revenue forecasting, including measuring revenue performance metrics such as conversion rates and customer lifetime value
  • Developing strategies to increase revenue through upsells and cross-sells, including optimizing pricing models and empowering customer success teams to contribute to revenue growth
  • Providing revenue insights and analysis to support strategic decision-making across all go-to-market teams
  • Analyzing customer data and revenue trends to identify areas of opportunity and risk, such as churn and lost revenue
  • Developing a lean and efficient tech stack so that all teams have consistent, reliable access to the same revenue data and performance metrics


How is revenue operations different from sales operations? 

At its core, RevOps focuses on driving revenue growth through data-driven processes and activities. These activities include managing pipelines, optimizing revenue generation strategies based on real-time data insights and tracking revenue performance metrics.

In contrast, sales operations (Sales Ops) teams typically focus more on the operational aspects of selling, such as lead management, pipeline development and customer relationship management. 

That being said, RevOps teams should work closely with Sales Ops teams to ensure that sales teams are effectively using revenue data from marketing and customer success teams to inform the prioritization of accounts and lead generation strategies.


How is revenue operations different from marketing operations?

Marketing Operations (MOps) teams focus primarily on marketing activities such as lead generation, demand generation, content creation and developing deep insights into a company’s ideal buyer. 

RevOps teams support MOps by developing strategies to optimize the effectiveness of those marketing activities and bring revenue generation to the forefront of marketing strategies. For example, the RevOps team might work with MOps to develop a lead-scoring framework, which helps the marketing team prioritize leads based on revenue potential.


How is revenue operations different from business operations?

Business operations is another team that helps to drive revenue generation in a company. But its focus is more on the day-to-day tasks and processes needed to keep an organization running smoothly. 

For example, business operations teams may manage budgets and expenses, improve internal communication and optimize revenue generation through marketing campaigns. On the other hand, RevOps teams are specifically focused on revenue generation, leveraging data and analytics to identify growth opportunities and optimize revenue performance. 


Key RevOps metrics

How do RevOps teams measure the success of their efforts? By tracking the metrics related to revenue generation, revenue retention and growth. Those metrics include:

  • Customer lifetime value (CLV): The revenue your business can expect to generate from each customer over the entire time they remain subscribed to your product. By tracking CLV, RevOps teams can identify which customers are most profitable and focus their efforts on nurturing these relationships.
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC): The cost associated with acquiring new customers for your business. By tracking CAC, RevOps teams can determine how much revenue your business needs to generate from each new customer to break even.
  • Sales pipeline velocity: The speed at which sales teams are closing deals. By tracking this metric, RevOps teams can determine how quickly new revenue is generated from your sales pipeline and identify potential areas for improvement.
  • Customer churn rate: The percentage of customers who leave your business after a given time period. By tracking churn, RevOps teams can identify trends and work to improve revenue generation by focusing on retaining existing customers.
  • Revenue retention: The total revenue generated by a business over a given time period, compared to revenue from the same period in the previous year. RevOps teams use this metric to track and identify areas where revenue growth may have slowed or stopped.
  • Recurring revenue: The monthly recurring revenue (MRR) or annual recurring revenue (ARR) generated by a business from subscriptions, memberships or similar long-term revenue streams. RevOps teams use this metric to focus on customers likely to be long-term, loyal revenue sources.
  • Renewals, upsells and cross-sells: The revenue-generating activities businesses pursue to increase the revenue generated from existing customers. By tracking revenue generation from renewals, upsells and cross-sells, RevOps teams can identify ways to optimize the customer experience and areas where additional revenue growth may be possible.
  • Net promoter score (NPS): The percentage of customers who recommend a business’s product or service to a friend or colleague. This metric can help RevOps teams identify and address customer pain points to increase revenue and customer satisfaction.
  • Sales funnel conversion rate: The percentage of revenue generation opportunities that result in closed deals. This metric can provide RevOps teams with valuable insights into how well their sales pipeline is performing.
  • Sales forecasting accuracy: The degree to which a company can accurately predict how much revenue it will generate in the future. This metric can help RevOps teams identify areas where revenue generation may lag and inform go-to-marketing teams of revenue growth opportunities they might otherwise miss.
  • Sales cycle time: The time it takes for the sales team to close a deal. This metric can provide RevOps teams with valuable information about how efficiently deals are progressing through the sales cycle and whether the leads entering the sales pipeline are actually a good fit for the business. 
  • Average deal size: The average value of deals closed by the sales team. This metric can help revenue operations teams determine the revenue potential of new opportunities and identify opportunities to increase revenue by targeting higher-value deals.
  • Revenue: The total revenue generated by the sales team. This metric can help RevOps teams assess revenue performance, identify areas for growth and set revenue targets and goals.


Essential tech stack for RevOps teams

There are hundreds of B2B software platforms and tools on the market today, each with a range of features that promise to revolutionize how your business generates revenue. 

But one of the goals of a RevOps team is to evaluate the tools available and simplify to only those that are truly essential to eliminate silos and get all revenue-generating teams working together seamlessly. 

So, which ones are actually essential? Here are our recommendations:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) system: A CRM helps your revenue operations team keep track of all customer interactions and data, including deals won or lost, revenue earned and support tickets.
  • Project management software: Project management software helps keep revenue operations teams organized and on track. It can also help manage revenue-generating projects, such as marketing campaigns or product launches.
  • Data analytics tool: A data analytics tool helps RevOps teams monitor revenue performance metrics, identify trends and opportunities, and make data-driven decisions.
  • Marketing automation software: Marketing automation software helps you create and manage automated campaigns based on customer data.
  • Sales Development Platform: A Sales Development Platform streamlines the process of identifying new market segments, targeting accounts with a high propensity to engage, reducing churn and driving predictable revenue growth.

Your tech stack may include additional tools and software, depending on your organization. But the tools we’ve listed here will give you a solid foundation to build on.


Signs your organization is ready to transition to RevOps

Sold on the benefits of RevOps but still not sure it’s the right next step for your organization? Here are some signs that indicate your organization is ready for a transition to RevOps:

  • Sales, marketing and customer success teams that are not aligned or working effectively together to minimize revenue leakage and optimize revenue opportunities
  • Inconsistent revenue reporting across teams and business units, making it difficult for stakeholders to understand key revenue metrics
  • Silos of revenue-related data and dispersed revenue performance information across multiple platforms and tools
  • A lack of clearly defined revenue processes and revenue-focused roles within the organization

Sound familiar? If so, you’ve taken the first step in addressing these problems. Next, you’ll need a strategic approach to building a revenue operations team with the skills, experience and mindset to drive revenue performance in an increasingly competitive business landscape.


How to build a high-performing RevOps team from scratch

Should you recruit new talent to join your revenue operations team? Or should you transfer existing employees from other roles within the company? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions.

That being said, you’ll typically want to build a RevOps team of existing employees if you already have the talent in-house that you can effectively reassign or cross-train for RevOps roles. This approach is a great way to tap into the expertise already available within your organization, while minimizing disruption to your business.

However, if you need new talent, you’ll need to consider recruiting to fill new RevOps roles or outsourcing. Outsourcing can be a great option if you’re looking to add specialized skills or expertise to your revenue operations function or if you’re looking to scale your revenue operations team rapidly.


RevOps team structure 

Ideally, the team will have a leader responsible for overseeing and implementing revenue generation strategies and communicating with the heads of go-to-market teams and the company CEO. Generally, the person in this role will hold a title like Head of Revenue Operations or Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). The team members under the leader will work to execute revenue generation strategies, analyze revenue data and metrics, and provide insights on revenue performance. 


Keys skills needed for all RevOps team members

Regardless of how you build your RevOps team, there are a few essential skills and attributes that you should look for in your candidates. 

For example, RevOps professionals must have strong analytical and critical thinking skills and the ability to interpret data and use it to inform strategies. In addition, members of your RevOps teams need excellent communication skills to effectively collaborate with other departments in your organization and external stakeholders.

For more information on developing the ideal RevOps team structure, including sample job descriptions for roles like VP of RevOps, check out how to build a high-performing RevOps team.


How to develop a comprehensive revenue operations strategy

Without a strategy, revenue operations teams may struggle to tap into their full potential. To create a robust revenue operations plan, we recommend doing the following activities:


Use data to better understand the customer journey and your ICP

One of the most critical components of a revenue operations strategy is understanding your customers and their buying journey. This requires gathering data about customer behavior and preferences, which you can use to create targeted marketing campaigns and personalized product offerings.

To better understand your ICP, we recommend using exegraphic data that looks at commonalities in the behavior your best customers display when they’re ready to buy. For example, you might review the data to see what type of challenges these businesses typically face when making a purchasing decision or what kind of sales and marketing messages resonate with them most.

With this information, you can create a revenue operations strategy that aligns with your ideal customer’s needs and preferences, helping you reach potential buyers more effectively and generate revenue more efficiently.


Identify roadblocks causing churn and preventing conversions

While revenue operations teams can help businesses unlock revenue potential, it’s essential to identify roadblocks that may negatively impact revenue generation. Some common roadblocks that may be causing churn and preventing conversions include:

  • Poor lead quality
  • Ineffective targeting of key customer segments
  • Unclear pricing strategies
  • Limited understanding of customer needs and pain points


Optimize and integrate the tech stack for revenue-generating teams  

How many tools and platforms are go-to-market teams currently using to support revenue generation efforts? Can you optimize the tech stack so everyone can access the essential tools for the job and that these tools integrate seamlessly?

Sometimes, you can reduce churn and improve conversions by optimizing your tech stack for revenue-generating teams. For example, if all teams begin using the same data warehouse for product and revenue analytics, they can easily share insights to understand customer needs and pain points better.

Additionally, by integrating your marketing automation software with your CRM, you can ensure that every team has access to the essential data and that these tools are working in tandem to drive revenue growth.


Work with heads of go-to-market teams to improve effectiveness of strategies 

Next, the head of your RevOps team will need to work with go-to-market teams to align on strategies, data and goals. These teams will play a key role in helping you to optimize revenue by providing valuable insights into your target audience, identifying revenue-driving marketing campaigns and tracking ways to prevent revenue leakage.

These teams will also need help from RevOps to ensure that revenue-generating activities are well-aligned with revenue goals and to provide them with the tools and resources they need for success.


Create a system of regular tracking and measurement of essential metrics 

Your RevOps team will regularly track and measure revenue-related metrics, such as customer lifetime value and churn. Your RevOps team can achieve this by establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) for each revenue-generating activity and implementing systems that provide the necessary data for measuring progress.

Ideally, your organization will view revenue operations as an ongoing, iterative process. This means that RevOps teams should continuously evaluate the performance of revenue-generating activities and make any necessary adjustments.


Foster open communication and feedback to continuously optimize strategies 

Speak to any RevOps professional, and they’ll tell you that revenue operations isn’t just about optimizing revenue generation—it’s also about getting the organization to work more holistically and improve collaboration for maximum efficiency.

This can be accomplished through frequent communication and feedback between revenue-generating teams where each team considers questions like:

  • How does our work contribute to other teams’ revenue strategies and targets?
  • Is there any data, tool or process that could help our team’s revenue generation efforts work more efficiently?
  • What roadblocks or bottlenecks are we encountering that could be prevented at earlier stages of the customer journey?

By establishing clear goals and expectations, creating feedback loops to monitor performance and encouraging open communication, RevOps teams can maximize revenue growth across the organization.


Resources to learn more about RevOps 

RevOps is still a relatively new concept in the business world. Still, there are several resources available to help you learn more! Here are some additional resources to dive deeper into RevOps:


Revenue operations training and certification courses

Revenue operations podcasts

Revenue operations online communities

Final thoughts

Whether you’re looking to implement RevOps for the first time or are looking to improve your existing revenue operations strategy, we hope this guide has helped. 

Specifically, we hope it’s helped you better understand revenue operations, the benefits it can bring to your business and how to start building a comprehensive strategy to maximize revenue growth.

Want to get the most out of your RevOps strategy? Start by using exegraphic data to develop a deep understanding of your ICP to ensure you’re prioritizing the accounts with the highest propensity to engage with your business. 

Contact us for a free ICP audit—and get a peek at the exegraphic data behind your best customers.

The navigational power of RevOps, with Rosalyn Santa Elena

RevOps has long existed as an organizational function—predating the term RevOps itself—yet so many teams struggle to integrate a dedicated RevOps team. Should it slot alongside (or above, or below) Sales and Marketing? How does this work?

Rosalyn Santa Elena, founder and Chief Revenue Operations Officer at The RevOps Collective, believes it’s a matter of misplaced focus. Where people report and who owns which team is much less critical than getting all the revenue teams in an organization to function in alignment.

“I always think about everybody in their own boat rowing towards their goals, and everything’s running efficiently,” she says. “You’re meeting constantly. You’re collaborating. You’re partnering. Everything you do, you’re doing from that end-to-end lens.”

Structurally, that alignment can take many forms. But rather than siloing RevOps from its brethren, creating a funnel where RevOps and Marketing and Sales folks report into a single organization is where Rosalyn identifies the greatest benefit.

“Think about getting everybody into the same boat,” she says, “and then rowing together.”

Rosalyn is a long-time go-to-market and revenue operations practitioner who elevates, empowers and enables organizations with her RevOps expertise. In this interview, she offers actionable perspectives on how a focused RevOps team can make measurable operational improvements for a revenue organization, even on the choppiest economic seas. 


RevOps eases operations

Once everyone is in the same boat, RevOps provides the navigation. Current market conditions have created a storm that, frankly, is proving brutal for many businesses. RevOps can’t get rid of the storm—but it can bring calm to the storm for the other rowers in the boat.

Rosalyn identifies three areas where RevOps smooths operations for the organization:

  • Efficiency—helping the teams do the things they need to do in the most seamless way possible. “RevOps does that by setting proper expectations,” Rosalyn says. “We set guidelines through clear rules of engagement, clear processes, so that everybody understands what they’re responsible for, what their role is and how that plays out in the customer journey.” Driving efficiency especially eases poor handoffs between teams, which are a common pain point in revenue organizations.
  • Optimization—doing better with less. Lean into what’s working—the things that are going to produce the best results—and back away from the things that aren’t working right, or that are too slow or costly. “In this type of market, you want to focus your time, money, resources, people on the things that are going to give you the best outcomes fastest,” Rosalyn says. And that applies to everything from focusing on target accounts to investing in your tech stack. You want the most ROI, across the board.
  • Analysis—bubbling up insights about what’s working, and what isn’t. In other words: figuring out why things are optimal and efficient. “We’re always testing,” Rosalyn says. “We’re doing a lot of what-if scenario planning to understand where the business needs to focus. Where do we want to go? And maybe even more importantly, where do we not want to go?”


RevOps identifies the best targets 

As if getting everyone’s boat through the storm isn’t enough, RevOps also helps the organization make sure it’s navigating to the right X’s on the right maps: aka, the best possible target accounts.

“Even with an ICP, a lot of companies say they sell to B2B SaaS. Okay, are they going to target 50,000 customers? Probably not,” Rosalyn says. “There’s a lot of opportunity for companies to really focus in on the best accounts and the best customers for them.”

Too many companies don’t try to filter out those best prospects until they’re already in the funnel. They know what really matters, yet they continue to spend time and money on accounts that aren’t the best fit for their products. 

Rosalyn likes to ask C-suite executives about who they sell to—and who they should be selling to. Who has the biggest pain that their solution solves? A lot of times, those leaders require some coaching and some digging to get to who really is buying their product—both which companies, and which people within those companies.

Particularly in the current challenging market, this type of assessment can actually uncover opportunities that you haven’t even considered. New market segments, for sure—and also opportunities within your own revenue processes.

“I’ve been talking to a lot of folks about win/loss,” Rosalyn says. “Why do their customers leave? There’s so much learning there that a lot of organizations forget to tap into. They want to improve the high-level win/loss metric instead of really understanding all the incremental improvements that they can make.”


RevOps drives incremental improvement

Speaking of incremental improvements: RevOps drives its impacts in large part by redirecting and focusing resources. Making the case with the right metrics eases buy-in at all levels and ensures that RevOps really is navigating that boat through the waves.

There is certainly no shortage of quality data out there, so Rosalyn highlights three KPIs that make the difference for RevOps teams, especially in tough economic times.

  • Focus on conversion rate over leads and meetings. “You want to progress prospects through the deal cycle,” she says. “We talk about how many leads we got and how many meetings we booked. But how many of those turned into actual deals? How much revenue?” There are then different metrics within conversion to show how RevOps can incrementally improve stages within the funnel. Even one or two percent improvement in conversion can mean a lot of revenue dollars.
  • Focus on net dollar retention in addition to net new acquisition. You want to keep your customer base happy to protect the revenue that you have, as well as looking for chances to expand within that install base. Even when customers are contracting, they’re still looking for new revenue opportunities. “Companies tend to spend a lot of money on net-new acquisition instead of really looking for that white space within their existing customer base,” Rosalyn says.
  • Double down on predictable revenue. RevOps teams need to understand their forecasts and test if they are truly accurate. “Now, every deal counts, every dollar counts even more than before,” Rosalyn says. So lock down that predictable revenue by making incremental improvements to shorten the time-to-close and mitigate the risk of delays. Inevitably, revenue is going to slow down—and anything RevOps can do to keep deals moving forward is going to make a difference.


Final thoughts: RevOps communicates solutions, not problems

All the impact that a focused RevOps team can have on an organization ultimately comes down to how well that team can communicate. Think again about the rowers in the boat: without an effective coxswain, the team rows out of sync and can drift off course.

“If I can only have one skill to be really good at, I want it to be communication,” Rosalyn says. “It’s not just about writing or speaking well. It’s about the ability to drive consensus while bringing everybody along.”

Communicating internally is actually quite like a sales cycle. You have to identify the problem, understand the problem, come prepared with a solution and demonstrate its value. Because truly focused RevOps leadership is not about pointing out problems—it’s about recommending better ways forward.

“Always come with a call to action,” Rosalyn says. “The more you do that, the more you become a thought partner, a business partner. And then you start to elevate your team.”