The Third Revenue Ops Pillar: Technology & Project Management
When you think ops, one of the first things that comes to mind is technology. After all in the modern B2B space, ops are seen as the tech gurus, the gatekeepers that manage the holy trifecta of data, processes, and….you guessed it, technology. That wasn’t always the case.
Not too long ago, enterprises leaned solely on the IT department to fulfill all integration, technology, data, and analytics needs. While IT maintained the expertise to execute such orders, it lacked incentive to move fast and innovate for go-to-market teams. This can largely be attributed to the fact that IT, unlike GTM teams, isn’t measured on revenue, customer growth, or conversions. The lack of commonality and broken structure between these two organizations created serious inefficiencies, resulting in negative impact on growth and cross-departmental tension and strife.
In fact, as recent as 2015, only 13% of executives described the relationship between marketing and IT as “very collaborative and productive”.
But, it has become increasingly clear to every revenue-focused organization that the responsibilities that historically landed under IT required more investment than ever. As Scott Brinker mentioned back in 2013, the world became wired and businesses could no longer rely on their IT teams for technology needs, especially in a rapidly digitized space where waiting on insights was synonymous with losing out on opportunities.
If there was a metaphorical basement in the House Of Marketing, marketing operations was down there, shoveling data like coal. But then a funny thing happened. The world got wired. Geek became chic. Customers were being won (or lost) by the experiences they had with companies on the web, with email, and via mobile devices. Data and software were moving from the back office to the front office. And the center of gravity in marketing started to shift to those who could make that machinery work.
Scott Brinker, Chiefmartec
That’s where marketing and sales ops came to the rescue. And it’s the reason why the third pillar in our Revenue Ops framework is focused on Technology & Project Management.
Now just to recap, on our Revenue Ops journey so far, we’ve highlighted the following pillars:
In this post, we’ll share insights from our partner, Heinz Marketing, on how technology planning and project management enables the overall business strategy for Revenue Ops.
4 questions on Technology & Project Management with Heinz Marketing
As I mentioned earlier, the third pillar – Technology and Project Management – is one of the most critical areas that ops focuses on. With most enterprises paying for somewhere between 10 to 16 technologies, there’s a major need for ops to support the tech and projects that contribute to the revenue engine.
To help shed light on this pillar, we asked Brian Hansford, VP of Client Services and Marketing Technology Practice at Heinz Marketing to share his insights.
1) Why is Technology & Project Management a core pillar of Revenue Ops?
Technology planning and project management enable the overall business strategy for Revenue Operations. Technology by itself is not a strategy, and strategy without execution is hallucination.
Revenue Ops leaders must keep their focus on the overall strategy and objectives. Adopting a well-planned and holistic approach will benefit operations with the focus that helps drive customer engagement and revenue generation.
2) How should ops approach technology investments and evaluations?
Ops teams should keep these four criteria in mind when evaluating new marketing technologies:
- Strategic Impact – How will a new tool improve overall marketing & sales operations? Is the technology a must-have, or nice-to-have? What is the operational plan to go-live?
- Integration – don’t invest in tools that only operate in silos.
- Data Management – integrated tools must support the overall data flow across departments. Analytics and performance measurement is nearly impossible without strong data management.
- People – who will use and manage new tools? How will they learn the new tool?
3) Where does project management fit in for ops?
Project management is critical to keep Revenue Operations focused on executing against the overall business strategy.
The revenue goals will drive the strategic focus for operations. Demand generation programs take time to build and launch and coordinate with sales. Scheduling the development and launch process, along with the overall marketing cadence all require project management skills and tools.
An astounding 97% of organizations believe project management is critical to business performance and organizational success.
Project management tools should track the timeframe, scope, and budget for all marketing operations programs. CMO’s and marketing operations leaders should let their team choose the project management tools instead of imposing them. This ensures adoption and utilization.
4) What are some best practices for Revenue Ops teams?
Revenue operations are strategic and marketers need to engage with that mindset. Evaluate marketing technology through a strategic lens, not tactical. That means only using tools that align with the overall business strategy and goals.
Plan for and execute for success by investing in training and strong project management. Random acts of marketing result when people don’t know what they’re doing and that’s deadly for business and careers.
Get the complete breakdown of this pillar and more insights from Heinz Marketing in our Revenue Ops eBook.
Wrapping it up
Technology & Project Management plays a huge role in how business is conducted today and operations are the gatekeepers. But, given the broad nature of both marketing and sales functions, it’s important for ops teams to build a tight, well-integrated stack, plan for utilization, and effectively manage efforts.
Stay tuned for the fourth and final pillar of our Revenue Ops framework where we’ll look at Data & Analytics with our partner Bizible.