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The Missing Link in Your RevOps Strategy

Everyone can benefit from a Revenue Operations (RevOps) mindset. RevOps is all about alignment of sales, marketing, and customer service.

Jarie Bolander
Jarie Bolander

At its core, Revenue Operations (RevOps) is all about aligning the generators (and sustainers) of revenue under one roof. While some might debate exactly which functions in a company generate revenue, what is clear is that most companies have a hard time removing the barriers between departments.

Aligning the main revenue driving (and sustaining) functions under one roof (e.g. sales, marketing, and customer service) can break down those barriers.

What is missing from this idea (which is a good one by the way), is how alignment happens and what about the rest of the company?

The Great RevOps Experiment

In the quest for scale and growth, many a startup (and even a big company) has aligned along a less siloed organizational structure. This experiment is all about scaling revenue growth by eliminating the normal friction between sales, marketing, and customer service. As anyone who has done any type of sales knows, reducing friction (and objections) is paramount to a good sales process. The same can be said for the friction between sales, marketing and customer service as well.

Companies are starting to embrace RevOps because the sales and marketing funnel is changing and data sharing between teams is a lot easier than it used to be. Both of these factors really boil down to reducing the friction within an organization so that it’s faster and easier to scale.

Reducing Organizational Friction

Traditional organizational structures tend to silo because incentives are misaligned between each department. For example, if sales is only held to get the sale and then passes it off to customer service, then there is a disconnect in the full customer experience. This disconnect leads to “that’s not my job” or finger pointing when things go wrong.

The same can be said for marketing or PR. Traditionally, both these functions are hard to quantify. You hear the age old question all the time “What’s the ROI on all this marketing and PR spend?” By aligning everything under one organizational structure, a lot of these “us vs them” gets removed -- thus reducing friction and increasing growth potential.

A Set Up for Holistic Growth

RevOps is all about growth and scale. The idea to put all the revenue generating and sustaining disciplines under one roof makes a ton of sense, especially when figuring out what to scale and grow might not be as obvious. That’s why it's important to design a RevOps organization that looks a lot more agile and nimble than one of ridge job descriptions and titles. The art in all this is to understand what mix of sales, marketing, and customer service is driving scale and growth. Until the processes and procedures are nailed down, being too rigid will increase friction and be counter productive.

That’s why it’s paramount to have an overarching framework as to how to operate and make sure that not only RevOps buys in but the entire company as well. The only way to do that is through storytelling.

Get Your Story Straight to Scale

The missing link in a successful RevOps strategy has nothing to do with the tools and tactics to smoothly communitate or deliver a product. It turns out that the lubricant that makes the RevOps engine hum is the stories you tell your team and your customers.

In fact, it’s the thru-line of your brand’s story that ties together the narrative of your company. Without a clear, concise, and compelling story that’s easy to understand and tell, you’ll never achieve the scale and growth your company can aspire to. The simple fact is that stories have been an integral part of our survival. You are reading this (and I got to write this) because our collective ancestors told the best stories. The same holds true for great brands -- they tell the best stories. Take for example Liquid Death.

Liquid Death sells water in a can. How cool is that? It actually is kinda cool when you realize the story they tell themselves and their customers:

“We’re just a funny water company who hates corporate marketing as much as you do. Our evil mission is to make people laugh and get more of them to drink more water more often, all while helping to kill plastic pollution.”

This is why I love Liquid Death even though the water is alright. I mean, it’s water after all.

Stories Have Structure

Story structure is baked into our DNA and we recognize this structure in the stories that are told to us. If you have ever convinced someone to do something, you clearly had to tell them a story. It’s through this structure that brands can scale and grow their message to hook prospects, build customers, and pay off advocates. If you have seen any movie, read any book, or saw any play, you have seen this story structure first hand.

The most common one is the three act structure, which has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Seems obvious and it is. If you think about it, any story you have told has a beginning (hook), middle (build), and an end (payoff). If you miss any, then the story feels incomplete. For a brand, this structure matters because we are trying to persuade a prospect to be a customer.

At the core of all good brand stories, lies persuasion. The whole goal of a good story is to stir us to action and/or gain some knowledge without having to experience the danger ourselves. Aristotle came up with the most widely used method of persuasion that is used in all stories to this day some 2,000 years ago. His framework is the basis of The Story Funnel methodology and consists of pathos (emotion), logos (logic), and ethos (credibility). When you put these three together in a story, you get the missing link in your RevOps Strategy. We call this your Brand’s Thru-line.

Your Brand’s Story Thru-line

A leader's job is to define the vision of where the team is going, give the team the tools to get there, and remove roadblocks along the way. Leaders do this by telling a story of their vision of the world and convincing others to come along for the ride. That’s exactly what your Brand’s Story Thur-line has to do for your prospects, customers, and advocates. By crafting a full story arch, you can also align your entire company (not just RevOps) behind a clear, concise,and compelling narrative that can scale because it’s so easy to tell. As with all stories, your thru-line has three parts:

  • Hook Prospects (Beginning): A hook is all about the emotional appeal, which is pathos. Pull on an emotion and you can get your story heard above the noise.
  • Build Customers (Middle): Once someone buys, their experience is of paramount importance. While emotion does play a role, at this stage, you want a logical and repeatable way to onboard.
  • Payoff Advocates (End): The best marketing is word of mouth marketing where someone tells you “wow, you need to try this!” That’s the whole goal of paying off an advocate for both you and your customers. It’s this credibility from existing customers (ethos) that drives long term growth.

Connect Your Company Through Story

RevOps is only one component of a successful company. In order for RevOps to be successful, it needs something to sell and the infrastructure to deliver said something. That’s why having a Brand Thru-line can help align your RevOps, product-led development efforts, and operations to build what customers want. It’s through storytelling that scale and growth can be achieved. Yes, you need systems and processes to execute the tactics to deliver results but that’s only when you know what to scale.

Your brand’s story is the tip of your scaling spear. Without a clear, concise, and compelling story, no amount of software, processes, digital ads, or features will scale your company. Getting your story straight gives you the best chance at aligning your RevOps and growing a brand that people want to buy. That’s our mission here at The Story Funnel.

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Jarie Bolander

Jarie is an engineer by training and an entrepreneur by nature with over 25 years of startup experience. He has also written 6 books about business and entrepreneurship.