Anthony led the Sales Operations team at Emailage through a process that resulted in their acquisition by LexisNexis. Part of that success story was fueled by the implementation of a multi-variable revenue planning model that enabled the organization to better manage the influence of variables like sales rep attrition and ramp time to quota attainment. This new model led to revenue delivery that was 15% higher than the traditional sales rep capacity model (quota x headcount). Listen to the full podcast interview to hear Anthony's story.
You may not know this about Anthony but from a young age he has enjoyed both wrestling and MMA, and now puts that to good use while wrestling with data.
In many early-stage companies, you don't have much time to think about how you're going to plan out your revenue model for the future. So, Anthony’s team went from no real planning and morphed into another phase where they started to be intentional about things like how many people they should hire throughout the year and how much to invest in marketing.
Should Sales Operations and Revenue Operations Lead Revenue Modeling
- Typically the sales operations organization has access to data that others may not, and they understand the context of the data. They work with it day in, day out so they understand what's a trend, what's an anomaly. That's one of the main reasons that revenue modeling is a great initiative to be led by sales operations.
- Secondly, sales operations has ground-level knowledge of the teams working day-to-day with sales and customer success. Sales ops gets feedback on what's happening in the field and continues to add context to the data that you have. And then you can leverage this to start to piece together something for the future.
- In the first iteration of Emailage’s revenue plan, they were looking at past trends, and then they were forecasting those trends into the future. They weren't taking a critical look at other areas where they could encourage growth. That enabled them to create a plan that allowed them to see how they could get 15% more revenue out of the plan if they focused on certain areas of the model.
- Revenue capacity modeling gives the C-suite the opportunity to see how their ambitions can be met. It's good for you as a sales operations professional because it gives you a lot of ammunition to defend your plan. And it's good for the C-suite because it gives them an opportunity to challenge the assumptions and say, okay, I don't think we're going to lose that many salespeople and we need to invest in these initiatives to make sure that we don't. It gives both sides an opportunity to have a real practical, intelligent conversation about what you want to do the next year.
Channel Sales as a Variable in Revenue Modeling
- Channel sales is another area to look for growth. If you onboard X number of channel partners, if you invest X amount into our top-performing channel partners, how much more revenue can you get out of these relationships with these partners?
The Planning Phase
- Anthony’s team would start the planning process around September. That's when there are high-level ambitions of things to accomplish for the next year. Then they would have everything fine-tuned by November, and then they would get the final approvals by early December. In January, it's go time.
Technology for Revenue Modeling
- From a technology perspective, Anthony recommends making sure you have the right technologies that make it easy for your team to input all the data that you need. This includes a great CRM, a great marketing automation tool, and a good CPQ. You also need data manipulation software.
- Emailage used Tableau but you can also use the reports and dashboards in your CRM. This could be good enough if you have the right data and the right culture with your team.
About the podcast
The RevAmp podcast derives from two words: Revenue + Amplification. This series has been produced specifically to give a voice to the sales and revenue operations professionals who have invaluable experiences to share. We have seen the scope for this role, as well as the recognition, expectations, and tools have rapidly changed over the last couple of years. The reality is that there are not enough high-quality resources for fellow professionals to use as a benchmark or learning curve. DealHub knows how important it is to be well resourced so we have put together this RevAmp podcast for your benefit.
Make sure you follow RevAmp either here, or one of the Apps that’s most convenient for you.