Disclaimer: this article has been taken from a talk given by Ash Finnegan, the VP GTM and Transformation at Conga, at the Chief Revenue Officer event hosted by our sister community SEC in 2021. To read the rest of Ash's talk, click here.
My name is Ash Finnegan, and I’m the VP GTM and Transformation at Conga.
When we look at revenue operations at Conga, we break it into four key quadrants:
- Propose and quote
- Negotiate and execute
- Manage and fulfill
- Renew and expand
We're here to help organizations make this process more automated, integrated, and intelligent.
I work with many organizations around the revenue operations process and always find that regardless of the vertical or size of the organization, their revenue operations processes are often very disconnected and fragmented.
This article focuses on how you should approach a fragmented cycle and my top tips for solving this.
Let's get stuck in 👇
Propose and quote
When we look at proposals and quoting, the bigger the organization gets, the more siloed these areas are because they always have many of their own problems.
A lot of the salespeople are missing products. They can't find the right proposal and quote templates. Salespeople get quite creative and like to create their own and send them out via email, but the company has no visibility on where we are or what's going to customers.
We have rogue discounting; it’s the end of the quarter and salespeople want to hit targets.
But not having control on discounts can cause many problems within the propose and quote process. And this can lead to poor customer experience.
You also get revenue leakage. You're losing opportunities to maximize revenue because you have a lack of visibility, and then you end up with a longer sales cycle because a lot of people are chasing deals or approvals.
These are the common problems that we have within this particular area. It's not unknown for many organizations to solely focus on one component and try to fix that problem.
Negotiate and execute
When we move into negotiate and execute, we know what happens is they’ve selected, the customer wants to buy, and finding contracts can be a real challenge.
What are the right terms and conditions that we need to apply for particular products? Is there an existing customer contract already in place and they already have these negotiated terms that we need to action?
Legal teams are operating away from the sales system. They see it as a salesperson's tool and it's got nothing to do with them.
This can lead to a lack of transparency with customers around the terms and conditions of what they're agreeing to, a lack of compliance and risk management, and affects your ability to make sure you deliver on all of those obligations.
And then, when things get delayed, and the board and the senior teams are looking for the forecast, and when deals are going to close, everyone gets frustrated with each other because that visibility and cross-functional collaboration isn't working within the business. And that just means this problem goes further downstream.
Manage and fulfill
Then you start to work through when you need to get invoicing and manual tracking on where you are with an order. How do you deliver the services? Have you met all of your obligations?
People are manually entering things into systems over and over again. They start to hate the system and use Excel spreadsheets. This, again, can also lead to a lot of frustrated customers because they have to keep repeating themselves to different teams. They feel that there's no communication across an organization.
It can also lead to inaccurate cash flow, no visibility, and invoicing, potentially going out with the wrong amount. Somebody asked for quarterly billing, and they got an annual invoice. This can also lead to a poor employee experience.
Renew and expand
The worse these issues become, the more problems you probably have at the most important part, where you want to renew and expand with your customers.
When you don't have visibility of all your contracts, all of the products, and all that information of what customers might want to buy, you end up missing renewals, downsell, and a gain higher churn rate. Again, this results in a poor customer experience, more revenue leakage, and a low NPS score.
What is the solution to revenue fragmentation?
So when we look at this revenue operations process, the reality can be very vast for an organization. Organizations start to ask, “How do I get a handle?”
“Where do I start?” is always one of the biggest questions we get, because they don't just need to transform their technology, they need to transform their processes, and most importantly, they need to get their teams to fully support and work together.
Those are the real challenges organizations are facing when it comes to revenue operations management, transformation, and really getting a handle on the revenue contracts.
Explore more about the revenue operations cycle here 👈