What is the difference between sales and revenue operations?

It’s more than a new name, or replacing the use of sales with revenue. it reflects a new buyer journey and the importance of their ongoing experience across the full customer lifecycle.
The fundamental difference with rev ops is that it extends to include marketing, finance, and customer service operations under the same umbrella and holds them all accountable to revenue.

Sales ops takes ownership for the efficiencies, processes, and sales ecosystem. Revenue ops takes cross-departmental ownership for the entire go-to-market operation.
The task of rev ops is to remove the friction points across these departments and align their processes. That could extend to include your product operations, depending on the nature of your service or solutions.

Many see it as a natural evolution for those working in sales operations and a more holistic approach to revenue drivers. A case of widening the system-of-selling to encompass every decision, or customer touchpoint, across marketing and customer service departments.


What are the indicators, influencers, buyer considerations, and connection points across this journey that impact revenue?

When a boxer throws a punch, they don’t look solely at the point of impact to improve it.
They consider the journey from the shoulder, the hips, the positioning of the knees and the leverage they can take from their toes. There’s a science to boxing and there’s a science to revenue.

If we’re playing with analogies, then revenue ops could be better described as the shepherds that look after the flock.

A shepherd is responsible for using multiple sheepdogs to herd sheep.
They use their vantage point and visibility across the land to strategically communicate to separate sheepdogs the direction they need to take to work as one.
If sheepdogs don’t work collectively the flock don’t stay on course, and the same can be said for customers that have disjointed experiences across their lifecycle.


Customers have changed the way they buy and the emergence of revenue operations as a department is a response to:

– An increased focus on the lifetime value of a customer
– A rise in subscription models, upselling, and cross-selling
– A sale cycle that’s increasingly non-linear
– Buyers that are more informed than ever
– A growing tech ecosystem


Customers that engage with businesses through multiple channels, people, and timelines.
Exact figures might vary, but reports generally agree that between 57% and 75% of the buyer journey is completed before prospects ever engage with a sales rep.
This, coupled with the rise of subscription models reliance on upselling, cross-selling, and retention, have created a paradigm shift.

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