What is an intentional organization?

The first step toward sustainable, strategic growth for any organization is to look at your business as an ecosystem. Each individual team needs to understand not only the function of its role but the impact of it. The value of revenue operations is in its ability to establish these crucial connections between your go-to-market teams by putting in place a single strategic operations team to guide and support them, all with the same central driver: revenue.   

This is what it means to be an intentional organization; one that can respond to challenges and failures in a holistic way in order to overcome them. Instead of being immediately reactive or placing blame on a specific team or individual when a problem arises, an intentional organization can rally together to create cross-functional awareness. That way, everyone can collaborate in developing the best solution while also staying aligned, agile, and using the challenge as an opportunity to grow. 

Of course, achieving this level of intentionality is easier said than done because it’s natural for teams to silo. Often times, people get caught up with their own priorities, which stems from the fact that different teams and individuals within the company have different incentives. The best way to combat stubborn silos is by making sure everyone across the organization is incentivized by the same metrics, the most important being a leak-free customer experience.

Intentional organizations and adaptability

When explaining what it means to be an intentional organization, we mentioned the importance of a holistic approach to internal challenges. Trying to pinpoint the cause of a problem is fine in theory, but when it comes to operating a business, it can quickly become counterproductive. Instead, when a challenge arises, it’s better to ask “why?” than to ask “how?”.  

For example, if you’re not hitting your revenue numbers, bringing your organization together to solve the problem and sharing data freely across teams is likely to be more effective than pointing the finger at any one team. Intentional organizations foster a culture of trust and empathy, which motivates teams to collaborate more freely. 

When it comes to revenue operations, the impact culture has on an organization’s ability to operate effectively is sometimes underestimated. However, making a conscious effort to establish a shared vocabulary and common goals makes communication easier and therefore keeps your organization aligned. 

Being intentional also means having an awareness of the external trends that influence your organization internally. Changing industry trends, for example, may be putting pressure on your company to be overly reactive—making decisions and taking actions without any real strategy. When teams are siloed and focused only on their individual roles, it becomes difficult for them to prioritize the type of thoughtful work that will ultimately move your company towards its goals, instead of just constantly changing gears in what is sometimes mistaken for agility or innovativeness.  

How to build a tech stack that supports an intentional organization

1. Bigger is not always better

In an intentional organization, responding to challenges and failures in a holistic way is key to overcoming them. When new problems arise, there may be an urge to add more technologies to your tech stack to temporarily fix the problems. However, good technologies do not fix bad processes or help foster cross-functional collaboration and awareness. Resist the urge to add more to your tech stack and uncover the “why?” before putting a bandage on it. 

An overly extended tech stack not only fragments your data but also makes it harder for cross-functional teams to navigate and communicate with one another. So, before you consider adding a new solution to your tech stack, ask yourself what problem you are facing and why the problem came about before finding a technology that can help you solve your challenge and drive revenue for the business.

2. Deep Integration 

Revenue operations is not a separate function that is meant to take away responsibilities from any go-to-market teams. Rather, revenue operations align marketing, sales and customer operations around a common goal: revenue. Therefore, the tech stack you are building should encourage your go-to-market team to get out of their silos and facilitate resource sharing.

Each of these teams brings to revenue ops their own unique incentives, priorities, and challenges, so an ideal rev ops tech stack needs to acknowledge these differences and organize them around the common goal of revenue. That’s why integration is one of the most important criteria in tech stack expansion decisions. Before expanding or consolidating your technologies, consider how each of the tools is communicating and integrating with one another. You don’t want your employees to have to check 5 or 6 different places to find the data they need to make a decision. At the same time, you need a 360-view of customer experiences and revenue productions for everyone in the go-to-market teams. A well-integrated tech stack will deliver you the right data at the right time that will translate into actionable insights and strategic go-to-market activities.

3. Build for the future

As your organization continues to grow, you will face more complex problems that may very well fall beyond the capability of your current tech stack. One way to be able to tell when it’s time to move on is through constant reviews and consultations with the people who own the tools. Regular check-ins with your implementation team will flag any possible conflicts or overlaps and enable quick reactions to any changes in the business environments. 

It’s tough to tell someone that their tools completely overlap with another, or no longer add value to revenue operations, or simply fell behind on the company’s future demands. A defined process of tech stack reviews and consolidation that is enforced across the organization will make this conversation a little easier and less personal. Key questions to ask in the review process are which strategic impacts your tools are making, who are utilizing the tools and how the tools are responding to your data flow. 

The best way to keep up with your changing needs for data throughout your development phases is to get ahead of the game. Invest in a holistic tech stack that uses data from across your business to optimize your revenue operations and supports you with every function of the revenue operations, from pipeline visibility to sales coaching and team alignment. 

The value of revenue operations is in its ability to establish these crucial connections between your go-to-market teams. Such connections are not easy to establish, but with an intentional tech stack, you can put in place a single strategic operations team to guide and support them, all with the same central driver: revenue.

This post was contributed by Jason Reichl, CEO of GoNimbly.

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