Sales Revenue Transformation: Unlock Growth and Profitability 

For the first episode of the third season, we did something we’ve never done before. I had the pleasure of inviting two revenue leaders from Argano: Sri Ayyeppen, CRO and David Kohari, VP of Customer Success.  

The topic was insightful as well – sales revenue transformation and the pivotal role sales performance management plays in hitting your goals.  

In this blog, I’ll recap some of the key insights shared. You can listen to the full episode here

Let’s delve into the sometimes-overwhelming world of Revenue Transformation. We’ll explore why assessing your commercial engine is no longer an option, but is essential. 

What is a Sales Revenue Transformation? 

My very first question was, what does Revenue Transformation even mean?  We have all heard the buzz about ‘Digital Transformation’. But Revenue Transformation has a different flavour. The discussion with Sri and David helped to highlight how we've moved far beyond simply focusing on digitizing processes, or even technology alone. 

The goal of achieving revenue transformation is to build a go-to-market powerhouse by aligning data, processes, people, and technology. It involves unifying cross-pillar functions such as sales, marketing, customer success, finance, and revenue operations. In choosing this investment, organizations can achieve continuous improvement with a deeper and connected understanding of data, internal operations, and customers. 

Sri emphasizes three key benefits that organizations can achieve through revenue transformation:  

  • Alignment of business operations combined with the go-to-market engine 
  • Optimizing spend for more confident, predictable outputs 
  • Making smarter business decisions 
  • Improved teamwork and culture  

He shares his experience with a large manufacturing client looking to undergo a revenue transformation. By unifying the data structure and plans, they were able to motivate cross-selling and co-selling, improve demand planning, and enhance operational predictability. Importantly, the implementation led to a positive cultural shift, bringing together frontline sellers and customer success under a unified framework. 

Check out Sri’s potent example of how Revenue Transformation connects the dots to sustainable growth.

The Rise of the Chief Revenue Officer  

Revenue transformation has increasingly become a business priority. So much so, that we are witnessing the rise of the CRO. Organizations are bringing all revenue functions under one leadership role. This shift demands a more integrated and interoperable approach, with finance and operations leaders seeing Sales Performance Management as a necessity for improving operational efficiency and the bottom line.

Check out this article a colleague wrote for more insight into how Revenue Operations is connecting the dots to sustainable growth. 

The Underlying Story: Sales Performance Management  

This new centralized leadership function combined with market changes, and rising competitive pressure leads to technology that enables agility in operations and in decision-making.  

The SPM and Revenue Transformation connection is strong when you consider how SPM encompasses planning, execution, analysis, and improvement. The foundation of SPM lies in trusting the numbers, as accurate and timely payments and visibility into results make for happy sellers.  

By establishing trust, companies can focus on agility in sales planning, improving modelling, territory, and quota allocation. Analysis and improvement bring continuous enhancement to the SPM strategy, driving better outcomes over time. 

In this clip, David discusses why SPM operational efficiency is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. 

How Can Sales Technology Help? 

Undergoing a revenue transformation isn’t about adding MORE sales technology. It's about ensuring you have the right sales technology to solve an identified business problem. As we discussed, a Revenue Transformation is all about unification. Your technology should do the same by enabling marketing, finance, and other departments to have a single view of key performance indicators. The solution needs to provide insights and predicative analysis that leads to smart and agile (there’s that word again!) decision-making. 

“Agility is the Name of the Game” 

It’s one of my favourite quotes from the episode. Because it sums it all up perfectly. Change is a constant. 2020 taught us that hard lesson. And today, it’s not enough to react to change – you must anticipate it. Continuous improvement and analysis is key to thriving in a world full of disruptions.

Read more about the role AI and predictive analysis is playing in sales performance management.  

As David points out, the very nature of a connected SPM strategy leads to agile-decision making. Check out what he has to say:

Revenue transformation brings agility and confidence in business decisions, allowing organizations to identify problems, evolve, and point all needles in the same direction for sustainable growth. So, it begs the question, why are organizations hesitant to take this approach?   

  • It is a cultural shift for the entire organization 
  • Internal resistance to change  
  • Limited resources and competing priorities 

But without adapting to what the market is demanding, companies can face the significant risk of falling behind competitors who have already begun their revenue transformation journey.

Finance is a Collaborator in Revenue Transformation? 

When Sri mentioned Finance as playing an important role, I had to pause the discussion to learn more. Although Finance has been involved in some go-to-market motions, it's not a traditional cog in the go-to-market wheel like sales, customer success, and marketing typically is.

Sri explains that the market is evolving from a product-selling economy to a service economy. Selling-as-a-service requires a deeper understanding of the customer, and a different approach to selling. Finance equipped with consolidated data can provide incredible value to the commercial team to answer questions like: What is our ideal customer? What are their buying patterns? What pricing model is most effective?  

As a side note, I had an insightful conversation with Sam Cockerill  about the buying journey in a past episode. You can check it out here.

So, finance concepts like revenue protection, avoiding leakages, and revenue recognition become crucial. And compliance is of the utmost importance. At the end of the day, finance and go-to-market functions need to work together in this service economy.

Revenue Transformation Drives Sustainable Growth and Profitability 

Through the integration of sales performance managment and an agile approach, organizations can unlock their full potential, drive better results, and meet the ever-changing demands of the market.  

By leveraging sales data, insights, and analytics, businesses can make data-driven decisions, collaborate cross-functionally, and thrive in an environment of innovation and change. Remember, revenue transformation is not just a buzzword, but an essential strategy for achieving long-term success in today's dynamic business landscape. 

With all this talk of agility, it’s clear you need to be a change leader – not a follower. Get insight into how high performing companies are finding success. Explore our recent research report in collaboration with the Sales Management Association: