Time and time again Alexander Group clients note significant challenges when it comes to systems and processes: excessive time is spent on administrative activities, slow turnaround time on quoting and pricing, inefficient systems, too many systems that often do not talk to each other and in some cases attempting to run a multi-billion-dollar company on Excel spreadsheets!
Despite herculean efforts by companies, customers are also impacted by poor processes including delays in quoting, lack of real-time access to shipping information and more, lowering customer satisfaction.
These process problems only compound as a company grows and makes acquisitions. Reactive and short-term fixes like adding support headcount attempt to “paper over” issues but fail to address underlying problems. Broken and slow processes hurt seller productivity and negatively impact customer experience. In response, many Revenue Operations teams are now empowering Process Excellence and Process Operations functions to identify and resolve the root causes.
Alexander Group recently worked with a company that was integrating Sales and Marketing operations teams across different parts of the organization into a cohesive Revenue Operations team. Disjointed, redundant, and conflicting systems and processes had sprouted up across the siloed commercial functions. Inefficient processes impacted ease of doing business both internally and externally. As an example, sellers had to work through five different systems and manage over 30 steps to generate a renewal quote. The renewal quoting process occurred over a multi-day period, impacting sales velocity and limiting seller time to engage with customers on high-value activities.
The Revenue Operations organization lacked Process Excellence and Process Operations functions. Multiple individuals across the Sales and Marketing Operations teams were tasked with process improvements but with no clear mandates or responsibilities. Process assessment and ownership lacked overarching governance or a proactive approach.
Alexander Group worked with the company to build two robust functions: 1) Process Excellence and 2) Process Operations as key success enablers within the newly designed Revenue Operations organization.
Commercial Process Excellence was developed to document current and future state processes, define process measures, and design process improvements (including interactions with various systems and technology tools). This function’s mandate was to maintain and improve processes for internal and external use, implementing process standardization, continuous improvement, and optimization by building cross-functional team alignment. The primary role for this function was outlined to be Six Sigma certified, a resource that develops and maintains Lean/Six Sigma capabilities within the commercial organization.
Separately, Commercial Process Operations is a team that manages the functional operations of commercial processes. This function partners with IT to evaluate and select next-generation systems and tools that enable scalable growth for a company’s commercial organization. Successful resources in this function are more execution oriented. This team collaborates with commercial, IT and other functions to define process gaps, risks and opportunities for improvement, create prioritized lists of needs, drive execution and track against a roadmap to resolution. As new technologies and tools are identified as part of this team’s collaborative work, the technology stack roadmap is updated, and such tools are evaluated and selected jointly by cross-functional team members.
Alexander Group provided talent frameworks to enable the company to identify the right talent for newly designed roles. The company also implemented a governance plan to ensure ongoing integrity of these functions.
Inefficient processes do not have to be part of a commercial organization. Creating Process Excellence and Process Operations functions can lead to a significant boost in seller productivity and improve overall customer experience.
To learn more about how Alexander Group can help build and optimize Revenue Operations functions to power commercial excellence, please contact an Alexander Group practice lead.