Technology, when implemented correctly, can have a profound impact on the success of any business. While our primary goal is to deliver innovative security technologies to our customers, we needed to evolve the technology implementations within our own organization, specifically in our financial function, in order to strengthen our decisions making as we grew and efficiently identify risk factors that could slow our growth from needing to scale existing, and new, processes.
Revenue Operations as a Guide for Growth
Many Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies are using technologies to implement revenue operations (RevOps) to determine their revenue. Essentially RevOps links marketing, sales, and customer success operations across the customer lifecycle to drive efficiency and keep all teams accountable to revenue. SaaS organizations have traditionally created sales operations to handle pipeline management, and marketing operations to manage the funnel. Today, with the rise of subscription models, revenue operations is becoming the platform to tackle the unique priorities that come from this type of business.
We adopted Sage Intacct to support our finance, sales, marketing and customer success teams with RevOps to uncover process bottlenecks so that we can make day-to-day improvements on the business and bring in more revenue opportunities. Sage Intacct allows virtually automated revenue recognition that used to require hours of error-prone Excel work and streamlines sales’ processes. By doing so, we’re able to be much more successful in bringing in revenue and creating opportunities for across the organization.
Innovation in Financial Systems Leads to Growth
By having RevOps working across people, process, and technology outside of departmental silos, we have already had five big outcomes.
- Building a 12-month forecast (A tremendous feat in the current global pandemic)
- Automating subscription billing with new pricing models
- Forecast billings across the entire customer lifetime so we can understand our financial outlook, have confidence in our 6 Cs tracking, and have the business leaders know their key metrics
- These insights allowed us to create a trigger-based hiring plan with our Chief Product Officer and Chief Revenue Officer. Essentially, when we hit a revenue goal, we can open a tranche for hiring.
- Offering that kind of value to the C-suite takes our work from RevOps and finance to helping build the company. That’s what I want to be able to do and I think that’s what everybody wants to be able to do.
- Built reports and dashboards for our board meetings. A process that used to take three to five days can now be done within 45 minutes. This time saving gives our board a full week to review past financial data ahead of our board meetings, allowing them to dedicate more conversation on future planning and growth opportunities, instead of debating the data. It is a whole new level of conversation on guiding our growth.
Here is one specific example of a process we were able to change. We had to outsource the work done on commissions to a third-party consultant, which amounted to $5,000 per month. The work was very time consuming and done traditionally in Microsoft Excel. We knew we had to implement a more streamlined method to deliver its month-end closing. When we implemented Sage Intacct, the finance team was able to slice and dice the data which delivered granular insights into the expenses in sales and marketing, including on the CAC to win a customer. This led to huge improvements in the quality of financial reports and more importantly, the new finance platform was able to automate and effectively calculate commissions in-house - which translated to a $50,000 savings that we put into other automation investments.
Honing in on RevOps has allowed our organization to see where we have bottlenecks or potential problems. Now we can tackle those issues day over day and really improve the whole RevOps process. It means that, ultimately, we’re going to be much more successful in bringing in revenue and creating business opportunities for our company.
Masha Murphy, CPA, is a Controller at RiskIQ, the leader in attack surface management.