Roadmapping is a key ingredient for RevOps success. A strategic operational roadmap not only drives alignment across your organization, but it also helps keep teams accountable and focused on the work that’s going to have the biggest impact on revenue. Still, many teams find it difficult to make roadmapping a sustainable part of their operations culture.
Over the past several years, we’ve worked with dozens of SaaS companies and helped take them through the roadmapping process. Here’s what we’ve learned.
If you and your team are new to the world of RevOps roadmaps, think of it as a visualization of how you plan to improve the customer experience over time.
Like a product roadmap, your RevOps roadmap serves as a source of truth for your revenue team and the rest of the organization that shows what work is being done and why.
While we’re at it, here a few things a RevOps Roadmap is not:
There are 4 main skills required to build and maintain an effective roadmap. Committing to strengthening these skills is key to maturing as a RevOps team.
How do you turn gaps you’ve identified into initiatives for your roadmap? Once you’ve defined your goals, you’ll need to ideate and come up with the work you’ll be taking on across your revenue team to drive those goals forward.
When coming up with these initiatives, make sure you’re being consistent with leveling; all items on your roadmap should be at similar levels, rather than having some very granular tasks alongside big picture initiatives.
If you want to make roadmapping a sustainable part of your operational culture, you’ll need to get buy-in; not only on the process itself, but also on the strategy and initiatives that end up on the roadmap. As your team starts planning work more intentionally, you’ll also need to commit to regular, cadenced communication that gives the rest of the organization visibility into what work is being done and why.
Another key function of the roadmap is to enable the team to measure the impact of work over time. Through regular benchmarking and evaluation, you’ll be able to see what’s been accomplished each quarter, what impact it’s had on the business, and how you can improve on your process in the future.
One of the main differences between a strategic RevOps roadmap and a task list or backlog is that all work planned on a roadmap has been prioritized based on its predicted impact to the business. This ensures the revenue team is always focusing on the highest-impact work and making meaningful progress towards the organization’s high level revenue goals.
You can determine what an initiative’s impact will be by looking at the gap it’s tied to. If that gap didn’t exist, what would it mean for your revenue? Would you be seeing more qualified leads? Less lead leakage at handoff points? Faster sales cycles?
There are other factors you should take into consideration, as well:
Utility is what keeps your roadmap alive over time, and if you don’t commit to it, your roadmap will fail. The only way an operational roadmap can be of any use to your organization is if it’s shared and contextualized so that everyone can refer to it as a source of truth. This is why communicating what’s on your roadmap and the progress being made on each item is just as important as having regular meetings to keep your roadmap up to date.
Putting a meeting cadence in place early on and sticking to it is a good way to start building the utility muscle that will help ensure your roadmap always accurately reflects your strategy.
When roadmaps fail, it’s usually not because work isn’t getting done. Instead, it’s about how that work is being prioritized, planned, and communicated across the organization. Some common problems we’ve seen lead to failed roadmaps:
Before you start building your roadmap, you’ll need to sit down with your revenue team to map out your customer journey and identify gaps that exist throughout. Those gaps will be your jumping off point for initiative generation, the first skill necessary for roadmapping maturity.
It’s okay if this all feels a little daunting. As operators, we often have a million different things happening that all seem important, which makes it hard to think about narrowing down that list. The thing to keep in mind is that even small changes to the way your team approaches strategic planning will go a long way.
Other helpful resources and related links: