In the HubSpot Academy course for RevOps, RevOps is defined as: “A strategic approach that centralizes sales, marketing, and customer service operations to provide a consistent experience across the customer lifecycle.” HubSpot also speaks about how in order to build a frictionless external customer experience, you first need to build a frictionless internal experience. You need to remove friction from the flywheel.
Well, a huge cause of friction for customers and internal teams is not knowing how, when, or why to use certain processes or tools. Or where to find that information. If it even exists!
What can help eliminate this friction?
Documentation helps people use processes that use data and tech. It ties all major parts of RevOps together, across all teams that RevOps works with.
Documentation helps you create and run efficient, repeatable, scalable processes that produce a consistent customer experience.
If RevOps is the glue that holds the company together, documentation would be the recipe for making the glue. Or if RevOps fuels or speeds up the revenue engine, documentation could be the instructions on how to put the fuel into the engine, use the right kind of fuel, the right amount for the right conditions...
No matter what analogy you use, documentation is recording how, who, why, and when you’re doing what you’re doing in your job or in your business. And ideally you are storing that information in one consistent place where everyone who needs it can find it.
Documentation comes in many formats: written articles, videos, flow charts, change logs, and other mediums depending on what you are documenting and who will be using and learning from these instructions.
Though customer-facing documentation is very important to eliminate friction from the customer’s own journey, such as a public knowledge base, FAQs page about the product or about the sales process, or onboarding instructional materials sent to them, for this blog we’ll focus on internal documentation for a company’s employees.
RevOps teams can help with documentation for all the teams they touch, through observing and speaking with team members and then doing the project management of the documentation tasks, and the sharing of the finished documentation. But RevOps teams may not be the subject matter experts for every team’s processes or tasks, so they may not be personally creating every piece of documentation themselves.
An example of documentation that may not make sense for RevOps to manage would be sensitive documentation about HR processes, which may not be stored in the same place as documentation for ops, marketing, sales, service, success, product, finance, etc.
RevOps may act as a project manager to ensure necessary documentation is created and communicated. RevOps may also create and manage a system of ownership and a schedule for updating documentation for all the teams it works with. You have to make it easy for people to know how to use it, how to write it, how to share it, and when to update it. I know from my company’s internal documentation efforts that if there isn’t a system in place for task management, reminders, follow-up, and consequences from the owner’s managers, then documentation creation and updates will not get done.
And then you’ll have 200+ pieces of documentation that are not very useful or very easy to update yourself. Not fun!
Creating a culture of documentation needs buy-in from leadership, and managers will need to hold their own teams accountable.
Documentation and its role in change management may not be as exciting to talk about compared to common RevOps topics of tools or data, but if your people aren’t enabled with easily accessible and clear documentation of what they need to know about or do in your tools, or with your data....your tools will not be useful and the data will be a mess!
Readers may agree that it is definitely more fun to talk about tech, or to use tools to track down where the data problems are occurring and find out why. The exploding number of SaaS business tools partially led to the rise of RevOps, so I can see why the topic of documentation doesn’t have the clickbait popularity of “what tool will solve all my problems immediately without needing to involve people & processes” (spoiler alert: none).
I realize I am unusual in my love of documentation. Before I discovered that operations was the common thread throughout life, what originally attracted me to a previous career in marketing was a love of creating helpful content. Documentation is creating helpful content! It also explains how everything works, to cure my curious mind about how and why things happen.
Now that we covered the “secret” part about why we don’t see a lot of RevOps content on documentation (TL;DR it’s boring), let’s move on to the “weapon” part!
In my research on RevOps in 2020 where I interviewed 35 experts, I asked if they considered process strategy and documentation as part of RevOps.
No one said no.
There were a few caveats about how RevOps doesn’t own those topics for the whole company but the topics are a huge part of RevOps jobs. One expert even called this dynamic duo “the foundation of RevOps,” since both topics are needed in order to scale -- to hire quickly and onboard new customers quickly.
If you want to scale your business, you need documentation.
Documentation is the secret weapon you need in order to scale.
If we want to add a more violent analogy to the mix, if you consider all of RevOps as the secret weapon to help your business scale, documentation is one of the bullets.
I would love to hear more analogies about documentation from the blog readers! Hit me with your best shot!
To learn more about how documentation can help you scale your business, stay tuned for my next blog.