What is GTM Ops?

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GTM ops is a function which brings together operations functions across all areas of the larger go-to-market team, including sales operations, marketing operations, and revenue operations. These functions can often become focused on tactical execution within a narrow scope, creating silos which lead to inefficiency in operations as prospects and customers move through the funnel. Consolidating RevOps, SalesOps, and Marketing Ops into a larger umbrella helps focus these teams on the larger customer journey, facilitates stronger collaboration, and can result in streamlined operations and a smoother customer experience. 

The Problems with Siloed Ops Teams

Siloed ops teams create friction when each team has different processes, tools, and communication channels. These teams are forced to constantly try to keep up with each other as they fight fires identified by the area of the GTM organization which they sit on. The customer experience becomes disjointed, with friction between the different areas of the funnel. Solutions created by the ops teams are often siloed and may lead to issues beyond their scope. This can foster a larger breakdown of collaboration between GTM teams, as broken processes create friction between marketing and sales, for example, with each team unable to anticipate areas of opportunity for optimizations that make an impact further down the funnel. 

The Benefits of a Go-To-Market Operations Team Structure

Bringing different ops teams together under an umbrella organization can help foster better collaboration and communication between these teams. This leads to better process, more accurate planning, and a consolidated stack across these teams. Work is simplified. When teams are using the same tools, checking each others’ forecasts, and following a consistent set of practices, they inevitably streamline operations across the company. This helps reactive ops teams, so often focused on band aid solutions to immediate problems, become more proactive as they can anticipate a larger set of potential outcomes ahead of time. Consolidating tools alone can make a substantial impact as there is less overhead from managing multiple competing systems, more consistency in data, and less spend across all ops functions. 

The joint team is more strategic in nature, as they are able to zoom out and see trends and issues across the entire customer journey. In addition to their goals supporting different GTM functions, operations can also now implement shared ops specific goals, helping them make a larger impact to company business objectives through operational excellence. The team is also better able to quantify ROI as they can spot efficiencies they create beyond their immediate purview. 

The larger joint operations team can serve as a center of excellence within the company, helping improve focus and effectiveness, pushing forward newer practices, and making it easier to enforce protocols and standards across the company. With shared resources, the larger ops team is now also better resourced to implement more strategic projects which can improve operational efficiency across the business. The center of excellence also provides better career growth and mentorship opportunities amongst ops team members, who have a larger pool of expertise to draw from. 

How to Move to GTM Ops

When there are already multiple existing ops teams, find small ways to formalize and improve collaboration between these teams as a first step. Developing clearer channels of communication between these teams can help them better work together to proactively identify and resolve issues. Work between ops teams can often be reactive; creating guidelines for these teams to anticipate and communicate potential issues before they snowball is an important first step in streamlining ops work across a company. 

Next, identify shared processes and assess how well they work and where they can be improved. Create working groups or run workshops to help these teams spend time together, develop relationships, and think creatively rather than reactively. Focus these groups on solving known bottlenecks or areas of frustration as a first step. This can help establish new rhythms of work and new forms of interaction and problem solving. 

In some situations, creating a matrixed structure may help bring the benefits of a unified ops team while still keeping these different ops functions close to and accountable to the different go-to-market teams they work with. Matrixed structures are better suited for larger organizations, where they can be an effective way to ensure that cross-functional professionals are keeping different organizations they serve top-of-mind. 

Which Approach Makes Sense for Your Organization? 

The specific approach to creating collaboration and formalizing the structure of the ops team ultimately depends heavily on the size of the company, the scope of these operations teams, and the complexity of the business. Regardless of the approach, it’s important to create strong relationships across different ops teams, and between ops and their various stakeholders across GTM, product, and other parts of the larger organization. 

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