- Marcia Trask, Principal Analyst @ Forrester SiriusDecisions Marketing Operations Strategies
- Ben Loeffler-Little, VP, Sales Strategy, Operations and Enablement @ Model N
- Jerry Bonura, Senior Principal of RevOps Recruiting @ Twenty Pine
With Growth Ops/Rev Ops being a relatively new, but also high growth profession, how do you navigate, explore and set the course for your career path in this lucrative space?
The Growth Ops Community has brought together a diverse panel of seasoned Rev Ops leaders and industry experts to weigh in on your top burning questions around career options and ways to progress up the Growth Ops ladder. This highly informative panel shares a fruitful discussion, reflecting a great mix of analyst, practitioner and recruiter perspectives.
What challenges are companies trying to address with a Growth Operations team?
Marcia Trask gives us a sneak peak of the top challenges that drive the need for a Growth Ops/Revenue Ops function in Forrester’s 2021 Revenue Operations and Buying Groups Survey.
The top three benefits organizations want from a Rev Ops function are:
- An end-to-end view that can help organizations build long-term customer relationships (customer lifecycle management that includes demand, opportunity and customer)
- Increased Revenue: this function can be that key driver for increased revenue and growth
- Improved alignment between marketing, sales and customer engagement
The recording covers the top ten benefits for the Rev Ops function and how organizations prioritize them.
How do you get Leadership onboard to drive towards RevOps?
Ben Loeffler-Little shares that this is often driven from the top and sometimes isn’t always a top leader, but one strong voice in the company that can get the ball rolling. If leadership has previously experienced some benefit from a more centralized Rev Ops function, then driving that change is much easier. Building Rev Ops does not have to be a “Big Bang” phenomenon, but can be a rolling thunder. It can happen organically. Make sure to reach across every aisle. Not just marketing, sales and customer success, but also finance, product, legal and HR.
“It doesn’t take a CEO or every executive to be on board with it,
but one strong voice to get the ball rolling.”
– Ben Loeffler-Little
Jerry Bonura adds that the most common scenario he sees is when early-stage companies want to go from scrappy to process driven. Taking companies with great products, strong sales and top logos and looking to 5 or 10x those results. Organizations that want to be scalable, repeatable, predictable and get the team aligned to row in the right direction.
A model to justify the Rev Ops Function
The Rev Ops function is still not there yet. It is often seen as the “clean-up crew” and still needs to be justified. Melissa McCready paints the picture that if the “night clean-up crew” doesn’t show after a huge concert and have a “Whoa” reaction. Until that justification happens, the org doesn’t know what they got until it’s gone.
Marcia Trask, shares the Forrester Revenue Operations Range of Responsibilities model. It looks holistically at what a Rev Ops team needs to scale out and can be used like a heat map to identify gaps and set up a charter. The top line of this model defines the scope for alignment, marketing, sales and customer success in the following areas:
- Process Management
- Technology Management
- Data Strategy and Management
- Measurement and Analysis
When hiring, you can look at this model for specific expertise in each category and define what’s needed for each new hire. For your own career, you can look at each area to do your own skills gap analysis and see what you have done and what else you might want to add to fill those gaps
Ben also emphasizes that the model is a great “RevOps Manifesto” for building systems and processes, but is missing how you affect improvement. This can be achieved with all flavors of enablement (sales enablement, GTM enablement) and enablement is showing up more and more in Growth Ops teams and is essential to complete the end-to end loop.
Jerry points out that Rev Ops is more than one human can possibly do and most Rev Ops teams are understaffed.
“RevOps is a function, not a person” -Jerry Bonura “
….unless you have spandex and a cape!” – Marcia Trask
So when is the right time to invest in a Growth Ops Function?
- As early as possible
- When the execs and boards start to ask about payback period
- Usually between Series B and C
You will never regret hiring this team earlier, but you will regret it if you hire them later. Many companies don’t hire for this function early enough and teams coming in late have years of clean-up and need to correct for the “sins from the past”.
What are the desired skills and competencies for Growth Operations teams? What are the key traits to look for when hiring?
Jerry Bonura shares that most organizations are trying to find that unicorn that can do sales strategy, analytics and Salesforce administration. For early stage companies having that Swiss Army Knife person who can build the systems is essential and as the company scales having someone who can strategize is more important.
The panel shares other key skills and competencies including:
- Analytical mindset
- Penchant for selling
- Being a problem solver: why something is broken and how to fix it
- Passion for helping companies grow
…and soft skills such as:
- Change Management
And the final burning question…what is the typical Growth Ops Career Path?
The panel has seen Growth Ops professionals come out of Sales, Business Development, Sales Ops and even Finance.
Ben sums it up best in that there is no real career path. It’s more that you like and feel energized by some aspect in the Forrester Revenue Operations Range of Responsibilities model chart and you want to do more of that. If so, then bring your past functional experience to the table and take the leap.
Recording coming soon!