April 21, 2021
April 21, 2021
Ask anyone to define RevOps, and you’ll probably get a different answer every time. One might say it breaks down the divisions of sales, marketing and customer service operations. Another could argue that RevOps considers a company’s end-to-end operations holistically and strategically.
Jared Robin looks at it in another light: RevOps people are pirates because “do whatever they want –– legally –– to hit their numbers,” he explains in the inaugural episode of the RevOps Trailblazers podcast.
Jared would know. As the co-founder of RevGenius, a community of people who work in sales, marketing and revenue operations, he has a unique perspective on the burgeoning RevOps field.
The growth of RevOps is a natural progression for businesses, fitting into the general trajectory of companies breaking down barriers between departments. In fact, one of Forrester’s predictions for 2021 was the consolidation of technology vendors from an operational perspective.
To an extent, RevOps exemplifies this prediction. Just like many other departments, technology contributes to increasing revenue.
“What I’m also seeing … is the empowerment of the revenue individual within their company to do whatever they want right now,” Jared says.
“We’re seeing Patreon talk about an IPO. We’re seeing revenue leaders in sales, marketing and ops build their own micro-communities.”
Here, Jared shares key insights for aspiring RevOps pirates.
RevGenius grew out of a conversation between Jared and his co-founder Galen Girmay. As the pandemic spread globally last year, Jared found himself without a job. He started engaging more with LinkedIn and watching webinars, meeting Galen along the way.
“We agreed that there were so many webinars and so many channels, but no central spot for them,” Jared says.
They put together a LinkedIn group of 50 people who were interested in RevOps and related discussions. The group was so active that the site began to crash for members.
RevGenius moved to Slack, and now the community has 10,000 members.
In addition to facilitating discussion, RevGenius also hosts curated events, offers mentor/mentee matching, and presents roundtable discussions. It’s essentially a community of professionals learning from each other.
Traditionally, different departments within companies have been siloed; there wasn’t much interaction between them. But that’s changing, Jared says.
“I think one of the biggest evolutions in the past year [is that] people in general, whatever their title, are going into related spaces to learn. Sales people learn from marketers, marketers learn from ops people, et cetera.”
In other words, a salesperson might learn about copywriting and an operations person learns how to leverage the strategies of the marketing department –– while a marketing manager has her eye on accounts.
The question for companies is: Who’s mapping the course with all of these interconnected, moving parts?
That’s where RevOps leaders come in, steering the ship of interdepartmental collaboration.
Because RevOps is a relatively new field, it can sometimes be difficult to find your place at your company.
“[We’re] trying to create our own category and we’re figuring out what it actually is,” Jared says.
That’s in part what RevGenius is doing. The group helps people in revenue operations succeed within their organization, even if their companies don’t necessarily have the budget or resources to help them prosper.
“It’s giving that revenue professional, whatever their title is, the tools to succeed in their role and help their company succeed,” Jared says.
Jared also believes that because RevOps doesn’t necessarily have strict or rigid guidelines, professionals have the opportunity to empower themselves. They essentially create their own jobs as they develop new ideas and out-of-the box strategies to increase revenue.
“You have the ability as an individual to transcend your organization and find resources even if your organization doesn’t give you those resources,” Jared says.
When it comes to knowing your goals, Jared says to look to your company’s North Star. Consider your organization’s OKRs, whether they involve monetary goals or increasing its client base.
“To get that North Star, how can you do it as lean [or efficiently] as possible?” Jared says. “You just want to do it for less cost or less effort.”
In other words, know your company’s mission.
Does your business want to enter the market with an entirely new product, or is it trying to differentiate with an existing product? But once you get a good grasp on that North Star, keep in mind that it’s not your job to change the company’s mission.
It is your job to arrive there in a way that’s as creative as possible.
“The best RevOps person in the world isn’t going to change that,” Jared says. “So if you’re in RevOps, how can you facilitate that? It’s by understanding that RevOps is very much an efficiency thing.”
As the revenue operations field grows, there’s a risk that creativity will be lost as companies try to fit RevOps within their operational flow.
For Jared, a pirate mindset involves figuring out how to do things as efficiently as possible while thinking outside of the box. That’s true no matter how big or small your company is.
For example, instead of investing in LinkedIn advertising — “Who the F cares? Everyone is,” says Jared — look at Clubhouse.
The invite-only audio chat app has been gaining in popularity, but it doesn’t have an advertising business model. A RevOps pirate might strategize toward investing a few thousand dollars into Clubhouse anyway.
“Really think outside the box to push this, because otherwise you’re following the same game plan as everybody else,” Jared says.
“The people that can hack it and think outside the box in efficient ways will continuously win.”
This article is based on an episode of RevOps Trailblazers, a podcast for revenue operations leaders who want to advance the role of RevOps at their own organizations. The podcast offers strategies and advice on how to implement and grow revenue operations at companies large and small.