Revenue Operations is positioned to be the revenue architect across the customer journey. That is a bold statement and the perspective of one of the leading revenue operations thought leaders, Jeff Ignacio.
Revenue Operations hit an "inflection point" in 2021. Jeff believes the rapid growth of B2B SaaS companies has highlighted the incongruency that customers are experiencing due to the "drops" in internal hand-offs between marketing, sales, and customer success.
Jeff believes Revenue Operations should act like Product Management. RevOps customers are the marketing, sales, and customer success resources who need the right data, at the right time, in the right context delivered by the right process. This includes understanding the "customer experience" with their company at every stage of the customer journey.
Product-Led Growth has led to a new requirement for Revenue Operations, and that is the ability to leverage and integrate the data from product analytics platforms into the revenue tech stack. These new "data operations" skill-set is not typically available in existing RevOps organizations, and may even require a new operations group.
Is a Chief Revenue Officer required to make revenue operations fully productive? Jeff said this is helpful in early-stage companies when the customer journey is less mature. In larger organizations with more well-defined and mature organizational structures, the need for a CRO to make revenue operations effective is less important.
Jeff defines revenue operations to include 4 pillars:
When asked about Revenue Operations being more "strategic" versus "tactical", Jeff's first recommendation was to allocate time slots upfront to strategic activity. Secondly, Jeff said that "ruthless prioritization" in understanding what is critical path to achieving the measurable goals that have been established. This includes becoming comfortable with setting expectations with your stakeholders, including being able to push back when requests are not aligned with the mutually agreed-upon goals.
Jeff also recommended that asking "what are you trying to accomplish" upfront when asked to execute an activity will be a good step in moving from reactive resource to strategic asset to the revenue leadership team. Another idea was to start thinking more proactively about what the data you are creating suggests, and start to provide more strategic ideas and recommendations to address negative trends highlighted by the data and reports.
When asked about the optimal "profile" for a revenue operation professional, Jeff highlighted a few key attributes, especially business acumen and the ability to clarify, thus understand the real goals of the executive stakeholder. Jeff also suggested using a case study approach to interviews to understand how the candidate has applied their skills in similar situations.
Will revenue operations be a must-have experience for the CRO of the future? Jeff's answer was nuanced, highlighting skill sets including data analysis, process design competencies, and system design will be valuable, but having hand's on RevOps experience will be a plus but not a requirement.
I then asked Jeff to pull out his crystal ball and predict how Revenue Operations will impact business performance - thus be measured. His responses: 1) Customer Acquisition Costs; 2) Expansion time and profitability to enter new markets.
Lastly, Jeff discussed the need for RevOps to move from working "in the business" to "on the business". This will enable RevOps to become a strategic advisor, with a seat at the executive team table.