As we put another year behind us (can you believe it?) revenue operations leaders reflect on the past year, all we’ve accomplished, and more importantly, what the year ahead will hold for us.
As you prepare your 2023 strategy, having a crystal ball sure would be convenient. And while we can’t give you answers from a fortune teller, we can give you predictions from some of the industries most influential operations professionals.
From changes to the RevOps role, expanding admin skill sets and impacts from economic changes, there’s a lot to prepare for going into the new year. Check out these top predictions from some of the biggest names in RevOps:
Nick Bryner | SF Lead, Security Metrics
In 2023, Bryner predicts:
→ Flow testing will become increasingly important: Flow testing will become a major thing. We’re already seeing Salesforce add functionality for testing Flows, and this will only continue. Savvy Flow builders will start incorporating testing into all of their Flow building activities. DevOps folks will also start wanting to incorporate Admin-built tests into their testing suites. I imagine we’ll start to see tools out there that will be focused on bridging the gap between Developer and Admin tests.
→ We will learn to do more with less: Doing more with less will be the name of the game for companies over the coming year as we continue to see layoffs and economic downturn. We’re going to see a decrease of in-house technical hires, and an increase in consultant utilization – whether fractional or full-time. Consultants with a broad array of technical skills and industry experience who can deliver consistently are going to clean up. They’ll be more focused than normal on just system maintenance however, as there will be fewer major projects going on.
→ The role of RevOps will grow: RevOps as a function will continue to cement itself as a critical operational and strategic function. Companies looking to dial down resource investment while increasing efficiency will likely look to RevOps to provide the answer on how to do that. We’ll see an increase in people working in RevOps type roles as a result. I imagine many of them will be junior level people grandfathered in from Admin roles though.
→ Non-Salesforce CRMs will be adopted more: We’re going to see an increase in non-Salesforce CRM implementations, and possibly an increase in current Salesforce customers switching off of it. Doing Salesforce right requires incredible investment and commitment, and more SMB style companies just wanting an out-of-the-box CRM will rightfully recognize that something more basic like Hubspot would be a better fit.
→ Admins will be differentiated by skill level: Stratification between Admins who know Flows and Admins who don’t is going to become more formalized. There is demand for people who know Flows, and businesses are getting frustrated that it’s not more obvious if they can expect someone to know Flows just based on their job title. We’re going to start to view Admins who know flows as more highly technical resources, like we do software developers, and less as the jack of all trades most Admins are. I’m not sure how the nomenclature will change as a result, but I’m hoping that we start to refer to Flow builders as something like a “Declarative Developer” or “Platform App Builder” instead of the terribly inadequate “Admin.”
Erol Toker | Founder & CEO, Truly.co
In 2023, Toker has the following Ops predictions:
→ Low-code tools will be widely adopted: GPT-3 will be used by >50% of RevOps teams by end of year: this little known technology has gone mainstream with #chatGPT. Developers are already building YouTube channels devoted to various use cases that take virtually zero cost to deploy. No-code tools are building it in as well, so odds are that it will run in small scale trials in most companies, starting with simple use cases (blog post creation, auto-replies to submission forms, etc).
→ RevOps will utilize robots: 20% of RevOps teams will deploy their first robot to automate revenue tasks: every team is expected to maintain growth with fewer resources. Robots can already automate 2-3 hours of a rep’s job today so there will be a pull for tech to fill the productivity gap. Gartner has validated this trend, saying that by the end of the next recession, 20% of all knowledge worker tasks will be executed robotically.
Erik Lopez | Global CRM and Sales Business Systems Technical Lead, Jellysmack
In 2023, Lopez predicts:
→ We will be seeing a ton of unicorpses.
→ COO as a role will go the way of the dinosaur.
→ “Innovation” has become refining the same idea over and over again instead of building the “next big thing”; basically, companies have become a snake eating its own tail. We will start to see this die off (hopefully).
→ Salesforce salaries are finally starting to normalize due to the death of neophyte SF admins; a missing middle of intermediate talent; and senior talent not moving to other companies OR being in senior consulting roles where the money is at.
Krystal Diel | Senior Consultant, Cortado Group
In 2023, Diel believes RevOps will experience:
→ Extreme automation: This is a trend that will continue to surface and will get more and more advanced over time. Years ago we went from sequence/cadence automation capturing the tasks along the buyer’s journey. On the far horizon, I see Automation 5.0, (calling it that because I’m not exactly sure which version we are on lol), but this is a place where AI captures all the data along a buyer’s journey, both objective, subjective, sentimental (marketing, behaviors, emails, transcripts from calls, etc.) and all that data is stored in a data lake. Picture it like sales reps that remember EVERYTHING that the prospect said, via email and call recording throughout their entire journey.
If a rep leaves, the relationship is still there. For example, let’s say a new rep has taken over an opportunity, and the prospect says, “when I was working with the previous rep we talked about X, but can’t recall all the details” then the bot can crawl the information and be able to find that context and provide it to the rep and the prospect within seconds. As opposed to doing that manually, or bypassing it because it would take too long for the rep to go back and find the information.
There are already different things like this in prototype, like ChatGPT. Massive amounts of data is stored in a data lake where data can be accessed. The Bot takes commands with ease and returns useful and helpful information back to the user. If we take this type of technology and apply it to the customer journey, then we will be able to progress deals down the pipeline significantly faster. Because we have all been there, information gets lost, or it takes too long for things to be found, and it can slow or even halt a sales process.
The Tl;dR is that customer data is stored in a massive data lake, where the Bot that interfaces with the prospects can recall information from months back which helps assist in the buyer’s journey.
→ Increased agility and resilience: Not a surprise, but things move at an extremely rapid pace. And companies need to prepare their people and their leaders on how to be exceptionally agile. I’ve experienced training called the Atlas project that helps people gain awareness of their personal growth blind spots. With these uncovered, it allows employees to be more agile and resilient.
Brad Smith | CEO & Co-Founder, Sonar
For 2023, Smith predicts the following RevOps trends will occur:
→ RevOps and Systems Ops roles will take on roles of their own: Traditionally, the lines between these two roles have blurred together. But as more organizations develop business systems as their own discipline, RevOps and Systems Ops will become their own separate functions– though still working closely together. Systems ops will focus on GTM security, connectivity and adoption while RevOps continues to focus on process improvement, automations, revenue insights and developing processes that drive GTM team efficiency.
→Leaders will need to focus on culture and investing in their teams to keep top talent: The 2022 ops compensation survey showed that overall, operational teams are happy with their pay– which as an experienced ops professional, is exciting to see. However, the two biggest reasons employees are leaving is due to poor culture and lack of career development. Keeping top talent is a priority for organizations going into 2023 and I believe these are two areas leaders will really need to focus in order to retain their key players.
→ The pendulum swing of “buy vs. build”: Over the last few years a TON of new technology has emerged. Many are full platforms that help multiple users and departments, while some are point solutions for single users. With everyone focusing on “doing more with less,” I predict most companies will swing back to “building” next year vs “buying” something that can help solve their problems. This might be ‘music to your ears’ if you’re a Salesforce developer or very technical RevOps or Business Systems leader. You can now create solutions within existing systems you currently have instead of going through new implementations of point solutions. This might however become a headache for some that have a big techstack and are being challenged to minimize their spend.
→ More ops roles will roll up under IT due to compliance & governance pressure: In our new 2022 ops compensation survey, we found that only a sliver of ops currently rolls up under IT. But in 2022, I expect that to change as compliance and governance become increasingly important for organizations. Revops will play a big role in helping to establish a data classification system across business systems. They will also need to find a means for creating and upkeep data dictionaries to help ensure compliance and governance across their organization.
Sara Bush | Sr. Director of RevOps, Revenue.io
In 2023, Bush predicts:
→ Increase in RevOps-specific technology: This will be the year that we will see a huge spike in software built to service RevOps instead of only the GTM teams that they support.
→ RevOps will enhance partnerships: While the economy will continue to demand efficiencies, organizations will rely on RevOps earlier and heavier as they develop and scale their partnership programs.
→ RevOps will become more specialized: I think that the disciplines that usually fall into RevOps will become more specialized. I imagine more strategy roles at both the junior and senior level. As well as additional focus being put into systems, integrations and data. There will likely be a rise in GTM systems managers and GTM data stewards and analysts.
Mallory Lee | VP of RevOps, Nylas
In the new year, Lee expects the following trends to effect RevOps:
→ Increased platform consolidation: As teams look to get more efficient in 2023, platform consolidation will continue to move to the top of the priority list for RevOps. Vendors who offer seat-based pricing must make sure they can allow permission differentiation so that they don’t force customers to go down to the lowest possible # of seats. Vendors who don’t provide flexibility in the price of secondary/adjacent seat types are not going to win in this tougher market.
→ More mergers and acquisitions: Platform consolidation will pave the way for mergers and acquisitions as sales tech players realize that they can be stronger together. Many independent data workflow, process automation, or slack communication tools will be prime acquisition targets in the coming year which can strengthen other tech offerings.
→PLG will be the next ABM: This is going to be a big category. More and more technology to support this motion will come out of stealth mode. GTM Operations and RevOps teams will look for new ways to optimize a sales-led and product-led motion in harmony, and this will necessitate much deeper visibility into the customer journey.
Conclusion: Plan Your 2023 RevOps Strategy with Confidence
There’s no doubt that 2023 will look a bit different than years prior. But by utilizing these predictions from industry leading pros, you can feel confident preparing your strategy for success.
Setting up your teams for success will rely heavily on the tools you put in place. These tools should reduce manual labor, mitigate errors and protect your org.