RevOps is more than the flavor du jour. As a critical function in modern organizations, it’s here to stay. But moving into RevOps from a functionally specific role can be difficult. 

The good news: the experience gained in a siloed role translates well to RevOps. If you want to make the transition into a more collaborative role, focus on these three key areas:

Technical Ability

When coming out of an operational silo–sales or marketing especially–you may suffer from a highly specialized skill set. This likely comes from being the owner of a subset of the org’s tech stack. 

Knowing the Pardot <> Salesforce integration better than family members’ birthdays is great for troubleshooting MQL sync errors, but what about those auto-generated renewal opps for the CSM team? Or maybe Apex is your second language, but a Google Ads dashboard might as well be Mars. Thankfully, these skills translate. Don’t let unfamiliar tools be the barrier to entry. 

When considering a move to RevOps, get a sense of the tech stack in totality. Internally, that may mean interviewing functional leads or stakeholders to understand how a system works and their pain points around it. Asking something along the lines of, In a dream state, how would this work? is a great jumping-off point from which to work backward. 

If interviewing at a new company, try and find out what systems they use beforehand. Even if you’re not an expert in one of their systems, you’ve probably worked with a competitor. Be prepared to discuss tactics and problem-solving examples that show you can adapt those skills to a new UI. 

So much of any ops role is about moving data back and forth. The hard part is knowing which data and why. If you can understand the ‘why’ AND get the job done, that is a huge value add that leadership notices.

Think Long-Term

Scalability is generally the first thing that comes to mind when evaluating any given solution. Whether it’s a lead distribution tool or building Salesforce dashboards for the executive team if the tooling won’t stand the test of time, what good is it? The issue often faced is getting over the daunting list of short-term tasks that keeps us from tackling the strategic problems with the gusto they deserve. 

When presented with a new project, What is the business impact? can be a very powerful question to ask. It forces the requestor to evaluate where their thing stands in the grand scheme of revenue impacting priorities. Think Eisenhower Matrix, but with revenue as the driving factor. It may seem ruthless, but that level of prioritization can be what stands between being an order taker and becoming a strategic partner to the executive team.

Communication, Up and Down

Many times ops folks can get mired in the details of a technical process or the seemingly infinite ways of solving a given problem. A key skill in your arsenal should be knowing when to boil it down to bullet points versus listing out the API names of fields involved. Know your audience and how they like to receive information. Sending out a pre-read the day before a meeting can work wonders; attendees will (hopefully, if they read) come with questions and discussion points instead of having their eyes glaze over for 30 minutes. 

When asked to opine or provide solutions, try to have a first choice and be decisive. Present what you consider the best path forward and advocate for it, instead of suggesting multiple solutions and waiting for someone else to decide. Oftentimes, a less is more approach will do you well, especially if you pair it with visuals. A flow chart and one slide presentation worked in 5 minutes when I thought I’d need at least an hour plus a technical dictionary. 

If you’re working with other teams on an integration or training sales on a new process that is rolling out, you may need to go an inch wide but a mile deep. Even if the scope is small, making sure everyone is well versed will alleviate pain later on.

 

Adam Beebe is the Revenue Operations Manager at Airbase, a San Francisco-based spend management platform. Adam has held a variety of operations roles, both full-time and consulting for early-stage startups. When he isn’t optimizing funnel metrics, he enjoys spending time on the boat or at the beach with his son in Charleston, SC.