Who Should Own RevOps? Hot Topics at NYC Dinner

I’m a very curious person by nature. I love to learn. And in my opinion there’s no better source of learning than listening to people who are really good at something as they talk about how they do it – especially when they are in an informal setting and talking to others who are also really good at the same thing. You can sense the excitement as experts bounce ideas off of each other, debate, and collectively arrive at ideas that challenge current convention.

Lucky for me, I was able to experience just this when Revcast, First Hand Alliance, and hosted an invite-only dinner for RevOps leaders in NYC recently. The dinner was informal: no sales pitches, and all it took were a few catalyst prompts to keep the conversation going well past the dessert course. 

Without giving away any secrets from the group, here’s what I picked up listening to the assembled RevOps leadership group as they raised questions that don’t have easy answers:

Who owns RevOps?

There was a lot of discussion around the best reporting structure for RevOps, and it wasn’t in the self-serving sense. The dialogue centered around how to best position RevOps to provide maximum value for a company – in a way that covers all aspects of revenue generation, from the initial lead to ongoing customer value creation. 

Some felt that the “traditional” reporting lines to a CRO create inherent conflict, especially when the CRO is overly indexed on new sales. Beyond the CRO, the CFO and CMO were mentioned as other possibilities with pros/cons for each. (And outside this particular dinner setting, we have seen organizations exploring RevOps reporting to the COO or even the CEO.) More than anything, this is an interesting reminder that the function of RevOps is still in its emerging stage in many respects.

What does RevOps mean to the business?

It was interesting to hear these leaders talk about the varying perspectives of what it means to be in a RevOps role – basically everything from tools administration to being a strategic partner to the business. Their responsibilities cover a wide span, and a challenge can be to clearly communicate internally what lives in their domain and when to bring them in.

The group talked about how they used their own interview process with their companies to determine how well they were mutually aligned on the level of  investment believed to be necessary to have a truly impactful RevOps group. 

They also had strong points of view on how to structure a RevOps organization to best support business partners both within and outside of the revenue team. 

AI and RevOps.

Of course there was talk about AI,but it was real and grounded in the real-world. Everyone wanted to know how each others’ teams were leveraging AI and what was making a true impact.

They all acknowledged being pushed by their leadership teams to drive adoption of AI tools – especially in the sales outbound space -- but interestingly, fewer could assess the real impact of any AI efforts on their business just yet. It’s to be expected, since despite the hype we are very early in the AI days. But it was heartening to hear these leaders push beyond the buzz to dig into measurable results.

What’s next for RevOps?

As you may expect, there were other interesting topics of discussion such as “What’s the right background for a RevOps practitioner?” and “What’s happening with sales outbound?” 

At Revcast, we are seeing first hand the ongoing evolution and maturity of the RevOps organization happening, especially with it being a relatively new function to the business. There is a significant opportunity for RevOps to deepen their strategic value to the business, by taking a strong leadership role to ensure best practices in revenue planning – and in the context of today’s efficiency focused management principles. 

Ensuring the success of RevOps will depend on a combination of organizational support, the right KPIs for measuring outcomes, and giving them the right tools needed to improve business insights and responsiveness. I look forward to the next gathering of RevOps experts to learn more and make sure the Revcast roadmap continues to be aligned with their needs!

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