Rosalyn Santa Elena – RevOps Collective – Revenue Operations Has Come A Long Way

Quote of the Show

I think companies boil the ocean. They try to measure every single little thing that's really not telling you anything. You can measure all of these different numbers but is there an action after you find out that result.

Key Takeaways

  • Revenue operations are the key to getting optimization efficiency internally.
  • Data can quickly turn sideways if things change because it’s constantly evolving.
  • If you don’t set the metrics that matter, you’re falling in the wrong direction.
  • The RevOps function will really start to be the difference maker once RevOps professionals grow their knowledge, expertise, and value.
  • RevOps leaders can easily connect with CROs and other leadership


Episode 103 – Rosalyn Santa Elena

Host: Hey friends, I have a very special guest today. I’m joined by Rosalyn Santa Elena, the founder and chief rev op officer at the Rev Ops collect. And also the host of the Revenue Engine podcast. Thank you for coming

Guest: today. Yeah, thanks for having me. I’m super excited to be here and just chat with you. Jared,

Host: I’m super excited to have you for many, many reasons.

You know, for the impact you’ve had on growing rev ops at some of the organizations you were in, but also just as importantly for the impact you’ve had on growing rev ops as a category. Of amazing humans that are doing things. to really help the organization scale. Like talk me through, like you becoming an advocate for Rev ops.

Like when did

Guest: that start? Yeah, yeah. So, so I’ve been in sort of the operations space like the last 22, I guess I’m on my 23rd year. [00:02:00] So I’m, I’m an old lady, but been around for a long time and have always been supporting, you know, go-to-market ops, whether it’s sales, operations, marketing, operations, what we used to call field operat.

You know, go to market operations and now this, you know, terminology around revenue operations that’s really taken off maybe the last five or six years. And I think that You know, probably about three, a little over three years ago, I decided to be intentional about really sharing, and the reason why was really because I felt like there’s just so few of us, right?

There’s less operations people to begin with, right? You think in every organization, you know, for every maybe 20 sales, Salespeople. There’s one ops person. You know, maybe for every 10 or 15 marketers, there’s one ops person, you know, maybe for every, I don’t know, 20, 30 Cs, you know, managers. There’s one ops person.

So there’s just less of us to begin with in every crowd. But then also there’s less of us who have sort of been doing it, kind of working in the trenches and doing this role for, for [00:03:00] more than you know, 10. And so I think that by being able to really be intentional about sharing and kind of giving back to the community has been super rewarding for me.

And I think maybe about three and a half years ago, maybe, well maybe about three years ago, I had posted something on LinkedIn about what operations really is, right? And it’s not the CRM police, right? We’re not the ones. Guard Salesforce or HubSpot or whatever c r m you’re using. And I could not believe , you know, I could not believe just the the response to just that one post.

And I talked about like, you know, it’s not this, but it is this, right? And I had like, you know, my kind of my 10 pillars of what operations really does. And I couldn’t believe just how it really resonated. And it really started helping folks. I like, I took each pillar and started breaking it down into what that means.

And then I really realized, There’s just not a lot of resources for operations folks, right? There’s tons of, you know, great books on how to be a better seller. You know how to [00:04:00] be a better marketer, but there’s not a playbook on rev ops and say, okay, here’s a one size fits all, and follow this playbook and you’ll be successful.

And I think a lot of that reason is because it’s so broad. And it’s so different, right? In every organization, depending on, you know, what industry you’re in, what size you’re, you know how big your company is, the size, the stage, you know, there’s, they’re selling motions. There’s so many reasons. And so, You know, it’s never a one size fits all. It’s not like, okay, well this is the one tech stack that you need. This is always the way that you build up a rev ops team, and so there’s, because it’s so fluid and so different, it’s hard to be able to really build up that expertise by reading a book or by attending a webinar.

Right? You have to do. All of these things and work in the trenches. And by the way, you have to then try to keep your head above water and get your work done too.

Host: A hundred percent. And, and it really is just ops on the revenue org though, right? Like cause

Guest: [00:05:00] Yeah, but

Host: Ops is, ops is Ops . You just have different tools and different things tos.

Work with, right?

Guest: Yeah. Well, I think when you think about operations, I think a lot of people you know, gravitate towards data, right? They think about analytics or insights, and then they equivalent mm-hmm. , you know, they equate that to rev ops or they think about technology, right? All of the, the sales force and the HubSpot and all of the, you know, tools that are sort of in your ecosystem around revenue.

And then they think, oh, that’s rev ops. But rev ops is so much more than just data and te. . Right? Or it should be. And it can be. And I think that’s where companies are realizing, right? And people are realizing how broad and how deep a true revenue operations function can be. What’s the biggest myth about Rev op?

Yeah, so, well, I think with revenue operations, there’s probably a, a long list of. Nets, things that I would love to just kind of like, you know, take the hammer and kind of smash . What, what’s the biggest,

Host: the biggest debunk

Guest: it? I think the biggest thing that I [00:06:00] hear all the time is people think that ops is like a, it’s a supporting sort of administrative type of function, right?

And yes, there are definitely aspects that it’s administrative, it’s supportive, it’s tactical, right? There’s lots of execution that needs to be done, but it’s also a strategic. Really, I, oh, caught it. Strategic differentiator, right? For businesses, because revenue operations should really be, That holistic body function that oversees your entire revenue process.

So end-to-end from top of funnel, you know, through prospect, through becoming a customer, and especially in SaaS, that repeatability aspect and being able to expand and retain your client base. And so if you think about people. Technology, right? Data insights and enablement. To me, those are the big pillars under operations that supports that entire, you know, buyer.

We talk about buyer journey a lot, but really that customer life cycle. And I think that’s where you, if you [00:07:00] really leverage operations properly and have it, you know, resourced properly, you have the right expertise and the right knowledge. It becomes a differentiator for companies.

Host: It’s. I think I call rev ops the biggest

Guest: growth lever.

Yeah, I, I agree. I think that like, you

Host: literally empower growth of, of, of the revenue org. And, and by the way, if we threw some growth ops under you, you’d be, you’d be okay with that in a p LG motion too, right? Of course. like, sure, give it to me. Why not? Because throw signups under me too. No problem. Yeah.

We’ll, we’ll convert signups to Reed,

Guest: right? . Yeah. I think, you know, if you think about ops being really. That group that keeps everybody aligned, keep them marching to the same, you know, goals, make sure that you don’t have silos, you have clear, you know, handoffs between all of the teams. Clear rules of engagement, cuz ultimately it’s about giving the customer the most frictionless, seamless, and best experience.

Host: A hundred [00:08:00] percent and, and more, more on that the alignment later. Cuz we could go down a rabbit hole with that . You align your team right. , it empowers your team, right? That’s right. But look, you are part of at least a couple unicorns. . And, and, and you know, in my head I was thinking what’s, what, what came before Rev Ops?

And it was sales ops, right?

Guest: Yeah, yeah. Well there was sales ops and then there was market marketing ops. There was field ops. And I think in a lot of organizations, even if they say they don’t have revenue operations, somebody is doing a lot of the work. That revenue operations can be doing potentially better, right?

Because we are ops focused and you have somebody who’s dedicated to doing those roles versus. Having your best salesperson doing process, you know, or managing the CRM or having your best demand gen, you know, person creating campaigns in, you know, Marketo or in part art or whatever marketing automation you’re using or having maybe your best se doing enablement training and such.

And so [00:09:00] I think that there’s bits and pieces of that, or worst case, you’re having your sales leader creating sales process and managing your crm, right? So there’s. Efficiencies and sort of optimization that happens when you have somebody who’s dedicated and equipped with the right skillset to be that people, process, tech kind of insights person.


Host: what intrigues me the most? So you, you’ve, you’ve run rev ops or been at a VP level of rev ops? Mm-hmm. at, at multiple unicorns. And I’ll give you credit, like they became unicorn after . You were there. Some ,

Guest: some

Host: Yeah. Some, some, some. You were there early. Yeah. But, , you know, speaking about like clarity and data stacks in particular, right?

Like those two, I believe it was after you started . If, if my timeline’s right, like how. , you know, what were some of the biggest learnings to, to helping the, those companies scale?

Guest: Yeah. I think a lot of the companies and a lot of the companies that I actually advise for as well, but you see a lot of companies Sure that [00:10:00] are at that, you know, they, they’re, they have product market fit, they’ve got some customers, they’re getting good traction and then they realize it’s like, okay, they start to see the, you know, the revenue and the growth kind of plateau.

And then they also realize there’s sort of this epiphany of, okay, The things that I, we we’ve been doing, you know, kind of those heroics or, you know, wild, wild west type of things that got us to this mark. Whether that’s 50 million or even a hundred million in revenue, you know, there those are not wild,

Host: wild

Guest: westing to a hundred million

Yeah. You’d be surprised. I have been at a company where it’s like, . It’s amazing that you think that people have, you know, you look at the organization from the outside and you’re like, oh, these guys must have everything. You know, they’ve got like rigor, they’ve got alignment, they’ve got operational excellence, and you go in, it’s like, whoa.

You know, , it’s a little crazy.

Host: They product market fit, like yes, kill a product market fit if they don’t have that

Guest: other stuff. That’s right. They have product market fit, they’ve got a great product. Right. But how do you. Right. How do you [00:11:00] get to that next level in the most efficient, most scalable, repeatable way and yeah, and the fastest way, right?

The fastest path to getting to potentially, you know, 500 million or a billion or an I p O, right? There’s all of these different things, depending on what your company is you know, what those goals are, but the best way to do that, to get the maximum is to. that optimization efficiency internally, and that is operations, right?

Being able to have, you know, your team enabled the running processes that are repeatable. You’ve got technology that’s being optimized, right, to help with automation and making things faster and easier. , but also you have that layer of insights into what’s happening in your business so that you can not only pivot if you need to, but you can really lean in and spend the resources, whether that’s time, money, or people on the right things that are going to produce the best outcomes and the best results.

And if you look at the last couple of. [00:12:00] It’s been crazy, right? The market’s been crazy. It’s like up and down, up and down. And those companies that have a strong operational infrastructure, those are the ones that we’re able to quickly assess, right? What is working, what’s not? Where do we pivot? How do we pivot, what makes sense?

You know what’s working well and what’s not. And then be able to also turn around and actually execute and implement those changes whether. Target changes, their persona changes, messaging, collateral, right? Maybe it’s you know, quotas, right? You’re issuing new comp plans, you’re rolling out new process.

Those teams are the ones that are gonna be able to do that much faster than teams who. Don’t have visibility, you know, they don’t have the right data, they don’t have the right insights. They, they lose that pulse on their business and Ha. And then they’re flying blind. So,

Host: yeah. , I mean, it, it, it, it seems like everything so matter of fact and, and operations is quite a bit of objectivity.

Like, but. , I’m sure things didn’t [00:13:00] always go swimmingly. Like

Guest: it’s never goes . Yeah, it never goes that

Host: way through. Walk me through some things that you’ve seen early stage. Oh my gosh. When you’re advising, you’re advising like a dozen early stage, maybe more than, I don’t see like really, really phenomenal early stage companies.

I might add some of which. We’re both we’re together, but yeah. What, what, what are some, what are some pitfalls that that, that you see that, that you’ve even fallen into?

Guest: Yeah. So tell others. You know, it’s, it’s funny that you say that because a co the last couple of companies, when I joined, the last one I joined, I remember when I joined and I thought,

Wow. You know, the weekend after the first week, it’s like, oh my gosh, you know, wow, this is crazy. There’s so, there’s so much to do and so much to untangle. And I’m like, why do I always gravitate towards this kind of chaos? You know? And I thought, and to kind of remind myself that, hey, they wouldn’t be hiring.

Me to come in. Mm-hmm. if everything was running really smoothly. Right? If things were optimized, they don’t need me, right? So I come in [00:14:00] and you’re just like, wow, you know, a lot of things, you know, data, right? Having the right visibility, having the right structure, having that repeatability, all of those things.

You’re like, okay, this, none of these things exist , right? Or you talk. definitions around the data, data governance, right? There’s a long list of things that even if they’re working well, they could very easily, you know, go sideways. Right? I always tell people, like when they talk about data, it’s like, how’s your data?

You know, and everybody always kind of rolls their eyes and, oh my gosh, you know, it’s, it’s crap. Or, Okay. It could be better, right? Because constantly can always be better. And the thing about data is you have data. And even if it’s great today, like you’ve got the right data in front of the right people at the right time, very quickly tomorrow all your data could be like just, you know, completely turn sideways if things change.

Cuz it’s evolving, right? It’s constant, it’s constantly moving. And so I think with a lot of. [00:15:00] That I’ve joined. You come in and you have to, you know, quickly assess, right? What is that current state? Where are the biggest gaps right to us hitting our plans. Think about, you know, biggest impact in terms of the business and where to, where to start.

Like I literally was having conversation today with a rev ops leader and he’s just like, there’s 50 things that everything is a priority and I can, I don’t have the resources and I can literally do 10, you know? But that’s not fast enough for the business. And so it’s like, how do I prioritize and how do I do that?

You know? So to your point, it’s very, like I talk about ops, like, oh, it’s this and it’s that. But the real kind of under the cover is when you’re in seat in an ops roll, it’s crazy. You know what,

Host: you know what’s come up a lot very ops related. Yeah. Recently is OKR setting. Yep. You have 25 things to do as rev ops.

You know, what’s the most important. The CEO doesn’t see face to face, like with what you see all the time. Yeah. And, and, and I can empathize [00:16:00] greatly with this in, in, in, in a couple different angles here. And it’s funny because setting OKRs. I’ve spoke to three organizations, three different VPs. Set em for the company.

In one organization. It’s the, the VP of Rev Ops. Mm-hmm. and another organization it, it could be the c e o, right? Like, or, or C level there, another organization the VP of sales was heavily involved in setting them. How do you set them? And then also before, What’s your definition of strategy? Yeah, this is, this is a harder question to answer.

I’ve realized that it sounds,

Guest: yeah, no, I think about strategy and there’s so many different. it. I mean, obviously it depends on the context, right? In terms of, you know, cause a lot of times C, corporate strategy. Yeah, corporate strategy. So you’re really trying to determine, you know, what, what are the goals that you’re trying to achieve, right?

What are those outcomes that we’re trying to get to? And then the strategy is the method, the methodology, right? In terms of like, how [00:17:00] are you going to get there? Right? What is that approach to be able to get there? And then beneath that, you know, think about, okay, I know where I wanna go, I. the vehicle and the mechanism by which I’m going to get there, which is my strategy.

And then you need to think about, okay, how do I what are the. Metrics or like you talk about OKRs or KPIs or goals, right? What are those top things? Pick an acronym. Yeah. . What are those top things that are going to reflect achievement, right. Of where we’re trying to go. So, you know, whether that’s when Ray, you know, whether that’s revenue or, you know, net new customer acquisition or some type of retention metric mm-hmm.

or whatever those metrics are. Right? Those are gonna be your high level sort. Goals. And then you think about, okay, what are the things that I need to measure? Right? What are the insights or the metrics that matter that demonstrate progress, progress towards those goals? Because a lot of times, you know, and I’m probably going down different, different[00:18:00] route now as we’re starting to talk about this, but if you think about, yeah, how do you set your goals and how do you set sort of those metrics that matter?

Because a lot of times I’ll get asked, right? That’s the biggest thing. Yeah.

Host: You get asked, but you don’t set the right North star metric. You’re falling in line to the wrong direction. That’s

Guest: right. That’s right. And I think a lot of companies do that, especially when they’re smaller. They think they need to measure everything, right?

And, and they, they don’t know what to measure. Then they end up measuring like 20 different things and then they really have no idea how their business is going because they’re spending all their time just building metrics and gathering the data to get those metrics. But what really matters is, or not

Host: gathering the data, spending double the time.

iffy data because you’re too small. Yeah. And, and, and then you double down on this being the core thing, but I just need to baseline it. And you spend a full quarter baselining

Guest: thing. . That’s right. Instead of actually taking action. Right. Yeah. And I think that’s one of the things with the metrics that, that you want [00:19:00] to define is keep it simple.

right? What are the couple of things that are really going to tell you how well you’re doing towards those goals, right? The things that are going to be leading indicators of how well you’re tracking, right? And that gives you the insights into, okay, what do I, where do I need to, you know, Pivot, like what?

Where do I need to look in and dive deeper into, Hey, why is this not working or is it working? And then be able to quickly decide, especially in this market, and especially when you’re small and you don’t have that luxury of time, you wanna be able to very quickly understand what’s working and what’s not, and be able to.

Lean in where you need to and definitely kind of step back and step away from the things that don’t. But I think companies try to boil the ocean, right? They try to measure every single little thing that’s really not telling you anything, right? You can measure all of these different numbers, but is there an action after you find out that result?[00:20:00]

Right, because I, and this is something I’ve been talking a lot to companies about too, is it’s great to have analytics and have all this information at your fingertips, but what’s the next best action? That’s what I wanna know. Right? And I think that’s what companies want to know is, okay, you gave me these, I have this data.

You bubbled up these insights, now tell me, what should I be doing based upon those insights? And then help me go and execute those plays. , it’s,

Host: it’s so hard. It, it, it, you. and, and it’s funny because, you know, I read the book, measure What Matters. Uhhuh, , great book. We all have to start somewhere, right? Yeah.

And it definitely takes a lot of trial and error to figure it out. Ideally, you’re in a situation where you could bring somebody smarter than you in , but your first time setting OKRs. How do you, do you have to step in? You know what I think to, yeah.

Guest: Well, I mean, and, and just keep it simple, right? I think that what happens is if you pick a couple of things to measure and you really measure them, right?

You get the data and you actually look at the, [00:21:00] the information that you have. it will very quickly tell you, okay, you’re, because when you have an a piece of information in front of you, you’re gonna ask like two or three other questions, right? Then you’re gonna dive into that information, like, why is that?

Or what’s this? And you try to dive into it and get more context. And then you’re curious about why do the numbers show that way, or why did they turn out that way? And that will lead to. Metrics that potentially are meaningful to your business. And then you add, right? And you can kind of, it’s iterative and you continue to evolve that process, but you have to start somewhere and you have to start small because that’s how you can start to, you know, really hone in on what’s important versus what’s just noise.

Host: Are you seeing rev ops grow? And when I say grow, not in the number of people, but grow in the responsibilities in the org with the emergence of plg. Community, like putting more under the umbrella for [00:22:00] potential users. I would say. . Yes. And or, or is that siloed? You let the growth people do that. Yeah. See, so how, how do we silo this?

Guest: Yeah. I feel like it’s kind of the yes and no answer because it’s just like when you define, when you look at revenue operations at, you know, if you pick 12 companies and you look at what their rev ops infrastructure or structure looks like, chances are they’re gonna look very different, right? Mm-hmm.

and I think that’s one of the challenges is that not every. Revenue operations function looks the same within an organization, right? It’s, it’s a lot of times there’s still sales ops rebranded. Sometimes they’re kind of marketing in sales, and then maybe they left out post sales, right. In a SaaS model, or maybe it’s sales and CS and

Host: sales ops.

Yeah. That seems to be the biggest one. CS plus sales ops equal rev op.

Guest: Yeah. And they leave marketing out. Right. And it’s kind of like the, it’s kind of like the cro. Role as well, right? You see a lot of CROs that [00:23:00] actually have, you know, responsibility across the entire revenue process. Mm-hmm. , but then you also see a lot of CROs who are working side by side with the C M O and they really are heads of sales.

So I think it’s still evolving both the CRO o and the rev ops, you know, role. And so the responsibility of the Rev ops professional is changing. As well, right? It’s evolving and I think more and more organizations are realizing the value of having, you know, all of the sort of operational pieces under one kind of umbrella, if you will.

But what that you know, entails means that, There’s a lot of work and you have to resource it properly from an expertise and knowledge perspective, but also from a people perspective. It’s not a one person kind of job in most companies, although it is for a lot of startups. But it really needs CRM Office is a one person job for sure.

for sure. And I think this needs to be resourced properly. And then, you know, to your point about PLG [00:24:00] and some of these other things, there’s so many. Sales motions, right? There’s new ways that we go to market. Yeah. And so ops has to be able to support that level of complexity because now it’s not just inbound and outbound leads, right?

There’s product led and there’s all these kind of freemium products and self-serve. And then, you know, so there’s a lot of different avenues in terms of how revenue can be acquired, and that’s where having. You know, the right level of operational support can now bubble up all your insights for PQS and usage data, and when is the right time for sales, you know, for a salesperson to engage.

A potential user, right? And yes. What does that look like? I get

Host: all orgs are different and, and I mean some have dozens of rev ops people. Some have

Guest: one, one or two. Yeah. Or half .

Host: But isn’t the goal to give put everything to, to deci. , everything is a top goal, [00:25:00] and to do that you have to put everything under one umbrella.

No. Yeah.

Guest: I think that, I think that is like the ideal situation is to have everybody under one org, but if you think about. , even if they don’t report into the same person and you’re not ready to make that move, or maybe you don’t have a leader who sort of kind of come up and said, okay, here I have someone that can lead this team.

You need to break down the silos. , right? E, regardless of org structure, marketing needs to be working hand in hand with sales. Sales needs to be working hand in hand with post sales and even post sales needs to be working with marketing because there is so much learning. Right From a customer that needs to feed back into your top of funnel on how you prospect, how you message, right?

How you reach more buyers and more prospects. And so there needs to be that alignment. And just those, yeah. Really clear kind of handoffs and that partnership. Right. And I think Rev ops kind of comes in and helps [00:26:00] drive some of that. But even if you don’t have that function, your marketing op should be talking to your sales ops.

Right. And, and, and I and my past roles have always worked very closely, even if they weren’t reporting into me, you still have to work very closely because you need to make sure the data. The insights, right? The terminology, you know, the, everything that we’re working towards, right? The processes and such are all flowing across that entire, you know, customer life cycle.

Host: H how, how do you start on the right foot with that? Like


Guest: Yeah, I think that, I think a lot of companies sort of kind of put different pieces in as they. Right, because everyone’s budget conscious and they can’t, you know, they don’t have unlimited budget where they can just build out of full team.

Plus you

Host: learn as you go. Yeah, you might have made a mistake, ,

Guest: it’s true. And you learn how learn as you go and then what you need, right? You kind of add what you need as you go. And that’s another question I think a lot of times I get asked is, okay, well you know, what should, what do I hire for first?

Right? How do I build out my rev ops team? And [00:27:00] a lot of times, , you know, you, you look at, again, kind of tying back to, well, what are your goals, right? Where are you trying to go in short term and long term? And then look at where are the gaps. , right? So if I’m trying to achieve certain things and I don’t have, you know, maybe I’m, maybe a good example is, you know, I’m looking to really, I’m gonna double my sales team and I’m gonna hire, you know, another whatever, 20 reps or 40 reps, or 60 reps.

And so you need enablement, right? You need process, you need training, you need onboarding. And so there’s different areas to figure out, what do I need today, what do I need, you know, next quarter versus six months or 12 months down the road. . And then you also look at kind of who do you have on the, on the bench as we say, you know, who do you have internally where, you know, where you have strengths in certain areas where you can leverage, whether that’s people in it or maybe people in finance or, you know, maybe it’s a salesperson or, you know, that type of thing.

And then you figure out how to close the gaps, right? And, and it like anything else, that’s how we [00:28:00] prioritize, right? Kind of those, what’s biggest impact, right? With the, with the you know, the biggest gap.

Host: How can you, how can you teach this? And I know, I know you’ve tried and, and you do successfully, you know, in the pavilion school and, and probably elsewhere through webinars and stuff.

Yeah. , but it’s such a big topic, right? Like to, to just can you learn it in 12 weeks or four weeks,

Guest: or both? Yeah, no, I mean, I think that so one of the things that I’ve been doing that’s been really that’s been really successful and I think is really helpful and aside from, you know, content and webinars and things like that, is I actually do a lot of one-on-one.

So I do a lot of kind of executive coaching, but also one-on-one kind of what I’m calling as a sort of a professional champion or advisor. Because in ops you don’t have, you know, there’s the technical side of course, and there’s tactical and there’s business that you have to understand and process.

But then there’s all of this soft skills around communication and driving [00:29:00] consensus, right? And being able to influence key stakeholders. Yeah. Without having necessarily that management, you know, or a. . Right. And so I think there’s a lot of that, those learnings on how to do these type of things, that’s really important.

And they don’t have somebody necessarily internally to go ask, right? They might be able to ask their head of sales or their head of marketing for some things, or maybe their finance or they have other folks on the team that they can ask certain pieces, but not from an operational mindset. . Right? And that’s where I think some of that learning from another ops leader maybe who someone’s maybe Sure a little bit more experienced, maybe have seen a little bit more of the, what I always like to say, the good, the bad, and the ugly around operations.

But that’s definitely something to do. And then obviously like community, right? Like obviously, you know how the importance of , how powerful community can be based on kinda what you’ve built with Rev Genius. And it’s just, People can learn from each other and lean on each other to learn, but within [00:30:00] an organization, right?

If I’m a ops leader, how do I educate the company? Right? The org and the stakeholders.

Host: You said something so interesting within that the soft skills part. Mm-hmm. , which I don’t think gets enough public credit. Like the people that know, they might realize it, but like I, yeah. Like knowing nothing. If you could manage personalities and, and are average organized because you can’t do it disorganized or ops really, but like you could get a lot out of it.

And, and, and I know enablements under what, what ops are, that’s tends to be enable like sales, maybe marketers like do their jobs better. What about enabling the soft skills and not. soft to close a deal. I know you have that course in one of your things. I’m talking like, like for for the leaders.

Guest: Yeah.

Yeah. There’s a lot of do you see that? Yeah, definitely. I mean, [00:31:00] I, it’s funny cuz I always tell people that I think, you know, if you could only have one strength, , like only one thing that you’re really good at, I would always pick communication over everything else. And it’s not about, , you know, writing a great email or about, you know, presenting really well.

But it’s about being able to effectively communicate, to drive, you know, buy-in, to build advocacy, right, to be able to influence and then bring everybody along right for the journey. . And I think that’s where if you have really strong, you know, any leader, but especially in an operations role, somebody who’s really good at that, being empathetic, understanding, having that good kind of two-way communication.

And, you know, with the great list, you know, active listening, we talk about a lot. But being able to really have that effective communication, I think trumps, you know, trumps everything else. It’s just so, so important to [00:32:00] have that. and be able to do that. Cause I think that that, that alone, I think differentiates, you know, sort of that great leadership versus not as great leadership, but especially in operations because you’re working with.

So many different people in different functions with different, you know, different goals and objectives and different values, kind of where they’re coming from. So being able to navigate that is a skill that I think is, you know, is probably the most critical skill. That I can, you know, that I can think of for sure.

Trump’s definitely data and tech and all the other things that we have to do. Yeah, I love

Host: that. I, I think that there’s an edge case argument against that even though like I’m in full agreement. Like you have your Steve Jobs mm-hmm. of the world and, and other leaders that lead a certain way. You have Elon Musk who might not be the most empathetic leader.

Yep. But all indicators already slashed however many jobs and. [00:33:00] performing at a higher rate. Mm-hmm. . So on paper, like it’s going in the right direction, how people actually feel. That’s another story. Yep. But, but that have run really big companies really, really successfully doing it the other way. Yeah.

Guest: Yeah.

I think it’s fascinating. I think especially for you know, maybe at the c e O level, maybe. , you know, a little bit different from being at an operational level where you’re working. Sure. Really cross-functionally kind of day-to-day execution. But at the same time, I think if you look at the strongest leaders in these organizations that have really been transformational, they, they have an ability to bring people right along for the journey.

They inspire, right? They inspire their teams. , they, you know, can kind of get, kind of help to drive that buy-in, right? Where people like believe in their mission and they follow along or they don’t, right. , [00:34:00] I think we’ve seen a lot of those companies where they, they wanna follow along, but recently, you know, a lot of these organizations have really, you know, because of, because of the market, have really changed.

No, we’ve seen the incredible number of unfortunate, you know, layoffs and reorgs and things happening. But I think if you think about the greatest, you know, the people that you really admire in terms of leaders, those are the folks who, they inspire you to do your best work, right? They inspire you. Help you, you know, really understand the mission and of like, what we’re trying to achieve.

And even if that means tough decisions, but you understand the rationale, and I think that’s part of that communication and helping people understand where we’re going and keeping everybody, you know, along for the journey.

Host: I think that’s what stands out the most about you. Whether you realize it or not, you’re inspiring the whole the whole rev op space and, and so many people.

look up to you and, and wanna work with you for you. Any slice of that [00:35:00] that, that’s cool. Thank you. Inspiration and communication. Now, how do you think Rev ops is going to impact the next generation? Like what, what do you see in the future? Because what I’m seeing now is tons more. tooling aligned to data and, and roi.

And projected ROI so that you could make better decisions now. Mm-hmm. , theoretically, assuming that they all work as they should. Yeah. , but like, What, what, what gets you really excited about the future and what, what do you predict the evolution of the space will bring?

Guest: Yeah, I think for, for rev ops as a function I think that, you know, as, as revenue operations professionals start to really grow right, and grow their knowledge and their expertise and their value right to the [00:36:00] organization, I think we’ll continue to.

the revenue operations function also up level, right? And really start to be that differentiator for businesses where they start to get the recognition, but also have the impact that it’s meant to have on a business. And with that, it’s kind of that cycle, right? As you start to prove value, then more people wanna invest and then it, you know, it becomes, you know, kind of this.

self-fulfilling. Mm-hmm. , right. Legacy. But with the explosion of like technology as you’ve said, and just so much data available, that in itself I think has really pushed that rise of revenue operations. Right. And as I mentioned earlier, I think a lot of times when. Say Rev ops people think data, or they think tech stack, you know right away because that’s where the pain is.

Yeah, right. I think just like in any sales cycle, right, when you talk about where’s the pain and people are feeling pain by not having the data and the insights, the visibility, or not having optimization or efficiency through [00:37:00] tools, then they say, okay, I need rev ops. And then they realized that revenue operations could actually be so much more.


Host: The pain is not hitting our numbers for the

Guest: fourth quarter or . Yeah. And not knowing why. Right. And not having any idea on like what to do to fix or to improve those numbers. Oh, yeah.

Host: And, and, and have tried unsuccessfully a couple experiments Yeah. Or key results or objectives, . Yeah. And had them not perform or, or not have the output that they were hoping for.

Right. In the revenue space, who do you look up to? Like, like from a leader standpoint or, or practitioner or whatever.

Guest: Yeah, I think that, I think that for me there’s, I’ve had a couple of, you know, folks that, well, for one, definitely peer to peer that I think there’s a lot of really great revenue operations leaders out there, and they’re not necessarily folks that are out there, you know?

Helping [00:38:00] others or talking about it. Right. And I think there, sure. I think that’s something that’s really important to note is just that there are a lot of great companies with a lot of great operations executives that you don’t even know. , right? They are running the show behind the scenes and they’re maybe not the type of person that wants to be out in the forefront and be like on a podcast talking about rev ops, right around, there’s soap box.

Like I’m always am talking about it. But there are a lot of really great leaders and I think there’s a lot of folks to learn from out there. And it’s a, the challenge is, you know, making sure that you. , you can, you know, access those folks who want to be accessed, which is one of the reasons why I’ve been talking about rev ops a lot is because there’s other ops leaders who, who fortunately for everybody in the community is that the last few years they’ve also started coming out and kind of talking about it more and sharing their experience, which just benefits all of us.

But I think from my first, what are some names ? Yeah, I, I mean I think there’s lots [00:39:00] of F great folks to follow and I don’t wanna put them on the spot cause everybody’s gonna be like, oh, you know, asking them questions and such. But I think LinkedIn is a great place to start for sure. Okay. You know, if you go on to LinkedIn and you look for some of these VPs of rev ops and heads of rev ops and you look at their, and you look at their experience, right?

Like the companies that they’ve been in, the places they’ve been, you. Likely very successful at and follow them. Right. And even reach out. I had somebody the other day reach out to me and say, Hey, you know, we’ve been connected for a while. Sure. And he was interested in speaking to this one ops leader. And he said, I see you’re connected.

Can you, you know, intro us? And I said, why don’t, she’s a really nice lady. I said, why don’t you just reach out to her? You know, just try it, reach out to her and say, Hey. And guess what? Yeah. So he did so, and of course she responded right away. This is what I.

Host: about rev ops folks in particular. They’re arguably the, the most important part of the revenue work.

I, I need [00:40:00] to be diplomatic and some of the most accessible because like some of them had roundabout ops paths. Mm-hmm. that landed here. Some may have been c CRM admins. Mm-hmm. at go and progressed all the way up and now they’re. so much more responsibility than they were five years ago if it was the same role.

Yep. Because I think orgs generally, the orgs that get it, get it, and, and, and it’s so cool. And, and I think that’s, Yeah. The, the future more rev ops people is the C, right? You see that? Yeah. Are

Guest: you seeing that? I’m, I, you know, I’m like one of those folks. I know that there’s a lot of folks, doesn’t even matter.

They want, A lot of people are. Yeah. I think there’s a lot of people in the camp of, oh, we’re gonna be the next, you know, rev ops will be the next C R O or maybe the next COO o and, and I think for everybody it’s a personal, you know, decision in terms of where you wanna go. Right? Because I think there’s a reason why ops.

The leader of ops is sort of the best business [00:41:00] partner and thought leader to the C R O. Mm-hmm. , because this kind of, that compliment, you know, compliment of strengths and weaknesses, you know, and I think that with a rev ops, you know, some of us, we like to be talking to customers, like I love talking to customers, but I know a lot of ops folks who don’t wanna talk to customers, right?

They want not external customers, meaning they talk to their internal customers and they’re happy doing that. Right. And maybe they don’t want to be. Out there trying to close deals versus the opposite of, you know, some CROs great, you know, closing deals and being in front of clients and coaching and motivating their teams and inspiring their teams.

Mm-hmm. , but they don’t wanna do process. Right. they don’t, they don’t, their brain doesn’t think that way. Or maybe they don’t wanna do technical things and they then that’s why Yeah. Having a strong business partner in your ops leader as sort of that right hand person is so important.

Host: The, the, the million dollar question.

How do you find the right first rev ops hire this? This [00:42:00] question is posed actually. You probably hear it so much. Rosalyn, who do you have for me?

Guest: Yeah. Yeah. And I was just talking about this today too because I think that when you talk to a small business and they say, Hey, do you know anybody I’m trying to hire for rev ops?

And then I ask them like, what’s important? You know, what are those three or four things that are must-haves this person has to have? And what are the things that you know this person’s actually gonna be doing? You know, and how are you gonna be supporting them and ensuring that they’re successful.

And it’s funny because they want the unicorn, right? They want the purple squirrel, as we say. They want somebody who’s had, you know, all these years experience, small company, big company, you know, b2b, b2c, you know, all these different things. Success, failure. Yeah. They want to see everything. And then, , but, and then I say, well, you know that one, there’s very few of those people right, that have actually done that.

And two, it’s like, and they’re may not want to actually come and work with you. They may be very happy where they’re at. And so think about, you know, I [00:43:00] said, think about the key things that you really need, right? Like, what are those couple of things that are must-haves for your business today? Because we all know it’s iterative, right?

Things are gonna change. Mm-hmm. , you wanna hire somebody? Who’s gonna be right for you today, but also right for you in the future, but probably not five or 10 years from now. Right? But think about what do you need today and what do you need in the next 12, 24 months? You know, somebody that’s gonna be able to meet those needs and then back into, you know, kind of what that looks like.

And same thing for people who are looking for companies to join, right? Think about where you want to be in 2, 3, 5 years and think about is the experience that this company going to give you those, you know, the right the right experience and skills to get to, you know, where you wanna be in three or four years from now.

Host: Rosalyn, this has. An incredibly epic conversation. ,

Guest: I have lots to say. Ha.

Host: Jared with the goat of Rev Ops. . [00:44:00] Thank you. Greatest of all time . There’s some others battling, but you’re friends with all of them and it’s all

Guest: good. . They’re all great . There’s so many great people out there and I’m just, I’m, it’s,

Host: it’s, it’s an exciting

Guest: time.

Yeah, for sure. It definitely

Host: is. And building community rev ops people, you have a. with Rosalyn, with Rev Genius, with so many organiz organizations. Much, so much, yeah. So different than three years ago. And, and I’m, I’m proud to have been along this journey a bit with you, so this is cool.

Guest: Thank you. Yeah.

And I am super, just really grateful for being on the journey with you as well, Jared. I think the last couple of years, just seeing what you’ve done. I mean, I like, I think I mentioned to you recently when I joined Rev. Genius when you reached out to me. Maybe 60 people, 70 people. And you’ve built this incredible community.

What is like 30,000 people, or remember 35,000.

Host: Yeah. And that’s, that’s amazing. [00:45:00] Full disclosure. I didn’t know as much about rev ops when we first met, and I was very intimidated by you . Not because you’re an intimidating person, but because you have an intimidating knowledge set, , and like, and, and, and accomplishments and all of that.

Thank you. So I kept quiet until I started learning more, and now we talk

Guest: back and forth a bit. , thank you.

Host: But but I’m humbled and I’m grateful. How could people get in touch with you, Rosalyn? Yeah,

Guest: so best way is to definitely check, check me out on LinkedIn, follow me, and, you know, connect with me. Check out our website, which I’m super proud of, that I actually did my own website, scrappy startup mode.

The rev ops, and of course, listen to the podcast. And we’ve gotta get you on the podcast. We haven’t you on I would would on our podcast yet. The, the revenue mention.

Host: I would love to, we should talk community off. Let’s

Guest: do it. Absolutely. We should do it all. Let’s do it. .

Host: Thank you for coming.

Thank you all for listening. This is another episode of Revenue Today. If you like to [00:46:00] tell a friend we’ll be back next week and thank you again, Rosalyn.

Guest: Thank you for having me. This is a lot of fun.

Host: Whoa. Another great episode of Revenue Today. For show notes, links and mentions, visit revenue

For all my friends in the Rev Genius community, thank you. It’s been awesome to spend this time with you. Please DM me any feedback and ideas in our Slack channel or on LinkedIn. If you’re not in Rev Genius, join us at Rev Genius dot. It’s free and it only takes like two seconds and you’ll be joining a group of 27,000 revenue professionals strong.

We’ve got it all. Looking forward to seeing you there. Catch you on the flip side.

Become a RevGenius member today.