It's Q1 2024. Everyone has an opinion on how things will progress, but none of us can predict if the Fed will reign in interest rates or who will win the next presidential election. Wars and rumors of wars continue to disrupt the lives of many of my friends. Things seem to be in a tumult of flux.
How then, are we to run a business?
There’s been a tremendous amount of noise around the Rule of Forty (Ro40), Net Revenue Retention (NRR), and other metrics by which to measure success. They look great on paper but without a fundamental mind-shift across the ecosystem, I’m not sure they will have the effect investors and executive teams desire.
In a post “SaaSacre” world, key guiding principles must be applied consistently, which can help buoy a ship in many a storm. These are the RevOps trends, or areas of focus, I see for 2024:
- Driving Profitability
- Fixing the things that matter
- Focusing on Customer’s Perceived and Actual Value
3 Areas of Focus For 2024
Profitability is the most straightforward demand, but requires the greatest mental gymnastics for those who have feasted in the times of zero interest rates.
SaaS, unlike almost any other industry, and completely foreign from Main Street, has relied on capital infusions like steroid boosters to get by.
In this new world, we’ve seen an incredible amount of layoffs. Yet there have also been an incredible amount of new roles created.
This means that new skills are required for where companies are going in the future. RevOps has grown from about 5,800 people in January of 2022 to over 150,000 today. Director of RevOps is the fourth fastest-growing role in America today, according to LinkedIn.
In order to be effective, the RevOps team of today needs to:
- Understand the trends in data
- Provide insights from that data to the executive leadership team and board
- Understand the ecosystem of tools
- Consolidate spend on tooling
- Drive enablement of end users
- Maintain data governance
The task seems herculean when typing it out.
What then? Give up? Go find another job where the same issues exist in abundance?
I say we refocus on the tasks that are actually needed to drive profitability — aka fixing the things that matter.
It’s clear that the modern operator is overworked. There is a continual flurry of help tickets, requests, fire drills, board prep, things breaking — and the never-ending vendor spam that just clutters up the inbox (RIP Gated).
All of these things keep most VPs and Directors of RevOps playing defense, hiding behind a bulwark, unable to surface for the breath of fresh air that would allow them to focus on the strategic initiatives that will deliver a meaningful improvement.
I was sitting at lunch with Jeff Ignacio and Anne Pao this fall and we were lamenting this very reality. Not enough RevOps pros can articulate an argument for strategic realignment and expectation setting with their stakeholders.
It’s impossible to do everything that they’re being asked to accomplish. Giving 120 percent week in and week out for quarters on end is not feasible. It's a recipe for burnout and will cause long-term harm to both the individuals and the companies we’re trying to build up. Instead, go to your leadership and lay out reality.
Given those constraints, there will naturally be tasks that must fall by the wayside. Agree on the prioritization and if there are things they must have that fall outside of possible, suggest sourcing additional budget for more headcount or outsourced help for those large rocks.
If you need support, join one of the great communities where you can keep learning. WizOps, RevOps Co-Op, Pavilion, and MOPs Pros are all great places to meet people dealing with similar challenges. It doesn’t have to be so lonely.
Strategically, learn how to read a balance sheet and how to help your GTM counterparts understand the signs things are askew in the data.
The more foresight and understanding you can bring to the table, the more trust will be built up. That’s how you earn a spot at the table.
3. Customer Value
RevOps lives in the intersection of people, data, processes, and technology.
As such RevOps can be the greatest ally in helping drive the right feedback loops from the various parts of the company.
Just as the heart takes blood from the heart and pushes it to the far reaches of the brain, fingers, and toes and back again; so too does RevOps spread the data, insights, and concerns from the customer journey from department to department to drive unity of thought and purpose throughout all.
RevOps Is Poised For Growth
The demands facing today’s revenue leaders are immense, but despite the doom and gloom, I believe there’s a clear path forward that may generate the most profitable and sustainable businesses we’ve seen yet.
- Despite the news of layoffs, RevOps roles are increasing. Skills needed to be successful in RevOps, like understanding data trends and reporting to the board, are more critical than ever.
- RevOps is taking on more and more, but the most successful businesses will have leaders who ruthlessly prioritize what matters. Focus 80 percent of your time on day-to-day tasks and 20 percent on the future strategic roadmap.
- As always, focusing on the customer will generate the best business results. RevOps teams are uniquely suited to provide strategic insights that drive customer value and keep executive teams focused on the ultimate goal.
I’m excited for RevOps to grow as a function this year. I truly believe RevOps leaders are the most equipped to drive business growth, and I look forward to helping everyone see through the macroeconomic climate and focus on applying their skills to drive meaningful change.