Demystifying RevOps, the Siva Rajamani way

Numbers in their absolute form are just meaningless digits.

But, when sliced and diced with context, they can tell stories of growth, slowdown, success, misfires, efficiencies, challenges, and whatnot.

Coming from a consulting background, Siva Rajamani is someone who has lived most of his career with numbers. He is currently the Co-founder and CEO of Everstage, the SaaS platform that helps simplify sales commission management. 

Before co-founding Everstage, Siva led the RevOps function at Freshworks. In the SaaS community, he is well known as the guy who set up and built the RevOps engine at Freshworks. 

He scaled the RevOps org from being a one-person team to a 25-member org. The RevOps org has played a vital role in helping Freshworks become the unicorn that we know it as today.

At the recent SaaSBOOMi Growth 2022 event, Siva gave us a quick in-depth introduction to RevOps. By the end of the session, most startup founders were better off than just knowing the term RevOps.

To quote Venkat Krishnaraj, who is the co-founder of Klenty and the session manager of the RevOps for Growth event, 

“Driving revenue is increasingly complex for GTM organizations.” 

It is common knowledge that data can help with revenue optimization. But, there are definite challenges that need to be conquered. To begin with, the sheer volume and variety of data. 

At an SMB level, there is an explosion of data from all corners. Leads, pipelines, closures, and levers that contribute to these include website traffic, visitors to lead conversion, lead to customer conversion, etc. Handling the sheer volume and variety of data makes it difficult to make informed decisions.

Also, it is not practical for a founder to do such extensive number-crunching. As the business scales to new heights, there would be a need for a dedicated org that can pull in data, disseminate it, and finally handpick insights out of it. It is here that RevOps comes into the picture.

So, what is RevOps?

RevOps (Revenue Operations) is a relatively new term, and function that was introduced to the business fraternity during the past 5 years.

Revenue Operations (RevOps) offers a unified view of sales, marketing, and customer success. Ultimately, it leads to creating better use of data, technology, and processes to enable a SaaS business to grow faster. 

The case for Revenue Operations (RevOps)

A typical organization SaaS consists of individual orgs and functions with specific targets/goals attached to them. 

For eg: revenue for sales, pipeline generation for marketing, churn and product adoption for customer success, etc.

While individual orgs must have their targets to chase, each organization might get siloed as the business scales. Siloed orgs will soon start running their tracks focused on achieving targets set for their org.

This division of efforts between critical functions will drag the GTM org in different directions. As a cascading effect, inefficiencies will creep in, processes will slow down, and growth will suffer. 

“In SaaS, sales, marketing, and customer success functions cannot be in silos. They should work in unison.”

It is here that Revenue Operations (RevOps) steps in and acts as a hub that gives a unified view of sales, marketing, and customer success. 

The difference between Revenue Operations and analytics 

and why Revenue Operations (RevOps) folks are not just data nerds

Although Revenue Operations (RevOps) involves a lot of number-crunching, it cannot be limited to analytics alone. It is much more than that. 

Revenue Operations (RevOps) helps with revenue optimization by pulling in data from diverse sources. The data so collated is analyzed to create insights about business performance, revenue growth, churn, capacity utilization, capacity planning, etc.

So, does that make Revenue Operations (RevOps) folks data nerds?

Revenue Operations (RevOps) folks are not just data nerds. They are uniquely talented individuals who can connect the dots between people, processes, and data. 

They have in-depth knowledge about business logic, can make sense of data, and are also process-centric at large. 

As the SaaS space continues to expand, the need for Revenue Operations (RevOps) talent is also skyrocketing. There are currently 6,000+ Revenue Operations (RevOps) positions open in the job market.  

Startups and even some traditional business verticals are looking out for Revenue Operations (RevOps) talent. 

How and when to hire RevOps talent

As someone who scaled the Revenue Operations (RevOps) function from scratch, Siva’s pointers can help you make the right choice when hiring for Revenue Operations (RevOps) talent.

1. When should an SMB hire for a Revenue Operations (RevOps) role?

For an SMB & mid-market-focused company, about a 1 Million and above is a good time to start hiring for Revenue Operations (RevOps). An ideal person could be a junior analyst who can support the VP of sales. 

2. When should an enterprise hire for a RevOps role?

Since enterprises have bigger deal sizes and longer sales cycles, it would be better to wait longer after the 1 Million mark.

3. What traits should an ideal RevOps personnel have?

An ideal candidate would be someone who has an analytical bent of mind. Someone can pull in data from various sources and make sense of it. An individual who is process-centric can introduce a structure to everything. Most importantly, someone who can be comfortable with ambiguity. 

4. Where to find RevOps talent?

Consulting companies are good hiring grounds. Primarily because consultants possess the prerequisites to become Revenue Operations (RevOps) professionals. 

The Bottom Line

Revenue Operations (RevOps) is a relatively new practice. It is so new to the next that even the vast majority of the highly-talented startup founders at our recent SaaSBOOMi event had heard of the term but had not got an opportunity to understand it in detail. 

Thanks to Siva, Revenue Operations (RevOps) is no longer an alien concept to most SaaS founders. 

After all, it is the mission of SaaSBOOMi to pay it forward to the SaaS startup community by bringing knowledge, mentorship, and intel easily accessible to SaaS founders. The Revenue Operations (RevOps) for Growth session at SaaSBOOMi Growth 2022 was one such interactive session that upheld our mission. 

About the author

Ganesh Narayan

Growth Marketer at Freshworks
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