Making the wrong first hire to your RevOps team can be an expensive mistake. The first step in adopting RevOps should be understanding what your options are. Below we break down common RevOps job titles and the all too common mistakes that startups make when hiring for RevOps.
What is Revenue Operations?
Revenue Operations is the science of Revenue Growth. To grow revenue, you need a mix of the correct people, process, and technology.
A RevOps professional is someone who helps find that mix and ensures your GTM engine is running as efficiently and effectively as possible.
What does a Revenue Operations Analyst do?
A RevOps Analyst / Specialist is an entry level role. This can either be a generalist position (tends to be the case at startups) or more of a specialist position focused on one of the following aspects of RevOps.
Areas of Specialization:
Internal GTM Enablement & Documentation
Because this is an entry level role, the people who tend to take these jobs are typically moving from a Business Analyst, Sales / Marketing Individual Contributor Role. They typically will understand 1 aspect of the business but not the business as a whole. They function best with clear direction on what to do and need guidance on how things should / shouldn’t be done.
When a startup hires a RevOps Analyst, they are typically making a mistake. Especially if the startup is hiring this person as their first RevOps hire. They may be a smart person but the actions that this person does / doesn’t do has the ability to affect the entire GTM engine. Startups typically want to hire someone in a RevOps Manager skillset but post the job as a RevOps Analyst in order to justify a lower salary. This often backfires and you end up with a CRM admin who doesn’t know the best practices.
A good parallel is the Associate Product Manager position. These roles at Google, Microsoft, etc are filled with some of the smartest recent grads. But you wouldn’t hire that same person to lead the Product team at your startup.
What does a Revenue Operations Manager do?
A RevOps Manager is an intermediate level role.
A RevOps Manager understands all aspects of a business and how the different departments interact with each other. More importantly, this person understands the data structure of the business and how the various GTM tech tools interact with each other. This person is at minimum a Power user in either HubSpot or Salesforce CRM. If they are only a Power user and not an expert, they’ll likely need some assistance from an outside firm to make sure the foundation is solid. This is fine if the RevOps Manager is particularly skilled in the other areas of specialization.
This person is able to work cross functionally with Sales, Marketing, and CX to prioritize and execute on initiatives.
This person is also able to bring data and insights to the leadership team to help inform business decisions.
In an optimal scenario a RevOps Manager has a team (1-2) specialists underneath them to help execute and distribute the workload. Otherwise they end up spending a large percentage of time on CRM admin and enablement work.
What does a Director of Revenue Operations Do?
This is typically someone more senior. At this level they likely understand the CRM and how to architect things but have not been involved in the day to day work in some time.
This person works closely with the COO, CRO, and CFO. There are a couple different personas that might get to this position. This person could come from a finance background, or from a Sales Ops / RevOps background.
A Director of RevOps is responsible for vision setting, strategic planning, and roadmapping of the initiatives that their team will execute on. At a startup, the Director of RevOps should be a part of all executive strategy meetings. They bring a bit more experience than a RevOps Manager and are able to help prioritize initiatives accordingly.
Their ultimate goal should be building out the GTM and RevOps team. They will be involved with forecasting, comp plans, pricing, and a variety of other RevOps related responsibilities. However their end goal should be understanding their organization’s goals, and what people, processes, and pieces of technology do we need in place to achieve that goal most efficiently and effectively.
Another mistake that startups make is hiring too senior for their first RevOps hire. If you hire a Director of RevOps and give them no resources to help execute the work, you are setting them up to fail. They will be tasked with high level strategic problems but again spend their time on low level admin work. Or worse, they have no time to dedicate to a solid data structure and pulling any accurate insights / reports out of your CRM will become impossible.
What should my startups first Revenue Operations hire be?
Startups first RevOps hire should be a RevOps manager. Hiring too junior to save money means you lose the strategic side of RevOps. Hiring too senior puts your company in a tough place where you have to prioritize a solid data foundation vs the strategic planning they were hired to do.
A true RevOps Manager who meets the above criteria is the sweet spot where startups will see the most benefit.
From 1-50 employees, 1 RevOps Manager should be enough. As you scale beyond that you’ll want to hire 1-2 RevOps Analysts / Specialists to assist in the work.
But RevOps Managers are expensive! By the time you can afford to hire one, you’ve already established bad habits and missed out on data that will make scaling harder than it needs to be. Build a solid foundation by investing in RevOps early. If you’re not ready to invest in a full time RevOps resource, look into Fractional RevOps teams. This article breaks down the difference in hiring a Fractional RevOps team vs an in-house resource.
SonaMation is the only Fractional RevOps team dedicated to startups. We’ve crafted 3 packages to help companies at different stages of their RevOps journey. Schedule a free RevOps Audit, to do a live walkthrough of your HubSpot instance and discuss the various levers available to help scale your business.