3 minutes

How to get a seat at the table as Revenue Operations

Last week, I talked to a RevOps expert who wanted to become VP.

As someone who has hired RevOps people to VP roles, I started to think about how it happens.

It’s easy to say that to get promoted you need a seat at the table.

But in my experience, to get a seat at the table, you need to deliver one of three things:

  1. How to save the company money
  2. How to make the company money
  3. How to do both (ideally)

Unless you’re managing a lot of people, you won’t be invited to the high-level discussions by default. You need to prove that you need to be there.

Think about it like this. The CEO sits in the room with the executive team and is now pitching to the rest of the executives why you should be there. What are they going to say?

Oh, we really need that Salesforce insight. Oh, they know Marketo inside and out. Oh, they can pull up ad-hoc reports while we talk.

You need to give that person a reason that it would be stupid not to have you. And I’m sorry, but being a tooling expert is not gonna cut it.

Even if the CEO is enlightened and likes you and promises to give you a seat at the table, it will be tough for them not to look stupid.

So what should you do instead?

My solution has been to be the one in the room that actually understands the revenue engine end to end. One that understands what happens if we change something over here and how it’s going to impact the rest of the engine.

Sales leaders will talk about pipeline forecasting (and probably complain about leads).

Marketing will talk about campaign planning and lead generation.

The CFO will talk about revenue and CAC payback.

But the RevOps person is the one that can basically say, wait a minute, that’s how all these things hang together.

But if you’re only associated with tooling and naked data instead of the bigger story and how it connects, it’ll be harder to prove to people why you need to be there.

At the end of the day, It’s not that you get the promotion and therefore you get into the room. It’s that people say you should be in the room, therefore you get the promotion.