Who’s Really in Charge of RevOps at a Tech Company?

Most tech companies appreciate the importance of RevOps, even if they are confused by how to define it. That said, very few organizations are fortunate enough to have at least one dedicated person in that role. In fact, 27% of respondents in our survey said that NO ONE is leading revenue operations at their company. That begs the question: Who the heck is actually in charge of RevOps at software and technology companies?

A dedicated RevOps expert

In our survey, a lucky 15% of software/tech organizations had a specific CRO (Chief Revenue Officer), Director of RevOps or other similar title. This is obviously the best-case scenario since that person will not have to split his/her time doing tasks outside the realm of revenue operations.

Even though that means the other 85% of respondents didn’t have a specific person in charge of RevOps, here’s who they’d love to hire in the future…someone to:

  • “Coordinate between marketing, BD and sales for alignment across programs. Work internally with programs and operations team to ensure efficiency in campaign build-out and development. Must be a big picture thinker—looking at the organization as a whole and finding areas for improvement.”
  • “Own funnel data and optimization opportunities.”
  • “Track inbound leads and continuously follow up with salespeople to make sure they're recording contact info in CRM and following through on the sales process.”

Someone in the marketing department

In our survey, 19% of software/tech companies said that someone in marketing is the primary leader of revenue operations.

Why this is a good idea:

  • The traditional marketing funnel has shifted into a “flywheel” model, made popular by HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan. This concept blends marketing, sales and service into one continual process; if marketers can embrace that philosophy, then revenue operations is a natural extension.
  • Good marketers are innately curious and like trying out new pieces of technology.
  • Marketers get frustrated when leads they pass off to sales don’t become customers. This is the perfect opportunity to have a hand in the whole sales cycle vs. just the top of the funnel.

Why this could be a bad idea:

  • Marketers are usually focused on getting leads and helping sales turn them into customers; shifting to the “delight” mindset needed to retain and grow current customers may require an adjustment.
  • While marketers love technology, if there isn’t a native integration (or at least a Zapier automation!) they can get frustrated that stuff doesn’t just “work.”
  • Some marketers are definitely more creative and won’t have the mindset to dig deep into metrics, especially for KPIs that aren’t directly tied to marketing.

Someone in the C-suite

In our survey, 15% of software/tech companies said that someone in the C-suite is the primary leader of revenue operations.

Why this is a good idea:

  • The executive team doesn’t have loyalties to any one department; they are concerned with the success of the company overall.
  • People in the C-suite tend to have a solid understanding of operations, meaning they are well-suited to oversee the process, platform and people needed to make RevOps actually work.

Why this could be a bad idea:

  • Leadership can be hyper-focused on financials (the end result) and not see challenges at an individual level since they are further removed from day-to-day work.
  • If executives are more senior in their career, they may not understand the latest and greatest technology platforms…or the work required to integrate everything.

Someone on the sales team

In our survey, 4% of software/tech companies said that someone on the sales team is the primary leader of revenue operations.

Why this is a good idea:

  • If a sales team is also involved in a customer success role (e.g., following up with clients post-sale, negotiating contract renewals, etc.), then they already grasp the flywheel model necessary for revenue operations.
  • Sales is all about the numbers; this innate desire to drive revenue is crucial to RevOps.

Why this could be a bad idea:

  • If sales has traditionally focused on just closing deals, what happens to a lead before they’re involved or to a customer after they’re involved isn’t a top concern.
  • If a salesperson has aggressive goals in terms of deals closed, RevOps can fall to the bottom of the priority list…especially at the end of the quarter.
  • Sales isn’t traditionally the most tech-savvy department at a company and often has to be reminded to properly use systems to document activities.

Someone in technology or development

In our survey, 4% of software/tech companies said that someone on the tech/dev team is the primary leader of revenue operations.

Why this is a good idea:

  • RevOps requires integrating different platforms to ensure data integrity. Since our survey found that only 34% of tech companies are able to rely solely on native integrations, that responsibility is going to fall on this department.

Why this could be a bad idea:

  • At SaaS companies, the development team is likely tasked with creating the actual end product. This means internal tasks like RevOps will be at the bottom of their priority list.
  • A technical person may care more about systems integrations and performance than the user experience; they would need to involve other departments in the process of picking platforms to ensure end-user adoption
  • Developers aren’t traditionally savvy in marketing or sales.

It’s a shared responsibility

In our survey, 15% of software/tech companies said that people in different departments share the responsibility of revenue operations. With all of the different skill sets required for RevOps success, this is probably the next best option to having a dedicated CRO…as long as everyone has clear responsibilities and deadlines to keep the process moving along.

No one is responsible…

As mentioned in the intro, the most popular answer to “Who is primarily responsible for RevOps?” is actually, “Uh, no one?” with 27% of the vote.

If you fall into that category, know that you’re not alone…but our agency can help! As a digital marketing agency, Kiwi Creative also specializes in sales enablement, technology (especially HubSpot) and revenue operations for growing B2B software and technology companies. Check out some of our client work to learn how we can help you, too.

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