What do the best revenue operations candidates have in common, as a hiring manager?
As one of my early mentors thought me, hiring is the most important thing I can do as a leader. Hiring high caliber individuals is the best predictor of success of a team.
When hiring for new Rev Ops team members, we fundamentally look for candidates who demonstrate two traits:
Distills complex data into a "so what".
Understands cause-effect relationships.
Natural problem solver.
Challenges the status quo.
Focus on what matters.
Comfortable in making tough calls.
A few years ago, my team produced a video in which I talk about the target Rev Ops profile.
Common traits are resilience, collaboration, and the ability to communicate effectively. I am sure these can apply to other roles as well. Also, I see all these as learnable skills that can come with practice and experience.
- Resilience: Rev Ops is a job where there is never a dull day. Priorities will shift quickly, and fires will happen frequently. There will be times when you are dealing with emotional stakeholders and receiving complaints, or things did not turn out the way that was planned. A good trait is an ability to recover and bounce back from hard days, not take things personally, and move on to the next right thing.
- Collaboration: Rev Ops is a cross-functional role where you cannot do everything independently. You will have to work with your operations team members but also outside of your team, including Sales, Finance, Business Systems, Marketing, Legal, etc. Team members who support cross-functional partners fully when they can but can set boundaries the right way to protect your team's energy will always be a delicate dance you need to do.
- Communicating Effectively: Every role in Rev Ops will need to be understood well by your stakeholders, whether it's getting a decision made with the Sales team or submitting a requirement to the Business Systems team. When a team member can communicate well, it reduces misunderstanding and the need to run multiple cycles. Communicating includes everything from talking in a meeting to sending an email and slacking a message to someone. The more concise and clear the communication, the more influential the work can be.
Understanding the importance of Churn, topped with the ability to manage Churn. Churn is the greatest destruction of value for most SaaS companies…and people significantly underestimate it.
We are experiencing the first significant economic headwinds since SaaS became mainstream. Companies that can efficiently retain their customers during significant economic headwinds will be the ones that survive (and hopefully thrive).
To be able to do that, you need people who understand Churn as well as they understand Growth.
I've hired many RevOps professionals with diverse backgrounds. But they all have several things in common:
- They are smart. RevOps can get complicated and you need smart people who can keep up.
- They are quick learners. It's rare to hire individuals with practical RevOps experience. As a result, you need to find people who can learn quickly and make an impact.
- They are analytical. Goes without saying, but a big component of RevOps is data/analytics. Need analytical thinkers thatvnot only can provide data, but provide insights into what the data is telling us.
- They are problem solvers. RevOps in a fast-growing company is full of new challenges. Need people who can think creatively to solve problems and help the business scale.
- Positive energy: the capacity to GO with relentless passion and a positive attitude. This sets the tone for others, sparks energy, and creates a culture of winning together.
- Ability to execute: Everyone wants the word "strategy" in their title; however, I like to surround myself with doers too. Find people who want to charge any hill (their idea or not).
- Comfort working at all levels of the organization (from interns to execs): Folks with composure in all situations and who operate with low ego can fill any gap within a team.