Operations: How to take the right risks to become a strategic partner

As a Revenue Operations professional, you likely know where the tech stack bodies are buried. Remember that software you had to integrate “right away” last summer? How about that report functionality that took days to build, but hasn’t been looked at since? Or last week when your team member insisted that the integration stopped… integrating?

Operations roles are too often viewed as implementation or support arms of broader teams like Sales, Marketing or IT. However, when everything is running smoothly, it’s fairly invisible to the organization.

What is the current perception of Operations?

  • Firefighters: Fix a technology problem created by any part of the organization, after they have tried unsuccessfully to fix it themselves.
  • Software Installers: Implement software that a department purchased. “We Bought “X” software and it needs to be up and running by the end of the week.”
  • Reaction-based: A services organization to react to problems, rather than proactively identifying areas of improvement and preventing problems.

 

How do you change it?

The old saying of “dress for the job that you want instead of the one that you have” really applies to Operations. If you want Operations to play the same strategic role as other departments in your organization, you need to take on some of the responsibilities that they do regularly so that you are seen in the same way. (Watch out Sales and Marketing!)

Our current economic climate presents a golden opportunity for Operations since companies are struggling with budgets and headcount. That is typically achieved through making processes more efficient and relying more on technology to take over repetitive tasks.

Below are a few examples of ways to increase your value to the organization:

  • Analyze the Sales process and identify what parts can be made more efficient. Examples include entering data, segmenting prospects by engagement, qualified, etc., and automating follow-up tasks. Then, present those findings to leadership, including a proposal on how to address issues you’ve uncovered.
  • Build a 12-month Operations plan. You likely have received requests from all across the organization for help. Consolidate and prioritize those items into a plan with budget, necessary resources, and anticipated results. Most other departments do this level of planning, and so should Operations.
  • Interview the Sales, Marketing, Product, and IT teams to understand if there are challenges they have been struggling with that Operations can solve with establishing processes and/or technology. Tying Operations’ initiatives directly to pain points is a great way to show you are proactive and will help change the perception.

 

In summary, as an Operations expert, you are in a unique position to understand challenges across the organization and are able to provide solutions that individual departments may not have the view to even consider.

I would love to get your thoughts on specific challenges you’re having or other ideas that you’ve used to successfully get a seat at the table. If you need someone to talk through your challenges we are all ears.

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