Revenue Operations / RevOps Career Path: What It Is & How to Get Started Business & tech by Jen Ribble September 28, 2023 Let’s get you on a RevOps career path! Revenue operations (or “RevOps”) is currently the fastest growing job in the US, according to a recent jobs analysis report from LinkedIn. Compared to traditional corporate functions — like sales, marketing, human resources, and finance — revenue operations is a relatively new field. As a result, it’s not yet widely understood — so figuring out how to break into this growing career path can be difficult. In this blog post, we’ll dig into the emerging field of revenue operations. We will also provide guidance for anyone looking to explore a rev ops career, including: The definition of revenue operations—and how it differs from sales operations The benefits and challenges of revenue operations Common rev ops team structures, job titles, and job descriptions Salary information for various rev ops roles Options for building a revenue operations career path Tips for starting a rev ops career and honing your skill set What is revenue operations? While there’s no universal definition of the term “revenue operations,” the primary focus of rev ops is aligning sales, marketing, and customer success operations across the entire customer lifecycle. The high-level goal of any rev ops team is to increase revenue and drive sustained, predictable organizational growth through improved operational efficiency. Not long ago, revenue was considered the sole domain of the sales team. But in recent years, companies have begun to recognize the importance of maximizing every revenue opportunity throughout the customer lifecycle. This includes not only the initial sale, but also cross-sell and upsell efforts, contract renewals, and customer retention — because each of these has a direct impact on the bottom line. As a result, these forward-thinking companies view the end-to-end revenue process as a cross-functional effort that involves the entire organization — primarily go-to-market (GTM) teams like sales, marketing, and customer success, but also legal, finance, fulfillment, and more. At the same time, today’s organizations have more customer data at their disposal than ever before. This influx of data creates tremendous opportunities to extract meaningful insights and fine-tune business strategies (if you have the right technology for reporting and analytics). But prolific data also makes it more difficult for sales, marketing, and service teams to stay aligned toward a common goal — especially when they each have their own systems and processes. These two fundamental shifts are driving the growth of revenue operations. In fact, research in the book Revenue Operations found that 90% of organizations are actively changing the way they align revenue teams, processes, and operations. What does a revenue operations team do? In general, the efforts of a rev ops team are organized around key factors like people, processes, technology, and data. Their area of responsibility includes tasks such as: Evaluating company policies and business processes with an eye toward operational efficiency and improved performance Breaking down silos and keeping go-to-market teams aligned so the company can scale its revenue efficiently and consistently Removing obstacles that prevent sales, marketing, and customer success teams from delivering an exceptional customer experience and generating revenue Enhancing workflows and improving cross-functional engagement by analyzing data from a variety of sources Procuring, implementing, and optimizing software platforms and technology to support revenue generating departments Providing ongoing training and enablement to ensure all employees know how to use the required technology and follow established processes Revenue operations vs. sales operations You may hear the terms “revenue operations” and “sales operations” used interchangeably, but they’re actually quite different. Sales operations is a traditional approach to business that’s focused on top-line revenue from new customer acquisition. Its goal is to maximize revenue through improvements to the sales process. By contrast, revenue operations takes a more holistic view of revenue that spans the entire customer lifecycle. It encompasses not only the initial sale, but also ongoing revenue opportunities like renewals, expansion through cross-sell and upsell, and even customer retention. As a result, revenue operations is focused on the entire revenue-generating organization — including sales, marketing, customer success, support, fulfillment, legal, and more. As a business function, the revenue operations team is responsible for aligning and optimizing the processes, systems, and data that are needed to support the end-to-end revenue lifecycle. Put simply, sales operations is about optimizing sales team functions so they can sell more efficiently and effectively. Revenue operations is about keeping cross-functional efforts in lockstep to make the most of every revenue opportunity. The benefits and challenges of revenue operations Now that we’ve defined what revenue operations is, let’s explore why it’s important. An effective revenue operations function improves countless processes along the entire revenue lifecycle — and creates a critical link between top-line sales, profitability, and customer experience. With proper execution, revenue operations can deliver significant competitive advantages. Some of the most common benefits of revenue operations include: More effective collaboration Improved transparency across teams Increased alignment on strategic objectives and priorities Cost savings resulting from improved operational efficiency A consistent, cohesive customer experience Increased customer retention and long-term loyalty More strategic, data-driven decision making Faster sales cycles and higher win rates More predictable, predictable pipeline and revenue growth That said, revenue operations is not without its challenges. While rev ops functions are well established, they can be difficult to execute as an integrated process. Large, complex organizations often treat the underlying responsibilities (like sales, marketing, and customer success) as separate, unrelated concerns of independent departments. As a result, processes within the revenue lifecycle may become disjointed, inconsistent, and reliant on disparate tools and data sets — creating the need for a dedicated revenue operations function. Revenue operations as a career opportunity The rise of revenue operations has spawned a whole new category of job titles and career opportunities. In fact, LinkedIn’s 2023 jobs analysis report found that “Head of Revenue Operations” is the fastest growing role in the US. As of September 2023, a quick LinkedIn search returns more than 14,000 open roles in the US with “revenue operations” in the title. Job titles for these rev ops roles include: Revenue operations specialist Revenue operations analyst Revenue operations manager Director of revenue operations Vice president of revenue operations Revenue operations coordinator Revenue operations data specialist Revenue operations leader Revenue operations associate And many more According to the LinkedIn report, the top locations for rev ops hiring are traditional tech hubs like San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. Gender distribution for rev ops positions is more balanced than in the broader tech industry, with 36% of roles occupied by women and 64% by men. Rev ops professionals typically come from other functional business areas like sales, marketing, or business operations. The revenue operations team structure The revenue operations function has become far more important in recent years, as companies take a more holistic approach to revenue generation. With the increased acceptance of remote work, GTM teams are more geographically dispersed than ever before — creating an elevated need for alignment and cross-functional visibility. In the absence of a dedicated rev ops team, these groups often operate independently, with their own systems, processes, and data sets. While the need for revenue operations is becoming more apparent, rev ops is still an emerging field. This ongoing evolution means there’s no single, widely accepted way to structure a revenue operations team. Most companies start by hiring a revenue operations leader, with a title like “director of revenue operations” or “VP of revenue operations.” This leader’s mandate is to align sales, marketing, and customer success teams — as well as the technology, data, and processes that support those go-to-market teams — to gain better control of the overall revenue lifecycle. From there, the options for structuring the rev ops team are virtually limitless: In smaller companies and startups, the rev ops function may remain in the hands of a single person, who reports directly to the CEO. Medium-sized companies often start their rev ops hiring with roles that are tied to specific teams, like sales operations, marketing operations, etc. The rev ops org chart in these companies may look siloed, but collaboration within the rev ops team will help to break down barriers and ensure cross-functional alignment. Large, complex organizations may have a larger, more complex rev ops team, with multiple levels in the reporting structure. Individual roles within the team may be aligned to a specific functional area (e.g., sales, marketing, customer success) or a strategic initiative (e.g., technology, process, data, reporting). However the revenue operations team is structured, it’s important that it remains separate from the existing sales, marketing, and customer success teams, so it can act as a unifying force within the GTM organization. The rev ops leader should typically sit on the same level in the corporate hierarchy as sales and marketing leaders, in order to maximize alignment and drive strategic conversation. Common revenue operations roles and job descriptions Just as there’s no universal definition for “revenue operations,” job descriptions within the rev ops function tend to be a bit of a moving target. As we’ve already seen, there are many different ways to structure a revenue operations team — which means rev ops job titles and job descriptions often differ from one company to another. Additionally, revenue operations roles are constantly evolving as organizations optimize the systems and processes that support revenue generation. That said, here are some of the most common job titles in the revenue operations career path, along with a brief description of their responsibilities. Revenue operations specialist: Oversees key tools and technology for sales, marketing, and customer success. Collaborates with cross-functional teams to ensure systems are meeting the needs of all constituents. Revenue operations analyst: Works with complex, often disorganized data to extract key insights that help drive strategic decision making. Requires a strong understanding of data and analytics, especially as they relate to sales and marketing. Revenue operations manager: Investigates and evaluates all current sales processes, performance metrics, and pipeline analytics. Recommends improvements and assists with implementing those changes. Director of revenue operations: Leads change management initiatives to increase visibility and maximize revenue. Recommends organizational changes to increase productivity. Maintains relationships with internal stakeholders and external partners. Vice president of revenue operations: Develops vision and strategy for the revenue operations team. Establishes processes and systems to be implemented throughout the organization. May also take on responsibilities of the CRO, if the organization doesn’t have one. Chief revenue officer (CRO): Unifies systems, data, and processes across departments (sales, marketing, customer success, finance, enablement, etc.). Involved with pricing, renewal, and retention strategy. Grows company revenue through a combination of people, technology, process, and data. Revenue operations salary guide Revenue operations is a highly skilled function that can add significant value to an organization. As a result, rev ops roles tend to be well compensated. Of course, pay will generally increase as you progress through a revenue operations career path. A revenue operations manager salary, for example, will be significantly lower than a vice president of revenue operations salary. Following are some data points to help you understand the salary potential for various revenue operations roles. According to Glassdoor.com, the average salary for rev ops professionals in the US are as follows: Job title Average salary (US) Revenue operations specialist $68,253 Revenue operations analyst $73,925 Revenue operations manager $88,533 Director of revenue operations $137,650 Vice president of revenue operations $183,854 Revenue operations technology firm SetSail reported the following salary data in their 2023 RevOps Salary & Career Guide: Job title Average salary (US) Revenue operations specialist/Senior revenue operations specialist $80,000 Revenue operations manager $94,000 Director of revenue operations $120,000 Vice president of revenue operations $169,000 Chief revenue officer $226,000 Keep in mind, these numbers are only averages. Salaries for any revenue operations role can vary based on a number of factors, including geographic location, industry, company size, years of experience, and seniority within the organization. In addition, many companies supplement their compensation packages with bonuses, equity awards, 401k matching, and other benefits — so base salary alone may not tell the whole story. How to get started in revenue operations Because revenue operations is still an emerging field, there’s no college curriculum or degree to help you get started. Most rev ops professionals begin their career in sales, marketing, customer success, or business operations. Others find their way to rev ops through a technical or data-focused background. After that, it’s typically a matter of on-the-job training. In general, rev ops professionals are process oriented, data driven, and tech savvy. They tend to be big-picture thinkers who are comfortable in a constantly changing environment. Companies hiring for a revenue operations role typically look for skills like: Extensive knowledge of the GTM tech stack, including customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, marketing automation solutions, forecasting software, and reporting & analytics tools Experience with setup, implementation, and optimization of sales and marketing software Proven experience designing cross-functional processes and workflows for GTM teams Deep understanding of how to organize, unify, and analyze disparate data sets from across the organization Strong communication, project management, and cross-functional collaboration skills Analytical thinking and detailed problem solving Honing your revenue operations skill set According to LinkedIn research, most people moving into rev ops roles come from other go-to-market functions like sales, marketing, or customer success. But if you’re transitioning from another functional area, it can be challenging to demonstrate how your experience has prepared you for a rev ops career. As you apply for revenue operations roles, make sure your resume and interview responses highlight relevant skills like: Data analysis and statistics Software implementation Process design Reporting and data management Technical proficiency with CRM, spreadsheets, and other systems Communication and collaboration Problem solving and critical thinking Marketing, sales, or customer success Of course, the most critical skills for each rev ops role are different. For individual contributors, technical skills like process design and software implementation are often the most important. For leadership roles, you’ll want to focus on more advanced, high-level skills like business alignment and strategy development. If you need to fine-tune your skills or bolster your knowledge in a certain area, online courses and certification programs are a great way to go. Online communities like the RevOps Co-Op and Pavilion offer resources, educational opportunities, and networking events to help develop your career skills and build a professional network. You can also listen to some of the many available rev ops-related podcasts. Navigating the revenue operations career path Revenue operations is a complex field with many different areas of focus. As a result, a successful career in revenue operations doesn’t have to follow a strict, upward path. Your rev ops career path may move laterally, up and down, or diagonally as you pursue different areas of interest and learning opportunities — rather than being preoccupied by job titles or management responsibilities. In a nutshell, the typical revenue operations career path is anything but typical. And because of that, you can define what success looks like to you and align your path with that vision. When you’re looking to take the next step in your rev ops career, think about what kind of role best suits your interests, skills, and strengths. These tips may help you envision your unique rev ops career path: Become an expert. While there are many options in a rev ops career path, it’s a good idea to start by focusing on one area — whether that’s sales operations, marketing operations, etc. Learn everything you can about your chosen discipline, strengthen your skills, and become the go-to expert in that niche. Build your reputation. You want to be known as a dependable teammate, and someone who always gets the job done. The best way to do that is by consistently hitting your deadlines, delivering high quality results, and taking ownership of your work. Sharpen your communication skills. Your written and verbal communications should convey your message clearly and inspire confidence from your stakeholders. Keep your communications concise and focused and use data to support your point whenever possible. Target your message to your audience, whether you’re speaking to a C-suite executive or a group of your peers. Accept new challenges. Whenever possible, look for opportunities that align with your interests and abilities. But at the same time, don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. New experiences will allow you to expand your expertise and grow into your next role. Make your own opportunities. Don’t wait to be handed your next assignment — look for opportunities to make the business better, and then come up with a plan to make it happen. This ability to think outside the box can be a big differentiator as you look to shape your career path. Optimize every customer touchpoint with Insightly CRM At Insightly, we understand the importance of supporting the end-to-end revenue lifecycle. That’s why our CRM platform is designed to optimize customer interactions at every touchpoint. With Insightly’s modern, scalable CRM, you can better understand your customers’ needs, personalize communications, and respond to requests faster. Our unified customer platform provides a single place for all your customer data, so every team can see a complete picture of each customer — their interests, preferences, interactions, purchase history, and more. This means better alignment between sales, marketing, and customer success and a more personalized experience for your customers. Insightly’s automation and workflows help you streamline your processes and improve operational efficiency across the entire revenue lifecycle. And Insightly is the only CRM solution that offers robust customization, advanced reporting, and powerful dashboard functionality — all on a shared data platform. Our simple, scalable solution aligns cross-functional teams for better decision making and a seamless end-to-end customer experience. Want to learn more? Get started with a free trial of Insightly CRM today, watch a demo on demand at your convenience, or request a personalized demo to see how our solution can help your company achieve its business goals. Customer relationships | Marketing Automation | Marketing KPIs | Revenue tracking | Sales & Service Alignment | Sales Force Automation | Sales KPIs | Sales management | Sales process | Sales team | Startups | Trends Jen Ribble Jen Ribble is a marketing veteran with more than 20 years of experience, specializing in B2B SaaS. After a decade creating content in-house for top marketing technology firms, she launched her own marketing content agency, Jen Ribble Writes.