Last week, we joined our friends from RevOps Co-op in San Francisco to co-host a candid conversation on all things RevOps. Our panel was moderated by our very own Co-Founder and CEO Durga Pandey and was stacked with heavy hitters Eric Myll, VP RevOps & Customer Success at Merge; Amy Lin, Sr. Director of Field Operations at Grafana Labs; Andy Mowat, VP GTM Operations at Carta; and Alex Newman, Sr. Director Revenue Operations at nZero

As our panelists made clear, there’s not one straight path that leads to RevOps. Newman got into RevOps during a summer internship in Sales Ops. Myll fell into RevOps via a public accounting background. And Lin, an operations person through and through, started by analyzing supply chains and org operations.

Our panelists’ varied experience also proves there are as many ways to be a RevOps professional as there are companies — from Newman’s background with seed and Series A companies to Mowat’s experience running RevOps at three unicorns to Myll seeing true scale via acquisition and Lin’s self-proclaimed “wild ride” from startups to Okta growing from $60M ARR to over $1B. 

But they’ve all found success and satisfaction solving big problems through the RevOps lens. 

Read on for highlights from the event including the connection between RevOps and pricing, AI’s impact on RevOps, the three things RevOps needs to help amplify, and so much more.  

Subskribe's RevOps in Action panel in San Francisco

What’s so great about RevOps?

Before the conversation got too deep, we asked our panelists to reflect on what they like best about RevOps. 


Newman loves the responsibility that comes with RevOps and supporting a lot of different roles, but what he likes best is the ability to run experiments. “You have a broad mandate in RevOps. You touch all the different GTM teams. You get to run experiments across the board, to see what’s working and what’s not, and why things are successful or not — and then make the necessary changes.”

Challenging assumptions

“My job consists primarily of pushing people out of their comfort zone to think differently,” explained Mowat. “At this level, I enjoy managing people, challenging them to question assumptions.” 

“I’ve always wanted to understand and build efficiencies and systems,” said Lin. “How things work and interact with each other, that’s what I like. In RevOps, you work with people from Product, R&D, Enablement, HR, Security, Finance. It’s a wide-scoped role that keeps you from being pigeonholed.” 

Being a part of the solution

Myll likes the variability, the novel challenges that come day to day, with one constant: “I come to work, and I know what the biggest problem for today or this week or this quarter is. And I’m going to be on the tip of that sword with my team.” 

For Newman, “It feels great to be a part of the solution to something that everyone in the company is suffering from, whatever is the biggest problem at the time.” 

Subskribe's RevOps in Action in San Francisco

The “Right” Org Structure for RevOps

As Pandey noted, “Revenue is still in its teen years as a discipline.” In its “adolescence,” some of the things that are still being worked out is where RevOps sits within an organization, who it reports into, and even what it’s called (for the record, Mowat calls it GTM Ops instead of RevOps).

As Lin notes, “RevOps now would have been business ops historically, but it’s evolved because with RevOps you need a skillset to see fully through the funnel — not just to understand what’s happening in sales specifically but to marry that to what’s happening in marketing, what’s happening in self-service.”

But in her view, “So much of it is a conglomerate of people who support your CRO. The CRO is your partner and your org ends up being the crew that supports this role — strategy, tech, whatever your CRO’s scope is — that’s your focus.” 

Mowat also reports to the CRO but with a dotted line into the CEO because of Customer Success. According to Mowat, RevOps is one of three things: “Tech and tools systems level admin, block and tackling execution, or a strategic lens which helps to define ICP, how to target them, how to get to them, how to surface what's working and what’s not with RevOps experiments so leadership can make decisions around what to do. In RevOps, you’re usually one of those three core things — and those who excel marry at least two of those.”

For Mowat, it’s really important to be a peer to the CRO, CMO, and Chief Customer Marketing Officer because “if I can’t drive decisions across the entire funnel, I fail. I personally wouldn’t take a RevOps GTM opportunity if it didn’t roll up to a leader who could drive decisions, otherwise I would struggle.”

Newman argued that at smaller stage organizations, “To be successful, you need a line into the CEO. In my experience, if I go into a consulting engagement reporting to someone who isn’t CEO, things won’t get done — or they’ll get done more slowly. It’s important to be high up or you just can’t make the same impact.”

Ultimately, where RevOps sits is less important than that “you’re somewhere where you can look across the funnel to solve problems not just in sales and not just in marketing but those intersection points between where a lot of inefficiencies lie,” claimed Mowat. “You need to be able to make quick decisions and drive on them, and empower your team to do likewise. Our job is to amplify our teams and enable them to make the right decisions for the company.” 

RevOps Amplifies Revenue, Efficiency, and Customer Experience

According to Mowat, RevOps is responsible for amplifying three things: revenue, efficiency, and how customers and prospects experience our teams. The job is to make sure all three work. 

  1. Revenue: It all boils down to helping teams to drive more revenue. That’s always first. But as Mowat noted, “It’s not actually my job to drive revenue. I tell my teams that it’s our job to hold everyone accountable to be able to drive revenue.” 
  2. Efficiency: The operational side is the bread and butter of RevOps. How do you do a funnel better? How do you instill more structure? How do you bring in scale roles? 
  3. How customers and prospects experience our teams: This is the one that is most often forgotten. But it’s an important complement to revenue and efficiency. You need to pay attention to identify the pain points, find them, and solve for them. 

RevOps and Pricing

When it comes to pricing and packaging, RevOps doesn’t always get a lot of thought — or have ownership — but they can potentially have a lot of impact because they see it all. 

As Myll notes, “We see all the behavior. We can quickly analyze what’s happening — where we’re discounting and why — and ask if these discounts are purposeful. And then we can go to leadership and propose certain packaging and pricing changes to drive more revenue instead of leaving it on the table.”

When it comes to emerging markets and segmentation, Lin notes that RevOps is responsible for “understanding underpenetrated markets — the calculation and ownership of what penetration ought to look like. Think about putting the earliest products out there for potential fit. And think about the value of the new products. These are all aspects of programs that RevOps is involved in and can influence in terms of pricing and packaging and bring back to the product org.” 

Sums up Mowat, “Pricing can be a lever. I don’t spend a ton of my bandwidth thinking about pricing, but I see a lot of opportunity.” 

Subskribe's RevOps in Action in San Francisco

4 Traits of Successful RevOps Professionals and Leaders 

What makes someone successful in an individual contributor role as well as a RevOps leadership role? 

  1. Curiosity: For Lin, curiosity is key. “So much of the role is being curious about your environment. At an IC level this may be more around how things work technically and how the numbers work, and translating sales talk for other roles.”
  2. Flexibility: Lin also highlighted the importance of being flexible, “In RevOps, your role changes day to day and year to year, depending on the stage of your company. What you’re focused on is wildly different, and the challenges you face are wildly different. In one day, you can dig through a technical Salesforce implementation then shift to the people org to analyze how to structure humans inside the org to set them up for success. And then you may shift gears again to partner with enablement to build out an SDR track.” 
  3. The ability to say “no”: Mowat pointed out that RevOps are always keen to say “yes” to everything, but this often results in getting run over. “We can say ‘yes,’ but the real value is when we say ‘I can only do A or B. If you want me to do them well, which is more important?’ It’s not just core prioritization. It’s saying no and forcing tradeoffs.”

    Newman agreed that “being able to push back against incredibly ambitious and unrealistic targets is incredibly important.” 

    And Myll also advised RevOps professionals “figure out how to say no, even to your CEO at an early stage.”

    For Lin working in tech, “I can often be the only woman or person of color in the room. Early in my career, I cared about being liked and building trust. Somewhere in my early 30s I started to have a meltdown and my manager asked me 'Would you rather be liked, or respected?' I still struggle with that balance and with what can I say that will be respected. But it’s a good mindset.”

    “Yes” may get you liked. But a firm and well-defended “no” will earn you respect. 
  4. Realistic. Make your case…and stick with it: Sometimes, as Newman pointed out, “You need to get tough and break down why things aren’t realistic. The CEO may provide targets to the board to justify their next fund raise, but if you don’t have the right pipeline, it’s not going to happen. AEs will roll their eyes and know they’re not going to close that revenue, and that can be incredibly discouraging for the team. You need to be able to make your case and communicate that effectively in a format that your leader can understand.”

Advice for Getting RevOps Headcount

Growing RevOps teams to do the work can sometimes be a challenge. So how can you get the headcount you need? 

Mowat explained that “you’re never going to get headcount for ops unless the business gives it to you. It’s our job to be able to demonstrate impact. I’m not generally trying to provide the value of my team with metrics — if they don’t believe it, I’m not going to spend my time with it. But if you explain ‘I can do this or this, but not both,' you can force the tradeoffs. And usually they will give you the headcount.”

Newman provided a helpful example of how to force the tradeoffs: “Create a system with requests that go to RevOps. You can look at all of them at end of quarter, bucket them, and see what is going to the icebox — all the critical things that aren’t getting done. Once leaders see this, that can be an effective way to get headcount.”

How to Keep RevOps From Breaking Down

Our panelists offered advice for navigating potential minefields as a company grows and experiences changing priorities and people. 

Mowat warned about onboarding senior stakeholders. “I hold close to senior stakeholders to avoid a big mess. I explain why we have things a certain way and our decisions on tools. But at the same time, you need to be able to listen and move on the priorities of new stakeholders.”

Said Lin, “You need to recognize for yourself and the people around you that someone who was successful at the Series A stage of a company may not be the right person when you’re a billion dollar company going public.” 

And Newman agreed, “When you have initial success and are looking to fill critical roles at the early stages, the biggest mistake I see is bringing in leaders that have been successful outside of a startup. If they haven’t been the first or second or third hire, it may be hard for them to understand what it really means — and what skillset is required — to succeed at this stage. What does the workload look like? What resources won’t you have to do your job? How do you build a brand when no one recognizes you yet?”

Also important for avoiding a breakdown? As Moffat noted, “In a bigger company, you have to hold people responsible for their jobs instead of doing it all yourself or the machine starts to break down.” 

Subskribe's RevOps in Action in San Francisco

AI and RevOps — From 0 to 1

AI. AI. AI. Every business is talking about it, but is AI really coming to RevOps? And what does that look like? 

According to Newman, there are already practical applications, like “using AI to surface and organize information. It’s good at summarizing conversations and then looking across communications to find patterns.”

But Mowat noted their skepticism. “We hear it every day: ‘we’re going to use AI and data to make your tech stack better.’ But every one of those pitches comes back to writing more emails. There will be use cases long term, but right now it’s like the early days of the iPhone before we had an app store. It’s going to take some time.”

Even in these early days, Mowat has been experimenting with AI: “We’ve been playing with it on our form. The idea is rather than pulling data from data vendors we can have someone fill out an email, send a bot to their website, scrape it, then normalize for industry and tech stack, and write that all back in before they fill out the form.”

According to Lin, the underlying logic behind AI and large language models hasn’t actually changed that much since the late 80s/early 90s. But “what has changed is the data that goes into it and our ability to process it. AI opens up the ability to go from 0 to 1 a lot faster.” 

She illustrated this point with a couple of examples. “An AI chat enables you to go from 0 to 1 quickly. You still need someone to monitor it on a regular basis. You still have tickets. But instead of having a dedicated full time person, you can have someone working on support 2-3 hours a day. Similarly, our sales reps love tools that help sync recorded calls into Salesforce, populating things like industry fields. We need this information across the organization, but sales people hate typing things in. So this is another 0 to 1 scenario.” 

Cautions Lin, “We’re still early in the conversation though. There’s potential, but you still need to have eyes on it.”

RevOps Today and Tomorrow

According to Myll, the interesting things will happen when we start to innovate around “what are the net new things that we can do with AI that we don’t do today versus just using AI to replace repetitive tasks.”

With or without AI, RevOps will continue to innovate and evolve and solve the biggest problems of today — and then the biggest problems tomorrow. Thanks again to our fantastic panel (and awesome engaged audience) for joining us for RevOps in Action.