In Paris, France, Ramy Atassi of Livestorm has seen RevOps take the US by storm. While European companies may not quite adopting these practices at the same pace, he’s not letting that hold him back. He’s got great plans, a positive perspective and the view of Paris isn’t so bad either.
“We do not have a RevOps title (in our org),” he says. “But that might be very well (coming) in the coming months.”
With the title of Sales Operations Lead, Ramy reports to the head of sales and explains that the two other go-to-market teams he works alongside are marketing and growth.
“And to this, I would add the finance team which we cooperate and work a lot with for everything linked to revenue recognition and invoicing,” he says. “We are a team of three today. And I work a lot with the Head of Growth and Head of Marketing for everything linked to generating leads and closing opportunities.”
Even with a title (Sales Ops Lead) that is nominally tied to Sales, Ramy’s got RevOps activity under his umbrella. He works to support his internal customers while also supporting external customers who lead to ongoing revenue.
“It’s more the topics of advice, proactivity and bringing ideas to the table in revenue operations,” he says. “Whereas Sales Ops originally is much more focused on everything administration and answering requests. It’s much more on the passive end.”
And if you were to speak to Ramy, you’d immediately know that his role is far from passive (just like he is far from passive!).
He sees sales being in need of a greater amount of structure, creation and processes than other roles in order to fulfill their responsibilities as immediate generators of revenue. Everything needs to be in place in order for the sales team to sell.
“To solve the issue of sales, you check what adjacent teams are doing that impacts the work of sales,” he explains. “Marketing roles for lead generation, finance for everything and more on how you structure the bigger deals and maybe I’d add customer care because we have a team supporting the client on a day-to-day basis.”
Although his title has the word sales in it, he’s not in a sales job, but he does serve as an advisor to large enterprise-level clients.
Livestorm was created in Paris, France (not a bad birthplace really) and is headquartered there but is gradually testing the waters across the ocean. Growth has been strong for the team-oriented video platform over the last two years.
Not surprising really. Did anyone do ANYTHING without video conferencing in the last two-and-a-half years?
So, timing was good and growth has kept pace as companies embrace new and better ways of working.
The team at Livestorm is at about 150 with around 50 people on the go-to-market teams. With a huge self-serve channel, Ramy explains that sales came about later in the evolution of the company. France is still their biggest market, but the US is a growing focus.
“For many in SaaS, it’s really the way to go when you want to go big,” he explains of expanding into the US marketplace. “And apart from France, there is a strong presence in Europe in general.”
“I think the US is much more mature in terms of tooling,” he says. “They have many options to use tools. They have a much easier way to enrich data, for example.”
Plus, as Ramy mentions, the term RevOps has existed (primarily in the SaaS space) for more than a decade in the US, but in Europe and particularly in France, it’s only in the last few years the title has begun to be defined.
“Maybe you had some CRM admins, but the position of RevOps, you don’t have companies with the same positioning,” he explains. “I’m seeing this across people doing similar jobs to me. It’s not as defined as it could be.”
RevOps is coming forward in Europe, but it’s in the same place it was several years ago in the US.
It should come as no surprise that selling in North America is quite different from selling in Europe. Call it cultural adaptations or regional differences, the approach is distinctly its own.
“In Europe, making sales, we have to sell a bit differently,” he explains. “So, you have to adapt the process. Everything outbound in Europe, for example, it’s not a habit like it is in the US. People won’t do this kind of phone calling, or don’t do this kind of aggressive approach.”
Although it may be a softer sell, Livestorm is gaining ground by learning from US practices. Especially when it comes to RevOps.
“We definitely get inspiration from US companies; the standard that we aim for in terms of structure, creation and database analysis.”
Instead of relying on hunches, assumptions and old-fashioned methods, there is a greater application of US practices in terms of sales and go-to-market techniques.This is giving the company a strong set of footholds in the market.
Often we hear how those in RevOps come to their careers from diverse backgrounds and Ramy is no exception. He did a masters of finance then worked in a private equity firm before moving into a consulting role. He was in a much more corporate realm than a tech realm.
“Then I had a desire to build stuff on my own and be the owner of the topics I was working on,” he explains. “So I just did.”
He took a coding bootcamp course and joined a start-up before COIVD began. He switched to join Livestorm during the pandemic.
“I think RevOps is a perfect fit for people who like this kind of analytics,” he says. “You’re more in a doer mindset because you still analyze a lot but you’re really more hands-on, more active as a builder of stuff and not just someone from the outside analyzing.”
Ramy spends a great deal of his time with his counterparts in other departments throughout the week. He says that marketing and growth are obviously key partners as is the sales manager. But, he adds that finance and customer care also play a role in his day-to-day discussions.
Some departments are more aware of what he is able to provide, but he advises that it takes time to switch others from the mindset of his being a support person. He works at it but enjoys the interactions with those departments that make space for having a dialogue and value his ability to provide advice.
“It takes time, definitely,” he says. “You are always pressured to do things so the requests that allow for greater RevOps engagement take a step back. But no one will give you the time to take a step back if you don’t take it.”
He sees RevOps as evolving similarly to how product manager roles developed.
“We didn’t have that much data in the past and I think RevOps is the parallel of the product managers,” he explains. “It’s really building the product actually, which makes people make the company more forward.”
He says it’s about creating the roadmap. That’s where the parallel exists. A roadmap to prioritize initiatives and synchronizing data will make projects much more precise and intelligent.
“It takes time,” he says. “It takes time for the creation of something, it takes time for the ramp up. You really have to be familiar with the process.”
About the Author
Ramy is a results-oriented Sales Operations professional, with competencies in: Business Reporting, Process Creation, Salesforce Administration, Compensation Planning, Sales Enablement, Quota Management, Deal-Desk Administration, New Hire Onboarding, Territory Planning. His past experiences include Private Equity and Strategic Consulting.
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