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Revenue Operations

Transitioning into RevOps: Tips Along the Journey

Talking to Eric Steeves, Fractional CRO at 21knots, You can instantly feel his passion for understanding the entire story of an organization and the tech that helps it succeed.

We sat down with Eric and talked about everything from his journey into RevOps, what he sees as the skills and knowledge needed in order to help make the transition into a RevOps position, and the resources out there to help make that happen!

Eric’s Journey to RevOps

Eric’s journey started all the way back in college where he used one of the very first automated dialing systems to ask people, “Do you have time to take a quick survey?”

“So I had to learn that clucky green-screen DOS tech stack with dial-up momentums, while also converting like nobody’s business on the phone.”

From there, he found himself helping businesses grow in a position that many people find themselves in the early stages of their marketing and sales careers:

“I started to have companies hire me as kind of a business development person - somewhere awkwardly between marketing and sales, not really fitting into either place. But luckily, I was good at it.”

Can you guess where this is going? ;)

After helping a couple of companies in the junk removal space grow and learning a ton of technical skills in sales and marketing along the way, we jump to the late 2010s when Eric was on his way to launching a Salesforce agency. He realized what he was actually being asked to do wasn’t to be a Salesforce Admin, but to do business analysis and consulting about use cases and outcomes. 

“It wasn’t until late 2019 that I had even heard the term RevOps, and I figured out that was what I was actually doing. And that is when I began to become laser focused.” 

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before! 

But in all seriousness, you can see from his story that Eric has been on a long journey to now thriving as a RevOps consultant and expert. What is interesting about his story is that it is one that many people have also had - starting in a position in marketing or sales and noticing early the importance of being able to connect all the dots within an organization to get to optimal output from their systems and processes.

Many professionals didn't know it at the time, but they were the leaders in this beautiful and crazy world that we call RevOps today! 

The important skills and things to know to get a head start

What we know for sure about getting into RevOps is that everyone's background is a little different. Some come from sales backgrounds, others from marketing, and you might even have a background in something like operations or product development. 

No matter where you started, RevOps can be the place for you if you have the right skills! Over the course of our chat with Eric, three skills just kept coming up time and time again and they are great lessons in being able to grow your Revops career.

  • Networking

If we had a dollar for every time that Eric brought up the importance of networking… Well, we’d at least be able to get a nice, large Starbucks coffee! 

“It is one thing to be able to say ‘here’s my experience and here’s who I have worked for.’” It’s an entirely different story to have someone else say ‘here is someone that you need to know.’”

We are going to talk about one of Eric's favorite communities to help build relationships and your network, but just know that joining one is his number one tip for anyone looking to get into the RevOps ecosystem. 

We see it all the time in our own community how impactful getting to know other people, seeing the problems they run into, and providing value to other people can be.  Making sure that you are helping and talking with others can lead you to many new opportunities you might have never known about before. 

  • Change Management

One of the skills that Eric credits back to his sales background is understanding how change impacts people within the organization.

“It is important to remember that every piece of tech has a person behind it and that person has their own unique thoughts and feelings. That’s why a skill like empathy is so important.“

What a great point to bring up by Eric here. We all get so lost sometimes in our tech stacks and all the useful features they provide that we forget about the people actually using it and how it impacts their workflows and processes. Having a good change management mindset lets you take these types of things into consideration when making decisions. 

  • TQ (Technical quotient)

One of the resources that Eric finds most valuable (also listed below) is a book called Tech Powered Sales, which introduced him to the idea of technical quotient or ‘TQ’. Here is how Eric defined it when asked to explain it in simple terms:

“Learning how to have judgment about the complexities of how tech can impact your efforts.”

The example used here was imagining that your job is to send sales emails to prospects. You might be focused on creating the best copy and subject line, but what you are not thinking about is whether or not your messages are going straight into a spam folder or if you are getting false flags that your email has been opened when it might not have been. 

These are the things that RevOps professionals that see the most success are able to develop and spot easily and quickly within a process.

  • Knowing how you provide value

A topic that we discussed with Eric is how broad the topic of RevOps actually is. Because of this, there are a lot of different ways to come into the RevOps ecosystem and provide value. To Eric, this self-awareness is crucial to your success.

“You should be able to be specific about what you add value to in RevOps and communicate that value effectively.”

Knowing where your strengths and weaknesses lie and how you think you would best fit into the puzzle of RevOps is the big first step that many need to take in order to make a successful transition. What are you good at? How can you provide value? What are the things you don’t know yet that you should focus on? All great questions to ask yourself right out of the gate.

What do you think? Do you possess these skills? Which one do you think needs the most improvement?

Resources and communities that he recommends

We closed our conversation with Eric asking for some recommendations for resources every person who wants to be a RevOps professional should look into.  Here are some of his top picks when it comes to learning centers, communities, and books that he thinks you need to know about. 

Learning Centers

Communities and Networking Groups


What is Eric's final message?

“The most important thing is to find and follow your ‘north star’. Figure out where you want to go and start to find the steps that you can take to get there.”

Looking for more great content? Check out our blog and join the community.

About the Author

The word Rōnin literally means "wave man". It is an idiomatic expression for 'vagrant' or 'wandering man' - someone who finds the way without belonging to one place. A samurai who serves the world, not one master.

Eric Steeves is a full cycle sales veteran in B2B and B2C services. Expert in multi stakeholder sales and reducing sales friction. Trained in incident command. Effective in uncertain environments as a leader and a force multiplier. Focusing on go-to-market strategy, community building, revenue operations, partnerships, customer acquisition, customer experience, execution, and change management.

He is platform agnostic, client focused, human centric, and capable of scaling success with a tech stack.

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