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Revenue Operations

A CRO’s Perspective on Why Yesterday’s Playbook Doesn’t Work

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VC money is drying up and growth-at-all-costs is dead in the water. It’s time to throw out yesterday’s playbook and adapt. Hear from our panel of CROs as they discuss what’s driving this shift, how the goalposts have moved, how to structure operations, and where to make your bets in 2024.

Say bye bye to yesterday’s playbook. In 2024, CROs need to drastically change the way they engage with customers, market their products, and manage their sales teams. Neel Kamal, CRO at BoostUp, Cliff Simon, CRO at Carabiner Group, and Greg Davis, CRO at Markmonitor, share advice on how to tackle today’s challenges.

Factors driving a shift in your playbook

“Buyers are smarter and more educated than they ever have been. Today, maybe 80% of the sale is over before you even talk to the prospect.” - Cliff Simon 

When it comes to external factors that are influencing our GTM playbooks, the only option is to try to understand them and reposition ourselves in sales conversations. Today, buyers already know what they want by the time you hear from them so start engaging early in order to influence their decisions. 

Internally, we need to organize our teams to do more with less. New data shows that 17% of reps are generating 81% of revenue. Ask yourself: is it better to have a small team that is happy, successful, and hits quota or is it worth it to build a larger team that can carry an increased cap?

Moving the goalposts

“A cultural shift that is here to stay is that every deal is important. No deal is too small.” - Neel Kamal

Throw out the concept of a hero culture, where sales leaders focus on the reps who are carrying the largest deals. Instead, pay attention to every deal that’s realistic. New logo deals just aren’t as big as they used to be and land and expand is more important than ever. 

Today, you have to grow while maintaining margins. We can’t ignore the cost of acquisition (CAC) anymore; the VC money is no longer flowing. That means revenue retention is more important so double down on customer success. 

GTM Structure & Operations

“Direct acquisition is not producing the same output as before. Pivot to partners, ecosystems, and M&A.” - Neel Kamal

Historically, revenue teams have underutilized partnerships even though these relationships can be tremendously helpful from a cost equation perspective. They don't cost a whole lot in marketing but can produce significant revenue results. 

Make sure you have the RevOps coverage you need. At Carabiner Group, Cliff has 27 RevOps people across an 800 person company. At BoostUp, Neel says that everyone is de facto RevOps. Any work that’s revenue related falls under the operations umbrella.

Placing Your Best Bets and Experiments

“We’re doubling down on intimate sessions and having small conversations that are less focused on the sales pitch and more focused on best practices and networking.” - Greg Davis

Try hosting more small, in-person events like roundtables and workshops that create high quality conversations and a chance for people to learn from each other. Buying dinner and expecting prospects to sign isn’t enough right now. Aim to proactively deliver value to customers as a way to generate revenue.

Internally, push sales to win fast and disqualify fast. Clean out aging pipeline so you can focus on servicing ideal customers better. Enable your reps to understand your data and why it matters. Finally, measure and question everything. 

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