Revenue Operations

Roundtable: Amplifying Black Voices in RevOps

Last month, we sat down with four Black thought leaders for our Amplifying Black Voices roundtable. Now you can read the top highlights from our discussion and view the live video on-demand.

Amplifying Black Voices in RevOps

When it comes to the RevOps industry, there’s a definitive lack of BIPOC voices. That’s why we sat down with four Black voices in the RevOps Co-op community, so we can amplify their experiences and inspire others.

We spoke with the following Black leaders in RevOps:

Briana Yarborough

Briana is a trailblazing RevOps Leader, co-founder & CROO of CModel, who serves as an advisor, fractional CXO for several high-growth start-ups, a speaker, educator and mentor! She most recently received recognition for being one of the top 25 RevOps Leaders of 2022 by Revenue.io and a Top RevOps Voice by Everstage.

Briana is a passionate DEI champion who spends as much time impacting change in our communities as possible. She’s served as the first Chair of ERGs and DEI task forces at a number of the organizations she’s worked and served as the the Learning and Development Chair at a company with over 15,000 employees.

Asia Corbett

Asia is Senior Revenue Operations Manager at Bread, a large FinTech company. She is an outspoken advocate of RevOps in all forms, and a frequent contributor here at RevOps Co-op. What drove her to join the roundtable was so other young women could see people who look like them on the screen. It’s hard to visualize yourself as a leader in RevOps if you aren’t able to see people who look like you represented there first.

Marc Belgrave

Marc is the founder of Growth Robot, a consultancy for revenue scaling. He started as a developer, then became a sales engineer and individual contributor in sales for about 15 years before falling into RevOps and all things surrounding sales. He’s passionate about helping increase the velocity of sales and the acceleration of that velocity.

Teasha Cable

Teasha Cable is Co-Founder and CEO at CModel, a revenue intelligence company. Working while Black is a unique experience, and one that is often misunderstood. Teasha’s experience as a Black woman in the workplace includes moments of feeling invisible, underrepresented and overworked.

Defining RevOps

How do our thought leaders define revenue operations?

“It is the discipline that empowers your revenue generating teams, and how we do that is with business processes, well designed systems, oversight, reporting, and analytics insight and enablement. All of those things that support the entire go-to-market team underlying the buyer’s journey to allow those people to bring in more revenue.” — Asia Corbett

“It’s really about building the business, being the glue and the foundation for everything that happens and goes on in that organization. RevOps is a very complex function, and it is very different at all types of business. Every business model makes it their own for what they need to be able to develop a revenue engine that gets them progressing and moving in the right direction. We’re talking strategy, process, data analysis, technology, people. You really have to be a special type of person to be in a revenue operations position.” — Briana Yarborough

“I see RevOps in a few different ways. There’s the technical side of what we do. You’ve got process, technology, tools. There’s tying together different groups in the organization: sales, finance, customer success, product. Then there’s this passion place. There’s problem solving, barrier removing, and truth telling. All of those things are what it means to me. There’s the work in itself, and then there’s what the work actually reveals about an organization and where they’re going.” - Teasha Cable

“I think of RevOps as everything that increases the velocity of sales and the acceleration of sales. Velocity is like distance traveled per unit of time. So, if you’re increasing the velocity of sales, you’re looking at well, what did we do last month? What did we do last year, and how are we doing relative to that? We want that number to be bigger…so to me, that’s everything that enables sellers to sell more and sell faster.” — Marc Belgrave

Diversity in Employment

According to Teasha, Black people make up 13.9% of the US population and 13.4% are part of the workforce, meaning that the vast majority of Black Americans are working. Which calls attention to the larger problem: What kinds of work are they doing? 

“There are 8.5 million Black women in the workplace. 80% of them are in non-business roles. We talk diversity in the workplace, having been a part of the 1.6% of Vice Presidents of anything in the US, We have to know that: Diversity in the workplace is an issue to be solved with more opportunity.”

“When I think of diversity in the workplace, I think of nothing but opportunity. Give people opportunities, and you will have diversity in the workplace.” — Teasha Cable

“As I scroll through the people section of a company on LinkedIn, I want to see an array of leaders that represent various races and backgrounds. I want to see rainbow symbols in their headline. I want to see a variety of human life, that’s what diversity looks like, that’s what really matters, and that’s what I think ‘good' looks like.” — Briana Yarborough

“Diversity, when it’s done right, means you have a variety of people with different perspectives and those perspectives come from naturally different experiences.” — Marc Belgrave

Careers Paths and Biases

“It’s really hard and it’s othering and isolating and you want to be there, and there’s a certain part of you that may feel scared of getting fired. Because of some things that leadership do or say particularly around a lot of the Black Lives Matter movement . . . I thought I was speaking in a safe space, and it wasn’t a safe space. . . I feel at times in my career that my race has definitely held me back.” — Asia Corbett

“I had a plan for my career. I was doing everything the way that it was supposed to be done in order for me to make it from point A to point B. There were career ladders already established. My reality turned into a career ladder that became null and void for me, I had two more stops before I made it to point B, and they were lateral moves that required me to pick up and move my lifes . . . to remote areas in the nation off to myself, doing major things for this organization, saving them millions of dollars as I jumped through their hoops. I observed someone go straight where I was at my point A straight into point B, because they didn’t look like me. And I was furious. I was promised over and over again . . . your help is going to be rewarded, and we’re going to recognize you. I never received that reward, I never received that recognition and wasted 3 years of my career in their hamster wheel convinced they’d be true to their promises” — Briana Yarborough

Then, at another company, Briana encountered even more abuse and roadblocks. 

“I was actually working in the finance department. I have visibility into everything, and I’m running reports and we’re thinking about leveling at our organization and looking to see across the board, how much people are getting paid and seeing the disgustingly intentional gaps of wealth between people based on their gender and race. I found out someone that was in the same role as me as a Director was making $50,000 more than me, and I was gaslighted for three months, being told they were going to change it. Don’t you worry about it. It never changed.” — Briana Yarborough

“I went for an interview at Salesforce. My resume went in, my name is fairly white sounding. There’s two interviewers, a Southeast Asian lady who was the hiring decision maker and an Israeli guy . . . This guy loved me in the interview. The lady was not in the interview. She walks in, takes one look at me, her face changed . . . and I was like, wow, she’s not having any of this, any of me, and I don’t know why. It was literally just visual. Now, looking back, I’m like oh, that was probably racial.” — Marc Belgrave

“The job of operations in itself is hard. It’s a thankless position. No one jumps up to say, oh the operations team is doing amazing. No matter how good it really is. The minute the data starts to tell a narrative that people don’t want to hear, it’s really a problem. So you pull all of that together, and that has been my experience. I have never been promoted without a fight. I got where I was going. I’ve operated at high levels in organizations, served as an executive. No one ever handed me any of that.” — Teasha Cable

Growing the Black RevOps Community

Having role models that look like you is extremely important to everyone. But for Black professionals, it rings even more true. So much of their time is spent as a token or as the only person of color in the room. Being a trailblazer is exhausting, on top of an already energy-zapping profession in  RevOps.

Providing opportunities for people of color in RevOps is one of the only ways forward. And to grow the profession takes allyship and time. That’s why many of our speakers joined the roundtable, so they could show firsthand that there are Black people in RevOps leadership, and there is room for Black people in revenue operations.

To hear more of the roundtable discussion, view the video here (---link to video)

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