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Why The New Path To CRO Is Through Rev Ops

Why The New Path To CRO Is Through Rev Ops
Max Maeder
Why The New Path To CRO Is Through Rev Ops

Today, the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) is essentially a Sales Leader; while the Head of RevOps (who often reports to the CRO), is a Strategy, Technology, and Analytics Leader.

My guess is that in the next couple of years, we're going to see this reporting structure get completely inverted.

As a function, Rev Ops is growing in influence.

👉 It extends well beyond just Go to Market strategy.

👉 It owns Analytics.

👉 It owns Technology & Systems.

👉 And drives alignment across GTM, Finance, Product, and others.Rev Ops is starting to eat into the general Biz Ops function.

It is becoming THE holistic, companywide Strategic Leader.

Not to take anything away from all the CROs out there.

It just seems that the more logical C-suite representative for the Go-to-Market teams would be the Head of Revenue Operations, bringing a broad background across Sales/Marketing Ops, Analytics, Technology, and Financial Planning.

On the other hand, the Head of Sales is uniquely qualified to manage, motivate, and train the Sales organization.

But setting the strategy that guides those efforts requires a very different skill set.

A highly analytical, insights-driven role well suited for individuals that have been developing that craft.

CROs with a Rev Ops Background


CRO: Erica Anderson, ex Director of Revenue Operations at GitHub


CRO: Zhenya Loginov, ex COO at Segment


CRO: Robert Lopez, ex Head of Sales Operations at Groupon


CRO: Tom Siegel, ex SVP Sales Operations at Fuze


CRO: Lindsey Scrase, ex Head of SMB Sales Operations at Google Cloud


CRO: Cathy Hardin, ex SVP Sales Operations at Angi


CRO: Tom Pickett, ex Sales Operations at Google


CRO: Channing Ferrer, ex VP Sales Operations at Hubspot

dbt Labs

CRO: Nicholas Erdenberger, ex Director of Revenue Operations at Heap


CRO: Paul Dickson, ex EVP of Operations at Vivint Solar


CRO: Michael McBride, ex SVP Field Operations at Lookout

And there are many options for Rev Ops Leader's backgrounds

As the Rev Ops discipline matures - both in how it's understood and invested in - we will continue to see it evolve. Based on the relatively new emergence of Rev Ops in general, we still tend to see companies default to hiring Sales Operations Leaders.

In a company that is truly Sales-led, this makes sense given the majority of Go-to-Market Operations are in support of the core Sales team. However, with models like PLG continuing to emerge and the emergence of AI (which is sure to impact the composition of Rev Ops teams in unknown ways), we need to start seeing more diverse sets of experience in the top Rev Ops role.

👉 VP of Rev Ops at 1Password
... comes from a Sales Operations background

👉 VP of Rev Ops at ClickUp
... comes from a Marketing Analytics background

👉 SVP of Rev Ops at Lucid
... comes from a Financial Planning & Analysis background

👉 Head of Rev Ops at Benchling
... comes from a Field Sales Operations background

👉 Head of Rev Ops at Handshake
... comes from a Management Consulting background

Genuinely Curious 🤔

Is it just a matter of time until Revenue Operations Leaders are elevated to the CRO role instead of Sales Leaders? Time will tell!

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