What Does an Ops Leader Do? A Day in the Life

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Operations is the unseen force behind a company, propelling it forward to success. Since a lot of it happens behind the scenes, if you’re not in ops, you may wonder, what do ops teams really do, or what’s it like to be in ops?

To give you an inside perspective, we spoke with Brad Smith, an 8-year RevOps leader who’s the Co-founder of Wizards of Ops and CEO & Co-founder of Sonar.

“Salesforce”

Brad, what does a typical workday look like for a RevOps leader?

No day is ever the same in RevOps. You’re constantly working cross-functionally across your go-to-market teams, like sales, marketing, customer success, and finance. This means you never spend an entire day working on just one department. You’re always thinking cross-departmentally while managing the constant stream of pings, Slacks, and emails of requests from your go-to-market team members, leadership, and end-users.

How do you proactively focus on strategic work instead of getting caught up in reactive tactical work?

It’s all about prioritization. To be strategic, you can’t let tactical work consume your day. But, this can be hard when your backlog of Slack requests is piling up quickly, and things are breaking left and right.

It comes down to knowing when to say “yes” and when to say “no” to a request.

A good way to decide if a request is a strategic use of your time is to determine if it will drive a key outcome for your company–like increasing revenue. If you answer “yes,” then take on that request to continue moving your strategy forward.

What’s challenging about being an ops leader?

The biggest challenge is keeping an open line of communication with every part of the business.

Often, there are significant gaps in communication between teams. You have to bridge that gap by being overly communicative. Focus on helping everyone better understand what other teams are working on, managing workload distribution, and creating opportunities for collaboration.

To streamline efforts across your teams further, consider bringing in a Change Intelligence platform, which can help you centralize accurate systems information, improve collaboration, and prevent information gaps.

Let’s dig a little more into Change Intelligence. What is it, and how does it help ops leaders?

Change Intelligence is total situational awareness of the impacts and dependencies necessary to manage complex technology confidently.

Change Intelligence solutions guide the art of how to design, implement, and iterate processes that accelerate revenue.

Change Intelligence gives ops leaders context into the “why” behind the changes we make. It helps you take a more systematic approach to change management, providing an understanding of all the moving parts, so you can solve problems the right way, not just tactically.

Why do you think RevOps is important?

RevOps is the glue that holds a company together. It transforms disparate actions into cohesive efforts, aligning teams to work together towards success. There’s no centralized source for data or a clear picture of your entire customer journey without it.

RevOps helps teams build and enforce processes. Without the right processes in place, your company won’t be nearly as successful as it could be.

How do you continue growing in your career?

Find mentors and get involved in communities (like Wizards of Ops), where you can collaborate, network, and learn from other ops professionals. As you build relationships with community members, ensure you’re always open to feedback, unafraid to ask for help, and willing to share your experiences.

Do you have any advice for Salesforce Admins looking to make a change to ops?

Start by taking a more ops-centred approach to your current role. Apply an ops mindset by asking “why” more.

For example, when your boss asks you to build or change something, ask “why” multiple times. By taking the time to investigate the “why,” you can dig deeper into the request and fully understand the business need behind it. Having this deeper understanding helps you ensure what you build entirely solves the need.

What do you foresee for the future of ops?

Over time, technology rapidly increases in complexity. It’s advancing so quickly that it’s nearly impossible for the people administering the tech to keep the same pace. To stay on top of technology’s advancement, companies need to grow their ops teams while filling in remaining gaps with technology, like a Change Intelligence platform.

Summary

Ops is a fast-paced work environment that requires you to be nimble, a problem solver, and a big picture thinker. If you’re considering making the transition to ops, join the Wizards of Ops Slack channel to connect with others who have made the leap.

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