The Principles of a Revenue Architect With Jeff Ignacio

Recently I was able to sit down with Jeff Ignacio, the OG Revenue Architect and one of our amazing Syncari Advisors, on his history in RevOps. He's an evangelist of Ops pros everywhere, through various channels such as his podcast and LinkedIn. His courageousness is infectious, so take some time to delve into our interview and see how you could develop both your personal brand and career this year.

If you’re in RevOps, you’ve likely seen Jeff Ignacio’s posts on LinkedIn. A quick perusal of his profile reveals a veritable treasure trove of operations knowledge, from his two cents on Ops trends to tactical tips that practitioners can apply right away. Jeff’s commitment to helping RevOps professionals perfect their craft makes him one of the most sought-after operations leaders in the field.

Currently, Jeff is a Sales Ops wiz at Amazon Web Services, the host of the Revenue Architect Podcast, and a trusted advisor to us at Syncari. Join me as we dig into Jeff’s mind; we discuss the role of enablement online, the power of a principled ‘Revenue Architect,’ and the importance of being courageous as you build your Ops reputation.

Nick Bonfiglio: You helped coin the term ‘Revenue Architect’? Who are they and what sets them apart from other leaders?

Jeff Ignacio: My friends at SalesQ and I coined the term when we launched the podcast. I like to think of the Revenue Architect as the Spider-Man of operations. They can be anybody who accepts the responsibility and principles of the Revenue Architect. They can be the salespeople at a mature organization. They can be the marketers building a demand engine. They can be the founders growing a go-to-market organization, or doubling down on product-led growth.

What are the principles of a Revenue Architect?

I often forget things, so mnemonics help me a lot. I use F.A.S.T. to help me remember the principles. The F.A.S.T. principles can help any leader — like founders, SalesOps, or MarketingOps leaders — refine their own personal work processes, and in turn, build better internal processes.

  • Focus: When a Revenue Architect is focused, they are solving the right problem, not every problem. They are growing enablement as they scale to fix inconsistencies in their processes. Like a practiced golf swing, they know when to straighten their backs, tighten their grip, and shift their foot stance to get further on every swing.
  • Alignment: Operations folks are obsessed with alignment. The Revenue Architect knows intimately that creating an aligned, harmonious team is just as important as the processes and systems we build. They need to go beyond team meetings and cross-departmental working sessions to invite your GTM teams to share their vision and goals. Alignment is about getting the overall business objectives tied into the micro-goals within each function.
  • Simplicity: Don’t build a Rube Goldberg machine. Build for simplicity and repeatability. Your future self will thank you.
  • Teamwork: Early in your role, you may be a team of one. It can be stressful to act as the singular point of failure. Teamwork allows you to build consensus and share risk (and reward). Revenue Architects never underestimate how important the knowledge of a trusted group can be.

You’re in something of a public enablement role. Why do you share your Ops wisdom online?

Sales and marketing is a profession of apprenticeship. If you’re lucky, you study in the field and learn from great sellers and marketers before steadily upskilling.

In the case of operations, there is no established path laid before you. There is no common college degree; it’s a school of hard knocks. And as a result, employers are having a hard time finding qualified professionals to fill Ops roles. That’s why I started sharing my expertise.

There’s a tremendous appreciation for folks like me, sharing their experiences on LinkedIn, hosting podcasts, and writing newsletters. I write on my own experiences and what I’ve heard from those I’ve advised and mentored. This community of knowledge-sharing is highly valuable for those starting out, but also for leaders who are growing as operations best practices change. This community has led me to startup advisories, speaking roles, and career opportunities, all from sharing my journey on LinkedIn.

How do Ops pros share their experiences online and get noticed?

Remember that your brand is your reputation and your reputation is based on your impact. Be courageous. Be bold. Posting on LinkedIn may not seem courageous, but our efforts have a tremendous ripple effect in this community. We are creating, solving, building, and teaching one another. I think sharing my experiences will be helpful to someone; whether it’s successful or not is out of my control.

My top three pieces of advice are simple but hardly easy:

  1. Focus on the work you’re doing at your organization and kill it.
  2. Learn from your work and share those lessons.
  3. Don’t overthink it.

You don’t have to have a shiny public brand to help others. If helping people is what you’re passionate about, the speaking engagements and the career opportunities will find you.

What’s something even Ops pros don’t often realize about their profession?

We are actually customer service. Most folks think about Ops as a technical profession for those who enjoy building models, creating systems, or defining repeatable processes. But it’s so much more than that. We are customer service reps and product builders. Those products are utilized by our go-to-market peers so they can build a sustainable revenue engine.

Think about it: If you had that mindset — of your dual role as customer service to your colleagues and product builder of their needs — how would your processes shift? How would you serve them better? You’re building for your internal audience so they can be excellent for your external audiences. Shift this mindset and watch your measurement of success become a measurement of your GTM teams.

What’s a unique career path for a RevOps leader?

Talented folks are now moving into these VP of RevOps roles, but I actually see a clearer path. For those who are keen, I think they’d make phenomenal sales leaders. We assume that CROs, VPs of Sales, and sales managers are super-reps. I don’t think that’s the case. People who can grow companies to scale, create the right processes, build the right systems, and uphold culture are the right kind of sales leaders. You can find many incredible leaders in the RevOps space to fill those shoes.

In fact, I’d say COOs and leaders of organizations themselves could be picked right from the best RevOps leaders I know. There’s no better way to think about building a business than the folks who know how to scale it. So, why not RevOps for CEO?

Want more wisdom weekly from Jeff? Follow him on LinkedIn.

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