Revenue Operations

RevOps Manager vs. Salesforce Admin: What Does Your Company Need?

Lee Moskowitz
Director of Growth Marketing
Table of contents:

Revenue operations is the talk of the town. 

LinkedIn named “Head of Revenue Operations” the number one “job on the rise” in 2023. According to Google trends, interest in “revenue operations” has nearly doubled in the past five years. 

Companies are catching on to the fact that it’s difficult to staff a robust enterprise sales team without also investing in the foundational operations required to generate ROI. 

However, many companies are still finding their footing as they build their first revenue operations team. Some organizations try to conflate Salesforce admin work with the responsibilities of a RevOps manager. While the roles may share certain responsibilities, they are different functions that require individual dedication.

Jared Robin, co-founder of RevGenuis, said “RevOps is still nebulous for many organizations. In some, it’s just CRM administration. Other organizations still have silos between sales and marketing ops. RevOps is a cool new name that companies are trying on, but many still need to do more work to make it work as actual RevOps.”

What do most companies get wrong in the early stages of growing their RevOps function? 

According to Jodi Hrbek, author of “Rock Your Role as a Salesforce Admin,” companies often have unrealistic expectations when they hire their first Salesforce administrator, thinking a junior-level admin will suffice.

As Salesforce has become more complex, Hrbek said it’s important to understand that there is a highly technical aspect of the revenue operations systems, and there’s a strategic side as well. For a growing organization, it’s hard to find someone who’s going to be able to excel at both, but that’s certainly the goal.

“If you're going to get your money’s worth out of Salesforce, it has to be something beyond a fancy pipeline tracking tool. To set the company up for success, you need a technology-minded person. And the people who think about the tech side of things aren’t always the same people who have expertise or interest in sales and marketing.” said Hrbek. 

So as you’re considering which role your company needs right now, it’s critical to understand the difference between hiring a Salesforce administrator and a revenue operations manager. From experience to scope, we’ll cover the distinctions between these two job descriptions so you’re sure to set your new hire up for success. 

Here’s what you need to know about RevOps managers and the Salesforce admin role.

What does a revenue operations manager do?

A revenue operations manager is a strategic leader responsible for aligning a company's sales, marketing, and customer success teams to drive revenue growth. This individual plays a critical role in helping businesses achieve long-term success by optimizing the process of generating revenue. 

Some specific responsibilities of a RevOps manager include developing and implementing a revenue growth strategy, identifying and prioritizing revenue-generating activities, tracking the effectiveness of these activities using metrics and KPIs, and using data and analytics to make informed decisions. 

Revenue operations, supported by the right tech, can also help ensure that the company makes the most of its resources. They do this by working closely with the sales team to provide them with the tools and training they need to be successful. In addition, a RevOps manager monitors the market and industry trends to identify growth opportunities and adapt to changing conditions. 

The goal of a RevOps manager is to help businesses achieve sustainable, long-term revenue growth. Overall, the purpose of revenue operations is to align and optimize the various teams and processes that contribute to a company's revenue generation to drive growth and maximize the return on investment. It’s also worth looking at top RevOps leaders and agencies that can provide value for your company.

What does a Salesforce admin do?

A Salesforce admin is an IT professional responsible for managing and maintaining a company's Salesforce CRM system. This individual plays a critical role in ensuring that the system is used to its full potential and runs smoothly and effectively. 

Some specific responsibilities of a Salesforce admin include setting up and configuring the system, providing user training and ongoing support, and ensuring your data hygiene is also clean and accurate

This person customizes the system to support specific business processes and workflows and works with other teams to integrate the CRM with other business systems and applications. 

In addition, a Salesforce admin collaborates with the leadership team to identify and prioritize opportunities for improving the CRM system and its use and stays up-to-date on the latest Salesforce features and capabilities. 

The goal of a Salesforce admin is to help businesses make the most of their Salesforce CRM system and drive success.

What does your company need?

If your company is experiencing bottlenecks or inefficiencies hindering revenue growth, consider hiring a RevOps manager. 

A RevOps manager can help identify and prioritize revenue-generating activities, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of these activities, and use data to drive decision-making. This individual can provide a more holistic view of the revenue generation process and help optimize the use of resources to maximize the return on investment.

On the other hand, if you are using Salesforce CRM and need help setting up and configuring the system, training users, and providing ongoing support, consider hiring a Salesforce admin. 

They can help ensure that your CRM system is used to its full potential and can resolve any issues or errors that may arise. This person can also customize the system to support specific business processes and workflows and can help integrate the CRM with other business systems and applications. A Salesforce admin can also keep you up-to-date on the latest Salesforce features and capabilities. 

How to help your Salesforce admin or RevOps manager succeed

No matter which role you hire for, it’s on you to create an environment where your revenue operations team can have an impact. Here are three tips on how to do that: 

#1: Give them a seat at the table 

Your revenue operations team needs to know the intricacies of how the business works in order to make it run better. 

“Set the expectation up front: you’re not just technology – you’re part of the revenue team,” said Hrbek. “They should be present to explore what we have, what we need, and what the gaps are. They should participate in sales meetings, understand the process, and be accountable for driving efficiencies. You can’t possibly know what’s happening if you’re not in the trenches.” 

#2: Give them space to grow

If you start by hiring a Salesforce admin, you need to empower them to be an influential partner to the business team. Once they have a seat at the table, they need a voice too.

“Encourage Salesforce admins to step into their power. Bring them in at a level that’s reflective of the value they provide. Companies often aren’t leveraging the power of their tools because they don’t know what’s possible. From productivity of reps, to data insights, to who needs coaching and any process gaps, a strong Salesforce admin should not only be able to surface information but provide solutions to the issues at hand,” said Hrbek.

#3: Give them the right tech

From fielding everyday Salesforce requests to developing a better sales process, revenue operations professionals have to constantly reset – one minute they’re in the weeds, the next they’re thinking at a holistic team level. 

Support them in their effort to operationalize and automate every possible repeatable task. This will give them the time to use their platform and perspective for the good of the organization. 

Hrbek suggests at the bare minimum, early operations hires need an intake system to help them prioritize and manage the influx of requests they face on a daily basis. 

SetSail is another tool built to give revenue operations teams a major leg-up – it automatically syncs the data from your entire go-to-market tech stack to Salesforce. 

That means there is no more chasing down reps for updates, and no more siloed data. Revenue operations teams can accurately and quickly report on sales activity, see which reps are high performers, and identify new opportunities for sales process changes to close more revenue. 

Interested in seeing what SetSail can do to close your sales data gap? Book a demo.