Patrick Franciotti, Senior Manager of Revenue Operations at Ontra, gave this presentation at the Revenue Acceleration Festival in May 2022. Visit your SEC member dashboard now to access the full video and much more exciting content.

The challenges associated with exponential growth

The word scale is often thrown around a lot depending on the size of the company or industry. It's certainly a buzzword. But I figured that the best way to describe it is to give a little bit of insight into our own experience here at Ontra.

When you have exponential growth, there are lots of new challenges that get created. Below, you'll see a chart of Ontra’s own employee growth in the last 10 years. You can see pretty clearly that in the last two years we've hit a different level of hiring and growth.

As we're growing, there are a number of new challenges that will arise, and we're only just seeing the tip of the iceberg with this. There are many more hiring plans in place and lots of interviews going on; there are changes left and right.

As such, one of the most important things we can really focus on is building that structured process within our company.

I joined the company in 2020 when we had around 35 employees. And you can see from the chart that within the last two years we've really accelerated that growth.

Some of the challenges that we see at any company are that there are a lot more people. We’re growing into new regions, we’re creating new roles, and we’re segmenting. There are also new managers and stakeholders.

One of the most important things that we're focused on in revenue operations (RevOps) is creating alignment and strategy between the different teams, and serving as that bridge.

As you're getting more people, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep that alignment and structure without losing any of that communication or being able to stay on the same page.

On top of the people, the biggest impact that growth has is on new products and new data. There’s a tonne of different things that every operational team is tracking, analyzing, and trying to improve.

As you add more people and a company gets bigger, you're in new regions, you have new team members, new roles, and all of that data is multiplied at an exponential level.

We're always trying to make sure we never lose that alignment between all of our different teams for the data we're tracking, the products our company is selling, and the people we have at the company.

We ensure everyone’s in lockstep in completing all the most critical objectives that our company has.

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On top of getting more people, products, and data, we also get less access. It’ll become more challenging to access all the different stakeholders that you need to be supporting.

Whether it’s your own manager or someone at the C-suite level, the bigger you are, the harder it's going to be to access different stakeholders to create that line of communication and make sure everyone's on the same page.

So this growth is pressing the boundaries when it comes to keeping alignment. And one thing we'll talk about in this article is how RevOps keeps that structure and makes sure we don't lose that alignment.

Another thing that we lose a bit of is agility. The bigger the company and bigger the team, the harder it is to make changes quickly and seamlessly.

At Ontra, we tried to plan our RevOps department ahead of the expected growth that we were planning on seeing at the company.

The bigger it is, the harder it is to change it, so we wanted to make sure that we could put the right team in place at the right time to get that foundation in place before any of this exponential growth started to take place, and build that foundation for all our different go-to-market (GTM) teams.

One of the most important things you're losing is time.

There are a tonne of things going on whether a company consists of five people or 200 people. And as you can imagine, the bigger you are, the more difficult that gets.

When you’re trying to find time on people's calendars, trying to be flexible in terms of changing processes, or implementing a new tool, this time aspect becomes very difficult in being able to manage that.

There's a tonne of stuff going on across every department of the company. Even with a five-person company, you see this challenge already of trying to find time, with people trying to make everything work at the same exact time as you’re hiring.

We're always trying to be more efficient; we don't want to waste anyone's time. So to us, part of that efficiency comes from forming a RevOps team.

It's a relatively new team, and not just at our company.