The seventh annual OpsStars Conference & Awards was conducted last week, and what an event it turned out to be. With nearly 2,000 registrants for the two-day event, it proved to be a wonderful complement adjacent to Dreamforce just a block and a half away.

The OpsStars Conference & Awards is, of course, the annual event for operations professionals to interact and engage with each other. OpsStars serves as the singular destination to hear the latest thoughts from frontline operations practitioners and leaders about challenging experiences, solutions to overcome, and the insights and lessons learned to make better decisions and avoid future obstacles.

This year’s conference was titled, “Dawn of the Revenue Generation.” Below, please find a brief review of the event’s highlights.

Exterior of The Mint in downtown San Francisco, site of OpsStars 2022 Conference & Awards.

Dawn of the Revenue Generation

In his keynote address to kick off OpsStars, LeanData CEO Evan Liang provided a glance into the transformative growth potential of modern revenue orchestration, a new model offering a more holistic and unified go-to-market approach for B2B enterprises looking to better match customers’ new buying journeys. New buying journeys require new revenue orchestration processes that deliver a world-class customer experience. Of course, at the same time, they also provide means to leapfrog competition and supercharge revenue. 

Liang brought up representatives from technology solution providers like 6sense, Clearbit, Kronologic, Sendoso, Salesloft and UserGems to showcase real-world examples of the innovative new paths to revenue made possible by seamless integrations in connected RevTech stacks. 

Evan Liang and guests on the main stage during the keynote address of OpsStars 2022.

“Despite an unprecedented amount of technology and data, today’s B2B organizations have never been so challenged to drive growth. In fact, the more tech we add, the more disconnected our revenue engines have become. We believe modern revenue orchestration is the solution to transform disconnected processes, siloed strategies and brittle, inflexible code that cause revenue breakdowns.”

~ Evan Liang, Co-Founder & CEO, LeanData

A Single Source of Customer Truth

Also on the morning of Day One, moderator Elise Vue was joined by panelists Eric Portugal Welsh, Darrell Alfonso, Rosalyn Santa Elena and Mike Rizzo in the Banker’s Ballroom for a breakout presentation entitled, “Single Source of Customer Truth (a Unified View).” 

Breakout session at OpsStars 2022.

Their discussion centered around the concept that the most accurate reporting starts with aligning the fundamental indicators of business health. Those indicators start with customer count, the number of customers churned last quarter, and total ARR. However, because functional departments consider their own system of record as the sole source of truth, many executive decision-makers still miss views of the most fundamental of indicators. The panel’s lively discussion focused on the panelists’ past experience in syncing go-to-market (GTM) systems, teams and processes with unified and trustworthy data. 

How Modern Revenue Leaders Go-to-Market

In the afternoon, Sangram Varje took the stage in the keynote room to deliver his presentation, “How Modern Revenue Leaders Go-to-Market.” Varje, a seasoned tech executive and author of the bestseller Move: The 4-Question Go-to-Market Framework, spoke to business success, and the notion that merely surviving is simply not good enough. He showed how businesses thrive, evolve, and, quite frequently, transform as they move from problem to product to platform. In that process, it’s important to move through potential “valleys of death,” and Varje showed how to identify valleys and navigate out of them to MOVE forward, with confidence. 

Sangram Varje onstage delivering a presentation at OpsStars 2022.

Account-Based in an Economic Downturn

One of the final sessions of Day One was “ABM and ABX in a Downturn,” featuring Jon Miller, CMO of Demandbase and a co-founder of Marketo and Engagio. In his session, Miller spoke about why Account-Based Marketing (ABM) powered by account intelligence is the key to a revenue team’s ability to work smarter, not harder. He shared practical ABM tips and best practices based on his own playbook at Demandbase. 

Peeking Ahead to What’s Next

Day Two of OpsStars started with a proverbial “Bang” with Tiffani Bova, global growth and innovation evangelist at Salesforce, host of the What’s Next podcast, and author of the bestseller, Growth IQ: Master the 10 Paths to Grow Your Business. One of Bova’a many key points was that of B2B buyers as emotional creatures, with the result being their expenditures are justifiably based on customer experience. It fits the larger trend of revenue orchestration and the acknowledgment that customer experience matters. Poor experiences have become so prevalent that they are ushering in a handful of tools that actually help buyers avoid sellers and marketers altogether. 

Tiffani Bova delivering her keynote address on Day Two of OpsStars 2022.

Pipeline Performance Benchmarking

Immediately following Bova, LeanData CMO Doug Bell hosted a panel with Nipul Chokshi, Colin White and Matt Lyman to discuss the findings of the 2022 Inbound & Outbound Sales Pipeline Performance Benchmarking Study, published earlier in the morning. The report pointedly shows that a great number of Sales and Marketing leaders make GTM investment decisions without full visibility of pipeline performance-related data. Data is too often fragmented, either not readily accessible or simply not collected. Their message was one of ensuring the RevTech stack is fully connected and taking the discipline to track and communicate metrics down the full length of the funnel to Closed/Won.

Doug Bell moderating a session on the main stage of OpsStars 2022.

Why Sales & Marketing Tech Deployments Fail

The afternoon of Day Two featured a rambunctious afternoon session entitled, “Why Your Sales and Marketing Tech Deployment Will Fail: Tales from the Frontline.” From the title alone, participants knew this wouldn’t be the ordinary panel discussion. Moderator Ursula Ayrout facilitated what panelist Lauren Vaccarello termed an “overly honest and cranky” discussion that also included Maura Ginty and Greg Poirier. The panelists didn’t hold back, and I’m certain the ears of a few RevTech stack point solutions are still burning. Key points involved conducting extensive upfront pre-purchase due diligence and building around the buyer journey, not around an old company-first model of the past. 

Ursula Ayrout facilitating a breakout session at OpsStars 2022.

Awards & a New Tesla

Finally, OpsStars 2022 closed with the bestowing of the annual OpsStars Awards. Congratulations go out to the following award winners:

  • Expedient, Account-Based Program of the Year
  • Shopify, Buyer Experience Impact Award
  • Saviynt, Digital Transformation Award
  • Maxio, Go-to-Market Agility Powered by Operational Excellence
  • Everbridge, Lead Management Program Transformation of the Year (Emerging Enterprise)
  • Dell Technologies, Lead Management Program Transformation of the Year (Large Enterprise)
  • SimilarWeb, Most Cutting-Edge Ops Program of the Year
  • Travis Henry, Director of Sales Development Operations and Enablement at  Snowflake, OpsStar of the Year

For an overview of all the award winners and the cutting edge Ops programs and processes they’re deploying, be sure the check out the eBook, 2022 OpsStars Awards: A Compilation of Award-Winning Ops Stories.

Lastly, perhaps the biggest winner of them all was Sean Lewis from Resideo, who won the LeanData raffle for a new Tesla Model 3.

Make Plans for Next Year & This Year

If you’re on a revenue team, the annual OpsStars Conference & Awards is a highly-valued event for you to attend. If you’re in the Operations profession — be it RevOps, Sales Ops, Marketing Ops, Sales Development Ops, Customer Success Ops or anything other Ops I may have missed — OpsStars is the single most important event for you to attend. Simply, OpsStars is for Ops, by Ops.

But, there’s more. OpsStars is so much more than an annual event. OpsStars is a vibrant Operations-centric community. Look for ways to fully engage your Ops peers and help further everyone’s career, including your own. Plus, look out for OpsStars events, both in-person and virtual, over the course of the year.

I look forward to seeing you at OpsStars. Continued good success!

Ray Hartjen
Senior Content Strategist at LeanData

Ray Hartjen is the head of content at LeanData, where he collaborates with internal and external customers in furthering the engaging narrative of revenue operations and innovative go-to-market strategies. You can connect with Ray on both LinkedIn & Twitter.