Ops-Stars: The Place to Be for Sales and Marketing Operations

October 11, 2017 Mark Emmons

Why Ops-Stars?

Good question. And it’s one that deserves a thoughtful answer. There are plenty of great conferences each year that compete for the attention of busy B2B professionals. Does the business world really need another one?

The short answer: yes. LeanData created Ops-Stars to fill an underserved niche. This event is focused specifically on Sales and Marketing Operations practitioners as well as the business leaders who manage them. We launched Ops-Stars in 2016 because of a remarkable trend throughout the industry — The Rise of Operations.

Traditionally, Ops has been a support role. These were the “doers” in the revenue-generation process. They handled whatever tasks that sales and marketing leaders gave them. Ran reports. Fixed problems. Kept the inside-office portion of the sales machine running smoothly. They set up the stars of the show — the sales reps — for success. It’s why they tended to be unsung heroes. Their contributions could be overlooked.

Not anymore. The world has changed. Ops has stepped out of the shadows.

“We’re seeing this incredible growth in Marketing Ops, Sales Ops, Revenue Ops and Business Ops,” said Ashwath Kakhandiki, the Vice President of Marketing at LeanData. “The fastest-growing companies realize the importance of Ops. It isn’t a back-office function anymore. It’s central to the entire Go-To-Market strategy.”

Software innovation has resulted in an unprecedented wealth of data that enables businesses to understand every step of the modern buyer’s journey. The people who are managing and using those tools? Ops.

They have been transformed into trusted advisors who can help CMOs and sales leaders craft strategic initiatives that drive their businesses forward. While it might be a cliche, it’s also true: Ops now has a seat at the table.

“It used to be that Sales Ops and Salesforce administrators were considered kind of synonymous,” Kakhandiki said. “That has completely shifted. Today, Salesforce administration is just one of the many things that Ops does. It’s focused on revenue planning, pipeline planning, forecasting and so much more. They’re not just Salesforce-focused. They own the whole technology stack.”

It’s why LeanData created Ops-Stars to complement the annual Dreamforce extravaganza – the world’s largest sales and marketing conference. At the inaugural event in 2016, more than 1,700 people registered and 507 attended. In a post-event survey, 98 percent of respondents said they would come to another Ops-Stars conference.

“This was one of the best things I attended at Dreamforce,” wrote one attendee.

Now, Ops-Stars is back on Nov. 6-9 in San Francisco — better than ever.

The focus is the same with practitioner-centered sessions. No fluff or vague, thought-leader talk that’s not applicable to the day-to-day job. Just useful, actionable information that will help Ops professionals become indispensable to their businesses.

“There are conferences that talk about SDR strategy, Account-Based Marketing, selling methods,” Kakhandiki said. “But there’s really nothing for Operations. There’s no watering hole where Ops people get together and share stories about their hands-on challenges. Ops-Stars gives them a forum to feel more empowered.”

The watering holes for Ops-Stars this year will be the award-winning restaurant Trou Normand and well-known club John Colins. Both are located just one block from the Moscone Center — the hub of Dreamforce activities.

“What we’ve seen is that smart Ops people like to be talking to their peers so they can learn about best practices and see where innovation is happening,” Kakhandiki added.

And that’s why we created Ops-Stars.

Register here for Ops-Stars on Nov. 6-9. Don’t miss the event for Sales and Marketing Operations pros to learn, relax and connect with peers during Dreamforce.

About the Author

Mark Emmons

Mark Emmons is the staff writer at LeanData. He previously was a reporter at the San Jose Mercury News, Orange County Register and Detroit Free Press. He can be reached at mark@leandatainc.com.

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