“If you’re at a startup, it’s all up to you.”

As VP of Sales Operations at Datahug, Don Otvos knows what it’s like to be the one running the show.

At a recent sales operations meetup, also featuring Julie Sokley of Autodesk and Tina Babbi of Adaptive Insights, Don offered insights on how to be a highly effective one-man sales ops department.

The challenge any sales operations leader at a small company must overcome is having enough resources to get the job done. When you don’t have a big team or endless budget, the sales operations role must be tactical and focus on initiatives with short-term impact.


“If any of the day-to-day types of things are going to get done, it’s going to be up to you,” says Don. “But then you also have to do the strategic stuff too. You’ve got to plan, you have to do the analysis, you have to look at the reports and provide the insights to management to tell them the direction we’re heading: our ARR, how much churn we’ll have. You’re going to be the one doing everything end-to-end, from both a tactical and strategic perspective.”

While Don observes that days of contention between marketing and sales development are largely in the rearview, he also still maintains that it’s better to have separate roles and distinct department functions

“I think marketing should have a mission around presenting the brand of the company, developing the content, developing the messaging, and then delivering that to Sales Development to push to prospects.”

With clearly defined objectives, there can still be marketing and sales alignment.