Commercial Talent: Thoughts from Ricardo

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PE firms often require consulting support in their portfolio businesses to provide the impartial insights and observations needed to draw up their strategies for the business. Increasingly those firms look at independent consultants to perform this service, and as Ricardo explains here, that's because independents have the advantage of agility, cost-effectiveness and the ability to work within the business to build the skills needed for growth. Find out more about how Ricardo works in the increasingly high profile field of Revenue Operations here.

Q. When you're at a networking event, how do you describe your independent career status, and where you focus your work?

We provide Revenue Operations As A Service, which means we quickly deploy our knowledge, expertise and best practices to help PEs and their portfolio companies scale up and sustain growth.

Q. What are the specific benefits that you, as an independent, offer to the operating teams/portfolio company leadership? How do you explain the value your expertise brings?

The main benefit is our accumulated experiences working alongside companies and helping them drive change. Our view is not from a helicopter; instead, we are in the field, our boots on the ground, allowing the portfolio companies to align internally, build skills and implement a tech stack that will help increase their revenue systematically.

Q. Why do you think there is increasing demand for independent expertise with PE operating teams?

We bring the wealth of knowledge, tools and heuristics you typically find in a top-tier consultancy firm. I would highlight three main differences compared to top-tier consultancies:

Q. Describe a recent or successful assignment in terms of scope, duration and any particular highlights in the outcomes.

We recently worked with a PE-backed emergency response software company to improve the end-to-end sales process (from lead to cash to onboarding to expand).

We structured the assignment in three parts:

We fixed the Demand Generation engine and aligned Marketing and Sales.
We defined and implemented a transparent Sales Methodology in their CRM instance, together with the right Sales cadence to monitor adherence by the sales teams.
We implemented a new hires jumpstart programme to help new sales hires to ramp up their quota achievement faster.

The programme lasted for about one year, and the benefits were realised in the year-over-year ACV growth (40%), a decrease in the sales cycle (from 90 to 30 days), and the ramp-up time of the new sales hires from nine to three months.

Q. What advice would you give to anyone about to embark on an independent career as to how they can provide the best results for a client, while fulfilling their own career path?

I encourage those who embark on an independent career not to fear the future and own their destiny. It is a delicate balance to become part of the client team while remaining independent-minded. I recommend always looking at the issues from the client's perspective but still becoming detached from the situation to provide data-driven recommendations leveraging your expertise and prior experience. It is a very gratifying career.

Could independent insights and expertise improve the commercial operations in your portfolio? Post a project to find talent like Ricardo and start that process today!

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