RevOps Co-op Weekly #51 - New to RevOps? Start Here.
Toby Carrington started in Finance, climbing all the way to CFO. His empathy for salespeople and aptitude for numbers made RevOps the perfect fit.
RevOps Co-op provides resources, content and community for those who ❤️ revenue operations. This weekly newsletter features collected tweets, posts and thoughts on a variety of RevOps topics. We also have a private Slack community with > 2,800 RevOps pro’s from companies like Slack, Lyft, Clari, Miro and more 👉🏻 click here to join.
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Camela Thompson she/her (RevOps Co-op): Hello RevOps Co-op! We are kicking off an AMA (Ask Me Anything) with Toby Carrington, a senior leader in RevOps. A little more background on Toby:
Toby is the SVP of Revenue Operations at Seismic and currently lives in Austin with his family. He is an experienced senior leader and board member across a variety of industries in the commercial and not for profit sector and prior to Seismic led Global Sales Operations & Enablement for Siemens Healthineers. He has lived and worked across multiple international assignments in the USA, Germany, Singapore and Australia in a variety of commercial and operational roles. Toby has undergraduate degrees from Monash University in Australia and an executive MBA (honors) from ESMT Berlin. He is an early stage investor and advisor in many start-ups across a wide variety of industries including SaaS, fintech, food and beverage and medical technology.
Welcome, Toby! Before we get into the serious topic of all things RevOps, what's your favorite food and beverage?
Favorite food......hmmmm. Steak Frites.
I am Australian so I love all things grilled on a BBQ.
Camela Thompson she/her (RevOps Co-op):
Oooh... good choice. Carbs and protein are always a great combo.
Beverage - currently any sort of refreshing drink. It's hot in Austin.
Camela Thompson she/her (RevOps Co-op): I think I remember from the last time we talked, you had quite the career journey in finance before switching up to RevOps. What inspired the change?
I loved numbers and sales and I figured that RevOps was a great combination of both.
I think that in today's sales world, data is becoming more and more important.
Janelle Nash: Toby, What are the most successful use cases for Seismic? Why should I consider sales enablement platforms as a RevOps leader?
Hi Janelle - enablement, like RevOps, involves bringing together the go-to-market engine.
Seismic works really well for sellers around onboarding, productivity, effectiveness etc but the beauty is also in the handshake to marketing - to see what content works in the field and driving ROI around marketing content creation and effectiveness.
Camela Thompson she/her (RevOps Co-op): That brings us to a wonderful question. In your opinion, should RevOps encompass enablement and systems management or primarily focus on BI/analytics?
For us, RevOps covers all GTM Ops (processes, tools, people, data/BI)+ enablement
I believe this is important for efficiency. There should be consistency across key processes (like lead to cash) - that cover multiple departments.
A silo does not own something like a lead, the company owns it. I believe that's why companies are putting more into RevOps to ensure that the engine makes things move smoothly across the teams.
Shim Singh: Hello, RevOps pros! So our company is undertaking a bit of a paradigm shift from demand gen to ABM.
Is it important to have an industry lense when creating your ICP? Why?
We are a talent marketplace for tech talent (Devs and the like)
We are expanding geographically (EMEA)
We are aiming for a one to many type approach
Our current ICP is based on tech companies at a growth stage
We have a massive dev community and are also aiming for network effects as we scale our "Demand" side ie a business community
Shim, it depends a lot for me if the use case is different or not in different industries. Do you need to create different marketing messaging? Is for example your product more helpful in regulated industries. And so forth. That might shape your decisions. If the marketing and sales motion is essentially the same regardless of industry then I don't think you need an industry specific lense.
Use case = Needs to hire developers. So pretty much most companies.
Great point about marketing messaging.
So from a:
Fit - Defined by use case above
Intent - Defines prioritisation of the acc
Relationship - This is the grey area and aiming to understand if Industry can add value here.
Engagement - Interacting with marketing channels and also could be benefitted by an industry lense.
I also think knowing the market and determining their cyclical nature supports more accurate revenue forecasting and also more effective targeting.
Bit on the fence here as industry may support this but also may be a distraction / noise. 🙅
I think you want to be laser focused, so if the industry makes it more complex then I wouldn't worry about it initially.
Thank you, Toby 🌻
Janelle Nash: How many platforms and what types are important to successful RevOps in your opinion?
I have found at least in SaaS that people talk about a core marketing platform (automation e.g. Marketo), a core CRM platform & a core CS platform (e.g. Gainsight). I believe RevOps should own those platforms and the key platforms that integrate into those systems as it relates to the GTM audience. For us that is something like 70 apps, but the core ones are conversational intelligence, intent/enrichment, engagement and, of course, enablement.
Camela Thompson she/her (RevOps Co-op): I think a lot of people are struggling with how to parse out responsibilities across RevOps and what background an ops person should have. I've seen a few different backgrounds contribute nicely to various roles across the team, but I'd love your perspective of who and how we should be hiring.
You won't find someone who can do everything in ops, so it needs to be stage appropriate. The first few ops hires should be strong in the systems, etc and understand the sales process. As you scale I would add someone who understands higher level strategy (comp, territories etc) and as quickly as possible a BI/data analytics resource.
Camela Thompson she/her (RevOps Co-op): Thank you for pointing out that one person can't do everything. Early stage companies look for "unicorns" out of necessity, but how can people ensure their company is thinking about scaling ops with the rest of the company to avoid burnout?
This is something I see a lot of people struggle with. There are a number of resources available (online) that talk about ratios of ops people to sellers/internal customers (places like the sales ops institute, SBI, some of the other bigger consulting firms etc) that can help. I do think the best way is to really focus on some high value (visible) activities to demonstrate value. A lot of ops work, especially early, is under the hood and in the background. I encourage people to find time for some visible quick wins (dashboards, SLA improvement etc etc) to encourage further investment.
Camela Thompson she/her (RevOps Co-op): In RevOps, I've noticed we see a number of tasks crop up daily and our to-do list never shrinks. What advice would you give people to help pace themselves and detach at the end of the day?
Red wine 😉
Camela Thompson she/her (RevOps Co-op):
Seriously, I recommend creating a demand management approach, and clear communication back to stakeholders. I see RevOps becoming more like DevOps. Organize the work into sprints, work out what can go into each sprint, make sure everyone understands what will happen and not happen and as part of that carve out a bit of time for the ad hoc stuff but being hyper organized and thinking like a DevOps team helps a lot in my experience.
Camela Thompson she/her (RevOps Co-op): I think you said something very interesting the last time we talked. RevOps can run the danger of being ticket takers instead of strategic business leaders. While I agree a ticket system is crucial to building a business case for more headcount and negotiating priorities, what can people do to balance tickets with strategy?
A big part of this is creating the forums/cadence to be involved. For example - typically rev ops will own the cadence of things like forecast calls, pipeline calls etc. Set up must win deal calls, deal strategy calls etc also, and by definition then you have a seat at the table for those things.
Camela Thompson she/her (RevOps Co-op): When coaching your team to take more of a leadership role in the company, what are the consistent pieces of advice you see yourself needing to repeat? (I'm not saying all of RevOps fits into a profile, but we do tend to be introverted over achievers LOL.)
"Facts kill opinions"
By having the data, you have the right to present the insights that the data shows.
I am also constantly challenging my team with "so what?". By moving to recommending action, they are leading.
Don't just present something and ask for opinions.
Camela Thompson she/her (RevOps Co-op):
I’m putting that on a t-shirt.
I used to have a t-shirt that said "If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space", but "Facts kill opinions" is probably better for my current job.
Camela Thompson she/her (RevOps Co-op): What are the critical activities RevOps should insist they are a part of? For example, territory planning? Commissions development? For those of us with a new department, which key functions do you see as a must-be-involved?
For the sake of the company of course 😁
So in my mind even Sales Ops includes territory planning, sales commission etc. This is typically where RevOps starts. I would include forecast/pipeline for sure as well as core GTM systems. Deal Ops/deal desk for me is critical also to be involved in the daily rhythm of the business.
I view Rev Ops as the pit crew of a Formula One team.
Think about the key things that are necessary for the GTM engine to run smoothly, and involve yourself in all of those.
Camela Thompson she/her (RevOps Co-op):
So KPI development to ensure alignment would also fall under the purview
Yes KPI development. SLA development (e.g. between demand gen and inbound or whatever). That's why I think enablement should either be a part of Rev ops or very closely aligned - key KPIs around onboarding, ramp, effectiveness, etc. too.
This is the benefit of RevOps - holding all parties accountable and aligned around agreed KPIs or hand-offs, etc.
Camela Thompson she/her (RevOps Co-op): Businesses often spin up RevOps to solve a specific problem. Sometimes that's issues in sales, marketing, and/or customer success. How does your team battle the bias against ops with some of those teams? I know at one company, sales ops was known as "sales disablement" because of their enthusiasm for data cleanliness.
Yeah, I have seen that too. For me it's all about balance but I do believe that first and foremost RevOps exists to make the GTM team work more effectively. So "teaching" people how to cleanly enter data is one thing, but showing them the insights or value add they get back by doing so is the right way to do it. For example, we recently rolled out detailed account planning. The process of doing an account plan is a bit painful, but we made it also beneficial by giving them a tool that helped them do customer org charts really easily, automatically update Salesforce while doing it etc. And the process of account review means they get additional executive support. So we asked them to do things in a more detailed way than they did before, but we returned value to them.
For sales people in particular it’s always easy to orient your thinking around demonstrating to them how you will help them make money by doing things a certain way.
Camela Thompson she/her (RevOps Co-op): Give and take. I like it! For proving the money making benefit, does your team watch for successes and communicate them out? How do you spread the word?
Yep - in the monthly enablement meetings we share win stories, highlight how people have won (that also highlights that they did things we want, like value selling or using a particular tool or whatever). We share leaderboards and so forth also but typically the way we share success of people "winning by doing it the right way" we use the enablement meetings.
We also frequently have sellers or marketers present our work. e.g. A seller will share how they used an intent dashboard to win a deal.
Camela Thompson she/her (RevOps Co-op): That leads right into my next question...How often and what kind of things do you think RevOps should be communicating to leadership, front line sellers, or marketing?
Or a marketer will show improvements in MQL-Demo and link it to the process we implemented.
…There’s more! Read the full Slack AMA transcript here 👉 New to RevOps? Start Here.
🗣 From the Community
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9/21/21: I think I saw a post here not long ago (though I can’t find it now) about optimizing HubSpot for PLG. Would love to get people’s insights on how to set it up for a PLG motion. How do you set up dashboards to focus on PQLs rather than MQLs etc… How are you tracking usage data? Read 6 Replies.
9/22/21: Hello! We're planning to move from HubSpot to Marketo and wondering if anyone has used Marketo's Advance Journey Analytics? It has a big price tag on it and wondering if we would be able to get by without it. Is it a need to have vs nice to have? Thanks in advance! Read 6 Replies.
🐦 This week in #RevOps Twitter
Who’s excited?!? 🥳
Finally, someone understands me. 🥺
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Hangout Topic: Operationalizing Insights: Do More with the Data you Have
📚 Your curated #RevOps reading list
Email examples and strategies for sales to engage and convert PQLs | Correlated (a RevOps Community Partner)
One of the biggest differences between PLG SaaS companies and traditional enterprise software companies is that individual users can start using the product prior to talking to a salesperson. This is a huge unlock for companies like Slack, Zoom and MongoDB because it can make the top of the funnel truly massive. To put this in perspective, we’ve heard that Calendly, the popular calendar app, sees more than 10,000 sign ups per day!
So how do companies like Calendly combine a frictionless self-service product experience that’s aimed at a single user with an enterprise offering for teams? The answer is they have a sales team! In this post I'll outline how some of the sales teams we’re working with are driving conversions from self-service to enterprise.
Recurring revenue certainly has pros and cons. The biggest pro is it recurs. 🙂 With even 120% NRR, you basically double in 4+ years even with no new customers. Now that’s magic. But maybe even up to $20m ARR, the biggest downside of recurring revenue is that you only get to recognize 1/12th of your ACV (annual contract value) each month. That means if you don’t start off Q1 really strong, you’ll get in such a hole for Q2-Q4 that you’ll never hit your 12/31 plan for next year. Because if too many of those Q1 deals slip to Q2, even if they still close, you’ll only be able to recognize 8/12th or 7/12ths or it or so next year. You just can’t make it up.
The impact of revenue operations and intelligence technology on business growth is undeniable. Companies that use revenue operations technology experience increased forecast accuracy, win rates, revenue growth, and net dollar retention, according to a Forrester study commissioned by Clari. Here’s where Forrester found the biggest impact.
1. The revenue operations tech boom is imminent
2. RO&I technology will take the guesswork out of forecasting
3. Improved win rates will fuel hypergrowth
🚒 Weekly RevOps Meme
I'm starting to think Amazon has figured me out, and I can't tell if that's good or bad. Based on the mug alone, I can't say I'm upset....
🔥 A few HOT #RevOps Jobs
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Marketing Operations Manager | Health Recovery Solutions
Revenue Operations Architect | Admin Within
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Salesforce Administrator | Admin Within
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Funnel IQ is an operating system for your GTM team that provides end-to-end, full funnel analytics and insights that keep marketing, sales and customer success teams aligned and working seamlessly together to drive more revenue growth for your business.