B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 4 months ago

107: Revenue Operations: What It Is & Why It’s Important


Revenue operations, or RevOps, has entered the revenue conversation. Because it’s a newer role, many leaders are trying to wrap their heads around what it is and whether they need to implement the function at their company.

Megan Heinz, Director of Revenue Operations at Mainsail Partners, and Mark Kelly, CEO at NewEdge Growth, join the show to define RevOps and to explain why it’s so important.

We discuss how RevOps is different from sales ops, how to measure RevOps success, the challenges of implementation (including when you should do it), and finding the right people for your RevOps team.

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

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You're listening to be to be revenueacceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executives stay on thecutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show, i welcome to be to be a revenewacceleration. My name is al an with ye, and today i have the pleasure ofwelcoming two guests in the in the podcast megan eines, director of rivenoperation of main saint partners and marcelli of new age growth. Are youboth gay doing today, one if all thank you so much by have ye pleasurepleasure. So today we will be speaking about the importance of revenueoperations, but before we get started, can you guysgive a quick introduction to what you are when you work for, and i think weshould start with. Ladies false for maganno is goin. Yes, thank you. I'mmaking hines and i've been working in sass or software as a service. Businessis for the majority of my career and varying operations roles and now withmainsail partners. I really have the pleasure to work alongside ourportfolio companies to help skill their organizations. So mainsail is a growthequity firm and we focus on bp software solutions and specific protocols very,very good. What thank you ver much, but megan macaca yeah. So, thanks forhaving me, my entire career has been in the bb space and i've held probablyevery position under the sun related to product or marketing or sales. Mostrecently, i've held titles as chief marketing off search he or revenueofficer, one of which was with a main sale for folio company and about sixyears ago. I founded a new edge growth and we are focused on helping marketingand sales leaders. Revenue leaders really helped them grow and and definetheir process in the revenue engine, and so we focus on that from astandpoint of what we call the sport of growth, so strategy process, operations,repeatability and result, and then technology. Finally, of course, soundsgreat well, thank you so much for for that, get that that's gone off for andin sins po participating today, indees, let's get going riven our operations.So it's a bit of a bus walt i've got to be an es with you in the preparation ofthe podcast as we got gone like his revenue operation, the sema sisoperation is it operation, operation with oldest worlds, are gettingtogether and creating that you tie to ate icy growing everywhere else. Yourlot of proven operation, people coming out of the woodwork. So let's startwith what it means from your perspective, guy and maybe makin. Youwant to get us going, but you know i guess. My main question for you is: wasthe the pinical of revenue operation? Out of that i was it different fromcertain operation. Yeah great question, i'll start by saying that, just likesales operations, raven operations are rebosas. Sometimes it's referred to. It really exists to drive theefficiencies and best practices to the growth engine of stealing businesses.So there's really no difference there, but because revenue growth in today'sworld cannot be limited to just sales, we really need a model for aligningevery go to market team and your strategy for that customer growth. Sorevenue operations is really the set of the steps, processes and tools that areindustry tested and intended to grow with the business in that way. Okay, soso who is a pot from so word yes or function with the customer success,because that's also, i was a tie to it- is coming up a customer success for thepeople are kind of taking their clients on the journey as a customers with thatis the only player that will come as a functioning rub up o or use news offunction draining in multiple different functions. So every go to market team.It's really your marketing, your sales, your product, your customer, success,everybody that's customer facing...

...everybody that has a part in thecustomer journey, good all right, thanks for that in again and mark fromyour perspective, revenue, ups or rebus, not for s ters ups. Well, what do yousee the main differences? If you see any yeah, there's definitely adifference and i think megan nailed it right. It is fifteen years ago, revenueor sorry sales ups was what was you know, the term that was being used andprobably about three or four years ago revenue. I've started taking a greaterrole and mega nailed it right it is it. Is it spans the entire process of thecustomer journey right from the time that they are doing research to try andfigure out? How do i fix this problem? I have through the entire salesengagement to post sales and at on boarding and customer experience rightthat entire and entire chain is what defines revenue operations and it'sreally coordinating the playbook across the entire company to enable that tohappen. Okay, so so saying with your ma, who would you say should be well, i think you went through thedifferent teams that should be aligned with with reverbs, but who is adding upa up saying that in that in that it con? So it's a good question right. If youhave a, if you have a chief revenue officer,you know at that probably rolls up to that person, but it does. It needs to be somebody whodoes have visibility across all the different functions right. It is, andit's anybody who has a direct touch point with the end customer right. Sothose are the folks who are involved in this revenue operations now, do they participate and do the reosfunction? No, but the rabots person, the person who's in charge of the teamwho's in charge of it needs to have access, so they can measure nodifferent than let's say if you were to use an f one's analogy right ifyou're an f one team, you have multiple engineers who are working on differentparts of the car and of the race right. Each one has a role to ensure that theoutcome is that you place as high as you can get points right. In this caseit is, we are trying to generate revenue. So how do we coordinateeverybody to make sure that we're all operating as efficiently as possible?Okay, so that that's pretas year type of priciple sibity tin its k in my eye.Let's talk about mere oman guys because there is again the function is so broad,so you've got the on building of the customer. You've got winning thecustines on boarding the custom, not keeping the customers. So i guess oneof the one of the mersa success would be the on going revenue, a d and themonster recurring rover you just adding up, but do you see any kpis or okaythat could be broken down or do you have you seen any specific methodologyof companies driving the reverbs team with with with specific target orspecifically pars at what way yeah just like you said, i think it has to betied to the revenue and in that sense, there's a lot of tapes within that wecan measure, but both gross revenue net revenue retention is a great one ornor is it's referred to, because then you're really measuring both aspects of the revenue maintained, as well as thenew growth within, and to be able to view that over time is a great measureof pure revenue operations probe. You know on one a layer on top of that thati have really been a put a focus on with one of my clients is aroundvelocity, and so often we focused around sales velocity and that'simportant right, because you can measure each of the stages and how wellyou're converting through the stages. But i also try to help them. Imagine velocity measurements around themarketing side of the demand ensigne, as well as even velocity, as relates tocustomers customer lifetime value to...

...enable them to start thinking aboutwhat is the revenue impact of everything that we're doing so it'simportant to kind of, and it becomes a shared measurement at that point rightand that that shared measurement then allows you to get out of silos as athing as you think about different functions and allows you to work acrossthe team. Yeah yeah thanks fit mack and market just wanted to pick somethingfrom your introduction, which the last part that you brought in was technologywhich which i like, because often people start with tex stack for. What'syour text tack and then we try to find out the blue friends that feel the decktack. So i think in a take me the other way round cutting the architect whenthe house is already buried, but from a technology bill spectives. Youknow i'm expecting something like some spos that come to be quiet all over thejourney. If you will do you have any specific new start up vendors people ipaying or were really involved in the river, so a solution that ye've, seenand being reverbs professional is as tremling some of the processes, as youmentioned, increasing the verocity yeah. So are you asking? Is there anybody anynew vendors out there? You asking just like how i approach it with clients getof both security. I mean i like to no new technology that i've not been a still a little bit on the undeterredand also i love to tongoo. You appreciate with clients yeah, so i'lltell you if you, if you'd spend any time looking at the marketing stackright, scott brinker has his technology. Landscape is mark tech, technologylandscape, which has over eight thousand companies in it. It isdaunting right and part of the challenge. I think with companies isthat they they have a problem. They know they can fix it and they typicallywill find the first solution that fixes that problem and they struggle with theholistic view of i really what they're trying to accomplish right. So thechallenge, i think many people have over the way we get engaged with mostclients, as will come to us and is typically with a sales force technologyproblem right. I have sales force, it doesn't work. Well, it doesn'ttypically doesn't work because you've, not you, don't know what your processesare. You don't know what you're trying to automate or what you're trying tostreamline or what you're trying to optimize, and so consequently, nothinggets done. If you have a ferrari sitting in your garage that you driveto the mailbox right now, it's you're not using it as intended right thatthing needs. I think music go and so so technologies that i think you'reflying out of the radar. It's tough because there are a lot of technologythat do really good things really. You know very narrow, but very deep wayright. We have a project, my partner and i are working on right now thatwe're wrapping up this week with in a pretty good sized bank here in the usthat has done an incredible job of using technology but they've also,that's also been their celes heel. They've spent so much time acquiringtechnology. They have all of these. You know islands of experience andtechnology excellence, but it's not coordinated it overlaps. It is notfully being realized and so they're trying to rationalize everything theyhave and see are the technologies that can that can do what we're alreadypaying for, and so i think, that's the biggest challenge right and for fourcompanies. If i had to give him any advice, is you need to slow down beforeyou go fast? So take the time to slow down analyze, everything you're doingrealize what you're trying to optimize and then make your most don't buy thetechnology first, because it slows you down. I didn't really answer yourquestion directly, but i like it i like to because you know what you kind ofunser t e t e. The question kind of came live in my mind and- and it'sbecause i just come out of a few cours...

...this afternoon, which people asking mefor a text- tax text, tack that text tack, which you're using what's new anda thing to your point: people a quire techno people have garages full offeraris, but they don't really use any of them and a d, and when they use themthey can create silos. You may have a team being very, very good at usingtheir on little technology and they really exploiting that best of breadstuff for their part, but that is not really communicating with the rest ofthe of the other system. So it's quite an interesting topic. I know i'll. Takeit just one step further and i'll. Let it die is people, companies and clientsof mine. I've got one right now who will acquire a duplicate technologyjust because it has one feature the other one doesn't so the enterprise hasa technology that they have standardized across the company, butthis team has decided, because it doesn't have this one feature: we'regoing to acquire an exact duplicate of another technology to do it for the tiayeah versus just working, i'm just doing a work around right is creatingcomplexity for your, it departments, creating complexity for your team as itrelates to other departments, and it's not. I don't think that, as i say, thejuice is worth a squeeze. No would agree with you megan. I just foul liketo to to a tree if you've seen any common mistakes when companies areimplementing rivers, roll or team together in your port. For you, whatwill be the common mistake that you usually see yeah, i would say a lot ofgrowing pains. As you mentioned, this is a newer role. I believe somecompanies are seeing that tend and they're just really making a change intitle with their existing team, but as an organization, i don't think you canjust change the title of that existing otro or team and expect all the detailsto work itself out in a way that really has a foundational impact towards thatless ilon approach that we were talking about. So in my opinion, it reallyneeds to be a conscious, consensual change and how the entire organizationis operating to be successful, as opposed to just focusing on what thetitle is makes belfires megan. What about you makua anything to a on whatmake us a yeah, an i'm with negai ou know a lot of companies have justchanged the title right and makes it make it sound bigger. I think for thatto be effective, though the team you need to have experience across theorganization that you're trying to support so where value is created right issomebody who has sold before and now they are in a revenue operations, wall,they've done marketing before and now they're in a regno operations role,they've done customer and clans success now they're in the revenue operationsrole having that that on the job experience will bring somuch more to the function itself right and then really truly having people whoare spirited and really passionate about analytics and processes and havethat kind of engineering mind to how it works. I think those are the componentsthat really i've seen enable a team to be most effective with revenue. Opsyeah, you can have is great. We kind of read my mind and responsing to my nextquestion, which is, let's say: let's have a cerco or so i'm listening to bea pizza today, because now i was doing some research robin operation. Whatdoes that mean all the people in the bay area and was on for the startedthat i knew a recreating odo sport? I kind of feel that i need one. We knowwhat it is, but i see to recruit that individual and i think you gave somegood kind of nuggets of information as to what thatperson should have in the profile from you again. If i was to start and say,okay, i want to find the right person. I want to write a jet paco. I want toask the right question from your des picking at what should they be lookingfor in that individual that can pretty...

...much kind of blue the functionstogether. Yeah, i would say in turns of personality traits. Curiosity is a bigone, because that's really how you start to understand and divulged andkill back all the leaders within your processes and text tack to really seeokay. What is the heart of the problem? I may be getting as an operations roleall of these potential projects thrown at me, but i really need to be curious.Diggin understand what is the baseline issue that i'm trying to solve and howdo i, solvit across multiple different departments, at the same time, not justtaking one silet approach that makes sense yeah? I love that magnet think ilove that word curiosity, because the word i often use is criticalthinking, but curiosity to may it kind of works even better, because it'salways asking why, right? Why is this working well and why is it broken rightand then leveraging your problem solving skills to fix it or to enableit to repeat right if it's working well rate, you want to repeat that and makeit more efficient. If it's not working, then how do we fix it and improve it?So i love that. I love that word yeah and let's question guys really for mefor me today's stage of companies. So again i'mmissing you all. My friends are doing it, the other pravus people coming comingout of everywhere. How do i know if my company need that individual right,because if i'm a start but started yesterday, i may want to have onebecause you know i got lots of investment and it's cool to have wonthat as probably the the way people are thinking. Sorry, but it's probablysomething that would think about getting at some points, but what's thewhat's the inflation point where you've got to start thinking about travers andand what's the journey before ever so? If you don't have it, how would you see the journey to deal with the is thatreverence is dealing with? When would you implement reverbs number ofcustomers? Is it is it is it is it when you're seeking more investment is whenyou become public? Is that is the rule of some? What areyour thoughts on? That is a why open question am so sorry, no no worries mark ill. Take it first,if you don't mind, but i love this question, because it's one we often getand one that companies start to think about a little bit later on in theirgirth journey, but i like to say that there is no barrier to entry forrevenue operations and similar to if you're thirsty, you probably shouldhave drank water like thirty minutes ago. You know. So, if you're askingyourself the question, when do i need rub ups, you probably already needed it.It's something that, like we said, is intended to trulyimplement and grow and skill with your business and like mark was touching onit. You can really help resolve some of those problems before their problemsand your typeset or any of your processes. If you're having somebody ora team, that's truly focused on it in the beginning. So i love that question.It's one we always get, and one that i always say like now is the right time,no matter where your business is right, now sure yeah, you know, i think i think you're right the there, when you're starting out rightthis difficult to justify expenditures on to a head counter a person to dothis sole lake right. So maybe, in the initial early days of a start up, youmight have your cfo. Who can be that kind of minded person right that thatops minded person or your coo even who can help just coordinate and organizeand manage the the kpis are necessary to be effective. But, as you start toget sales people, as you start to get layers in your business right and youstart to have your hands in multiple pots, it becomes more necessary to havesomebody who is t your right hand,...

...person. Who is your extension of youwho can help, make sure that the machine is operating correctly right,whether if you're starting to get into cop plan design you're starting to getinto you know the effectiveness of yoursales. Final, your starting to get into your own boarding and your lifetimevalue and all these different functions that start to become more repeatableand more scaled than you probably need a person at that point or a team atthat point being where you are so dance your question. I think it is a littlebit based on where you are in your growth, your life cycle, but it mightalso be based on revenue. So, if you're getting to like a a two million dollararr three million five million dollar or your probably going to need a personat that point dedicated to it once you get to ten to you know: fifteen million,you might need to get multiple people and then just scale up from there.You'll you'll start to realize it because it gets more complex right. Thesystem become more complex, the sales process becomes more complex. The cupbecomes more complex and so you'll start to realize when your your teamstarts raising their hands, as i'm done it's time to add people yeah and add to that red. I think your lastquestion was: what do you do? If you don't have somebody in that role andone of the places i like to tell people to really start as focusing on yourcustomer journey and that's where you're getting all of your leaders fromyour go to market teams that we mentioned before involved, reallyevaluating all of the different hand offs of the different communication andpotential places where your customers could fall out in turn or places whereyou're missing on that opportunity to accelerate growth with any of thosecustomers. So i think that is, if you don't have someone dedicated in thatrole, i think it's a great place to start to understand your revenueoperations journey. Okay, i actually have one more question. Yeah just camefrom which you just saying again, i'm so sorry we're going to run out of time. We are currently thinking as a businessabout building up what we would be. I guess we will call a customer advisory bot, but getting our customersto come and not a d. I think we've got quite a good crew about what we want todo, but we always want to better our odisse to think about things that wemay not be doing or thing in the market is that to rave up roar? Should it besomeone in revenue upsat that could get that completely in saying? Well, okay,i'm gonna grow all the things in todry, i'm going to get all the functioningdenny to have that that great level of communication make sure the customerjohnnys, contesta and stream line for the customer, but is there also anexternal rule of creating that community of customers getting them tobe getting the diction and, in fact thing that's a sort of a very honest feedback from the oss'smouse. I have an opinion like i can go first of is one i can. I do not think this is revenue hops. Sothis is your. This is your customer experient customer success?You know vp whoever owns the customer right. Whoever owns that that thatexperience owns the customer, vise report and actually probably in concertwith your smo right. Those two probably need to work together because the feedthat you're going to get there is going to influence how you go to market andtry to generate more interest right now. However, your revenue office persondefinitely has a seat at that table and is very interested in how things indein the feedback that the customers are giving because it influencespotentially where you can find opportunity to improve the process, butthe ownership of that is with your your vp of customer success or clientsuccess. In my opinion, yeah. I love that answer and mark. I love that youput the cm or the marketing team in there, because that's really where youstart to move away from this single flow, funnel approach and really startto get into that fly wheel with your customers to help them circle back withmarketing and really help accelerate...

...that growth yeah. Well, i took a out of that just as the implement that internity the inyo solesgave or for sharing or your instate today with ardency was, was really good.One of the question that we ask at the end of each piso that we record is howdo we get in touch with you? So if someone wants to terron theconversation with you, mag and alas, speak about mainsail partners and whichyou could do for their business and with your mark. If someone wants to,you know, get to involve for a bit of constituency and potentially supportingthem in doing all those function together again, a can get their rebabspot. Out of the you know to the sea was the bestway to get into trito guys yeah i'd love to continue the conversation. Thebest way to get in touch with me is linked in again megan heines or you canfollow mainsail partners for some additional be tobe content, and for meagain you can find me on linkedin, i'm at mark kelly, so just a mark in may ork kelly, and then you can find us on line at new edge growth right well. Thank you. So much once again,gay he was an up to piso to have on the book kist. Thank you. Operatics has redefined the meaning ofrevenue generation for technology companies worldwide, while thetraditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams in househas existed for many years. Companies are struggling with the lack of focus,agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprisetechnology sales see how operatics can help your company accelerate pipelineat operatics, dot net you've been listening to be to be revenueacceleration to ensure that you never miss an episode subscribe to the showin your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening until nexttime. I.

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