B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 1 year 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.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for B2B Revenue Acceleration in your favorite podcast player.

So you were listening to be tob revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated to helping software executives stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, welcome to be to be a revenue acceleration. My name is alien. With you, and today I have the pleasure of welcoming too, guests in the in the podcast. Megan Hines, director proven you operation of Mainsay, pop knows, and Mark Kitty, see you of new age growth. Are you both gay? Doing today? Wonderful. Thank you so much for having me. Yeah, pleasure of pleasure. So today we will be speaking about the importance of revenue operations. But before we get started, can you guys give a quick in tradition to we you are we you walk for, and I think we should start with ladies felt, so mega join it with this. Good yes, thank you. I'm Megan Hinds, and I've been working in Sass or software, as a serving businesses for the majority of my career in varying operations roles and now with mainsteal partners. I really have the pleasure to work alongside our portfolio companies to help skill their organizations. So mainsale is a growth equity firm and we focus on bb software solutions and specific particles. Very, very good. We thank you very much for again markable to you. Yeah, so thanks for having me. My entire career has been in the BB space and I've held probably every position under the sun related to product or marketing or sales. Most recently, of held titles as chief marketing, off search if revenue officer, one of which was with a mainsale for folio company, and about six years ago I founded a new edge growth and we are focused on helping marketing and sales leaders, revenue leaders, really help them grow and and define their process and the revenue engine, and so we focus on that from a standpoint of what we call the sport of growth, so strategy, process, operations, repeatability and results, and then technology finally, of course. Sounds Great. Well, thank you so much for that, gay is that that's formed off wood and in thanks for participating today. So let's get going. Revenue Operation. So it's a bit of a buzz. Walt, I've got to be ans with you in the preparation of the podcast and as we good game like, he's revenue operation. The Semis site. Is Operation? Is it operation? Operation with I'll do two worlds, like getting together and creating that new tie to at that I see growing everywhel. See A lot of PROVENU operation people coming out of the woodwork. So let's start with what it means from your prospective guy and maybe making you want to get us going. But you know, I guess my main question for you is what was the definition of proven you operation? How does that I'll is defferent from starts operation. Yeah, great question. I'll start by saying that, just like sales operations, revenue operations are reb ups and sometimes it's referred to really exists to drive the efficiencies and best practices to the growth engine of stealing businesses. So there's really no difference there. But because revenue growth in today's world cannot be limited to just sales, we really need a model for aligning every go to market team and your strategy for that customer growth. So revenue operations is really the set of the steps, processes and tools that are industry tested and intended to grow with the business in that way. Okay, so who end support from sers worlds us all function with becaustomers success, because that's what was one was all tied to it. He's coming up a lot customers success with the people walking of taking their clients and the journey as a customers. That is the only play. All that will come as a functioning in rib ups. Hope I'll you seeing you as a function 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 the customer...

...journey. Good. All right, thanks for letting again and mark from your perspective, revenue ups or Rib ups, the's fools sets ups. What what do you see? The the main defferences, if you see any? Yo, there's definitely a difference and I think Megan nailed it right. It is fifteen years ago, revenue or, sorry, sales ops, was what was, you know, the the term that was being used, and probably about three or four years ago revenue ops started taking a greater role and and Megan nailed it right. It is. It is. It spans the entire process of the customer journey, right from the time that they are doing research to try and figure out how do I fix this problem. I have through the entire sales engagement to post sales and that on boarding and customer experience. Right. That entire that entire chain is what defines revenue operations and it's really coordinating the playbook across the entire company to enable that to happen. Okay. So, so, saying was your mom, who would you say should be one? I think you went through the defrond teams. That should be a line we ups. But who is edging up, Prov up saying that in that in that time that come down? So it's a good question. Right, if you have a if you have a chief revenue officer, you know that that probably rolls up to that person, but it does. It needs to be somebody who does have visibility across all the different functions. Right, it is, and it's anybody who has a direct touch point with the end customer. Right. So those are the folks who are involved in this revenue operations. Now, do they participate and do the REV OPS function? No, but the REV ops person, person who's in charge of the team, there's in charge of it, needs to have access so they can measure. No different than, let's say, if you were to use an F one's analogy. Right, if you're an F one team, you have multiple engineers who are working on different parts of the car and of the race. Right, each one has a role to ensure that the outcome is that you place as high as you can get points. Right, in this case it is we are trying to generate revenue. So how do we coordinate everybody to make sure that we're all operating as efficiently as possible? Okay, so that's pretty as our type of responsivity team eyes. Okay, in my eyes. Yeah, let's took about Measureman, guys, because there is again the function is so broad. So you've got the young building of the customer, you've got wading, the customers on building the customer, keeping the customers. So I guess one of the one of the the the measure of success would be ongoing revenue and and and the montster recurring revenue just adding up. But do you see any KPI's all? Okay, y'all, that could be broken down. I'll do you. I've you seen any specific methodology of companies driving their Riv ups team with specific targets or specific Apas at what went? Yeah, just like you said, I think it has to be tied to the revenue and in that sense there's a lot of tpies within that we can measure, but both of gross revenue net revenue. Retention is a great one, or NR's it's referred to, because then you're really measuring both aspects of the revenue maintained as well as the new growth within and to be able to view that over time is a great measure of your revenue operations roll. You know, one a layer on top of that that I have really been up put a focus on with one of my clients is around velocity. And so often we focused around sales velocity and that's important, right, because you can measure each of the stages and how well you're converting through the stages. But I also try to help them imagine the velocity measurements around the marketing side, so the demands enzyme, as well as even velocity as relates to customers, customer lifetime value,...

...to enable them to start thinking about what is the revenue impact of everything that we're doing. So it's important to kind of and it's becomes a sheared measurement at that point, right, and that that shared measurement then allows you to get out of silos, as I think that you think about differ functions and allows you to work across the team. Yeah, yeah, thanks to mock and Mar could. Just wanted to pick something from your introduction, which the lass spots. That's your broad sea with sticknology, which which I like this. Often people are stuff. We stick stuck fast. What's your thick stack? And then we try to find out the blueprint. That feel the back. So the kind of taking it deals a way around putting the architects. When the the the house, he's already good. But from the technology perspective, you know, I'm expecting something like se spalls dot come to be quiet all of the journey, if you will. Do you have any specific new thought? Vendors, people di being or well, really involved in the REV up. So a solution that's you've seen helping reb ups professional is a streamlining some of the processes all, as you mentioned, increasing the velocity. Yeah, so are you asking? You there anybody? Any new vendors out there? You asking just like how I approach it with clients. Get off both security. I mean I'd like to know your lily new technology that I've not been a still a little bit on the on the radar, but and also I'd love to Tec know you approach it with clients. Yeah, so I'll tell you if you if you'd spend any time looking at the marketing stack. Right, Scott brinker has his technology landscape, is marked technology landscape, which has over eightzero companies in it. It is daunting, right, and part of the challenge, I think, with companies is that they they have a problem, they know they can fix it and they typically will find the first solution that fixes that problem and they struggle with the holistic view of really what they're trying to accomplish. Right. So the challenge, I think many people have a the way we get engaged with most client this is will come to us and is typically with a sales force technology problem. Right. I have sales force. It doesn't work well, it doesn't typically doesn't work because you've not you don't know what your processes are, you don't know what you're trying to automate or what you're trying to streamline or what you're trying to optimize, and so consequently nothing gets done. If you have a Ferrari sitting in your garage that you drive to the mailbox right now. It's you're not using it as intended. Right. That thing needs to I think, needs to go. And so so technologies that I think you're flying under the radar. It's tough because there are a lot of technologies that do really good things, really, you know, very narrow but very deep way. Right, we have a project my partner and I are working on right now that we're wrapping up this week with a pretty good sized bank here in the US that has done an incredible job of using technology. But they've also that's also been their achielees heel. They've spent so much time acquiring technology that they have all of these, you know, islands of experience and technology excellence, but it's not coordinated, it overlaps, it is not fully being realized, and so they're trying to rationalize everything they have and see are the technologies that can that can do what we're already paying for. And so I think that's the biggest challenge right and and for for companies. I if I had to give them any advice, is you need to slow down before you go fast. So take take the time to slow down, analyze everything you're doing, realize what you're trying to optimize and then make your moves. Don't buy the technology first because it slows you down. I didn't really answer your question directly, but I like it. I like it because you know why you can offense of the that question can of came live in my mind and and it's because I just come out of a few cours this afternoon with people asking me for a text tax,...

...text tacts, textack. What you using? What's new? And I think, to your point, people are quiet achnology. People have garages full of ferraries but they don't really use any of them right and and and and when they use them they can create silos. So you may have a team being very, very good at using their only little technology and they're really exploiting that best of brick stuff for their part, but then it's not really communicating with the rest of the of the of the system. So it's quite an interesting topic. And I'll take that just one step further and I'll let it die. Is People, companies and clients of mind. I've got one right now who will acquire a duplicate technology just because it has one feature the other one doesn't. So the enterprise has a technology that they have standardized across the company, but this team has decided, because it doesn't have this one feature, we're going to acquire an exact duplicate of another technology to do it for them. Yeah, versus just working or just doing a workaround right, it's creating complexity for your it departments, creating complexity for your team as it relates to other departments, and it's not I don't think that. As I say, the juice is worth the squeeze. Now would agree with you again. I just related to tow us if you've seen any common mistakes when companies are implementing Riv up roll or team to get in your point for you, would we be the common mistate that you usually see? Yeah, I would say a lot of growing pains. As you mentioned, this is a newer role. I believe some companies are seeing that trend and they're just really making a change in title with their existing team. But as an organization, I don't think you can just change the title of that existing ops role or team and expect all of the details to work itself out in a way that really has a foundational impact towards that less siload approach that we were talking about. So in my opinion, it really needs to be a conscious, consensual change and how the entire organization is operating to be successful, as opposed to just focusing on what the title is. Makes Perfect sence me again, what about Smoki of anything to to? I don't what make just said. Yeah, and I'm with my going to you know a lot of companies have just changed the title right and makes make it sound bigger. I think for that to be effective, though, the team you need to have experience across the organization you're trying to support. So we're value is created, right, is somebody who has sold before and now they're in a revenue operations roll. They've done marketing before and now they're in a revenue operations roll. They've done customer and client success, now they're in a revenue operations role. Having that that, that on the job experience will bring so much more to the function itself, right and then really truly having people who are spirited and really passionate about analytics and processes and have that kind of engineering mind to how it works. I think those are the components that really I've seen enable a team to be most effective with revenue APPs. Yeah, you can. of He is great. You can have read my mind. And responding to the next question, which is, let's say, let's say a CEO ALL CR or seem I'm listening to be a piece of today because I was doing some results roving the operation. What does that mean? All the people in the bay area and blist done every or just stop that I know are recruiting produce sport. I kind of feel that I need one great know what it is. Well, we's need to recruit that individual and I think you gave some good kind of nuggets of information as to what that doesn't should I in know, pro fine from you again if I was to stopped. Its okay, I want to find the right doesn't want to write adjust. Thank all I want as the right question from you. All those big team what should they be looking for in that...

...individual that can pretty much kind of goor the functions together? Yeah, I would say in terms of personality traits, curiosity is a big one, because that's really how you start to understand and divulge and kill back all the layers within your processes and text ac to really see. Okay, what is the heart of the problem? I may be getting as an operations roll, all of these potential projects thrown at me, but I really need to be curious, dig in, understand what is the baseline issue that I'm trying to solve and how do I solve it across multiple different departments at the same time, not just taking one sideload approach. I think sense. Yeah, I love that Magna. I think that I love that word curiosity, because the word I often use is critical thinking, but curiosity, to May get kind of works even better because it's always asking why, right, why is this working well and why is it broken? Right, and then leveraging your problem solving skills to fix it or to enable it to repeat. Right, if it's working well, where you want to repeat that and make it 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 ready for me, for me, today's stage of companies. So again I'm a see you all my friends are doing it. They have the spread ups, people coming coming out of everywhere. I would do I know if my company need that individual right, because if I'm a start of a started yesterday, I may want to have won because you know, I got lots of investment and it's cool to have won that ups. Probably that the way people are thinking. Sorry, it's probably so. Yet I would think about getting at some points. But what's the was the inflation point where you've got to stop thinking about Trev ups and what's The journey before? Even so, if you don't have it, I would you see the journey to deal with the issue that REV UPS is dealing with? When would you implement Rev ups? Number of customers? Is it is, it is, it is. It's when you're seeking more investment. Is when you become public. Is that? He is on the rule of some what are your thoughts on that? It's a wide open question. Gay, I'm so sorry. No, no worries, mark, I'll take it first, if you don't mind. But I love this question because it's one we often get and one that companies start to think about a little bit later on in their growth journey. But I like to say that there's no barrier to entry for revenue operations and similar to if you're Thursday, you probably should a drink water like thirty minutes ago. You know. So if you're asking yourself the question, when do I need up ups. You probably already needed it. It's something that, like we said, is intended to truly implement and grow and scale with Your Business and, like mark was touching on it, you can really help resolve some of those problems before their problems and your text doc or any of your processes if you're having somebody or a 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 it's right now. Yeah, you know, and I think I think you're right. The there, when you're starting out right, this difficult to justify expenditures onto a head counter person to do this solely. Right. So maybe the initial early days of a startup you might have your CFO, who can be that kind of minded person, right, that that ops minded person, or your coo even, who can help just coordinate and organize and manage the the Kepis are necessary to be effective. But as you start to get sales people, as you start to get layers in your business right and you start to have your hands in multiple pots, it becomes more necessary to have somebody who is your right hand person who is your extension of you, who can...

...help make sure that the machine is operating correctly. Right, whether you're if you're starting to get into complan design, you starting to get into the the you know, the effectiveness of your sales funnel. You's going to get into your onboarding and your lifetime value and all these different functions that start to become more repeatable and more scaled, then you probably need a person at that point, or team at that point, being on where you are. So, to answer your question, I think it is a little bit based on where you are in your growth, your life cycle, but it might also be based on revenues. So if you're getting to like a two million dollar, a ror, three million, five million dollar are are you're probably going to need a person at that point dedicated to it. Once you get to tend 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's more complex, right, the system become more complex, the sales process becomes more complex, the COMP becomes more complex, and so you'll start to realize when your team starts raising their hands. As I'm done you know it's time to add people. Yeah, and I'll add to that right. I think your last question was what do you do if you don't have somebody in that role? And one of the places I like to tell people to really start is focusing on your customer journey and that's where you're getting all of your leaders from. Your go to market teams that we mentioned before involved really evaluating all of the different handoffs, all of the different communication and potential places where your customers could fall out in churn or places where you're missing on that opportunity to accelerate growth with any of those customers. So I think that is if you don't have someone dedicated and that role, I think it's a great place to start to understand your revenue operations journey. Okay, actually have one more question. They are just came from which you just saying again. I'm so sorry, we're going to run out of time. We are currently thinking as a business about building up what we will be, I guess we will call a customer advisory Blot the getting our customers to come and I think we've got quite a good clue about what we want to do. But we always want to beat our services or to think about things that we may not be doing or saying in the market. IS THAT TO REV UP SCROLL? Should it be someone in revenue ups that that would get that completely insane? Well, okay, I'm going to grow all the things internally. I'm going to get all the functioning done. They need to have that that great level of communication, make sure the customer journey is fantastic and streamline for the customer. But is there also an external role of creating that community of customers, getting them to Spik, getting them to extend and and in fact I think that's a sort of a very honest feedback from the ouss mouse. I have an opinion. Like I can go first of this one. I know, I do not think this is revenue ups. So this is your this is your customer experience, customer success. You know, VP, whoever owns the customer right, whoever owns that, that that experience, owns the customer advisor report and actually probably in concert with your CMO, right, those two probably need to work together because the feedback are going to get there is going to influence how you go to market and try to generate more interest. Right now, however, your revenue ops person definitely has a seat at that table and it's very interested in how things and in the feedback that the customers are giving because it influences potentially where you can find opportunity to improve the process. But the ownership of that is with your your vp of customer success or client success, in my opinion. Yeah, I love that answer. And Mark I love that you put the CMO or the marketing team in there, because that's really where you start to move away from this single flow funnel approach and really start to get into that fly wheel with your customers to help them circle back with marketing and really help accelerate that growth. Yep, well, I'm to connotive debts.

Just make sure that they implement that. You deny the thank you so much, gay, for sharing what you're in say today with all audience. He was was really good. I'm one of the question that we ask at the end of each a piece of that we recall these. I'll do we get in touch with you. So if someone wants to carry on the conversation with you, mega and and all speak about mainstain pulp mails and which you could do for the business and we you mock if someone wants to, you know, get to Inverte for a bit of constructency and potentially bought some gaming doing orders function to get us again again get the Rev ups bullet at of the you know, the sea was the best way to get in touchrees you, gays. Yeah, I'd love to continue the conversation. The best way to get in touch with me is linkedin again, Megan Hines, or you can follow mainsale partners for some additional be tob content and and for me again, you can find me on Linkedin. I'm at Mark Telly, so it just to mark em Er k Kelly and then you can find us online at new edge growthcom right. Wow, thank you so much once again, gays. He was an absolute big out to have you on the post. Thank you. operatics has redefined the meaning of revenue generation for technology companies worldwide. While the traditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams inhouse has existed for many years, companies are struggling with a lack of focus, agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprise technology sales. See How operatics can help your company accelerate pipeline at operatics dotnet. You've been listening to be tob revenue acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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