Quotes in this article are taken from season one of RevOps Unboxed and are edited for length and clarity.
With season one of our podcast RevOps Unboxed wrapped up, we thought we’d treat you to the three best metrics insights from the season in one place. Season two is in the works, but until then let’s reminisce!
Our host Sandy Robinson, SVP of Revenue Operations at Patra, sat down with eight of the most experienced RevOps practitioners around the world, discussing the ins and outs of key RevOps topics such as prioritizing projects to working with changing data.
Fancy listening again from the beginning? Check out the podcast here. 👈
Skip ahead to your favorite highlight here:
- Sales forecasting with Kristina
- Changing data with Katerina
- Creating a single source of truth with Marin
Sales forecasting with Kristina
Kristina Diederich, VP of Revenue Operations, featured in episode four of RevOps Unboxed. In her podcast episode, she dives into unifying silos within organizations with Sandy. In this snippet, she discusses how poor alignment can lead to overforecasting.
Listen to the full episode here:
Can you tell us a little bit about unifying siloed teams and your approach?
Kristina: “My last company had all the pieces, they just didn't have them working together. I remember when I first started, I was only supposed to take on the tech stack and the reporting, so I started having conversations with the other operations people to introduce myself and understand what everyone was working on.
“I walked out of four different meetings with all the leaders of the operations departments and added up the number for the pipeline. I realized that the number didn’t match what was in Salesforce.
“So what happened here?
“I started asking everybody, ‘What are the top deals you're including in your pipeline? Give me the top 25.’
“Even in the top 25 deals, I realized they were double forecasting.
“Double forecasting explained why three sales reps might say they have 50 million, 30 million, and 20 million, respectively in the pipeline. But as a company, we only actually had 90 million from these reps.
“I started uncovering all these little things – I equate it to that little string that you pull on your shirt and then the bottom of your shirt falls apart. I realized that none of these guys were having conversations with each other. So before anybody even reported to me, I insisted on a meeting where the sales team spoke to each other.
“Whether or not it into reported to me, this discrepancy was insanity to me.
“That's where we started. As those conversations took place, not only did we actually work out all the numbers, which was a big challenge in itself. But we also started saying:
‘Sales uses this, but since customer success (CS) also sells, we should look at how they can leverage this report with a couple of tweaks. CS does this, and that works for partners. So how do we tweak this a little bit for partners?’
“We started sharing all these new insights that ended up reinventing the wheel, every time, in every department. Now we have some corporate dashboards that the analytics team created that have filters to put everybody's lens over it.
“But when we take all the lenses off, we know the number that we got to you was the corporate number.”
Changing data with Katerina
Katerina Ostrovsky, Global Head of Revenue Operations at JellySmack, featured in episode two of our podcast, to discuss RevOps data and how to analyze it. Our highlight was when Katerina discussed utilizing changing data over flat data.
Listen to the full conversation here:
How do you approach data-driven RevOps in your organization, and what does it mean to you?
Katerina: “Data-driven is something that companies aspire to be, it's a buzzword that gets thrown around a lot. But just having large amounts of data or large amounts of reporting doesn't mean you're actually looking at the right metrics that you need in order to have real improvements in your business.
“One of the things that I've become excited about, with the advent of new technologies and visualization tools, is the ability to truly track change in your reporting.
“It's not enough to just look at one point in time anymore, you have to be able to track change, you have to know how you're pacing, and you have to use dynamic data, instead of flat data.
“When you can dig deep and understand how your salespeople are converting opportunities from stage to stage, you can look at the areas of weakness, and then target your initiatives, improvement strategies, and enablement towards those specific areas.
“It's not about creating big organization-wide change, it's not about redoing your entire sales process. It's really about understanding what specific areas or specific individual contributors you have, and where their struggles are.”
Do you have an example of how you've uncovered a piece of microdata to help?
Katerina: “Flat data is very black and white. And it's not that it's inaccurate, it can just lead us to the wrong insights. It doesn't really show us the root cause when you're looking at a salesperson's performance as an example, and you're seeing that they're not performing well against their quota.
“The only thing that says to us is they're not performing well. But it doesn't give you any insight into how you as an organization, or as an enabler, or coach can help with the area that they specifically need support on.
“So when you're looking at an individual contributor you should be looking at how they’re moving opportunities through their pipeline. Some salespeople struggle with negotiation, another sales rep may struggle in the legal and contracts stage. Some salespeople struggle with discovery.
“If you're looking at your entire sales process, and you're just wanting to make holistic, large-scale changes, you're not really addressing the individual and their individual struggles.
“So it’s about breaking things down into bite-sized pieces and then, most importantly, showing change week over week. It may or may not work, but you're not going to know that unless you're tracking the actual change. It's a great way to show ROI.”
Creating a single source of truth with Marin
Marin Page, Senior Salesforce Business Analyst at Soliant Consulting, was on episode three of RevOps Unboxed. She discussed why having a single source of truth is key to revenue operations success.
Listen to the full episode here:
What is a single source of truth in an organization?
Marin: “One thing you'll see a lot when you're looking into the Salesforce ecosystem is the idea of having a system that’s a single source of truth. This could be Salesforce or another CRM.
“In that, if anything disagrees with that system or branches off of that system, then your single source of truth is what takes priority.
“And it's more of a philosophical approach to how you integrate your different teams. Your main CRM is the one thing that every system and tool talks to, and every piece of data goes through.”
“In a previous role, we were looking at integrating an external marketing automation program with Salesforce. We were also looking into integrating a platform to build orders and build customer prospectuses. The question was:
‘Can we have the platform that’ll build the orders talk to both the marketing system and the primary CRM and exchange information with both of us?’
“We also needed that marketing platform to integrate directly with Salesforce. And the request we had was for a triangular integration where all the systems are sending information back and forth to each other in a triangle.
“But what we needed was a ‘V’ where Salesforce was the apex of the ‘V’ and the other systems spoke to each other through Salesforce.
“That way your single source of truth (whatever record was being updated) primarily lived in Salesforce and nobody was changing the analogues for that record in the other systems without first talking to Salesforce.
“And that's how we kept the data pure and kept it from being out of sync with each other.”
What kind of steps do you take to create a single source of truth when you’re working with clients on their tech?
Marin: “I always start with a holistic approach to all the systems involved. It's really easy to get mired down in the details of integrating system A with system B. But there are also systems D through G, which are integrated with system A as well.
“How does that new system integrating this new system affect the users of those other systems?
“How does that affect other teams that are relying on data that could be altered, without them expecting to see it be altered?
“It's really important to dive deep and talk to all the potential stakeholders that live around that single source of truth, before you start integrating and changing data and getting creative with how you're integrating things.
“So that would be the first thing, requirements gathering. What are the risks that are inherent in integrating the system, who's involved, and who touches the data?
“The second thing is to look at an MVP, a minimum viable product of what is the least amount of integration we can do to get started, without going over the top.
“Let's get the most essential items synced in the way we want them synced and pause to look for any unintended consequences. Then evaluate our next steps.”
For more insights from season one of our podcast RevOps Unboxed, check out the full episodes!
Or check out our brand new episodes in season two.
Psst… Fancy featuring in your own podcast episode? Drop us a line.