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How to Remove Friction Across RevOps Teams

Helping RevOps Teams Get Fully Leverage HubSpot

Barry: So Ben, tell us a little bit about yourself and about Remotish to give our listeners more context about who you are and the company that you work with.

Ben: I’m located in Austin, Texas. We just had South by Southwest, which was awesome. I’m originally born and raised in Cincinnati though. So I spent all my childhood growing up, my teenage years and a good portion of my early adulthood in Cincinnati, but I’m loving Austin right now, the weather’s really turning. So it’s nice to be down here. 

A little bit about Remotish. I joined Remotish just over a year ago and Remotish has excelled in growth and our focus is really tightly positioned around HubSpot Revenue, Operation Implementation from a very strategic and tactical perspective. And so we have a really experienced team that brings in the roles of a digital project strategist, a HubSpot strategist. We have full stack and front-end developers as well as Senior ops and Client Service Management in the whole realm of an agency developer space inside of HubSpot.

Barry: So this is actually our first time having an agency on our podcast. So I’m actually really curious to hear about some of the pain points. I know Ben, before you were Revenue Director, you were more on the sales side, but some of the pain points that bring your clients to you guys, what gets them on the call?

Ben: I think what we see a lot of times is that revenue operations is still maturing out the definition of what it is. What it means and then how can companies lean on it? So we see things that come over from a company side that are challenges around bad data, low adoption rates, right? The team isn’t using it, they’re not feeling empowered. They’re not hitting revenue goals. Maybe there’s friction. There’s very siloed marketing, sales, and service departments, and siloed leadership as well. That can be a big challenge inside of what we see as well, when we’re working with a VP of sales, maybe a CMO or Director of Marketing and a Director of Customer Success, wanting to help align those. Having no documentation put together, no formalized reporting so that they can see and have visibility to the things and areas that they need to focus on.

Not only on what they need to focus on, but also what is working? That’s a big portion of this as well, is knowing what works and knowing what doesn’t work, so you shift where you need to. Guiding all of that then comes in a place where you look at it and say, “Where do you need to maximize investments and minimize expenses?”

A lot of times we’ll see department heads look to increase headcount thinking that’s going to solve a problem, throwing money at things. That’s a pretty typical path. But when we get to the reality of it, a lot of times it’s about identifying how you’re not maximizing your investment, aka, for Remotish, that would be HubSpot, to where you can save on headcount. You can save on expenses because we’re going to enable your team to be more efficient and do more in say the eight hours that they work a day.

So it’s really about how we’re finding the places where they’re communicating that out. I’m stalled in growth, I don’t have reporting, I can’t trust my data, which means I can’t trust my reports. This report, what’s presenting, doesn’t align with this report. I don’t have alignment in what marketing leads are coming over, MQL are coming over. And when that transitions over to SQL, so leads scoring. There’s a lot inside there that could actually be unpacked. But I think it’s a little bit focused on that. I’m stalled out and I don’t feel like I’m getting the most out of HubSpot.

Barry: Yep. No, that makes sense. So my follow-up question to that is specifically, what I got from it is that the reason they’re calling is maybe because they didn’t have the skillset to do the reporting or the data. Is that the wrong assumption, the wrong extrapolation that I’m making?

Ben: I would say your spot on there, Barry, for sure. And it’s nothing to be ashamed of. As your listeners are listening to this episode, don’t be ashamed, just reach out, there are people and partners in the world who do this day in and day out. And our strategic deepest expertise around RevOps inside of HubSpot is how we can help you get there. And so it’s definitely looking at it from a perspective that says, “I don’t know how, but who should I reach out to?”

I think we’re in a space now, as we talked about Marketing Ops, Sales Ops, all these other Ops, company operations, but then you look at it and now where Revenue Operations comes in and it’s the umbrella over all of them. But it’s looking at it and saying, “Revenue Operations is here.” It’s how bad you’re doing it or how good you’re doing it, because you’re doing it, but it’s just how, we have to look at it.

Increasing Revenue and Profitability for HubSpot Users

Barry: So that’s interesting, because I thought it was just going to be that people were reaching out because they didn’t have the headcount or they didn’t know that it was important to do these things. And they were like, “We want more revenue, let’s hire an agency.” But it sounds like people understand that they’re missing some of the tactical skills and that’s when they’re reaching out. And it’s good for both parties because one, you get business, but two, they could even save money instead of hiring another person that also doesn’t know the business as well or the tactical way to do the reporting and the data and be connected.

Ben: Yeah, 100%. And that perspective is how we want to help companies. We’ll specialize in a lot of businesses, as long as you’re on HubSpot and you’re probably at a mid-market level, then we’re going to help you scale up. And that’s the keyword there, scale, right? Where it’s looking at, how you grow to increase revenue and profitability while not having your expenses scale at the same rate. So that’s what we want to do there, is just look at how we can help you get to where you are as a business phase and wherever you identify yourself in that phase.

And then leaning on the practices and core functionality of RevOps in HubSpot geared around reporting and adoption that are going to get you into a scaling growth phase versus, throwing money at the expense, putting more headcount up. Yes, your revenue’s going to go up, your profitability is going to stay the same, the problem line is going to stay the same, and your expenses will go up right with it. It’s about how we can separate that and start that exponential growth on your profitability and revenue, keeping that separate from your expenses not on the same trend curve.

A Collaborative Mindset in RevOps

Barry: There’s a lot we’re going to unpack from that. We’re going to talk about reporting in this podcast, so stay on if you’re interested in that. But first, I want to discuss collaboration which is something Ben and I are passionate about. Ben was telling me that before he joined Remotish he was in a different type of industry for 16 years. And he joined Remotish and it was through the power of collaboration that he was able to push forward. Ben, maybe you could talk a bit more about this.

Ben: Yeah. I love this story. And collaboration has been a big part of my professional journey and how we ask questions and learn from each other. And so, yeah, you’re correct. I spent 16 years inside of the Audio Video Integration Industry. So very technical industry to be in. I was the VP of sales and technology for the last company I was at.

So still involved in sales and how I actually found Remotish was the last project initiative I took on at my last company was to migrate us from Quickbase to HubSpot and all the empowerment and enablement tools that come from the Saleshub, that would enable our team to actually have better efficiency inside of selling. So that was my last project. And I fell in love with HubSpot so quickly that I just thought this was the coolest thing.

And so when I was able to take the position with Remotish and start as the salesperson, it was, yeah, I come with a lot of sales experience and high-level technical leadership, but this is new for me. This is selling software development now, which was a very new industry for me, not to even separate that from the fact of just getting into HubSpot and all of the ins and outs, the features, the dark places that we want to understand more about inside a HubSpot.

So I had to go through collaboration directly with our CEO, Nicole Pereira, to help me up my knowledge and ability to connect through our discovery which is we are a very solution and consultative selling approach inside of our sales process and sales journey. So we’re here to help, we’re here to find sales and marketing alignment.

We’re not a hard close. We don’t believe in that and we’re not going to get you in because we need a number and a seat to be filled. We want strong alignment and fit. So through collaboration, I learned a lot and was able to continue to embody that collaborative mindset. And then we do that as a whole here at Remotish, where it’s looking at it from an internal and external perspective. Internally, we have a very talented services team that has collectively over 45 years of HubSpot experience.

That’s all accessible inside of each one of our relationships, even though just each of our client accounts, they’ll have two dedicated team members, a digital project strategist and a HubSpot strategist. But the collaboration that happens on the backend, we are very asynchronous communication with Slack. So everyone’s pinging, we’re running ideas off of each other and collaborating on solutions and solving problems together.

Collaboration with Customers

Ben: Then we do that, so that’s the internal. Then we do that externally with our clients. We can’t be successful for our clients inside of a relationship where they’re demanding the path forward. That’s not how we operate because while we do implementation and development, that’s not our leading element of our relationships.

We lead with strategy and tactical usage case development inside of HubSpot. And so we’ve ought to be collaborative with our clients as well. Not only do we come in, we don’t put our foot down and say, “This is the exact path we have to go for your success.” It’s all about learning the business, how they operate, what’s their process, what’s their buyer’s journey look like, what’s their customer journey look like?

And then how we can find that perfect adaptation inside of HubSpot that supports their growth, again, the word to give them is scalability from all of the features that are inside HubSpot. If you’re paying for Pro or Enterprise HubSpot suites and hubs, and you’re not using everything, you have to look at why you’re not using it all.

And that’s that collaborative approach where maybe you don’t know where to look, you don’t know the dark areas. We’ll let someone with a flashlight lead you down to those dark areas and don’t be scared to go down them. So collaboration is massively impactful inside of our relationships.

Barry: Yep. What I got from that was that collaboration also could be… What’s the buzzword around it, that’s also being human, right?

Ben: Oh yeah.

Barry: Yeah. It’s like your CEO wants you to succeed, so she’s going to work with you, make sure you succeed because you’re coming from a different industry. For you, you’re aligning with your clients to meet their needs, which has this buzzword of collaboration. But even simpler, it’s like being human, being friends, and trying to get one plus one equals three together. 

Ben: You know, it’s funny. I’ve got a great business development strategist on the team here, Brandon, who works directly with me. And we are always around because we typically do B2B, but we joke around because it’s actually H2H. So I like that you pointed out that because you don’t sell to a corporate building, you don’t sell to the business entity. You’re working directly with a person, a human. So it is human to human. And that’s what we like to look at inside of our sales framework.

Barry: Cool. Absolutely.

Sales and Marketing Collaboration: Removing Friction Across RevOps Teams

Barry: I want to talk about collaboration across sales and marketing teams. We talked about how you collaborate internally and how you collaborate externally with your customers. I guess, the RevOps as an agency with your RevOps function, how can that help with collaboration for your clients’ teams functions? So for example, just be very specific, like finance, sales and operations, how can they better collaborate after going through a process with you?

And why does that matter? And maybe even what stopped them from that collaboration between sales and marketing beforehand? Because everyone wants to be human, everyone wants to work together. So yeah, what stopped them from collaborating before and how after going through a process with you, are they able to collaborate more efficiently or even just collaborate at all?

Ben: This is a great question. I love this one because within RevOps and how it continues to get formalized, there’s a core that I think there’s no doubt that everyone should have defined for themselves, which is, removing the walls and silos inside of each of these departments. Because as soon as you start that mindset shift, that paradigm and thinking shift, then you’re starting down the path of removing friction.

Everybody is touching your revenue, your marketing people, your salespeople, your service people, your accounting team. And it’s looking at it and saying, “Where is the friction?” And being able to identify that. We’ve experienced some challenging client relationships where we see some pretty high friction just internally on their team, because a lot of times it comes down to a little bit of egos, but opinions, that are sometimes backed by facts and data.

And then that goes back to HubSpot reporting and what you can really trust. But it also goes down to what kind of agreements do you have inside? We don’t help our customers create SLAs between departments, but it’s key. So that there’s a defined expectation. What does it mean when marketing gets a lead that comes in, and when does it truly become marketing qualified?

And then when does it become a sales accepted and sales qualified lead? What are those definitions? You’ve got to define that. And you need both of those department heads working together to define that. Because as soon as you’ve got sales saying, “Oh, this is what a sales accepted lead is or an SQL.” And marketing is like, “Yeah, but I’m telling you, this is warmed up and ready to go. And if I pass you this and you tell me you’re not going to accept it, there’s friction.”

So you’ve got to come together from a collaborative mindset and be able to operate in that side of that mindset. The other side is, how we help companies is massively through documentation and training. It’s hard for us because we definitely will always maintain our strong positioning as a HubSpot strategic and tactical development agency. So we’re not going to dive too far into personal conflicts and issues with egos and stuff, but we try to solve those with heavy documentation.

Our team provides a very formalized process from not only just the communication and documentation you’ll receive from our team inside of your weekly meetings and monthly completion reports and being able to see all the documentation. But obviously, if somebody has a ServiceHub, that’s where we’re going to start leaning on knowledge-based article development.

And actually documenting the processes that we help develop with them and saying, “Here’s the report that does this. Here’s the workflow that does this. Here’s how your sales pipeline automation is built.” Now, when you get that documentation aligned, you start compressing that gray area. Right now, there’s a lot of gray because you’ve got a black and a white in this huge area, gray, you’ve got sales and you’ve got marketing, service and account everything else comes in.

But if you start to compress that gray area by putting documentation and formalizing the way that things have been built inside of your HubSpot, gaining agreement, gaining that collaborative mindset that has to happen so that, marketing can say, “If we’re going to give you, our goal is to hand you this many qualified leads a month, then your goal is to respond in this timely manner.”

Those kinds of things inside of an SLA. Or just the simplest form of an agreement and clarifying the expectations on what both parties are going to do. When you start to see people think that way, that’s when collaboration starts. You start having that agreement, you start seeing that unity and pulling out that friction to allow for revenue to flow through their company and their organization more efficiently.

As soon as you have those silos, you just look at it and see dollar signs. And then it just stalls out somewhere because it’s shifting from a department and then it continues and shifts to a department. Now you want that dollar sign to be as frictionless as possible through the whole customer journey, buying and account expansion, and all those things inside of your company. I know that may have been a long-weighted response, but I think there’s a lot inside of that. And I think there are a lot of variables and there are a lot of different situations that bring different responses.

Getting Agreement Between Sales and Marketing

Barry: No, absolutely. So like the human element, it’s always challenging to give advice to the human element, because every human is different. And it depends. My dad’s a psychologist, whenever people would ask him questions, he would always say, “It depends.” There isn’t documentation for a human, there is advice and there are suggestions, but everyone’s different.

So I guess like, is there a play that you guys like, if they don’t have a RevOps person, are you talking to the CEO because they have full alignment? Are you trying to convince the CMO to talk to the salesperson? Because I know you don’t want to go into the politics or egos, but there has to be a little nudge. Like where’s the nudge there?

Ben: That’s a great question. And sometimes we’ll still see some of our clients to this day when there’s a lot of friction injected in between, it’s mainly between sales and marketing. That’s the main place. And when you get to a place because sales just wants to take leads and close them and convert and then walk away. And marketing wants to pass over qualified leads, but how many and how quickly right through nurture campaigns and when that lead score defines that they’re ready to be pushed over to sales.

I think the biggest thing is still really leaning on documentation, because as soon as you, for us, when we start documenting, we will look for both parties to have agreement. And we’ll formalize that area of overlap that happens. And when you get that and you get both parties to agree, that’s when you actually start seeing that needle move.

So I agree with you 100%. It’s nearly impossible for us to look at it and say, “We’re going to change these people.” So we say, “What can we change and improve for them?” And if we give them the visibility and documentation that says, “This is the way forward, this will give you your best chances of success. Then if you agree, then say so now, and we’ll continue moving forward.” And when our team starts to overlap sales documentation, marketing documentation, then they see that overlap in that section, and they start to agree to it, that’s when we’ll start seeing the mind shift.

But I can’t say that it’s promised and guaranteed every time. We have a client of ours now who the sales team is looking to even move off HubSpot. So it’s like, “Wow, you’re in HubSpot, you have all the efficiency built-in from a marketing perspective and sales perspective. And then you want to go and inject more friction by moving off of HubSpot sales.”

Barry: That’s a challenge.

Ben: It is. It’s a big one. And there’s no guarantee. So we have found that when you lean on that documentation and if you can get both parties to agree, all that we can hope for is to start moving the needle.

It’s the same, it’s the simple kind of principle, where it’s the human element, where it’s like, you can’t change someone unless they’ve decided they want to change. A lot of times you find ways to connect. Like sales wants revenue, they want to see dollars, they want to see calls made that equal converts. So, okay, well then let’s lean on that and then you overlap what marketing can do to help improve that.

Barry: So that would be an interesting agency, a psychology agency for collaboration, a psychologist made for business.

Ben: I’m sure they’re out there.

Creating Real-Time Experiences for Customers

Barry: Right, but they need to market better. Let’s move on to a different topic we were discussing right before this call, which was real-time experiences. I would love to hear from you what that even means for you, not just from a marketing perspective, but from a company perspective. What do real-time experiences mean to you, and to your agency and your clients?

Ben: I think real-time experience can definitely fall in a few areas for us. We lean on a partner, So from an external perspective in regards to offline marketing. Our senior operations manager, Jen, has done a tremendous job building out this gifting process and workflows and all the automation that comes with it and leaning on a third-party platform that then can take the orders and send the gifts and we can send magic links and all of this can happen because that’s then it’s an offline marketing approach, but it’s real-time for them.

When they receive a gift, it’s physical and in their hands, that’s a real-time moment, that they’re now connecting Remotish to this gift, and the feelings that are then associated with it. So we definitely spend some time and focus on that from a client perspective, gifting on holidays, gifting on work anniversaries.

If somebody changes jobs, we like to celebrate that for them as well. Even if they’re leaving from the client team that we’re working with, we like to still celebrate that for them as it’s maybe a growth thing. We do that for HubSpot partners, for our own team. It’s that real-time experience when someone knocks on your door or rings your doorbell.

The other side to it though, I think is from my perspective in sales it’s, as I had mentioned earlier, I’m not that technical inside a HubSpot. Our CEO and founder put together a policy that all of the team members here at Remotish have to have every single HubSpot certification now, me included. So on the sales side, I’m not too shabby, right?

But I’m not one of our technical strategic client side team members. But when I think about that real-time experience as well, it’s like, when we’re working through just to touch on it from a sales perspective, we had a call not too long ago where someone was looking at how they look at reporting off of their SDRs and the timelines that happened.

And they wanted to report off of meeting links. And it was like, “Well, don’t report off of meeting links. Let’s figure out a different way because that’s not going to give you the right reporting and how long something’s sitting somewhere.” How long does it take for an SDR first outreach to get a meeting, to then get a call booked for an AE? I was like, “You got to report off of your deal stages, and build a custom report that shows them how long this is sitting in this place.”

And they were just wowed by that. And that was something I think is fairly small, that’s what our team does, but that was a real-time experience where they were like, “Well, you just solved a problem for us real-time.” And I think that’s where we take that very consultative and solution-based selling framework, that then empowers that relationship to continue down that, to where inside of then I go, “Okay, let’s move over to our servicing team.”

When we start launching our relationships with our clients and their servicing team, their dedicated servicing team. We meet with our clients weekly and depending on where we are based on the agenda and the progress we’re making in the relationship, we may shift those into what we call, Working Sessions. And we absolutely hate the agent-see-client hostage model where you don’t share information because you feel like that’s how you retain the client.

We share everything. So that means that we’re going to actually go real-time, using the words there and do a working session that says, “Let’s talk about this workflow that you need. Let’s build this thing right now.” And when we actually show them, it’s actually empowering the relationship to feel like there’s more value in it, because they’re getting better. We’re not a team that wants to be here and just say “No, toss all your things over to the fence and we’ll just get them done, and you’re not going to learn anything.” That fails at our model around maximizing investment and reducing expenses.

We want your team to excel as a HubSpot user, because then that only means more revenue. And so then I think that’s a few examples that I can see that mean real-time experience to us. So from an offline marketing, when somebody gets and receives a gift and how real-time that is to how our sales process is, how can we find small solutions that we can solve for them showing value quickly, real-time in that moment, and then for our servicing team to do working sessions, which then bring real-time experiences as well.

Barry: I love that. I’m going to tell you one of my real-time experiences with DealHub. And I think I’m going to have to ask this real-time experience question on every podcast. If I remember, because I think it’s so different for every person, and I love that. And you even gave me three different examples. There are some similar areas to them, but pretty three separate examples. I think it’s really mind blowing, it’s really fascinating. I love this question.

So the way I’m going to explain is going to be different than yours. For me, what real-time experience, and again, I’m biased. I work at DealHub and I’m a product marketer. So I’m always talking to our customers. So it’s like our platform empowers people to create a sales proposal, a digital sales proposal once. Gets stored in a web link, but even after it’s created in that mini website, then there’s the quote there, but also like the contract and the E-Sign and the specs, after it’s generated after one-time. Why for me is that real-time experience because then anybody from the buying team, the buyers, can go to that site link.

So not just the person that you’re talking to, but even like decision-makers that you’ve never talked to, and they see everything that they need, no matter which part of the sales cycle. Meaning it could be that people waited to send the specs of that manufacturing product until they even say, “Oh, this would be a good quote for us.”

Or they would wait to send the E-Sign. Most people wait to send the E-Sign technology like the DocuSign until they agree to it. So this has everything in one place, which for me is like a real-time experience. Also, I guess, it could be called the right time experience. I would say my example was also human level, but that more like, “Oh, I’m building a real physical product. Or this is my light bulb moment.” And that is what made it real for you. And that’s why it’s a real-time experience.

Ben: You know what? I love this because I think it’s just that straight up the difference between software and services. Our product is our people.

Barry: Right.

Ben: And they don’t necessarily always feel a software experience. They will be with HubSpot, but our goal is to feel an experience with our team.

And we’re software and we’re selling to people, but I get that. The experience isn’t just with our customer success team, we’re also able to admit that through not live demo, but through the actual software where we don’t even have to be there at the time.

Ben: Exactly.

Barry: Cool. Well, Ben, this was an awesome conversation. I didn’t know where it was going to go once we started, but it’s exactly what I wanted it to be. I had a great time meeting you and I hope we get to stay in touch, Ben.

Ben: Yeah. Let’s definitely stay in touch, Barry. I massively appreciated the request to come on and guest. And I’m honored to be the guest on the show and looking forward to continuing our relationship for sure.

Barry: Okay. Awesome then. Thanks and hope for our listeners too, that you’ll be able to log in next week. And if anyone of our listeners is interested in being a guest, reach out. We’d love to have more of our listeners reach out. So thanks again, Ben, and talk soon.