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Building RevOps success through processes and AI

Mark Lerner (Host): Welcome to the Revamp Podcast by Deal Hub. I’m Mark Lerner, your host. I’m really excited to bring you today’s episode. It is an interview with Emerson McCuin, the head of RevOps at Haas Alert. This was one of several interviews that we were able to do while we were up at the HubSpot Inbound conference in Boston earlier in September.

Emerson’s unique career journey

Mark Lerner (Host): Emerson’s story is absolutely fascinating. You know, his journey is one that I haven’t heard before. He started out working in social work, moved into being a sales rep, and found these systems that were put in place and one of his roles was just not up to what he wanted, and he built himself a shadow CRM and started doing really well. And he had other sales reps within the company started to come over to him, asked him to build the same thing for them. And it was then that he realized that he’d kind of found his calling in building these systems and processes, and that’s when he made the switch to rev ops.

Emerson’s sales journey

Emerson: Yeah, so I got my start in sales. For the longest time, I was in social work and as I started thinking about wanting to have a family, I realized that I was going to need a boost in pay. So sales kind of came on my radar, and I needed to make that transition later in life. I really had to know my stuff so that when I would get in there, I could progress. I didn’t want to be an SDR forever. My goal was ultimately to move into like an enterprise AE role, right? And become an enterprise AE, make good money. So I studied the science of sales.

Efficiency in sales and early success

Emerson: I knew that if I was going to get a job in sales, I had to be efficient. I didn’t want to be the type that just had to make 100 calls a day. I wanted to be able to make 25 smart calls a day. And you know, I found when I did get my first roles in SDR, I was very quickly able to succeed. And so much so that the company that I was working for was like, “Hey, what are you doing? Why are you succeeding where the other SDRs are not hitting quota?” And then they had me write the playbooks and teach the SDR team how to be successful.

Transition to RevOps 

Emerson: Over time, I realized like, hey, this is actually what I want to be doing. I wasn’t as interested in making cold calls at that point. And, you know, eventually I realized, hey, this is what I want to do. Rev Ops was kind of like the next progression of my career. And, and honestly, like once I started doing Rev Ops, I knew it was like, Oh, this was the right place for me.

The importance of process in revenue operations 

Mark Lerner (Host): It seems like you found your niche both in success in sales and in building processes. In revenue operations roles, people often say it’s all about the process and that people’s knee-jerk reaction is to find a tool to fix the problem, whereas it’s most likely you have to fix the process first and then get the tooling. Do you agree with that, and where do you see process fitting in?

Emerson: If your processes are bad, and you add a tool to that, it’s almost like a tool can potentially 10x whatever you’re doing. And if it’s bad, it’s going to make it 10 times worse. And if you have good processes, then your tools are going to accelerate your success ultimately. It’s like the concept of garbage in, garbage out.

Emerson’s introduction to the HubSpot ecosystem

Emerson: I was working at a large organization, and I found that HubSpot was actually able to connect to the Salesforce instance, and I kind of built a shadow CRM for myself using HubSpot. I was able to incorporate the processes that had made me successful in the past and even some new ones using HubSpot. I was successful at that, and all of a sudden I had other AEs coming to me and saying, “Hey, what are you doing? I’m hearing your name in meetings. You’re hitting all this success really quickly and early on.” And I showed them what I was doing, and they were interested. They wanted a piece of it as well. So, I actually started working, building them their own instances of HubSpot. I started charging people for it. Over time, I realized, hey, this is actually what I want to be doing.

Using ChatGPT and AI in RevOps

Emerson: I use ChatGPT pretty much daily. And, really the power for me is, there’s enough processes in Rev Ops that can take a lot of time, right? We’re all about automating and making things more efficient. So, I found using ChatGPT, I could actually, you know, I have some background and understanding of Python, SQL, and Excel. However, when I started using ChatGPT, I found like if I could conceptualize what I needed to do, I could pretty much make it happen. And I think it’s really not that difficult for me. I mean, maybe it’s just that my mind is process-oriented.

The importance of understanding data for AI

Emerson: The thing using ChatGPT, it’s you know, they even changed the name the code interpreter to advanced data analysis, right? But if you don’t understand data, if you don’t have data intelligence already, and you know what you’re trying to get to, if you don’t know that and you just upload your data into ChatGPT and ask it questions that any junior data analyst would be able to say, like, let’s say, a sales cycle length, right? And you ask ChatGPT, but you don’t understand actually what you’re asking, what the results are, it’ll spit out a number, but how do you trust that number?

Impressions of the HubSpot Inbound conference

Mark Lerner (Host): Since we’re at the HubSpot Inbound Conference, I’d love to hear your overall impression of day one, some of the themes you’re seeing, and what you’re interested in.

Emerson: I’m certainly excited about some product updates, like conditional properties and the new lead object. And then, of course, AI is on everybody’s tongue here. I think a company has to be engaging with AI. We’re all kind of experimenting with it. We’re all beta testing it, and we’re a part of that process.

Mark Lerner (Host): This was super fascinating, and thank you very much!