When Marketing, Sales, and Service Collide: The RevOps Structure
Meet Host, Mary Grothe
Mary Grothe is a former #1 MidMarket B2B Sales Rep who after selling millions and breaking multiple records, formed House of Revenue™, a Denver-based firm of fractional Revenue Leaders who currently lead the marketing, sales, customer success, and RevOps departments for 10 companies nationwide. In the past year, they've helped multiple 2nd stage growth companies between $5M - $20M, on average, double their MRR within 10 months, resulting in an average ROI of 1,454% and an average annual revenue growth eclipsing $3.2 million.
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Mary Grothe: Hey everyone, this is Mary Grothe - Founder and CEO - and you're listening to the Revenue Radio™ podcast brought to you by House of Revenue™. Each week, we'll talk about common revenue challenges and how to get past them, share real-world experiences, and get a glimpse into my life as a CEO scaling my own business. If you're a struggling entrepreneur, or just an entrepreneur looking to be inspired, this podcast is for you. I'll give you honest, unfiltered, and practical insights into growing your business and getting past your revenue plateau.
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We are getting technical today. Saddle up. We're talking about RevOps, also known as revenue operations. We like defining RevOps as the glue that holds the revenue engine together. It's defined as the tech stack or the technologies you're using in every revenue department. Any technology or operational process aligned to the customer experience - from that first touchpoint in branding, all the way through marketing, the sales funnel post-purchase when they become a customer. All of that defines revenue operations.
Today, we are going to talk about when marketing, sales, and service collide. Let me paint a picture of what a disjointed revenue engine looks like. Since the end of 2019, we've had the privilege when we first launched our RevOps offering. We've had the privilege to implement probably close to 30, if not more, revenue engines at this point. We typically see that marketing, sales, and service use separate technologies. Sales will have a CRM, marketing will have some sort of email automation, typically not much more than that, like a MailChimp as an example, or Constant Contact. Then, the service team will use ServiceNow, Service Fusion, Zendesk. There are a couple of them out there, but typically, the three technologies aren't the same technology. They're not really connected. Unfortunately, it impacts your customer. So let's break this down. When your marketing sales and service technologies collide, the person who suffers the most is your buyer, who becomes the customer.
The overall client experience that you're creating starts with the first touchpoint with branding all the way through the marketing funnel sales funnel into customer success. With that, we recommend allowing marketing, sales, and CS to live in one CRM, one database, with different functions for automation, and collaboration with the human counterpart internally who works in that department, based on the stage of the buyer's journey, or the customer's journey. When you don't have that, and it's disjointed in several different systems, that's when it's going to collide. It's colliding, it's clunky, it's creating friction. That's the technology part.
What about the alignment of those people, their behaviors, and processes with the buyer's or customer's journey? It's usually misaligned. I'm going to give you some concrete examples here. Then, you look at internally, you can take this lack of alignment one step further, does marketing even talk to sales, outside of getting angry that they don't close the leads that they're sending over to sales even talk to marketing, except when they get angry and say, "I need more leads. Why don't you give me any good leads?" or "I need a new sales deck, one page, or something that I can email people." Then, the service team seems that marketing is rarely connected to customer success and service teams.
It's a gaping hole of opportunity if marketing isn't supporting the entire revenue function and customer lifecycle. Then you have, of course, the age-old sales versus operations feud. Sales oversold this. No operations. You just don't know what you're doing. I've lived this life when I was selling for the fortune 1000 payroll and HR company. I started back in 2006. I was selling in 2008. My first two years were as a District Sales Assistant. We did a massive migration from ACT, an old database CRM tool, to Salesforce during that time. I served on the committee to build salesforce.com out and highly customizable enterprise version of Salesforce from start to finish. It was an incredible experience. I remember it. I still use it to this day. I am very appreciative of having the opportunity to work firsthand on a build-out of that magnitude.
From there, we had no marketing automation. We had no email or sales automation. Everything was manual. The operations and service team operated out of a separate system. It was an Oracle-based database. We did not communicate through technology to operations. Literally, the communication was walking over to the other side of the hallway. And taking a stack of papers, usually filled out by hand. Here you go. Here's all the information you need to implement. This customer put a paperclip on it and dropped it in the basket. Sometimes I would attach some skittles or some candy to the person who will be implementing my client, give them a little gift, a little gift card for Starbucks. That was it. That's not an efficient way of doing this.
You fast forward and look at today. What's surprising is even though that was in 2008, we, in 2022, are working with companies that still have this outdated way. These revenue departments have a silo focus for marketing, sales, and customer success. They're so separate. Not only are they not using the same technology, but the teams don't even talk to each other, and the person paying the price is the customer. So how can we solve this?
I can speak from experience and tell you how we solve it. Why don't we put everybody on HubSpot? HubSpot is the technology that has proven itself over and over and over again to provide the winning formula for scale. We typically implement the Pro or Enterprise bundle for our clients. We will start with the CMS. We rebuild their website and put that on to HubSpot CMS. There's a lot of power behind connecting the website to the database of the marketing engine. We build out the marketing component - all the automation, the workflows, the email marketing, connecting to social and paid media for all the campaigns. Using it as the basis for SEO, blog writing, and other forms of content marketing. We are using this as the engine.
Every piece of content gated on the website has workflows built behind it. So it's truly a lead magnet that's encouraging conversion. Then it is flawless between the handoff between marketing and sales. There are no separate systems. There are no walls or barriers. The sales team has full visibility because it's a single database of all the information, prospects, leads, contacts, and companies. Inside of HubSpot, what we build is a methodology where it's inbound and outbound at the same time. We love account-based marketing and account-based sales. We can combine the funnel while marketing is working on getting the opt-in. Once we have the opt-in, nurture and drip to those people and engage them in content that's relevant based on the industry based on the buyer based on where they are in their buying process.
Then the sales team can see every web page they visited, how long they've spent on a page, how often they visit if they click on certain elements. You can even have it score points for you so that the sales team doesn't have to wait until someone raises their hand and fills out a contact us form. You can build a score, and then they're able to call that person who apparently spent a lot of time interacting with your brand, on your website, and reading your material. Still, they haven't taken the next step, but the salesperson can be proactive in the outbound and create an engaging conversation.
You're missing out if you don't have a single engine for marketing and sales. This is a way to create camaraderie and alignment between marketing and sales by having them work in a single database with automation that works in everybody's favor and honors the buyer and their process and how they're interacting with the brand. It's specifically based on their ICP and buyer persona. This is where those two teams can remove the need to collide, argue, and disagree. Sales and customer success can collide by not transferring all that information they work together so hard to obtain during the sales process. You have what happens post-purchase. In the post-purchase decision, you will have a new client onboarding experience.
Think about it as a buyer. When you buy something, the salesperson is thorough. He or she asks a lot of questions. You share your life story. You get into operations, implementation, success service, whatever you want to call it. They start over and say, "Oh, tell me about yourself." Like what? I just spent three months with your company. What do you mean, tell you about me? What are you doing to make sure that there's no friction and it's seamless through that handoff?
Well, we've built new client profiles. We've used custom objects and forms within HubSpot to allow all the information that the salesperson worked hard to gather and find out during the sales process. That information lives on the client record, on the company record, and any additional information that needs to be collected like a signed contract. Obtaining contact information for supplementary contacts like the billing contact, such as billing information, whatever else is needed, to pass this new client from purchase into implementation.
You can use HubSpot to collect all of that as seamlessly as a present for the implementation team to review. The implementation team can also go back and read anything they want to. They can even go back and listen to prior recorded calls because, in HubSpot, all calls can be recorded. All that history lives on this record. Now service and sales aren't colliding. They worked together during the handoff, and the customer is the one who wins in this circumstance.
Now that transition from sales to service, the client is excited their guard hasn't been raised. They are bringing forth a more optimistic attitude to the experience. They're not triggered or frustrated. Implementations are going to go smoother. Now, how can marketing continue to support post-purchase? What about adoption and training? Can marketing assist customer success by producing written copy for the knowledge base videos training videos to get the new users up and running on the technology? Then what about retention?
You can use a technology like HubSpot to input all the fields and reminders of dates of when someone's coming up for renewal. You can put in multiple dates to remind teams of when they need renewal conversations to get ahead of it. You can trigger it to include sales in the conversation if your success and account management, as an example, are separated functions. Someone is responsible for retaining the relationship. Someone else who is responsible for augmenting or growing marketing will play a part in making sure that you have communication on that renewal.
What if the product or service has changed? What if they only came on with one or two products or services you offered, but during the renewal time, this is a great time to pull in marketing collateral and have a conversation about growing the relationship. Then you go into expansion. Whether expansion happens at renewal time or throughout the relationship, marketing plays a significant role here. We can trigger inside of HubSpot events, so when we onboard a new client, you can put it in there within this amount of time. The plan is to schedule a meeting to discuss these additional products services. Then you're able to take the marketing collateral with you.
Marketing can also drip their email campaigns or offer webinars, ways to keep customer education at the forefront. Also, what about not directly trying to upsell? What about the future tech roadmap? What about future releases on the technology or new features and helping the end user know what is now available at their fingertips? What kind of client communication and education do you have to leverage marketing to work with the customer success and account management team to make that happen? The last part is through client incentive programs. We want brand advocates. We want these customers to be screaming from the mountaintop, "Hey, this is a great product or service." Have you built a client incentive program that you can use HubSpot to do that, to track that?
You can use Leverage Marketing to create ways to share or invite others to the program or the product or service. Then, potentially, the refer can earn points or a free product or get a discount, you name it. When marketing and sales and service collide, it's usually because they're working in separate technologies. The teams aren't communicating and talking to each other. And the customer loses because it creates a friction-full experience. RevOps can solve this problem by bringing a single database and tech stack layer like HubSpot that comes inside the system with all the workflows and automation you need. Salesforce, as an example, doesn't have that. You have to tack on Pardot. You have to tack on Salesloft or Outreach to get all these additional pieces of functionality. Whereas HubSpot has it all inside the database.
Then you look at, "What about now that we fix the tech problem our team's communicating, are their efforts and behaviors aligned?" Are we cutting down the sales cycle? Are we allowing our buyers when they're on the buyer's journey? Then customers when they become a customer in the customer journey? Are we allowing them to have a seamless frictionless experience between those key handoffs from an inbound lead or marketing to sales and then sales to success? What is the renewal experience look like? How are we growing the relationship revenue by speaking with the client and then turning them into advocates, receiving referrals from them, and inviting additional people they know to take advantage of the product or service, or at least have a conversation about it?
Revenue operations is that tech stack, the operational workflow aligning all of those behaviors, and processes from everybody in all of your revenue departments. It's 2020. We have to start aligning these teams. I feel like as a buzzword. We've talked about marketing and sales alignment for the last few years. There's technology out there to do it. There's a RevOps revolution happening. It's one of the most sought-after, hard-to-find, hard-to-fill roles out there. Find a great RevOps professional. Get the right technology. Get them reworking your systems, data flow, integrations, and processes automation for all of your revenue infrastructure. I promise you, the client, your customer is going to win. Then, in turn, you win.
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Thanks for listening to today's episode. If you're interested in being on our show or want to learn more about how we can help you scale your company, connect with us at houseofrevenue.com or with me Mary Grothe spelled G-R-O-T-H-E on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram.
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