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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Surprise! I'm back for another episode. I'm going to talk about real-life RevOps engines today. I realized that one of the strengths of House of Revenue™ is in the revenue operations component. I wanted to talk through a couple of revenue engines that I've had the opportunity to build over the last few years. Let's dive deep into what is Revenue Operations. How do you build a real-life revenue engine? How does that drive revenue? Where does it bring optimization? That is where we are going to be spending our time today.
What is Revenue Operations? You can read the full definition on houseofrevenue.com. I've written a few articles on this, but let's bring this back into today's definition. Now that I've had even more time to see it in real life. Let's dive deep into RevOps. Revenue Operations, I would say, is "the glue" of the revenue engine.
Revenue Operations would describe the tech stack and operational processes that align internally with the employees' behavior on all the revenue teams, then the buyer's and customer's behavior externally. If you take the day-to-day functions of your brand, team, marketing team, sales team, a customer success team. You also take the buyer's behaviors when they're in three different stages of their funnel - awareness, consideration, and decision. Then, all the post-purchase steps through advocacy when they become customers and ensure retention. You're getting them into expansion, then advocacy. Every stage of the bowtie funnel, or that buyer lifecycle, plus everything the internal team does.
If you were looking at a whiteboard, visualize this with me. If I put the buyer lifecycle on the top of the whiteboard, I have the awareness to advocacy. Then, I draw a line, and underneath, I have all the different revenue teams that interface with that buyer. That line would be Revenue Operations - tech stack, automation, communication, where all the data has been captured, and the workflows. It's meant to align seamlessly with the way the revenue teams do work, the way the buyer buys, and how the client exists as part of your ecosystem as a customer.
I started this company four and a half years ago. We operated under Sales BQ. Initially, we were a sales training, recruiting, and consulting firm. One of the biggest misses that we had as a firm was that we weren't touching the tech stack. We weren't connecting it to marketing or relating it to customer success. We then became a HubSpot agency partner at the time. We started to focus on revops, but it was so undefined. We changed our tagline at Sales BQ to "Your RevOps Partner" and put our name out there as an outsourced revops firm.
We promoted someone on our team; her name was Liz, "Gosh, she was incredible." We promoted her from VP of Sales to VP of Sales Ops. She took the HubSpot relationship and turned it into our entire revops offering. She helped establish 14 Technology Partnerships. Brilliant woman, such a delight to work with.
In 2020, we became this outsource revops engine offering. However, just like corporations and other team members, our team was still figuring out how it all works together and what revops is. You had sales, marketing, and customer ops. You can call those things differently, but nobody was really putting it all together. That's where we came to the table as this outsource fractional revenue team service to say, we're going to do the tech stack from start to finish.
2020 was a transformative year for House of Revenue™; we changed our name from Sales BQ to House of Revenue™. That year, we were blessed to bring on a revops analyst, a very technical guru, Sarah. She took our offering to the absolute next level, truly unbelievable, the technicality we brought forth. We just went in headfirst on revenue operations.
Fast forward to today. Here's where I believe revenue operations sit in your company, in your department. If you've plateaued in revenue or looking at scaling, the first thing you need to do is perform an audit. That audit will show you your current tech stack.
You can also audit the operational workflow for the customer from when they're a buyer. So awareness, consideration decision stage, all the way through the second half of the bowtie funnel to awareness. I want you to look at how you onboard a client, train them and get adoption. How do you get them through the retention phase, confirming that you have them renewing and staying on the service? How do you get them into augmentation or revenue expansion and become advocates? When you break it down and look at those components, that would be your audit.
Audit the operational workflow, understand how every team works, how they interact with the customer, and what they need the technology to do. Then, look at your current tech stack and identify the gaps. What technology are you missing? What automation doesn't exist that should exist? Then create a specific list of criteria of what you need the technology to do. My recommendation is to not buy technology and then put your processes around the technology. Map out your processes first, and then make the technology work for you.
One of the reasons we love HubSpot so much over something like Salesforce, as an example, is that Salesforce is difficult to implement and expensive. You need an administrator and an expensive team to build out that engine. I think Salesforce is just not a small business solution. They play extremely well in the enterprise. I've seen some huge companies build their entire app on Salesforce, their whole product offerings. They need to be integrated with it. Don't be strangers to six-figure implementations.
When I worked for Paychex, the payroll company, we had a multi-seven-figure install of Salesforce. It was so customized to every means of that Fortune 1000 company. It performed brilliantly. It wasn't easy to use from a salesperson's standpoint compared to HubSpot.
I remember the first time I logged into HubSpot. I thought something was wrong with it because it was so easy. That there's no way, this thing can actually do anything. This engine has no power because it's so simple to use. Well, I couldn't be more wrong. I just couldn't. We went all-in on HubSpot, and we learned how to build out the CMS website. Then, build out all the marketing, sales, service, and now ops hub components. I think the power of HubSpot is that it's so simple and that anybody can use it.
Let's talk about RevOps in real life. Now that we've defined it, how do you build an engine? Let me walk you through just a couple of recent installs. One of them is for a SaaS company. They were marketing themselves as traditional B2B SaaS marketing, a slower sales cycle requiring a more hands-on-deck salesperson. There was no way for a customer to onboard themselves. There was a requirement for an internal team member to take them through onboarding and get them through adoption. We looked at the go-to-market strategy and said, "Well, hold on. We will shift the go-to-market. Take you away from being a traditional B2B SaaS company. Make you a product-lead company, not a sales-lead company."
With a product-led company, users should be able to sign up for free. They can use the technology themselves, self-board, and decide if they want to upgrade, unlock more features, and get into a monthly SaaS subscription-based model. That's how we transformed this company, while their revenue engine was set up for a traditional B2B sales and marketing. We shifted the engine in the engine's components and relied more on automation. We partnered with seamless AI, one of our partners at House of Revenue™. We plugged the seamless engine into HubSpot.
We also rebuilt the website on HubSpot CMS. We took it off WordPress. On HubSpot CMS, we had the connectivity to the marketing engine. We were able to take their subscribers and change the marketing messaging. We just cut to the chase rather than the marketing messaging about all the SaaS and traditional problems we solve in the market, doing an email drip, and putting in nurture sequences. Here's the use case and the problem it solves. You sign up for free. It is a very crystal-clear call to action. We rebuilt the engine so that they could self-onboard. Everything was automated. We changed over the chatbot to be AI-driven. This was all through HubSpot.
HubSpot has knowledge base articles. We could cut down on the pool from the customer success team. They're able to self-onboard, and then we built the ops. We shifted to automation for more marketing and sales focus. It's easy to sign up. There isn't a huge sale. You get it for free and start using it. That automation is more on the back-end side of customer success. We want to drip to them to make sure they're fully setting up their SaaS instance and using and optimizing it. We can get them through the adoption phase and get them through retention. We've created our metrics for how we measure adoption and retention. We're using the automation to drip to them to ensure they're fully set up.
There's a combination inside the engine for unlocking additional features that could cause an upsell. We have a team that can communicate with them via email and phone and through automation to get them to buy the features. This is a way that we rebuilt the revenue engine.
Another instance is for a B2B professional services company. They had HubSpot but weren't really leveraging it. It wasn't really built out. They used a separate CRM for texts, phone calls, and a different calendar tool. Their success team used project management software, a calendar tool, and Type form. The tech stack was extensive. They had a marketing engine like their customer success engine that was dripping emails. They had a traditional drop funnel setup, landing pages built on the top funnel, and their website built on WordPress.
It was an engine with a lot of moving pieces and parts. We first looked at it and mapped out the buyer and the customer experience. We realized that throughout the experience, the customer data was moving into three or four different databases - the marketing database, sales CRM, and a separate CRM for text messaging and calling. Then, another if they became a customer. I had a different database for the service offering component of it. They also had a card created in their project management system with duplicate information and an Excel spreadsheet on the data. It was in a lot of places.
The RevOps team comes in. The first thing we do is just start whiteboarding and envisioning what does the new tech stack look like? We can remove a lot of these technologies. We went down to one, including moving over the contact card from the project management tool and moving it into HubSpot.
Within HubSpot, we removed all the databases. We removed the calendar, forms tool, and drop funnel landing pages because you can do that inside HubSpot landing pages. We consolidated this tech stack significantly. They only have one record of customer information now. They kept the project management tool, but it can sync through an API. No more manual entry.
They had another recruiting software they were using as part of their service delivery. We were able to set up the integrations and get the data where we needed it to go. HubSpot was the single source of truth for everything inside of the engine. We took every process from how people interacted with the website and how they came into the engine. That was on drop funnel, and we moved that to CMS.
We looked at all the different attraction methods heavily relying on paid media. We restructured that and looked further at the marketing team and the nurture sequences. We got them further pulled into the sales sequences so that the customer had a shorter life cycle. They weren't nurtured or marketed to as long before the sales team interacted. We cut that down so that the sales team responds immediately after they come into the funnel. If they don't buy with the salesperson, they go into the nurture sequence. We connected to this engine, seamless AI for scrubbing data and LinkedIn for information because now there's outbound prospecting added into this engine that wasn't there before.
The sales team is equipped with their tech stack and all the automation. When this person becomes a client, that whole process of becoming a client is automated. In HubSpot, you can automate the proposal process and the payment process. In this revenue engine, the customer comes in through the funnel. They're converted into a customer. While doing that, the salesperson creates the custom, beautiful proposal inside HubSpot, sends it out, gets an e-signature, and has a payment link. The customer can pay right in the system, and that payment syncs with the accounting software, QuickBooks. Immediately upon changing the status of the customer, the ops team is notified.
They can onboard the customer's information there and track the project inside HubSpot by creating a separate pipeline. You can track it by cards, like a Kanban board, and move it through deal stages so that we're tracking the client's lifecycle when they progress from one stage to another. It all lives inside HubSpot, but the entire revenue engine was reimagined.
It started with the handful, half a dozen different technologies, and maybe more. We've consolidated it to where every team member and client exists inside HubSpot. The whole lifecycle from when they first come into the funnel to when they graduate from the service, they are inside HubSpot. They don't have to leave the system, and all the team members can track the data and work from there.
What do you think that does from a reporting standpoint? Revenue operations should give the executive team visibility into true client acquisition costs and the costs of retaining a customer and servicing a customer. With everything inside HubSpot, you can now build the dashboards and reporting you need to track the expense, optimization, and resource usage.
Looking at how we service a customer, it's tough to do that when your customer experiences your sales experience. Marketing isn't a bunch of different systems. This is a way for revops to pull it all together. With that, Revenue Operations is responsible for creating those reports in the visibility. Revenue Optimization is critical. It gives you that visibility into the expense of your revenue engine and what it can produce. Thinking about, "Hey, if we're hitting these metrics, it should yield X, which will cost us why." You're able to see the expense of the engine.
It is great to be on with you again. Hopefully, this is a nice refresher for some of you on what is Revenue Operations and tying into specific examples. I'm giving you some insight into HubSpot's latest capabilities, helping revops become a little more demystified, and understanding how we implement revops inside our company.
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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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