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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Hey, Revenue Radio®. I'm Mary Grothe, the Founder and CEO of House of Revenue®. Today, we will talk about how revops can help you scale your company. It is a topic so near and dear to my heart. Well, they all are. I think I say that on every episode I get to run. I love revenue. It's weird, but I love revenue.
Let's talk about revops. It has been such a fantastic journey, diving in and being a revops partner to the small business community. We first embarked on revops at the end of 2019. I remember sitting with a HubSpot employee in Denver at a Starbucks, talking about, "What do you think revops says?" "I don't know. What do you think revops says? How would you define it? How would you define it?" It was a fun conversation exploring what revops would mean to the business community. For us, knowing that we focus on that second stage scale, they've made it through the startup scale and a few million in revenue. But they're looking at growing from there.
RevOps is a key, critical component. We have had the luxury of building revenue engines for the last couple of years. I'm excited to talk to you today about how you can leverage revops to scale your company by creating a powerful revenue engine. This specific topic will be a little bit more in the weeds today. Grab your notebook, write it down, or toss it over the fence to your revenue leaders or your revenue team if this one is too detailed for you. Hopefully, there are some excellent takeaways for you.
Well, let's talk about the revenue engine. I want to audit what you already have. That's a great starting place. But it takes a lot of time, energy, conversations, and deep analysis to truly understand how your revenue engine is performing today. When I look at revops, I think about not just the technology but the people, the processes, and how you're aligning their behaviors, processes, and technology to how your buyer buys and how your customer needs to be supported.
Let's first envision the bowtie funnel. The first half of the funnel is everything for marketing and sales. That's going to be the awareness, consideration, and decision stage. Right there, in the middle, you have the purchase step. They go into onboarding. Then, on the other side of the funnel, you have implementation and onboarding to get to adoption. Then, you have retention, expansion, and advocacy. An excellent revenue engine ties all of this together.
Marketing always stays in the process. FYI, I said marketing on the front end. There's a sales component. There's a customer success component, but marketing should exist throughout, turning it into that flywheel that HubSpot is known for. That's the bowtie funnel.
How do you audit your environment? Well, you need to list out all your technologies. Have you ever done a cost per user for all your tech stack? It's eye-opening. Sit down with the team. Make sure you go through your accounting software to fight every little monthly bill you have for every piece of technology. You might look at your CRM and the bigger tools and say, "Oh, we use HubSpot, and we use Patented. Okay, great. But it would help if you talked to your team because there's a chance that you work with a lot of other technologies.
As you grow, your marketing teams will say, "Oh, you know, we need SEMrush. We need Moz. Oh, we've got a Dropinblog, WordPress Connector for a blog that's $49 a month. Oh, we have five." Whatever it is that they have on the back end.
You want to make sure that you understand everything you have. You will want to look at the whole setup to understand what the tech stack is costing you and if it's efficient. You'll also look at the tools that power your revenue teams - tools like Zoom or Microsoft, whatever you're using for web conferencing. You also look at communication tools like Slack, Teams, or whatever you use to communicate. Maybe it's Google Chat, part of your Google workspace there.
But regardless, get an understanding of all the technology you have because there is so much overlap between these technologies. It will be great to list them all out and then also identify how many users you have, the level of subscription that you've signed on for, how many seats you paid for, how many are used, and unused, the cost per seat, and if you want to add additional seats inside of your contract.
Then, the contract terms, is this a 1-year, 2-years, or 3-year contract? Is it month-to-month? and what are the payment terms? You can identify and look that in after you add it all up and say, "The sales team, their tech stack costs $400 per user per month." That way, you can get a cost.
The first step is to lay out everything you're already spending money on. Then, you can look at the marketing team and say, "Hey, for our marketing stack, that's costing us $389 per user per month. Whatever it is." It gives you a good understanding of what those costs are. There's usually low-hanging fruit here to clean up billing. You may have an overlap in functionality between the two systems. You may have something a former revenue leader purchased, but it is the first time anyone has used it. It hasn't been built out.
You might have some salespeople who have LinkedIn premiums, and some might have Sales Navigator. You've never really made a full decision to get the whole team to use Sales Navigator, where you can get a better license structure and per-user cost. You want to look at what is in your tech stack, what you're spending money on, where there might be overlap, and what it's costing. That's step number one.
Step two is to dig in and understand how each team member is currently using the tech stack. Sounds tedious? Yes. Worth it? Yes. You want to sit down and have them walk through if they're a power user, a mediocre user, anti-CRM, and automation and not using it, if there are adoption problems, or if you have a training gap. You've got to understand how the technology is being used today. Get a baseline and that benchmark of how the team uses each of those pieces. Report back on that.
We love using a green, yellow, and red color-coding system. It's a little bit easier. Your power users or your strong adopters they're going to be green. The middle of the road is going to be yellow. And the problem children will then be red. But make sure you get the feedback because it could be authentic as to why they don't want to use it.
Often, when we audit tech stacks and get to the point where we're talking to people who must use the tech stack, we hear a lot of mixed feedback. We hear horror stories about past CRM implementations where at the time was not taken to clean up the data fields from a former revenue leader or a way we used to do things.
Then, there are inconsistencies in the way lead sources are being tracked. There's a CRM in all these fields, and people will say, "Oh, so-and-so used to require us to track this." It's a field still there. It's no longer required, but it's on this contact record. Some people fill it out; some people don't. What are we doing with the data? I don't know if we're doing anything with the data. Then, why do we have the field? I don't know why we have the field. It causes confusion.
There's so much value in having conversations with the people who use the technology. This process takes time, but if you want to leverage revops for the long term and scale your company, you've got to fix the engine. You've got to have the data. Data is key. It'll help you with data-informed decisions. It's going to help you, trust me, tenfold in the future.
So, you audited your tech stack. You listed it out. Then, you talk to people. Now, you need to grab a whiteboard, my favorite. You'll map out how your buyer buys, how your customer needs support, and how they want to be engaged in the second half of that bowtie funnel through their lifecycle. This is an excellent opportunity to do voice-of-the-customer surveys. Ask about the experience of what it was like to make a purchase decision with your company. Understand what it's like to be a customer of your company. It is a great opportunity. You just went, and you spoke to everybody in your revenue teams. Why are you not talking to your customers?
You should also do a competitive analysis if you feel up to it. Maybe you can do some secret shopping and see how other funnels are set up. You could also, maybe with a newer customer who's come on board, maybe they came to your service from a competitor, you can incentivize them and have a great conversation to figure out what their service was like or what their onboarding process was like versus yours.
There's an opportunity for you to have some great conversations to identify where you can make some significant improvements. That will reduce friction in the sales process and the customer lifecycle – retaining them, expanding revenue, and reaching that point of advocacy.
I like the whiteboard because I like to look at how data flows and the customer flows in that entire lifecycle, the buyer's journey, and the customer's journey. I want to identify what the buyer wants in their buying journey and what the customer wants in their journey.
When we can map that out and identify the steps and stages, we can start to build processes. Then, we can evaluate if your current tech stack can meet the needs of the processes you need. Then, also align with the behaviors of your different revenue team members.
You can identify whether our current marketing tech stack meets the need if we are going to shift our go-to-market and do more with webinars or events, for example. You want to evaluate what you want to do in the go-to-market and how to attract customers to the brand. Can you track campaign-level detail inside your marketing hub? Is automation tied to your CRM? Does it align with the way your marketers work? Does it align with how your tech stack needs to perform to get those results?
You get the point. Let me give you specific examples of where this is beneficial. I recently started working with a company, and we were able to dig into their HubSpot and evaluate the automation in the steps and stages of the process. So, you'll do that same exercise, marketing, and sales through the funnel into onboarding implementations.
So, the former revenue leader did a good job building out processes. But when I stepped in there and started digging into it, I immediately found areas of weakness. I met with the sales and marketing teams, the head of implementation, and the person running operations went through and said, "Talk to me about the lifecycle of the customer." I evaluated everything we were doing for the top of the funnel and how we attracted people.
There was an opportunity inside HubSpot to clean up the data fields on each contact record and streamline how we track referral partners and what we call COIs or Centers of Influence. There wasn't a contact record type for the COIs. There was a constant battle, and I see it wasn't a heated battle, but there needed to be more clarity for the sales team on where deals were coming from, who was referring them and who owned them, which referral partner, et cetera.
There's a massive opportunity inside of HubSpot to add in those COIs, to put together an SOP, Standard Operating Procedure on how those are entered into the system, how we keep data integrity and avoid adding duplicates and make sure that whoever has ownership of that COI, and we can track it.
We were looking through these things. Then, we got to the part where there was a decision step. They make a purchase, and there's a handoff from sales to operations or the implementation team. They currently have a process. It pulls data out of completed fields and sends a notification to the implementation team in the form of an email. It has these data fields, but it was a mess when we looked at the output. It has no formatting and pulls from all these random, redundant fields. Well, this is going to take a lot of time for an implementation person to read through this mess.
In theory, all the data is there, but this is challenging to read. You almost need to print it out and use a ruler to go through it because all the lines are running together. It could be clearer. It needed to be completely reimagined. Then, an email is generated. It was then a manual process for the implementation team to enter the information into a spreadsheet. They were manually updating when a new client was going to be assigned. Then, they have tight SLAs, 48 hours for this, 48 hours for this step, and 48 hours for this app.
There needed to be communicated back to the sales team. There's no visibility because this is an internally owned spreadsheet by the implementation team. Well, that's a problem. The sales team needs visibility to know accepted their deal. Has it been assigned? Has a welcome email been sent? Et cetera. We've got to break down these walls. We got to build all this out in HubSpot. We need to get rid of this spreadsheet. We need to create this in a queue inside a service hub.
We were able to start reimagining what that process looked like. We also uncovered that they had a project management tool used in one part of the organization. It's beautifully integrated with HubSpot. Why don't we extend that into the implementation process and get away from the spreadsheet?
Then, it's integrated within HubSpot. Every time the stage is updated, it can automatically update in HubSpot and notify the salesperson. It's beautiful. We could look through that process and say, "Here's how we're going to reimagine this. Then, as they go into service, there's an opportunity for upselling on these clients. They are on land and expand. They can sell a core service. Then, they can sell a plethora of ancillary modules and technology services. Unfortunately, they were not tracking that in any automated way.
The inside sales team responsible for servicing the existing clients needed to know what products they had or didn't have. They are blindly enrolling them in campaigns. It's more of a mess, "Hey, anybody interested in this other ancillary technology?" without knowing whether they had it. We went back to the front end of HubSpot and said, "Okay, on the contact record, we need to add product fields, either a checkbox or a yes or no field to say they have this product, or they don't. They have this service, or they don't." That way, by the time the deal gets submitted and through implementation and onboarding, the sales team can run a report to say, "Who are all of our clients that don't have this specific product?" Boom! You have a report. Boom! You can create a campaign. Marketing can do an email. Boom! You can hold a webinar, and you have an invite list.
It just brings so much clarity into the process. This is just one example of how revops can be used to scale your organization. I know it was a little bit in the weeds today, but I hope this was beneficial for you.
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