Revenue Operations HubSpot | 24 minute read

INBOUND '22 Wrap Up

Posted by Adam Statti on September 15, 2022

RevOps (and more!) at HubSpot’s INBOUND Conference

While HubSpot’s annual INBOUND conference is always a dynamic event, the two year in-person absence made INBOUND ‘22 feel just a little extra special.  Selfies, high fives, and energy were at an all-time high at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, which played host to the event.

The RevPartners fam were out and about networking, attending and learning from valuable sessions, and even stepping up on stage to lead some of the sessions ourselves!  (shout out to our CEO Brendan Tolleson and Senior Strategist Dieter Heren for repping RP to the max!)

Couldn’t attend INBOUND this year?  Didn't get a chance to see as many sessions as you wanted to?  Good news!  We’ve put together rundowns of some of the awesome content that was on display this year!  Of course, many of the sessions are available on-demand, but letting RevPartners summarize it for you is way easier!  

Buckle up, let’s gooooo!

HubSpot Spotlight

Yamini Rangan, CEO at HubSpot

Dharmesh Shah, co-founder and CTO at HubSpot

Stephanie Cuthbertson, CPO at HubSpot 

Big Takeaway

Community and connections are vital.  HubSpot is committed to closing the gaps that are preventing growth.

Disconnection is Real  

There is currently a crisis of disconnection.  This disconnection is a result of three shifts:  companies are disconnected from customers; data and systems are disconnected; and people are disconnected from each other. 

Why/how are companies disconnected from customers?

  • Channels are saturated and over-monetized
  • Buyer’s expectations have changed
  • Access to customer data has changed

Building meaningful relationships with customers is hard.  65% of Google searches result in no clicks-we have become digitally drained.  Yikes!   

Why/how are data and systems disconnected?

  • Too many point solutions causing friction
  • Options to connect data are expensive, complex, and incomplete
  • Gaps in commerce data make an incomplete customer journey

The average company uses 242 SaaS tools.  If that seems high, it’s because it is.  Systems have become ineffective and inefficient, and, as a result, the customer experience has suffered.

Why/how are people disconnected from each other?

  • People crave connection with their peers today
  • Hybrid work models changed how we interact

Events such as INBOUND are popular because, as George B. Thomas says, “humans crave other humans.”  

HubSpot’s Response to Disconnection

A crisis can often breed creativity, as is evidenced by HubSpot’s five new connected experiences:

Marketing campaigns

  1. All of your campaign data is connected automatically and all single channel tactics are consolidated into a fully orchestrated omni channel strategy

  2. Allows collaboration among the team with a unified calendar and task list.

Customer journey analytics

  1. Enables you to view all marketing moments on one timeline as a connected graph

  2. Key to observing all of the varied paths customers can and will take.   

Crafted Data Management

  1. HubSpot is committed to creating data that is clean, clear and connected

  2. Only 3% of companies have data that meets basic quality standards.  Yes, you read that correctly

 New updates:

   - Data model overview where you can easily visualize the data

   - A custom object builder which will help easily create and edit with a visual tool

   - Property validation which can help enforce the data mode

Customize the CRM

  1. Helps build custom integrations directly into your records

  2. Can create different views for different teams so everyone can find exactly what they need

Payments

  1. Will help companies transact online with end-to-end insight

  2. In HubSpot, you can send emails with links to pay, create links to click and pay anywhere, and if your product is your time, paid meetings are also available

  3. Goal is to create the most connected payment platform ever! 

The Power of Professional Communities

With the rise of remote work, professional communities are as important as ever to build bonds and establish connections.  A professional community doesn’t need to be big to be effective, it just needs to connect its members in a meaningful way.  Community lets you know you have value, you belong, and you matter.  

The “I.D.E.A.L.” professional community would have a commitment to Identity, Diversity, Engagement, Action, and Learning.  

New!

HubSpot is launching a new connective community for growth professionals called HubSpot Connect.  It will combine Network, Marketplace, and Academy.

Another great example of this is the ever-expanding Sprocketeer community of HubSpot Super Admins on discord. 

 

How Modern CEOs, Founders, and Revenue Leaders Go-to-Market and Become Industry Leaders

Sangram Vajre, co-founder and CEO at GTM Partners

Big Takeaway

You don’t have a marketing problem.  You don’t have a sales problem.  You don't have a CS problem.  You have a go-to-market problem.

Who Owns GTM?

The CEO?  The CMO?  The CRO?  Nope.  Nope.  Nope.  

Answer:  No single department owns GTM strategy, we all own it!

The 5-isms and the Valleys of Death

If your GTM is broken (and it probably is), blame the 5-isms:  Mathism, Incrementalism, Departmentalism, Growthism, and Sizeism.  

Examples:  Growthism is growth at all costs, instead of efficient growth; mathism is an over reliance on theoretical revenue growth numbers from a spreadsheet

These “isms” lead to the five valleys of death…

Valley 1: You’ve created a product, but you don't know how to market it

Valley 2: The marketing team is killing it, but the sales team isn’t converting fast enough

Valley 3: The sales team is killing it, but you can’t deliver the product. 

Example:  sales is selling an Enterprise deal, but the product is for SMB

Valley 4You can deliver, but you can't renew (lack of growth retention)

Valley 5You can renew, but you have an expansion issue

None of these problems can be solved by an individual department.

GTM Success

According to Yamini Rangan, the CEO of HubSpot:  “The number one metric for any SaaS company is NRR (net retention rate).  By obsessing over revenue retention and solving for your customers, you can build a lasting business.”

If a company cannot expand, it cannot grow efficiently.  Inefficient growth is often a result of different teams (marketing, sales, CS) having different metrics/goals.

Ok, How do you get to NRR?

ARR (annual recurring revenue) is a result of early stage customers.  If you can keep those customers you move into GRR (gross revenue retention).  If you can expand, then you get NRR.  NRR is the third level, you don’t start there.

The Roadmap to Efficient Growth

In the earliest stages, a company will typically begin with a product and a sales team and achieve ARR.  Moving forward, with sales growth in mind, marketing is added to the mix and GRR is achieved.  To retain customers (NRR), CS is added.  RevOps and Enablement is added to continue to increase growth.  RevOps is important because it tells you where your next dollar should go.

Old vs. New

The old GTM way was rooted in chaos with sales, marketing, and CS each pursuing their own goals.  This approach results in inefficient growth.  The new GTM is rooted in clarity, with each department working together toward common metrics and goals (alignment).  This approach results in efficient and exponential growth. This is revops. 

More from Sangram

Check out Sangram's recent episode on the RevPartners B2B podcast where he discusses in more depth the best methods that every company should know to avoid dying in the "5 Valleys of Death".

 

What’s Next: Building an Organization to Fuel the Flywheel  

Ashley Faus, Director, Integrated Product Marketing at Atlassian

Robert Chatwani, CMO at Atlassian

Big Takeaway

Atlassian is an enterprise software company that has scaled efficiently through putting the customer first, believing in their values, and being unafraid of bold change.

The Three Types of Growth Engines that Build Businesses 

  1. Revenue Engine-drives the business

  2. Product engine-drives growth

  3. Operating engine (business model)

How Atlassian has Built to a High Volume, Scalable Business Efficiently 

Principles - establish them and stick to them (this is not a place to compromise)

Company -  be an open one!.  Projects that are being worked on in one department are accessible to other departments (no silos).  This is a sustainable way to scale a business.

Customers - get out of their way!  Let them access the product as easily as possible (reduce friction).  Remember, the product belongs to them.  

Empowerment - rely on your champions:  embrace community and word-of-mouth marketing

Patience - wait to be greedy.  Land a customer efficiently with a single product, then, over time, expand them to the rest of your portfolio (cross sells/cross flows)  

Content - make it ungated.  This creates value for the customer before they buy and gives them maximum knowledge at the beginning stages of the decision making process.

Responsibility - marketers need to be creating customers, building emotional connections with them, and engendering loyalty 

Three Things to Consider

  1. Your funnels should have a roadmap.  It needs  an owner, a driver, and a choreographer (having an understanding how they all fit together is critical).

  2. Buy your products at least once a month.  This allows you to go through the buying experience repeatedly (helps to find friction points).

  3. Embed UX or designers within your team

How to Foster and Grow Talent

Understanding that your business strategy and people strategy are intrinsically linked is key.  If you source talent from diverse backgrounds you will ensure a diversity of thought.  Be intentional about looking for people that will thrive in the environment you have created.

When hiring, look for these traits in this order:

  1. Values and character  (should align with the company’s)

  2. Energy

  3. Competence (people can learn the business as they go)

Pro tip:  The principles and strategies that got your company to where it is today will not be the same principles and strategies that will get your company to where it's going.

Stimulating growth involves…

  • Making your teams uncomfortable 
  • Looking at your business from different vantage points 
  • Encouraging people to switch roles

How to Deliver the Present…

  • Remove friction
  • Find incremental growth opportunities
  • Identify points in customer journey that can be better

…and Create the Future

  • Make bold moves
  • Undergo fundamental changes to your business
     and business model
  • Think about what you would do if you knew success was inevitable.  The thing you’re most afraid to change probably needs most of your attention

 

RevOps:  The Operating System for Scaled Growth

Alison Elworthy, EVP, Revenue Operations at HubSpot

Sid Kumar, SVP, RevOps at HubSpot

Big Takeaway

RevOps has come out of “the back office” and is now front in center in helping companies create a frictionless customer experience

What is RevOps?  Why is it Important?

RevOps is an operating system to power delightful customer experiences.  RevOps pulls together the entire customer journey by eliminating hand-offs, thereby reducing friction.  Customer pain point eliminated!

RevOps is a silo buster.  Pre-RevOps, most companies have a marketing team, a sales team, and a customer success team.  Different systems, different data, different KPIs, different strategies=nightmare for customers.

RevOps at HubSpot

When HubSpot implemented RevOps, they instituted three pillars: 

  • Foundations for Scale a single foundation for your data, your systems, and your people is key
  • Functional Fuel Maintain deep domain expertise and business acumen for marketing, sales, and CS teams
  • Horizontal Alignment solves for the customer and creates a unified customer experience

HubSpot’s RevOps mission is to “bend the curve” by using RevOps leverage to accelerate the path to revenue growth by driving breakthrough productivity and innovation.  #breaklineargrowth

HubSpot’s RevOps Playbook

The HubSpot RevOps playbook is broken down into People, Mechanisms, and Insights/Automation.

People -> clarity

Mechanisms -> consistency

Insights/Automation -> capabilities.  

The Importance of People

HubSpot is, first and foremost, a people organization.  Happy and engaged employees will do a better job of driving clarity.

Clarity involves alignment and collaborations

  • Creating a frictionless customer experience
  • Common definitions; consistent way of defining what success look like
  • Common KPIs and “north stars”

Clarity involves skills and capabilities

  • Balancing traditional and non-traditional Ops backgrounds 

Clarity involves career development

  • Hiring from diverse levels of experience; using mentoring
  • Diverse, inclusive environment with varying backgrounds

The Importance of Mechanisms

Mechanisms are key for consistency and operational excellence.

Consistency involves dynamic planning and execution

  • Working backwards from the customer
  • Intentional planning leads to streamlined execution and fewer surprises

Consistency involves a unified approach 

  • Balance between functional depth and horizontal integration
  • Never lose sight of the fact that you are solving for your customers and your partners

Consistency involves dynamic planning 

  • How do you maintain agility?
  • Always be sensing and responding; ability to make changes mid-year; pivot as needed

The Importance of Insights and Automations

A company’s capabilities depend on driving velocity and business agility.  The proper allocation of resources to areas that will help drive outcomes is key.

Capabilities involves analytics and insights

  • Common data architecture and foundation
  • What are success measures across the customer journey?

Capabilities involves systems automation

  • How to streamline better with an automated approach
  • Put our reps in front of customers

Capabilities involves tech stacks

  • Tools for visibility and end-to-end engagement model

 

The Rise of User Communities

Linda Lian, co-founder and CEO at Common Room

Big Takeaway

Software is no longer being sold, it’s adopted.  For a modern software organization, user communities hold the keys to growth and a sustained long-term competitive advantage.

Things Have Changed

Companies need to realize that purchase decisions about software evaluation and adoption are happening outside of the influence of their direct sales conversations.  The vast majority of these decisions are being made in user communities.   Community led growth is the evolution and next iteration of value led growth 

Fact:  80-90% of the purchase decision is already made by the time a lead hits a traditional CRM or marketing automation system.

What does this mean?  There is a massive funnel of engagement, solution discoveries, adoption support, and purchase decisions that are being made outside of your visibility within your CRM.

3 Key Characteristics of Modern User Communities

User communities are more networked than ever before

  • We’re all consumers of software
  • Most interactions are disparate and siloed
  • It's important to understand these interactions as 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels by 2025

User communities are gaining influence at a rapid clip

  • Software purchase decisions are often made by getting information from these communities
  • More reliance on peer recommendations than sales/marketing assets
  • Sellers still play a big role, but that role has changed
  • Occurs much later in the customer journey

User communities are dynamic

  • Constant stream of engagement and activity
  • Occurring globally

Top Recommended User Communities: 

Common Room (of course), RevGenius, Wizard of Ops, Pavilion, Sprocketeer, Women in Revenue

 

 

How Sales and Revenue Leaders Create and Manage Change Effectively

Brendan Tolleson, CEO at RevPartners

Christina Brady, CSO at Sales Assembly

Big Takeaway

Leaders should embrace change and be prepared to pivot.  Ensure team buy in and adoption.

Question 1

What are some of the areas of change you as Revenue Leaders have had to navigate while also ensuring you are setting your business up for long-term success? 

Brendan Tolleson Christina Brady
Community:  Don’t do it alone

Think short and long term. Discuss all scenarios

Be different:  Be a red x in a sea of black x’s. First mover advantage

Get a second opinion

Rethink Demand Gen: Building a revenue engine without prospecting

Limit unhelpful noise

ABS:  Always be striving. Don't be complacent

Lead with integrity


Questions to Consider

Am I using first level or second level thinking

Am I giving the autonomy+structure my team expects (and needs)

Am I the bottleneck in scaling the organization?

What am I so afraid of…really?

 

Question 2

What does it mean to be a leader who is an agent in today’s constantly evolving world?

 

Brendan Tolleson Christina Brady
Bottom Line: Be comfortable being uncomfortable  Lead objectively

Proactive vs Reactive:  Can’t hide or wait in an asynchronous, distributed environment. 

Application:  Stop hiding.

Listen to understand

Clarity - Define the Win: Everyone needs to know the company's objective and how their role impacts the mission.

Requirement:  Constant communication.

Accept feelings

Purpose: More than a function, part of a broader purpose

Action: Invite people into purpose

 Know the why

Safety: Create an environment where people belong

RevPartners Example: Building culture with eNPS of 70+ in a distributed environment

Mission + Margin
Striving vs arriving
Feedback is a gift
Accountability

 

Questions to Consider

Am I seeking my security or seeking the security of the team?

If I asked my team to define our win, would I get the same response?

When was the last time you received candid feedback?  And how did you respond?

 

Question 3

How do you gain alignment among the other supporting functions like Sales, Rev Ops, Marketing, etc.? 

Brendan Tolleson Christina Brady
Revenue Model > Data Model > RevOps Processes

“Marching in the same direction” is a bit of a pipe dream. 

Think instead about what we need to align on, who is involved, do we have the tools to support true alignment?

What’s your revenue model?

  1. Motion:  PLG, 1 Stage, 2 Stage, ABM, Expand
  2. Type:  Perpetual, Subscription, consumption
  3. Risk ratio:  Buyer vs seller
Gage overall understanding

Data Model: Deal Characteristics

  1. ACV
  2. Transaction Count
  3. Sales Cycle
  4. Land and Expand or ELA
Ensure buy-in

GTM Focus:  Role marketing, sales and CS play based on above informs process to incorporate

Support their messaging; incorporate their feedback openly

Practical Application

  1. Process definition and adoption: Get your people doing the same thing, in the same place

  2. Data validation: Make your data CONSISTENT. (Ex: No more "is this ARR or MRR?")

  3. Cross-department transparency: Optimize your marketing to sales handoff, align teams, have accurate reporting and make your DREAMS COME TRUE.

Question 4

What core steps are necessary when evaluating whether a revenue tech stack change is necessary and what is the role of considering connected technology when implementing change?

Brendan Tolleson Christina Brady

Ask: Can you objectively answer how the business is doing?  Not just know how much came in, but how did it get there?

Team adoption

Adoption > Process > CRM Team feedback


Tools proliferation: average company has 242 tools in their tech stack.
multiple databases make it impossible to track, measure, use

Customer Impact

GTM Focus:  Role marketing, sales and CS play based on above informs process to incorporate

Ability to measure

Questions to Consider

Sales pipeline call: Is it done in a CRM or spreadsheet?

Sales management: Is it done in a CRM or another tool?

Attribution: Can I track where my revenue is coming from?

Forecasting: Am I able to predict if I’m going to hit my revenue target or not

Retention: Can I answer my net revenue retention in my CRM?


Top INBOUND Takeaways for Scaling Companies

  1. There is a dire need for connection and community. 

  2. GTM is cross functional. 

  3. Meet the customer where they are.

Community is Key

Keep the connection going with other HubSpot Super Admins by joining the Discord family. 

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