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Podcast Pit Stop: Channing Ferrer on the Four Stages of Scaling a Company

Posted by Arielle Walsh on May 20, 2022
Arielle Walsh
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In this episode of Pit Stops to Podium, Channing Ferrer shares his playbook for building a scaleable go-to-market organization on the stages of growth for scaling companies. Hear more on how Channing lays the foundation and instructs business leaders on where to put their focus during the founding and early stages.

Channing currently serves as the VP of Sales Ops and Strategy at Hubspot. Prior to that, he served on the leadership team at Acquaia, a software company that was the fastest growing software company in the country during his tour. As an early graduate from college, Channing thought sales would never be his thing. His perspective quickly shifted as he saw it as a way to provide value and solve problems, rather than a practice of pitching before understanding a problem. Fast forward to today, where the art of sales is not just his title, but his forte. Tune in to learn the four key stages Channing includes in his playbook for scaling companies in Episodes 19 and 20 of the B2B podcast, Pit Stops to Podium. 

Take 20 minutes to listen and then head back to the races! 🏁🏆

Pitstop Highlights

The Founding Stage

The founding stage is all about building the foundation of your company. Building a foundation as a CEO isn’t easy, and it’s critical to first develop and hire a sales op team to drive your value prop. 

In Channing’s words, you want to hire “athletes”, team members who are capable of doing a lot of different things–most importantly, selling.

Another critical factor in this stage is developing a customer support plan to help drive engagement and retention among your customer base. One question you can ask yourself is “what does the customer want and how can we support that most effectively?” Build rapport with customers, strive to understand their needs, and build ways to solve those needs. 

The Early Stage 

In this stage, companies are just beginning to build out their teams while thinking about their go-to-market strategy. It’s important to hire a head of sales that will not only support this strategy but support a sizeable sales team of 10 to 15 people. A sales leader will give the team a sense of direction while supporting the overall initiatives of the business. 

Additionally, one of the biggest takeaways in this stage is deciding how your GTM strategy will be implemented within your organization and how to align it back to the value prop. 

The Growth Stage 

Within the growth stage, you want to focus on data-driven decisions. Whether this be through building a GTM org, or focusing on Rev Retention, it’s important to leverage that data to drive your business decisions.

      "Build out a data-driven compass and align all of your decisions around data.”

Channing emphasizes the importance of using data to scale teams in an organization, such as looking for things like sizing the right number of hires or what attrition may look like as your business continues to grow.

The Scaling Stage 

According to Channing, one of the most important parts of the scaling stage is aligning your cost basis to your revenue basis. Essentially asking yourself, “how do I grow my revenue faster than my cost basis?”

The answer? Build out an ops team. You need strategy and operation resources to help leverage the data needed to make decisions around revenue growth. 

Lastly, when scaling your business, you need to use KPIs to recognize the results of the leading indicators. Channing recommends using 3 indicators: 

 

  1. Hindsight: What happened already?
  2. Insight: Why did that happen?
  3. Foresight: Whats going to happen next?

Connect with Channing:

Full Transcript: 

Brendan: Hey everybody, welcome to Pit Stops to Podium the RevPartner's podcast, where we talk to execs who have competed and won, taking their companies from high growth to high scale. My name is Brendan Tolleson. I am the co-founder and CEO of RevPartners, and I'm delighted to have with me today Channing Ferrer. Welcome, Channing. Well, just a little bit of background. He currently serves as a VP of sales ops and strategy at HubSpot. Prior to that, he started a leadership team at, I'm going to say this wrong again, at Acquia, a software company who was the fastest growing software company in the world during his tenure there. So Channing has a unique experience, both as it relates to sales leadership, but also from an operations perspective. So we're delighted to have Channing with us today. Definitely my pleasure. Well, how about you give, I think most people know who HubSpot is, but I think for our audience, those who may not know - who is HubSpot? 

Channing: Sure. So, we are a CRM platform and we're essentially helping companies grow and scale where we're doing that mix of CRM and marketing, automation, customer success, customer tools, workflows, operational tools, content management systems. It all kind of centered around being a CRM growing. 

Brendan: Well, and I think your title may do you a little injustice. It seems like the scope of what you do is beyond just sales. Do you mind sharing a little bit more about your scope, and your responsibilities within HubSpot? 

Channing: Yeah, it is a little broad and strategy is a great catch-all. Whenever you don't know how to call yourself, stick a strategy title on it and it catches everything. So, yes, I've got a three core functions that sit under ops and strategy, which have broken apart separately as a strategy team. DevOps is more or less building guardrails for how we grow along those guardrails to the financial guardrails, the business models that we have. Things like compensation plan, account management, all that fits in our strategy with a lot more economy grows fast and efficiently. And we think about that and the regional level. We think about that segmentation level. So we've got a bunch of different strategy people that are aligned to our sales or helping us think through how best to grow most effectively. Then the third bucket, which is really the biggest kind of broadest bucket, is sales acceleration and sales acceleration is a mix of our function, kind of how do we engage directly with the lead flow that comes through or leads will reach out to our team handles a lot of our inbound chat with Premium model, or you get a lot of inbound engagement, gets phone calls and emails there and interacting with those three users and the product. And then we have our solution engineering sales team. So they're working closely with our sales folks on the technical questions that come up. How does this product integrate with that product? Have we built the right back for the customer? That's sales. And we have a sales specialist team that focuses on some of our more complex products. So the CMS can be fairly complex. As you look at using the CMS in relation to maybe replacing Adobe or replacing WordPress or something like that. And there's a lot of complexity that goes into integrations. And so on. So scale specialist teams is very deep there which starts out very simple, but also can get very complex. And then the last thing is our enablement team, which I work closely on a new leader, actually help speed up that group. But I've been working closely with that team for a while. 

Brendan: Well, like I said, your scope is very broad, it sounds like you almost run a business versus one function. So you can wear a lot of hats, which is pretty remarkable. So before we get our big idea and you can already tease some of that out in what you do, one of our traditions here at the podium, as you guys, is get to know our guests. So what are three fun facts about you outside of work that our audience should know? 

Channing: Sure, so let's start simple. I'm left-handed. I love being left-handed. I love being the 1/10 of the population a little bit different. Born in New York City, I lived there for a big chunk of my life. At some point soon, it's not going to be the majority. It'll still be, though. And I love your city and your City Sports fan, albeit I live in Boston now. Mets fan stands in Boston. Folks can appreciate you living here. Well, hold on. 

Brendan: Are you a Knicks fan, too? Because I'm a Hawks fan. We got a little series going on right now. 

Channing: Oh, yes, we do. We do. I've given up on NBA, but yes, I am. And that's my final fun Fact, is I graduated from college interviewing for a sales role. Insurance salesman exceeded the ideal sales like this. I'm never going to do this. This is not the thing for me. Sales are not my thing. And then, of course, two years later, I end up in a sales role and loved it and really realized how to sell effectively, which is a lot around value and problem-solving. It's not about talking or pitching a solution before you understand the problem. So just a little fun fact room career. 

Brendan: That might be its own podcast around what sales truly is and what it is, because there's a misconception and I've spent a lot of people have a negative stigma towards sales. So we'll table that for a future podcast. Well, let's the transition to the big idea. And it's such a large idea. This is the first time we will be actually breaking up a podcast into two. So this is an exciting series that we'll be doing. It's really around this whole concept of the stages of growth for a scaling company. And so how should we think about this in kind of that two-part concept? Where are the two big ideas that we want to cover? And then we start breaking down the first one and pick it back up on our next session? 

Channing: Yeah, definitely. And I think what I'll do for this is I'm going to just pull a visual here. Those folks who might not be watching, I'll talk through it as well. So there are really four stages of growth as I think of the scaling business from the point of really building your business sub 2 million in revenue right up through that 100 plus million of scaling stage. And then we can get into detail. I think these are the four stages of growth in scale. And what I was hoping to do today was spend a little time on the first two. We can dig into the foundation's early stages and then in the second round we can dig into the growth in scaling and how to think about those. But these are the four stages bounding early growth and then scaling. And again, for those who can't see this under $2 million is Founding, two to ten is Early, 10 to 100 is Growth, and 100 plus Scaling. These are ballpark ranges. I don't think these are hard lines, but it helps give some context for how to think about each one of those things. 

Brendan: Yeah, I love it because it also gives a little bit of clarity in terms of what you should be focused on based off of the stage that you're a part of. Let's start at the founding, as you mentioned, founding and early. A lot of that seems to be really around understanding that go-to-market concept. So where would you like to start? 

Channing: Sure Yeah. So I think when I think of founding, this is just a stage this is that pre-2 million, you're just beginning to understand what you're selling. You're a CEO, you're beginning to build out and go to market team and you need to figure out like, what's that starting point? How do you get there? By the way, I was head of sales at a $2 million business. I lived through this two to 10 million kind of range. So I'm stepping in and hiring a sales team and building up, that is probably 7 years ago. So I remember some of the challenges I saw at that time. On that I still see today as I talk to companies at this stage, it's really trying to figure out that go-to-market motion. And most importantly, what's the value proposition? That's the really key point in that early stage. Some of the things that I've found to be really important to tackle early on include the value proposition, really. Most importantly, the hidden gem here is actually ops. And I'm not just saying that because I'm in ops. I mean, I really do sincerely believe that hiring ops early is super critical. When you move from founding to early is the time to hire out ops, you don't need a big team, but you do need some ops in place as you think about growth in that stage. The first step here is - the CEO's typically leading sales - so you want to hire some sort of a sales person; sales team. The question that I hear often is when do I hire ops? Is the first question I hear, which we can come back to again, and then, what do I hire for that go-to-market sales role? Do I hire a VP of Sales? Do I hire a BDR? And what's the right mix? And what I'll say I've seen works fairly well here, is that we want to hire reps and you want to hire athletes. And I when I think of an athlete, I think of someone who, they don't have to play sports, but someone who is capable of doing a lot of different things. And you might want to bring on that manager, that Director-type person. But they need to be very capable of getting out the field and selling the product and getting it from customers. You don't want to hire that VP, SVP who sits back behind his desk and points to others to do things. Everyone has to be very active early on. So that's a mistake I do see when a company hires go too quickly for that very senior hire. Bring in athletes capable of maybe helping you hire and develop a team, but also very capable of selling. The other thing that I see overlooked often is the customer support plan. Selling, of course, is key. You want to get those customers on board, but retaining those customers, it can be just as important and getting them engaged, getting them using your product most effectively, of course, in an assassin type model. We know retention is critical, but in many other models, it's the same concept of a service customer service oriented model you make. You may sell them a product one time, but you want to keep those customers around, keep them buying more product over time. So think about how you can engage most effectively and keep those customers happy. We often talk about it. HubSpot is we're very customer-centric. We think of everything through the customer lens. We get that from Amazon. Amazon is really good at this as well. They're always thinking customer first. So one of those early concepts to think about is how to what does the customer want? And we support that customer most effectively. The next thing, as much as HubSpot is born and bred inbound, frankly, targeted outbound works early on to figure out who those companies are. They want to go after and go after them. Usually, the first couple of million comes from friends and family referrals, but then at some point, you need to go and target a few brand names and get those names on board and discount heavily sometimes to get them on board because having a couple of logos goes a long, long way. You want to have what I used to call that NASCAR slide. We can show up. You got a bunch of practical logos on it. As I mentioned, value prop supercritical, really understand that value prop that's going to help propel you to the first 50 million really understand and why our customer buying figure that out experiment a little bit, test out different elements and angles to the value prop. And then lastly, but by far not least important is the system of record. I'm not I'm purposely not calling it a CRM, but you do need some system of record. CRM is most typically how you think about that. But implement that early. Don't wait too long. Yeah, you can get by with an Excel spreadsheet or Google sheets, something like that. But really want to make sure the marketing team, the sales team, and the customer success team is all using the same data, which we'll get into data. I think in the second part of the series here, we really want to make sure you are capturing and tracking that data early on so that everyone can reference it the same way that leads into the ops piece. Also, once you begin to think about that system of record and you have some sort of data, that's where DevOps is critical. And that's why I say higher ops early. Once you get that system in place of school, allows you to really make smart decisions better, and understand your value to figure out how to hire those sorts of things. 

Brendan: So it sounds like what you're describing, which may be intuitive, but that founding kind of phase at 0 to 2 million is really all around the foundation. So understanding who your audience is, making sure you have the right people on the bus, and investing at least in the foundational tools like a CRM or system of record to your point, to make sure that everyone's using the same data. So once you get to that path. At the two million mark, you've defined that as at an early stage, up 2 to 10 million. Let's start talking about what are the things that you need to be mindful of in that phase of growth. 

Channing: Yeah, Yeah. So I think here you really begin to build out the team a little bit and begin to think about what does that go to market strategy? And thus, what are the people who are the people that you need around that strategy? So we talked to I talked earlier about this idea of hire an athlete, that athlete could turn into your head of sales or you may do to hire a head of sales. But now it's time to get a little bit of structure. You'll have a sizable sales team, five, ten, 15 people. You want to begin to think about having a true sales leader who can give them all some sort of clear direction. The repeatable these are some of these things sound basic, but they're really, really often overlooked. And I think it's important to fully understand them. The idea of a repeatable sales process, I think it's critical now. It's what's working. How are you actually selling that? Where does the partner fit in? How do you think about engaging with customers? Where does it fit? How many demos do you want? Those sorts of things? This also helps figure they figure out the details, but you really want to make sure you nail that repeatable process. You can really shorten the sales cycle drastically by just understanding what's working, what's not working within the sales process. And for that matter, you can really improve. You're a close race. You're going to begin to get inbound lead flow here. Efficiency is going to become critical. So really understanding that process is important. The marketing plan, of course, you've already been working on a more. The plan, but really nail that marketing plan, online marketing and sales and marketing. You've got to align. So think about how is marketing going to work? Well, sales, what's going to be the mix for lead flow? Something we talk about the HubSpot is we call holy grail. And the Holy Grail is how many? What's the percentage of a reps closed book coming from marketing versus coming from BDR versus maybe self sourced? And we kind of just break that down and understand what that those percentages look like, how much is going to be inbound versus outbound, essentially, and make sure your marketing plan aligns that inbound assumption. We talked about around the system of record. Now comes that full on CRM used throughout the customer lifecycle from marketing right on through the customer success element to have everyone on go to market team on a single CRM and continue to hire rev UPS, as I mentioned earlier, rev UPS, then you can hire definitely at the founding stage, but really make sure you've built out that rev ops function. I think what I think of a strong, robust function of the two to 10 stage, you've probably got a director of Redbox. You probably got someone who's a strong on the data side. I lean heavily into data. I personally like someone with the skill skill set, maybe, Ah, or some other sort of programming language to help analyze the data different ways. And then I want someone with business acumen. So maybe more of a strategy analyst, something like that. And then the third, third pillar there is going to be a little bit more of an operational role. So someone to help kind of build out the systems and processes that might be needed. And then lastly, and by far enough, not the least here is the go to market strategy. So I say this kind of simply but this is something that grows and evolves over time. But being very purposeful on it, I mean, we spend a lot of time on this. Still, it helps a how do we think about it? How do we think of we launch a product, a new hub, let's say, who should be selling that help? How are we going to service that hub where the partners fit in versus what are the reps going to want to do? And I want to think of the go to market strategy here once again, how much of is going to be product led versus marketing led versus sales led versus partner led? Those are the most typical kind of go to market approaches. So I just really nail that down, understand what that's going to look like. How do you think about that balance and continue to monitor that? Again, Redbox can help a lot there. 

Brendan: Yeah when you look at the slide, I know our audience will either be seeing this or we'll give it as a leave behind. But it's very clear when you go through this early phase, when you said you talked about founding the importance of operations, it becomes very clear what operations is important to go through these bullets in the early phase. Because really this is all about. There's are the signs of sales, which are really that founding sounds a lot like art. This gets more into science about how do you create predictable, repeatable revenue in the operations, kind of informs the sales engine of how where they should be prioritizing their time from our perspective. And we'll get into more of that the data side. But it's very clear to me now looking at early why that's so important. 

Channing: Yeah, exactly. Exactly it's really beginning to build a foundation for that repeatable, scalable business. 

Brendan: Well, I think this is a good time to pause. We cover a lot around the key areas and focus relates to early in founding. And we'll come back to look at those two additional phases of growth, looking at going from 10 to 100. Any final thoughts for our audience before we pick the series back up next week? 

Channing: No, I don't think I think this is a good Israel will get a lot more on the data side and I will give you three more fun facts. I've got to go easy at the end. So what's next? The biggest one?

Brendan: It's a great tease. I appreciate that. We'll be back. 

Episode #20

Brendan: Hey everyone, welcome to Pit Stops to Podium, the RevPartners podcast, where we talk to execs who competed and won, taking their companies from high growth to high scale. I just want to tell us, and I am the co-founder and CEO of RevPartners, and I am delighted to welcome back Channing Ferrer for our second part of this series. Welcome, Channing. 

Channing: Thank you. Good to see you again. 

Brendan: Well, Channing, you promised to give us three fun facts in addition to the three you already provided. So how do we start there then? We can do a recap on what we discussed in the first part of the series and we'll dive into the second part. So without further ado, I know our audience is anxiously waiting for these three. So let's get started. 

Channing: All right. Let's see. Let's see if I can live up to it. I know I set out a good one in there. So, first of all, I am avid skier of skiing in tons of places. Pretty much all the major mountains in the West Coast in the US need to get a little more under my belt in Europe. But I love skiing and do some skiing and so on. Snowboarding, I've done a little snowboarding. I blew out my knee when I was younger, snowboarding actually. So I tend to avoid it when I can. A little more of a skier. But anything on the snow I love to do the next one all visited 48 of the 50-50 states and still need to get those last 2 under my belt, North Dakota and Oklahoma. So I'll have to find the good reason both to find a husband prospect for you. Yes, exactly. Exactly and then the last one, just a little one here. Audrey Hepburn is my step grandmother actually. Wow that is a great fact. It's very fun. 

Brendan: Yeah I appreciate you going the extra mile with the additional three in that last one, of course, is that was a doozy. Well, today we're picking up where we left off. But before we get in to the stages, around 10 to 100. Let's remind our audience what we talked about briefly within the first session. So we talked about that founding in early stages and we were talking about the go to market and the importance of having that foundation in place. If we are summarize, that will be so those key themes that you want our audience to remember from that session, if they're not able to go back and listen to the first series already. 

Channing: Sure and I'll pull it up here for those you can see once again. So when talking about the founding in early stages, we dug into we dug into what to do, how to get the business started in founding started that CEO getting sales. And then how do you build out the sales on the ground around that, hiring the athlete, developing that customer support plan and structure? How do you go about generating lead flow? Outbound is OK. In the beginning, you're going to need to find a way to target certain customers. I think one of the most important things you're going down the value of understanding what you're selling, how you're selling it, and then begin to establish that system of record. And that leads into the early stages where you really begin to develop Redbox function, maybe hired robots ready to continue to build out that function. You build out your CRM. And really, I think one of the key things in the early stage, though, is deciding how to go to market strategy and how do you want partners in the mix to play the next and you want to think about product growth versus growth. And so on. So aligning with that is now the ultimate value and then building up the team is the other piece to it. You're hiring that sales and building up the team underneath that had the sales. And of course, along with that is beginning to find those repeatable, scalable things like the sales process is a core one. That's great. And so now we've got a thriving business growing faster at 10 million. You've you've got an executive lean the sales team. 

Brendan: You got people under them going the athlete. Now, you've really built out a sales team. You understand your go to market. You started to build all that out. So we tease out this concept of data. And I think that's where you want to go in this next growth to scaling. So let's talk about the growth phase and the scaling phase and the priorities that a company has within these two critical segments of growth. 

Channing: Yeah, and the theme across both. This is definitely data. It's how do you leverage that data most effectively. So we talked a little bit out in the first two stages, how to build up the team and really begin to think about the ops function. And as I mentioned, rev ops in the beginning. To me, there's kind of three pillars to the stool. There's this data that data person, you might call it. And again, some of these things you when roles together get started. But you do need to really think about how are you going to manage your data most effectively. And that's the core and and ops overall. And and even beyond that, I'd say that's one of the course, the scaling. So making sure you have a good understanding of the data, making sure you have then a business strategy person to help think through how to leverage that data, turn it into actionable decision making. And then there's often some sort of an operational. Function in there to make sure you can kind of get your systems lined up and in place to be efficient. So when it get to the growth stage, really focusing here on data driven decisions, build out of data driven compass and align all the decisions around data, let data drive those things... So nonetheless, data is the key, the key driver. So as you begin to build out that and go to market aurum and establish the sales and marketing alignment data is going to sit between sales and marketing. And you want to make sure you have the right combined data view between sales, marketing and this again is fundamental in some cases. But many, many companies don't use the same data sets. When I think about measuring marketing success versus measuring sales success, that's not necessarily the KPI of the metric. It's actually the underlying data that sits below that. For example, when you think about a marketing tool and the conversion rate on that, marketing to our marketing might make that measurement one way. Sales might make that measurement. Another way. And when you have different points of view, it's really hard to say who's right and what's working for that matter. So that's why, again, I think using a unified data system helps facilitate making the right decisions off of data. But then as you think about that data, that data will really help drive your go to market strategy. And we talked earlier about go to market strategy and how to think about partner led versus product led versus rep led. Make these decisions in the most educated way possible and think about them not just through the lens of the country you're in today, but what countries do you want to get into. So as you begin to experiment with growth outside of your core country, I call it internationalize your strategy, but do that to your data. So in some cases, you might lead with partner in one country, but you might lead with rep in another country, product in another country, even let data help me drive that experimental bit, get put some hypotheses out there and get some results back and let the data help you make those sorts of decisions. The other one in here is revenue retention. We talked about this earlier is beginning to think about how do you support those customers, really focus on maniacally focused on revenue retention. Now it's time to think about how can you improve that net dollar retention number, some of your Sas business if you're not a SaaS business. Nonetheless, still, how do you how do you sustain growth from customers that have already bought ones from you? And how do you get them to be repeat buyers? So that revenue retention concept is, I think, really critical here. It's a much easier path to growth often than trying to acquire a new customer. So really think about what's the right model? How do you want engage with those customers effectively? There's multiple approaches to this. There's a 1 1 right model. There's been a whole bunch of time on that particular topic. If you need to, if need be. And then the last bullet I have on the growth stage is just make sure you have the team, the team ready. I think one of the things that does often also get overlooked in growth is actually the hiring element that goes in growth. You really do need to build out the team and have the org structure in place. And by the way, once again, this is going to be data that helps drive some of this. How do you size, the right number of hires? How do you think about what attrition might look like as you continue to grow? I mean, one of our bigger challenges at HubSpot is we've scaled has been trying to balance headcount and figure out how many heads do we need to grow. It's not necessarily a lead flow challenge for us. It's often more of a we have the right heads in place in the right regions. And how many people are going to progress into a management role, move into a different role, maybe leave the business versus how many do we have to hire? So really getting lined up on how to think about that team growth, that headcount growth, what's in data data helps drive that. 

Brendan: I mean, I'd be curious, get your perspective on this. With the four stages that we're talking about, it seems like a lot of money. Every stage is hard to get out of, but it seems like that kind of like companies get stuck in this growth phase where they can't get beyond that $10 million. And I think what you're describing is here are the different like this will help you actually progress. And where a lot of companies get stuck is if they don't allow data actually to drive the decisions, it gets to be other things that ultimately create too much friction that slows the company down. 

Channing: Exactly, exactly, and when you're unsure, just refer back to the data. But the key to making this work is you have to make sure that the data lined up that make sure that you've got some KPIs in place, that some leading indicators and lagging, lagging results that you can look at. 

Brendan: Oh, great. All right. Well, let's transition from growth to growth again. For those who can't see the slide, that's that 10 to 100 million mark. And then scaling is really 100 million plus. So as company transition into that scale phase, where are the different areas that a company should be mindful of and really prioritizing to ensure that they can continue to grow? 

Channing: Yeah, so this is a pretty big stage. We're just really thinking how do you get past that 100 million and continue to move beyond? I think this is just a subset of the bullets that probably can build out a much deeper list here. But DevOps is a key piece to this. So when I think of scaling, one of the things I begin to think about here is non-linear growth and non-linear linear growth is aligning your cost basis to your revenue basis. So your costs are growing roughly the same rate as your revenues. Your bookings nonlinear is when you begin to think about how do I grow my revenue, my bookings faster than my cost basis. So to do that, you need Obst, you need strategy and OPS resources to figure that out. And that's really, I think, one of the core measures of success we have in Austin is, is determining how fast you can move in a non-linear way. So definitely build out that ops team and help them obviously will leverage the data to make some key decisions KPIs in the next one. So as we begin to think about having some measure of success, of course, we'll have a bunch of KPIs out there. So when I say to tighten the kpis, which are on the screen here, I think of what are those leading indicators. And what are the results and the way we actually think about this as HubSpot is how do you think about hindsight, insight and foresight and hindsight is kind of what happened? That's pretty easy. We can just have some outputs that spit out from that insight is OK, why did that maybe happen? And then foresight is what's going to happen next. So when you think about scaling, foresight becomes really critical. How are we going to be ahead of what's going to happen next and data can help you get there.

Brendan: I mean, let's stop there. Can you say that that again? It was 3. 

Channing: Yeah, hindsight, insight and hindsight, insight and foresight. And I think this is a really core concept to top teams as often as Teams Live in hindsight and insight and their reporting out on what just happened. And then they're giving a little analysis on what just happened. And you can look at this over the course of a month or a quarter. Here's how much business we close. This team closed more than that team looked like we got more lead flow from here, less lead from there. That's your hindsight and your insight. But what we often overlook is how important it is on the four side front. So using that hindsight insight to create foresight, what's going to happen next month, next quarter, how do we get ahead of that? And how do we get ahead of ourselves 12 months from now and begin to prepare for where we're going to be in the next four months? That's where non-linear growth comes from. And that's where ops teams, I think, are super critical. That's great. Thank you. Yeah, definitely so. And then I think that leads into the inefficiencies. So as you begin to identify what's working, what's not working, you can identify those inefficiencies and in some cases inefficiencies. We need to stop doing certain things and give up on it. In other cases, you have to solve for what those inefficiencies are. And this might be anything from how lead goes through a process or how much time a rep might spend doing something that could be automated. And automation is one of the best ways to conquer inefficiencies, I find. So this is where, again, I lean on my team and my strategy team to help me think through how can we drive, drive efficiencies and reduce those inefficiencies. That turn alignment is another really core concept here. And this, again, is a simple one. But the visual on this, as you think about I think about a robot and everyone's rowing in the same direction. You've got vector line, we're all pushing. The same way, of course, is you have one person rowing one direction, another person rowing in a different direction, just going to spin that rowboat around a circle. And when you don't have vector alignment, that's what happens to the business. You just kind of spin yourself in a circle. So you really need to make sure that everyone's rowing in the same way. And you start applying that to the basics of marketing, of customer success, of finance, a product. If products right to launch a new product, then the sales team doesn't want to sell that product. You don't have factorial. I'm not going anywhere. So making sure one product thinks about launching that product, you have a very clear go to market strategy for that product. The sales reps are ready to sell it. They have the capacity and bandwidth to actually go about selling it and then it gets sold like that. That is where your alignment starts to happen. So there's lots of little ways that there's better misalignment. So identifying those and then ultimately always solving for better alignment the next one. There is always be experimenting. I love to talk about this, I talk to my team about this all the time and I goes back to that good old always be closing concept for sales. But in ops, we always need to be experimenting. So we always have to be think about what's that experiment that we're running and that helps us stay in the foresight mindset as well. So experimentations lead to foresight. Experimentation is are going to fail. By the way, the majority of experimentations are probably going to fail, and that's OK. And you learn from those failures. We always need to be experimenting because the ones that land and work are the ones that will help drive the business into the future. If you're not experimenting, you never really got to figure that out. And then in the last one here is just blocking internal issues, anticipating and blocking them. And one of the things that we used to do this overlaps with inefficiencies. But we've run a system usability score called a score. And the score helps us to understand where our reps and anyone in the market function, where we running into blockers. So they'll rate different components of systems that they use, and then they'll give it an overall system usability score. That's kind of like an NPS score for our systems. So we'll look at or read the details of that readout. But then we'll also look at the overall system usability score and we try to move that aggregate score up all the time. We want to see that upwards of a 10 if we can. So that helps us to identify those inefficiencies in the blockers for the reps so we can get those reps focused on selling. It's great. 

Brendan: Well, I am always a big fan of a playbook and the fact that you were able to create a clear, clean and concise playbook for a company to go from founding all the way to scale is pretty impressive. And so I know I have learned a lot in terms about this whole concept of clarity, again, of where we should be focusing our time and effort in light of what stage we're at is extremely valuable and helpful. So thank you for putting this together. And thank you for sharing some of the insights that you've experienced in your career. Channing, what are some ways and what practical ways in which our audience can engage either with you or with hubspot? 

Channing: Sure yeah, I think we've got a great blog system set up. There's lots of ways to interact on our blogs and read a bunch. And you can ask questions and you respond. I respond to some when they come up and all we've got a free products are always welcome to go ahead and try it out. There's no obligation to buy in any sense, but it's a great way to kind of learn a little more about what we do with tons of great content that we put out into. A lot of folks are familiar. I mean, I just started up a new podcast series as well, which means you can find and then, of course, I'd say our partners, our partners are also great resources for understanding what works and what doesn't and how to kind of effectively build out your go to market engine teams and systems and operational folks. So, I mean, those are hopefully some helpful tidbits. 

Brendan: I mean, Hubspot, to your point, does a great job focusing on the customer and making that experience, delighting the customer through different mediums. So you guys do a great job at that. And then from you individually, are there social channels that you're a part of that people should be mindful of? 

Channing: Yeah, you can check that on LinkedIn. That's where I'm most active. I tend to try to get posts up on LinkedIn pretty frequently and just putting my thoughts out there. What was your feedback and comments? So I don't go too far beyond LinkedIn just because I'm a little boring outside of that. But I've got my own Instagram a little more personal, but it's always fun to see what I'm doing with my kids want to follow me on Instagram @channingferrer99. 

Brendan: I don't know if you're too bored. You gave us six fun facts and husking is a pretty impressive one. So thanks again for making the time, giving us two episodes on our podcast. And this was just a really great framework. We really appreciate you taking the time to go through it. 

Channing: My pleasure. Thanks. 

Pit Stops to Podium: A RevPartners Podcast

On the RevPartners Podcast we talk to executives who have competed and won, accelerating their companies from High Growth to High Scale. Hosted by RevPartners Co-founder and CEO, Brendan Tolleson. Take some quick notes from each week's "Crew Chief" and then head back to the races!

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