Revenue Operations HubSpot | 19 minute read

Top Takeaways from the Month of HubSpot Series

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Posted by Kimberly Holcomb on November 16, 2021
Kimberly Holcomb
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Take a Quick Look Back on the September to Remember

Since the beginning of our podcast journey here at RevPartners, we have had the opportunity to interview close to 40 guests now from companies who have "competed and won", successfully transitioning from high growth to high scale.

But, in September, we did something a little different and the lessons learned and insights shared were extraordinary!  We decided to interview some of the top leaders from one company about their experience in this transition and how their areas of the organization have adapted while staying true to the core of their mission.

So we invited the best use case we could find to join us on Pit Stops to Podium: HubSpot! 🚀

Why HubSpot?

They truly are THE use case. HubSpot has over 6,000 employees, a $33 billion market cap, over 100,000 customers and are disrupting and redefining the market that they serve. So what better example from which to learn?

You'll find that each leader, each department, and each conversation keep leading back to the idea that is foundational at HubSpot - the Flywheel. Listen to learn why that model is so key for their growth!

Check out this quick recap of some highlights from the series and the top takeaways from each conversation below! 


NOTE: All episodes available for streaming on our YouTube Channel, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts

Watch the HubSpot Series Here 

Guest Index

  1. Yamini Rangan, CEO 
  2. Scott Wilder, Head of Communities 
  3. Brain Garvey, VP of Worldwide Solutions Partners 
  4. Scott Brinker, VP of Platform Ecosystem
  5. Alison Elworthy, Executive VP of Revenue Operations
  6. Channing Ferrer, VP of Sales Ops and Strategy
  7. Mark Roberge, Advisor and Former CRO
  8. Cody Normand, Senior Manager for Sales Productivity and Enablement
  9. Kyle Jepson, HubSpot Academy Sales Professor
  10. Special Edition with Max Cohen, Solutions Engineer and Tik Tok Influencer

How to Align Your Teams Around the Flywheel

Yamini Rangan, CEO 

Bottom Line: Stay laser-focused on serving customers in a delightful manner. Advocacy is what makes the flywheel spin

"A funnel model focuses on winning new customers, whereas in the flywheel model, winning the customer isn’t the end of the customer journey, it’s the beginning."

What is a Flywheel?

  1. Flywheel is NOT funnel

  2. It illustrates how customers play an active role in growing a business at every stage - through referrals, upgrades, advocacy and more.

Why does alignment of teams matter? 

Your customers will feel the pain if there is no internal alignment. Without it, there are more “sharp edges” within a company, which creates friction. 

What does alignment look like? 

"Marketing, Sales, Customer Success pointed in exactly the same direction. That’s what we mean by the vectors are aligned. And that direction is serving our customers in a delightful manner. That is our winning aspiration."

Practical Steps to Break Silos to Scale

  1. Identify the Need for Alignment

    1. Understand the Why

  2. Create a Decision Making Group

    1. The folks that are responsible for decisions around the customer experience

  3. Identify the Winning Aspiration

    1. Ask: “What does winning look like for our entire organization?” 

  4. Have a Decision Making Cadence

    1. Should be quick/fast/focused

Building a Community to Support the Flywheel

Scott Wilder, Head of Communities

Bottom Line: Community must be part of culture and the broader organization, not just a silo.

Breaking the Siloed Group

Notice: A good indicator for the role community plays in an organization's structure is how “Community” is highlighted on the website.

Community reflects a culture's:

  1. Transparency

  2. Autonomy

  3. Flexibility

Breaking the Siloed Journey

  1. Community must support the customer journey

Breaking the Siloed Data

  1. Community must be data driven. Observe how customers are engaging on ALL platforms, both internal + external

Engaging with Scott - Check out his books!

  • Millennial Leaders: Success Stories from Today's Most Brilliant Generation Y Leaders - By Bea Fields, Scott Wilder, Jim Bunch, Rob Newbold 
  • Small Business Accounting on Amazon

How Partners Contribute to the Flywheel

Brian Garvey, VP of Worldwide Solutions Partners

Bottom Line: The partner ecosystem generates a domino effect impacting the company’s ability to scale, their customer success management, and the product roadmap.

Managing Customer Support
  1. Problem: support that moves in seconds, recruiting cycles move in months or quarters

    1. Very similar to on-demand compute capacity and the elasticity of computing only we’re talking about the elasticity of help. 

  2. Question: How do we reinvent and rethink our work and its mechanisms to ensure that the demand for help can find the supply of help? 

    1. Answer: Partners!

Product Roadmap 
  1. Transition quick fixes in isolation to high leverage enhancements

  2. Rethinking methods and leveraging HubSpot IP (intellectual property) through expert partners

Becoming the Default Solution for Growing SMB
  1. Goal: Become the Amazon (“one stop shop”) to curate products and services and solve issues for scaling companies

How Ecosystems Support the Flywheel

Scott Brinker, VP of Platform Ecosystem

Drivers to Ecosystem Approach

  1. Supply: There are almost no barriers to entry to software in the cloud 

  2. Demand: Steadily growing because every single digital business is still a bit of a snowflake leading to a  proliferation of tools

The Tension Between Innovation and Integration

  1. The single biggest barrier for marketers is integration! Marketers commonly have to stitch together software, which should not be a worry of theirs. This is something that can be solved. Not rocket science.

  2. The Key: Companies need a common system of record in the data, otherwise the value is limited.

The Long Tail for Opportunity

  1. Much of the Martech landscape is still “Developers in the garage” that want to play with the big players. 

  2. “What excites me about ecosystems is that entire spectrum from both ends - the huge 100 billion dollar public companies down to the two developers in the garage - there’s just so many opportunities for them!"

How RevOps Helps Companies Scale

Alison Elworthy, Executive VP of Revenue Operations

How RevOps Impacts the Flywheel

  1. RevOps is moving from reactively fighting fires caused by friction just to keep the flywheel spinning to proactively removing friction and fueling the flywheel with new, innovative ideas to help accelerate growth. 

How do you scale this methodology?

  1. Scale occurs when business growth exceeds investment growth.

  2. It’s when users, partners, customers and revenue grow faster than the investment made in those areas.

Achieving Scale in Customer Experience

  1. Don't let your customer take a back seat!  RevOps helps you build your go-to-market strategy around the way people really want to buy.

  2. Teams need to be aligned to enable a successful customer experience - when every person on the team fully understands the overarching strategy and aligns their process in the same way.

Scaling with Speed

  1. When companies grow, they naturally slow down because of complexity - there is a greater distance to connect the dots.

  2. Stay Big AND Fast by
    1. Establishing more cross-functional teams helps shorten those distances

    2. Having the right data can help teams make decisions faster.

Scaling with Efficiency

  1. Break linear growth, and double down on investments like sales acceleration and enablement, for example. 

  2. Eliminate band-aid solutions by establishing strong fundamentals early and avoiding future debt

Stages of Growth for a Scaling Company

Channing Ferrer, VP of Sales Ops and Strategy

Bottom Line: Focus on leveraging data across the entire customer journey

Founding Stage (<2m)

  1. Starting point: What is my value proposition?

  2. Positions to hire at the early stage

    1. Ops! The hidden gem to establish a consistent system of record and data

    2. Reps! Hire athletes capable of getting out into the field and doing a lot of different things

  3. Overlooked often: Customer Support plan

    1. HubSpot principles - stay customer centric and think about everything through the lens of the customer

    2. Retention is critical

Early Stage (2-10m)

  1. Build out the Team

    1. You need leaders to give direction around your GTM Strategy

    2. Continue to build out RevOps function

      1. Data Strategist - someone who speaks that language

      2. Strategy analyst - Someone with business acumen

      3. Operational role

  2. Have your Ops team develop a repeatable sales process

  3. "Smarketing" = Sales and Marketing Aligned

    1. Understand the mix of leadflow -  What is the % of sales closed coming from each source?

  4. GTM Approach - Who should be selling? How will we service? Where do partners fit in? Versus Reps?  
    1. Product Led

    2. Marketing Led

    3. Sales Led

    4. Partner Led

Growth Stage (10-100m)

  1. Focus: Data-driven decisions

    1. Build out a data-driven compass and align all decisions around data

    2. "You can’t track what you can’t measure.”

  2. Create a combined data-view between sales and marketing

    1. Use same data sets when measuring success

  3. Maniacally focus on Revenue Retention

    1. Sustaining growth

    2. Much easier path to growth than trying to acquire new customer 

  4. Often Overlooked: Hiring element

    1. Let data drive these decisions, as well

Scaling Stage (>100m)

  1. Key Piece: Ops

    1. Non-linear growth = core measure of success for ops team

      1. Linear growth is aligning cost basis to revenue basis

      2. Non-linear: how grow revenue faster than my cost basis

  2. KPIs

    1. “Tighten the KPIs” = what are leading indicators and what are the results

    2. Hindsight, Insight, and Foresight

      1. Often Ops teams live in hindsight and insight... (reporting + analysis)

      2. But, moving to foresight is critical (what will happen next? How do we get ahead of that?)

      3. “Use hindsight and insight to create foresight...that’s where non-linear growth comes from and where ops teams are super critical.”

  3. Identifying Inefficiencies

    1. Stop of solve

    2. Automation is one of the best ways to solve inefficiencies

  4. “ABE” = always be experimenting

    1. Helps stay in the foresight mindset

    2. Majority of experimentations fail. But, the ones that land and work are the ones that drive the business forward to the future


Unlocking Sources of Revenue Growth

Mark Roberge, Advisor and Former CRO

Bottom Line: Every company needs to get good at consistently finding new growth avenues

Main Areas of Growth = Market, Product, and Channel

CRM case study with HubSpot (“Scaling the Known and Learning the New”)

  1. Develop an overarching Strategy

    1. Company vision that justifies both the company’s core business and an ambitious innovation program

  2. Hold Tension at the Top

    1. The CEO needs to look at their organizational design, not based on P&L size, but on strategic value

    2. Structure so that Emerging and Core Units report directly to C-Suite, regardless of P&L Size

  3. Embrace Inconsistency

    1. Measure the success of the two teams (Emerging and Core) differently

      1. Core units measured on profits and growth

      2. Emerging Units measured on pace of experimentation and learning

 

Investing in Enablement to Fuel the Revenue Engine

Cody Normand, Senior Manager for Sales Productivity and Enablement

Structure of an Enablement Team
  1. Sole Focus: Thinking about the seller

  2. Medium: Content Creation and Instructional Design

  3. Leadership Enablement

    1. “Managers/Directors play just as much of a role in enablement as the enablement team does. You need a way to support them so that they can support the enablement initiatives, pass them down and coach their reps. Crucial, crucial part to enablement.”

  4. Field Enablement - dedicated segment in geo type support

Responsibilities of an Enablement Team
  1. Training - The enablement team should be responsible for onboarding and ramping your new hires

  2. Sales Strategy piece

    1. Example: Product launches - Making sure the sales team is 100% prepared to sell this product.

  3. Communication Channels/Change Management/Behavior Change

    1. Enact change in a way that is not forceful and is a top-down driven approach

    2. "They need a team to create very streamlined communication channels so that it is as calm waters as possible and the sales team can stay focused on selling and they’re not having to be bombarded with comms.”

Measurement of Enablement Efforts

  1. Macro - Hyper focus

    1. PPR “Productivity per rep”

      1. Total revenue divided by # of reps you have

    2. TTR “Time to rep”

      1. Want to ramp our sellers as productive as possible, as fast as possible

      2. The faster you do that, the closer you get to breaking non-linear growth (hiring x amount of sellers to reach a revenue goal)

  2. Micro

    1. Project by project basis

    2. Build up a library of success metrics 

Answering the Question: Is HubSpot a CRM?

Kyle Jepson, HubSpot Academy Sales Professor

Bottom Line: YES.

Define CRM at its base definition

  1. If you are talking about managing your customer relationships and mapping their journey from their first interactions through closed/won and they are a happy customer - then, yes. HubSpot can do that! 

In what cases would HubSpot NOT be a CRM?
  1. If you are asking, is HubSpot SalesForce? Then we get a lot of No’s

  2. What HubSpot Team and SalesForce.com teams are building are really divergent

SalesForce Vs HubSpot, Simply Put

  1. SalesForce = infinite customizability

  2. HubSpot = “open the box and it works”

What makes HubSpot different?

The way it was built.

  1. All in house. Not cobbled together, but crafted from the beginning. Seamlessly connected and designed that way from the start

  2. Single system; single contacts database that everything else is built on top of, rather than multiple systems brought together

  3. HubSpot is a highly opinionated product. They think there is a right and wrong way to grow and build that into the product.

Special Edition Episode on The Physics of Inbound

Max Cohen, Solutions Engineer and Tik Tok Influencer

Get Gud Content

But, here's the million dollar question: What is "Good Content?"
  1. Good Content ➡ Substance > Format
  2. Good Content ➡ needs to involve the transfer of VALUE
  3. Good Content ➡ gets you closer to reach a goal or solve a challenge

Creation > Optimization

  1. Don’t let optimization be a barrier to you in creating content. Analysis paralysis is real.

  2. If you’re going to do SEO, what are you going to optimize if you don’t have any content?

  3. Get good at creating content first, before you optimize it. You can always optimize it down the line.

Buyer Personas are NOT dead, they just need to be defined

Max's Definition: A Persona is a list of goals and challenges


The Back, Front, Middle Approach
  1. The End Zone: Bottom of Funnel Info (The Decision Stage)

    1. Start here. This should be easy to knock out quickly! You need to have a way to capture anyone coming to your site and showing interest.

  2. The Front: Think About Goals/Challenges (The Awareness Stage)

    1. Ask Yourself: What does success look like for my ideal buyer? What would they be googling to get there? 

    2. Don’t let your product/service pigeon hole you into what content you can/can’t create

    3. More people on site = more people find their way to bottom of funnel

  3. The Middle: Meeting with Solutions (The Consideration Stage)

    1. Continue to add value. Don't just communicate “buy my stuff."

Bringing it Home: Max then ends with an awesome personal example of what simply creating good content can do for your search optimization + visibility.

Let’s Hear It For HubSpot

Hats off to HubSpot for continuing to delight customers and keep that flywheel spinning. We are big fans here at RevPartners.

If you're ready to start your HubSpot Journey or have a new found interest in HubSpot as a CRM, let us know or check out the page below!

Get Started with HubSpot
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