HubSpot | 12 minute read

What We Learned at INBOUND '21

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Posted by Kimberly Holcomb on October 20, 2021
Kimberly Holcomb
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All Things RevOps from HubSpot’s INBOUND Conference

Last week, HubSpot held their annual conference for customers and partners across industries to learn from and connect with each other. The whole 3 day experience was pure awesomeness. The RevPartners team is still buzzing with excitement from all of the information we learned and we’ve never felt more confident in the fact RevOps is changing the way companies run for the better. 

Luckily for you, we’ve put together a compilation of the best and most notable material shared during the revops sessions. Watching the sessions on demand is definitely worth the time, but if you’re just looking for the golden nuggets, then you’re in the right place. 

Check out all the RevOps highlights from INBOUND 2021 and let’s keep the momentum going! 

RevOps agenda

NOTE: Powerhouse Pass Attendees will have access to the INBOUND 2021 virtual event platform for 1 year to rewatch any session on-demand.

Watch Here 

The Right Way to Scale

Sam Jacobs, CEO Pavilion 

Bottom Line: The point of a company is to bring people and processes and technology together to create repeatable profitability. RevOps impacts all of this. 

Order of Operations to Scale 

  1. Start with the product,  NOT with the market. A great product will generate sales because it is needed. 

  2. Next focus on Sales and Marketing, but remember that sales people do not generate demand.

Why Unit Economics are Important 

Look at how much money you spend bringing in each client versus how much money you get back and how quickly this process happens. Ultimately, they tell you if your business works or not (a.k.a. Are you having to spend a lot to get customers?)

Key Metric 

If the time it takes for your client to pay back the cost of acquiring them is:

  • Less than 9 months: You’re golden! Time to invest in growth. 
  • Between 9 and 16 months: Keep going, but find ways to improve. (Hello, RevOps) 
  • More than 16 months: Something is very wrong.

Mic Drop

“The customer decides if a service is a subscription or not. Calling something a subscription doesn’t make it one.” 


90 Days to Revolutionizing RevOps at Your Organization

Juli Durante, Director of RevOps Services at Impulse Creative

Bottom Line: Change is hard. But if your company is not using data to drive seamless and clear operations within all sectors of your company without friction, then you need to change. (RevOps enters the chat) 

90 Day Roadmap Overview

Days 1-30: Find what's causing the friction 

Days 31-60: Reoptimize the process to remove the friction 

Days 61-90: Implement processes and tech stacks that are easy to manage 

[RevPartners tip: use Miro to map out the details found in these steps]

Good news: your company doesn’t have to hit the breaks during this 90 day process. 

Even better news: Once RevOps processes are running smoothly within all teams, you’ll have far less friction and more sales happening routinely. 


The RevOps Crash Course

Alison Elworthy, EVP Revenue Operations at HubSpot

Maggie Butler, Marketing Team Manager at HubSpot

Rosalyn Santa Elena, VP Global Revenue Operations at Neo4j 


Bottom Line: RevOps can look different structurally for each company, but the need for it and its impact on growth is unchanging. 

Consider RevOps. But why? 

  1. Increasingly complex buyers journey

    1. Customers have more access to information

    2. Customers expect a value-driven partnership

    3. Customers are in the driver’s seat

  2. Importance of data + connected systems has grown exponentially

    1. You need to weaponize this data to allow more visibility and more time to actually do the work, rather than coordinate the work

  3. Rise of SaaS and the Recurring Revenue Model

    1. We no longer view revenue as solely “Net New”, but also take into account the entire customer journey

    2. You need to have a clear understanding of all the drivers that contribute to your bottom line

  4. Alignment and rigor across the revenue process

    1. “At HubSpot we obsess over alignment.”

    2. Always think alignment before strategy and by default you’ll create a really great customer experience

  5. Ops folks are currently set up to be reactive

    1. Traditionally, Ops teams are hired when something is broken and are pushed to solve quickly leading to tech debt

    2. The quicker you can get out of this mindset, the better. It’s never too early to hire RevOps!

    3. Prioritize investing in RevOps teams to retain those valued professionals and fuel your company growth

RevOps Strategy

The key is to have a plan and get aligned on a strategy behind the implementation. And most importantly, get the rest of the key stakeholders on board. 

Ask yourself,  “what are the core principles that you are solving for?” Provide these as guardrails to make sure that everyone is headed in the right direction

HubSpot’s Core Principles for RevOps

  1. Prioritize “Customer In” versus “Function Out”

    1. Solve for the customer above all else. Through your frontline team, not for your frontline team. The Customer can feel those internal processes

  2. Build to Be Big and Fast

    1. As you grow quickly, companies start to slow down and complexity creeps in, causing you to pay that dreaded friction tax. Remove dependencies that will naturally slow your teams down.

  3. Focus on foresight and build for long-term scale

    1. Give your Ops Teams focus for what they are building for in the future. This is part of that proactive, rather than reactive, approach.

  4. Attract and develop remarkable ops talent and leadership

    1. Ops Teams are the superheroes of scaling companies, but don’t get the recognition they deserve. Structure your development and recognition to reflect the reality of their value. 

Six Building Blocks

  1. Strategy and Planning

  2. Performance and Metrics

  3. Insights and Analytics

  4. Operational Rigor

  5. Enablement and Optimization

  6. Technology + Systems

HubSpot’s Structural Model

  1. Horizontal Customer Experience

    1. Strategy

    2. Planning

    3. Enablement

  2. Go to market fuel (not “fix)

    1. Marketing Ops

    2. Sales Ops

    3. CS Ops

  3. Foundation for Scale

    1. Single data

    2. Single system (HubSpot)

    3. Unified people strategy

The Rise of the RevOps Developer

Connor Jeffers, CEO Aptitude 8 

Bottom Line: RevOps is not one-size-fits-all. This is why you need amazing RevOps developers. You need highly customized solutions and workflows specifically tailored to your company for RevOps

RevOps Developers can build: 

  1. Custom Subscriptions  

  2. CRM Cards 

  3. Workflow Extensions 

  4. Custom Quotes

  5. Integrations

  6. CMS Hubs

To become a RevOps Developer you need:

  1. Strong understanding of APIs

  2. Coding skills

  3. Knowledge of business process

  4. To utilize HubSpot 


RevOps in Real Life: A Case Study

Kyle Jepson, Senior Inbound Sales Professor

Mary Grothe, CEO House of Revenue

Bottom Line: HubSpot is actively supporting RevOps teams in creating a frictionless experience for customers

HubSpot’s Formal Definition of RevOps: Responsible for aligning ops functions supporting sales, marketing, and customer service organizations

More on Ops Hub

“Super Powering HubSpot CRM since 2021”

  1. Data Sync

    1. Realtime, 2 way sync across 60+ apps!

    2. Net New category of integrations

  2. Data Quality Automation

    1. Clean CRM data easily. No fancy excel work required

    2. Clean internally and push outward into all 60+ apps connected with HubSpot

  3. Custom Code Actions

    1. Pulled the hood off and let you tinker with the engine inside

RevOps in Real Time

Mary Grothe, CEO House of Revenue, tells the story of the emergence of RevOps and CRM companies, like HubSpot. She also shares a real-life example of how RevOps can transform company growth.

Leveraging RevOps

  1. Tech Stack Audit: Identify the actual usage of each one

  2. Behavior Audit: Build a system to fit the behaviors

  3. Create Frictionless Experience: How does the buyer want to experience the brand?


AMA: Future of RevOps

Jen Spencer, Chief Revenue Officer at SmartBug Media

Bottom Line: The convergence of CRM Technology and Inbound Process has left us with a rich potential for growth if we can turn the methodology into a reality. 

Jen's Perspective on RevOps: Technology is becoming increasingly more connected, blurring the line between offline and online activity. It is no longer just about connecting teams, but about perfecting demand generation with technology. 

Answering Common RevOps Questions: 

  1. How do we better include customer success in revops?

    1. Treat your customer with the same care that you might be treating a prospect.

    2. Listen! To the customers and to the customer success team. 

  2. Who do you start the revops conversation with if revops does not yet exist within an organization? 

    1. Where are you getting the most revenue from?

    2. Where is the most friction in your buyer process? 

    3. Start there with a solution. Not with a hire. 

  3. Does RevOps replace Marketing Ops and Sales Ops?

    1. Depends on the size of your organization

    2. RevOps will function as the umbrella team that the other ops functions fall under

    3. Why: to eliminate conflicting priorities

  4. How do you transition into RevOps from Marketing?

    1. If you a marketing "swiss army knife", you are already doing RevOps! 

    2. Lean into ways that automation and improved communication can help eliminate friction and open opportunities

    3. Top Advice: make sure you get exposure to other areas in the customer journey, too - sales/cs

  5. #1 most impactful KPI for driving revenue?

    1. Mix between Pipeline Velocity and your Churn Rate

  6. How do you show how RevOps directly impact revenue growth?

    1. Base your experiments on data

    2. Document at the onset

    3. Set milestones to track progress and continually report

  7. How do you identify misalignment?

    1. HubSpot's Flywheel Exercise

  8. Where to focus in your first year of RevOps?
    1. Triage: start with an audit to map every step that a customer takes in getting to you and working with your organization

    2. Otherwise, you will feel like you're playing a game of wack-a-mole!


The Rise of the Strategic Technician

Matt Bolian, Founder + Head of Growth at RevPartners

Bottom Line: Revenue Operations is the new competitive advantage

Where does it come from?

  1. Buyer’s Journey Changed

    1. Primarily Digital: Over 70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before a buyer even reaches out to sales (SiriusDecisions)

  2. Tool Proliferation

    1. Increased Usage: In 2011, there were 150 Sales and Marketing Tools. In 2020, there were over 8000

  3. Weaponization of Data = Competitive Advantage

    1. Data literacy is the new strategic asset.

  4. The Rise of the Strategic Technician

    1. Wrangling and taming data = new currency of awesome

A New Profession

The strategic technician is increasingly more important as companies look to grow and scale

Evidences of Maturity

  1. RevOps Communities: like (list)

  2. RevOps specific recruiting (RevSearch)

  3. RevOps Leaders

  4. RevOps Best Practices

What’s Next?

Follow these recommendations to kickstart your RevOps development:

  1. Invest Earlier in RevOps and RevOps People

  2. There are known RevOps Best Practices….Do them!

  3. Consolidate, consolidate, consolidate. Manage all your data through one source of truth, like the HubSpot CRM

  4. Join Communities and learn from other RevOps professionals

RevPartners is at Your Service

Does your revenue engine need built, fine-tuned, or supercharged?

To learn more about how to continuously improve operational efficiency and identify the gaps in your customer experiences, see what RevPartners can do for you!