The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Ep 12: Fine-tuning your revenue engine feat Jeff Ignacio

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Fine-tuning your revenue engine feat Jeff Ignacio

Look what is up everybody. Welcometo the revenue collective podcast. I'm your launch host, Justin Welsh, memberof the Los Angeles Chapter of revenue collective, and inside of these episodes we're goingto feature ideas and conversations that are inspired by ongoing discussions within the revenuecollective community across the globe. In today's guest is actually the last person Isaw in person before covid and we met for a coffee to discuss fine tuningyour revenue engine. We're going to talk about that in a little bit moreinside of this episode with our guests, head of revenue and Growth Operations atupkeep, Jeff Ignazio. Before we dive in with Jeff, a few notes. If you're out there listening and you want to join revenue collective, visitrevenue collectivecom and Click upply out. I also want to thank our amazing podcastsponsor, Gong, the number one revenue intelligence platform for remote sales teams.We are thrilled to announce a strategic partnership in which we will be bringing youthe best events, content, research and spaces to engage with your peers andto kick it all off, they are sponsoring the revenue collective podcast. Wewill be bringing you new stuff every month. Do not miss out. Stay uptodateon the latest collaborations at Gong Dot io RC. All right, let'sget the show started with Jeff Ignacio. Our guest today is Jeff Ignacio.Jeff is the head of revenue in growth operations at upkeep, the number onemobile first C MMS and enterprise asset management software built for the world's best reliabilityleaders. Prior to working it up keep, Jeff has spanned a variety of rolesat accenture, Intel, Google and has since worked at growing startups suchas vizier and with me at patient pop. At upkeep, he supports each ofthe go to market teams, from marketing, sales and customer success,Jeff, so glad to have you on, man. Welcome. Thanks, Jeff, then, really appreciate you having me on the show. I've actuallylistened to quite a few of the episodes and have come well, came awayreally impressed with the quality of the content and the guess that you've been ableto bring on. Thanks man. I. You know, as we were talkingpre showed it's, like I mentioned, being a guest is so different thanbeing the host. So I really appreciate that. Still getting my myfooting as a host and so feeling like this is episode, I think fourteenor fifteen, just starting to chip away at what it's like to really bea host. So so appreciate that. Man. Absolutely so. We alwayslike to start by just getting the background story of our guests, the journeythat took you to get to upkeep. So tell us a little bit aboutyours. Absolutely so. I'm a southern California native and I'm back here inLos Angeles, but if I go back to high school, that was myfirst job. I was actually selling. Most people don't remember these, butCUTCO knives was my very fur job and I remember I've receive seeing this flyerat my high school to, you know, try to find high school students whoare interested in some summer part time work. And so I walked intothis dusty office at seven or eight am. My mother dropped me off in downtownRiverside, and the only sales on lave ament and on boarding I receivedback then was this one hour session with thirty other folks, the local manager. At the end of the one hour they handed you this two page scriptthat they told you you had to read verbatim. They gave you some sampleproduct, which I actually had to pay for, and then a binder witha bunch of product images which was going to be the walk through or sortof, so to speak, the demo back then, and analog demo anda teachart where that teach art had these five bullet points and they said listof five people who would be willing to listen to you to present, whowould be your first presentation? So I wrote down two of my Auntie's,my uncle's and my parents of course, was kind of the last fifth bulletpoint, and so that was my real first exposure to sales, but interms of revenue and sales operations, I...

...sort of just fell into it overthe year. So if I go back post UCLA, I ended up buildingmarketing systems for the meetant entertainment studios for a company called ECCENTER, and afterthat I actually decided to where or where carry the bag, and so Imoved into technology and eventually into real estate sales. From there moved into abusiness school. I went to the University of Michigan and I didn't really knowwhat I wanted to focus on going in, but as I exited I absolutely knewI wanted to focus us on technology and scale. So I moved toIntel and then eventually, after I got my finance legs UN there need tome, I moved to Google. And they're in the FBA role. Isupported the global sales organization, which sold a bunch of products across a diverseportfolio. So Google APPs, Google cloud, Google maps and these were what.These are well known products today, but back then we rolled it upinto one horizontal channel called Google Enterprise, and that was very different from itscore advertising business. So it was sort of a business within the business thatyou know, which is Google. And so in the evenings at Google Itaught myself python, B I, s ql and really to you know,more of it was just to automate as much of my time as possible soI can free my hours up from the manual work to a focus on themore strategic aspects, and so I'm really grateful for my time over at Google. I learned a lot while I was there. Territory, design, youknow, all the things that you know revoops and salesops folks do today.And so eventually I came to this conclusion where I had this itch. Youknow, Silicon Valley, you sometimes get the start of bitch and I certainlydid. So big tech will still be there. If I won't want togo back. So but you know, I'd rather take the leap and thatwas what excited me. So I searched for roles that looked at the businessnot from the rearview mirror but as close to the customers I can get withmy skill sets and looking ahead. So that's where I landed on sales operationsand so at upkeep. It's one of the one of the greatest opportunities thatI think for Blue Collar Tech in Los Angeles, and Los Angeles is makinga name for itself. In that blue color text base. You see servicetight end next trucking out there. Patient pop is an interesting one with itshealth to with his healthcare, and it's TEP NEUTEL sales product. And I'vekeep. So I just been here for about two months now and really enjoyingit. That's awesome, man. I Know Ryan really well. To SeeEO over there. That's a that's a great business, I think, withan incredible future and you know, I know that you're leading you know,revenue and growth operations. But a common question that I get from people whoare either, you know, outside of sales or even new to sales leadershipis what is revenue operations or revops? So when I ask people that question, I get a bunch of different answers. Can you tell me a little bitabout how you think about revops? So revops, in my mind,is when we think about the evolution of revenue growth. You know, certainlyneed the support around those revenue generators in order to enable what I call anintegrated revenue engine. And so, from marketing to sales to see us.There are customers out there and prospects out there who do not wish to becomean mql to an sql moves from your discovery stays to your proposal stage.They don't really care about that. What they really care about is the solutionjourney. That's solution journey is trying to identify their pains and sharing that witha vendor or vendors that have a product or service that's relevant to them.And so revops is operates under, I think, for key components and andI call it fast right. So if you're thinking about simplicity, focus,alignment and trust, and those are the letters in the acronym. So thosefour pillars allow you to really build a steel threaded experience across marketing, salesand see us. The last ten years, departments have realized they needed to scalethe gains from their process, their systems, their enablement, and they'vedone so by hiring operations professionals, whether that's marketing ops, sales ops,see us ops. But when ends up happening is, even though you've createdthose gains over the last ten years, you've also created opportunity for misalignment redundancy, and so that's when you have these...

...ops folks sitting vertically under each ofthese department branches, but they're not yet coordinating with one another and often timesyou have these dotted matrix reporting structures and often feels like you have two orthree managers and that can create a ton of confusion, especially as business tostart to grow in scale. So you know, you and I have workedtogether and we have spent sort of plenty of time discussing the fine tuning ofthe revenue engine, and you just sort of mentioned or describe what could possiblybe a chaotic alignment between sales marketing, customers, success and other departments.So when you walk into a new role as the head of REV ops,how do you begin stitching those departments together to tone in on a really solidprocess so that the company can scale successfully? The first thing I do is goin and basically be an active listener. Just like you know, enablement willtrain their their sales, their sales folks to really actively listen and duringthe sale cycle I'll do the same thing, but for the Revenue Cycle. Andthat's the look at what is conversation to cash cross the entire spectrum ofthe customer lifetime journey and there are three key components at every company on theirconversation to cash, and that's engagement, which is your lead to opportunity,and that KPI. There is qualified pipeline. Then there's sales execution and that's youropportunity to close win and how you get there, whether it's a transactionalsale cycle or an enterprise, there are tried in true lessons that you canbuild in any any organization. And then the customer, once they you've acquiredthe customer, that's not where the journey ends. is where the journey justbegins. It's that lifetime journey with them to cross sell or upsell or expandtheir even take their feedback into future iterations of your product. So I'd liketo go in and develop that road map of what those processes are and thentake a look at, okay, these are the processes, but what arethe teams in the personnel, in the systems and the reporting that guides eachone of those pieces of the journey to maximize the out for for the organization. And so once I get that process map going, it's about now sittingwith those go to market leaders and defining what is a road map between howdo we out create alignment, which is one of those fast pillars, andthen focusing on how do we simplify this with our systems in our process?So I'll go and start mapping what those are and then you'll see a numberof process gaps. If you want to run a gap analysis, you'll seethat really quickly. And secondly, if you're AACEATERATING, you start to lookat, okay, what is the two to three or four quarter view looklike in terms of projects that I can outline for my team? That willenable hopefully, that integrator revenue engine into four quarter outlook. So I hopethat's not a long winded answer, but it's really about understanding what's in place, doing a gap analysis and then setting a project plan for the for thelong term. Got It. So you know, once that process does getsaid, Jeff, and you sort of fill those gaps and you feel liketeams are aligned, everyone's sort of marching in the same direction, I canonly imagine that it starts to become time to fine tune everything over the next, you know, four to eight quarters, once everyone's aligned in those gaps arefilled. How do the tact exchange on the revolt side? Where doesthe focus shift once everything is aligned? Does it does it always need alignment, or do you move on and start working on different things? So ifthe revenue engine is like a car engine, over time you're going to stress thatengine with wear and tear through the mileage, and same thing happens ona number of fronts. I typically come into companies at that series A,series B stage and at that stage you're simply just building. You often liketo talk about builders, for this is optimizers, and so when you're buildingthat revenue engine you're sort of testing things out, you're building your ideal customerprofile. You're building your segments out, you're looking at the technology you mayhave. Almost everyone in the company be a system Admin and all of yoursystem so there's a number of clean up that has to happen. So whenI think about what that first two to...

...four quarters looks like, it's reallybuilding the foundational one, two, three ABC type steps for the revenue engine. In your two, year three, you start to face some headwinds inthe business. You may roll out new features where you're trying to move upmarket. You realize the folks you're selling to are not responding with the sametactics you had in year one and therefore you have to revisit your playbook,and part of that is turning on enablement, making sure that you're embedded deep withinthe organization, working with your marketing and sales leaders. And I'm hopingthat in that first year you've built enough trust and receive enough quick wins thatyou're now at the position where your two is very different from your one.You're now focused on shifting segment, shifting the line, looking at your systems, what worked for the particular segment you were selling in two. In yourone could be very different. You might be rolling out new portfolios. Soyou have to take a look at okay, we're now in a multi product world, multi channel world potentially, and what does that even look like fromthe type of roll coverage that we have? Are we just going to be pureoutpound? Should be introduced in bound? Should Rep to be full cycle?Should be carve it out and have sales development? So those are interestingquestions and you're constantly challenging yourself to figuring out how can we finally tune thisengine? And that's the fun part about revops or sales ops is that you'retwo and your three. They all look very different from you. You're alwaystrying to solve interesting challenges. So when you know a question that I haveis it as you kind of get into some of those challenges. So let'stalk. You know, your two, year three. You know often youhave an experienced sales leader who's running the the team, whether that's the VPof sales or a chief revenue officer, and then you have someone like yourselfwho's ahead of REV OPS. When you start to sit down and think dowe need full line reps? Should we be going outbound? Do we needto find tune our inbound program you know, how does the rebops professionals sort ofresponsibilities differ from the head of sales and how do those two positions workreally seamlessly together when you've seen it work really well? So I like tothink of the red ops and the revenue leaders their relationship as a partnership,and as a partnership you have skills that overlap, but you also have skillsthat are very different from one another, and so what you try to dois not necessarily substitute each other but complement each other, and that relies ontaking the ability to balance any gut or instinctive decisionmaking and balance that with datadriven decisionmaking. Those two can go well together. If you've ever read Ican't remember the name of the book, but they talked about type one andtype to thinking, and that's where you do need both types of rationale atthe table in order to look at a problem from different angles and come upwith that solution. The second piece is there's that sales is an art andsales as a science, and so I've often worked in sales leaders who whohave a lit a bit of both in them, and officer folks are definitelygoing to be leaning more towards the science, and so I think that balance betweenfinding the right alchemy between art and science helps really well. The thirdpart is holding your reps accountable and making sure that they're getting the right trainingto build the necessary skills to move on upwards. So operations isn't just thatsystems person on your staff. They can often be that enablement player that bringsnew skills and new foundations to the entire workforce as well. And so whenyou use operations not just as a order taker but as a change maker,that really enables the organization to take a look at okay, we have somemarching orders from our leadership baked in that data, decision driven decision making thatwe just went through this planning sessions and then we laid out what are thesystems, process and training that needs to go on over the next two forsix weeks that we can make sure that our sales team is ready organizationally tohit the new targets by pitching our new...

...products, targeting new accounts, goingafter old accounts that may not have heard about our new products, and thoseare the things that I think make a difference between working as a partnership.That's great and you know, I can remember when when you and I worktogether, you know, at a patient pop. One thing that was appearedfrom my vantage point to be a challenge is how revops is supporting so manydifferent teams. They're supporting sales, they're supporting marketing. There often working withcustomer success and I can imagine that you probably hear that a lot. Salesneeds this, marketing needs this, like so on and so forth. Howdoes the rebops leader or the REBOPS team navigate that challenge of not getting pulledin so many directions because they're embedded with so many teams? It's all aboutfocus. It's about having a game plan, laying out that road map and thenworking with your partners or those go to market leaders and developing your prioritization. Now we operate in a world of not unlimited budget and definitely finite time, and so you have to know where your limits are in terms of timeand spend. So you're going to have to try to identify what are thosechess pieces or chest moves that I'm going to have to make and I'm goingto have to get that buy in from my partners, and so you startto have a frank conversation of here are the hundred projects that we could probablylaunch, but realistically I'm going to need an army or staff members to getthis done and that's not likely to happen. So what you really should think aboutis, okay, what can we reasonably accomplished and what on that projectlist is on the critical path to achieving our targets. So, for example, in your one, I would think it's about laying it down, thefoundation, getting that top of the funnel, those lead reengagements, those new leads, fine tuning your dial the connects, fine tuning all that and all thosecore engagement ratios, and then layer to in year two you're starting tothink about field marketing and content and trade shows or whatever space you're in.For sales, it's about making sure that we know our ICP are pitch let'sand rich our database that we can create the right signals for the sales team. And so at the end of the day, you can get lost andanalysis paralysis, or you could focus and create alignment and then get by andon what your next one, two, three four quarter journey looks like.And so that's how I think about the world when you're when you're working insideof an organization, and it sounds like you obviously have to prioritize, youhave to pick the projects that have the biggest impact. I'm assuming that youhave to build your team out in a relatively scalable way to support the differentorganizations. A lot of people ask me like how should revenue ops fit intothe executive operation? Should they be reporting up to a sales leader? Shouldthey be underneath the marketing leader, or is it the REVOPS leader is anexecutive much like a VP of sales or VP of marketing? What have youseen work best in the organizations that you've been a part of to make surethat revenue ops is able to support those stakeholders in the best way possible?So I've only had a limited number of experiences to myself. I haven't liveda hundreds of lifetimes, but I have a few peers of mine who sharedtheir own reporting structures. But I can give you a little bit of myown experience. I've reported to a chief avenue officer who also had a peerchief marketing officer. So the CRO was not the only sea suite level revenueleader at the company and rather than just being that sales leader, they alsohad this mindset holistically of viewing the business from from the bottom up all theway to the top down. So really thinking about how does marketing impact salesand how to sales impact customer success and how does customer success basically bring morevalue out of your customers over the long run? And so the reporting structureto the crow, in my view,...

...made perfect sense, particularly if thecrow was a little bit actually more unbiased around just focusing on sales. Soit was a revenue driven culture as opposed to a sales driven culture, andso having that revenage of in culture is really thinking about, okay, whatare the pieces in place that a customer need? So having that customer centricitykind of bleeds down throughout the entire culture and certainly within ops as well,and allows opts to know I have the green light to basically push back onany projects or plans that we have that are against that customer centricity if it'sfor the benefit of the individual, not the team and definitely not for thecustomer. Love that, Jeff. You know it's been it's been awesome gettinga chance to chat with you about this you like. Like I mentioned inthe opener, you, you and I work together for a little bit andI can still remember sitting in a room with you and I was trying tofigure out how to improve reproductivity and for some reason this, this sticks outto me, this experience with you or you said, Hey, I tooka look at these three folks on the team and you know when they pitcheddentists instead of doctors, if that's if that's all they did, you wouldhave done one point one million in additional revenue last quarter. And I rememberjust saying this is why, this is part of the reason that I needa repops team, because I was so focused on just improving rep productivity andI can recall you sitting there and saying here's a million bucks that you wouldn'thave have uncovered had I continued thinking that way. So it's just really interesting, as I grow as a leader, to understand that the benefit in thevalue of revenue operations and how they stitch together the organization. So I've seenit firsthand and really appreciate talking with you about it today. And we're actuallynearing the end of our time here, so we just usually do one moresegment at the end of our interviews and it's called our quick fire five andit's really just five questions where we get top of mind real answers from executiverevenue leaders like yourself. You're ready. I'm ready. Fire Up. Awesome. What is a book that has changed your outlook on life? One ofthe greatest books that I've read recently was the first ninety days, and thefirst ninety days is a book about transition and change and in that book theycover what you should be doing in your first ninety days and one of thefirst lessons in there is getting quick wins, and getting quick wins is about buildingcredibility and trust, setting you up for success or a long term.So if anyone's going through a period transition where you've been promoted, are youtaking over a new team or if you're taking on a new role, Iwould absolutely suggest you read that each and every single time. Nice. Iliterally just read it. So also agreed. Is a great recommendation. You're gettingreally excited for a great day at work. WHO's an artist that you'relistening to? So I grew up listening to a lot of underground hiphop andthe last couple years I've been listening to a lot of electronic music, butlately I've been really into this rapper named logic. He has the song calledI work hard every day and if you haven't seen the music video, it'sa complete riot and it's something that I get fired up listening to. Allright, I will check that out. What is your most controversial perspective onthe Startup World Today? So I hear this a lot from revenue folks andsales folks. They always say, well, that's not a product they it's nota product they have over there, it's a feature. They just buildinga feature. I think that's that's bs to me, because you know,when you're a feature or a product, that's all relative. To me.You have to pick a lane and go after it because if they're selling thatone featured, hammering away at it, they're essentially building a castle and defendinga building a mote around the to defend their core, which they'll eventually beable to extend their share by looking at new features. So I always thinkwhen people say you're building a feature, not a product, I say that'sBS. Keep going after it. You believe in your product. You're goingto keep building from there. Cool. What's something that Jeff Ignacio is worldclass and well, I try not to be a cocky about these things oranything, but I would say, you...

...know, there are operations folks outthere who could run laps around me in terms of technology, but I thinkI have this great intersection and understanding of process, systems and business acumen.So putting those three together and a vent diagram allows me to translate between thetechnical folks, the business folks and the folks who are really thinking strategically.So I'm able to kind of navigate as a Chameille and those to those threeaudiences. Lastly, give the audience your life's motto or guiding principle, somethingthey can take home with them today. If covid is taught as anything,it's not how often you fall down, it's how often you get up.Nice, Jeff. It is always great to talk to you. Man.Tell everyone how they can get in contact with you. Sure they can reachout to me on Linkedin and if your revenue collective member, you can reachout to me at my handle, Jeff ignatio lax. Jeff, really appreciateit great catching up with you and I think you're the last guy that Isaw pre covid for a cup of coffee or like, the last human humanbeing I've had physical contact with, so it's Nice too, nice to chatwith you again and I hope that you and I can grab a coup acup of coffee again soon in person. Men, it was it was greathaving on the show. Thanks for doing it. Definitely thanks. Justin.

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