The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 2 years 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. Welcome to the revenue collective podcast. I'm your launch host, Justin Welsh, member of the Los Angeles Chapter of revenue collective, and inside of these episodes we're going to feature ideas and conversations that are inspired by ongoing discussions within the revenue collective community across the globe. In today's guest is actually the last person I saw in person before covid and we met for a coffee to discuss fine tuning your revenue engine. We're going to talk about that in a little bit more inside of this episode with our guests, head of revenue and Growth Operations at upkeep, Jeff Ignazio. Before we dive in with Jeff, a few notes. If you're out there listening and you want to join revenue collective, visit revenue collectivecom and Click upply out. I also want to thank our amazing podcast sponsor, 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 you the best events, content, research and spaces to engage with your peers and to kick it all off, they are sponsoring the revenue collective podcast. We will be bringing you new stuff every month. Do not miss out. Stay uptodate on the latest collaborations at Gong Dot io RC. All right, let's get 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 one mobile first C MMS and enterprise asset management software built for the world's best reliability leaders. Prior to working it up keep, Jeff has spanned a variety of roles at accenture, Intel, Google and has since worked at growing startups such as vizier and with me at patient pop. At upkeep, he supports each of the 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 actually listened to quite a few of the episodes and have come well, came away really impressed with the quality of the content and the guess that you've been able to bring on. Thanks man. I. You know, as we were talking pre showed it's, like I mentioned, being a guest is so different than being the host. So I really appreciate that. Still getting my my footing as a host and so feeling like this is episode, I think fourteen or fifteen, just starting to chip away at what it's like to really be a host. So so appreciate that. Man. Absolutely so. We always like to start by just getting the background story of our guests, the journey that took you to get to upkeep. So tell us a little bit about yours. Absolutely so. I'm a southern California native and I'm back here in Los Angeles, but if I go back to high school, that was my first job. I was actually selling. Most people don't remember these, but CUTCO knives was my very fur job and I remember I've receive seeing this flyer at my high school to, you know, try to find high school students who are interested in some summer part time work. And so I walked into this dusty office at seven or eight am. My mother dropped me off in downtown Riverside, and the only sales on lave ament and on boarding I received back 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 script that they told you you had to read verbatim. They gave you some sample product, which I actually had to pay for, and then a binder with a bunch of product images which was going to be the walk through or sort of, so to speak, the demo back then, and analog demo and a teachart where that teach art had these five bullet points and they said list of five people who would be willing to listen to you to present, who would 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 bullet point, and so that was my real first exposure to sales, but in terms of revenue and sales operations, I...

...sort of just fell into it over the year. So if I go back post UCLA, I ended up building marketing systems for the meetant entertainment studios for a company called ECCENTER, and after that I actually decided to where or where carry the bag, and so I moved into technology and eventually into real estate sales. From there moved into a business school. I went to the University of Michigan and I didn't really know what I wanted to focus on going in, but as I exited I absolutely knew I wanted to focus us on technology and scale. So I moved to Intel and then eventually, after I got my finance legs UN there need to me, I moved to Google. And they're in the FBA role. I supported the global sales organization, which sold a bunch of products across a diverse portfolio. So Google APPs, Google cloud, Google maps and these were what. These are well known products today, but back then we rolled it up into one horizontal channel called Google Enterprise, and that was very different from its core advertising business. So it was sort of a business within the business that you know, which is Google. And so in the evenings at Google I taught 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 so I can free my hours up from the manual work to a focus on the more strategic aspects, and so I'm really grateful for my time over at Google. I learned a lot while I was there. Territory, design, you know, 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. You know, Silicon Valley, you sometimes get the start of bitch and I certainly did. So big tech will still be there. If I won't want to go back. So but you know, I'd rather take the leap and that was what excited me. So I searched for roles that looked at the business not from the rearview mirror but as close to the customers I can get with my skill sets and looking ahead. So that's where I landed on sales operations and so at upkeep. It's one of the one of the greatest opportunities that I think for Blue Collar Tech in Los Angeles, and Los Angeles is making a name for itself. In that blue color text base. You see service tight end next trucking out there. Patient pop is an interesting one with its health to with his healthcare, and it's TEP NEUTEL sales product. And I've keep. So I just been here for about two months now and really enjoying it. That's awesome, man. I Know Ryan really well. To See EO over there. That's a that's a great business, I think, with an 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 who are either, you know, outside of sales or even new to sales leadership is 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 bit about how you think about revops? So revops, in my mind, is when we think about the evolution of revenue growth. You know, certainly need the support around those revenue generators in order to enable what I call an integrated 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 become an 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 solution journey. That's solution journey is trying to identify their pains and sharing that with a 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 and I call it fast right. So if you're thinking about simplicity, focus, alignment and trust, and those are the letters in the acronym. So those four pillars allow you to really build a steel threaded experience across marketing, sales and see us. The last ten years, departments have realized they needed to scale the gains from their process, their systems, their enablement, and they've done 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 created those 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 of these department branches, but they're not yet coordinating with one another and often times you have these dotted matrix reporting structures and often feels like you have two or three managers and that can create a ton of confusion, especially as business to start to grow in scale. So you know, you and I have worked together and we have spent sort of plenty of time discussing the fine tuning of the revenue engine, and you just sort of mentioned or describe what could possibly be 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 solid process so that the company can scale successfully? The first thing I do is go in and basically be an active listener. Just like you know, enablement will train their their sales, their sales folks to really actively listen and during the sale cycle I'll do the same thing, but for the Revenue Cycle. And that's the look at what is conversation to cash cross the entire spectrum of the customer lifetime journey and there are three key components at every company on their conversation 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 your opportunity to close win and how you get there, whether it's a transactional sale cycle or an enterprise, there are tried in true lessons that you can build in any any organization. And then the customer, once they you've acquired the customer, that's not where the journey ends. is where the journey just begins. It's that lifetime journey with them to cross sell or upsell or expand their even take their feedback into future iterations of your product. So I'd like to go in and develop that road map of what those processes are and then take a look at, okay, these are the processes, but what are the teams in the personnel, in the systems and the reporting that guides each one 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 sitting with those go to market leaders and defining what is a road map between how do we out create alignment, which is one of those fast pillars, and then 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 number of process gaps. If you want to run a gap analysis, you'll see that really quickly. And secondly, if you're AACEATERATING, you start to look at, okay, what is the two to three or four quarter view look like in terms of projects that I can outline for my team? That will enable hopefully, that integrator revenue engine into four quarter outlook. So I hope that'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 the long term. Got It. So you know, once that process does get said, Jeff, and you sort of fill those gaps and you feel like teams are aligned, everyone's sort of marching in the same direction, I can only 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 are filled. How do the tact exchange on the revolt side? Where does the 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 if the revenue engine is like a car engine, over time you're going to stress that engine with wear and tear through the mileage, and same thing happens on a 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 like to talk about builders, for this is optimizers, and so when you're building that revenue engine you're sort of testing things out, you're building your ideal customer profile. You're building your segments out, you're looking at the technology you may have. Almost everyone in the company be a system Admin and all of your system so there's a number of clean up that has to happen. So when I think about what that first two to...

...four quarters looks like, it's really building the foundational one, two, three ABC type steps for the revenue engine. In your two, year three, you start to face some headwinds in the business. You may roll out new features where you're trying to move up market. You realize the folks you're selling to are not responding with the same tactics 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 within the organization, working with your marketing and sales leaders. And I'm hoping that in that first year you've built enough trust and receive enough quick wins that you'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 your one could be very different. You might be rolling out new portfolios. So you 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 from the type of roll coverage that we have? Are we just going to be pure outpound? Should be introduced in bound? Should Rep to be full cycle? Should be carve it out and have sales development? So those are interesting questions and you're constantly challenging yourself to figuring out how can we finally tune this engine? And that's the fun part about revops or sales ops is that you're two and your three. They all look very different from you. You're always trying to solve interesting challenges. So when you know a question that I have is it as you kind of get into some of those challenges. So let's talk. You know, your two, year three. You know often you have an experienced sales leader who's running the the team, whether that's the VP of sales or a chief revenue officer, and then you have someone like yourself who's ahead of REV OPS. When you start to sit down and think do we need full line reps? Should we be going outbound? Do we need to find tune our inbound program you know, how does the rebops professionals sort of responsibilities differ from the head of sales and how do those two positions work really seamlessly together when you've seen it work really well? So I like to think 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 skills that are very different from one another, and so what you try to do is not necessarily substitute each other but complement each other, and that relies on taking the ability to balance any gut or instinctive decisionmaking and balance that with data driven decisionmaking. Those two can go well together. If you've ever read I can't remember the name of the book, but they talked about type one and type to thinking, and that's where you do need both types of rationale at the table in order to look at a problem from different angles and come up with that solution. The second piece is there's that sales is an art and sales as a science, and so I've often worked in sales leaders who who have a lit a bit of both in them, and officer folks are definitely going to be leaning more towards the science, and so I think that balance between finding the right alchemy between art and science helps really well. The third part is holding your reps accountable and making sure that they're getting the right training to build the necessary skills to move on upwards. So operations isn't just that systems person on your staff. They can often be that enablement player that brings new skills and new foundations to the entire workforce as well. And so when you 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 some marching orders from our leadership baked in that data, decision driven decision making that we just went through this planning sessions and then we laid out what are the systems, process and training that needs to go on over the next two for six weeks that we can make sure that our sales team is ready organizationally to hit the new targets by pitching our new...

...products, targeting new accounts, going after old accounts that may not have heard about our new products, and those are 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 work together, you know, at a patient pop. One thing that was appeared from my vantage point to be a challenge is how revops is supporting so many different teams. They're supporting sales, they're supporting marketing. There often working with customer success and I can imagine that you probably hear that a lot. Sales needs this, marketing needs this, like so on and so forth. How does the rebops leader or the REBOPS team navigate that challenge of not getting pulled in so many directions because they're embedded with so many teams? It's all about focus. It's about having a game plan, laying out that road map and then working 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 time and spend. So you're going to have to try to identify what are those chess pieces or chest moves that I'm going to have to make and I'm going to have to get that buy in from my partners, and so you start to have a frank conversation of here are the hundred projects that we could probably launch, but realistically I'm going to need an army or staff members to get this done and that's not likely to happen. So what you really should think about is, okay, what can we reasonably accomplished and what on that project list is on the critical path to achieving our targets. So, for example, in your one, I would think it's about laying it down, the foundation, getting that top of the funnel, those lead reengagements, those new leads, fine tuning your dial the connects, fine tuning all that and all those core engagement ratios, and then layer to in year two you're starting to think 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's and 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 and analysis paralysis, or you could focus and create alignment and then get by and on 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 inside of an organization, and it sounds like you obviously have to prioritize, you have to pick the projects that have the biggest impact. I'm assuming that you have to build your team out in a relatively scalable way to support the different organizations. A lot of people ask me like how should revenue ops fit into the executive operation? Should they be reporting up to a sales leader? Should they be underneath the marketing leader, or is it the REVOPS leader is an executive much like a VP of sales or VP of marketing? What have you seen work best in the organizations that you've been a part of to make sure that 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 lived a hundreds of lifetimes, but I have a few peers of mine who shared their own reporting structures. But I can give you a little bit of my own experience. I've reported to a chief avenue officer who also had a peer chief marketing officer. So the CRO was not the only sea suite level revenue leader at the company and rather than just being that sales leader, they also had this mindset holistically of viewing the business from from the bottom up all the way to the top down. So really thinking about how does marketing impact sales and how to sales impact customer success and how does customer success basically bring more value out of your customers over the long run? And so the reporting structure to the crow, in my view,...

...made perfect sense, particularly if the crow was a little bit actually more unbiased around just focusing on sales. So it was a revenue driven culture as opposed to a sales driven culture, and so having that revenage of in culture is really thinking about, okay, what are the pieces in place that a customer need? So having that customer centricity kind 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 on any projects or plans that we have that are against that customer centricity if it's for the benefit of the individual, not the team and definitely not for the customer. Love that, Jeff. You know it's been it's been awesome getting a chance to chat with you about this you like. Like I mentioned in the opener, you, you and I work together for a little bit and I can still remember sitting in a room with you and I was trying to figure out how to improve reproductivity and for some reason this, this sticks out to me, this experience with you or you said, Hey, I took a look at these three folks on the team and you know when they pitched dentists instead of doctors, if that's if that's all they did, you would have done one point one million in additional revenue last quarter. And I remember just saying this is why, this is part of the reason that I need a repops team, because I was so focused on just improving rep productivity and I can recall you sitting there and saying here's a million bucks that you wouldn't have 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 the value of revenue operations and how they stitch together the organization. So I've seen it firsthand and really appreciate talking with you about it today. And we're actually nearing the end of our time here, so we just usually do one more segment at the end of our interviews and it's called our quick fire five and it's really just five questions where we get top of mind real answers from executive revenue leaders like yourself. You're ready. I'm ready. Fire Up. Awesome. What is a book that has changed your outlook on life? One of the greatest books that I've read recently was the first ninety days, and the first ninety days is a book about transition and change and in that book they cover what you should be doing in your first ninety days and one of the first lessons in there is getting quick wins, and getting quick wins is about building credibility 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 you taking over a new team or if you're taking on a new role, I would absolutely suggest you read that each and every single time. Nice. I literally just read it. So also agreed. Is a great recommendation. You're getting really excited for a great day at work. WHO's an artist that you're listening to? So I grew up listening to a lot of underground hiphop and the last couple years I've been listening to a lot of electronic music, but lately I've been really into this rapper named logic. He has the song called I work hard every day and if you haven't seen the music video, it's a complete riot and it's something that I get fired up listening to. All right, I will check that out. What is your most controversial perspective on the Startup World Today? So I hear this a lot from revenue folks and sales folks. They always say, well, that's not a product they it's not a product they have over there, it's a feature. They just building a 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 that one featured, hammering away at it, they're essentially building a castle and defending a building a mote around the to defend their core, which they'll eventually be able to extend their share by looking at new features. So I always think when people say you're building a feature, not a product, I say that's BS. Keep going after it. You believe in your product. You're going to keep building from there. Cool. What's something that Jeff Ignacio is world class and well, I try not to be a cocky about these things or anything, but I would say, you...

...know, there are operations folks out there who could run laps around me in terms of technology, but I think I 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 the technical 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 three audiences. Lastly, give the audience your life's motto or guiding principle, something they 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 reach out to me on Linkedin and if your revenue collective member, you can reach out to me at my handle, Jeff ignatio lax. Jeff, really appreciate it great catching up with you and I think you're the last guy that I saw pre covid for a cup of coffee or like, the last human human being I've had physical contact with, so it's Nice too, nice to chat with you again and I hope that you and I can grab a coup a cup of coffee again soon in person. Men, it was it was great having on the show. Thanks for doing it. Definitely thanks. Justin.

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