The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 2 months ago

Ep 215: I Became a Data Scientist w/ Ryan Milligan

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ep 215: I Became a Data Scientist w/ Ryan Milligan 

Part of the "Is This A Good Time?" series hosted by Brandon Barton.

Hello everyone, and welcome back to the pavilion podcast. I'm your host, brand of Martin. You are listening to. Is this good time? The shore? I put the VILION members on the hot seat for about fifteen minutes. They have fun. I asked some questions, they answer them. Shows are out on Thursday. Hit subscribe. Do not miss here in for our experts, and today we have an expert in Rev ops. He's Ryan Milligan, director of Revenue Operations at quota path, and we talked a lot about how he taught himself skills to be a data scientist, which is incredibly intriguing, and, of course, just revops in general. This episode was brought to you by Dosi Bo, an award winning industry leader and trusted enterprise learning partner for more than two tho the world's best friends. All right, let's do this episode one hundred and five. Is this a good time? All right, everyone, I'm here with Ryan Milligan. He is the director of revenue operations for quota path. Ryan, so great to have you on the pod. Brandon, thanks for having me. Looking forward to it. Yeah, awesome, man. Well, look, I'll meet no filler. Love, you know. Getting right into things. Why don't you tell us a little bit about what you're doing today? We hear quote a path adds on the on the pod all the time, so I'm reading about them, been following. Obviously a pretty incredible gross story there. But then back up and bring us through kind of how you got involved in tech and you know your path previous to quotea path. Yeah, so intro of quote path. We're a commission tracking software that enables both finance and revenue operations teams to calculate commissions and pay their team, but with different about us as we enable sales teams to track individual quota a team and see how they're doing for the quarter on a deal by deal basis and kind of prioritize their deals. which deals should I close to figure out how much I'm going to make. You know, compensation transparency is massively important with this whole great resignation and shifting jobs over seeing and it's a big way to increase kind of retention of your employees, which is something we care a lot about here. I leave revenue operations, which is been a fun kind of problem to solve because it's a lot of different...

...things all at once. For us. It's going to all the tools and tech necessary and processes to enable our market facing or go to market teams to succeed. So that is marketing operations and sending up. How do people come to our website, talk to us and book the Demo? That is our sales team. How do we build a kind of opportunity nurture process where they can have a demo, record calls, have conversations, have the right notes in front of them, and then that's everything down funnel from a revenue perspective. So how do we think about renewal opportunities? How do we continue to pertain value within our customer basis? Well, plus there for a second before going back. Yeah, what is your stack? This is a question I don't ask everybody but the ribops people. I'm still I'm going to start asking because I think it's a understand what what is? What stack do you go with for all these schools? Yeah, so our stack is a mix of tools we've identified that we think work for the problems we're trying to solve. So at the very top of the funnel we use hub spot for all things marketing, attribution and automation. They are an investor in quote, a path and a tool that we the hubba ventures is an investor in, quote, a path in a tool that we really, really like. We use sales force as a CRM, sales loft for all things kind of outbounding and email to prospects, using Chili Piper for demo booking. Were using and then a variety of other tools from there, but those are probably the primary. And then we use we built a data warehouse using five trend and so flake showing data and Mozarre, using Jiminy for call recording. So I'm mixed of tools and wow, and so you and in essence, you have to admit everything my team. Yeah, yeah, it's Admin enablement. Right. So I think you know you can go buy the tach. The big challenge for me is, okay, you've bought the tech. Now how do you actually get people to adopt it and see that what you're putting in front of them is solving a problem that they're having on a data day basis? Right, and so go back. So, so, how did you get involved in this? Go all the way back, I mean I think you're at wayfarer for quite a while during a pretty interesting time wayfarer. I don't came on my...

...radar maybe like five, six years ago, but you were there previous to that. Yeah, so when I graduated from college, coming out of Dartmouth Undergrad, it was basically work in banking, work and consulting or do another thing. You know, most people went into banking or consulting and I knew I didn't want to do those just based on people who had had those jobs. So tech was not really there. Was Not like a lot of formal tech recruiting. There wasn't a big tech process back in two thousand and twelve, but I like a wayfarer was trying to do. But it was not a household name. Right. So I joined in two thousand and twelve. We were around for five hundred people in the time that I was there, the five years I was there, we grew to almost tenzero people. We ipowed. We started spending ten millions dollars on advertising, like it became a household name very quickly. Well, first job was managing relations with our suppliers. So was a kind of category management, contracts negotiation job which taught me a lot about how to manage relationships, have deal to negotiations, pricing, packaging. Would have you. I knew that I wanted to do something more analytically minded. At all of them, a logic guy, puzzle gry, and so there was an opportunity to join our data science team, which was I did a lot of work to be able to make that shift right myself. Sequel, how to write python, how to work in our and I became the third member of wayfarers state of science team, which was a pretty incredible learning experience for me and that really kind of unlocked the rest of my analytical and operational career. Honestly, yeah, go into that. I mean, like, I'm sure there are people listening right now that like think, think, hey, it would be great to get involved in data science, such a broad field, applied so many different businesses, and you did it not having studied that Undergrad or had that background, and you said, Hey, I taught myself sequel. Right, like wow, how did how did that happen for you? Big Credit to Andrew eggs classes on Corse era, a machine learning, machine learnning principles. I spent a lot of time there and I actually, you know, I had access to sequel at wayfarer.

Are playing around with the data that we had from A. I was running some sequel looking at, you know, a vendor that we were working with, a furniture supplier, and what were their sales looking like quarter over quarter, and I had the data set to play with and I could apply some of the machine learning stuff that I was learning and some of the classes that I was taking at night after work to the Waifer data set in order to learn a lot more, which was, which was massively helpful. You know, I think I laughed thinking about it. Today there's Day to science masters and data science degrees. There was not any of that when I was trying to figure this stuff out. Data Science was pretty new, and so I feel incredibly lucky that I was able to make that shift, but it did. You know, there's a lot of work they're done as well from just join these tools. And so okay, so now you're you're sitting here now, one of three data scientists, very new, green to this, perhaps at way there. And now what? Yeah, so I my first big challenges were revenue attribution. So the first problem I worked on was we were launching a bunch of TV ADS and Wayfer's marketing team is an incredibly analytical team. The whole org is incredibly data driven analytical. It's where I kind of sharpened my teeth for for sure and that skill set. And so we were measuring the impact that serving television ads had on traffic to our website and revenues. So I was building kind of forecasting models based on we serve this add at this time. We saw this pop and traffic over the baseline, we could attribute that to television ads, what have you. I did them for a couple of years and loved it. Realize that data science is kind of a spectrum of business and math. You know, there's a hey, you're going to solve a business problem, but then here's a really fine tune, mathematical, elegant solution to a problem. I found myself leading much more towards first in business, in the basically the operational problems, using right a science as a tool to unlock the answer to a problem like get eighty percent of the way there and go versus to you know, product sorting algorithm over and over and over again to make these fractional gains. So that's when I realize...

...that there was an opportunity for me to move onto the marketing team at wayfarer to lead display advertising or display rearding, and that was building that Textac in house. So we were using the vendor. We realized we could save a lot of money building the AD serving text staff entirely in house, our own dynamic creative, all of our own processes would have you. And so that led to the jump there, which gave me a lot more operational experience managing a PNL, managing a budget, working with creative, figuring out, AB testing, what have you, to serve display ads. And then I went as a school from there, you know, realize that there's a good, good opportunity to take a break in my career and kind of reset. I only worked away fair right. So it was like, I don't know what other jobs are, I don't know what the market looks like, but coming out of school, what I realize was I loved early stage companies, companies in like growth mode. I thought the basically you, sub three hundred people, was just a really fun place to be and that was what I looked for in homebase and also when I looked toward and Quarto path, and can talk more about that that journey as well. For sure. Yeah, I mean I think that move. It's almost like I see it, less and less the move to go back to be school. And you know, I think in a way you might have shifted size of industry. Would you stay in the same world? Right, like you didn't. You didn't make a career shift, but you said, Hey, let me find two and everything you know and go pay some ungodly amount of money that I don't want to know. But yet probably accelerated a lot of things later, you know. You know, several years after that, talk to me about you know, we always talk about luck and hard work both getting you to the place that you are. Talk to me about any of these instances of kind of luck that it seeped into your career? Yeah, you know, I will say the surge of revops has been very lucky for me personally, just revops being very big in the market, it being a very hot topic that everyone's talking about right now. It is a space that I I just find revenue operations really interesting. It's hey, here's a problem that a team has. I want to talk to these people at this time through email, phone, Linkedin, what have you help me identify who these people are, if they're a...

...good fit, and roll them in a cadence reach out to them. Like those kind of problems really cool to me, where it's here's this nebulous problem that a sales team approaches you with, or a marketing team approach you with, or a product team or any of the teams that I work with. Now go gold a solution that's like the right mix between elegant and adoptable. Is really what I care a lot about. And so, yeah, I mean I think I was really lucky that revenue operations has become so popular. It's become such a focus to basically align your go to market journey from product flood growth all the way through marketing to to sales as well. You know, I guess about if we were still in the world where people were okay with marketing throwing leads over the fence two sales and saying, you know, Good Luck, I'm wiping my hands at these revenue operations wouldn't be what it is today and I wouldn't be as much of a kind of an ability to talk about my job and be kind of as much of a focus as I am to that. And do you think, I mean when do you think a company, what size you think a company should be to put rebops in place. I think this is a question that I always think about. We're like a priest pre series a company, like when do I make that shift? Because we feel the pain today. Yeah, I as soon as you have reps, as soon as you have people selling. Honestly, I think it's got to be when your first hires. What I will say is there's a lot of groups that are doing fractional revots consulting. There's a lot of people I've talked to. You can help you set up your text act, but if you set up your staff wrong from the Gecko with three AC con executives, you're going to be kicking yourself when you have thirty and the three hundred and you did not invest in the right tools to drive success immediately. And I see revopos as an all around infielder. I mean one of the things that's interesting, and my role here at Quotea Path, is I'm building sidebyside with all of the revenue operations operational work, I'm also building an aletics function here, you know, standing up a data warehouse, setting up a Bi data visualization tool, setting up the what we need to be able to report on for the ffacy of our business. So you're not going to regret hiring a rebops person early on, like they are going to be able to...

...say, Hey, here's a problem you're going to solve and they're going to own connecting all the types to solve that problem. For Yeah, it comes with like a heavy budget, because it's like, okay, well, if you're can have a vops person, you're going to have to have the tools that go along with that. That it's like it's an interesting quandary. Yeah, like I like talking the folks that are doing some of that fractional stuff. There's a couple of companies that come to mind. Yeah, and they're very helpful. I mean I would say as soon as you can get some sort of revops help. Like, I think one of the things that we think about here is I very clearly have a tech budget that I can operate with on a per headcount basis, and so then I prioritize what I'm going to do based on that budget and and operate in that way. So I think if you set a parameter for a budget for a team, you can hire revops person and you say you're going to go solve this problem and they can tell you, hey, you're going to you either can buy this or knots, and you can prioritize as a business. Okay, where we can invest the money. Right. Yeah, it's expensive. You also can tell them, hey, we don't have the budget for that, and then they'll have to come up with some other solution to solve that problem. Very cool. Well, in your path between data scientist, marketing and all in revops. I mean, what are some of the best? If not, just give us one amazing sales tactic that we should deploy immediately. You know I have a lot of SDRs in my inbox. This will be my sales tactic for for them. Sure you're solving when you're reaching out to me, very clearly, tell me the problem that I'm facing and how you're solving it. I get a lot of inbound about the Roy, the percent different change in X Y Z problem. I get a lot of key studies which I think are helpful once I've identified the problem that you're going to help me solve. Hey, you are having a problem where someone's coming to your website to book at Demo and the wrong person is getting booked with that demo. Here's Chili Piper. Hey, you are having a problem where you're paying your team commissions, your calculating commission's manually in fl your reps, have no visibility and then...

...they're giving you feedback after the fact that you've paid them wrong and need to kind of operate differently from there. Hey, here's quote a path. Like very clearly frame the problem that you are solving for me and then I'm going to either say I'm having that problem or not, and a lot of times I don't have that problem today but I might have it in six months. So Great. Example, we bought Mozart data, which is a great tool which combines five train and snowflake from a EATCL data warehouse perspective. When I was at home base, we had a team of data analytics and dad engineers that had built with Amazon red shift and all these different processes. We didn't need Mozart, which wasn't we didn't have the need for that right then. I had got that out by an email then and said, hey, like, this is not a problem that I'm facing right now. I come to quote path, a month in I'm saying, Oh, I can't write sequel. I really like to be able to write sequel to solve some of these problems. The sere from Mozart reaches back out to me says, Hey, a remember me? Are you having that problem? Yes, I mean cutely having that problem. Now let's go buy the products. So if you go frame it around, here's the exact problem that you are having that's annoying you every day and here's the solution whether I respect, if I respond as nest to you, our respond no, I don't have that problem right now. A trade news for you like. You can disqualify me and move on. It's right. you start to sending me email, email about case studies and Roy and all the sort of sort of stuff, I go a bit blind to it. I'll beyond yeah, for sure. All right, anything. You're hiring for it. Yeah. So we are really building out our customer success function, which is a key differentiator for us right now. So we're hiring for customers success managers. One of our major key differentiators for our from our competition in our business is our speed to getting customers on board it. We are a fremium product, flood growth product. People can come to your website, our website and set up a quoteapath instance, today, and so our CSM's run those on boarding processes to get you your complants built out in...

...quote, a path and up and running in a matter of weeks, not months, and so that's a very pivotal role for the sake of our business as our business grows, to have people to be able to on board our new customers. Effective. Love that all right, and shout out to anybody up and commerce or folks who you love in the content they're putting out. Yeah, so I've always been a fan of Jordan Henderson REVOS podcast. I think is a great podcast. I listen to it on on long walks of my dog all the time and we talked on linkedin occasionally. So definitely a big fan of the REVOVS podcast if you haven't listened to it, and I've been starting to really like what Jason Westerburg from mixed maps has been doing it. saw He's been posting a lot of just daily relevant revops, tips and things that I empathize with deeply and feel deeply of challenges. So definitely reach out to him as well. Awesome. Love that. And of course, the most important question to me. Screw everything else. Where we eat, man give it give me a spot in Houston. I mean it's a it's a kind of under the radar, pretty good restaurant city, pretty good. It's incredible. You know Houston. What I love is it's it's by demographic the most ethnically diverse city in the US. Just brings up it's a melting pot of people from all over the world, which I lose. It true. I would not have I would have not thought that that stat. Uh Yeah, it's true. It's, funnily enough, the third largest city in the US, growing pretty rapidly. It's Great Tab and the foods incredible. One of the best things about Houston, Kendal, is the food. Had A great dinner at Kuchara the other rights. You see Chaar a in montrose where I live. It's a Mexican restaurant but really focused on food from Mexico City. Oh, just incredible, incredible food. I can't not text some x. This is what Tex this is pure Mexico City, Mexican food. Rat The texts is incredible. But but Kuchar, I definitely recommend. Love it. Man. Well, we'll go there, all right, Ryan, so great to have you on and hear your story. Men and Love, love what you're up to and hoping, you know, all is going to continue going well for you, then appreciate a brand. It such a pleasure. I'm a great damn happy all right, that's our show. Thank you...

...so much for listening. If you love the show, send it to some friend, rate and review, do all the stuff. This episode was brought to you by dosie bow. Dosie bow's redefining the future of enterprise learning. With this AI based learning suite. With docie bow, you can create and manage engaging content to liver training to customers, partners or employees, and measure how learning impacts your people and your business, all with a single suite. Find your learning and training development sweet spot at DOZEEOCOM. I had so much fun today. I hope you did too. Now get out and crush your numbers.

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