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Customer-In Revenue Operations

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Alison Elworthy

Revenue Operations

Marketing Operations to Sales Operations to a VP, Customer Success.  This carer path serves as an amazing foundation for a Revenue Operations executive. This is exactly the career path that Alison Elworthy, EVP of Revenue Operations at HubSpot. Alison's experience as a customer success executive was an eye-opening experience for a career-long operations professional who had not previously invested time interacting with customers. Alison's experience working with HubSpot customers led HubSpot from being a "function-out" to a "customer-in" focus for Hubspot's recently formed revenue operations function. How to bring the customer needs into revenue operations?  Alison created a "Voice of the Customer" team that resides within Revenue Operations.  The primary goal of this group is to ensure that every member of the RevOps team shadows customer conversations to life. Monthly "customer first" meetings include all HubSpot executives to listen to the most recent, highest priority customer needs. Next, we discussed how to staff a "Voice of Customer" function, which centered on bringing in both internal CS resources and external personnel with outside perspectives.  One tool is the "customer roadblock" portal which enables customers to be part of the voice of the customer data collection process.   One topic that came through loud and clear from this process was that hand-offs between marketing, sales, and customer success were negatively impacting the customer experience. As we dove into the "hand-offs" issue, the concept of the "revenue flywheel" evolved.  First,  the revenue operations team identified that there were not common metrics across the internal functions and/or the customer journey.  After developing a holistic "revenue model", they were able to define metrics across three levels of operations including Vital Signs, Pulse Signs, and diagnostics.  Vital signs are the top 5 KPIs that the CEO and Chief Customer Officer ( CCO) tracks.  The pulse signs are the top 10-15 metrics that directly impact the company-level metrics.  The diagnostics enable internal resources to double click into the source data that impacts both the pulse signs and vital signs.  By doing this, Alison highlighted this helped to increase the RevOps team investment on forming strategic insights (foresight) versus reactive activities and historical "hindsight". Next, we pivoted to the role that platforms and systems play in a "Customer-In" focus while enhancing internal alignment. Alison highlighted "systems as the foundation" for efficient Go-To-Market operations.  As the conversation evolved, the importance of "DATA" was highlighted as a co-equal, foundational priority for Revenue Operations.  In fact, Alison highlighted the same question to marketing and sales results in different answers due to the inconsistency of the data. If you are contemplating or just starting your "Revenue Operations" journey,  Alison's experiences, insights, and ideas are a great place to start!

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