The Spot EP16: Everything You Think You Know About RevOps & More


Ready, Spot, Go

In this episode of The Spot, Doug Davidoff, Juli Durante, Max Cohen and George B. Thomas break down their thoughts on the the topic of RevOps. Is it new or old? Is it a methodology or a buzz word? Is it right for your company or something you are already doing? What the heck is revOps and so much more.

Buckle up, this one gets bumpy along the way.

That Hit The Spot

This week's articles talk help you dive even deeper into he podcast conversation.
Until We Spot Again

Make sure you connect with The Spot team. Let us know your thoughts on the shows so far.

  • Juli:@realjulid
  • Doug: @dougdavidoff
  • Max: @maxjacobcohen
  • George: @georgeBThomas

Make sure to use the hashtag #sprockettalk or #thespotpodcast.


About the Expert

The Spot Hosts

Juli Durante is an always-curious marketer interested in the big picture of marketing and sales to help companies drive big revenue. A HubSpot user since 2011, Juli’s deep understanding of inbound marketing campaigns furthers Impulse Creative’s mission of helping businesses grow better.

Doug is the founder and CEO of Imagine Business Development. He’s directly advised more than a dozen companies who have successfully sold for a combined value of more than $1 billion.

For more than 20 years, Doug has been advising small and mid-market companies that are committed to serious growth who want to hear the truth about achieving it. Doug’s worked, firsthand, with more than 1,500 companies (and seen their financial statements), so he knows the difference between what works, and what sounds good and doesn’t work.

Max Cohen started at HubSpot in 2015 as an Implementation Specialist on the Customer Onboarding team after four years on Apple's Business Team.  He joined HubSpot's Learning and Development team as a Product Trainer in 2018 and is currently a Facilitator for HubSpot Foundations, which is HubSpot's new hire onboarding program.  When he's not coaching new HubSpotters on the HubSpot product and the Inbound Methodology, he coaches New England Infamous, a competitive paintball team.  You can learn more about Max and find ways to connect with him by going to

George B. Thomas is an Inbound Marketing Marketer, Video Jedi and HubSpot Certified Trainer with more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience. He leads the Impulse Creative crew in HubSpot certifications with 19 including Inbound, Email, Contextual, and Content Marketing.

George utilizes his love of teaching and learning to help companies find their way to growth via workshops, speaking engagements, business audits, and of course, Sprocket Talk.


Full Transcript

George Thomas 0:04
Are you a HubSpot user looking to stay up to date with HubSpot, inbound and all the information that will make your job easier and help you and your company grow better? Each week the spot brings you the HubSpot education, ideas and tools that you need to maximize your success. Make Work just a little bit easier. And of course, brighten your day along the way. Listen in as Julie tuck, Max and George share their authentic entertaining and valuable conversations with the people who really matter. That's right you, ladies and gentlemen, let's give it up for your HubSpot journey. Heroes. Welcome to this week's episode of the spot. Ready spot. Go we're into this thing, we're gonna do it. I am so excited to be back with my buddies, my pals, my friends, my co workers, my I don't know you guys are everything. To me. Be honest, I think I'm having the holiday spirit early because I'm feeling all mushy and warm. And I just need a fireplace and maybe some eggnog and I'll be good to go. But today, we're going to talk about some interesting things. Before we get into all of what we're going to talk about, though. I have a question for you guys, because I really loved the last episode of starting out with a question and seeing where it went. And so I want to ask you guys, this simple thing. It's simple. It'll probably derail us, you know, honesty, but it's simple. What is your favorite, favorite transformational moment

Unknown Speaker 1:37
of this year?

George Thomas 1:39
I'm giving no hints. I think the question is transformational moment,

Max Cohen 1:45
when I got the text from George asking if I wanted to be on a weekly pot.

Unknown Speaker 1:50

Unknown Speaker 1:53
So Well, I

Unknown Speaker 1:54
mean, I'll talk about this year,

Max Cohen 1:56
I guess. So. I mean, for me, it was at the beginning of the year, in March, when all the COVID stuff happened. And we got the call, like, two or three days before we had a new club, like a class of new hires, that was like 49 people or something like that coming in. And of course, we're all freaked out about COVID, and all that kind of stuff. But we were still thinking that we were going to do a training at HQ, like we always do. And, you know, we got the call, like, two days, three days before, it was about to start that we were shutting everything down. And we had to do training completely remotely. And that, like scared the crap out of me, right? Because we had, you know, I'm used to being in front of a room of people and being up there, like doing my thing and like performing and like, you know, getting all my energy from the crowd and everything. And I knew I was gonna have to, like sit behind a computer and like do that and just look at, you know, 49 zoom faces, which is going to be a pretty difficult, you know, task for me. But, you know, we we got through that first day, after totally reimagining our whole orientation day, first day experience for all of them, tried a bunch of new stuff, created a bunch of new sessions on the fly. And it worked. And it was great and people and said, this is the greatest onboarding they'd ever been through, even though it was the very first time we had done it remotely. And like kind of just seeing that happen. And like, you know, talking to my team, and like realizing, like, Hey, you know, we can do anything as long as we like put our mind to it. And even though it's scary, just kind of stepping into the void. And I think that's where, like a lot of growth happens. And, you know, ever all of my, you know, remote facilitation skills have come from me just getting completely tossed into it. Because it COVID and that like, from that moment, I became a remote facilitator now I haven't been in a classroom in so long and this is kind of my new normal. So I think that was like a pretty key Mona this year that changed a lot for me, and I think kind of transformed me into being able to do stuff like this right? I don't think I would have been able to sit down and do a podcast with you guys like this if I wasn't already used to facilitating and doing stuff like this on zoom. So So I love that.

George Thomas 4:09
I love that because there's there's so much good stuff there. It's like, out of chaos, fear, being scared reimagining like this, this transformational moment for you and being able to do things. So Julie, Doug, favorite transformational moment?

Juli Durante 4:27
I don't think they have one. And I think that I don't have one because I don't actually care about what might be considered the transformational moment like the after. And I say that because I like the journey and the process of getting somewhere far more than the reveal. Right. So I love really outing myself here. I love to start getting into a show or movie or a series like anything. And then go read the Wikipedia page and learn how all of the loose ends get wrapped up. Because then, as I'm watching the show, I'm focusing on how are these things going to stack up and feed into that major conclusion. So I kind of miss like, the transformation because I just want to know how we got there. I don't even really care like, very often we'll watch like a reality show or like a game show or something. Like a, like the Great British Bake Off, right? big, fat,

Doug Davidoff 5:36
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, we know what you're talking about.

Juli Durante 5:38
Well, you can't win. You can't win that one. So I like to show where you can win. I do like competition, but I'll watch a competition show. And I won't watch the end of the episode because I don't actually care who wins. I care about what happened. And then I find out who won in the next episode. I like I'm weird. This is very strange, but it makes me so happy to know. Just like watch the story, watch the progression, and then figure it out later or read the story after I know the end already.

Doug Davidoff 6:08
It definitely answers the question why you made your why you study archaeology.

Juli Durante 6:13
Oh, yeah. Like I like that that's already done. Or like, I like to figuring out the process.

Doug Davidoff 6:17
Just a discovery of you. That's interesting.

George Thomas 6:19
Yeah. So I'm, I you may have broke me cuz mentally I'm sitting here and I'm like, the cotton gin. electricity. The internet, like, there are so many mate and Julie's like nice. Want to know the ending? I'm like, wait a minute, there's like, Okay.

Juli Durante 6:45
Cool, but like, what was the trial and error process of figuring out like, how that should have happened. Right. See, I

Doug Davidoff 6:52
think, I think the thing that broke George's like, if you had that music box, you know, all around the mulberry bush. You know, Pop goes the like you would be okay with like, it goes to Pop goes the it hasn't popped out. It doesn't say weasel yet. And you'd be like, Okay, cool. What's up? Yeah, and, and so you can look like you can see George's face and like he's already feeling like no, no, no, you have to I almost an hour later, he'd go back just to finish it because it's got to finish. No, no,

George Thomas 7:19
you've got to finish it. Like, like to not watch. Like, oh, like, you got to know who wins. You got, ya know,

Juli Durante 7:28
so I haven't watched all of the Avenger movies, but I know. So now I'm like, how are we gonna get there? I'm so excited because I'm gonna get to the ending. No, I don't know, the ending episodes over.

George Thomas 7:42
Episode is over.

Doug Davidoff 7:44
Hold on. See that what you're saying there is off because they didn't have that ending when they started making the Avenger movies.

Juli Durante 7:52
But now I know we're gonna end up there. And I want to like reverse engineer it. So I'm also a re watcher. Let's talk

Doug Davidoff 7:59
about the plot holes. Oh, my God.

Unknown Speaker 8:04

George Thomas 8:05
Like I said, like I said, I know that this question is gonna take a side list. But Doug, Doug, let's let's reel it in. And let's go ahead. Favorite transformation. Oh, my God. I don't know if I can keep going. Julie, I think you did break my brain. Doug favorite transformational moment.

Doug Davidoff 8:24
You know, it requires a maybe a different viewpoint of the word favorite, because by no means was any aspect of this transformational moment enjoyable. So in my, in my first business with my family, my first real business on a consulting company with my family, we consulted with travel agencies, we had these big plans. I was in charge of sales. So one of the things I got to do was plot out, you know, what territories did we want to open and work etc. And so early in our existence, we went, I chose Phoenix, Arizona, I always loved Phoenix, my best friend from high school went to Arizona state so he's living in Phoenix. So I decide I'm going to do a two week trip to Phoenix because I'm going to spend the weekend with my buddy. I'm going to do two weeks in Phoenix, Arizona, we're gonna you know, just, you know, super accelerate the growth of the of the Phoenix Business etc. We do promotion, you know, the way we did things back then this was a pre web world. So we would do a seminar and we had good attendance to the seminar. And then we would work I would work follow up meetings from that and, and so on. Even the conversion rate of webinar two meetings wasn't quite where we want it to be like that. So that, you know, day one, we do the webinar. I have like a meeting day two, I have like three or four meetings, and they all just, I mean, trainings just triggers nowhere. day three, I have one or two meetings in the morning, train wreck, train wreck. Every every aspect of every assumption we had was just you know, completely odd. I'm in a McDonald's parking lot and having gone through drove Through calling back to my brother and my parents to say, here's what we're experiencing, you know, and like I'm crying. I'm literally bawling. Because everything that we've done, my parents took out a mortgage, you know, took out a part of a mortgage, their whole house, but they took out a mortgage, I had left a really good job with a well known company, all these and like, every assumption we had was just like, this isn't gonna work, this isn't gonna work. Oh, shit. So we decided, you know what, there's no point here, like, I don't even have any more meetings, basically. Right? So we decided, you know, what, cut the trip short, we're gonna cut the trip short, I'm gonna go back. And frankly, all I really wanted to do was call on a hole anyways. And then that weekend, we drew up, it's like, you know, every assumption wrong, every assumption wrong every so like, Okay, what are we going to do about it? What are we going to do about it? Because, you know, our parents have mortgaged the house. So it's not like, Hey, hey, it was a good try, let's, and we completely redesigned the entire business model, the entire go to market strategy, we did have to throw away like the 5000 pieces that we had had printed, you know, because back then you had to have your collateral printed in advance, etc. You know, it works. You know, ultimately, we sold the company, we didn't make the money we wanted to make, but everybody made money. Pretty good, pretty happy ending, more importantly, I learned in it is, it is the problem, the solution lies in the problem. So you can't, you know, I think one of the reasons why people don't solve problems is because they're not willing to embrace that they want to kind of bypass it or avoid it, you got to look into the problem, you got to, you know, immerse yourself, you know, bathe in it, if you will, you got to, you got to separate opinions, feelings from facts as best you can. So the, and if you do that the solution is in there. Right, because that's where the resistance is. But then even more, I mean, a, I got my teeth kicked in really, really, really early on, theoretically, everything we were doing was going to be was right. I mean, we were, I actually learned by the way, we were right, our initial ideas were right. And the market ultimately moved to where we were. But But I learned, you know, you can be right, or you can be accepted by the market, you can always be both and you know, if you want to sit around and wait, you better have a lot of money. So everything that I do today, I you know, in, you know, has its genesis in, in the reality of how we started to reposition and, and rethink things as a as a small startup business. So again, I did not like it. So I like I can't say it's my favorite of golly, gee, let's do that again. Yeah. But But yeah, that was probably the most meaningful transformation. But it

George Thomas 12:52
was it was a precipice, right? It was like this, this defining moment of Who am I going to be? How am I going to show up? And by the way, timing is everything for your story, timing the market, right?

Doug Davidoff 13:04
One of the things on on defining moment, because I actually talked about defining moments more than I talk about transformations. And they're kind of the same thing. I think, maybe at least that moment of one of the things about defining moments is you never know, they're defining moments until long after the defining moments. And they are almost always painful. Right? And so you know, and that's why, you know, you try to, you know, I think I think three years ago, I asked the question, What if the struggle is the reward. And so when you kind of kick out of your brain, this whole idea that, like, we have this image that if we're doing it right, it's easy. But if it was easy, then it wouldn't be no one like doing it right would be no big deal. Right? And so, when you realize that, you know, that's part of it, I think, I think it changes how you how you view everything.

George Thomas 13:52
Yeah, talk when you say that, I think of the Jim Rohn statement, if you do what is hard life will be easy. If you do what it is, is easy, life will be hard, right? And those are those are some valuable Words To Live By. It's it's interesting people might be into the podcast right now wondering, the title says Rev. Rev. Ops. Why have we spent so much time talking about transformation or our favorite transformational moments, which, by the way, my favorite transformational moment and Doug, I will agree with you. I did not know it was a transformational or a defining moment until long after it happened. 2012 By the way, by the way, I'm better with myself to say like when my kids were born, when I married my wife, like all these things came to mind at first as I was like unpacking this, but if we're talking business podcast, inbound 2012 right, going and learning about HubSpot, learning about inbound, hearing Gary Vee talk for the first time it has without a doubt sent me on a path that changed my life from that day until where we Sit on this podcast right now has to be one of my favorite transformational moments is sitting in Boston, going, Wow, I want to do something completely different. And I don't know how I'm going to get there. But I'm going to get there. And so the reason I bring this up is because there is this thing that has been being talked about this term that's been being thrown around this way that people are starting to do business, and it is called rev ops. And it smells like to me, and I know, I want to have you guys weigh on this. It smells to me like we're on the precipice of what was the inbound transformation back in 2010 2011. And I just want to know, is it a fad? Is it a title? Is it a movement? When you think of rev Ops, and you think of companies, and you think of silos? And yes, Doug, I did this to you, at the end of the year to have this conversation. Like, where do your brains go with if this is something all companies should be paying attention to? Some companies, like, I'm just gonna drop that in the lap of the podcast and sit back and see what happens.

Doug Davidoff 16:22
Or I'm gonna go first. But I'm only going to start because if I go with my whole thought, I'm no one else might actually get a chance to say anything. Anybody that remembers when Michael Jordan started playing basketball, after he played about 10 years, some new kid would come out. And it was, he's the next Michael Jordan. He's the next Michael Jordan. He's the next Michael Jordan. And, you know, maybe, you know, finally, you got to LeBron James, who might meet the category, but I think, but you know, but he's not Michael Jordan. He's different than Michael Jordan. He's a different player. So, I mean, it is this. Here's the fundamental thing about inbound that I feel like everybody misses, and everybody wants to make it, whatever the next thing is, this is like inbound. And that is, there was a change in the dynamics of the world. Right. So we keep saying the buyer today wants to control I got news for you, the buyer yesterday wanted to control the buyer of 1955 wanted to control their journey. Right? They couldn't, there was there was a imbalance of access to information. And what the internet did was it is it equalized, or maybe even put to the advantage of the buyer that access to information, there was a physical shift in what happened that changed what was capable. The fact that we called it inbound marketing. And by the way, I did inbound marketing in the 1990s. I didn't do it through the web, because there really was none. But we wrote a blog, we had a landing page. It was just an advertorial. And it was just a report that you could buy, you know, Chet Holmes, and the ultimate sales machine talks about the entire landing page conversion strategy, when there was no such thing as landing pages. So So again, what made inbound inbound was, there was a meaningful shift that changed the equation for how people play. What is revenue operations? Well, revenue operations is not new. Everything that revenue operations does has been done since the beginning of sales and marketing. Now, there's a growth of complexity, there's a growth of things that are happening, there's a number of things that are going on, right, and what's with the thing that scares me about revenue operations. And so much of the world today is, and I blame HubSpot for this, because HubSpot, as well, as anybody created a category created a method. By the way, it's not really a method, but created a method by which to to move a product. And the thing is that had never been done before. And I don't think they knew what they were doing. Like, I don't think it was, hey, we're gonna do this, because it just those were the things that made sense. And now everyone's going, Hey, look what they did, we've got to call it something, we've got to call it a method, we've got to call it. And so if you look at all the people that are causing revenue operations, to become this buzzword, they're all tech companies. They're all tech applications that are trying to create this category for this need. Now, make no mistake, revenue operations is absolutely real. My company is all about revenue operations. So we'll get into some of that later. Whatever you call it, like your you have revenue operations right now, whether you call it revenue operations, whether you designated it any of those things, those are all present, this is not new. Right? And so it's more about what's the strategy, what's the structure and what's the execution of what you're doing, and you know what, call it whatever you want. let's get let's get out of the terms. Let's get out of the hype. So I'm gonna

Juli Durante 19:57
kind of that for all stop. I really am eager to hear Max's point of view here. It's because I know that there has been even a shift within HubSpot toward a Reb ops kind of approach and mindset and use case. So I love that insider context.

Unknown Speaker 20:18

Max Cohen 20:18
I mean, you know, immediately when I was like going through this, I mean, yeah, does Reb ops kind of feel like a bit of a buzzwords me a little bit, I think, especially a lot of people in the SAS space love to, you know, coined terms like this and things things do become fads. But I mean, when I'm like, looking through it, it's like, yeah, I mean, this is kind of stuff that like people have already been doing for a while. I mean, otherwise, your business wouldn't really run, I guess, unless I'm looking at it at a much more like simplistic way of what I like. So like, if I was the way I look at a lot of things through like, the HubSpot lens, right, because that's where the majority of my experience comes from, right. It's like talking to businesses about how to do the whole HubSpot thing. Right? And, you know, from my take, like, if you were starting from scratch, would it make sense to have and I'm not even like, say, rub ups. But what it makes sense for, you know, if you were to, if you had the ability to deploy HubSpot, and had one team kind of dedicated to working with the other teams and ensure all the systems were getting set up. So all the information flows together to the right parts of the team, and you don't have like two different schools of thought inside of like one system that you're trying to build, and you're trying to kind of marry everything together. Yeah, if you have the luxury of doing that, from the beginning, I think it's great. Is it gonna be tough for some businesses to kind of say, Oh, we already have a sales operations kind of element of our business. And we have a marketing operations element of our business. We must like, roll that out and marry them together and create our DevOps team and do it. I mean, maybe it but it depends on your business. It depends on your situation. It depends on how things how well things are working or not working. You know what I mean? Like, do I think it's just something people need to like rush into? I don't know. But I'll always be wanting to say like, yeah, having a very unified approach in a way that you set up something as complex as HubSpot and how your teams work together is great. But you know, every business is going to be different, I guess, I don't know.

Doug Davidoff 22:26
I don't, this is where I love Max, but I got to call bullshit on on the vision right there, there is no, there is no unified flow. That's not what like, by the way, we all know, diversity brings robustness and vitality. Right. Sales and Marketing should think differently. We keep we keep treating the differences between sales and marketing, like bugs, not features. It's good that they think differently. It's good that they don't speak the same language, it's good that they have different priorities that that conflict, that construct is what creates creativity. And that's why as you grow bigger, and you, we have to separate the words complex, and the words complicated as we grow. And as we move forward, things get more complicated, and they get more complex. Now, you can manage complicated, and that's kind of what you were talking about in the beginning of operations is about managing things that are complicated. The more you utilize the capabilities of HubSpot, the more complicated it is. So it becomes hard for people to mix things. And so this team manages that complication. But complexity is about interdependent systems that operate differently. See, the fundamental problem with modern sales and marketing is we keep taking out an element of a complex ecosystem. we isolate it, email, email, subject line, we isolate it, we put it back in, and then we operate on the assumption that what we did doesn't change every other aspect of the system that we plug it back into. This is a butterfly flaps its wings in Portugal, and a hurricane comes to Spain. You know, a hurricane hits Spain. Right. That's what a complex echo system is. So we put it back in that changes every other element of the echo system. That also changes the element that we isolated and put back in. Right We keep operating for this idea unified, smooth, easy. I don't know any I mean, Max. I've seen a HubSpot. HubSpot as good as any company I've seen. I've seen you guys. You're like 1000 hamsters running on wheels. Looking to get it in? By the way, when's the final piece for inbound done? I think typically, it's done about 15 seconds before the inbound, you know, the inbound curtain goes up and and there's huge teams. Everything's associated to it. Guess what? That's not a bug. That's the vitality that's real, where Reb ops comes in. And the aspect that is that is emerging. Right, one of the things that we learned is that all this technology that we're adding and all this specialization, it actually brings a ton of complexity. And so what we've been doing is we've been focusing in sales and marketing on doing more and more and more and more, but we're not focusing on the friction and the complexity that we're creating. And I want to emphasize this to manage the friction, not to eliminate the friction, right? There's places where friction is good. There's places where friction is bad. The difficulty is, is all the friction shows up at the point of execution, and that wreaks havoc. Right, so what what revenue operations as a discipline does, is it looks at the other side of the trade off, right? And there again, there is no right or wrong answer. And if you're going to truly implement revenue operations, so that it changes something, it's a discipline that views things holistically to manage trade offs. If we do this, it's going to have some good and bad, this is going to be easier for this situation, this is going to be harder. If we do this, it's going to most likely have this impact. And it begins to bring in other disciplines, that I still can't figure out how they've been missing from the world of sales and marketing, which is true data science. We've learned now that if we put data and metrics in front of everybody, they don't get smarter, they actually get dumber, putting all the data in front of everybody doesn't always lead to good outcomes. That's where data science comes in. And then the bigger thing is behavioral science, right? All these things that we're doing in our sales and marketing plans, whether we're looking internally or externally, they're designed to influence behavior, but no one actually brings the discipline of understanding behavior. And and testing it and iterating on that. And so what revenue operations does is manage that, for lack of a better word, that back end complexity, it views things through, you know, if you think about it upstream and downstream revenue operations is an upstream function. So that your sales, marketing and success teams, which are downstream functions, can execute at scale, right, you can't solve upstream problems downstream. That's the problem with the world today is we keep, we keep sacrificing what we need to be doing upstream to try to fix it downstream. That's why that's why we have However, many police are at a multiple of the number of social workers to work at the point of where the cause of the problem occurs, right. And so what revenue operations does is it balances that out, so that you have a more holistic, more scalable approach. It's not just a set of functions and administrivia.

George Thomas 27:43
So there's a couple things I want to throw in here, first of all,

Doug Davidoff 27:47
and that's all I got to say,

George Thomas 27:49
first of all, first of all, if a butterfly flaps its wings in Portugal, and there's a tornado in Spain, that's one strong ass butterfly, bro, because that's not a whole lot of distance for anything to pick up and gain speed along the way. More importantly, instantaneously.

Doug Davidoff 28:06
I want to hit on that right? I want to hit on that because you know, we look at a closed, we look at closing a sale. The reason for decades we have worship closers is because we thought the people who could ask somebody to buy that's what caused the purchase. We're learning more and more, that what causes the purchase is before you even show up. Right? Humans are really, really bad at figuring out and determining cause and effect. We're really bad at it. Because we don't do well in complex adaptive systems. Because our brains seek certainty. And what revenue operations does is takes that more holistic approach, so that we're looking at all those various consequences. Sorry,

George Thomas 28:44
Julie. Julie, Julie, what's what's going on? What's going on in your brain right now?

Juli Durante 28:50
First and foremost, I would love if our first episode of 2021 is the episode, where Doug and I finally get to stand on our soapbox is about positive friction. Because we could so take this there right now. And I don't want to because it's horribly off topic of what we're supposed to be talking about. But I will fight that fight. And I just like it's one of my favorite concepts. I have somebody here. We impulse creative are focusing on helping a lot of clients right now, with the systems, the processes, the ripple effects, the butterfly effects of process and people right now, one of the things that I love about the Reb ops mindset, whether it is calling something that has always had always been done, but not had a name, whether it's just like good business practices, whether it's the idea of if we stopped and rebuilt it, what would it be or if we had the opportunity to build it the right way from scratch, what would it be right? Whatever you call it, however you think about it, is I can even see, we can sometimes be uniquely positioned as a service writer, an agency dog, I'm sure you have felt this too. But you can tell someone like, No, no, no, like, we're gonna stop and think about this differently. And the way people engineer their business to work for them can be really scary. Sometimes, the thing I'm seeing a lot of is organizations that are trying to scale are suddenly today, realizing that what has gotten them through may not work when they start hiring in multiples of 10 and 20. I'm working with a client right now, who thinks they're their commercial team will probably go from six to 15. Next year, and the start of their lead process is, well, we have these names in a spreadsheet and then right, which is scary. Yeah. So there's, there's a lot of it's all just a lot to me. But I think it's exciting. I think it is a change. And I think sometimes giving something a name helps people wrap their head around, doing something differently. And if that's the benefit of calling it Reb ops versus just calling it business operations, or sales operations or marketing operations. I don't know that's a bad thing.

Doug Davidoff 31:25
Except, except the problem is, when you give something a name, and it means something different to everybody, then you actually haven't improved the situation, you've actually harmed the situation. Because it begins to be a mercy. And I'm seeing this not just in revenue operations, but but in everything, in terms of how people are trying to, you know, again, create these methodologies that's not inbound, this is inbound. And you know, what's a pillar page? I don't know, whatever you want to pillar page to be right now, because there are about 37 different definitions from people claiming to be experts on pillar pages. Now, I will agree, there's no and we have to understand this. There's no one right way to do revenue operations, we actually, through some research that we did, we actually created a model called the five levels of revenue operations. And one of the key distinctions is there's a tactical revenue operations. And by the way, that tactical Reb Ops, that's the stuff that has been around in some way, shape or form. And to some degree, I don't disagree with calling it revenue operations to help bring it together to to bring more alignment is fine, then there is a strategic revenue operations. And what we need to understand is progressing from tactical revenue operations to strategic Reb Ops, is not a straight line journey, there's a chasm between a tactical approach to a strategic approach, the tactical approach is about efficiency. And the reason that Reb ops is becoming so much more popular is because sales organizations have become insanely inefficient. And so this move to increase efficiency has picked up a lot of steam. And that's why that's why eliminate friction, get gets told, as opposed to eliminate positive, positive, you know, eliminate negative friction or any of those other things. Strategic revenue operations is really about managing output. You know, the funny thing is what what sales and marketing organizations are dealing with today. It's precisely what manufacturing companies dealt with in the 1980s and 1990s. And they had to figure out, sales and marketing organizations are beginning to jump the shark on efficiency, because we're associating efficiency equals success that, again, that's probably a topic for a whole, a whole nother conversation, but a whole nother podcast. But the point is, there are different approaches. There's no one form of but but I think if revenue operations is going to be something there there has to there has to be something behind what does that mean? Otherwise, I can just call something revenue operations and say, Okay, go check mark.

George Thomas 33:58
So and I agree with some things, I do have a statement or two that I want to make to like, dug in in research that I've been doing, because if we go to rev Ops, it could quickly take us to the Chief Operating Officer. And the Chief Operating Officer title looks dramatically different on a business to business standpoint, because usually, that title is built to wrap around the business itself and the needs of said things. So it's interesting that rev ops can be different things. But here's the thing, I want to circle back to a very interesting thing that you said about inbound. And why I wanted to ask the question of if this was a transformational moment, if this was just somebody naming something if this was a buzzword, because you said Well, you see here with inbound the buyer had changed something had dramatically changed to make this happen.

Unknown Speaker 34:54
No Oh no.

Unknown Speaker 34:55
Yeah, okay. He's

Doug Davidoff 34:56
not say the virus cage.

George Thomas 34:57
So you said that's what inbound says but you You said the information was now readily available or or there was this, this change this change, right? Do you want to say it the way that

Doug Davidoff 35:09
you said it, the game literally changed? The game literally changed?

George Thomas 35:13
Yes. So here's what looking back historically, ever since the days of the sales line, been on a podium, been talking about, you heard you talk about the fact that sales marketing inefficiencies, like but but it wasn't painful enough for people to really drive change, put somebody in charge of that change. And I'm curious, if it's the fact that there is no room for inefficiencies, if COVID has squeezed companies so hard, that they're looking for a way to do business differently. You're immediately going No, but I want you. Okay, fine. x, but

Doug Davidoff 35:59
I can, but I can tell you why. First off, we've been revenue operations has been emerging for the last year and a half number one as a major turn this is this is very, very pre COVID. But But more importantly, on you said revenue operations emerged because the pain wasn't big enough, that that's where I'm really going to disagree with you, because revenue operations exist, existed long before it's become this hot term. And this is where we have to be careful about this echo chamber that we're in a large companies have been doing revenue operations for decades. They even called it revenue operations, and, or, and or other terms that mean the same thing. Forward Thinking companies have had people that manage that operation side, right. To look at these things. The reason that revenue operations has become a big issue is because of the growth of the MAR tech stack of sales and marketing technology and companies. And so now, the commercialization to push it through to say you need Reb Ops, you need rev ups, you need robots, that is not data. It's robots, you need robots. Here's this whole, here's this budget line that you need. This is a supplier driven emergence. Now, on one degree, I'm happy with that, because it creates an awareness of revenue operations, that allows me and allows impulse it allows imagine and allows impulse to talk about how we can help fill that need. If these companies hadn't manufactured the awareness of that we'd have to be explaining what it is, you know, now we have to explain that it's not what you think it is. Yeah, but at least, you know, there's that Terminator. I don't know, like, at least that's a search term now. But but but let's not mistake where that Genesis is. And any, it's like conversational marketing. This is brand new, the buyer has changed know the buyer hasn't changed. And, look, I have nothing against conversational chats chat, ABM changes the game. I'm sorry, what? We've been doing account based marketing since the 1970s. But now they've been very, very large companies, because the cost of doing it. And now what's happened with with with the tech stack, and you know, it's brought it down so that companies that couldn't have done it before can do it. But we're running around talking about like things are new, and why is ABM new, I forget that I'm going blank on the association that named it account based marketing. But take a look at who the key members of the group that does the research are. They're all marketing and sales technology companies. Right. And so the association says this is what account based marketing is and tech piece tech piece tech piece tech piece, right? So that's why I said, you know, these underlying attributes are becoming, you know, our, our drive our driving change. You have small companies that did five years ago, certainly 10 years ago, had virtually no tech for their sales and marketing. Today, they've got 17 different applications, right. And so, oh my god, there's conflict that somebody has to come in and begin to orient. But but but you know, but that's, you know, that's the insanity of, well, I bought the product because that was supposed to solve the problem. And so that's why I took issue with the know is you know that that's why Gartner has their hot their hype cycle. You know, where we are right now with revenue operations is we're not at the peak height, but we're moving well up that channel to peak height. That's where it is. It's a real thing. But But right now, it's it's 90 of all the stuff that's out there. It's 90% smoke, because when you look underneath it, and you say, what are people going to be doing differently because of it a company like HubSpot? Yeah, absolutely. By the way, HubSpot has, I think 80 or 90 people mixed between operations and strategy people in their revenue operations group. They don't have just technology. It's not just a couple of people. They have a large organization of people who are looking at it from very different perspectives. Bringing in that data science they're doing right. And I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm, this is like a soapbox day for me Sorry. But we we keep calling things new, that aren't new. And and I think, and I know in the community like out in the world that people who are running the businesses that we serve every day, they're totally confused and overwhelmed, because they think they're doing things wrong. And they think I talked to so many rabbits and like, I'm not sure we're ready for that change. There's no, there's no change. You're already living with this, right? This is, this is already true. But But you see, that doesn't sell tech? Well, that story of there's nothing new here, you're already living with that, that doesn't create the FOMO that makes somebody want to buy a tech product.

George Thomas 40:44
The problem with that, though, is I don't know, Doug, if everybody is there, meaning I don't know, if every company or most companies have a mindset of the bridge, or of looking at all the pieces of the puzzle, I think as as humans, it's very hard to see the forest through the trees, right. And so, so I don't while there's there's multiple sources of this.

Doug Davidoff 41:14
And why would you if there are 17 tech companies out there saying here, buy our product, it solves it for you buy our product, and you have revenue operations, buy our product, and you'll align by our, by the way on another podcast, we'll talk about silos are good. Yeah, yeah, those people in silos,

George Thomas 41:29
you've lent leave, you've leaned into that. I'm not gonna disagree. But the handoff shouldn't be a shit show. I'm gonna throw that out there. But that is. That is a whole nother.

Max Cohen 41:39
That's what I'm talking about most. Like, when I was talking about this morning, I was just like, Well, I mean, when I talk about marketing and sales alignment, I like I'm talking about are the leads getting to where they need to go? And, you know, is there some sort of common reporting that you know, people are seeing the same thing? I'm, I think I talked about it at a much simpler level that all of you are

Doug Davidoff 42:03
saying the same thing, but I want you to comment on this for me, because I think you and I have had had this part. I know what you mean. But I also get to live with the market that here's what you say. And you I mean, HubSpot and other companies like that, that presented in this way and think, Oh, well, there's something wrong with our sales and marketing, because there's conflict here. It's supposed to be they, they're, they're hearing these things. And, and, and, and they're missing that meaning behind it. And so there's a difference between what you say and what people hear. That's what I wanted to. Julie, you see the same thing. Thank you, Julie. Well,

Unknown Speaker 42:38
yeah, so give a shout out to

Unknown Speaker 42:39

Juli Durante 42:41
Again, I mean, a lot of questions. Um, so first, before, must must share, if you are buying software, because you think the software will solve the problem for you, you are not spending your money well, aside to the software doesn't do it for you, you still have to like build the gut. And the gutter, what's really important, back onto this, like, friction is bad fellows are bad at cetera, et cetera. Um, really, we could do a whole episode about this. But so here's what I don't like to hear when I hear this from a client or prospect. Well, marketing generates leads, and then they just sit there, right. And that's where marketing sales says, we get leads from marketing, but they don't have this information that we need. So we can't follow up with them. No one over here. And no one over here thought to say, Hey, I can't follow up with this lead. Because of my processes, I have to call them and you didn't get me a phone number, right. And this person says, well, we're hitting our goal, this person says we're not getting there, right? Like that's not good friction, that's not good miscommunication. Good friction might be, hey, listen, sales, we're not going to ask our leads for their job title. Because we know you do a research process. And you're going to get that really easily off of LinkedIn. And we want our forms to be shorter. But I understand you don't get those phone numbers. So instead of job title, I'm going to ask for phone number, right? We're still creating friction, they'll still have to go research something, but it's operating a little bit more positively. It's just like a subtle change there. Right? When people say there should never be any friction, right? Well, what does that really mean? Like, when I have worked with BDR, in the past, one of the things I've heard from those BDR so often is, well, my sales reps just want me to do it all and give them a layup. Or they want me to pass the ball and it's a layup. And they're done. And they don't want to put the work into it. And sometimes I can see how that would be a good thing. And I could see how sometimes that would be a little annoying if you're the BDR two and you're getting comped on X, Y or Z. But I think the same thing can happen in any kind of part of this process, right? Like, does that BDR want that layup lead to come in from marketing where they don't have to research? Well, I think research is good. I think spending the time to get to know someone before you talk. to them is good? Does the sales rep need to do some type of handoff with the BDR? Probably, when that deal closes, is there something that the customer service team will need to dig into a little bit more to actually deliver on the sale? Probably, right. And those probably isn't those points of like, ooh, we learned a little bit more are not always a bad thing. But we want to know, when they happen and why they happen. And we want to make sure we're able to take them and address them adequately, not just be like, Oh, well, we sold this wrong. So now we're taking a hit on the money to actually finish the product. For a project that sounds good. I think it's just all bigger conversations to have about everything. And sometimes you need someone to guide those conversations, doing them internally can be hard. Because there is, you know, if you work with people who are passionate about what they do, why they do things about helping customers about helping clients, they're going to be a lot of opinions. And a lot of we should do it this way. And I feel strongly about that. And sometimes my role is more of a mediator than it is anything else.

Doug Davidoff 46:03
And I'll add to all those things that you brought up, there is no right answer. There are wrong, but there is no right answer. There are advantages and disadvantages to every decision. And in the example she gave, I was already thinking, Well, you could do this and eliminate that right? Being the juice pasty worth the squeeze.

Unknown Speaker 46:27
The juice in

George Thomas 46:28
the squeeze made it into this episode, baby. Yeah. All right. So he's asked

Doug Davidoff 46:33
me where to squeeze and and right. And, and, and really, that's what, that's what DevOps is, that that's the why of DevOps, they're the ones who think about the trade off, marketing should be fighting for what they're looking to optimize to the extreme for them. Sales is looking to optimize the extreme for me, by the way, I would say to the BDR, if you were the account executive, wouldn't you want to lay up to of course, the What's that? That's what they want.

Juli Durante 46:59
I want to lay up I will write every time,

Doug Davidoff 47:02
right. So okay, let's you know, and you know, so understanding those things are navigating, well, what does that mean? Okay, salesperson, we can give you a layup. But the number of options you're going to give, they're going to be cut by a factor of 10. Right? Yeah. But my favorite is someone called me they want lead scoring. I'm like, Oh, so how many leads are you getting? We get about 150 leads a year.

Unknown Speaker 47:23

Unknown Speaker 47:27
danger will Robinson

Doug Davidoff 47:28
I'm not gonna know I just I'm just saying that that like what they needed was was like 5000 leads. And I'm like, so what? Why do you need to score and then what we need to make sure that we're only working with the best leads. I'm like, well, you don't have enough leads. So what do you want? Like there's nothing to filter.

Unknown Speaker 47:45
Look at that. Alright,

Unknown Speaker 47:48
that's done.

Juli Durante 47:48
Let's go and lead scoring.

George Thomas 47:50
Yeah. So So here's the thing. We are entering customer stories. Yeah, we are at our time. So we this has been a good episode. Obviously. What this episode has shown me is that we need to have more episodes on rev ops because we didn't dive into some of the minutiae that we could By the way, there are two articles. Well, actually there's a webinar link, HubSpot, the road to rev ops how to design a world class rev ops team, there's also a sales hacker what is DevOps, you should definitely check out the links I will tell you that more rev ups episodes will be coming as well as the episode. The need for positive friction will be coming the episode. You should love your silos will be coming soon. As well as Yo bro. You don't need lead scoring. We'll be coming to the podcast soon as well. Make sure you go to the internet's make sure you go to the Twitter's make sure you let at Doug Davidoff, know that you love him as much as we do. Make sure you touch base with the real Julie d max Jacob CO and I'm at George B. Thomas. Of course. These are always fun, enjoyable, educational. Make sure you use hashtag sprocket talk Make sure you use hashtag the spot podcast so we can be part of the conversation with you. And of course, leave a raving five star review because anything less would be uncivilized. And we'll see you in the next episode.