Doug Davidoff: How Revenue Operations Can Generate 30% More Revenue

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In this Inbound Speak interview, I chat with Doug Davidoff about his INBOUND 2020 session "How Revenue Operations Can Generate 30% More Revenue From Your Existing Efforts" He explains who should be in the room and why.

He also dives into a tip, myth, and hurdle to watch for along the way.

Eliminating Friction: How Revenue Operations Can Generate 30% More Revenue From Your Existing Efforts

Do more. Do it faster. Do it better and do it with fewer resources. This is the battlecry of those who succeed through recessions. When times get tough, the winners are the ones who capitalize on the opportunities that exist and utilize the limited resources they have the best.

Revenue Operations is the emerging discipline that focuses on eliminating friction in your sales, marketing & customer success programs. Research we conducted in 2018-19 showed most companies were losing 15-35% of their impact because of inherent friction in their processes, this session will show you how to remove it.


About the Expert

Doug Davidoff

Doug Davidoff is the leading advisor for small and mid-market, high-growth companies that want to align and leverage the strategies, technologies, tactics, and processes throughout the full funnel. Doug’s unique approach integrates real-world research (done in the field where leads are created and sales take place, rather than in a laboratory) with systems designed to generate methods that drive results. It doesn’t take long (typically less than 5 minutes) for someone who meets Doug or hears him speak to think, “Wow, this guy sees things that others are missing…and it all makes sense!” His insights not only motivate -- they also create change. He’s worked deeply with more than 1,500 companies and seen their financial statements so he knows what works -- and what sounds good, but doesn’t work. He’s advised more than a dozen companies that have successfully sold for a combined value of more than $1 billion.


Full Transcript

George Thomas 0:00
Alright, inbound attendees, it's your boy George B. Thomas. And we're back with another episode of inbound speaks where we talk to inbound speakers about what they're speaking about inbound, those topics that you want to hear about. I made it through. And today I'm excited because my friend, Doug, oh, I'll show you later. In a couple seconds. My friend Doug is going to talk to us about friction, and a whole lot of operations and things like that. And you're going to learn exactly why you should be in the room when it comes to his inbound 2020 session. But before we get into the deep end of the pool, let's go ahead and run that bumper. Get into the good stuff. All right, Doug Davidoff, my buddy, my pal, my friend. We are here on inbound speaks and let's just start for anybody who is new to inbound which by the way, one of the exciting things is that it could be thousands upon thousands of people because it is a virtual event this year. kind of explained to the people who might be watching this video, who you are and what makes you tick.

Doug Davidoff 1:00
I am Doug gave it off. I'm the founder and CEO of imagine business development. I'm the head of the sales Genius Network. I'm not the lead genius, just the head of the network. What makes me tick? I'll tell you, George, what makes me tick. I like to call myself strategically lazy. And what that means is I don't have the patience to work as hard as a whole lot of people and I respect the people who grind. I've been fascinated from the time I was a little kid, how can you get from point A to point B faster. And so just trying to figure out how to bring things together and get more juice for the squeeze. That's probably been the central thing that has driven just about everything that I do. juice for

George Thomas 1:48
the squeeze, you gotta love that. So your inbound 2020 session is eliminating friction, how revenue operations can generate 30% more revenue from your existing efforts which by the way, the title goes right in line with what you exactly said makes you tick. Let's just throw that out there real quick. But here's the thing, why should people attend this session? And who should it actually be in the room? So in the room, and why should they attend?

Doug Davidoff 2:20
So I think anyone can benefit from what I'm going to be talking about. If you're an individual contributor, it'll give you a perspective to look at what you're doing and how you're doing things. But look, candidly, a lot of what I'm going to be talking about, you're probably not going to have authority or control over so you know, the key people that need to be in the room. Anybody that's responsible for producing a result. and managing any of that has a level of authority for managing the inputs and the how things are done, who are trying to get more from what they're doing.

George Thomas 2:55
I obviously don't want to give away the whole farm, but one of the things that we'd love to do inbound speaks just give somebody a starting point, a tip, a trick, a hack, something they can be doing between now and actually attending your session. So what tidbit of information? Would you want to give them that they can kind of leverage as they move forward?

Doug Davidoff 3:16
You know, I realized I forgot to answer part of your question. Your last question, which will help me fill fill in for answering this question, which is, why do they need to be in the room? Um, which again, gets to the tip. I don't know what you think, George, I think people are working too hard. I think it was probably about five years ago, maybe it was a little bit longer than that time seems to be melding all together. But I remember I was I was doing a session to a group of CEOs and I came up with the term, I called it the sales and marketing treadmill. And basically what that is, every year, every day, every month, every whatever period of time you want to talk about it. The game that we're playing too often is that we're running faster and faster, we have to run faster and faster. Just to keep that And and what I noticed is, and I think this is true of everyone that's going to be attending in bed because i don't i don't think companies that have no idea what they're doing, they're not attracted to inbound, right? I mean, you've got to have the mindset of being serious about business to even show up. And that is the vast majority of time, every company that I've seen, they're already doing more than enough. They're spending more than enough. They're, you know, they've got, they've got the pieces. They just, they're not put together and they keep getting in their own way. And the reason is, we have this is the tip, we have totally confused the idea of speed with the idea of velocity. We are obsessed with speed Faster, faster, faster, faster, more, more, more, more. And, and speed does not equal progress. Right. Slow down to speed up Here's the tip, take a look at all of the things that are getting in the way. Right? Think of it this way, when you add a tactic when you add an activity, you get some juice from that, right? No question about that. But but there's a limited amount that you can get from it. Now think about what happens when you take something that's getting in the way out of the way. You get more juice, but you don't have to squeeze any harder. You see reducing the friction, getting the stuff out of the way, getting the conflicts out of the way, has far greater return. And I can tell you this, if you have more than five salespeople, I can virtually guarantee you, you are paying a very high what I call friction tax, which basically means you are having to squeeze 30 40% harder than you should be squeezing for what you're getting from it and if you focused on getting the impediments out of the way You'd get far more return for your dollar.

George Thomas 6:02
That's, that's super interesting. It's money and time. That's interesting, too, that he went there. So. So I want to dive in because this is a term that and by the way, I'm going sideways, folks, because I'm going in a different direction with Doug here. That's because I do. That's what we do. I think that if you're thinking about attending inbound, you've heard these terms, marketing, sales service. What I don't necessarily know is that you've heard the term or really deeply understand revenue, operations and revenue operations is in Doug's title. So Doug, maybe before I ask, you have like some myths or some hurdle, maybe take a few seconds to explain why the mindset of revenue operations or how revenue operations actually is part of this conversation that you're going to have an inbound 2020

Doug Davidoff 7:00
So I can promise you if you've heard the terms sales marketing service, you've also heard the term alignment. And everybody is chasing alignment. And alignment is far too often a term like the horizon. It means something in our head, but no one knows how to get there. And here's what I've learned. alignment is a byproduct. alignment is the result of doing things correctly. And the problem is sales marketing service. They're focused on the more side of the equation, who's focused on the friction side. alignment is not about everything, working harmoniously. At that point. It's about managing the trade offs and managing the system and keeping things working and addressing upstream problems upstream. The reason that we're working so hard, is that we're dealing with the friction At the point of execution, so it's grinding a stamp, right? revenue operations is the friction prevention, it's less about I mean, it's eliminating friction. It's preventing it. It's not too often we deal with the friction at its point of friction. It's too late that revenue operations done correctly. What I, what I'm actually now referred to as strategic revenue operations, is about, let's figure out how do we prevent these things from happening so that we can execute at speed? Man, you don't have time to think any more at execution. You have to do the thinking and the money and figuring out where's this going to go wrong? And what's an exception look like and all that stuff. You got to figure that out beforehand, and I don't mean to get off on enough. One of the problems in the world today is that we don't treat the invisible we wait until it's a problem to do something about it. And man, it is expensive. And it is hard work. And it takes a lot of effort to do that revenue operations is charged with preventing those things from happening. So that your key people so that those people at the point of execution can focus on what matters most.

George Thomas 9:15
So Doug, I love that. And I'm glad we went in that direction when you think of revenue operations and generating more juice with less squeeze, right, because you're doing this friction thing. And you're you're just focused on like, existing efforts and getting more out of it. What is maybe one of the major hurdles that you've seen businesses facing when they're trying to transition into this revenue operations mindset?

Doug Davidoff 9:42
Well, you know, you're you're solving the invisible, right, like the biggest problem with an excellent revenue operations function is you're gonna think you don't need revenue operations. Right? If you have on the fire prevention department, and I prevent fires, and someone's gonna say, Why are we so spending all this money preventing fires, we don't have them, then you're going to stop spending money preventing fires and what's going to happen all the sudden the fires are going to emerge. Right? So So the biggest challenge is a understanding that what you know, it's its responsibility assault, I call it solving the invisible. And the other aspect is, you know, when we think about we know whenever we plan what we're going to do we plan it with such clarity. Everything always works in a plan. Then that, you know, then the world happens in every single I call friction, I call them like barnacles, right? individually, every single piece of friction, it doesn't mean all that much. How can you justify putting this kind of time effort and money that it's so small, it's it's so little except it adds up and it adds up and it adds up and it adds up? And I mean, look at it this way. How much more money are we spending on technology? How much more money are we spending on people? You know, we're smarter we got better tools yet Our return on assets are down, our return on equity is down cost, customer acquisition is going up, on average profit per salesperson is typically going down. I mean, if you take a look at all of the financial metrics, we are having to work 20% harder to generate the same rate of return. And that just doesn't make any sense to me. The problem, you can't see it. Um, and so there's, you know, there's a little bit of, you know, you really have to stop and think, to be able to solve my goal is to make this visible so you can begin to point to, here's what we need to address. Here's what that's about. So I'm going to talk about what are the seven disciplines of strategic revenue operate

George Thomas 11:39
love that. So there's a little tease in the micros of what's going to be happening. So Doug, they attend your session, you know, usually I'd be like you get a raving round of applause before standing up there clapping your bowing all sorts of fun stuff this year, probably sitting at your chair, like hitting an applause button that you bought off But it is what it is right? When you get done as a speaker, I know we usually have this like one thing, this big idea. So for you when you're talking about like, focusing on existing efforts, revenue operations, or even strategic revenue operations and eliminating the friction, out of all of that, and all of that we talked about in this interview, what's the one thing the big idea that you hope they grab hold of and kind of run forward with?

Doug Davidoff 12:27
You know, a lot of people who are watching this are probably not old enough to remember the Fram oil filter guy who said you can pay me now or you can pay me later. And and what I want people to understand and run with is you're going to pay for friction. The question is, are you going to pay up front by designing a system and implementing a revenue operations process to manage and mitigate it or are you going to pay for it at the point in execution and so what I want people to really run away with his I want them to think about the how of what they do whatever their response for producing, what's the how of it? And how can they I actually I'll talk about the inverse friction principle. How can they spend a little bit more time upfront? To get things in place so that they can execute and run faster? With less exhaustion, less effort.

George Thomas 13:19
I don't know if I can say it any better. Like if I think about the barnacles in your business, think about when you want to pay that debt that's going to be there no matter what, think about attending Doug's session, and while you're doing all this thinking, which by the way, as somebody in charge of a business you should be doing thinking, well, we'll be sitting here waiting for you. In the next episode.