Matt Durazzani: But she's also experienced in and is a strong promoter of how much more effective all of them can be when they work together in full alignment.
Matt Durazzani: Inese, in today's program,
Matt Durazzani: we would like to hear from you on how you look at the revenue engine holistically.
Matt Durazzani: and also learn from you with the few metrics that you wish to share with us today.
Matt Durazzani: So without further ado
Matt Durazzani: the floor is yours. My friend.
Inese Pumpure: Thank you, Matt. Thank you for having me. I'm honored to be part of this program as well. So thank you for inviting!
Inese Pumpure: yeah. Just to start that to share my story. And what I do understand as revenue operations, and what it has been in in my world, and and through
Inese Pumpure: really almost 13 years. First, I'm really really happy that the expression is, or definition of revenue operations is, was invented. Before, I called myself sales and marketing operations leader you know, manager. Now, there is that Revenue Operations which really does all,
Inese Pumpure: you know, define all of the all of those 3 things together.
Inese Pumpure: Definitely, through my almost 13 years of experience in operations world, I have seen it, kind of seems like it all right. I have seen what it means when each team is doing what they think it's the best thing for them, and I have seen it when it all works together.
Inese Pumpure: I love this vision of working together marketing operations, sales, operations, and customer success operations when it's under one umbrella, when we are aligning on the data points, and we are aligning on the priorities - what needs to be done next?
Inese Pumpure: Definitely, industry has changed quite a bit, and we have very strong CRM systems like salesforce that helps us to visualize all of this alignment together between the between the teams. So
Inese Pumpure: I'm happy now where, how the industry has developed, and how we have to progress. But for all 3 teams, basically the core role in my side is definitely is to
Inese Pumpure: to get rid of the silos right. That making sure that everybody works together, alignment, transparency, that everybody sees the same data points, we can talk to the same data points. And at the same time also, then brings also the accountability from teams right - if something is missing, then we know who we need to reach out and
Inese Pumpure: and what needs to be changed overall.
Inese Pumpure: through the years definitely I have my toolbox, my process box, and also my KPI metrics box, you know, that I would like to implement in every company where I go to. That's what I would like to share today with you, and if it's useful for you, and you can implement it as well, you're welcome! And if you have any questions, I'm happy to to deep dive into them as well.
Matt Durazzani: I think it's a very good call out - the one you just made that in recent years there's been more a definition, a name for what we do, which is more revenue operations versus general one.
Matt Durazzani: I think, for those that are listening to maybe think that their individual role is not as impactful or critical in your organization, this is a good reminder to them that it's actually very critically important, because what they do and what they set up, and what they manage is critical to the entire revenue of the organization. So that was a good call out on your part.
Inese Pumpure: Yeah, thank you. Definitely, I see it as well.
Inese Pumpure: When we work together it's just that you see the best impact for sure.
Inese Pumpure: This is
Inese Pumpure: one of the things that I have definitely brought in my past couple of companies. Was it part of, you know a small start up, or was it a big company as Cisco, it's something that I always have been kind of believing in. We call it Stage zero in other companies, maybe they call it something else. But in in my world, I have always pitched for kind of calling it Stage Zero Opportunities which are not part of pipeline opportunity.
Inese Pumpure: Why, I'm such a strong believer in stage zero? And why I feel that the the company still need to have it? It's almost like setting a stage baseline for you. Right?
Inese Pumpure: It's a handoff between marketing and SDR/BDR organization, and then from SDR's
Inese Pumpure: hand off to AE's, you know, Account Executives, whatever terminology you are using in your region. And then, of course, once the AE takes it, it becomes a closed won opportunity. So there are a couple of reasons why we are using stage zero as a baseline.
Inese Pumpure: One is, in order for us - what insights we can get from this? When marketing is delivering us
Inese Pumpure: MQL's, and some companies are still using leads, and some are defining it as MQL's. We need to be able to see what's the next stage. What is the common language that sales understand between us? And sales, unfortunately always just talks accounts and opportunities.
Inese Pumpure: If we go to them and want to deliver them leads, it doesn't really mean anything to them. They want something more tangible. The tangible thing that everybody understands is opportunities. How many opportunities you are giving? How many times I have had, you know, sitting in the QBR's (Quarterly Business Reviews) and sales management is saying we don't have enough opportunities.
Inese Pumpure: and it is, what are you really meaning by that? What is really missing? And then you're deep diving and understanding - Oh, they actually really need MQL's that are good enough to become meetings that SDR's qualify, and then involve AE's. So I do love to introduce this principle of stage zero opportunity, which is task for SDRs to set up, so we can control the quality of these opportunities that are introduced.
Inese Pumpure: SDR's are the ones that set up the first meeting with AE, and that's our currency. with AE after works once the meeting happen, they can decide - is it becoming real pipeline opportunity? Or we are disqualifying it? But never becomes a pipeline opportunity.
Inese Pumpure: So in that perspective we have clear hand off between marketing and SDR's. Then SDR's have a clear hand off with their AE's, where, after the meeting, they can confirm was it a successful meeting or not. And then becomes pipeline opportunity. And we in that side, you can see we can control
Inese Pumpure: the quality of MQL's. Are we delivering the right MQL's?
Inese Pumpure: We can control if SDR's are actually working on the right accounts. Are they going for all your ICP accounts? Are we deciding to go up their specific target accounts? And it's very easily done to see and have this visibility.
Inese Pumpure: And at the same time also from AE perspective, we can then see, are they working real opportunities? Or they are just creating pipeline opportunities in order to create pipeline opportunities.
Inese Pumpure: Here on the slide, I made in one example. So what visualization of what we usually see is like, okay, in order to close one opportunity,
Inese Pumpure: And how many
Inese Pumpure: pipeline opportunities do you need to create, right? In taking the account the benchmark of 25% of conversion rate, usually from pipeline opportunity to close won. So it means you need 4 pipeline opportunities
Inese Pumpure: And so, in order to get the 4 pipeline opportunities, what is your conversion rate in your company, right? How many meetings do you need to set with account executives
Inese Pumpure: to be in order to get to those 4 pipeline opportunities right? And
Inese Pumpure: if we take 60% conversion rate, some regions have higher, some regions have lower, you need in at least 7 meetings, right 7 stage zero's that you need to set in order to get there.
Inese Pumpure: and taking account MQL to stage 0 opportunity conversion rate you will have, you need at least 70 MQL's - really qualified marketing leads to actually get there.
Inese Pumpure: That gives you the visibility to understand one is first of all, to understand your conversion rates. You plug them in to understand how you get at least one deal, and then based on the targets, you can back calculate how many MQL's do you actually need also to get, right? Very powerful! The second thing what it helped us as well in in visualizing is a lot of times is.
Inese Pumpure: How long does it actually take to close opportunity from stage 0 to closed won. Very often like the stories where you go, you go into the companies, and you see, you know, the conversion rate has been excellent. It's like 80%, 70%.
Inese Pumpure: And immediately in the RevOps world it's probably will raise you a red flag. 80% of the conversion rate from pipeline to closed won usually indicates 2 things. One is there's probably an excel file which, where AE is tracking all his deals, right, to make sure that he is
Inese Pumpure: He has somewhere else, and he gets puts only opportunities when it's already committed. So that's one of the reason where you can see. And then, of course, the sales cycle, you can see, it's only it takes 3 to 4 weeks to actually close it. So something is off. So in order to really, truly, to understand what is the sales cycle of the opportunity I definitely would recommend to have stage zero and that's that shows you the real effort required, and actually to get into account.
Inese Pumpure: My partnership with finance team is also has been quite improving, because now I can clearly show them
Inese Pumpure: how much effort actually SDR's are putting in, and what accountability they have. What impact they have towards the the revenue itself right? How much they are impacting pipeline creation and also pipeline closure? So I think that has been very powerful metric as well.
Inese Pumpure: Other than that, yeah, this is one of my as I said, this is one of my kind of standard KPI's that I use for marketing. How many MQL's here? For SDR's, how many stage zero you need to create? And then the same for poor sales, and we will deep dive into sales pipeline creation a little bit later.
Matt Durazzani: This is awesome. I absolutely love the stage zero idea. I'm a huge believer of using this as accountability myself. But so thanks for sharing. One thought I had is, if there is a leader in organization that someone will like to implement this concept right?
Matt Durazzani: Which leader or leaders in the organizations are best suited to help that person get buy-in to build a strategy, and perhaps is anyone harder or easier to sell on this type of messaging?
Matt Durazzani: What's your experience on that?
Inese Pumpure: So far, I would say the kind of the biggest gaters, winners of the implementing this would be definitely marketing,
Inese Pumpure: finance because of the visibility and SDR's, right. So now everything - it's not on leads, it's also impact and opportunities into revenue.
Inese Pumpure: Each of these group of people want to be at the seat, at the management seat and and show and visualize how much they they are impacting from the revenue. Right? So that's very
Inese Pumpure: that's very important for them. Sales definitely perceived it as a little bit more work overhead from them right? Because now they need to show, visualize every single opportunity they are working on.
Inese Pumpure: We need it. I think it's very powerful for sales managers to really understand what is happening in each territory,
Inese Pumpure: and stage zero opportunities really show them. That's again, it's an object that they understand, they know how to translate it, and they know how to visualize it. They are very used to you running account and and opportunity report. Not that much lead reports right. So that definitely empowers them.
Matt Durazzani: Excellent.
Matt Durazzani: Thank you.
Matt Durazzani: We can go to the next metric.
Inese Pumpure: Here's another one of the metrics I have love and hate relationship with this metric. It's Source conversion. Past look already, almost, you know, 13-15 years industry
Inese Pumpure: has not changed that much. You know I have worked together with consultants from Sirius Decisions, now part of Forrester. Unfortunately.
Inese Pumpure: everybody still still going back to single source of truth. We want it or not, that's one of the things my RevOps colleagues, you need to get it done right. You know it's not pretty, It's not full truth, but we need to have it.
Inese Pumpure: so that's one of the metrics kind of indicating where really pipeline is coming from? Right? Who is really generating? Is it partner? Is it channel team? Is it marketing? Is it sales themself or is they are outsourcing right?
Inese Pumpure: Ideal scenario. You will move to multi-touch attribution, but unfortunately even multi-touch attribution is not going to show you the single source what everybody is kind of asking.
Inese Pumpure: Maybe it's also because where I'm coming from, more on the startup world, every board member, every executive team is asking for it. So you want it or not, You'll you will be asked to do it, so get it. Stay, stay up front.
Inese Pumpure: This metric does require a lot of negotiations, right? You can think about every single stakeholder is going to negotiate to their kind of favor, right. They want to make sure that their work is represented.
Inese Pumpure: I would say sales is probably in this case the least ones who are kind of fighting for their place. Because at the end of the day they just want to see pipeline. They don't really care where it's coming from, they just want to see pipeline is coming towards them, right. So because if marketing is not supplementing enough, and if partners are not supplementing enough and SDR's, then it means sales need to outbound themself, right? So this is kind of indication is like how healthy is your pipeline generation machine from marketing
Inese Pumpure: and from partners and channel. And if it's not, then what do we need to do ourselves
Inese Pumpure: In this metric, we we just need to remember, right, SDR's will also cover marketing as well, right. So SDR's doing our own outbound, but at the same time, of course they cover they they're the ones who are setting, qualifying meetings for for marketing as well, right. I love another
Inese Pumpure: slice and dice of this metrics, I would say, I will divide it also per region.
Inese Pumpure: I see in some companies, so you know, like where you go, usually it's North America is dominating, there's a lot of things happening here, and EMEA is like, you know, the usual split 60-30-10, you know, by by regions.
Inese Pumpure: But sometimes it can be surprise you. If, in in my company currently, we are very much trying to, North America is a new market for us, right, where EMEA is very stable. So this chart would look very different just if we looked in North America only right. So it's very interesting to see where you should be putting your next dollars for next year, and where the support needs to be put on on efforts, you know hiring people
Inese Pumpure: more support budget-wise right, and what needs to be supported. What strategic decisions? Where are we going to to put in for next year?
Matt Durazzani: I love that you said it's a love and hate relationship on sourcing right? I think operators that have worked from end to end experience that on any company, and it's just because everybody very passionate about what they can produce right. And
Matt Durazzani: so I think everybody shares in that type of sentiment. One thought it came to my mind as you were describing the different regions, the different teams, right,
Matt Durazzani: was that this can be a very powerful metric in what type of scenarios have you seen this metric providing the most critical
Matt Durazzani: agenda items for meetings? What type of meetings is this a most important metric to to bring up?
Inese Pumpure: We look at this metrics, I would say
Inese Pumpure: on by the weekly
Inese Pumpure: in Go To Market meetings.
Inese Pumpure: That's definitely something looked at consistently
Inese Pumpure: sales, marketing, all regional VP's, yeah. absolutely, and we definitely report back to board as well. This is one of the, definitely one of the questions ask, what are the sources? Actually for both, for pipeline sourcing, and also for closed one.
Inese Pumpure: So you know that's another metrics to just to look what's the conversion.
Inese Pumpure: Very often
Inese Pumpure: the ones that are creating the pipeline are not always the ones that are closing. So that's a really interesting conversation, and it's it opens up the conversation towards like.
Inese Pumpure: what's going on, right? Why do we see the conversions? This source is really creating like partners is creating a lot, but we are not closing them. What's going on? The quality is not there? Are we really following up on on those opportunities? Are we putting enough efforts into them to actually close? Or maybe we are going up there in the wrong accounts.
Inese Pumpure: Right? What is happening is this source is providing us wrong accounts. We should be adjusting right. This is not our ICP. That's why we're not really winning this deal. So, there's quite a bit of KPI's that you can drive from it. But again with a grain of salt, because it's a single source, right? It's one truth, which we know it's not always there.
Matt Durazzani: That's right. One more question on this one, you talked about the fact that this type of metric requires a lot of negotiation.
Matt Durazzani: How would you advise people to approach this? Because I'm gonna assuming some of them may feel very daunted in trying to, you know, separate into things to different departments, and in trying to provide clarity across the board. What advice do you have for people that are wanting to try to do this?
Inese Pumpure: (Jokingly) Don't ! You won't be able to go away from it. Yeah, it's.. it's just try to listen. Listen. Listen to what is really their ask? What are they really pitching? And why they are pitching a certain way?
Inese Pumpure: And see, there are compromises. So in this, this is really straightforward - partners, marketing sales and SDR's. For example, we negotiated that. there will be another bucket
Inese Pumpure: "marketing/partner."
Inese Pumpure: Right. There is a lot of resources spend on on partner marketing as well. So with that, taking consideration, we call out that specific section. That's an option, right? So if we are negotiating, and those probably are 2 departments that require always you know that it's it's all about the investment for the next year, where we should go next? Where we we should put in?
Matt Durazzani: That's that's a really good point. listen. Ask. Listen. Find compromises. Great advice.
Matt Durazzani: Okay.
Matt Durazzani: Are we ready for the next metric?
Inese Pumpure: Yes!
Inese Pumpure: This again. this one is. Probably everybody is going in just just calling it out
Inese Pumpure: Pipeline Health. That's that's one of the standard things, basic things, that we always want to see, that we consistently are working on. I'll bound just from the reps themselves, making sure that we are having healthy database in pipeline you know, building not only for this quarter, but for next quarter as well.
Inese Pumpure: Coming up with the magic number of
Inese Pumpure: what's the healthy opportunity creation per month per quarter for a rep? Is it 6 to 8 opportunities? And then immediately just saying, if he's able to create himself? It doesn't matter if it is coming from marketing, or outbound himself, but just to make sure that we have healthy rate of of pipeline building exercise happening all the time.
Inese Pumpure: and it takes a couple of quarters to get there. And I have seen it in like
Inese Pumpure: definitely, this is one of the kind of KPIs engagement or movement that is driven by CRO often, you know he's saying, yeah, this is important for the company they need to focus. It's not only, you know, focusing on 1 or 2 deals, but also
Inese Pumpure: take care of your pipeline, because at the end of the day conversions show what they show right. If you have your 4 opportunities, you're very likely you will close from them one. If you don't have constantly building this pipeline opportunities, you're not going to be able to close anything. If the ratios decrease, at least you have something that you're working on. And in the startup world as well, of course,
Inese Pumpure: turn around of employees is happening right, coming and going, and to make sure that you you have something and then also left for the next person who is coming. So you have a aggressive what's really happening in in in the territory. So
Inese Pumpure: definitely that takes care of a couple of things. So you see what's happening in the territory. Where is the potential? Even if it's not now, the competition is already there. But you have good visibility of when the renewals are up, you know. So you have a potential there.
Inese Pumpure: You also have then the ability to see do we have a coverage, right? Is a coverage there? Some companies lean towards 4x, you know 25%, some companies lean towards 5x coverage in the specific quarter that needs to be there. That's a great way to how to to visualize and see it.
Inese Pumpure: And then the ones that are behind is like, okay, what incentive we can support? Maybe they need to go through the partner route. Maybe we need to pull in a partner, do some blueprinting of account mapping, you know, and see if if partners can help you in the specific region, or somebody, maybe from executive team needs to be involved as well to help you to to get into accounts. And and there's maybe some kind of business development relationship that you can leverage.
Inese Pumpure: So, having visualized, and this healthy
Inese Pumpure: building a pipeline, I think it has been very powerful as well. It also requires discipline, and I think discipline of really creating, making sure that you stay on top of your opportunities. Are you recording all this data, right? Are you putting updates for the ones that go already and commit and or best case even, right?
Inese Pumpure: Can business drive some kind of data from that?
Inese Pumpure: But yes, that here comes the transparency , accountability, right? The aspect where everybody is accountable for their own metrics, and what what they are building. What they're building in their specific territory.
Matt Durazzani: Yeah, this is, this is a very important one, I think, I think this resonates with in particularly, you know, sales leaders, and and people that are managing territories and their individual pipeline
Matt Durazzani: And you talked about discipline. That's a challenge for a lot of people that are in operations. They look at the metrics every day, they have access to information. They can see where
Matt Durazzani: maybe the flaws of the pipeline are very clearly, right. So how do you or what type of success have you seen in the way you tried to discipline that pipeline?
Inese Pumpure: So I think we are going back to the first Slide - Stage zeros.
Inese Pumpure: So through my career I definitely can see I have less...
Inese Pumpure: Hmm... I wouldn't say control, but more difficult to change behavior of AE's who have been already in different companies, and they already have picked up
Inese Pumpure: bad habits, right, and they are trying to, they're replicating, and it's easier right to to coach or to train SDR's for just out of college or very new in their careers. So you give them best practices, right. You create the stage zero opportunity Since the beginning, right. They have done it
Inese Pumpure: clearly, right. They know what is required, all the mandatory fields, everything is filled out. So you are kind of, you know, building yourself up for success, at least all the mandatory things will be already there. Yes, it takes much more challenging time afterwards to change, or what needs to be down the line in opportunities. But that's where I work closely together with my sales enablement team,
Inese Pumpure: making sure that we, you know,
Inese Pumpure: train,
Inese Pumpure: remind, you know, again train, remind and show them data. The "what is missing."
Inese Pumpure: In my current role, for example, I will use the cadence of, you know, bi-weekly sending out -
Inese Pumpure: "hey, you have opportunities we would do. The your close date is in in past right. Can you fix those things?"
Inese Pumpure: We have also this kind of reminders, and you know, sending reports and and talking to managers, and and trying to
Inese Pumpure: highlight them where we are missing. And sometimes it's actually the VP's will come to us and highlight, can we standardize this? And one of the examples was like that in next steps everybody will initialize and date their next steps.
Inese Pumpure: Excellent! That thing from the field. We are just there to help them to actually to to make sure that they actually are doing it right and reminding them in that case. But unfortunately, yeah, it's a lot about the repetition, training, and working together with sales enablement to make it happen.
Matt Durazzani: So if I would have to summarize here for those that are are listening is, part of the way you discipline it is, one you surface insight, so data reports to key leaders as well as the the individual reps.
Matt Durazzani: You work with enablement to make sure there are periodic reminders and training and coaching sessions.
Matt Durazzani: You, personally, sounds like your team works directly also with the sales leaders to coach them and point out things that they should probably paying attention to that maybe they haven't noticed. And so you're kind of that sounding board to remind them on how to pace themselves.
Matt Durazzani: Is there anything else that you're doing to try to put this discipline around.
Inese Pumpure: No, I think that's that's sounds right. Yeah, we use our tools to have all the best practices in place.
Inese Pumpure: Try to get to them early, part of on-boarding right. And make sure that everything is documented. So processes are documented. But yeah,
Inese Pumpure: that sums it up.
Matt Durazzani: Okay, perfect.
Matt Durazzani: This is another great metric. Thank you for that.
Matt Durazzani: I think this gets us at the end of the metrics. And I'd love to kind of wrap up with a few additional thoughts, if that's all right with you.
Matt Durazzani: Clearly you, you kind of seen a little bit of everything, probably multiple times, across the board from how to make these teams work together the right way.
Matt Durazzani: a couple of thoughts for you maybe
Matt Durazzani: think about the the people that are listening to this type of recording can be essentially 2 type of profile for the majority. One could be someone that is, early in their career, or they could be maybe an analyst, or an early first time manager in operations. Another one could be someone that has been around the block
Matt Durazzani: for quite some time, and maybe they're looking for a different perspective, maybe validation.
Matt Durazzani: Why don't you take a minute to kind of think, and address
Matt Durazzani: each of those individually for a second and say if you're early, here's some of the advice and recommendations that I have for you, and if you are already you know, experienced, here's some other things that maybe you want to consider to be more effective as a leader.
Inese Pumpure: Very good question.
Inese Pumpure: I think, for the ones that are starting their career, I would say, take one data point at the time, you know.
Inese Pumpure: Make an exercise every week, take one data point, see if you can find some kind of insight,
Inese Pumpure: business will appreciate it.
Inese Pumpure: Very often what happens, even today, what often happens, we get drowned in so many tactical things, we forget to step back, take one data point, and find some insights that we can bring back to business.
Inese Pumpure: I recommend it to myself and my team, and I would recommend it to anyone! That's for sure! We we are drowning, yes you can see there is endless amount of tasks and projects.
Inese Pumpure: Probably the same actually recommendation for the people who are already have been for a while.
Inese Pumpure: I think
Inese Pumpure: highlighting the things that we do, because it is so much right. It's
Inese Pumpure: tech stack, it's, processes, it's day to day troubleshooting, supporting AE's, right. It's difficult to communicate all this
Inese Pumpure: to the top, right. So sometimes I think, they forget how much it actually takes to to support the entire business. So
Inese Pumpure: I wish to my colleagues as well, take your time, communicate up your successes, celebrate your successes. Again, there's so much that needs to be done, we forget to celebrate the small things. It becomes obvious, things that need to be done, but we need to celebrate the small success as well.
Matt Durazzani: Very, very well said. Thank you so much, Inese we really appreciate you sharing with the rest of the group here the things you have learned in your career. We hope that people as they listen to this, have a chance to maybe connect
Matt Durazzani: with you through LinkedIn or other ways, so that, your network also can be expanded, and keep providing advisory to those that feel that they can learn from you. So with that we are ending our episode today with regards to our revenue operations and
Matt Durazzani: We wish you all a great day. Thank you very much!
Inese Pumpure: Thank you.