The Revenue Engine

Aligning Sales Strategy with Sales Execution with Dharmesh Singh, CEO and Co-Founder at Fullcast.io

June 17, 2022
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The Revenue Engine

Each week, Revenue Operations expert Rosalyn Santa Elena shines the spotlight on founders, CEOs, and Revenue Leaders from hyper-growth companies and dives deep into the strategies they implement to drive growth and share their learnings. Rosalyn brings you inspirational stories from revenue generators, innovators and disruptors, as well as Revenue Leaders in sales, marketing, and operations.

Why is Revenue Operations so complex?

Each piece of the overall revenue operations framework is highly dependent on one another and one change can easily trigger a domino effect of changes.

In this episode of The Revenue Engine, Dharmesh Singh, the CEO and Co-Founder at fullcast.io discusses the complexities and interdependencies of operations and how we can best align strategy to execution to optimize the revenue engine.

🔗 LINKS

Connect with Dharmesh on LinkedIn, or at fullcast.io.

Follow Rosalyn on LinkedIn.

The Revenue Engine is powered by Outreach.io.

The opinions expressed in this episode are the speaker's own and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Sales IQ or any sponsors.

Rosalyn Santa Elena
Host @ Revenue Engine Podcast + Chief RevOps Officer @ Carabiner Group
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Dharmesh Singh
CEO and Co Founder @ fullcast.io
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[00:00:00] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Welcome to the Revenue Engine podcast. I'm your host, Rosalyn Santa Elena, and I am thrilled to bring you the most inspirational stories from revenue generators, innovators, and disruptors, revenue leaders in sales, in marketing, and of course in operations. Together, we will unpack everything that optimizes and powers the revenue engine. Are you ready? Let's get to it.

So why is revenue operations so complex? When I first met Dharmesh Singh the CEO and co-founder at Fullcast. Back in 2019, we had a really great discussion about the complexities and the interdependencies of operations. Each piece of the overall revenue operations framework is highly dependent on another.

And one change can easily trigger a domino effect of changes. So we all know we need a strong infrastructure of really well defined processes for repeatability and for scale, but with the fast paced environment where change is constant agility and flexibility is also incredibly important. And these things are almost contrary to one another, which is this constant struggle for revenue operations.

Today's podcast is sponsored by Outreach.io. Outreach is the first and only engagement and intelligence platform built by revenue innovators, for revenue innovators. Outreach allows you to commit to an accurate sales forecast, replace manual processes with real-time guidance, and unlock actionable customer intelligence that guides you and your team to win more often. Traditional tools don't work in a hybrid sales world. Find out why Outreach is the right solution at click.outreach.io/RevEngine

In this episode of the revenue engine podcast, Darmesh, and I discuss what revenue leaders, especially revenue operations leaders should be thinking about and what they should be doing to manage this complexity and try to keep these things in balance while also trying to balance the age old struggle of the strategic versus the tactical.

So excited to be here today with Dharmesh Singh the CEO and co-founder of Fullcast. For those of you who may not be familiar with Fullcast, Fullcast is an end to end platform built for revenue operations that brings together both sales strategy. And sales execution. So welcome Dian. Thank you for joining me.

I am excited to learn more about your journey and of course, talk about our favorite topic or my favorite topic, revenue operations. So welcome.

[00:03:03] Dharmesh Singh: Thank you.

[00:03:05] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. So let's, let's talk a little bit about your background. I mean, you just have such an interesting and really comprehensive background. I mean, in addition to having, you know, an MBA, you also have a degree in engineering, engineering, electronics, and communication, which that's, I feel a lot to unpack there.

You spent, you know, 16 years at Microsoft, right? In a variety of different roles. And I saw that you spent time at Salesforce as. So maybe before we talk about Fullcast and what you're doing now, can you share maybe more about your backstory and sort of your career journey?

[00:03:35] Dharmesh Singh: Absolutely. Yeah. Yes. It's a path that evolved organically. I've not really given much thought. Yeah, but I did. Do my basic degree in engineering and electronics, because I didn't actually wanna write code . So I thought electronics more broader. It's it's what in the us, it's called electrical engineering in India.

It's called electronics and communication. Okay. I grew up then, and then I started working in Singapore. And then yeah, and I. I ran into someone that I met, met in Vietnam. And we started a little winter in Vietnam before I joined Microsoft in Singapore. And then that was a 16 year ride, you know, that took me from Singapore to New York to Seattle.

Oh, wow. And it, it is all around, you know, I started my, my, my career at Microsoft in presales consulting and ended up in engineering And running operations for what we now call office 365. So I joined office 365 when it was an ID on paper in 2007, we didn't have a lot of SAS there, and then we kind of built it up from the ground up.

Again, then when we mainstreamed it into office, that's when I L left, went to Salesforce. And I was part of the go to market automation team and mm-hmm you know, my, my partner at Fullcast, I met him at, at Microsoft and we both ended up at Salesforce. He actually pulled me over to Salesforce.

He was running the G four G team or the sales global sales, operations functions. Mm-hmm and yeah, we. I, and I was running operations with Microsoft. And so we had kind of paths that crossed over for both of us. And then we ended up at Salesforce and we looked at what, how things had been being done at Salesforce.

And then we said that. Perhaps, there's a way for us to go out and build something that we, we might enjoy uh, versus, you know, doing what we were doing at Salesforce. So , I love that. Yeah. That's how was born.

[00:05:24] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah, that's amazing. I think, you know, just of having seen such a long journey at Microsoft and seeing the inner workings of Salesforce from an operations perspective, I'm sure there's a lot of perspective that you can share.

So let's talk about full. So I oftentimes, when I'm talking to different founders, always find that, you know, a lot of times businesses are started, you know, when they're trying to solve a problem. Right. Or they see some kind of challenge or maybe there's some kind of epiphany type of, you know, aha moment.

So how did I guess the idea for forecast start and what was that original vision for the company?

[00:05:57] Dharmesh Singh: Yeah, so like I said, I joined Salesforce in February, 2013. That is right at the beginning of Salesforce is fiscal. Start mm-hmm . And I think the first day, first week when I joined over there, after, after our bootcamp and I'll ball told don't touch anything, I'm like, why, why, what happened?

He says, well, we've got this thing called, we've got an it freeze right now. Nobody can do anything in Salesforce. Oh. We have this process called G four G go for growth. And so we, you know, we are gonna. We, we are assigning territories and quotas to rep. And so we don't wanna make any changes cause it messed things up and I'm like, it's first, everybody should already have that stuff.

Like why are we still doing this? No, no, no. We still have, we are behind, we ran the process from August and we saw, so I got familiar with the process of Bala and it, it was almost April, middle of April when he first started able to give territories and quotas. Oh, wow. And to me, that was shocking because I was coming from Microsoft with that, that was still, did not have a pure SaaS model.

So we were doing six month planning cycles, but it was okay because it has a, it had a very enterprise enterprise agreement driven sales model. So, you know, you make the deal mm-hmm CRM was pure SaaS play. And so for us not to have quotas and territories for almost one quarter mm-hmm was like, how do we, how do we, we gotta do.

So we looked at what are options and how we are doing stuff. And we looked at Alan Alan, that time was gonna charge us 1.5 million in licensure venue and 3 million in Deloitte. And you were going to do tell them to do everything ourselves. And we basically, Deloitte was gonna build our model and we like, this is nonsense.

We went back to Google sheets. But that's when you start thinking, there's gotta be a better way when you're you're in the 21st century, we are doing 1500 spreadsheets across four managers going back. We had a team in 14 cost, just managing, you know, moves, move requests coming in. Oh wow. And you know, changes.

And so I was quite frustrated. I told all, Hey, you know, we can do better. We can go out and build. Then it took us about two years to really figure out what we wanted to build with a scope of the problem is huge. And one of the decisions we had to take was, are we gonna fill a feature or a platform?

And we took a platform approach. And then then yeah, that that's when we decided to go out and go build Fullcast. Okay. From scratch to really serve strategy because we like, like, the thing that was also happening at that time was we had seen Marketo. Outreach had just started in 2014 and you know, sales sources there.

And we were like, okay, there's demanding. There's SDR work. That's been automated to outreach. There is Salesforce clarity also actually just started to for looking at the forecasting side of the house. Uh, But behind that, there was nothing mm-hmm those people. Code work with it, Excel spreadsheets, there was no platform.

And like, there is an opportunity for us to really build a platform for strategy and operations teams.

[00:08:57] Rosalyn Santa Elena: I love that. I love that. So, yeah. Yeah. I love that. Definitely. Cuz I remember when we first met and we were just talking about this as the 2019, so it was like three years ago. Yeah. You know, we had a really great discussion about just the complexities and the inter depend.

Seas of operations. And you just touched on this a little bit, but I think, you know, each piece of the overall sort of revenue operations framework is highly dependent right on another. And that one change can easily trigger sort of this domino effect of changes in managing that is incredibly. You know, complex.

So maybe, can you talk a little bit more about this complexity and maybe what you're seeing companies really doing, right. And what are some of the things that they're doing wrong when it comes to managing this?

[00:09:41] Dharmesh Singh: Yeah, so the complexity, so at the highest level, there are two elements, right? No matter what size of the company you have.

There is a strategy element. You build a go to market strategy. Who's my ICP. You know, how am we gonna, how, how, how we gonna go after them? And then we go after it. Right? So there's the strategy part. And there's the execution part when. You're small, you know, just, you know, with three or four people sales team and one marketing guy, and you can sit around in a room and you can talk mm-hmm , there is a, there's a lot less interdependencies, right?

There are like five guys. I've sit next. We all sit next to each other. Lead came in, we can talk lead, come in. Someone, someone take care of it there, the marketing person, we can talk to them, but as the company grows, The more players get in the mix, the interdependency get a lot more complex, right? So as you think about it, like the first thing people will start saying, oh, my routing engine is broken.

Right. And I need to get my leads to the right person. And somebody says I have forecasting is broken. I, I, cause earlier it was very good. I was just trying a, I could see in a pipeline, I can, we can all say, Hey, this deals gonna close. We have a good sense that, but those things come, you know, get more and more complex.

and as the company grows, that complexity between strategy and keeping the execution aligned just gets more and more complex. There are a lot, many things that happen. Right. And. What we've seen is that companies that really Excel are those that can keep this strategy aligned to execution and can keep the things changing.

Right. So execution is essentially your it's. It's a feedback loop that comes in. Okay. Now let's say like two years ago when COVID hit, right. Suddenly. There's COVID like, what do we do? Our go to market has to evolve. Perhaps some industry will not target. We gotta re reorient the ship and you small and nimble.

You can quickly decide that larger organization takes time. Right. Right. And so the, so when you think of the complexities, it's driven by the, that Delta mm-hmm , which is, you know the size of the company, the number of people, the complexities of the go to market motion. Mm-hmm and. What I've seen actually companies do not so well is.

They look at each of those independencies as piecemeal mm-hmm right. So I might think I'm solving a forecasting problem. I might, but I'm not even thinking if it's a pipeline management problem or there's a data problem. Mm-hmm . Right. Managers suddenly say, well what happened to my pipeline? Well, your pipeline is still the pipeline, but you know what?

We moved this person from you to another person out there mm-hmm and now it shows up under the new manager, right. Or the opportunities have moved. Right. And just, they, they, it's a it's a systems problem, but it's viewed as a linear point. Problem mm-hmm and ops is generally not resourced appropriately and so they're essentially caught up in this, you know, like firefighting board.

And so like even the best guys, they're like, we know it's broken, but I'll deal with this. Guy's screaming

right now. not mm-hmm, not understanding that that actually the, the prob the, the, the, the, the thing that happens is most sales reps leave the company. Not because they couldn't make the money or, or they're sensitive to the ops issues that are, they're like, ah, the movement accounts, the movement I didn't get.

Yeah. It was not transparent. I make my money and it just, it just makes a chicken and egg situation and What I've seen is like ops leaders. Who've taken a systems approach. They do a lot better. Yes. Right. But, but that takes maturity. It takes being able to partner with the CRO at the right level to really drive home the message that, Hey, you know, this is not a whack of all problem.

You're not, you know just one piece. Yeah. Like people will say, well, My reps are leaving and I'll give you an example. My reps are reps are leaving because they can, they didn't get paid on time. Mm-hmm so we gotta have EQ system in place and I'll magically solve the problem. And I'm but you know, your compensation started the quota that you gave them.

Did you give them the right quota? Did they have the right back? Yeah. Did you get the best guy, the best territory or you had guy was a low performer, but he got a great territory. He's gonna, he's gonna make money anyways. Right. And so they're not, I think those things take time to unpack and we are in this such a short sprint that everybody just wants to solve for the thing.

And just like, they're like, I'll deal with this later. I might not even be around someone else's problem.

[00:14:16] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Yeah. I love that. I love that. I love you touched on so many different things there around, you know, resource, you know, we're not resource The allocation's not, you know, properly staffed or adequately staffed and, you know, trying to do the firefighting and just dealing with the complexity.

And, and there is, I, I, when I was laughing, when you were saying that, you know, oftentimes you're like, I know there's a problem, but I can't get to that right now. I'm gonna get to that later. Right. And I guess piggybacking on that, you know, I think we all know that we need that strong infrastructure, right?

We need well defined processes in order to scale and be repeatable. But with, you know, just this fast-paced environment, right. Change is constant. And so the ability to be agile be flexible is incredibly important, right? To your point earlier about, you know, when you make one change, it's like, it has this effect across the different teams and folks aren't focused in on the right things.

So all of these things are, you know, kind of. Building infrastructure to be repeatable and scalable versus, okay. Change is constant. We have to be agile and flexible. It's almost like contrary, right. To each other, which is sort of this constant struggle for revenue operations. So what are some of the, you know, the considerations you think are really critical for revenue leaders to think about or maybe to implement when they're trying to keep these things in balance?

[00:15:33] Dharmesh Singh: Yeah, I think my philosophy is, is. You know, Abraham Lincoln, somebody is quoted, right. If you ask me, give 10 minutes to cut a tree I'll, I'll spend six to seven minutes shopping the saw before I go cut the tree right. Which is just, I'm gonna take it and just go start cutting it. It'll probably take me 20 minutes to my shot.

Saws not shot. There are two, two things that happened. One is there is no proper. School or discipline for rev ops. So a lot of people are learning this thing on the, on the fly, on the job, and they're only as good as the last experience. Right. And as a CRO, as a leader, it's, it's super important to look at the experience in the background of the people that's coming into the role.

Mm-hmm because what you've seen is. Like we've got customers, you know, who came from companies like LinkedIn and other places. Right. Even Salesforce that moved around. And they've gone to smaller companies. They have seen the movie what happens at scale. Yeah. They can. They anticipate, okay. These are the kind of things you dealt with.

And I do not want to deal with this again, right? Yeah. Right. They are taking more of a systems lens. There are others who have, have grown with the companies. So the company, maybe in now, 2030 reps, and now there are 50 or 80 reps. They have never experienced those problems. So they don't know what to expect.

And so you can keep telling them that, oh, you will run into this or wrong. Well, they have not never run into, they don't know what it means. Right. And. They, they just look at each of them they're learning on the fly. So they're like, okay, I'm just gonna you know, listen to the latest go read of a white paper or blog post.

I think, you know, I'll hear from my friends, but there's that lack of of experience. And I think, you know, what, what you're doing through the ops stuff that's that's needed. Like I just feel there is, there is no code for revenue, operations, sales strategy piece. Yeah. Sales strategy has never talked about.

Right. But a lot of the ops functions. Don't think of sales strategy, actually sales strategy does not exist at its own discipline in a smaller company. It's only when a company becomes certain size. You'll have a sales strategy team now, cause the work has become so much that you need a dedicated team.

Mm-hmm so as a CRO, I think it's really important to understand that strategy drives execut. And execution has to partner with strategy as a feedback loop. And it's a CROs job at that at that time to to really say, you know, how is my strategy getting mm-hmm actualized? Not, not, not in bits and pieces, not in bits and pieces, but I wanna have a plan.

I can execute in steps. Mm-hmm totally. Time is of the essence. So the execution piece is something that we have to take slow chunk and say like, what is it that, that, that matters today, right? But the plan has to be thought through because you, the, the only real thing in every organization is the good market is going to evolve.

the way you, route leads will not change. Mm-hmm right. The way you solve for account data will not change the way you might run a pipeline. Reporting will not change. But the people involved in who's who were involved in the pipeline report, the, your segments might change, you know, who gets routed, that that is constantly changing.

And so you, what you're, what you have to really think about is no I'm building that capability. That capability has the overall process, not on its own, because then I'm just solving for that capability. Like I'll pick one, a routing tool that I've seen. And people are complain. My routing tool is not working.

I'm like, no, the routing tool's actually working most of the routing tools that they've, they've been well thought up very well designed. What is actually happening is good. Market has changed and you can't, your routing tool cannot keep pace with all the changes. So till then you, you, depending on it, that takes too long to do it.

Or managers are doing routing and, you know, managers don't know better. They're just, oh, routing sucks.

[00:19:39] Rosalyn Santa Elena: No, I think that's a great example, right? Because it's oftentimes, and it's like, oh, the system's not working. The lead routing is like a perfect example. I think that comes up quite a bit. Right? Oh, it's broken.

And then they say, oh, the leads aren't, you know, we're not getting the right leads. And, but they don't understand that, Hey, their processes, you know, their. Has changed. So the process and the systems have to evolve right with that change. And I love the fact that you're always talking about strategy and execution because you know, every time I'm sharing anything or talking or through different classes and stuff, I'm all you know, about tying back to the strategy, right?

Like tie back to the strategy, everything you do, the technology, the processes, the prioritization of those things. Everything needs to tie back to the strategy. Like what are we trying to do? And I guess kind of feeding into that prioritization and some of. That balancing of strategic with tactical, right?

I think rev ops professionals, if you talk to them, They're constantly talking about that struggle, right? To balance the ability to try to be strategic while managing all of the tactical day to day operational needs of the business and how to manage this is something like I've been asked quite a bit.

Right. And I've shared quite a bit of advice also. But I, you know, I think you have a chance to really see this live right in your work with rev op leaders and rev op teams. So what advice, I guess, do you have for rev. Folks who want to stop being that fight firefighter. Right. And start to be able to step back and try to be more proactive.

[00:21:03] Dharmesh Singh: Yeah. I, so I'll give them a very simple framework and I tell that to, even to our own team right at the end of the day, rev op sales ops, all of us, we, we are there to serve the sales people. Right. We were created primarily to take the take non-selling activities from. So, if you understand that, then the framework is pretty simple.

You gotta break down everything that they do into two buckets, a runtime bucket, and a onetime bucket. Those that are onetime bucket, it's okay to postpone them and say, you know what, I'll do deal with this. It might be once a year, maybe once or six months I'll deal with it. Ive planned for it. It's a runtime problems that, that like, Right.

And you really, really need to think about how fast you can automate it, right? Because you mm-hmm, at runtime will, will buddy you, right. It, you, the company will go from 20 to 80 reps and they're not building you know, your ops team to go from five to 10. No, that's not happening. You still gotta do the same thing.

And it's those run time things. Yes. That that'll bother you. The one time, all the one time stuff is a strategic stuff that needs to happen, but that takes time. You need, you need time to, to spend time to think about it because you're getting that once a year, once a year or once, and a quarter breather to say, I want to go back to my I'm helping my COO prepare, prepare for the board meeting.

So that board meeting happens maybe once a quarter, and you're going to ask them, this is how we performing. This is how we're gonna change. In order to do that. You need time. Yeah. You need time to spend. The only way you're gonna get the time is if you free yourself from all the runtime work. Right. So I always tell, break them down and identify all the things.

And like I said I put routing as a category category, one runtime issue that needs to be solved a company smaller. when a company becomes a little bigger. Now you have of territories. Now it's about territory management and then it's account ownerships and assignments. How are we thinking through of all those problems and say, these are all my runtime issues and I'm gonna solve for them and get free myself.

You know, so that, that needs to be automated first, so I can spend time on the one time activities.

[00:23:14] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yep. Yep. I love that. I love that. I think that's right. You know, when I talk about rev op you know, we always talk about data and insights, right? Quite a bit, especially in the context of, you know, being able to understand your business, be able to plan better.

And then, you know, with the pandemic in the last few years, right. Being able to pivot right. Being able to pivot where you need to, and, you know, Fullcast really offers. The ability for leaders to, you know, keep that finger on the pulse of your business right. And manage and track what's changed. So can you talk a little bit maybe about that?

I think, you know, from your perspective, you know, what are some of those things that go to market leaders should be focused on when it comes to data and insights and managing the change right amongst their business?

[00:23:57] Dharmesh Singh: Yeah, I think so we had a white paper that we had put together. I was driven through data.

And what we had was like, if you think of the core objects in CRM, right. Leads, contact opportunities, accounts Leads and contacts are extremely volatile. Opportunities are less, so yes, accounts the least. Right. And you've gotta have that lens and say, okay, if there are the most volatile ones, where can I get control?

And so if you're going back to the go to market, the strategy side, what's really stable as accounts. Right. So first and foremost, mm-hmm, from a data perspective. I, you know whether it is for account assignments, whether it's for routing purposes, whether all those things that, that touch a rep, getting a handle on account data is super important.

And the way rev ops leaders kind of. I mean first the mistakes they make, we buy lists from every place. Right. I've done that. small world, right? Marketing's got a list. Sales has got a list. CEO's got his own list and we are putting a bunch of accounts and everybody, nobody knows, you know, what is the truth in the nature of the account, right?

It's the customers or a prospect, is it in my strike zone or not in my strike zone? Just I got the universe there. getting a good handle on. It's super important because that impacts how you calve territories that impacts the rep directly in, in their confidence to make the number, because they wanna know, do we have a fair patch and you know, who's in the patch and do, do we, how duplicate accounts and all that stuff.

Right. So. Yeah. Getting a lens on duplicate accounts is super important. Is it getting a lens on account hierarchies is really, really important. And what happens with account hierarchies is people just like, oh, I just need a, I, we have no notion of account hierarchy. And I said, no, your strategy guys wanna know the share of wallet.

That particular account you go to market teams really don't care. They might, they might say, I wanna bring these things up into multiple people. So accounts and then contact, right? Those are the pieces that, that need to get done. The other piece in data is, is what we we've kind of started in. And we've heard this from our customers like this.

This was not something that I was, I, I came up with. On my own was our own broad discussion was the notion of SLA on data, the data decays. And so are you applying SLA on opportunities on contact on account and when was the last touch in driving those things so that you have clean data right. To work with?

Right. And so my perspective with data and insights is it's it's, it's, it's a, it's a muscle that has to be built. and ops leaders will always say, oh yeah, my data's bad, but nobody actually does anything about it. They just live with it. Data's bad. And you know, I'll have some intern who'll come in once in a while and clean it and yeah, that can work.

But, you know, whatever you do. Yeah. In six months it'll be at ground zero again, because you've not enforced policies that keep your data clean. I think that is the part I, I would say the go to market leader should be really looking at. Policies are on account on hierarchy, on UBS, on, on SLAs across, across the entire go to market life cycle to keep accounts, clean accounts and contacts, you can get a handle of those two things.

Others will still be better opportunity pipeline. I'm I'm a good manager. You'll be keep, keep you. You will be. Keeping our opportunities clean and not stale. But that's part of yeah. Test during pipeline reviews is like, are we building up stale opportunities? But those are the two, two things I would say that stress on.

[00:27:37] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. I love that. I love that. I, the example of the intern. Oh, That's pain pains me of saying a one time cleanup, because immediately when that person isn't even done yet, it's already, your, your data is starting to go bad. So, yeah.

[00:27:51] Dharmesh Singh: And, and what happens you need, you need to invest in. So like one of the things that in forecast we've done and we've, we've been, traditionalized this policy for all our customers called flack for review.

And one of the things is it is, is. Over and above the policy that we run, our belief is a person who actually knows what's really happening on the data side is the account owner. And as a CRO, the go to market ops leader, you need to involve the account owner and may give them the responsibility for keeping their account clean.

Now they know what's actually happening. They will tell you the employee account is right, or what is, you know, all the different attributes. And so flag for review is a process where they can just come in and say, I don't agree with this data point in this account. Boom. It comes in you know, we take it on as a policy and we, we, we upload that in a policy.

So that next time an account gets created, these are the policy, but that helps people stay out of the bad data problem.

[00:28:45] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Yeah. I love that. That's great. So I've been on my soap box probably for the last. Two and a half, almost three years or so being this champion for rev op right. And operations in general.

I feel like in the past, you know, few years we've really seen this rise of rev op right. Where everybody is talking about it, they understand that they need it, but they're trying to figure out how to implement it and actually maximize its benefits. You know, what are you seeing in terms of trends, I guess, and what predictions, if any, do you have for where rev op is headed?

You know, in the next, you know, six to 12.

[00:29:17] Dharmesh Singh: So that's an interesting question, actually, because I struggle honestly to debate between re rev ops as a, the debate that I have is, is a rev op a discipl. Or is it rev ops in marketing term? And what I mean by that is there's a lot of buzz around rev ops, but then you see everybody branding themselves as rev op have you've got companies like, you know like charge B billing companies, right.

They're calling themselves rev op, but they essentially do billing mm-hmm right. Yeah. And, and there's, there are other companies that will do rev op that they think purely just we are a forecasting tool or a routing tool, or like something, the tools. So. There is a, I think there is this as you think about, you know the phases of it, there's a storming norming and performing.

So we are right down the storming phase of the rev op world, where everybody seems to be on rev op, but nobody has a clear definition of what exactly is their own way to suit their own self. I think eventually as things start settling down, one of the question that we will have to answer is, is rev because rev has been around for a while, right earlier, it used to be finance, you know, finance was driving revenue.

Yep. And they had this thing called rev ops. Mm-hmm it's because we had the CRO title. Somebody said, well, CRO needs support. And we call it rev op, but CROs came from sales. So essentially it was sales. And we still mm-hmm, see that reflected in the sense that customer ops the customer success team, they're their own ops team and marketing teams are their own ops team.

And they, they still exist as separate marketing teams, but not, they, you know, I'm not sure whether people are calling them rev ops team or not. I'm not how to heard a customer success team telling calling itself whether a ops team calling itself team, they say CSR . Yeah. So, so. I think there will be there over the next six to 12 months.

You know, we will have, in my view, some more we need, we will, people will start asking more questions and they will around seeking clarity on what does rev op mean now mm-hmm that perhaps would see some sort of rationalization around organization, because even if, if I were to purely take the rev ops definition, as people came out, when it was.

Then there should be just one obste we don't need to have a marketing op. One rev op team. That's that does what happened? Yep. Because yeah. And it's hard to see that happen because the CS guys says, I want my ops guy with me, that's it. Right.

[00:31:43] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Yeah, I think definitely we're seeing a lot of people who say they're rev ops, but they're really just a portion of it. Right. Versus like, in my, my background, it's like I have go to market operations. Right. Which means end to end. Right. When I had a.

[00:31:59] Dharmesh Singh: That is a go to market operations to make more accurate definition of what it is. And I think, you know, I would, I would love to see rev ops become more like a go to market operations because go to market.

Then I, you, you know, there's a go to market strategy team. There's a go to market ops team work together. Right. But the rev ops as a title, I think, you know, I think over the next experi, I think people will start saying, is it a marketing term or is it really a, a, a, a, a discipl. Right. But if it's discipline, then it's essentially a go to market op op it's not revenue operations where revenue operations historically has been finance function, actually.

[00:32:36] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. So I think in a lot of industries, when you think about rev op, they think about sort of this billing, you know, quote to cash type of thing, but in the SaaS world, I mean, at least in my roles as rev op I've owned exactly that operations for marketing, for sales, for customer success, services and support.

So it's really. Along, you know, really following that buyer's journey and a customer journey. Yes. So it's really, truly end to end go to market funnel from top of funnel all the way.

[00:33:03] Dharmesh Singh: Yeah. But very few companies have, have embraced as what I'm thinking. A lot of people are still taking the sales op piece and relabel relabel sales op to rev ops, and they're still level marketing ops and a PS op sitting around them.

No, if you're rev op then yeah. Or it should be truly rev op

[00:33:18] Rosalyn Santa Elena: It should be end to end. Exactly. Yeah. And I think we're seeing a lot of folks who have sort of rev op and they're just like marketing and sales or they're just sales and post sales. Right, right. But really to unlock really that benefit of having that.

Alignment and that rigor and all these processes and systems aligned, including the data it's really having that holistic view. But I think to your point, it's like, we're evolving that way because there takes time to really build up the expertise, right. To have deep expertise in all areas of the funnel, because you think about takes years to build up your marketing ops, it takes years to build up your sales ops.

So I do see a lot of folks who have a rev. Title, but they've really only done one piece of the one piece, one piece of the funnel, right? Yeah, absolutely. Versus kind of having the end to end. And that's why we joke about that. There's only like maybe 20 or so of us in the, you know, in the world that actually have done end to end deeply.

Right. Yeah. And so but I think that we'll start to see the rise of more and more of these folks experience. Yeah.

[00:34:15] Dharmesh Singh: And I'm hoping that you know, that there were more of more of the filtering on signal to no, in the marketing term and the actual discipline of rev ops. Yeah. Right. That's that's the important part.

Cause like I can see how CPQ in charge B or somebody might say we do rev op and like yeah, you do billing. But that's yeah.

[00:34:34] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Do do a portion of it. Yeah. yeah. Yeah. But I look at, you know, sort of what you're doing at Fullcast is really that end to end, because you're really looking at all the different touch points right across, and maybe less about, you know, maybe a lot of the demand gen and stuff, but lead routing feeds into it.

Right. Sort of the ICP, understanding the strategy and then feeding into execution. Right. And I think that's where I think more and more operations professionals are looking for. That cohesive end to end solution. Right. So yeah, I think we'll definitely see a lot more of that.

[00:35:06] Dharmesh Singh: We are not a perfect fit for say a 10 or 20 person sales team because you, we, I think we are, we are a hammer look, you know, then when somebody just needs a little, you know No Goldsmith hammer was a blacksmith hammer.

You just got, just got everything in it. But if you're a company that's going from 20 to 40 and 40 to 60, just like growing really fast, right. Mid-market then you need a system in place and then full cash become the tractor because what are you doing is, you know, I'm I have a platform. I don't need to go to my routing engine every six months update, because guess what?

It's there. It's part of the territory, their trade people change. And it's just like, it works seamlessly. And you know, we can go all the way to, you know, 5,000 reps and we got our largest customers, got, you know, 3000 reps and they started at 200. So it grows with the growth, but. You have to think about it as a systems problem.

[00:35:59] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. I love that. I love that. So, well, as I think about the revenue engine and this podcast, I'm always hoping others will be able to learn how to accelerate revenue growth, right. Empower that revenue engine. So I guess maybe perspective, you know, what are the top, you know, two or three things that you think all CEOs and revenue leaders should really be thinking about today that can really help accelerate growth.

[00:36:20] Dharmesh Singh: I think everyone should revenue is everyone's problem. I mean, that's something that every CEO, COOs need to embrace. It is not a sales thing. It's, it's our marketing thing. It's sales, marketing, customer success, even product needs to be gold on revenue. And the thing that I always, we have the same lens on our, on our team.

There is one company, one goal and marketing needs to deliver towards that. And it's not about just, oh, we, we generated so many MQL, so question or so what did it generate? Help us get deals. Yep. Right? Revenue, same with product. Any features that you release, you should be able to really quantify that release feature.

It helped me save some costs. Mm-hmm it helped with customer churn or attrition mm-hmm or it it'll help add net new revenue to the bottom. Right. If, if we didn't do any of those three things and we can prioritize among them based on what, what the company's goals are, why are we building it? Right. And so I would say everybody should have that lens.

That revenue is everybody's business. The company exists for revenue, and it's not just it does not start with, you know, just looking at sales pipeline every Monday and say, we'll be building a revenue engine and pipeline forecasting. One aspect CSE can do the same thing. The marketing is the same rigor and engineering has to have the same rigor and as a CRO, a CEO.

You need to look at everything together.

[00:37:45] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yep. Yep. I love that. I love that. So as we, you know, as we wrap up, I always love to ask us this question and I always wanna know two things. One, you know, what is the one thing about you that others would be surprised to learn? And two, what is the one thing that you really want everyone to know about you?

[00:38:03] Dharmesh Singh: Well, I'm a pretty regular guy, so not , but yeah. I mean, one of the things that people do find it interesting about me is that I decided to go on an entrepreneurship journey when both my girls were ready go to college. But yeah, they've, they've, they've my younger one graduates in a week from. And so, yeah, I've been an empty nest.

Oh, congratulations. Raising three kids, the startup included. So, but other than that no, I think that's been pretty regular and I think nothing special about me. it's just uh,

[00:38:34] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. What about something that you want a daily grind of stuff? Yeah. Is there something that you want everyone to know about you.

[00:38:41] Dharmesh Singh: Yeah, I think always the lens has always been that I, I love to build things. And so whether it's a Microsoft or S in Singapore or this place, we, we love to build. Customers are out to north star. And I think one thing I always take pride on our team is that nobody gives a shit about our organization structure, our forecast.

We just need to serve our customers. And as long as they're happy, we're good. And all my customers, you know, I think then they probably know it, but we as a team a very customer focused and that's, that's generally been my NA my attitude to life.

[00:39:12] Rosalyn Santa Elena: I love that. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. I love that. And thank you so much for joining me. I really just appreciate, you know, so grateful for your time and just sharing your insights, your expertise. And I. Every time I record with a guest, I'm always like, oh, I can't wait to go back and listen to everything that we talked about. So I am definitely excited to go back and listen. So thank you so much.

[00:39:33] Dharmesh Singh: No, this is great. This is a good opportunity for us. Like after two years to reconnect you know I think you're doing a lot, lot of good things for the op space. Like I said, they're badly needed. Thank you. badly needed, like, you know, I sincerely meant that there is no school for ops.

[00:39:48] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Well, we're starting to teach a lot of courses and there's definitely a lot of content and webinars. So I think both are, yeah, there's definitely a, a shortage of good information, which is one of the reasons, you know, that has kind of driven me to share. And I've seen a lot of other leaders kinda step up and really share a lot of information as well.

So it's, it's great to see, you know, sort of that community, but thank you again for joining me. Appreciate. Yeah. All right. Thank you.

This episode was digitally transcribed.

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