Welcome to the first installment of our latest interview series, Building RevOps.
In this ongoing series, revenue operations leaders will walk us through a specific challenge they had in their RevOps role, give actionable insights into what they did to overcome that challenge and their results.
Our goal is to have you walk away from each episode with tangible tools to help you in your everyday RevOps work.
Our first guest is Toni Heavey, Head of Revenue Operations at Ebsta.
Interested in being a guest on Building RevOps? Click here.
Toni Heavey was a first-time Revenue Operator when she joined Ebsta, having spent her career in the Sales world.
Toni was fascinated by data and relished the opportunity to dive headfirst into the ops role at Ebsta.
But with the variety of leads coming in - demo, free trial, AE sourced - they needed a process that could manage all the various types of leads and follow them throughout the buyer's journey.
Toni brings a unique perspective to her Revenue Operations role, coming from a career in Sales.
She has flourished in her RevOps position and truly loves her work:
"I have the best job in the world; it's like inception - RevOps in RevOps. It's really wonderful."
Toni was the Head of Sales Development at Reward Gateway, which tailors products and solutions for employee engagement, for about seven years and headed up the new business team for the last three.
At Reward Gateway, Toni led a team of nearly 20 and created over $20 million in sales pipeline per fiscal year.
Bringing the unique perspective of Sales Management to her Operations role, Toni describes her initial interest in operations:
"I loved the operations process; data with different behaviors and the human aspects attached to it. So I think the transition to RevOps was a natural progression for me. "
Toni then made the full jump into Revenue Operations when she joined Ebsta, a revenue intelligence platform.
Ebsta is a Product-led organization, which, according to Toni, "really opened my eyes to what you can do with data and sales."
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Toni's most critical task after joining Ebsta was to create a predictable revenue engine.
Her first step to getting to that "utopia" was to focus on the new business pipeline.
Given that Ebsta was product-led, they delivered an incredible amount of closed-won targets from previous years purely on a transactional model.
But, like with any SaaS organization, Ebsta had grown and wanted to start going upmarket.
To do that, the company planned on adding a sales-led arm to the existing product-led motion as they knew that would be the way forward.
The challenge of this shift was that they had leads of all forms coming in - demo requests, offline sourced, free trial, old opportunities, etc.
Ebsta needed a process that could facilitate product leads, marketing leads, partnerships, and outbound efforts.
They did not want leads disappearing into the ether.
Toni was laser-focused on creating a robust process for her sales team to route leads and make sure none fell through the cracks.
Instead of focusing on what they couldn't do, Toni went ahead with building out her ideal solution without considering roadblocks. She then worked backward from there to figure out how to execute it.
In making her plan, Toni focused on:
- How the pipeline should be structured
- How leads in the pipeline should be filtered
- What the hierarchy of leads in the pipeline should be
- How they would attach their different product lines
- What does the contact and prospect creation look like
According to Toni, "we wanted something robust, scalable, and a nice mixture of different models and frameworks to fit what we needed."
This project took place in the run-up to their HubSpot integration launch, so Toni felt it was the perfect time to move the company over to HubSpot CRM.
To measure the success of this project, Toni first wanted to see if the process works, does it make sense, and can they report on it.
Secondly, would they learn from their funnel and make more informed decisions in the future on things like exit criteria, are prospects fit for purpose, and can they make marketing decisions based on these insights?
Finally, and most importantly, does it create the predictable revenue that the company needs?
Toni created an incredibly in-depth lead process, paying particularly close attention to how it would benefit her SDRs.
First, Toni mapped out a full buyer's journey that included date stamps for each stage, as well as exit criteria.
Building on top of this model, Toni then attached custom activities and their associated KPIs to each stage in the journey.
Toni also connected the date stamps with the metrics from custom activities at each stage to map out "the path of least resistance" for specific pipelines.
The process also identified the conversion relationships and the win rates between the various activities in the journey. According to Toni, "this is where your crucial information lies."
One novel result of Toni's process was that, with this kind of granular data, she was able to identify specific traits to look for when hiring reps to focus on the different stages of the journey.
Lastly, Toni mapped out what she calls "Micro Sales Cycles."
Each stage on Toni's customer journey map had its own "micro" sales cycle, including things like cadences, plays, etc.
Along with the in-depth customer journey map, Toni also worked on a more sales-rep-focused playbook that helped get everyone aligned on the new process.
Free Sales Cycle Analysis Template
Though creating the exact mapping that Toni did might seem a bit overwhelming, Toni was kind enough to provide a simple spreadsheet that will help you get started.
If you are looking to understand contact velocity and channel lead performance against your sales cycle, this spreadsheet will help you plot your numbers outside of analyzing volume.
This should give you a good indication of where there might be process or behavioral improvements.