When should companies bring on a full-time RevOps person? My answer might surprise you.

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by: Contributor | Diamond Partner

I’m going to let you in on a little RevOps secret:


If you are excluding your Finance team from your RevOps initiatives, you’re making a big mistake. 


Let me guess - right now, you’re saying, “Finance? You mean, add another team & their data into the mix? Really?” 


Yes, really. These are common questions that I hear from Sales, Customer Success, and Marketing teams more often than you would expect. Any of these sound familiar?


  • Who are our customers?
  • This account wants to purchase additional services, but do they have any outstanding invoices?
  • Who’s been invoiced for this month’s services?


To answer these questions accurately, a Customer Success rep usually launches a mini-investigation into your CRM and ERP systems, clicking back and forth through multiple tabs, and maybe even reaching out to a team member from another department to verify their findings. 


This method works, sure. But wouldn’t it be easier to have a seamless, automated connection between your CRM and ERP system? Wouldn’t it be better to have a system that provided you this information without the click, click, click of searching for data? 


And wouldn’t it be best to accomplish this without purchasing yet another tool to connect the two?


Yes, it would -- and you can bring Finance and their valuable data easily into the mix using Operations Hub.


Automating the connection between Hubspot CRM and ERP Systems creates a seamless experience for revenue teams and finance teams. Long gone are the days of manually creating new customers in your ERP System and missing out on real-time finance data in your CRM. 


The first thing you’re going to need to do is either choose an ERP system that fits your team's needs or navigate to the Connected Apps section in your HubSpot instance to connect your current ERP.


Once the two systems have been connected, you'll create a few custom fields on the Company object to store system information from your ERP.


Think: ERP System ID, ERP System Status, ERP System Most Recent Invoice Date. But enter your ERP System name (like Netsuite) instead of “ERP System” of course! 


Now that you have created the necessary custom fields, you will need to set up a workflow to automatically sync new customers into your ERM system.  My workflow enrollment criteria recommendations would be: Deal Stage has recently been updated Closed Won AND Company does not exist in ERP system (ERP System ID is unknown)


You’ll set up the workflow actions to push data from the New Business Deal into your ERP system. This data push will auto-generate a new Customer record in the ERP system and an invoice attached to the new Customer record based on Product data in the Hubspot Deal.


HubSpot will intake the response from the ERP System API call to update your Hubspot system with the IDs and direct links to your ERP. And just like that, your entire Customer billing process is now closed loop. Your team can now easily understand their customers current invoice status and easily find the Customer in both Hubspot and your ERP system.


If you’re looking for a deep dive on how exactly you can execute this and some other advanced additions you can build on top of this using Operations Hub, register for one of our upcoming workshops!

by: Contributor | Diamond Partner

As a systems engineer, I have worked with many different companies of all sizes. While they have more differences than similarities, one thing they all have in common is – dirty data. Here are three steps you can use to say goodbye to poor data hygiene.

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by: Contributor | Diamond Partner

One of the challenges I often work with sales leadership on is solve reporting across their SDR teams.  SDRs are a really important piece of your sales funnel, and if you've invested in this type of function, then you already know or believe they can add value to your business. And still, it can be tough to put together the right framework that truly communicates the ROI of their efforts.


One point of friction stems from the data around booking meetings. SDRs control the critical part of the sales process where they engage the user before officially moving them into the next buying stage. There’s a lot of things to measure right here at this stage and this is where the trouble starts. I’ve learned that the most important way to solve SDR reporting is to get aligned on the metrics that matter and to automate the reporting process as much as possible.


Aligning on the metrics is so critical! I’ve seen this done a few different ways, but it all starts with leadership across your GTM teams coming together and agreeing on what’s most important to the business for revenue growth, what the GTM strategy is, and what metrics and KPIs to track to ensure success. Clients I’ve worked with have either instituted a revenue operations function to drive this work, or they’ve created an SLA amongst themselves to create this alignment.


Once you’ve done that, you’re on to the next hurdle: the right reporting setup. When I’m working with clients, I've found this particularly difficult to accomplish with SDR teams when they may want to report on which SDR sourced a meeting, which rep they booked the meeting for, and see the attribution for subsequent deals and which stage they went to. This is especially true with business units that operate across multiple objects throughout the sales process, especially when it comes to pulling together succinct reporting that captures everything you need in one view.


If you’re using Operations Hub, you can make this a really straightforward process. Using a custom code action, you can enroll a deal into your workflow and easily report on your deals based on which SDR scheduled the last meeting prior to that deal and which stage the deal got to all within a simple deal view or deal report. 


This coded action would search across all engagements for any associated contacts using the Engagements API:


  1. Find the discovery call event using the event type field
  2. Determine which user booked that event
  3. Populate a text field or a dropdown on your deal with that user’s name


If you’re looking for a deep dive on how exactly you can execute this and some other advanced additions you can build on top of this, register for our upcoming workshop!.


If you have any questions about this blog post, come to the AMA I'm holding in this community this Wednesday! More info here.

by: HubSpot Employee
1 Comment

I’d like to propose a framework for evaluating the depth of an integration between an app and a cloud platform as follows:


The Four Layers of App Integrations FrameworkThe Four Layers of App Integrations Framework


This model considers integrations on four levels, starting at the bottom with integrating data and working our way up to governing the collection of apps being integrated:


  1. Data: passing fields, records, or other packets of information between systems. This is the most common kind of integration between cloud services. But what each system does with the data is often undefined at this level.

  2. Workflow: standardizing or automating the flow of data and activity between people and systems. The simplest pattern: an event in one system triggers a sequence of predetermined actions across others.

  3. UI/UX: embedding elements of the integrated app — or the entire app itself — in the user interface/user experience of the platform. This gives users of the platform visibility into integrated apps and the ability to interact with them without disruptively switching between different systems and interfaces.

  4. Governance: establishing and enforcing rules and standards across all approved apps in the platform’s ecosystem. This makes it easier and safer for users to adopt and manage apps built by different vendors with greater consistency and control.

As we go up the y-axis of the above diagram, we advance to higher levels of cognition in the integration. Exchanging data is a relatively rote, mechanical process. Workflow incorporates dynamic behaviors. User experience is how we comprehend and interact with the combined products. Governance is how the collection of apps that we’ve integrated are managed.


Here’s a non-technical metaphor to distinguish what’s happening at these different levels:

  • data → nouns

  • workflow → verbs

  • UI/UX → language

  • governance → grammar

Data are nouns, the fundamental objects we work with, and workflows are verbs, the actions we take on or with those objects.


UI/UX is a common language for communicating with those nouns and verbs. Do integrated apps speak the same language, like two collaborators both talking in English? Or is it a Tower of Babel, where different systems present things very differently — even when they’re talking about the same underlying objects and actions?


Governance is the grammar of the language. Anyone can string words together in a language, but are they combined together as proper sentences that make sense? Good grammar assures us of a certain level of coherence to avoid gobbledygook. So does good governance of apps on a platform.


There’s a wide range of depth and elegance in how different platforms implement these four layers. Shallow integrations give you Dr. Seuss. Deep integrations give you Shakespeare.


What do you think about this? What would you change, or what would you add? Give me feedback - let me know in the comments.


Working in an Operations role can be challenging, since you are typically reliant on a part of another department’s budget to achieve your objectives and end up having to build a business case with Sales, Marketing, or IT. (Marketing has nothing to complain about in comparison!)


Below are a few of my thoughts on how to change the perception of your business to bring Operations to the forefront. (Without having something break!)


What is the current perception of Operations?


  1. Firefighters: Fix a technology problem created by any part of the organization, after they have tried unsuccessfully to fix it themselves.

  2. Software Installers: Implement software that a department purchased. “We Bought “X” software and it needs to be up and running by the end of the week.”

  3. Reaction-based: A services organization to react to problems, rather than proactively identifying areas of improvement and preventing problems.


How do you change it?


The old saying of “dress for the job that you want instead of the one that you have” really applies to Operations. If you want to be perceived like other departments in your organization, you need to do the activities that they do regularly so that you are seen in the same way. (Watch out Sales and Marketing!)


Our current economic climate presents a golden opportunity for Operations since companies are looking to reduce budgets and headcount. That is typically achieved through making processes more efficient and relying more on technology to take over repetitive tasks. 


Below are a few example of ways to increase your exposure:


  • Analyze the Sales process and identify what parts can be made more efficient. Examples include entering data, segmenting prospects by engagement, qualified, etc., and automating follow-up tasks. Then, present those findings to leadership.


  • Pull together your 12 month operations plan.  You have likely received requests from all across the organization for help. Consolidate and prioritize those items into a plan with budget, necessary resources, and anticipated results.  Most other departments do this level of planning, and so should Operations.


  • Interview the Sales, Marketing, Product, and IT teams to understand if there are challenges they have been struggling with that Operations can solve with technology and establishing processes.  Tying operations initiatives directly to pain points is a great way to show you are proactive and will help change the perception.


I would love to get your thoughts on specific challenges you’re having or other ideas that you’ve used to successfully get a seat at the table. If you need someone to talk through your challenges we are all ears

by: HubSpot Employee

I honestly can't believe it's July and that we have to start 2021 annual planning here at HubSpot. I mean...with all the uncertainty from COVID it feels like we still havent't finished the 2020 plan! 


While the rest of my peers are enjoying the summer and taking time off, I'm enjoying spreadsheets and spending time on demand forecasts. But hey, that's @#OpsLife.


Recently I've been thinking about what it takes to build an amazing annual plan. What do you think the most important inputs are? I’ll start with three big revelations that have transformed how we think about planning at HubSpot.


Strategy is a choice. And alignment eats strategy for lunch. If you’re like me, you want it all. You want to invest in all the great ideas your team has, not to mention you want to help all your business partners achieve their goals. But this is not a strategy and no way to plan. 


Our new Chief Customer Officer Yamini Rangan has approached planning through the lens of choice. She said, “Strategy is a choice. And alignment eats strategy for lunch.” 


She helped us realize that our investments were too spread out, and that we needed to focus far more on our top priorities. She created a forum for debate, challenged us to bring data to the table, and forced us to choose where we wanted to win.


In some cases, we didn’t agree. She was ok with this, but once a choice was made asked us to commit. She stressed that this alignment is the most important thing. We are already off to a stronger start in our 2021 planning because of it.


Stop supporting Silos and start spinning the Flywheel. Many years ago we grew passionate about the (admittedly cheesy-sounding) concept of “smarketing” at HubSpot to break down the silo between sales and marketing. We aligned goals, communicated regularly, and focused on shared success. It was magical.


Last year, we took it a step further and added Customer Success to the flywheel. We aligned segmentation, eliminated conflicting incentives, and asked for the system improvements that would benefit the whole rather than the parts.  It was transformative to how we plan.


Bad systems? Bad strategy.  Speaking of system improvements, we had a real breakthrough in our thinking this year. For years we have compiled lists of system priorities from every department. And for years, we have been disappointed in the outcome. Turns out activity doesn’t equal impact, and when it comes to systems, lists don’t equal a strategy. We realized that the all system investments needed to be driven by a clear, long-term go-to-market strategy. We started there, and are already seeing high impact, cross-team improvements taking shape.


Do you agree with these? What other strategies can you offer for improving the annual planning process?