Accelerating Value
Accelerating Value

Episode · 1 year ago

MOVE: Market, Operations, Velocity, & Expansion


Everyone wants to know what the next best move is. That’s going to depend on where you’re standing now, of course.

But here’s a hint: You’ll probably need to build out your RevOps.

In this episode, I chat with Sangram Vajre, Chief Evangelist and Co-Founder at Terminus and author of The MOVE, about answering the question, “What’s our next move?”

Join us as we discuss:

  • The SaaS Valley of Death, a.k.a. hitting $10M
  • The 3 Ps of market fit
  • Why RevOps is essential for growth
  • Who is the best RevOps fit right now
  • Retention is the new acquisition

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Today, every budget approval is an investment deal. If you're a marketer, sales or business leader, you had to promise to deliver value and impact. Writing the wave to get there is hard enough. Finding your way through the storm is even harder if you're looking for that path forward so that you don't wipe out. You've come to the right place. Let's get into the show. Hi everybody, this is Mar extuce with accelerating value, your weekly podcast on everything that you need to know about creating value right. So we talked to people who help really illuminate the space which, if you think about it, most podcasts that talk about value they're talking about it from the standpoint of investment right at time, about the markets. There's actually not one that I'm aware of, and if you know of one, please let me know, but there's not one out there that really looks at what does a team do to create value inside of a company? What does a person do? So we talked to all kinds of folks about this subject, CEOS and CFOs and crows and CMOS and all the other o's, and then we also go further down in the organization because we have observed that that the old saying about where you sit determines where you stand is very true, right, and nowhere is that more true than the issue of value in the creation of that recognition of that bay. So today we have a perennial favorite back in the catbird seat, right. So unless you have, you know, just come into the marketing profession, or maybe you've, you know, been marketing to some super niche somewhere and have looked up for the first time, you probably know sang room and, as I have said before, right, there's a limited number of people in the world that are recognizable by one name and one name only. So I think that he's probably more comfortable with Bono than with Madonna. But but hey, you know, you never know. So, Sang Rum, welcome and great to have you back. I always get to be with you, mark I. Every time you do this. There's a lot of lot of really memory lane conversation, a lot of provocativeness that we know would bring to the conversation, and I do believe that most reason people don't pronounce is my last end because they can pronounce it. So there you have have by Sangrum, as well known yew. So it is Vasra in case you're one, right, but actually I do think it's more than that, right. So I think that a you've been very much out front in several of the major areas of thought leadership. Some of the big waves that have rolled across you to be marketing, and you have. You're very engaging and you're very positive and people like to hear you speak, just like they lay love it when we have you on this podcast. So I do think that that is part of the reason why people know you by one name, right. I mean it's an interesting phenomenon because I don't think it's one that you can create. I don't think any person can say I have a goal to be known as one name. Rights don't yeah, that really created. But you know, I think I remember this. Is this a conversation I had it set Goden recently and it was really interesting. I'm like, well, everybody know set, like you know, because said this is said Goton right, and and she's like no, no, not really, and I'm like what are you talking about? Of course he's like look, there are eight billion people in the world. I think about four million know me and and I'm okay with that. And you know, to me that was like you know,...'s all about perspective. How many people know? I'm like, all right, so in that notion I'm like they are hut. There are eight million people in the world. A hundred people know me, and I'm okay with that. Oh, absolutely, you know. I mean it's one of the best things that my father they ever taught me is that you shouldn't look up or down to anyone, because there's always going to be both in your life. Yes, rights of the chair, and so the denominator certainly is real. I think that. The other part, though, right, is that there's a lot of sets. Yeah, right, another, same room. Yeah, it's true, and there is. It's out of think. I don't know if you have. You don't. Have talked about it. We should probably move on from my name. But but people are wait a minute, they are like, you know, where do we get to the real part? That's grand power, though. That's what this is, Brandt, right. It is that there is a I think me and my son we were doing like. He's like, what does it mean, and we were looking at his name and my name and we Google and in some other language sangrum means lightning and vaudrey means bold. So you know, if I were to go wrap ever like lightning, bold will be my name. Yeah, so, actually I will finish this with funny story real fast. So I was talking with somebody not too long ago to obviously have heard a lot of your stuff. I've been exposed a lot of your stuff, but could not remember your name, and he said it's something like Telegraph, Telegram. I I said, you mean same room, but I've hard seagrum sagres yea, in that way too. Absolutely okay. So moving on here. So you have a new book out and it has a it has a very provocative title, I think, particularly, you know, in the wake of what's happened in the last two years, right, which is move and it's an acronym for market operations, velocity and expansion. But it has it also, it's you know, if you read the book, and I have read the book right here, what's your what you're really here for? Everybody who's wondering, there we go. You can buy it already second hand on Amazon. How did that happen? I'm still trying to figure that. Fart out of people by second hand book let the last week. But that's besides the point. Yeah, all right. So, so I do think that you're also encouraging people, after this kind of feeling of stasis, to move. Is that my reading? Yeah, you know it's. What I've realized is that everyone is asking the question what should be my next move, and the answer to that question is rarely the same answer for every person or every company or every stage. You have to align yourself. The in the basis of all of it is you have to start with where you are. Until you know where exactly you stand, you cannot figure out where you what your next move should be. What next move for somebody else of the same revenue but in a different industry and a different way of setting product is different than what it might be for you, because you know a different industry at a different stage. So I'm definitely been thinking about this for a while. And then there's an article. People can Google this up, like SASS value of death. That came out, you know, a few years ago and there are several articles now written on this, and that literally mark talks about that. After ten million companies go to die like mortally for the exit or the exit exactly, and I think we should definitely get into that part of it because there's...

...a reason why it's a it's a it's a good time to exit, but it's like pot all four percent. I mean point all four percent, like at the time when you hit ten million, you might some people might think, Oh, ten R and we got this. No, actually, you enter the value of death and less and less companies are successful all the way getting into fifty. And then after fifty, you know, I think you do do find some level of maturity, but that an a. At Terminus we've gone from zero to fifty. At partot, when I ran marketing there, we went from one two hundred. So I've seen this movie over and over of getting into the value of death and I felt even at Terminus we went through seven times the value of death right in the last ten to fifty journey. And this book really is to help figure out what state of business you're in, problem product platform. We can get into that in a minute, and then figure out what your next move is. And the beauty of it is when we discovered this, nothing that we walked in there was by ourselves. We went through a ton of research. We talked to Brian Halligan the Sea of hup spot, to Jeffrey Moore who rore crossing the chasm, to Nickmatta, who you know as a hundred million in revenue to start up company. So just across the board, V see's as well. And what we realized is that the questions are the same. The four questions that are market, operations, philocity and expansion, as you said, are the questions remain the same, but, based on the stage a few business the answers are different, and that's the most exciting part of this research. Absolutely. I mean so, given the variables, and this is sort of like we're you what you're talking about and what I deal with on daily basis around the the analytics, right, this is where these two intersect, right, because what you're talking about is a tremendous amount of variability and velocity and volatility, right. And then that's all taking place across all these different channels and all these different investments and all these different market realities right out there. How do you keep all this straight? In other words, is there a is there a North Star that you found that the kind of super sets all this from a perspective? What do you use your phrasing around GPS? Right, and this is this is literally what this book is really all about and tailed around it. It talks about like go to market maturity, and that was new learning from me. I think I've learned along the way of like part odd and sales force and terminus now and, you know, just acquiring five other companies along the way. We've just I've just seen this movie over and over again, but I've didn't have the preciation for the need to have a north star. And when we think about the North Star Lot oftimes we look at big companies like sales force and others and say, well, that's where we want to be, but let's just take them as an example. I don't walk through that as an example. For the three P's, for about ten years they stayed in the crm vertical. They did not move into anything else for ten years. I know and did the research and also was that sales force and so heard these conversations. So many people have asked Martla, why don't you go into this vertical and that that? Why don't you start marketing cloud and this and that? But they stayed in Crm for over ten years until they were able to get seventy eighty percent of the market share and then they had their next move, which was acquiring exact target, which I was part of it at that time, and they made out this is how we enter the marketing cloud and the marketing verticle. That's how they entered in that. So that was that was the move that they had and now they have customer success cloud and service cloud and development cloud and now they're starting to do it. So you you don't go through a problem market fit to product market fit to platform market fit in a year. You don't go. You you could be in a decade long in one state, for example. Another Big Aha moment around this this idea of figuring out where you're going, is we...

...realized and discovered you could be a twenty million dollar company Mark and you will still can be in a problem market fit because you haven't figured out the repeatable, scalable motions yet. Yeah, I think actually one of the one of the things that people really labor under that they shouldn't Labor under on all this is there's sort of this popular understanding about where you should be after two years or yeah, right years and all this kind of stuff. Right, and then if you actually look at the data, it's kind of shocking. I mean it's very free right, if you're yeah, if you're in my place, right. But you see, the companies actually start ups for taking a lot longer to reach these different stages and, for that matter, different levels of revenue than you know. Yeah, what you yeah, absolutely, and, as a matter of fact, in the book, what we did was to empathize with that an underscore what you're just saying. Mark, we created templates and score cards for different stages. So anybody, if you want to go, go to the move bookcom and you don't even have to sign up. We're literally letting you download with no sign of just get it to steal it, take it, because we what we realized it that a lot of companies at problem market state, to your point, start tracking stuff that a platform market company would do, which means you're tracking nrr. You're talking about multiproduct deal sets. Well, the reality is that you haven't even figured out your own product market yet, so it makes no sense for you to start acting like you're in a different state. So I think you want to give, through this book, permission to people to breathe and be okay that you would, you could legitimately be in the same problem market fit or product market fit for five years, maybe ten years, and that's okay while you figure out how you transform Your Business, which is really what the book helps you do, and ask those questions. But it's not an overnight thing. It takes here like the most interesting thing and the most I think this is the this is the provocative question for everybody to think about. The worst question any CEO ever ask any of his business leaders is this, if I give you one more dollar, what would you do? Well, when you ask that question to a marketing leader, guess what, they're never gonna say, Oh, I would put it in product like they're going to look at their own business of marketing and say, well, I'm going to run more ads, that, I'm going to hire a content marketer. Then you go ask to the dollar another person in the sale saying hey, if I give you that, they would say, I'm going to hire another salesperson. Right. So it's not a helpful question. But if you ask that question to revops leader, to a leader in the organization that it reports directly to the CEO or the CEO or a CFO or a true cro who, essentially this revops person would look at it and say, Oh, if you give me a dollar. I think, based on where I see the business today, because they will have access to all this data, say yeah, I would put morning product and here's why, and I would put so that that's but the question has been asked for years now. It to each of these business line leaders and a CEO would never get a good answer. Man, I totally agree with that. I do think that may we see this all the time with our customers. There is a real opportunity to predict and to optimize spend using econometric analysis. Right, right, Russian right. That's which is what undergirds proof and stuff like that. But the only group typically that is looking at it across the company as opposed to insilers, right, is going to be rebops. Right. So it's a occasionally and pretty advanced situation. Would be... and sales together, right. But what you rarely see product being brought into it. You rarely see spruces and support being brought into it or customer success. You rarely see product being brought into it. Actually, one one of our customers is looking at exactly this right now with regard to x. So they're framing it in the context of CX. So they have ten to fifteen major kpis around X. Yeah, and they KPI'd all these different areas that are customer facing that we've just discussed, and so they want to understand the relative relationships, the relative contributions and the way that you get synergies of contribution. And sometimes they also fight with each other in terms of creating the right customer experience and how to resolve that. Right. So, and then there's the whole time lag piece as well. Right. So these different pieces impact the customer at different speeds, different velocities, that time frames. Right. So being able to normalize for all that and come up with the answers that you're talking about here, I think is increasingly a rev ops proposition. Yeah, it is not. I've been staying about this is that I think your ups is the second most important role in the organization now. It originally the used to be either the CFO or the crrow being the second most important role outside of the CEO, I think, like I think right now, the second most important role for any organization in the future for the growth of the company. If you're serious about this, you need to immediately start thinking about how do I put rap ups in place which means, and if you don't know what Ravop says, like they are truly if you hire the right drapops, you will recognize the benefit of like an our case at terminus, we have Malory Lee who runs it. Up UPS. She in the last year and a half sheet every Tuesday we ever executive meeting. She runs it. She's the one who runs it. She comes in, spends ten minutes on the go to market executive dashboard. Again, that bood is available for everybody to download on the move Bookcom, but she literally has this dashboard and that's where we learned it from. For you and a half marketing, sales, customer success, product usage margins, like the whole go to market board right in front of you. I get that's what every CEO is looking at and wants to look at. She's looking at all of it, the next pipeline for the next quarters to come, the the hiring that she's looking at the entire business. I mean, Gosh, if this person, this person understands business better than anybody else in the organization because they're looking at it just like a CEO will look at it. So I think that grew to be the next CEO's in the organization. So I think it's becoming one of the most important roles to jump in. One of the things that I've seen on linkedin related to this topic of revops is that you see a lot of fairly substantial voices in the marketing ops community more so, and sales ups, really opposing the integration rebops. How do you see that? How what would you say to people who were watching that kind of argument and like where are you on that right now? Would like people saying that's a right human that's a very human kind of rest. Yeah, right, I mean to me, I think it's change. Right, change is hard, change is all this challenging. Everybody wants to results, but change is what they have to go through. That's the most constant thing. So here's the question that somebody asked me some time ago, which was sang rum, are you growing at the rate your company's growing three years ago? The answer to that question was now, because we're growing at a hundred percent. Like there's no way I was going to growing at hundred percent as a person. So I think that's that's a that's applicable to all the people who are serious right now. This is that are you growing at the rate of your company is growing? And the...

...answer of that question for the most people it is now very few people actually grow, which is why I'm very few people stay on the bus when a company had certain milestones because they're in a it's nothing wrong with them, it's just some people grow faster at it. Some people enjoy that more than some people are great for early stage. So there's nothing wrong with it. But if you want to think about growth, I think this is the most natural next steps. If you are to in marketing APPS, you want to actually you should focus on your energy to become a revenue APPs. If you are today as sales ups, you're probably most qualified person to be a rap ups today because you're so close to the revenue part of it. If you're in cusps, a product ups, it's a bigger leap for you, but that's really where you are going to be part of if you start thinking about it. So to me it's about the real basic human question. Are you growing as fast as your organization or you you want your organization to continue to grow faster? And if you recognize an answer that question with full honesty, I think you would start saying you know what, that's a better solution than my my little pot where I'm sitting right now. So you know, one of the thing about this, right, is that we could also argue that ops is being redefined right from being something that kind of keeps all the trains running on time and you know, all that kind of stuff right to kind of a super set of that same mentality that you're talking about where everything's going right now with proble ups. Because you know, if we think about, for example, the incredible importance of recruiting and retention right now and the way that that's impacted by marketing and other factors right, this is also part of the deal. How totally is I mean, we beat too free as when covid happened. As an organization, we literally went on this rallying cry internally that all right, people's budget or freezing and all those things were happening at that time. He said, all right, we're gonna get ourselves aligned on this notion of retention. Is The new acquisition. Going to try to keep every one of our existing customers. Will love on them, will figure out what we can do to help them. It is no longer about driving top land revenue for the next forcible future. At that time, let just continue to focus on our existing customers and not lose. Let them lose, lose customers or if they're in tough place, go help them, do whatever it takes to help them. Like that's the process we adopted and it is obviously served us to menacely well as they think about the growth that happened afterwards. But with that notion, I'll tell you a quick story on this part of thing. You mean, you and I may have talked about in our advisory conversations, but there was this company that was it right about, I think right about a hundred million, but their valuation was like half a billion. So you assass world, if you'RE A hundred million dollar company, a half a billion valuation is a slap on your face. Is that just means that you just have a whole bunch of problems going on. And this cel and you know we and other part of it was a closed room conversation and we're he's like, I don't get this. We just hit hundred million, like you know, how is it possible that our value is so low? And the analysis of all of that conversation boiled down to this couple of things. We're like if you would a forty million dollar company to that, your valuation will be over a billion dollar. The reason you're a hundred million dollar company valuation is half a bit. It is because you have about sixty million of your customer base and revenue that is not predictable, can not scalable. It is all like areas and use cases that I don't we don't think it's for a core part of Your Business and the support that you need to create for that. You have all these expenses that is just unnecessary for it. So you would rather have you as a forty million dollar company and evaluation will be a lot more. And people don't recognize it is not about top line growth and you don't need tenzero customers to actually be big. You need a thousand customers that are incredibly awesome and sticky and your network tension rate is amazing, over...

...a hundred percent. Men Mark. If I would have learned that less a long time ago, we would have been a such a different place, but it took took a while. Go into these valleys of death, you realize that, oh, the value of one of the value of death is your attention issue. Another value of death is you don't have a single source of truth, like rebops. Another value. So you just go through these valleys and and I think what we want to do to this book is that you can't avoid it. You are going to go through praying pain of transformation, but hopefully this book can navigate for your next move. So one of the key things that I really hear you saying here, and it's definitely in your book, even though I don't think you're using this word in the book, is the idea of sustainability. Right, and you know the markets are in turmoil right now. We see inflation pressures, we see all this kind of stuff, right. Do you feel like that we're people are need to go is more around this idea that you've just been talking about about, hey, we got to build a sustainable business instead of a rocket ship. Yeah, I'm glad you brought that up. Mark. I was having this conversation just yesterday at Atlantic Tech Village, that's a start up community over here, with their found with fun of the founders, two of the founders, and the reality is like there are it's been ten years they've been building this business like ten years and they just hit two million in revenue and they're like now it fears that things are moving, but they just hit two minutes after ten years, right, and I'm looking at them like okay, let's look at your attention, let's get at this, that the other, and they're like, oh my God, some of these customers have been with you for five years, like you mean, ridiculous, they only have three customers. That turned like three, like and I'm like, you guys have a true menistry. Awesome, you just haven't put more oil and fire. You have the back end of it. But they were so exhausted from ten years of building it and having three customers in a year, like because they didn't have the capital to go after it, or they were building this product on a on a shoe string budget. So they were all exhausted and I'm trying to cheer them up to say that this is your golden time. Don't sell yourself short now, like you need you you now have a new company. Pretty much. You should look at this is your first year of business and start here. But it's hard. So I think this idea of resilience and sustainability of Your Business and what stage you are in in order to know where you want to go next is incredibly, incredibly burning calories for people to think through it and go through it, and I think it's hard for people to do it. So I am pathized with that fully. Man. I'll tell you what, saying room, it's being great conversation. hit it out of the ballpark again, man, always have fun conversation with you on this. Man. All Right, guys, I'm sure you're going to have a lot of questions and comments about this podcast. Send to me or absolutely just contact saying room directly. He's pretty much in every channel that matters, and so we'll be back next week with more sounds. Good man, and maybe maybe you put them a challenge. If people listening to this, if there was one idea that mark and I talked about that was awesome for you, that was interesting to you, just hit us up. I will send you a sign copy of the books. JUST DM on Linkedin and that we know you listen and there was something, because if there's one person who got engaged in excited about the future for the career and the next move as an organization, adding mark, you and I've done our job absolutely. Thanks, man, the sooner you can optimize your marketing spend, the quicker you can start delivering clear, measurable value to Your Business. That's exactly where business GPS from. Proof analytics can help learn more at proof analytics DOT AI. You've been listening to accelerating value.

We're raw conversations about the journey to business impact. Help you weather the storm ahead. To make sure you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Until next time,.

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