It’s that time of year when everyone is taking stock of what they accomplished (and didn't accomplish) this year, and we are all in the midst of setting our goals for next year. Luckily, self-proclaimed goals nerd Karen Borchert, the COO of Flywheel, is here to help. In this conversation with Karen, we go deep on the goal-setting framework she uses at Flywheel, the special quadrant she has built to help you plot all of your goals, and if you stick around until the end, you’ll get to hear about how Karen was inspired by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda (seriously). Want to hear more from Karen? Here's her talk on Imperfection and Commitment: https://youtu.be/AXUp59utM2o
Imagine you are inviting a friend to a party. You call them up, tell them all of these amazing things about the party, and then immediately hang up before you tell them how to get there or when it is. This isn’t far off from the way some people approach marketing email today. That’s where Siftrock comes in. In this week’s episode, Sean takes you inside Drift’s own operations team with Drift’s VP of Strategy Adam Schoenfeld and Marketing Operations Manager Lynn Tan. They explore how a new addition to the tech stack is driving more meaningful conversations with customers and talk through a tactic we now use to level up every single email send at Drift. If you want to see the email bot in action, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Operations” and our very own email bot (that Lynn built) will reply!
How much time are you spending thinking strategically about the talent on your team? If you’re Maribel Olvera (SVP, Operations at The Predictive Index), then the answer is pretty much all the time. PI is a company that specializes in how you can tie your talent strategy to your corporate strategy (and the 17 unique reference profiles that they’ve created to help the rest of us do it too). About four years ago, the company was acquired and changed the trajectory of the business. Sean chats with Maribel to learn how this dramatic shift in corporate strategy led to a big change its talent strategy and – you guessed it – its operational strategy as well. Is there one PI profile that shows up more often in Ops candidates? Listen to the full episode to find out.
Ian Mesey spent years in consulting until he made the switch to the practitioner side...and landed smack in the middle of a company in hypergrowth as Head of Revenue Operations at Bloomreach. In this episode, Sean and Ian talk about operational debt, the value of unsexy projects (like governance), and his unique approach to problem-solving.
Imagine you had access to data points on the way dozens of companies operate – instead of just the one you work at. You’d get to see patterns in what works and what doesn’t. Talk about an unfair advantage! Now imagine getting to do that through a purely Operational lens with companies in hypergrowth – how much more dangerous would you be in your role? That’s exactly what this week’s guest, Jason Reichl, does every single day. Jason is the CEO of GoNimbly, the first ever, subscription-based, revenue operations consultancy. Tune into the full episode to learn what Jason has to say about the complementary skillsets on an Ops team, bringing a design thinking approach to Ops, and how to draw the line from an Operations team’s work to its dollar impact on the business.
You hear a lot about serial entrepreneurs. But in this Operations episode, Sean sits down with a serial operator. Heidi Rawding is the Senior Director of Operations at RapidMiner and has been hired as the first ops person at three different companies. Meaning she's gone through hypergrowth and has built the foundation for an ops organization three different times. Heidi talks about what it's like to start an ops org from the ground-up, how she's built a community of operators, and why she thinks that every ops pro should have a background in hospitality.
What does it mean to be a COO at a hypergrowth company? A valid question for sure, but if you ask 10 people the same question, chances are you'll end up with 10 different answers. To find out why the COO role is so misunderstood, Sean talks to J Zac Stein – COO of Lattice. In this episode, Sean and J Zac cover everything from what being a COO means to him, the relationship between a CEO and a COO, and the rare but powerful ways you can match your own career trajectory with your company’s trajectory during Hypergrowth.
These days, the market is exploding with tools aimed at operations teams. So on this episode of Operations, Sean sits down with Marko Savic, the co-founder and CEO of FunnelCake, to find out what’s behind the surge and explore how one of those products came to be. You see, Marko is building a product that is meant to help Ops and Go-To-Market teams be better as they go through hypergrowth...all while in the midst of building his own company. Want to learn how Marko says Ops teams should be structured so they can drive more revenue for the business? Listen to the full episode.
A scale-up is typically a company that has found product-market fit, has created more specialized roles within an organization and is in the process of building a repeatable, predictable machine for growth. And while there are tons of books, webinars, conferences, and coaches dedicated to this concept – it’s a whole other story when you get a chance to talk to someone who’s actually in the middle of one right now. So on this episode of Operations, Sean and Jason Holmes, COO of Showpad, break down the processes behind a successful scale-up. Want to hear some of Jason’s biggest lessons learned from his time scaling Adobe and Marketo? Listen to the full episode.
On this episode of Operations, Sean meets with Sylvia Kainz, VP of Global Revenue Operations at Eventbrite. Sylvia joined Eventbrite when the company was 12 years into its existence and on the brink of going public– and was tasked with creating a RevOps team from scratch. No small feat. Sylvia shares what that experience was like and what she learned from it, as well as her definition for RevOps, how to give ops pros a home, and her recipe for the best way to organize and structure your RevOps team.
On this episode of Operations, Sean explores a common trap that Ops teams fall into. And spoiler alert – it’s not what you think. Listen to the full episode to learn what the trap is, how and why Ops teams fall into it, and four actions you can take today (and every day) to make sure you don’t get stuck in the trap.
On this episode of Operations, Sean chats with Kyle Morris about his unique path into ops. Kyle was an Army Ranger for four years before making his way to Silicon Valley, where he started his career in sales and eventually found his way into operations. Now Kyle is the founder of SifData and Kicksaw. Together Sean and Kyle cover everything from how Kyle fell into ops, why operations people should learn how to code, and why SDRs might actually be the best funnel for future ops talent.
On this episode of Operations, Sean goes back in time – to 2012, to be exact – when special guest Bala Balabaskaran first joined Salesforce as Vice President of Go to Market Technology and Operations. At the time, Salesforce was a $2 billion dollar startup going through hypergrowth. Sean and Bala talk about Salesforce's operating model and what it was like to be in charge of the go to market planning process at a large company with a startup mentality. Want to know Bala's step by step approach for building out the annual planning process at Salesforce? Listen to the full episode.
On this episode of Operations, Sean interviews Michelle Palleschi, the COO of Sendoso, the world's first sending platform. Because, as Michelle puts it, sending stuff is hard. But that kind of complexity is what Michelle lives for – she previously worked in finance at Cisco and Apple. Ever wonder how Apple forecasts new product launches? Well, re-engineering that process was Michelle's job. She shares a few stories from her time there – including how her team was able to predict the success of the rose gold iPhone in China. Michelle and Sean dig into the level of planning required when you're launching brand new products where the market demand is completely unknown, what the decay curve means for ops, and why it counts to take out the trash. Want to learn about the behind-the-scenes operations that enable Michelle and her team at Sendoso to send out 10,000 handwritten notes in any given shift? Listen to the full episode.
On this episode of Operations, Sean interviews a post-sale ops pro focused on customer operations. Together they talk about the direct impact operations can have on the customer experience. A lot of hypergrowth companies focus on short term wins versus long term gains. But for Cole Schofield, Gusto's Head of Customer Experience, that just won't cut it. Because short term wins never justify the long term sacrifice. It's better to invest in the future. So Cole and his team avoid taking shortcuts at all costs and take ownership of the customer journey from the very beginning – from implementation, into servicing, and all the way through renewal or upsell. Cole says it's his job to have the best understanding and the best analysis of that customer experience. To learn how Cole and his team solve for the long term, create target personas, and bring a data driven approach to prioritization and decision making, listen to the full episode.
On this episode of #Operations, host Sean Lane talks with Auvik Network's CMO, Jacqui Murphy. Jacqui and Sean talk about how she's scaled from a marketing team of one to now oversee marketing and business development teams totaling more than 50 people. Plus, why she's banished vanity metrics for good, her belief that the magic comes from the people on her teams – not just the data and much more. Tune in for their in depth conversation now.
On this episode of #Operations, host Sean Lane sits down with VC and former Salesforce EVP and GM, Brett Queener. Queener joined the company when it was at $11 million in revenue. Today, Salesforce's market cap stands at $123 billion. This monumental growth is due in large part to Queener's focus on specialization and segmentation – essential for the success of any ops pro.
Today on #Operations, host Sean Lane sits down with Okta's VP of Business Operations, Jake Randall. Okta's market cap is now $9 billion...not a bad company to learn from. Together Sean and Jake discuss how to actually measure your ops team's performance, scaling through hypergrowth, Jake's career path at Okta, what he's reading now and much more.
On the very first official episode of #Operations, host Sean Lane sits down with Will Collins, VP of Operations at Drift. Together they look inward to focus on operations at Drift – Will was employee number 13. So what exactly does it mean to work in ops at a hypergrowth company? You'll find out in this episode.