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AMA with Matt Volm, Co-Founder and CEO of Funnel IQ, a GTM analytics platform, and Co-Founder of RevOps Co-op

Hey there, I'm Matt Volm, Co-Founder and CEO of Funnel IQ, a GTM analytics platform, and Co-Founder of RevOps Co-op, an online community for folks who love RevOps.

I'll be chatting about the Rise of RevOps, community building, startups and entrepreneurship. What questions do you have for me?

I've started multiple venture-backed companies where I've had to figure how to go from 0 to 1 on a shoestring budget and do a lot with a little. I've also lead RevOps and BizOps at a growing technology company, and noticed the experience was the same.

I've also shut a company down before (or as I like to say, pivoted to "not existing"). While it may sound odd, this is one of my proudest professional accomplishments and I'm happy to tell you why.

I've seen some success, and probably more failures and want to share these experiences with y'all. I'm here for you and ready to answer your questions! What questions do you have for me?

Join us LIVE on JULY 21st at 2pm CST

REGISTER HERE: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_tHF7SruuRyOxyTOM2IoDEg

**Add your questions to this thread to be guaranteed an answer!

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    • 0
      Profile picture of Sam.Schooley
      @sam-schooley
      ( 436 POINTS )
      2 weeks, 2 days ago

      Hi Matt–I got one for ya. I’m looking to level up from a manager position to Director (SDR realm) — what advice do you have for managers as they make the step from leading teams to leading leaders?

      • 1
        Profile picture of Erin ONeill
        @erinoneill
        ( 250 POINTS )
        1 week ago

        From Matt: The most important skills to have when you move from being an individual contributor role to managing people are around delegation and around empathizing with the people on your team. You’ve been in those shoes, so you can help coach others that are there now. It’s important to know how to delegate appropriately, to coach them and to help keep people accountable.

        The next step is to manage a team of managers. Again you have been in the role before so you know what to do.

        The challenges I have run into before are holding people accountable and about being able to make the tough decisions and have tough conversations. One of the things I like to do with my team now is to meet every week on Monday for weekly commits. This is the list of things we say we are going to accomplish for the week. Then, on Friday we review those things and talk about what we actually accomplished and if not, why. This is not done to point fingers, but to talk about what blocked us or what got prioritized instead. That really helps with accountability to the right things.

        You need to be able to be grounded in reality and make tough decisions when leading larger teams of people. You’ve gotta make those tough calls – they are tough for a reason and that’s the whole reason you are there.
        I also believe in being 100% transparent and bringing your true self to work everyday and lead by example. If people don’t see you acting a certain way, then they won’t act that way in turn, so you have to embody the culture you want from your team.

        The last thing I will mention is that it’s easy to fall into the trap of figuring out how to fix stuff that isn’t working vs when to nix the effort. It’s not easy to decide to stop working on something when you have invested in people or a program. You get to thinking, ‘maybe if I just do xyz’ I can turn it around’. The troubles you run into are sunk cost and you’re not going to get time back. You also don’t want to keep throwing good money after bad.

    • 0
      Profile picture of tgeisenheimer
      @tgeisenheimer
      ( 180 POINTS )
      2 weeks ago

      What are the biggest challenges, from a RevOps perspective, at PLG companies?

      • 1
        Profile picture of Erin ONeill
        @erinoneill
        ( 250 POINTS )
        1 week ago

        From Matt: PLG presents this unique challenge to folks in RevOps. It’s not as if you are responsible for enough already, but now let’s make that more complex by adding in free trials or a freemium model. This presents a lot of challenges. How are you going to leverage product data and your entire GTM motion across Marketing, Sales and CS, and how do you segment responsibilities across them knowing that a product led motion is different from a sales led motion?

        It presents this wrinkle throughout the entire motion that companies are just starting to learn to solve. It’s started a new category of software since current setups and systems are not built to handle this new wrinkle. There are some great startups in this space, such as Correlated Labs.

        The most overlooked problem that comes from the PLG model is there is a misconception in assuming that you are one or the other – Product-Led Growth or Sales-Led Growth. In reality, most are not on either side of the spectrum. Most will meet somewhere in the middle. My company, Funnel IQ is SLG, but we have other GTM motions that are more PLG focused. A company that I worked for previously, Ally, started as a PLG with a free trial and that model would provide great leads for sales to work. Then customers were converted to paid. Fast forward to today and they have done a lot to be SLG, but still have a big PLG component.

    • 0
      Profile picture of Macky Bradley
      @mackybradley
      ( 14.4k POINTS )
      1 week, 2 days ago

      Hi Matt!
      Nice to meet you, looking forward to your AMA!
      I do have a question: Does data play an important part of RevOps? And if so, is there a person in your organization that deals mainly with data? Like a Chief Data Officer?

      Thanks!

      Macky B

      • 1
        Profile picture of Erin ONeill
        @erinoneill
        ( 250 POINTS )
        1 week ago

        From Matt: First, find out what you want to measure. What you are measuring is the stuff people will care about. The first step is saying these are the metrics that are important for us, regardless of having the capabilities to measure them today.

        Make sure you have coverage across the whole funnel – Sales, Marketing and CS. What are the handoffs that occur? If you can make better incremental changes, changes in the conversion rate from 1 stage to another, this has a compounding effect as it goes through the funnel. Focus on how things progress throughout the motion. What are the inputs that lead to the outputs (examples are email accounts, sales accounts, marketing qualified leads, marketing qualified accounts, what channels are being used and breaking down the funnel by channel).

        Start with what you want to measure, and then figure out HOW to measure. Step one to get this going is maybe manual and painful, but that’s ok because you have to start somewhere. Don’t spend a lot of time trying to automate – it’s a trap – first solve the problem manually to get it done, and then you can figure out how to automate it later.

    • 0
      Profile picture of Adithya Krishnaswamy
      @adith93
      ( 250 POINTS )
      1 week, 1 day ago

      What’s your key learning in building an Ops community and taking it from 0 to 1000 folks? Especially with the challenge of Ops being one of those roles where people are usually too busy to do anything.

      • 1
        Profile picture of Erin ONeill
        @erinoneill
        ( 250 POINTS )
        1 week ago

        From Matt: The main thing that I found with growing the RevOps Co-op is the push and pull between quantity and quality. We want the right type of growth. For us, the first thing we defined early as the #1 goal of our community is that every single thing we do needs to add value to our RevOps members. Everything from our social posts, the content we put out, the types of events we do and the speakers we bring in. We ask ourselves every time would this be valuable to our members. If the answer is ever no, then we don’t do it. Even if it’s good for business, like someone offering us money. Having that as our north star ensures that we are able to grow and add members that are continuously getting value from what we do.

        We also define and measure success to our primary goal and objective. We measure this mostly through engagement rates and membership numbers and we also send out surveys looking for feedback, and we show up everywhere to engage with our members.

        Getting started can be the hardest part – what does it mean to start a community and how do we do that? We have all the tendency to over complicate things. I approached it like building asoftware product, what’s the mvp, the minimal viable product? We spun up a website, a Slack group and a weekly newsletter where we curate a bunch of content. I did that over the course of a 2-hour naptime while my kids were down, and that’s how it all began! We’ve been leveraging that model ever since.

    • 0
      Profile picture of Sfalk
      @sfalk
      ( 170 POINTS )
      1 week, 1 day ago

      Beyond experience earned, which qualifications, courses, or educational material has helped most with your RevOps journey?

      • 1
        Profile picture of Erin ONeill
        @erinoneill
        ( 250 POINTS )
        1 week ago

        From Matt: You can get certifications, and there are a lot of great ones out there. I have met people with certifications that don’t know much about the job. More important to me is the ability to demonstrate a breadth of knowledge, and to be able to give scenarios in which you had to think on your feet and solve problems.

        Another important thing to know is that it’s up to you to find the role that you want. No one will discover that for you. I started out as a CPA out of college. When I managed RevOps at Ally, I was given that role because no one else was there to do it. I had zero experience and had to figure it all out. And after 1.5 years I helped the company scale in revenue 8x-9x.

        Go out and find what you want and find what company you want to work for. If the job is not posted, that doesn’t mean the job isn’t available. You’d be surprised by the response rate of emailing the CEO, even of a multi-billion dollar company. If you craft a good email, there’s a good chance they will get back to you.
        I have done this and it has worked for me a few times. Because I did the reach out, I took the chance. The worst thing that could happen is you don’t hear back or you end up in the same space you were already. So take the chance; take the initiative.

        Especially on the startup side, many don’t have jobs posted, but they are actually hiring for everything. If someone takes the time to tell me what they want to do here, I will read every email that comes my way like that. If it looks like something we need I will totally chat with them.

    • 0
      Profile picture of Griffin Lee
      @griffinlee
      ( 400 POINTS )
      1 week ago

      What do you feel are some of the most effective data points that will help sellers accelerate their sales motion?

      Why haven’t Customer Success teams used Outreach as a mechanism to send messages such as auto-updates on new feature updates and reminders on renewals?

      • 1
        Profile picture of Erin ONeill
        @erinoneill
        ( 250 POINTS )
        1 week ago

        From Matt on the first question: Inputs, conversion rates and velocity rates. The goal on the sales side is doing activities that will generate some sort of output. The number of emails you are sending, calls you are making, number of new prospects you are adding. It’s crucial to have targets you are holding yourself to daily and weekly for these items.

        Measure everything from inputs to successful outcomes. How do they help you accomplish your goal? Measure how quickly it takes to get there. Make something up in terms of best guess to start and then measure against that. Put something down on paper – what you want to track; what success looks like. If you are thinking about efficiency and effectiveness then you will have all you need to be successful.

        That can allow you to have conversations grounded in reality and allow you to identify success or identify failure well in advance. If you are in the middle of a period, you can measure what your outcome will be at the end of your goal to see if you are on track or behind. If you are behind then you can take measures to catch up rather than letting it be a surprise.

        On the 2nd question: For whatever reason, maybe because of the focus on sales, the CS part seems to be forgotten. I believe this is changing quickly – lots of companies are now building CS software- Catalyst, Vitally, etc.

        The whole notion of recurring revenue is that it recurs, and the only way to do this is to retain your customers. Expansion and renewals are driven by the CS team. They are basically a different version of your sales team. Their target account list is people who have used our product. Are you using our product in a way that can solve your problems and are there any people in your company that aren’t using it that can. CS essentially does the same things as sales, so using a tool like Outreach makes total sense – CS is managing a book of business and updating customer profiles. They are maintaining regular touchpoints with customers, and continue to sell and deliver value, so lots of overlap there.

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