Revenue Operations

Hey marketing, you're not there JUST to attract leads

matt (RevOps Co-op): Today we're gonna chat with Angela Earl (RFPIO) the VP of Marketing at RFPIO...discussing all things marketing and RevOps, like how the job of marketing is not to JUST attract leads

Angela Earl (RFPIO)

👋 Hi everyone. I've loved being part of this community. I came up through marketing operations and so I've have always been a bit of a data/systems/process junkie I suppose


matt (RevOps Co-op)

once an ops nerd, always an ops nerd 🤓


Angela Earl (RFPIO)

Haha, gladly so

RFPIO has been a ride. I joined officially 45 days before the world turned upside down.  We're a full team of 34, on two continents and three time zones


matt (RevOps Co-op): How has it been supporting the marketing function at a hypergrowth company like that, especially given your Ops background and experience?

I’d love to know what you walked into when you started, and how things have evolved since you've gotten there.


Angela Earl (RFPIO) 

Interesting 😂

But it really has. We have a central ops team... and they aren't a part of marketing which is new for me.

matt (RevOps Co-op): Are there trade offs when it comes to centralized vs. team specific ops support?


Angela Earl (RFPIO) 

When I arrived on scene, the company had tripled in bookings the last two years and was aiming to double in 2020. The team was split geographically but less than 20 people in total.

The goals were adjusted for sales when the pandemic hit, but marketing kept our existing ones. And just pushed as hard as we could.

Centralized teams usually have the benefit of all getting in a room.  Collaboration is easier. Communication is easier (desk drop ins etc.) but with remote work, those benefits went away. In some ways the pandemic was good for our team connection... No one felt "left out" or isolated because we were all in the same boat,

That said, communication had to change. I had to learn to keep everyone informed in new ways. And the team had to really learn to manage all the communication coming at them through slack, email, linkedin etc


matt (RevOps Co-op): that's very interesting. How did this impact the marketing to sales hand off? and what is the demand gen engine for RFPIO? is it marketing led? sales led? mix of both?


Angela Earl (RFPIO)

Our hand off is at the point that a demo is scheduled. And that didn't change. But

The prospects needs and expectations changed

And so that has taken some navigating

The last thing anyone (almost) wants is another zoom meeting


matt (RevOps Co-op)

haha so true


Angela Earl (RFPIO) 

So we've  had to look at ways to lessen the number of steps required to engage our team.

We also had to really decide what we ultimately wanted to happen... and only capture at certain points. "Track everything" was going to ruin the customer experience and ultimately kill our conversion rates.

And since we sign up for 90%+ of the pipeline (and generated 97% last year on average) that's a lot on our shoulders.

Read: Don't screw this up lol

matt (RevOps Co-op): So what were those things you decided to measure/capture and why did you decide those were the right things?


Angela Earl (RFPIO)

We are heavily an inbound shop, so we still captured where the conversions were coming from by channel. We had to continually test new ways to keep volume up and this was key in choosing where to spend

We set aside the need for MQL to discovery call, calls, emails at least for 2020 (we're talking about bringing some back now)

And we just focused on # of MQL by channel, # of demos scheduled, and # of deals created and of course revenue/bookings that's why we're all here at the end of the day

We ungated everything which I vaguely remember giving my head of demand a mild heart attack 😆 not really, but he was certainly nervous about it


matt (RevOps Co-op): Did it work? You said you signed up for the same target you had going into pandemic, so were you able to hit your targets with this approach?


Angela Earl (RFPIO) 

We hit 75% of the original target, and drove 97% of pipeline for the entire global team. 🤷‍♀️


matt (RevOps Co-op) 

Niiiiicccccccceeeeeeeee, that's pretty darn good

Angela Earl (RFPIO) 

Sweat equity. haha


matt (RevOps Co-op): So main question on the above metrics - you said you took out some activity metrics like disco cals, emails, etc....did you notice a gap in understanding what activities drove the pipeline that you generated?


Angela Earl (RFPIO) 

The digital team had to manage flow and volume daily. We doubled down on our webinar program.

There was of course a gap but we had to get comfortable with it and by doing so we didn't get lost in the detail.

Are we driving more leads and are those leads converting to pipe that became our total focus *in demand gen


matt (RevOps Co-op) 

I really like the focus there


Angela Earl (RFPIO) 

we also launched a rebrand, and created and launched an industry event last year


matt (RevOps Co-op) 

I feel like we all have a tendency to overcomplicate things, a lot of time unnecessarily, but focusing on lead gen and what's converting to pipe sure provides a lot of clarity

actually question for you on the inbound generation or i guess marketing generation and how marketing can enable and support the sales team with content i've heard you mention that a lot of times, marketing generated content never gets used by the sales team as a marketer, how do you fix that problem?


Angela Earl (RFPIO)

Agree. Even if its not just two or three, but a short list of KPIs that matter most, that level of focus allowed very quick decision making 75% of marketing content according to Forrester 😦 

Content has never been easier to create, that's the problem. And the oppty

Everyone's cranking it out... more, more, more (for those of us over 40, hear Billy Idol)

I think too often as marketers we build "what they want" but we never ask what they want and/or determine who THEY are sales... ask sales. Solve a problem.

Are deals getting stuck mid cycle? If so why. Do a closed/lost analysis then create collateral to solve it.

Instead of assuming your really awesome ebook (what is an ebook anyway) is going to be AMAZING and everyone is going to 💖 it. 

Content with purpose... that you take time and input to create would be hard to ignore And testing... not to get on a soapbox but get a few sales people to try out the asset and make sure it really does what you think it will then use them as champions.


matt (RevOps Co-op): That's really good stuff...in your experience at RFPIO, when it comes to discovery around problems that could be solved with content, does that responsibility lie with marketing? With sales? or with RevOps? for example, is it RevOps that says "hey, we have a dip in conversion rates at this point in our sales cycle, why?"


Angela Earl (RFPIO)

Solving problems is everyone's responsibility. But marketing, and especially operations is in a unique position. We sit at an intersection where we get to see the fully lifecycle of things.

I think anyone should be able to noitce the dip and point it out but that takes trust and vulnerability that not all teams have so you work on it what we say < how we say it 🙂 Mom new best haha.


matt (RevOps Co-op): haha so true ☝ When it comes to a centralized ops team and everyone operating in a pandemic, how are you staying aligned with sales and operations? are you meeting weekly?


Angela Earl (RFPIO) 

#nomoremeetings lol


matt (RevOps Co-op): What sort of stuff do you review regularly and why?


Angela Earl (RFPIO) 

We have a centralized project management tool we track everything in. And a slack channel to share updates and keep everyone informed. We're lucky at RFPIO there is a ton of trust. we can all openly discuss things so we keep most things in public channels and so the teams can even see how the change is made


matt (RevOps Co-op) 

Love that I’m a big believer in transparency as well and what you mentioned before - how you say things and being respectful - I think that coupled with transparency is a recipe for success


Angela Earl (RFPIO)

One of our values is S4 (see something say something) which could easily be corporate BS (er jargon) but we live it out. Everyone can point anything out. We have an email s4@rfpio... and it gets SO. MANY. MESSAGES.

Tone. Empathy. Respect. All increased as a result of the pandemic and I really hope don't go away.

I love that we all get to (finally) be human helps actually get things done. 

"Hey, I want to help but capturing that every time is taking a ton of time" <-- imagine if an SDR could actually say that and be heard


matt (RevOps Co-op): Couldn’t agree more. Are you expecting a shift at all in 2021 when it comes to marketing generated pipeline? Or is your target only growing? And how are you approaching things this year if different from last year?


Angela Earl (RFPIO) 

Only up from here 🙂 

We have really big growth goals this year. And we're continuing the category work we started last year.... and our space is changing crazy fast.... so lots to do. I'd say we're...

Doubling down where we saw success

Focusing on fewer relationships and channels but going deeper and really concentrating on high impact campaigns vs. volume

Do only those things we can do excellent was my advice to the team at SKO


matt (RevOps Co-op)

so focus focus focus


Angela Earl (RFPIO)

100%


matt (RevOps Co-op): Any planned changes on the ops front? either how you work together or plan to partner this year?


Angela Earl (RFPIO)

Well I can't say who but we just make our first marketing ops hire on the marketing team (she accepted yesterday) and we are very excited.

We're also hiring for a channel marketing role and will be building out a full channel program. And a customer marketing role in order to be the best partner we can be there.


matt (RevOps Co-op) 

Niiiiiiiiiiiccccccceeeeeeeee. now that's a full lifecycle marketing program right there ☝


Angela Earl (RFPIO) 

And I need 3 new SDRs so..


matt (RevOps Co-op) 

so if i had to guess you'll probably end the year a much larger company then when you started 🤷‍♂️ 


Angela Earl (RFPIO) 

We grew by over 40% in 2020, and I don't see things slowing down. Every team is hiring, in fact we have the fewest open reqs I think


matt (RevOps Co-op): That's good stuff Angela...last question for you...given what you've worked through and built during the pandemic at RFPIO, what parting wisdom would you have for RevOps teams and how to best partner/work with their marketing teams?


Angela Earl (RFPIO)

Foster good relationships and trust so that you can keep communication lines open. Hesitated because it sounds trite but its truth. You can have the answers. And if you don't have influence, no one will listen, you won't be able to implement, and it won't matter how "right" you were


matt (RevOps Co-op) 

💯  that probably applies to every role / function in any company, but especially true here


Angela Earl (RFPIO) 

Agree. Ops has to manage change in ways other teams can gloss over.


matt (RevOps Co-op) 

awesome...well thanks so much for spending a little bit of time with us this morning, this was a lot of fun! But as we heard today, sounds like you have some pipeline to generate 😉 


Angela Earl (RFPIO) 

Thanks for having me here. Shout out to the guy that made me google "AMA" lol 😆 


matt (RevOps Co-op)

We'll be pulling the transcript though and posting to our website in a few days, haha that's what i'm hear for ☝


Angela Earl (RFPIO) 

🙏 👯‍♂️

matt (RevOps Co-op) 

Thanks so much Angela Earl

Related posts

Join the Co-op!

Or