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Revenue Operations

RevOps Train Wrecks: 5 Quote-to-Revenue Fails to Avoid

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Anthony Enrico, CEO & Co-Founder at LeanScale, has lived through a few RevOps train wrecks in his career. We talked with him and Mark Lerner, Director of Growth Marketing at Dealhub, about the top 5 quote-to-revenue fails and how to avoid them.

When you’re dealing with complex systems, changing GTM processes, and human beings, you’re bound to experience some epic fails eventually. Lucky for you, Anthony Enrico, Co-founder at LeanScale, is willing to share 5 of his worst RevOps trainwrecks and how you can avoid making the same mistakes.

  1. Operational rigidity in the sales process
“Have the humility to allow for your processes to be questioned.” - Mark Lerner 

At one job, Anthony worked with a CRO that insisted upon a 20 step sales process. Sometimes, the idea behind a process gets in the way of the desired outcome of a process. Guidelines are important, but don’t overprescribe and slow down your sales org. 

If you’re a small startup, you probably don’t need big company processes. Even a perfect process will become irrelevant over time so focus on the solutions that are the right fit for your problem. 

  1. Poor Guardrails for Reps
“You’ll always see people dipping their toes over the line slightly. As your sales org grows, there need to be rules in place.” - Mark Lerner

Too little process is also a problem. Anthony worked at a company that allowed reps to make their own order forms and contracts. One rep was too creative and added a convenience clause into all their contracts. 

This led to a surge of unexpected customer churn. Tools like DealHub for CPQ can help avoid these problems. Lock down your MSAs so only RevOps can make changes before paperwork is sent to your customer.

  1. Overdependence on complex tech solutions 

“You should never trust systems completely. You need to do manual reviews and checks on data. ” - Anthony Enrico

Relying on your automations to track your entire customer lifecycle is risky. In a previous role, Anthony created dashboards based on existing systems and automations. What he didn’t realize was that a misprinted time stamp was inflating SQLs by 20% for almost a year. 

Avoid this outcome by encouraging data ownership. Manually review data to find anything that might be off. 30 minutes a month can help you spot check data that impacts your reports and dashboards.

  1. Not building for Scalability 
“Having a simple GTM lifecycle from day 1 lets you know what it takes to go from lead to cash and everything in between.” - Anthony Enrico

At a usage-based company, Anthony didn’t have a GTM lifecycle–no lead stages, sales stages, or entry/exit criteria. As they grew in revenue, they realized they had no data for planning. They couldn’t even deploy their latest funding round properly. 

Avoid this fate by putting in processes early so you can use data to scale your business. Don’t wait until it’s too late. If there’s a process that bothers you today, it will only get more painful as you grow. 

  1. Disconnected incentives 
“If you make incentive decisions in a vacuum without considering the bigger picture, you won’t realize the downstream effects.” - Mark Lerner

At the same usage-based company, Anthony’s team wanted to increase committed, contracted revenue with a SPIF. Without guardrails, customers demanded heavy discounts and threatened to churn. The SPIF massively decreased the value of their accounts. Before launching a new incentive, consider what could possibly go wrong. 

It’s impossible to build a business without making mistakes along the way. Fortunately, the RevOps Co-op community is willing to share their worst train wrecks so you can avoid the same mistakes. 

Looking for more great content? Check out our blog and join the community.

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