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Lauren Davis

Lauren Davis

Director, Revenue Operations, Checkr

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Lauren Davis
Lauren Davis
Checkr Director, Revenue OperationsDecember 6
Never underestimate the importance of building strong relationships at work. I honestly think all of this stems from building good relationships with the leadership across the teams and showing how RevOps can help CS improve, operate more efficiently, and achieve their goals. The fact of the matter is, both teams are working towards the same goals. When I’ve seen situations like this before, I think it’s best to focus on the following: * Focus on the shared goals across the two teams. * Create shared objectives and initiatives. * Pocket a few wins, and call attention to it. * Focus on your key stakeholders and invest the time in building the relationship. Specifically focus on ensuring you’re aligned with leadership. Remember, we’re all people - connecting on a personal level will make it more enjoyable and collaborative. * Be an internal advocate for the team where necessary.
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3594 Views
Lauren Davis
Lauren Davis
Checkr Director, Revenue OperationsDecember 6
The answer is, it depends. It depends on exactly what you're referring to when you say "customer data," how your org is setup, and where the data lives. Customer data is many things: * Firmographic/demographic information * Contract, pricing, billing information * Product usage * Communication (ex. emails, meetings, calls) * Rep-created (ex. account plans, notes) There needs to be an owner for each of these pieces and an owner on the strategy of how to connect them all into a single view. The latter is often a massive project that needs executive-level buyin and resourcing. If it's treated as a side project that one team can own, it won't be complete. I'd focus on the business case and generating buyin for the initiative and then come up with owners for the subsets of the data. (ex. firmographic/demographic information would likely be owned by RevOps, sales might be responsible for Contract information, product for product usage, etc.). Select the owner for the overall project and continued maintenance based on the data infrastructure. This is likely corp eng, product, or an overall bizops/program mgmt team.
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3104 Views
Lauren Davis
Lauren Davis
Checkr Director, Revenue OperationsDecember 6
RevOps’ role is to understand the entire customer journey, each team’s role, the company strategy, and how all those pieces mesh. While each GTM team (sales, marketing, customer success) is and should be focused on executing and hitting today’s goals, RevOps is thinking about tomorrow’s goals, what needs to happen in order to scale, and how to drive consistent, sustainable growth. There are many reasons and benefits to work together: * Internal alignment and advocacy. A key part of the RevOps role is to ensure company and GTM leadership understand what the key drivers in the business are and where we need to invest or focus. * Resource management. When to hire, what roles, how to compensate for optimal performance, etc. * Insights. Ex. visibility into CSM activity and performance, customer health, product usage, etc. * Removing bottlenecks and driving efficiency within the team. Ex. removing manual processes, better data quality, single view of the customer, etc. * Program management of strategic initiatives.
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2411 Views
Lauren Davis
Lauren Davis
Checkr Director, Revenue OperationsDecember 6
It’s not uncommon for leadership to fixate on sales because it’s very easy to see the result: I hire one sales person, I get $X in incremental revenue. But the fact of the matter is that you can’t have sustainable revenue growth without retaining customers. For this problem in particular, I’d focus on two things: 1. Breaking down revenue growth to show retention as part of the equation. For revenue this year, what % came from existing customers vs. new sales. If upsells and expansion live in CS, break this out separately. The drivers of revenue growth are NRR and net new sales/new customer acquisition. Both are necessary. 2. Highlighting the impact of a CSM. As I mentioned, it’s easy to see the direct impact of adding a sales rep (i.e. their quota, $X in bookings/revenue). The goal is to get to something similar for a CSM. This will depend on what CSMs are responsible for at your company (e.g. renewals, upsell/expansion, customer health, product adoption). If CS is responsible for renewals, show % of customers that renew and LTV of customers with and without a CSM.
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2336 Views
Lauren Davis
Lauren Davis
Checkr Director, Revenue OperationsMay 23
I start by identifying my key stakeholders and operating cadence to ensure that I’m meeting with critical stakeholders and team members regularly, and we have the necessary forums for appropriate communication. I revisit this regularly - whenever there’s a shift in scope, a reorg, new hires, or at a minimum once a quarter. This serves two purposes: 1) it ensures I’m meeting with the right people and 2) it forces me to clean up my calendar and prioritize the important meetings. When building out your operating cadence, it’s important to pick the right cadence and forum for these. Start by thinking through the following questions: * Who are your key stakeholders? * What do they want to know from me? What do I need from them? Think about where your work overlaps - not just today but potentially in the future. * How often should you meet? Time is precious. Think about how often is ideal based on how much there is to discuss and how quickly things change. * Would it be more efficient to have a 1:1 conversation or a group? Things to consider: Does the individual show up differently in group settings vs. 1:1? Is building a 1:1 relationship important? Do you find yourself repeating information across multiple meetings? Are you noticing a game of telephone and miscommunication across multiple stakeholders? Revisit your operating cadence quarterly to pause and reflect on what’s working or not. Don’t be afraid to try something new if it’s not working. A lot of stakeholder management is trial and error - what works for one partnership might not with another. In Revenue Operations, it’s easy for meetings with stakeholders to turn into just an avenue for the stakeholder to ask for new and more things. Coming to the conversation with key topics is important for building a strategic partnership: items they should be aware of, things that are top of mind for you, questions to learn more about their business/perspective. Take the time to learn what they care about and how they prefer to operate. Finally, prioritize getting to know your stakeholders on a personal level to some degree as well. I cannot stress how important this is. When things are particularly chaotic and busy, it’s easy to jump right into it. I’ve found prioritizing non-work related things for the first few minutes of a meeting has immensely improved many of my relationships across teams, especially for those that maybe you don’t “click” with as easily.
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426 Views
Lauren Davis
Lauren Davis
Checkr Director, Revenue OperationsMay 23
I often remind people that some friction between teams is by design. For example, you want GTM thinking about how to grow and scale and you want finance thinking about how to do it efficiently. These are critical checks and balances to have in place. However, that can often lead to tense relationships. When trying to mend a partnership, I focus on a few things to build trust: 1. Time to reflect and calm down. This is crucial to do before anything. If the relationship is tense, it's likely felt on both sides. In order to be productive and work through this, both parties need to approach the partnership with an open mind, not point fingers or judge, and be able to compromise. 2. Connect on a personal level. If you’ve ever been frustrated with someone you’ve known a long time or you consider a friend vs. someone you’ve only worked with a short time, chances are you noticed a difference in your frustration level. Understanding what makes someone tick on a personal level can help you better understand them and also puts people at ease. Rather than jumping right into a meeting, take some time to check in with how someone’s doing or what they have going on next weekend. If there is a really tense relationship I’m working to correct, I often find setting aside time to just connect on a personal level is helpful: going to grab coffee or lunch, going for a walk, etc. Focus on building a personal connection with new stakeholders at the beginning - it's nice to have a personal connection to fall back on when times are tough vs. trying to build this in a moment of frustration. 3. Be transparent and vulnerable. Address the uncomfortable and put it all out on the table. This is something I struggled with a lot earlier in my career. I would write out what I wanted to say and role play the conversation ahead of time to prepare myself. While it’s never fun to have uncomfortable or confrontational conversations, the uncomfortable part is brief and things will get better after. Once I had a few successful situations like this, it made it a lot easier to have these conversations. Addressing things sooner also helps - don’t let it build. It’s better for everyone. Let them know where you stand and let them know that mending the relationship is a top priority. 4. Seek to understand. Take the time to understand the other person’s perspective. I often say “everyone’s getting pressure from somewhere.” Understand where they’re getting pressure from, what they care about and why. Validate their perspective and explain where you might have differing perspectives or motivations. 5. Quick wins. Deliver some quick wins where you can. This may sound obvious, but is sometimes missed when you’re dealing with larger teams: make sure you communicate the wins back to ensure it's understood. 6. Invest the time. Building trust takes time. Don’t expect the relationship to change overnight. If it’s an important partnership, keep working at it and force the continued conversation. Sometimes it’s hard to see progress day-to-day. Try setting a quarterly goal for yourself around mending a particular relationship and check in after a few months to see how things have progressed. 
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412 Views
Lauren Davis
Lauren Davis
Checkr Director, Revenue OperationsMay 23
We’ve structured our RevOps team so that we have horizontal functions like systems and data/analytics that support all GTM teams and then we have vertically-aligned functions, such as Sales Operations and Marketing Operations, that go deep in the teams they support. This allows us to flex resourcing to the parts of the business that are the most critical at the moment while also ensuring all teams are supported and streamlining communications. The vertically-aligned functions are the connective tissue between RevOps and the business. These vertically aligned roles straddle two teams: RevOps and the team they support. Let’s take Marketing Ops in this example: they need to understand what Marketing’s goals are, how they operate, and what their pain points are. They also need to stay close to the long term company goals. While RevOps is responsible for unblocking teams to operate today, they are even more critical in needing to see around corners and help the organization get to the next level. Tactically, Marketing Operations is meeting with Demand Generation constantly, if not daily. Key areas of overlap are lead routing, new tool evaluations and rollouts, coordination and alignment with sales, reporting, attribution, campaign execution, and more. If you're specifically trying to build a better relationship with Demand Generation, show them how you can help - provide visibility into lead follow up or campaign ROI to help them optimize performance.
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399 Views
Lauren Davis
Lauren Davis
Checkr Director, Revenue OperationsMay 23
For projects and initiatives, start by defining stakeholders and the level of involvement they need to have. I’m a big fan of the RACI framework. Understanding who needs to be aligned and how is the first step in driving alignment. Having one Accountable individual, or Directly Responsible Individual (DRI), also helps streamline communication. They should be responsible for identifying what are the key updates, who needs to know, and how to message it. More often than not, I’ve seen misalignment come from lack of communication (it’s often the first thing to drop when times are busy). Directly appointing one person for this helps ensure this step isn’t missed. Creating formal Tiger Teams has also helped us keep the key working members around an initiative coordinated and moving. Bonus points: creating smaller and/or cross-functional teams like this also helps drive connection in a remote world. Larger initiatives aside and speaking more generally… * Utilize team meetings and 1:1s. RevOps is already so cross-functional. Utilize the members of the team to get the latest on what’s top of mind for other teams and leaders. In the office, this happens more organically. In a remote world, you need to carve out time and be intentional. In meetings, go around the horn or discuss top of mind topics. Similarly, ensure you’re cascading any appropriate messages to ensure your team and stakeholders understand what’s top of mind for you. Err on the side of transparency and share as much as possible if you can - you never know when something that seems small mixed with another piece of information leads to a completely different understanding. * Make work visible. Revenue Operations works with many different teams within the company - not just Revenue teams, but also teams like Finance, Product, IT, and more. It’s impossible for stakeholders to understand everything that the team is working on, and oftentimes, they only see what’s delivered that directly supports them. Sharing a roadmap or more publicly promoting wins across stakeholders helps teams better understand the value of RevOps. * Overcommunicate. When you’re really busy, it’s hard to keep everything straight. No one remembers everything they’ve ever been told. Constantly refer back to communications that are important. Like I mentioned before, we bring our roadmap up constantly when we are discussing priorities and tradeoffs. Utilize all the channels too - email, Slack, meetings - people absorb information differently. 
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387 Views
Lauren Davis
Lauren Davis
Checkr Director, Revenue OperationsMay 23
I’m not sure if this is in regards to a wide gap between how you communicate vs. the stakeholder, or a wide gap in how multiple stakeholders who you manage communicate. On the first topic, seek out others in the business who communicate well with the particular stakeholder. Don’t be afraid to address it with them directly too. If you don't have someone else to learn from, trial and error works too. Sometimes I see people try the same type of communication over and over, even if it's not working. The important thing here is to be intentional - try one tactic, and if it's not resonating, try another. This applies to everything form format used (e.g. phone, Slack, email, meeting) to reasoning (quantitative vs. qualitative) to level of detail needed. On the second topic, if you’re managing multiple leaders that prefer different communication styles, there are a few options. One is to use all the avenues and cater to the individuals. This can be a big lift, so I’d see if there are maybe ~2 that the group can align on (ex. maybe a meeting and a quick follow up email with action items listed). Another tactic is again leaning on others to help overcommunicate. For example, we rolled out our internal roadmap and shared it via email/doc and held office hours to discuss live with anyone who would prefer to chat (2 different formats). We are still constantly referring back to this - it’s linked in multiple docs, we continue to refer to it in stakeholder meetings, etc. Utilizing others to help communicate and spread the word is a scalable way to overcommunicate.
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Credentials & Highlights
Director, Revenue Operations at Checkr
Top Revenue Operations Mentor List
Top 10 Revenue Operations Contributor
Knows About Revenue Operations, Marketing / Revenue Ops Alignment, Finance / Revenue Ops Alignmen...more