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Sowmya Srinivasan

Sowmya Srinivasan

Vice President of Revenue Operations, HubSpot

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Sowmya Srinivasan
Sowmya Srinivasan
HubSpot Vice President of Revenue OperationsDecember 21
The typical entry into a revops career is as an analyst. This could be a functional analyst within functional operational units such as a marketing , Sales ops /customer success or a data/automation/systems analyst progressing on the technical front. Once you have enough experience/proficiency under your belt , you could continue on an individual contributor track establishing yourself as a strategist or you could transition into mid/senior level revops roles where you would be responsible for developing and implementing strategies to drive revenue growth/efficiency. Further growth on the same track could mean overall strategic & operational responsibility of a function such as Head of Sales Ops, Head of Marketing Ops, Heads of CS Strategy & Ops, Head of GTM Systems and progressing all the way to a CRO/COO! Having shared this, I would also add there is no “typical career path”, you orchestrate your career and as you progress in your career - you could at any point transition into a functional leadership role.
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Sowmya Srinivasan
Sowmya Srinivasan
HubSpot Vice President of Revenue OperationsDecember 21
There are 3 skills that I would say are very desirable & transferable for a career in Revops - * Analytical Skills/acumen- The ability to analyze data, leverage data to drive decisions, infer insights to drive business impact is critical for a revops organization! Solving problems, leveraging data to answer key business questions, identifying patterns and trends to surface risks or opportunities for growth for the organization is a great value add! * Project Management Skills - Ability to plan, connect strategy to execution, manage key initiatives across multiple departments/stakeholders by driving alignment is critical. Every revops organization has a planning unit who are responsible for understanding organizational objectives, cascading/breaking objectives into concise goals with the right frameworks and designing the operating mechanism to measure and track progress by identifying the right KPIs & outcomes to deliver! * Technical Skills (Systems/Automation) - Revops is all about driving non-linear growth for an organization and identifying opportunities to drive rep efficiency and effectiveness is the biggest driver for that. Having the technical proficiency to design the right tools, systems and processes to help fuel growth and drive efficiency is highly desirable! Apart from these, the other valuable skills are communication, storytelling (insights -> impact) , ability to deal with ambiguity to name a few more!
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Sowmya Srinivasan
Sowmya Srinivasan
HubSpot Vice President of Revenue OperationsDecember 21
The must have for a revenue operations leader data driven decision making and the ability to turn data into insights and insights to impact! Connecting the dots, identifying risks and opportunities to fuel growth is a differentiator! Another must have as a leader is dealing with ambiguity ! Revops at its best, is Solving complex problems )at times with inadequate information), designing initiatives, setting objects and breaking organizational objectives into byte-size consumable chunks for the rest of the organization and mobilizing change across departments working with a wide-variety of stakeholders and constantly shifting priorities. How to do this is not a series of steps or a simple playbook, it requires one to look beyond what's possible and operate in a state of managed ambiguity (don’t pass chaos or complexity to your teams or stakeholders). This is an important differentiator to set yourself apart as an effective leader! In terms of soft skills - effective communication, ability to simplify and communicate vision/ideas clearly, good stakeholder management, collaboration and adaptability to change are all valuable!
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Sowmya Srinivasan
Sowmya Srinivasan
HubSpot Vice President of Revenue OperationsDecember 21
I would caveat this answer ahead by saying this is not revops specific. This is about the important things to look for while evaluating a new opportunity - 1. Opportunity to drive impact - how does the role map to my skill sets and do I see an opportunity for me to drive impact and create value? This to me means growth for the company and thereby growth for me! 2. Culture and Values - People, culture and values are core to have a great experience and find a sense of belonging in an organization. I believe you are a better leader, a better team member, a better employee if you love what you do and if you have a great team to partner with. 3. Learning and Growth - Does the organization offer opportunities to continue learning and further hone my leadership skills? How does this opportunity help me continue on the career trajectory/aspirations for self? Other important aspects to consider are management and leadership, Company growth trajectory (addressable market, competitive advantage..), having the right work/life balance and compensation (if it's important to you)!
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Sowmya Srinivasan
Sowmya Srinivasan
HubSpot Vice President of Revenue OperationsDecember 21
The future of revenue operations is leveraging AI (predictive & generative) to accelerate organizational growth by making reps more efficient and effective with AI powered insights, automation and scale ! With AI today, revops is best positioned to Automate/eliminate the repetitive, orchestrate the customer's journey with real-time insights and execute organizational strategy with engaging experiences both for customers and reps! With this lens, educating self on AI and understanding how to leverage AI to design powerful experiences for the organization ,to drive revenue growth will be a valuable skill to have! With the pace of innovation, having a mindset to continuously invest in learning is also important!
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Sowmya Srinivasan
Sowmya Srinivasan
HubSpot Vice President of Revenue OperationsMay 2
I will start off by saying that there is not a one size fits all approach to the implementation of a revenue execution strategy. The plan is dependent on the scope of the plan/program and the potential revenue impact coupled with urgency. My general rule of thumb is that a 1-3 month timeline is a reasonable approach. Factors Influencing planning for initial implementation - 1. Complexity: Needless to say, Complex initiatives require a different approach to launch as compared to straightforward ones. What defines complexity? * Number of moving parts: Is it a change or a transformation? A complex strategy with multiple elements e.g., product pricing changes, new product launch, new marketing campaign, a new rep facing AI solution, will require more upfront planning than a simpler one such as pricing tweak or a discount change. * Level of change required: A radical shift in your revenue model or a radical shift in your reps day/today will demand more planning and stakeholders buy-in compared to a minor adjustment. * Regulatory/Governance pre-requisites: Are there any legal or compliance considerations that need to be factored in? Obtaining necessary approvals could add time. 2. Readiness: Is your company action-oriented or more cautious? Finding a balance between planning and taking action is key. Some things to consider to assess readiness - * Team expertise: Does your team have the necessary skills and knowledge to execute the strategy? Training or hiring specialists might be needed, extending the timeline. * X-functional Alignment: Sales, marketing, and customer success/support need to be on the same page for a successful rollout. Cross Functional communication and planning add to the initial phase. * Technology & infrastructure: Do you have the necessary tools and software to support the strategy (e.g., CRM, pricing tools)? Acquiring or integrating new tools could drastically impact the timeline. * Data availability and quality: Reliable customer data and market insights are crucial for informed decisions. Collecting and analyzing data might add time upfront. Learnings for setting a realistic timeline: * Pilot programs: For some initiatives, consider testing a small-scale version of your strategy to identify issues and refine the approach before full rollout. This might add some time upfront but can save time and resources in the long run. * Start with small wins: Focus on initial actions that can deliver measurable results quickly. This builds momentum and demonstrates the value of the strategy. * Be clear on timelines: Establish deadlines and milestones to keep everyone accountable. * Be flexible: The initial plan might need to be adjusted as you learn and iterate. Implementing a new strategy often involves behavioral changes within your team. Factor in time for communication, training, and addressing resistance. Remember, it's better to get started with a solid plan and iterate as needed than to be stuck in the planning phase for too long. Choose progress over perfection! 
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Sowmya Srinivasan
Sowmya Srinivasan
HubSpot Vice President of Revenue OperationsMay 2
There's no one-size-fits-all answer. I will tweak my answer to how I would approach making an informed and a strategic decision to kickstart a revenue engine implementation/ optimization journey. Some basic considerations- * Company Stage: Are you a startup, a high-growth company, or an established enterprise? Different solutions and business needs based on each stage. * Industry: Customers buying behavior, sales and renew cycles are also influenced by specific industries. Factor it in if you cater to a specific market. * Internal Resources: What expertise and resources do you have to implement a solution for your organization? Here is a simple framework to decide where to start in terms of implementing revenue engine strategy - 1. Build a prioritization matrix based on Impact(Value) and Ease of Implementation(Use) Impact: Consider the potential impact of ideas on your revenue engine. Which one is likely to have the most significant and measurable effect on revenue growth, lead generation, or customer acquisition and delivers the most value? Ease of Implementation: Evaluate the resources and effort required to implement each idea. Some might require significant changes to processes or technology or simply require a huge change management, while others might be quicker to deploy. A smaller, easier-to-implement tactic can demonstrate progress early on and boost team morale. 2. Align with existing strategic initiatives: Ensure the chosen idea/tactic aligns with and supports other ongoing initiatives within the company. Fragmentation of efforts can reduce effectiveness. 3. Consider key Dependencies & Risks: Identify any dependencies between ideas or initiatives.. For example, implementing a new marketing automation tool might need a CRM integration set up first. A high-impact idea might also carry a higher risk of failure so weigh the potential rewards against the potential downsides. Assess, understand and then decide. As a revenue operations leader, make sure you are leveraging data and insights into your decision making. Some additional considerations to ensure a successful rollout- * Start with a Pilot: Consider piloting a high-potential idea on a smaller scale before full-scale implementation. This allows for testing, refinement, and reduces risk. * Get Stakeholder Buy-In: Involve key stakeholders from across the revenue engine (sales, marketing, customer success) in the decision-making process. This fosters collaboration and ensures everyone is aligned with the chosen tactic. * Measure and Iterate: Continuously track the results of your pilot/implementation and be prepared to iterate as needed. The revenue engine is a dynamic system, and adjustments might be necessary as you learn and gather data. There are a lot of revenue engine frameworks and revops maturity models. Check them out to decide what is right for your organization.
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Sowmya Srinivasan
Sowmya Srinivasan
HubSpot Vice President of Revenue OperationsMay 2
I will tweak my answer to make it more generic “How do get buy-in on automation strategy from a business leader”. It is very important to help stakeholders understand that automation does not mean elimination , automation could also mean augmentation or in many cases, give back time to do higher value work. Ensuring that your business leader understands this is your first win. So how do we do it? 1. Speak their language: Every business leader in the current market wants results. So, focus on results. Show how automation helps achieve their goals, like boosting sales, nurturing leads, or retaining customers. For Example: Is your leader concerned about low conversion rates? Show how automating personalized email sequences based on website behavior can improve lead quality and conversions Worried about customer churn? Highlight how automating product usage tutorials and proactive outreach can improve customers understanding of the product, drive usage and thereby retention. 2. Highlight the wins: Everyone wants to know "What's in it for me?" Focus on benefits like: Increased Efficiency: Automation frees up employees for strategic work. Fewer Errors: Automated tasks lead to more accurate data and consistent execution. Improved Customer Experience: Faster response times and personalized interactions. For example, Automated social media scheduling saves time and ensures consistent brand messaging. Automatic lead scoring prioritizes the hottest prospects for sales reps. Automated billing alerts prevent service interruptions and improve customer satisfaction. 3. Address their fears: Lets face it. Automation immediately makes one think about job loss. Emphasize that automation empowers employees by freeing them for higher-value tasks, enabling them to focus on building relationships. For example: A typical CSM spends 2 -4 hours every day on call prep. By leveraging AI and automation, you are able to give them summarized customer health reports and this helps them connect with 4 customers daily instead of 2 as you have reduced their prep time! 4. Show, don't tell. Start small with a pilot project to showcase automation's power. For example: Automate a welcome email series for new website signups measure the impact on engagement. Automate follow-up emails after sales demos and track response rates. Or for Customer success , Automate triggered in-app messages based on user behavior and measure customer satisfaction. 5. Work together: Get everyone on board: Involve key stakeholders from the get go. Keep everyone informed with a clear communication plan. Hold workshops to brainstorm tasks to align on automation scope collaboratively. By focusing on the benefits, addressing concerns, and using clear examples, you can bring your business leader along on the automation strategy and help them understand automation is the key to a more efficient, successful organization, it can help accelerate success and drive growth!
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Sowmya Srinivasan
Sowmya Srinivasan
HubSpot Vice President of Revenue OperationsMay 2
I will detail my answer around as a revenue operations leader, how do I identify the set of KPI’s and metrics to measure success? How do we know if we are trending in the right direction or a course correction is needed and how do I know if me and my teams have delivered what the organization needs from a revenue operations organization? First step, make sure that you as a RevOps leader do not operate in a vacuum. Some key considerations to identify the KPIs and metrics: * Company Goals: Align metrics with the overall business goals. Is it about revenue growth, customer retention, improving sales efficiency or rep productivity? * Key Objectives: Break down company goals into specific objectives for each function or business unit (sales enablement, marketing, Customer success.. etc.). * Industry Benchmarks: Research industry standards for key metrics to understand your performance relative to competitors or key benchmarks. * Data Availability & Reliability: Choose metrics that can be readily and accurately tracked and measured based on the data your systems capture. * Stakeholder Input: Involve key stakeholders from sales, marketing, and customer success to identify metrics that matter to them. Make sure you are looking at both Leading & Lagging Indicators to track performance and measure success. * Leading Indicators (Early warning) These are proactive measures that predict future performance. For example, a high customer health score suggests a lower churn risk in the future (leading). If you are implementing a new system or a tool, rep adoption - logins, use of key features, improved engagement rates, saved time (call prep took 3 hours before and now it takes 10 min) are all great leading indicators. * Lagging Indicators (Results & Outcomes) These are reactive measures that reflect past performance. Customer churn rate is a lagging indicator, showing the actual percentage of customers who canceled service in a period.Using the example of implementing a new system or a solution, in addition to updating the solution, did we really move the needle on outcomes. Reps engaged with more customers with contextual insights and that resulted in improved retention rates! A Good Year in RevOps: A good year for a RevOps leader depends on the specific goals of the company and what as a team we ended up delivering. Some key wins I would look for - * Revenue Growth: Increased win rates, higher average deal size, improved retention rates and improved customer lifetime value. * Improved Efficiency & Effectiveness: Shorter sales cycles, reduced manual tasks, improved customer experience and streamlined processes. * Stronger Alignment: Improved communication and collaboration between sales, marketing, and customer success. * Data-Driven Decision Making: Leveraging accurate data to optimize decision-making across the revenue lifecycle. Last but most important for you as a leader, high team morale and satisfaction amongst your ops team is the key to success!
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Sowmya Srinivasan
Sowmya Srinivasan
HubSpot Vice President of Revenue OperationsMay 2
When we think about keeping Revenue dashboards accurate and updated, there are 5 things to consider- 1. Data source Automation: Think integration & pipelines to regularly pull & refresh. Eliminate manual updates. Imagine your dashboard as a self-driving car. You set the destination (metrics you want to track), and it pulls information from your CRM, finance systems, website, traffic etc. (like GPS) to update itself regularly. This eliminates the need for manual data entry, reduces possibility of errors and more importantly saves time. 2. Data Quality and related processes: Do you have the data validation rules setup? Do you have proper data cleansing practices? Do you have the right ownership and governance? Keep your car clean! Just like a dirty car windshield hinders your view and can cause accidents, bad data makes your dashboard unreliable and you lose your users trust! 3. Users, Roles & Responsibilities: Who is responsible for inputs and identifying the right sources? Are they trained appropriately? Do you have owners assigned for different data sources/models and metrics? Checks & Balances are essential. Assign ownership for specific metrics within the dashboard. This creates accountability for their accuracy and timeliness. Just like buckling up in a car is the most important and effective thing to do to ensure your safety, having the right roles and responsibilities reduces inconsistencies and ensures reliability. Leave nothing to chance! 4. Monitoring & Alerts: Do you have the right cadences for refresh for your data stores? Do you have the right monitoring tools to track updates/changes? Do you have the right alerts and notifications to highlight any discrepancies or issues that require attention? Catch it before your user does! Think of all the gauges on the car dash. Speedometer, odometer, maintenance reminders, the dreaded check engine light - these are essential to monitor & if necessary action and intervene. Leverage them! 5. Version control: Do you have the right versioning for your dashboards and datasets? Are you able to track changes and ensure everyone is working with the most recent version and if there is an issue, are you able to rollback? Bonus Tip: Feedback Loop - Think "Car Maintenance" Just like getting your car checked regularly, encourage users to report any issues they see with the dashboard's accuracy or usability. Conduct regular reviews to identify ongoing problems and make improvements. Your revenue dashboard is now a reliable and informative tool, offering a clear picture of your revenue health, just like a well-maintained car, helping you navigate your business journey.
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Credentials & Highlights
Vice President of Revenue Operations at HubSpot
Top Revenue Operations Mentor List
Top 10 Revenue Operations Contributor
Knows About Revenue Ops Career Path, Revenue Strategy Execution, Customer Success / Revenue Ops A...more