Learnings from combining PLG with an Enterprise Sales Motion

Episode Description

In the first edition of Masters of Revenue 2024: Ops Edition, our second master, Matt Avero-Sturm, Founder of Next Stage Consulting came with a unique experience.

Matt successfully combined a PLG motion with an Enterprise Sales motion.

We spoke at length about:

  • How he helped Sprig combine PLG motion with Enterprise Sales motion
  • Partnership plays in your PLG x Enterprise sales motion and leverage tools like UserGems 💎
  • Position RevOps as a strategic partner and never miss forest for the trees.
  • The right way to approach CAC if you have a PLG x Enterprise sales motion
  • And more!

Tune in for some RevOps magic from the master.

Show Notes

Follow Matt Avero-Sturm: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matt-avero-sturm/

Follow Chara : https://www.linkedin.com/in/charanyan/

Learn more about RevenueHero: https://www.revenuehero.io/

Episode Transcription

Chara All right, uh we are live so I will just give it a couple of seconds for the rest of the folks to join in. Uh, in the meantime, uh, we'd love to hear from you in terms of where you're joining from. Uh, what your role is. Uh, so we have with us, uh, Matt. Vikash is on the backstage and he'll be coordinating, uh the chat for us. So, um for everybody who's already joined welcome to Masters of Revenue, RevenueHeroe’s virtual Summit where we have conversations with revenue leaders, uh with different experiences to learn from them and get shortcuts to help us unlock those growth levers. Um, and Learn from their experiences in terms of what's worked and what hasn’t, right. So we have today. Uh, so I'm chat my co-founder here and we have today with us Matt and Matt is a CEO and founder of Next Stage Consulting. And Matt brings the unique perspective of having balanced enterprise sales with a PLG motion in the same org. And Matt, I'd love to hear from you about your PLG journey with Sprig and we'll take it from there.

Matt Avero-Sturm Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Well, I'm I'm more than happy to share that and also hi to uh, everybody who's joining us here. Um, so like Char said, I'm I'm Matt. I'm joining from Bethesda Maryland, which is just outside Washington DC. So it's a nice, uh, Sunny summery starting to get very warm over here spot, but I'd love to you know here in the chat where everybody's joining us from where you're at what kind of role you're in, uh, since that, you know just helps us tailor what we're talking about. And yeah, I'm I'm so glad to be here, uh with with RevenueHero, uh, definitely love all of the work that I do with Revenue hero, um with my company and with my clients, uh, helping them get their rev up system set up and and optimized and yeah, I'd love to share about my journey at Sprig. So I joined Sprig in late 2020. Um, and I stayed for 2 and a half years.

I left a little over a year ago to found Next Stage Consulting and when I joined Sprig we were uh, it was the week. We first launched our product publicly and that also meant the week that we launched, uh PLG and a public, you know, non stealth mode Enterprise sales motion, um for the first time so definitely quite quite an interesting week to join as a uh, go to market Ops leader, um and start, you know, building out marketing up sales Ops CS UPS all at the same time, uh during that Journey. So Sprig is a company that um provides, uh products tooling that enables companies to get uh feedback on all different aspects of their product, um, and really granular and actionable ways. Um, so it's a it's a great product for a PLG motion because there is, you know, a low lift weight of value with really intro surveys and then there's incredibly complicated and large scale ways to use the product that um involves much larger Enterprise deals.

Uh, so with Sprig, we originally launched a free sign up motion that fortunately, um, we were able to drive a lot of marketing forward. We have a lot of free signups. Um, and it it was not a trial so with Sprig from the beginning through to today you can have a free forever account and And then there is a self-serve way to upgrade that account to a you know, pay for a credit card, uh low value. Um, processes successfully.

Chara Yeah, I think uh who who doesn't want that right, like open up free sign ups of free trial all your ICPs just pour in, uh, they figure out when they want to buy and they just talk to sales, right? That's the dream. Uh, right. Uh, so. This topic is really uh exciting for me specifically because uh RevenueHero has had a brief brush with product like growth. Uh, that's a story uh for another day. Uh, but before its current version, uh, we were quite involved in product growth, which is why I'm really excited to uh, talk about what comes next right? But before we get into uh, the meat of it man, uh, we always love to start this with something fun. Uh, so uh, this question is biased based on my recent, uh experience, but I would love to hear from you.

What is one of the most interesting things you've read or watched recently, uh, which you didn't expect to enjoy but I ended up uh, just getting your mind on off of

Matt Avero-Sturm Oh, okay. That's a good one. So I I read a lot of history and a lot of biographies and I have this bias in my head, you know of just like oh there's there's no way this is going to be interesting something like that. And then of course I get into it and I'm totally captivated and it's incredibly interesting and the one I've been reading right now is uh, Leviathan the history of whaling in America and like I mean one as as some people Know whaling is the original Venture Capital industry, um where you know deck hands on these whaling boats had a stake in the proceeds of the journey, which was a very new um, business concept. Uh, so and it's it's part of why the American whaling industry was so successful relative to some other Global powers that were you know, much bigger than the US, um at that time and yes, uh, James, uh, New Bedford very much is mentioned. And in fact, it was actually I think it was called Dartmouth during part of that time and got renamed New Bedford as part of this giant whaling development. So anyway, terrific business history geopolitical history. Just anyway, um, really really great summer summer summer read. If you don't mind reading about thousands of whales being slaughtered in the process, um, but I really really great book. Uh, and I I am not from the cape, but I am actually just getting back my partner and I go to Province Town every year this year. We were in uh, Barn Festival in Hyannis and then went to Martha's Vineyard. So yes big, uh, big Cape fan and totally, um, add me on LinkedIn we can chat.

Chara That's awesome. Um, so just taking down the name of the book and realizing that it's recorded. Uh, but thanks for that. Uh, I wish mine was as interesting. Uh, but What I stumbled upon from a WhatsApp group conversation was something called Excel championships. Uh, and obviously when you hear that, uh, it's just hard not to click on the link, right? So what Excel Champion ship is, uh championships are is a Esports style, uh, you know, uh Excel competition where people just people are given, uh, like a complex Excel problem to solve and they just go gung-ho on it and it's like watching like a Dota 2 or a counter stake only instead of gaming they're actually, uh, you know, solving formulas and problems and Excel and it just ended up being a rabbit hole. Uh, it has like what keystrokes are happening on their keyboard and it just arcs together with amazing, uh commentary and uh comparing and that's my rabbit hole for what I didn't think I'd enjoy but then just spend so many hours on like

Matt Avero-Sturm That uh, that that sounds very addictive. It sounds like something I honestly should not start looking into because I I could definitely I mean I enjoy spending some time in Excel.

Chara Yeah, and given our audience. Uh, we have a good mix of RevOps, uh, General GTM folks and sales Ops. I'm pretty sure I probably started uh, you know, uh quite a bit of rabbit holes today, so, given that that's the mix I think um, Our first topic would be very relevant for a lot of the folks on the call, right? So Matt you started talking about um, spring and your PLG, um and Enterprise sales Journey. So I'd love to start that. Uh, when there's an org that has a thriving PLG motion. Uh, right or the other way around depending on which one you think is most feasible. How do you think about end of layering on an Enterprise sales motion? Where would you start and what do you think are some early signs that uh, it's working right? And what was your journey with spring on the slides?

Matt Avero-Sturm Mostly through our Network like any early stage company and separately we had this just totally totally taking off, uh PLG motion. So we had you know, so many signups people were onboarding they were activating and we were incredibly focused on that and we had really made an assumption that if we succeeded at PLG, the Enterprise sales would follow and one thing that we did not think about is in virtually every industry and certainly in tech there are many many more tiny firms than there are large firms, right? There are a gazillion solo founders or early stage startups and there's only so many dropboxes and sales forces and netflixes and and so on right so there's you know, you've got tons of tiny companies and then it kind of drops off to like, you know, the few the few big hitter whales that are going to be signing your big Enterprise contracts. and what that meant was when we were spending all this time optimizing for signing up for our free product optimizing for upgrading, uh, and onboarding and so on we were optimizing based on numbers, which is very natural in what everybody does but uh, the problem was the numbers were extremely biased towards small companies. 

So solo Founders extremely early stage companies that were not going to be buying the 6-figure deals that we were trying to sell and that we were selling for some of our Enterprise deals. So we were really optimizing on one end and And uh, making our money on another end and we were essentially optimizing away from what was going to be making us money. Um, so that that was something we learned pretty early on and what we found the the flip side of that was, you know, we had really optimized for this small company use case of getting value really quickly in the free product, which is what you should do with a product LED growth motion, but the problem is if you're a big company if you're you know, a product manager at um, you know name name a large tech company. 

And you are going to start with a new tool you have to get security approvals. You have to get legal approvals. You've got to go get a different engineering team to install the first integration. You know, it's got to go through someone else. It's got to get communicated internally and there's no way you're activating as an individual. So these uh PLG premium plans, even if they're absolutely great for getting a activation and engagement and signups the big Enterprise buyers that you may be targeting in an Enterprise sales motion, even if they sign up it might be virtually impossible for them to activate on their own and what we what we ended up realizing was the minute that somebody in that Enterprise ICP big deal group signs up, even if they're signing up for a PLG program where they expect to speak to nobody. 

We absolutely have to have somebody um swoop in you know, route that lead to an SDR or an AE and ensure that they have somebody that they can talk to right away. Not just that they have the option to onboard an upgrade on their own so that that was I mean, it sounds obvious in retrospect, but it was definitely a journey for us to get there and one of the other big things we learned is that um, often companies have PLG products because they sell something like, you know Dev tools right where that end user. Uh a developer, you know really likes getting into the product. They really like using it themselves. They really don't want to talk to a salesperson and it's great to have a very self-serve environment for them. So then when you've got somebody who uh, Swoops in trying to sell to them but also trying to make their Journey easy and help them on board. They don't necessarily want to be sold to but they absolutely from their company size, you know, they need someone to assist them through that process.

 So some of it is also, uh, you know with Sprig we we sell to a lot of product managers and product teams as well as some user researchers and that's another population that doesn't necessarily love talking to a salesperson. Um, so we definitely learned what are ways that we can offer that high-touch, uh engagement, uh without requiring sales to talk to them. So we do offer. Um, we now have a weekly product demo you can sign up for that's led by a sales engineer, uh, who's a great point of contact for you know, let me get you on a call and there's certainly still you know, once one of those Enterprise leads comes in through the free product. We're we're certainly still thinking who at that company should we outbound to how should sales get involved but there's there's the acknowledgement that the right Persona even though we know we need a sales motion the right Persona may not be sales in terms of that approach.

Chara Yeah, so, um, you get a lot of free trial premium, uh in your PLG motion you expect an ideal, uh upsell or you know conversion path, but no matter what the product is. I think the sales assist uh necessity is dictated more by the size of the company that's signing up more than the type of product. Uh you offer right so

Matt Avero-Stur Yes. Yes. Yeah, unless unless you have a product where No one at any level could use it or figure it out on their own which you may have. But if you have that then then PG may be a challenge for you. If you need individual handholding at every stage that that does sound like more of a traditional Enterprise sales.

Chara Yeah, uh makes perfect sense now so one of the things I think about Matt is uh opiates in a traditional either just sales Le or just product-led motion by itself sounds like uh, you know, quite a bit of a nightmare where you need to coordinate between multiple departments get everybody on board and it's very easy. Um, And when it comes to layering on Enterprise sales, it just sounds like um a much bigger nightmare. So how do you make sure that RevOps remains a strategic role, uh, and that you don't get buried in these tactical requests and pretty much Miss the forest for the trees, right?

Matt Avero-Sturm Yeah, good good question. I mean everyone in RevOps sees this so one plus of the PLG volume is it does require you to be disciplined in Ops right those things where you send leads to a queue where some individual figures out who they get signed out to write that will never work at PLG volume. Right? So you have to you have to ensure that you've solved these volume based questions to not get dragged into that and you you do also need to do all of the normal departmental navigating like if you need a ticket system for requests. If you need to say we have weekly office hours, but sdrs, really cannot individually chat RevOps outside of those office hours or outside of this shared Channel, um, you know, all the standard, uh, Ways ways to handle volume internally, but in terms of being a strategic partner one of the great things about a PLG motion is there's so much connecting data across systems and so much understanding that that it really does require someone with a RevOps background to connect the dots. 

And if if you're great at that role you figure out ways to make it really Uh visible and understandable to the rest of the company. So they're really seeing rev UPS as this strategic source of insights. So that might be you know, setting up the right dashboards and reports but then also doing you know a weekly readout over slack of the trends that you're seeing, you know, the way the systems connect together and also, um, also I think a lot of it is figuring out how to be in the room earlier in projects or on more important projects. And what I've found is that in this PGX Enterprise sales motion, you can add a lot of value by you know saying hey engineering if if you have this coming up there's this complete Downstream way that a change in access to that, uh early early meetings

Chara Yeah, I think from what you're saying, um one of the things that Ops facilitates is also here the dictionary between engineering and product usage and how that translates to uh sales teams, right? Because 5 clicks on uh, do ID 20463 might mean nothing to sales. But when the Ops person is able to translate that to hey, this is the activation moment. You need to know go talk to them about these. Uh, then it just makes a lot more sense and uh Ops defines the right moments for sales to reach out, uh, and things like that.

Matt Avero-Sturm Exactly exactly. And a lot of that is being prescriptive like in Ops, you know, I want to see all of the data. I want to see the raw data and it um often gives you this bias where you think. Oh, I think that AE or would want to see every single action. The user takes in the product and that that is not true. Right? I've I've been an SDR I've hired sdrs. I've managed sales teams earlier in my career before I got into Ops and um, you know, you you were so performance-oriented toward your goal. You you need a much narrower amount of information and as a RevOps leader, it's very appropriate to decide what that information is in conjunction with your uh, sales leadership. So a good example is with um with Sprig we were building a pricing calculator where uh, an end user was trying to figure out, you know, if I upgrade what would my price be based on?

All these different variables, you know what kinds of research am I doing? What how many users am I sending it to what platforms is it on and so on and the uh output of that was of course a number which we obviously shared to sales so that they could be prepared for their sales call, but it was also a long string of every input, you know, basically just comma separated and um, it was uh, it was absolutely not intelligible to a sales rep when they see this to be like and what am I supposed to call them about, you know, written like half an engineering language and absolutely raw data and we we had to do a lot of translating to figure out, you know, does the rep need every piece of information that went into the calculator, you know, probably not uh, what pieces do they need? What should they look like? What wording should be on them and we ended up at a much much more refined set of information that was you know, valuable to them in Outreach and not just everything put in there. And by the way in the chat, what is this term wfm?

I would love to love to know.

Chara I'm going to guess workforce management.

Matt Avero-Sturm Oh, I see. I see I might um

Chara There you go.

Matt Avero-Sturm I might turn that equation around a little bit. I'm not sure I would say sales Ops equals all of those things, but I would say maybe go to market Ops equals. Sales Ops plus rev Ops plus marketing Ops Plus work force management. Absolutely. I I do think that you know, I kind of use rev Ops or go to market Ops as a catch-all term here. But anyway, uh, I think there is there is a lot of role for your opinion about what is going to be the most helpful and not just sending everything through and also, you know, it's less work to send through like what are the 2 things people need to see in sales force as opposed to like every piece of data and end user has provided, you know, that is is too much work to maintain and too big of a system to keep running.

Chara Agreed. Uh, so

Chara When it comes to this, uh transformation so clearly there's a lot of extracting data from the systems that track usage, uh, quite a bit of transformation involved and then a little more translation from system language to human language. Uh, have you seen or used tools, uh that you would recommend, uh others to start with, uh, you know, which ones are your favorite?

Matt Avero-Sturm Oh good.

Matt Avero-Sturm You're talking about in terms of getting PLG data in front of sales and users.

Chara Yeah.

Matt Avero-Sturm Um, so I am really big on the idea that uh,

Matt Avero-Sturm Sales end users would like to be in sales focused tools that they know and are familiar with um, so even if you know, I for example, I have lots of thoughts and we'll chat about them for a minute about how to get that product data into your CRM. Generally. I think that a reverse ETL tool is going to give you the most control and the most ability to keep your data constantly up to date. Um, and really, uh,

Chara Uh-huh.

Matt Avero-Sturm I think the reverse ETL solution is great and I would send it from the product database to the marketing automation platform where you can kind of orchestrate that before it shows up in Salesforce. Um, but from a rep perspective they would just like to see the end answer in Salesforce, or maybe they would like, you know one more additional tool to see um, more active usage, you know one tool like a koala for example, or you know Common room or many other signals related tools. But um one thing I'm going to jump ahead to is I know we've been talking about we're planning on talking about Champion tracking and how it works in PLG, and I actually think it's a great example for this question. So in in PLG, right, you've got all these free users and then you've got uh paid users, right? 

With normal Champion tracking, you're only tracking your customers. So this is a tool like a user Gems or a champify when somebody who's a paying customer changes companies and goes to a new company your tool would alert you that they're at this new company and you know might kick off follow-up to you or you know, give you information to follow up with them. And if you're at a PLG company suddenly the volume of users changing companies is so much higher because you have all these free users, right? You're you're almost doing it's going to have many more free users than you have paid users and at a PLG company you also typically have more paid users because your product has more viral Loops in it. So when you get a paid account that account ends up with a lot more users in the account using the product than if you just had you know, your initial 1, you know half Department that signed up for it. 

So anyway, so in uh, PLG motion, you've got lots and lots of users that you can track and you can uh run these Champion campaigns off of them and it's really valuable for the sales Outreach that goes out to have all this information about how did the user Pro user use your product. Did they just sign up and never use it did they sign up and use a certain, uh segment of the product did they sign up and You know become a paid user and then use like a whole Suite so if you're having your um Champions product your user Gems or champify or whatever pass that granular, uh data through then on the sales end again sales may not want to see the exact details, but they do want you to put that person in the right campaign. 

So UserGems Champion, you know former user High usage. They might not need to know how much they were using it, but they want them to be in the high usage Outreach or user gems former user, uh paid and product a in our product and that's the Outreach case. So again in in terms of favorite tooling. I think what I'm trying to show is even if you know, I might be a user gems power user and in there all the time what I ultimately I'm trying to do is get the sales team the most actionable or ideally already action already in the right campaign, uh person where sales has enough context, but they don't need to make all of those decisions for Scratch if there's a system that can make those for them and save them time in their day.

Chara Yeah makes sense. So sometimes um it it might not just be a new tool because I don't think any sales rep wants one more screen in front of them, uh to go consume information just get all the information translate it and then send it to where they already, uh, live and breathe and I think the champion tracking from a PLG activated user perspective, uh is pretty interesting because it's kind of common sense when it comes to an Enterprise sales motion, but a lot of folks don't think about your free users who hit activation points in your premium or free trial and then know probably switch companies, uh, there are already familiar with uh, what your product does and it's probably easier to sell to them, right?

Matt Avero-Sturm Yeah, and if I if I can say one more thing on the tool front, um, I will say, uh, I I know you're not asking for this but I I just have to say it RevenueHero is so terrific to work with as an Ops person who is used to having so many different flows of this user and this place trying to upgrade and talk to sales in this way. And it's you know, I Than 5 minutes any hour of the day, uh has has just been so great. So I know you didn't ask for the shout out, but I just um, I just have to give it because it's been such a joy to work with RevenueHero.

Chara I didn't ask for it but I'll take it. So uh and Matt, uh, you've been a great partner and that's my not so great segue into uh, Partnerships in the PLG, uh motion. So a lot of products think about Partnerships differently, but I've heard uh from a lot of your conversations about how Partnerships can be a great unlock, um, and how to think about it when you have a product or PLG product and can potentially partner with a bigger brand uh in the same. Right, could you talk through um how a founder or a revenue leader should think about Partnerships in the PLG motion?

Matt Avero-Sturm Yes. Yeah, so I think what's interesting about the PLG motion is your um your point of engaging with the lead is much higher in the funnel, right? They might be signing up for your product before. Um, they're ready to buy so in the in the traditional, uh, you know, traditional world of sales Partnerships, we're thinking of like, you know, we've got a partner our products are extremely integrated and we've decided to go to market together. 

So our sales team is going to like give their sales team a list and vice versa and we're going to like call you know customers or prospects. We know very well and kind of sell together in this very down funnel way and it can be incredibly effective but it's a um, it's a very what I'd call heavyweight partnership and because you've got to be, you know directly, uh trading lead lists and so on the volume can be a little constrained now on the PLG side. The great thing is all we need to do to get someone to be entering our funnel is to sign up for our free product which is a much lower bar to entry and uh, typically a lot of people are eligible for this. So if you're a smaller earlier Stage Company with a PLG motion and you partner with a much larger company with much bigger brand share you can uh drive an incredible volume of signups through that and well not every sign up there is going to be a potential for an Enterprise deal. Some of them absolutely will be especially if you're picking the right.

Partners that have the right markets so with Sprig, um one thing we found because we did have a very successful, uh inbound free sign up motion was that because of that doing these uh, lightweight Partnerships these marketing Partnerships where you know, yes, there was an integration but was it the world's most detailed, you know, Mega Enterprise sales together integration know it was not uh, but those those were incredibly effective in driving leads. So a great example would be um, you know, if we were hosting an event at a conference with mix panel or if we put you know figma chief product officers quotes in our white paper or on our webinar and figma was sharing this and the amazing gigantic incredibly engaged figma audience was seeing it and also they were seeing yes there there is a figma integration and it is with sprag and it is free and if you're a rabid figma user that loves using figma because figma is community is just so great and so engaged or if you think of like the notion community, right so engaged if it's that kind of user base and you have some relationship to them or some freezy free easy super low lift integration. 

You can drive just so many leads through that. So anyway, um, I'm sharing this because this concept of this lightweight marketing partnership, uh, PLG partnership can be so effective for uh, top of funnel lead gen. In a targeted right industry, right Persona way without doing all of this heavy lifting, uh lower volume heavy sales partnership approach. So definitely PGX Enterprise sales lets you kind of have 2 partnership motions or motions that are somewhere on the Spectrum and it's not just the one model that works.

Chara It's not going to um lead to direct sales immediately. It sounds like an awesome distribution partnership. Right? Like where you leverage a larger brand, uh, put your name alongside theirs and that just helps with visibility and distribution as well.

Matt Avero-Sturm It helps it helps a lot. Yeah.

Chara Awesome, so Matt, um, I think this is one of the topics that keeps coming up when we speak to Founders, uh, folks are thinking about adding on uh RevOps to their organizations. So, uh, the first thing that I would like I would like to cover is what should have found to think about are evaluate when they're looking for a RevOps consultant? Not necessarily an in-house higher.

Uh, because they want to get things started quickly. They don't want to go through the rigma role of you know, getting on a full-time robs higher so given that you have both sides of that experience. Uh, what should have found to look for? Uh, and um, uh, you know, how would you approach it?

Matt Avero-Sturm Yeah, great great question and it is I mean, it is hard to find the right RevOps consultant the right RevOps in-house higher it's you know, it's incredibly important to find someone who's who's going to be the right fit. So with um with Founders, I mean every company's different right every company is in their own segment of the market with with some kind of specific go to market motion, right? You might be PLG selling 20K deals. You might be PG selling 100K deals, you know, you might be pure Enterprise sales ABM selling, you know deals you might be super transactional SMB but with like a really high nrr, you know, I don't know but you've you've got a specific motion and uh, Generally, the best RevOps higher for you is not always going to be the person who's like super super technical and system. Ah, unless that's exactly what you need. 

But it's more the person who can really, uh, see your go to market motion understand. It has seen it before and can kind of proactively translate it into the right rev up Solutions without um, without you needing to tell them what they are. So I found the best way to screen for this is when you have a first call with someone and you're telling them a bit about where your company is and what stage you're at. And you know what you think you need help with what I've found is that the great RevOps Consultants. They they just start jumping in they're like, oh that's so interesting. You haven't had RevOps in house and you've You've Got 5 sales reps. Oh my goodness. Your deliverability must be like, you know in the in the absolute dumpster right now, you know, what what email validation are you using or you know, they might hear like, oh, that's so interesting. 

You've got PLG and you want to work on lead flow and routing Downstream. You know, what what product data is getting into your system. Is it staying up to date? Is it coming in on the user level or the account level do your reps think it's good. Is it is it accurate when you need to send an email are they bugging your engineering team for csvs? And if that person you're talking with just like knows the problem so far ahead of you that you're like wow, they are psychic. This is a little weird. Did they already have access to my systems, you know, if you're if you're in that kind of call like they're they are the right person and they are so worth whatever the rate is and if it's more there's someone who's a little more of an order taker like, I mean that's that's fine. 

But usually most people don't found companies because they're experts at RevOps, you know, the founders of Revenue hero might be an exception here, but most most Founders have, you know, a great back in background in the thing that they're founding and then they need RevOps to really take the lead and own that process and I would I would look for that ownership and that psychic ability to know what the problems are on on, you know day one 12 minutes into the call if it's not showing up there like it's it's not going to show up in 6 months.

Chara So, uh, you're talking to somebody who where the conversation feels like, they know more about your business than you do at least perspective. They're asking you questions that keep you up at night after the conversation and you you need you think hey, I need to solve this problem yesterday, uh, not after right. So that's the right fit when it comes to who you're talking to right? So let me flip the uh question then how do you screen, uh Founders or companies where you know for a fact because I'm sure we probably have listeners who are um, aspiring reverse Consultants. Uh, so how do you look for uh green flags when it comes to companies and who you want to work with?

Matt Avero-Sturm Yeah. Spidey sense for intuitive data, uh or incomplete data, but getting you know a pretty good read on what the situation should be. And what's great is when you're screening Founders and screening companies of like should I work with them you end up in your head pretty quickly at some picture of like here's what I think their revenue or their lead flow or their pipeline or their ARR should look like and even if these Founders can't give you all the numbers if the numbers that they are giving you on that early call are like, whoa, you're like, wow, they're they're they're outperforming in their category. They're doing better than some of my other clients. They've really solved something that other people haven't then, you know, that's that company That's so exciting to work with and they they really need you and the um, the other thing that I found is a bit of a green flag is if um, you know, the concern is a little less about like rates and hours and you're working model and the question is so much more like we're we're trying to get this done and go to market. We're trying to launch this. We're we know nurtures are going to work there. 

You know, how can you solve it from RevOps? And if it's this really, uh Builder conversation where they really value your skill set and they understand that you are the thing that is going to unlock the next stage for their business. You know, I mean who who wouldn't want to uh be in that position and and get to work from that great great place. And then the last thing I'll say is if you end up back to to the company valuing you and understanding that you can be valuable to them if if your counterpart is it a good place in the company, you know, you're talking to a head of marketing ahead of sales talking to a Founder, um talking to a COO then that's a good sign that they really value RevOps and you're going to get really interesting work and get the full picture and if if the person that is evaluating RevOps is like, you know, the junior marketing assistant intern then like probably you're you're not getting the full picture of the project and and maybe you know unless that conversation gets elevated it. It may not be the right fit for some meaty interesting strategic RevOps work.

Chara So, uh, if you're talking to someone where most of your questions come back with? Hey, I need to check that. I don't have access to that data probably time to walk away.

Matt Avero-Sturm Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that's a good example of like, okay. Well me the person working with them is not going to get access either and that's a little concerning.

Chara Yeah, awesome. So, um, that's one thing to look for who to work with, uh from a company perspective. I think the next natural thing that comes to my head is Uh Ops obviously has a lot of is a lot of heavy lifting. You probably can't uh manage this as a 1-man army, right? So when you hire Forks to augment your team either as a uh consultant or when you're uh running an Ops, uh function, what do you look for for individuals who are a great fit for your team from an Ops perspective.

Matt Avero-Sturm Great question. Well, I've got 3 3 or 4 things that are like top of the list. So Thing one I'm I'm sure there are great rev UPS people who don't fit these categories. By the way. This is just who I work great with and who I have found works great. Uh, so Thing one is someone who has owned a go to market number. So they've been an SDR they've been a sales rep they've worked in marketing and they've owned a pipeline number like someone who is sweated and been responsible for that at some point in their career is much more likely to just have this intuitive empathy with the whole go to market team and just get it and you know have that thing in their brain where they're constantly thinking how can I make the numbers here higher and I've I've found that that motivator is really good to get S people who are oriented toward the right, um, go to market end goal.

So that's thing one former former go to market staff, uh thing to that I would say is I don't want carbon copies if I just hire another myself like that's nice but like that just means I should have like I don't know spent less time at the gym or something and like had more time in my day and that that doesn't add that much. So I always want someone with an additive skill set. Like they can be good at the same things as me but there's got to be something where I'm like, I'll never be as good at them at SEO as they are and that's that's great. So always an additive skill set that is really so far beyond what I am in some area and then the last thing is clear written communication.

Matt Avero-Sturm Clear logic and Incredibly clear models in your head to build that correctly in a system and generally having that uh skill set often also results in very clear written communication which again also really really helps, uh, communicate across departments and teams. So for me those those are the 3 big things.

Chara So, uh GTM background, so I understand the folks who are going to be working with uh and setting up processes for uh, somebody that you can learn something from essentially a skew in a particular skill set, uh, which you know helps you learn day-to-day and clear written communication and pretty much the ability to uh, you know, organize their thoughts and share, uh,

Matt Avero-Sturm And the best thing about clear written communication I've seen this work amazingly with Junior employees. If someone is a clear writer and you give them a sheet for self coaching, uh, they can do an amazing job getting to conclusions that before you had to spend half an hour talking with them on so if the sheet is like You know, oh you've reached what you think is a final solution for this problem and you're ready to send it to Matt for Review 1. Do you think the CMO would think this is the best solution why or why not? Uh 2, you know, what? What problems do you anticipate Your solution might have you know how to do address this 3. Uh, let's imagine Matt is on vacation, you know, do you think Matt would think this is the right solution to the problem? 

You know, what feedback would Matt get You if you were imagining it, you know, what feedback would imagine some other Mentor earlier in your career. What feedback would your former manager give you on the solution and by the time someone who's a great, uh written communicator and has organized thoughts has worked their way through this prompts these Junior employees can turn out really high level work if they can work through that but it requires this, you know discipline of thought and writing to uh, go through that process. So again, I've just found that in terms of managing an upscaling and so on at least for my model of working this written communication just pays huge huge dividends.

Chara So, uh, if you can't jump on a quick 15 minute call and can't explain what's going on. Probably uh hard time, you know, right right, so I tend to get

Matt Avero-Sturm Exactly exactly.

Chara I tend to get carried away in these conversations. Uh, but we have a few questions coming on. So I'm just going to quickly put it on up on stage. So

Matt Avero-Sturm Okay.

Chara Uh, this comes up in any um, you know reverse conversation that I have right given the given how horizontal uh, the role is and the number of things that you need to run. How do you think about measuring the impact that robs has within an organization?

Matt Avero-Sturm Yeah, oh great question. So I feel like there's kind of 2 approaches here. Um, excuse me one of my current clients has a really great Roi calculator and it's for their their Management training software and their Roi calculator is all about things that I never even thought of but it's really smart. It's like, you know employees who have a good relationship with their manager are 50% more engaged and engaged employees are you know, 23% more productive and also engaged employees stay at a company twice as long and by the way, the average employees productivity is X dollar value and the um, you know, the the cost of recruiting an employee is why and through this they have this great Roi calculator where I never thought you could like assign a dollar value to management training, but they they can in a really smart way and I think if you wanted to build something like that for RevOps, you could say like, you know, uh, let's assume that without RevOps. We'd route 80% of our leads, right but 20% would be routed poorly or slowly and then you know, if uh, 20% are routed poorly or slowly like in our business, what's the difference between responding to a lead day of and next day and we probably have data on that and then what's our ACV and so on and you can end up at a dollar value very quickly. 

So if you're if you're interested in Roi calculating you can kind of break down components of your role and just things like well if RevOps weren't here renegotiating all these vendor contracts like we'd be fine. We'd have all the vendors. Function right a company doesn't win or lose because they have great RevOps. They generally win or lose because you know, we sell more deals we capture more of the market we enable so and so so if if we're really thinking about it, it's more like you know with with great rev UPS, you know sales can hit. X percent of their goal more or like the best sales reps would hit quota regardless, but like this middle pack of sales reps might hit 10 or 20% more quota because RevOps is implemented projects a b and c of sending them better leads like this Champions program or this um, uh partnership program we talked about earlier. So I yeah, I generally think it's kind of how did we impact the end end dollars more?

Chara All right. So at the end of the day if you're able to tie it back to a business metric and show how you influence that business metric great. Uh, but it need necessarily, uh just be that right, uh, because RevOps influence is not just those numbers but a lot of the intangibles as well, uh, where you improve sales efficiency and a lot of things cost function. You're working with a product like growth motion. Layered on with the Enterprise sales motion should you even be measuring it?

Matt Avero-Sturm Yeah, so good good question. So a lot of my PLG x uh, Enterprise sales experience was at Sprig which was a relatively early stage organization while I was there and because of that it means you know, we didn't have these very built-out very mature, you know, multiple team members just owning Performance Marketing, right? So in terms of being able to say like we spent you know 10% more dollars on ads and we ended up with why percent more so and so like it we were not yet at that stage, uh as a company and also with the PLG and sales it's an incredibly blended motion, right? Like you've got um, not just the whole process of someone signing up in the free product and using it and ending up upgrading and going to sales but you've also got this, uh, totally different phenomenon, which is your PLG funnel being part of your marketing motion in a really different way. 

So when someone signs up as a free user, right and they use your product and they um, you know, there's growth Loops in there. So they end up sharing on social and then someone else joins your product, right? How are you going to attribute that like freeze or cost you money? They never paid but then they did free marketing for you because you've got tons of free users that are doing tons of free marketing and giving you tons of virtually untrack Word of Mouth advertising. Uh, that was a big part of Spring's early success is having so many free users that love the product that talked about us in lots of places and got its last more free users, but it would be very hard to say, you know money spent to acquire group a that then eventually drove Group B in an untraceable way and we lost money on this group and we made money on this group, but the groups look essentially the same. Um, so that that would be really hard to split out. And also the way we talked about Champion's tracking is a good.

Example of the Partnerships campaign is a good example. Um, so what I'm trying to say is the the flows of uh costs and benefits are very very Blended across the product and and what it means is it's really hard to calculate uh CAC for these Blended PLG and Enterprise sales motions in a way that splits everything out. Neatly. So you kind of have to consider there's the cost of the core motion. Um, and that's, you know, your your cache includes a lot of things, you know, it includes maybe your growth product manager, uh, normally they they wouldn't be included in CAC, you know, it's the whole marketing and sales team and you know, all of your marketing spend Etc and it's it's hard to split it out by individual cohorts of users. Uh, so when when you have a picture like that you end up, um, in terms of optimizing it, you know, you end up thinking a lot more, uh, at least in my experience about headcount and kind of what what headcount is going to give us the then was true at Sprig was if you're hiring these Ultra responsible individuals who just performed so far beyond their role who were extremely cross-functional. 

So like Sprig had a very senior, uh director of growth marketing very senior director of Partnerships, uh, really great growth product leader. Um, and all of those people were Way Beyond their role, you know, that that that was CAC money very well spent where we could have hired 3 or 4 Junior employees that would have cost more but certainly wouldn't have um impacted the number's more and then you know as you get larger or you know on top of your base core motion just the cost of doing PLG you you can spend more on ads and you can think about marginal CAC in terms of AD channels and so on but the the core cost of the motion and the cost of Staffing the people running the marketing campaigns and you know Champions tracking and Partnerships that are maintaining the core motion that would that would be virtually impossible to cohort out or split out.

Matt Avero-Sturm And that's at least in my experience. That is just something you accept to some degree. You know, there is a core cost of choosing to run a really complicated good to Market motion.

Chara Yeah, um, I think if you think uh calculating C needs a blended approach in just a sales motion seems like just a different ballpark all together when it comes to PLG and Enterprise sales, right? Awesome. So I think uh, we're near time so one of the things I like to do, um towards the end of these conversations is uh, what are some of your favorite uh reads or references, uh to learn more about um, how to layer on page and Enterprise motions or just to learn more about uh, RevOps PLG and specific just what is your weekend reading that uh, the rest of the folks who would benefit from other than of course.

Matt Avero-Sturm Oh good question. Um, you know, I really enjoy being a little more of a first principles thinker so I um, you know, I I feel like I often learn a lot just by spending extra time looking through the company data and seeing what's actually happening. And if you know, my assumptions are right, um, I always learn a lot by grilling vendors on calls talking to a new startups about what they're building and why and why they see the space moving a certain direction. I always try to make time for this conversations in my week. 

I find that those founders often just have really good insights about, you know, the the direction that things are moving. Um, you know and you always get tons of Outreach from early stage Founders who like just want to run their idea by a RevOps person for feedback and like yes, it's kind of a sales pitch, but sometimes you can learn a lot on those calls. Um, so I do that. I read a Thomas tonga's uh, writing a good amount. I also read um, who's the founder of cyber sign I get his newsletter about data Trends and I um, I find those interesting and I guess uh, I guess oh and I read um, Elena Vera, of course in uh, you know, PLG and growth marketing. I think she's great Emily Kramer. Um, yeah, I'd say that's that's pretty much the list and and as you know, I have my uh, my my my history reading and biographies reading over here.

Chara That's awesome. So my why can people find you? Uh

Matt Avero-Sturm Oh great question on LinkedIn and let me find my link to put in here. But yeah, totally add me on LinkedIn happy to happy to chat happy to stay in touch. Um, you know, always always enjoy connecting with others in the space.

Chara Awesome, Matt. Uh, thanks a lot, uh for taking time to walk us through uh your journey at Spring I think other than life. I think there's a lot of notes that we are going to be taking uh around from the session and one of the things that I keep forgetting to do for the end of these sessions is uh heads up. We have one more event in masters of Revenue that's happening at the same day next week where we have one more rewards visit joining us to talk us through uh, his option man. It was a pleasure. Thank you so much.

Matt Avero-Sturm Yeah, thank you.

Chara All right. Thanks folks. Yeah, you too.

Matt Avero-Sturm Have a good one.

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