shOPS Talk Ep. 23 | RevOps in a Product-Led Growth World: How Ops Can Accelerate Your PLG Flywheel

Product-led growth transforms the buyer journey. It eliminates barriers to entry by allowing prospects to adopt and evangelize your product on their terms. While this approach usually sits outside of RevOps, user-driven upsell models and sales-assisted plays require a lot of nuance in the process to get it right. With the right mindset and tech stack, ops teams can breathe new life into processes and directly support their company’s revenue goals.


On this episode of shOPS Talk, Brian Murray, Partner & COO at Craft Ventures, Brendan Short, Co-Founder & CEO at Groundswell, and Christine Ladd, Director of Marketing at Sonar, are joining us to unpack how the principles of product-led growth can help your RevOps team make a greater impact.

What you’ll learn:

– The fundamentals of product-led growth & how to define “PQL”
– Ways to think about combining a bottom-up and top-down approach
– How to operationalize your data into Salesforce
– Steps to align your work to support product-led growth


Speaker 1: There you go. And, uh, and we’re live. Obviously, it’s the most like, fun and awkward first, like 45 seconds of any webinar. It’s like, all right, small, talk it up. We’ll, uh, we’ll just sit here and smile a lot and until everybody gets up, but no, uh, welcome everyone. 

Speaker 1: I’m terrible at it. Brian, you, uh, it’s, it’s like you don’t know me and that it’s not one of my superpowers or probably annoying powers, as Christine would probably say. So, [00:00:30] <laugh>. Um, but, but welcome everyone. I see, uh, see a lot of folks jumping in. We’ll give everybody another 30, 45 seconds to get in, get settled. Uh, excited to kick shops off shops talk of for 2022. Episode number one. We’re pumped about it, but, um, getting folks in, hopefully Brian’s, uh, cabin internet stays up, stays stable. Same with Brenda, so we’ll see. But, um, yeah, excited to have everybody here. We’ll give everybody another minute or two, and then we’ll get, uh, get moving. Got [00:01:00] a lot to uncover today. So, Brian, what’s the, uh, what’s the weather like right now in Tahoe? Are we, are we good Ski weather? 

Speaker 2: Yeah, it’s very sunny. The snow is melting. I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing, um, but it’s beautiful. 

Speaker 1: Very 

Speaker 2: Good luer day. 

Speaker 1: That’s all you can ask for the irony, Brad, everybody, 

Speaker 2: Go ahead. I’ve got a question for you. Yeah. Okay. Are these, are these trophies that [00:01:30] you’ve awarded yourself on the mantle there? 

Speaker 1: <laugh>? Uh, yeah, that one was for hosting the longest webinar. No demand. That one was for No. Uh, no. They are trophies from, uh, some of the awards that we’ve given out for, like SDRs and AEs, uh, on performance stuff. So they actually have like little names. You can’t see it probably in the video, but there’s little names on there and things like that. So gotta give credit where credits to, but they’re definitely not mine. <laugh> or Pintos for that matter, he didn’t or anything. So Cool? Not yet. Not yet. Um, I think we’re [00:02:00] in a good spot. Everybody’s rolling in. Uh, we’ll kick things off. First and foremost, welcome everybody to the first episode of Shops Talk in 2022. Uh, we’re gonna take a little bit of a different approach this year. We’re gonna have a lot of, uh, revenue ops and sales ops and marketing ops centric conversations, but we’re really gonna start bringing in experts in different crafts and in different, uh, areas, uh, especially based on a lot of feedback that y’all provided through wops. 

Speaker 1: So, appreciate that. Please keep it coming. This is how we decide on what content to share, what [00:02:30] topics to, uh, go over. But, uh, without further ado, excited to introduce a lot of folks on this first episode, uh, and really talk about a lot of product led growth and how we think about it now in 2022. Some of the trends we’re seeing, we’re gonna unpack it all, but, uh, before we even start, we always wanna say thank you to, uh, our sponsors Salesforce, for continuing to help support this, uh, and support our community. We’re all here to elevate the operations world, uh, every single day. Uh, that being said, we’re gonna go around the room, get a couple quick introductions. Uh, Christine, [00:03:00] we’ll start with you, and Brendan will go, uh, to you next. And Brian, you’ll bring us home, but Christine, after you. 

Speaker 3: Awesome. Well, exciting for me. Very first time on Shops Talk, um, but have been behind the scenes supporting Brad on this for a while. I’m the Director of marketing here at Sonar. Uh, a little bit about me and my background and why I’m on a PLG Shoptalk. Um, prior to Sonar, I was at Calendly. Uh, a lot of my background is in product marketing, and a lot of that focus is how do you use product driven data to [00:03:30] really grease the wheels on the marketing and sales cycles and top of funnel efforts to get to P qls. So excited to be here. 

Speaker 1: Wonderful. Brendan, tell 

Speaker 4: Us what’s up. Well, that’s up. Yeah, thanks for having me. Uh, excited to be here. Uh, a little bit about me. So I’ve been in b2b, SAS for about a decade now. Um, mostly startups. And then, uh, most recently was at Zoom, uh, which I kind of experienced firsthand product usage data and [00:04:00] what you can do with that. Uh, and then, uh, in part from that experience, uh, ended up starting Groundswell about six months ago with a couple guys. Uh, and, uh, yeah, we’re, we’re built, um, for product usage, data for sales teams. So I’ve spent many, many hours in the past six months talking with kind of all the best PLG companies in the world and asking them questions, and also just learning a ton. So excited to, to jam on PLG with you guys today. 

Speaker 1: I love it. The one thing Brenda forgot to mention is that, uh, the commonality [00:04:30] between Clemson graduates here. So it’s very rare that we have a lot of clips and folks in tech talk, so, um, 

Speaker 4: That’s right. Go Tigers. 

Speaker 1: Go Tigers. Brian, bring us home, uh, Matt on mute, how the hand signals work. Better, not <laugh>. There we go. There we go. <laugh>. Yeah, 

Speaker 2: I mute myself from the computer, even though I’m dialing from, anyway, [00:05:00] <laugh>, uh, I’m in Tahoe, uh, surprise trip this morning. So apologies for some spotty internet if the, that’s an issue. Uh, Brian Murray, partner and c at Craft Ventures, uh, if you haven’t heard of us, we are obsessed with, uh, PLG SaaS, b2b. So this is a topic near and dear to my heart. Um, I’m also the co-founder of a company called Cabal. Uh, we help founders and teams get the most out of their investors and advisors, and we’ve taken a, a very heavily focused PLG strategy to, 

Speaker 1: [00:05:30] I lost him, <laugh>, uh, we knew he is, uh, gonna be a little in and out some of the internet. So, um, I’ll, uh, I’ll finish a little bit of his intro. Oh, now he’s coming back. Here we go. There. 

Speaker 2: Okay, I’m back, back. Sorry. I’ll, I’ll try and minimize this as much as possible, but, uh, I was wrapping up anyway. Yep. Also, co-founder of Al. We do a lot of PLG stuff, so excited to talk about this today. 

Speaker 1: Absolutely. The, uh, the one pretty important part I’d say is that, uh, Brian’s also on [00:06:00] the board over here at Seminar. So we’ve, uh, been, we’ve had the pleasure of working with him, the entire craft team, and obviously big fans of cabal as well, uh, and use it, uh, on a daily basis. So, uh, excited talk all things plg. One of the big things for us as well, um, just even on the sonar side is, is another big initiative for 2022 is, uh, rolling out another PLG play for us with our products. So we’ll, uh, unpack a little bit more of that, A little bit of tease for what’s to come in Q1 for us. But, uh, starting off, we do have a poll question. Cause we always like to have folks who are on the webinar, uh, [00:06:30] join. We’d love to see and understand what, uh, what your involvement and con current connection is with plg. 

Speaker 1: So, uh, Sarah’s gonna launch the poll now, so please, uh, jump in and share us, uh, share with us what your involvement is. I think the, the one thing that we’re all seeing, um, you know, Brian, obviously from an investment perspective and product perspective with cabal and craft, um, this is a trend that’s not going anywhere. Brendan obviously, uh, starting, uh, an entire company with this as a focal point. Uh, and coming from a background with Calendly, [00:07:00] um, who we all know now, you know, another Atlanta, uh, unicorn in the making are, are already and making, um, this is a trend that we’re all seeing. And so we’re gonna unpack a lot of that. Uh, thank you to everybody for the poll. We’ll, uh, we’ll close it down now, um, and we’ll share the, uh, the results here in a second. But to really start off, you know, we don’t want to go too deep, too fast. So, um, fundamentals of product led growth, uh, for those that might be joining that are relatively new to product led growth. Brendan, let you kick it off. Uh, help us with [00:07:30] this somewhat definition of just the fundamentals baseline. 

Speaker 4: Yeah, absolutely. So the way that I define product led growth in its simplest form is just, does your website have a button where you can click someone? You can click and immediately start using your product? This is product-led growth, right? This is, this is the easiest definition to think about. Um, there are a lot of flavors of product-led growth. There’s, uh, different kind of motions, which I’m sure we’ll get into. Um, but that’s kind of the simplest definition. I [00:08:00] think the other thing that, that’s interesting, you know, you mentioned, um, p g is not going away. This is, uh, what’s, what’s interesting is thinking from the buyer’s perspective, right? Buyers are being trained to buy in this new way. They want to try a product before they buy the product. Um, Calendly, Calendly is a great example of this where, um, you know, people want to use the product before they decide, do I wanna swipe a credit card? Or maybe there’s other features, maybe there’s a team plan. So, um, that would be the, the simplest definition that I’ve got for plg. 

Speaker 1: I love it. Christine, do you come from this? What’s [00:08:30] your definition? 

Speaker 3: Yeah, I think, you know, PLG really, it just democratizes everyone’s access to your product. Um, so to Brennan’s point, like that ability to try something, figure out what features you want is super impactful. Um, without a PLG play, though, we’re really seeing that that marketing process has become, you know, really focused on education. Buyers are trying to learn as much as they can before entering a sales cycle. Uh, we’re also seeing them from sales perspective. The first company to respond to a buyer inquiry is the overwhelmingly, overwhelmingly [00:09:00] most likely to get that sale. So if you’re able to help users really evaluate your product and then give them a really clear line of sight into a sales cycle, there’s just a ton of advantages with the way that we know that B2B buyers purchase today. Today. 

Speaker 1: Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s an evolution for sure. Brian, uh, both angles, investor and, uh, and product owner. Love your thoughts. 

Speaker 2: Yeah. One, one thing I didn’t mention was, um, I started my career basically at, um, at [00:09:30] Yammer. Um, the basic, the Facebook for work, some people don’t know what Yammer is, but at the time it was like the hot thing. Um, and we, I I would say we pioneered PLG in enterprise. Um, and, uh, I, you know, David Sachs deserves to credit for that. He took some of these growth principles from PayPal, a consumer app, and applied them to enterprise. And that was a massive innovation only made possible by, uh, cloud distribution. So SaaS, [00:10:00] um, and the reason why I think everyone’s so excited about it is it, it, um, can make a dramatic improvement to the economics of a business. And that’s why craft is so focused on PLG companies, because you don’t have to spend so much, uh, exert so many calories. Um, attracting leads, converting leads into, uh, optis and, and customers. The product does a lot of heavy lifting for you. So it’s, uh, it’s interesting. [00:10:30] But now that’s not to say that we think that the only good companies are PLG companies. We back plenty of ABM companies that are just monsters. And I think the interesting part about this discussion is when does one make sense or the other, or a hybrid. 

Speaker 1: Absolutely. It’s, uh, I think that kind of goes into a lot of the evolution with this as well, right? Like, um, and we’ll, we’ll see, we’ll talk a little bit about this, but companies can start with this angle and move to it, or start with a different angle and move to it. So, um, yeah, I’m not sure there’s a, a one size fits all [00:11:00] way of thinking or, uh, methodology and, and sequential methodology to do it. Um, but I do think the one interesting thing, and we’re gonna unpack this now on, especially on the, the rev ops centric side of this. Cause we have, obviously so much of our audience is, is in this role. Um, so we’re gonna get a little granular here with this because we all, as operations folks, have started working in, obviously in Salesforce. And how do we track our metrics? 

Speaker 1: What do they mean? How do we define them? So the biggest term right now that we’re seeing with so many PLG plays, our [00:11:30] PQS product qualified leads, um, you know, so we’ve had some of these historic discussions in the past to set a framework for it. We’ve had discussions of do we use leads or do we do an account based piece of it? And now, um, you know, you’re not necessarily hearing too much of PQAs like product qualified account, but you are hearing pqs. So I wanna unpack that, especially from a granular level. Cause I know so many folks on this call are working through incorporating this process into Salesforce or into their own methodology. Uh, Brendan, what do you, what’s [00:12:00] your first thought when you think of pql? How do you start to define that for some of the ops folks? 

Speaker 4: Yeah, absolutely. It, it’s a great question, and it’s one, uh, that, again, I’ve talked to literally hundreds of companies and, and specifically around their, their kind of K L G P Q L methodologies. And, and it’s surprisingly, there’s, uh, no playbook yet. And so, uh, definitely no one size fits all. Um, however, I will say like rev ops, uh, in, in my belief, like holds the keys to a lot of the different systems, right? [00:12:30] And so the, the analogy that I think is relevant here, um, a, a loose analogy, but I think useful is just the concept of MQ ls and your marketing team creates an MQ l right? The definition of an mql. And then rev ops is gonna actually operationalize that, right? Putting it into your systems. When is a lead created? How is it routed? Maybe there’s some waiting criteria into it. 

Speaker 4: Uh, and so PQS is very similar in this. You may or may not at your company be part of the decision [00:13:00] of the definition of a PQL or P Q A, and that also might be different for SMB mid-market and enterprise, for instance. But you definitely should be at least a part owner or an owner of operationalizing when someone becomes a P Q L, when does that get put into Salesforce? What fields get pushed into Salesforce? How are you building reports on top of that? How are you routing that? Um, so you need somebody in rev op to be part of the PLG conversation because it does touch [00:13:30] all of your different systems, and it is very much so, uh, I kind of org wide across the company, uh, initiative. 

Speaker 1: I couldn’t agree more. And I think we, we talk so much with, uh, our audience, customers, community members alike, that they own so much of this. It’s just further validates that Rev Ops is not a Salesforce admin. They’re not just here to make validation rules and create some automations. It’s critical thinking, like you have to be part of that equation. Brian, when you think about that, and obviously you [00:14:00] look at it and track it from a, a metrics perspective, an evaluation perspective, what, what jumps out to you on defining pql? 

Speaker 2: Um, yeah, as Brendan was talking, I was just thinking about, um, it reminded me of like, uh, territory planning, which is classically like a ops or sales ops, um, responsibility. And you might draw the analogy of, um, just like you might assign, like, you know, APAC to sellers who have experience in APAC or something like that. Um, you can think of your lead, your P QLS [00:14:30] as, um, what are the heuristics that make one PQL assignable to a certain group of reps. Let me like explain that a little bit more. Your product is complex thing. It’s not just like, oh, if they signed up, then they’re a pql. It’s like, if they signed up and they completed their profile and they sent a message, but they haven’t signed up, it, you know, there’s like complica complicated logic that goes into it. Something like groundswell really helps with this, but I think that is a highly strategic function. [00:15:00] If your company is gonna invest in plg, and it could be the most important thing that you do is to figure out what are those, um, parameters by which this lead that’s already been using our product should be reached out to by a seller. Um, it influences, um, your pipeline conversion. It obviously influences the customer experience. It influences the product itself. So, um, yeah, Brandon, that’s a good point, and something I think Rev ops as a community has [00:15:30] not completely embraced yet. It’s been my sense, but they are in the midst of embracing it. 

Speaker 1: Yeah, I, I agree. I think because of just the nature of it being relatively new, I mean, we’re not talking about a methodology at a a, a way of going to market that’s been around for 20 years, right? You mentioned that earlier, Brian, about taking this from PayPal into the Yammer perspective and, and kind of build it as we go. It’s new, and I think that’s okay. I think the common denominator that I, that we are noticing is Rev ops will still be centric to [00:16:00] that because they’re helping define, helping create the process, uh, and track it accordingly. Uh, I’m gonna put Christine on the hot seat. She’s literally in the middle of building a lot of, what does a PQL mean to sonar right now? And as we’re building our motion, uh, I say put you on the hot seat. I feel like you got a pretty well good idea of it, <laugh>. 

Speaker 3: Yeah, no, I think from, I, I love the points that Brendan and Brian both made. Um, and especially coming from a marketing perspective, the comparison between a PQL and an mql. Um, there is that element of [00:16:30] kind of like lead scoring and lead lead grading based on how they’re using their I C P. Um, you wanna look at the, um, the domain that that person is coming from too, how much upside is on this. But from a marketing perspective, I think like the best thing that you can do is be put the process in place and then continue to iterate and optimize and see what cohorts or what groups of people are performing the best as they go down funnel and really entering a sales cycle. And rev ops is huge in that. So the more product data that you can get from [00:17:00] the product to the top of funnel process to really kind of build out scores there or build different early customer lifecycle journeys, force people into different features, or influence ’em into different features that we hypothesize or gonna have value to getting them to confer or hitting paywalls or adding additional users is absolutely like, absolutely critical. 

Speaker 3: And I think the closer that marketing is with Rev op and with product through that process, the more opportunities that you can find to build experiences into the product too, that allow you to really [00:17:30] understand what criteria should we be looking forward to identify like people really early on, and then target them with different messaging. Uh, Calendly as an example, did this well because we had different ICPs based on different specific personas. Were you in education versus were you in B2B sales? And that, um, those different paywalls and triggers that would get you qualified at a certain point and then get you into a sales led cycle, were really, really different. So at, so we’re definitely thinking about that too. What’s [00:18:00] the persona of the person that’s using this? What does usage intensity look like? What are the experiences that they’re gonna hit in our free product that are indicative of them having a need in the paid product? And then really kind of tailoring everything downstream from there. 

Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah. I, I, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say this, I think it’s so unique. Rev ops already helps do some of this. When you think about the orchestration of tooling and systems and process, like you rev ops folks roll their sleeves up and help you configure outreach or [00:18:30] SalesLoft or Apollo pick your poison, the one you’re, you’re going with, uh, they help you with some of the merge fields and the way that you start to really orchestrate and put your messaging in. So even for us as we roll this play out, it’s gonna be super important that we are mindful of that. And we tell our sales team all the time, don’t make a mistake and leave that merge field in an email. Uh, you’re gonna get called out really quickly because the audience knows <laugh>, how this stuff works. And it’s even further, you know, important. Now as we do this across so many different personas and ICPs, not just rev ops, but it’s, uh, it’s a big [00:19:00] piece of that orchestrating and executing that correctly. The, uh, lead into that next question, again, with this audience of, of ops folks, how can ops teams operationalize their data in Salesforce? And Brendan, I know, uh, coming from groundswell, this being a, a bit of your sweet spot, really looking to you for guidance on this, cuz this is, uh, exactly what y’all are helping with. 

Speaker 4: Yeah, totally. So, uh, our perspective, and this is, you know, we, we’ve, uh, been met with a lot of encouragement with this is first of all, like, we’re support as rev offs. We’re supporting salespeople. [00:19:30] And so let’s meet them where they’re at, which is primarily Salesforce, right? They’re working out of Salesforce, um, maybe a sales engagement platform or, or Slack, right? So that’s the first place that I would think about putting product usage data in is push that into Salesforce so that you can have that in front of salespeople. Um, you can also then build reports on top of it, right? So a BI tool is a solution, a possible solution to visualize this data. Maybe you’re pulling this [00:20:00] building a, a dashboard on top of, um, data from your data warehouse, for instance. Uh, but you’re not gonna be able to automate actions on the back of a BI tool, and you’re also not gonna be able to, you know, easily create reports and assign that to certain reps, um, where they can then easily put a person into an outreach sequence like they can do within Salesforce’s native functionality. 

Speaker 4: Um, so I would suggest like, as a starting place, if you don’t have any of this data in Salesforce, you can think about putting four fields [00:20:30] into Salesforce, um, that are relevant for your business. It’s gonna be different for every business. Um, so I would, I would suggest four you can do a little bit more, a little bit less and then just fine tune that. Those fields are probably gonna change over time. You may drop one or two, you may add a couple more, but you don’t wanna just dump 20 fields into Salesforce, um, from day one. Um, but you do want to actually push that data in front of the rep and specifically into Salesforce to actually operationalize that data so that there is this layer of transparency between [00:21:00] what the buyer is doing and what the sh seller should be aware of. And then the last thing that I just wanted to mention there is, um, this is a bit of a hot take, but I think, uh, lead scores is, uh, not ideal in that when a rep sees an 88 or a, you know, a B six or whatever your lead scoring methodology is, a rep usually doesn’t know or doesn’t always know what to do with that. 

Speaker 4: Yeah. <laugh>. Um, and so, uh, and the other part is you want that context, right? So as a rep, if I see an 88 score [00:21:30] and that got put onto my plate, uh, into my workflow, I want to know why did it get put there so that I know what is the action that I should take and the context, right? What is the, literally what is the outreach sequence that I should put them in? What is the context when I call them that I should bring up? So that’s the other thing that I, that I would just mention here is, um, lead scores are great. It’s a good way to stack rank, I get it. But also just make sure that the context is going along when you are pushing data into Salesforce. 

Speaker 1: Absolutely. [00:22:00] I think any ops person, especially on this call, will agree with you. Any scoring model, if you don’t have the logic behind it, you’re gonna have so many more questions. Like, cool at 88, what the hell does that mean? Like, I don’t a b plus. Like, what is, how do they get there? What do they have to do to get to that score? So you can justify that and give the logic behind it. Uh, you’re spot on. One thing too that, uh, we’ll share on the screen here in a second, um, that Sarah can put up is, uh, a little bit of the tech stack view of what some PLG pieces look like. Um, you [00:22:30] know, as we’re doing that, uh, I know we’re getting closer to the top of time, but, uh, as a reminder for everybody that is, um, currently on please ask questions. We’re gonna do a q and a at the very end of this, but, um, as Sarah sharing that, Christine, again, uh, love your thoughts now, if you were in the middle of operationalizing this as we speak, um, you thoughts on how to use this with Salesforce and other tools? 

Speaker 3: Yeah, absolutely. I think the further that you can get it towards the top of the funnel is really helpful. So getting it in Salesforce obviously is gonna be extremely helpful to the sales team. Um, that [00:23:00] tailored outreach is absolutely critical. Um, I think a lot of the benefit of the PLG play, like we talked about before, is it really greases the wheels on that sales cycle. So not only are buyers really able to identify the use case, but it becomes really, really powerful when you as a seller can come back and say, I understand how you’re using it today, and let me show you these couple of additional paid features that are really gonna help you use it more from a marketing perspective. When you get that up funnels, you, um, you can obviously do that in tools like, and Marketo [00:23:30] when you have a complex, uh, tech stack. Tools like Braze are built really to pull in a lot of that data and allow you to build marketing sequences around it. But if you can start to nurture based on product data up top and then have that filter through to Salesforce and continue the same sales conversation, it’s just really powerful. It requires strong product tools and a really strong rev ops team. Yeah, 

Speaker 1: I, I couldn’t agree. I think putting that process together is so important. Brian, I know you’re about to chime in, so go for it. 

Speaker 2: Yeah, I’m like a caged tiger. I can’t wait to drop, [00:24:00] drop this one. Um, there’s a new one pretty excited about, so what Brandon’s doing with groundswell huge. Um, there’s also something, Christine, to your point that’s a little bit, uh, above the, the, the funnel, uh, which is a company called default, basically a PLG lead form that handles enrichment on the way in. So now you’re getting your, your, um, your new users, you’re enriching them, getting them into your systems, then you could use something like with default, and [00:24:30] then you could use something like, um, groundswell to just monitor what’s going on once they’re using the product. So it’s beautiful to see these, um, these entrepreneurs piecing this, uh, pipeline together with new tools that are sitting on top of the legacy stuff like Salesforce. But yeah, my guy Nico at, at default is coming out with some good stuff over there, so definitely check that out. 

Speaker 1: I love it. I think the, the two common denominators across a lot of those, uh, a lot of those thoughts is accuracy and time. Um, obviously [00:25:00] the enrichment side, what you were just talking about Brian, like making sure that we get the right data and it’s coming in. And I think the orchestration side, you know, Brendan, you mentioned this and Christine, you did too. You can’t totally inundate somebody the minute they go to a website and then you just blast them with phone calls and blast them with emails and try to get ahold of ’em. It is a methodical, uh, appropriately timed approach. Get in front of them as they’re in the product, get in front of them as they’re going through this different journey, day three of their free trial or day three of them using this, here’s what [00:25:30] they should have an aha moment for. 

Speaker 1: So it is extremely thought provoking in that sense. Um, I know we’ve got a handful of minutes left, so we’re gonna turn it over to some q and a, uh, first one that just popped up and I’ll, I’ll read it straight through. Um, a little bit of the marketing ops angle, um, from Sarah Daley. How could marketing ops educate up to be included in the PQL development process with product engineering and sales? So, kind of I’ll, I’ll, Christine, I’ll, I’ll drop over to you first just being on the marketing side and so [00:26:00] focused, um, how do you look at marketing ops on the involvement of that? 

Speaker 3: Yeah, I think like marketing ops orchestrating with product marketing and getting on the same page is, is absolutely critical. Um, if Mar the more that marketing ops can understand the buyer personas and the messaging to them, the more they can translate that to data points. And as they’re able to make that connection between the buyer persona and the value props and then the data points that are available and the product from the product team, they’re able to really figure out how do I bring these and surface them as [00:26:30] quickly as possible in a way that’s really digestible, um, of market. So I think, um, it’s a great, it’s, it’s a great alignment to have and use your other marketing stakeholders to make sure that you’re completely well versed in how we wanna go to market and who we wanna talk to. 

Speaker 1: Absolutely. Uh, Brendan and Brian, I’ll let y’all chime in probably at the same time and <laugh> talk at the same time, but Brendan go for it. Looks like you got some answers. 

Speaker 4: Yeah, no, I, I totally agree with all of that. I think, um, the, the [00:27:00] interesting thing, so again, kind of going back to an mql pql analogy here is like, this is, this is a new, uh, arrow in your quiver, right? As a go-to market function is having these pqs coming inbound. Um, and so, uh, you want to get the, you know, you want your product in the hands of users, uh, because these are gonna be inbound leads essentially in the same way that MQL is coming, inbound are. Um, and then yeah, because you’re sitting right next to product marketing, there’s a really unique feedback loop where you can actually give two [00:27:30] product to improve product. Um, so, so that’s a unique opportunity and, um, yeah, and again, you’re just positioned really well, like you’re already tying things into Salesforce, into outreach, testing those systems, ensuring that they’re coming along with all of the working parts of your tech stack. And so, uh, I definitely think that if you can kind of go into a conversation and say, look, this is super strategic for the business and I’m perfectly positioned in marketing ops to be able to put all these pieces of the puzzle together. Like, [00:28:00] please, that’s, that’s my challenge to, to marketing ops and rev op in general is have that conversation and try to kind of drive for those outcomes because you’re actually very well positioned to do exactly that. 

Speaker 1: I love it. Uh, Brian, go for it. 

Speaker 2: Yeah, I would just piggyback on what Brendan said and, and I would challenge people to, um, ask the right questions. So rather than feeling compelled to like position yourself as an authority on the pql, um, I’ve seen this sort of like energy before. [00:28:30] It can, it can go awry. You know, you basically can put off your counterparts, but if you instead think very deeply and come to those meetings asking the right questions, um, I think you earn a lot of trust and respect, and that’s what really matters when trying to get to the bottom of which of these people, these leads should we be treating and how should we be treating them. Uh, so that’d be my advice. 

Speaker 1: I love it. Uh, I know we’re wrapping up. We’ve got about 30 seconds, so we’ll do one just very quick, rapid fire. And it’s the same [00:29:00] question that we’ve done from day one when we started Shops Talk. Uh, obviously the audience in the community we have is so ops focused, and so I always challenge folks who join, uh, to sort of fire up the DeLorean, rewind their clock, uh, go back to the first time you were in operations, and everybody here has an operations, uh, background to a degree. So when you’re thinking about this audience, the advice you would give them, uh, early in their ops career to really elevate, um, Christine, I’ll start with you, Brenda, we’ll go next. And Brian, I’ll let you, uh, let [00:29:30] you bring us home. 

Speaker 3: Yeah, I think, um, the thing that has always just helped me is really deeply understanding the product. Um, if you’re able to understand how your users use it, be able to shadow that experience, understand like the real value that you get out of it, then that’s able to just inform how you think about solutioning, even for your internal teams that are working to support those end users. 

Speaker 1: Couldn’t agree more. If you don’t know your product, you’re uh, you’re gonna be in a world of heart. Brendan, what are you thinking? 

Speaker 4: Yeah, so I would say, uh, kind of piggybacking out [00:30:00] on what Brian actually said a second ago is just be curious, uh, be curious and, and figure out like what are the hairiest problems and go tackle those, but be curious in that, right? And dig deep and understand kind of from a first principles why something is happening in your company may not actually be the right way to do it. And so taking a step back constantly and making sure, okay, you know, kind of the old adage of what got us here won’t get us there. I think you should be thinking about that in every problem that you’re tackling. And so, yeah, just, just, uh, scanning and seeing what are the Harry’s problems and [00:30:30] then being curious and kind of diving in when you go solve those 

Speaker 1: Curiosity, you have to have it. Uh, and the one thing before I give it to Brian, this is why I love having him so much on board with Sonar and w Ops and, and really supporting us, comes from an operations background. He mentioned it earlier, even when he was with Yammer and other companies. Um, so yeah, firing up the, you know, the lare then going back in time, starting over in your ops career, what, uh, what advice would you give yourself and give the community? 

Speaker 2: Uh, for sure empathy and empathy with different functions. Um, different functions attract [00:31:00] different types of people. That’s why you see certain types of people attracted to sales versus product versus marketing. But those who can understand those profiles, those mentalities, and when you enter a meeting, which is cross-functional, showing empathy, those are leaders. And uh, that’s what I would challenge everyone to or recommend for everybody, is develop a lot of empathy for the various functions. 

Speaker 1: Could not agree more. Uh, yeah, an empathetic state of mind like that going into any conversation is gonna be massively beneficial in your growth. So, [00:31:30] uh, time flies when you’re having fun. I know we’re already at the top of it, but, uh, most important. Thank you all Christine, uh, Brendan Brian for joining. Uh, thank you everybody for hanging on. Know about a minute over. But, um, you know, as we part, be sure to be on the lookout, uh, we have a ton of great content. We’ll share out the tech stack, uh, document that we put on the screen. You’ll see a lot of, uh, fun and exciting guests coming on shops talk this year. Uh, but man, what a great way to kick it off with these three. Thank you all again for joining, everybody. Have a great day. [00:32:00] Yes, absolutely. We’ll talk to y’all soon. See you.

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