Will Collins: 2021 Operational Planning and Good Goal Setting

Posted on Dec 02, 2020

About Will

Will Collins is the VP of Operations at Drift, where he is responsible for building a centralized operations team in charge of enablement (Sales Ops, Marketing Ops, CS Ops, Product Ops), GTM systems, and data infrastructure. Will walks us through his process for 2021 planning, and considers what ‘the market’ looks like and what the ‘market's perception’ of his company looks like, with the end goal of moving from reactive reporting to proactive insight.

Will shares a deep dive into the Operational thought-leadership mindset of a hyper-growth company, and also reveals his deep love of Bollywood and cultures.

2021 Revenue Planning and Goal Setting

  • From the Venture (Capitalist) side, you're looking externally at a company and asking questions such as:
    • What does gross retention look like
    • Net retention and growth LTV to CAC
    • Some of these key metrics and trying to decide, you know, whether or not to invest
  • The challenge is that the data lives in different systems. How many qualified leads do you have? What's your pipeline conversion rate? These terms require definition and consistency. And so when you have teams in different tools operating with different definitions, it becomes difficult to understand what's happening.
  • To solve this problem, Drift centralized the team building and created a common set of definitions and built a common language so they knew what their funnel was.
  • Once they identify those four or five common sets they can decide where resources need to be focused or where they want to make a bigger bet. This helps them isolate what can move the needle. To be more focused and to identify what those opportunities are.
  • Operational teams that report to Revenue Operations include:
    • Sales operations
    • Customer support operations
    • Marketing operations
    • Data engineering team - which is really moving all of your data back into a centralized warehouse with a common set of definitions
    • Analytics and data science teams

Drift's Strategy for Sales Performance

  • Drift’s sales performance strategy is broken down into three phases:
  1. Tracking
  2. Reporting
  3. Predicting
  • From a macro perspective, the first year or two Will was building the team. He and his team had to make sure they had all the key data points. They had a foundational understanding of what they wanted to track and why. The last year or two has been focused on reporting and making sure they have all the metrics and that they are surfaced to the team. They asked, “How do we get from a reactive report to a proactive insight?”
  • It will take years in each phase. He doesn’t expect to be able to predict quite yet, but they are understanding how to look at the data and get insights on a real-time daily, weekly, monthly basis that can feed back into the business? An example is analyzing marketing campaigns and determining whether or not the messaging is really working.

Revenue Optimization and Insight

The cycle proliferates cross-functionally, making sure they have repeatability and predictability on a weekly basis to understand the why behind the number. If you understand the why, then you can understand how to manipulate it or how to take action when something is working or not working.

Follow Will on Are you leveraging the power of LinkedIn? I know, I know. You may ...

About the podcast

The RevAmp podcast derives from two words: Revenue + Amplification. This series has been produced specifically to give a voice to the sales and revenue operations professionals who have invaluable experiences to share. We have seen the scope for this role, as well as the recognition, expectations, and tools have rapidly changed over the last couple of years. The reality is that there are not enough high-quality resources for fellow professionals to use as a benchmark or learning curve. DealHub knows how important it is to be well resourced so we have put together this RevAmp podcast for your benefit.

Make sure you follow RevAmp either here, or one of the Apps that’s most convenient for you.

Topics: Process Building, Executive Alignment