29 May, 2019

Sales Ops Leaders: Interview with Lilian Mitchell

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fullcast.io is launching Sales Ops Leaders, an interview series featuring sales ops professionals in all industries, company sizes, and stages of their career.  Each month we'll feature different leaders as a way to learn from each other, answer tough questions, and connect the sales ops community. 

This week, we’ve interviewed Lilian Mitchell, Sales Operations Manager at ProfitWell. ProfitWell provides industry standard BI solutions that improve recurring revenue retention and monetization automatically through subscription intelligence.  Lilian joined the ProfitWell team as a Pricing Strategist before moving into Sales Enablement and Operations. She has a background in operations, education, and customer relations, previously serving as the Director of Customer Relations at Roomzilla.

fullcast.io: How do you define success in your role?

Lilian: Building the Sales Ops function at ProfitWell has been a journey, and for each phase, we measured success a little differently.

    • After spending a few years on the delivery side of things as a Pricing Strategist for ProfitWell, I moved into a Sales Engineering role to help course correct the sales reps and clarify the scoping process for our partnerships/engagements. In that role, success was 100% alignment between client expectations and our team's delivery.
    • We added Sales Enablement to my role to support the reps as they got deals across the finish line. Success became clearing the path to close by providing reps with standardized assets, aggregating tribal knowledge into a central, shared knowledge base, and further educating them on the nuances of ProfitWell’s capabilities.
    • Now, we’ve rolled all of the above into a Sales Ops role, where I’m also analyzing and acting on data that provides clarity on rep performance, across multiple product lines in the greater ProfitWell suite. Success in this role is finding any and every way to make the sales process more efficient for us, and a smoother partnership for the prospect.

fullcast.io: How do you demonstrate ROI?

Lilian: As a Sales Ops team of one, the big question I’m always looking to answer is “How is what I’m working on impacting net-new conversions?” That’s the North Star. ROI in my role is increasing that conversion rate and making revenue generation cleaner and more efficient.

fullcast.io: What tools are you using? Is there a tool that’s been a game-changer?

Lilian: One of my favorite parts of the job is evaluating and implementing tools.

    • Graduating from Hubspot to Salesforce as our CRM has been huge in terms of better understanding data and making it actionable. Venn Science was key in helping us make the transition. If you're thinking of doing the transition to SFDC by yourself, don't.
    • DocSend has been a fantastic resource for managing all our content and deliverables with prospects and clients (Lisa Matthews is great).
    • Chorus.ai provides transcription and analytics for sales calls and screenshares  — I've had an excellent customer experience with Tom Folinus!
    • We’re beta testing Lexio, which turns data from Salesforce into digestible stories. The value I’m seeing, so far, is in helping folks who aren’t in Salesforce day-to-day understand, at a high-level, what the data is saying. Nick Phillips has been helping me navigate the beta.

fullcast.io: What is your biggest roadblock or unsolved problem right now?

Lilian: Talent. We have the champagne problem of having more demand than we have sales reps, for a product that companies have a need for and want to buy.

Speaking of which, we’re hiring...

fullcast.io: What's the top goal for your team right now?

Lilian: As a bootstrapped scale-up we have steep revenue goals. All the other progress is great, but ultimately revenue is what drives our growth and makes the other initiatives possible.

fullcast.io: What advice do you have for other growing sales ops teams?

Lilian: So much! But I’ll stick to three main pieces:

    • If at all possible, implement one tech stack adoption at a time. Within the space of four weeks, we implemented three new tools (Salesforce, SalesLoft, Intercom), which made for a bumpy road that could have been mitigated, or avoided altogether, had we done one at a time.
    • Get buy-in before implementing major changes. Even if members of the team don’t agree with the decision, giving them the opportunity to surface concerns 1) makes them feel heard and 2) provides valuable feedback to keep in mind before implementing. Taking the time to get folks on board, or to “disagree and commit” at the very least, will make everyone’s lives easier.
    • Find (or build) a Sales Ops community. Modern Sales Pros is a good start; attend meetups and connect with other folks in the space. And of course, fullcast provides a ton of great content and the most valuable and specific meetups I’ve found thus far. Talking shop can give you actionable takeaways and help maintain your sanity 🙂

P.S. We’re hiring for sales reps! Would love to connect.

Connect with Lilian on LinkedIn.