The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 months ago

BONUS Episode: Revenue Operations w/ Asia Corbett


This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we speak with Asia Corbett, Director of Revenue Operations at

Postal is an experience marketing platform. Their marketplace of gifts and virtual experiences help you delight your customers. Asia is passionate about revenue operations and her wide range of hobbies neatly aligns with Postal’s experiential focus.

What You’ll Learn

  1. About Asia’s journey into revenue operations at Postal
  2. Revenue operations definitions and misconceptions
  3. The data side of revenue operations

Show Agenda and Timestamps

  1. Show Introduction [00:09]
  2. About Asia and [3:15]
  3. Definitions and misconceptions [11:05]
  4. Dashboards and reporting [13:36]
  5. Using a single source of truth [17:26]
  6. The RevOps reporting line [19:01]
  7. Controls and visibility [21:20]
  8. Useful sources for knowledge and inspiration [25:20]

One two one: Three: three, O everybody: It's Sam Jacobs, welcome toa bonus episode. This is a special bonus episode of the Sales Hackerpodcast and we're also recording in video for one of the first time. So Ican't tell if I'm excited about that or nervous about it, but we've got on theguest. Today, Asia, Corbett, Asia's the head of revenue operations at postaldot, io she's, got a really interesting story about how she got into revenueoperations and then she's passionate about the subject. She's located in thebay area, she's got a ten month old, son and two dogs and she loves hikingcamping, exploring reading music and learning new things. Asia. Welcome tothe show he thanks for having me we're excited to have you, so we like tostart with what we call the baseball card and really that's an opportunityfor you to tell us what post old dot io is and does and also learn a little bitmore about your role. So we said Your name: Asia Corbett did I pronounce thatcorrectly. Yes, awesome and your director of revenue operations atpostal dot io, so tell us. In your words, what is what is postal, that ioand so postal is an experienced marketing platform. We we have a marketplace of gifts and virtual experiences to delit our customers and prospectsand help growing your Bihan awesome. Andhow long have you been at the company I'm coming up on a year now year willbe August, okay, wow, so you joined you joined in the middle of coved, yes, andI had just had a baby, so wow two months, he was two months old amazing. Well, no, I hope hopefullycoming up. I guess on that is it is. Is your baby celebrating ther their oneyear birthday, Sun in July I'll, be one in July? Awesome? Well, my birthday'sin July. To so! Congratulations thank you. We sure Zodiac sign, probably for youan early early dry, I'm a little bit...

...later, but still within the zone ofcancer, which means I'm Moody and my Mama Yeah I mean yes, he is is a very sweetboy and he does love mom he's jus Sin all right. So he's Square in the middlehe's, even more moody he's going to be even more but creative. You know,that's the other part of Yeah Yeah, a sign, so postal tell us a little bitabout how big the company is. Is it you know? Where are you and sort of yourrevenue? Trajectory? Obviously don't tell us anything. That's confidential,but night terms of like how many people work there give us a little bit of asense of where you are in your growth journey yeah, so we're still prettyyoung. We just lunched a product last year in May, and then I drench reallyafter that, and now we have a maybe around forty people yeah and we were you know: We're tryingto grow more, really trick the mail down all our processes and our Goin tomarket strategy so that we can go reseen and expand our team and it'snever reach and everything so and do all of the things. So all of them so tell us a little bit. Just let'slearn a little bit about you, because I read your background. Obviously, justyou just had a you know, not a baby, any more. I guess maybe coming up ontoddler but you're. How did you get into revenueoperations and how did you? How did you find postal walk us through a littlebit about your background and how you found this career and then we'll gofrom there yeah? So I would say that my background is pretty solidly inoperations. When I graduated college, I fully set out to go down the path of Co.I wanted to be in finance. I Like Dad, set on being a financial analyst andgetting into it didn't matter what industry, tech or financial services or banking I waslike this is where I am supposed to be,...

...and I kept finding myself in these likequasi finance roles, there is elements of analytical things like I would pullreports for marketing or I've worked at Stanford briefly, and so the professorsand the researchers needed reports on their grants and their studies and allof the spend that they were accumulating, and then there was alwayssome component. That was a little bit operational like. How do I get thingsfrom Asia? How do I ask her to do things for me, and so I got into tech, and then I worked for ariver bed and I was in the marketing department, but I was the financeperson for the marketing department, and so I would run budgetreconciliations but then, and of the Journal Journal in tries manage pe car,the purchasing card transactions, and then I went to an agricultural companyafter that- and I was in to technology operation s department, they told me itwas going to be a finance roll, but it was not a finance role at all. I gotthere and it was very much helping the scientist do their job, which is run theexperiments to take the product to the market, the agricultural products inmarket- and I have I found that I like that- I waslike this- is this- is interesting. It's different! It's okay! I need todesign a work flote now so that when they request a new contract, I'm notdigging through my emails. So I would. I worked with it to set up a share,point form and work low and a request process so that they send a request. Itwould go to the share point. Their manager would have to approve it, andthen I would see it that that way. I had a very clear, like log of all ofthe things I needed to do before that it was being done in emails and anexcels spread sheet. So I was like there's a there's, an opportunity hereto make this a little bit better and a...

...lot of the work that I did. There wasaround those kinds of things like how can I optimize the day to day tacticalstuff in this department so that they can do their jobs more efficiently, andthere is a little bit of a data analysis piece like I managed all ofthe contracts, and so I had to forecast how much we thought they would comeover or under what they make their targets with their studies. Would we have to push studies out tothe following year, which would be very expensive, and then we can submiteverything to the PA. So there was a little bit of that, but it was mostlylike around work, low process, improvement and some systems so thatcompany it was great, but not a lot of career growth. There most is wasn't.This was the Agricultural Company Yeah? Is there called valant and they are soBA subsidiary of a very large Japanese organization called Subito Mo that'sbeen around for a long time and they have many different there in manydifferent sectors, and agriculture is one of them, and so most of the people of the company atValant had been there for decades, really like every quarterlymeeting. They would have the anniversaries, and it's like ten years twenty years, thirty years- and so youknow I was finding myself like- oh my gosh- it's not going to be me. Am Igoing to be doing like this the same thing for thirty years? I don't want to.I don't want to do that, and so I found my way back to towards tech, and I wentto work for a Tech Company in San Francisco calledpresents learning and that's where I really got into like the sale. Obs sortof piece of operations- and I worked on a business operations team thatfunction very much like your typical revenue operations team. Today wemanaged the text Ag. We built a lot of...

...our business processes into sales. Forso we are heavy users of sales for us and we supported the goad to marketteams. Very I mean our sales and customers. Successes are largest.Customer are stake, holders who, who ended upreceiving the most from us, and I learned so much there about operations, all the go to market sideof things and how to use technology and process together and how to use those things to better help. Thepeople around us do what they do best, which is bringin revenue. I had areally great boss and mentor, and she taught me a lot about the importantimportance of process and the importance of data governance andhaving all of that set so that you can go then build something in sales forceor you can go, pull a report and the data is correct, but people don'tquestion it and the source of truth are going to the source of truth and nottrying to do their own pack, their own things together, and it was reallygreat and we were doing really important work connecting therapists toschool districts to serve special needs. Kids and the reason I ended up leaving isbecause the culture changed in the company and the entire leadership teamturned over and people were leaving. I mean by the time I left the company,but wasn't the same company that I had started working for, and I was alsopregnant, and so I started at new relic and ended. My Department got, they got rid of mydepartment, and so I got rid of my role, and so it was kind of it sucked. But itwas good timing because I had river the next week I got laid off and then I hadthe baby, and so it was like all right do a little bit of soul searching whatdo I really want to do next? I wanted... make sure that the role no matterwhere I went, the role that I was going into was some the work that I wanted todo and then the company culture was one that I lined with and that's how you Ithat's that's where postal came in, that's where postal Camin, because Iyou know the bay area has so many to companies, there's so many places to go.I'm like okay, I can I'm pretty strong with sales fors and Excel Google like Ihave the skills to reporting, and so I could really do a lot. But what wasimportant to me was company culture and who would I be working with and what isthe company's value and what do they believe in and that's ultimately why Ichose postal. I was a great team of people and one of ourcore values is making a better wheel, which feeds right into like theimportance of having a process and process improvement and things that are I'm very passionateabout. So that was important to me as and then yeah. Let me ask you aquestion, so you know you've spent a lot of time in operations and inrevenue operations and revenue operations. REV OPS is an incrediblyhot category right now. Ye is talking about it when you, when you hear thatphrase, what does it mean to you and and what do you? What do you think thebiggest misconceptions people have about revenue operations? What is itand what is it not from your perspective, yeah. So to be candid, when I first started atpostal, I was brought on to do sales ops, which, in my I was like yeah. Thisis great. That's fine by me. It is something I can do and looking forward to building out thatpiece of of the organization and quickly what we found is there weregaps in other areas to go to market marketing, and I mean ces. We had oneCS at the time, so what to ses wasn't top of mine. But for me I was thinkingokay. Well, we have the whole funnel.

We have marketing and sales andcustomer success, and we really should be looking at it holistic, ally and notjust focused on one piece, and so that is is when I was like you know. Weshould probably think about this as a revenue operations instead of justsales, obs or dress marketing robs and they agreed Eric agreed, and so that'show we started that piece: okay, Revenue Operations and then okay, whatis revenue operations actually mean to me? It's the processes, the systems andthe reporting that enable the go to market teams tobring in more revenue like at the end of the day. That's what it is in thebusiness processes, the systems processes and the reporting, the data,the data structure. But you think it's different chrome from just sort of likeregular operations. You know, I think there is more, Ithink, there's more of an analytical piece to it. I think you need a littlebit more technical skills, there's an emphasis on managing the systems in the text backand the go to market side of things. So you, your standard operations likeyou're, doing the work flow, the process, mapping, project management,and that is a piece of of revenue operations, but I think that that thesystems piece to me is a different red differentiator between your standard, like overall company operations andthen revenue operations, sales operations, marketing operations, CSoffs makes a lot of sense yeah. You know one of the things that you'vetalked about, and I think this is. This is a really important point. There's alot of focus on dash boards, but your point I think you've mentioned is that,like data governance and business process, definition is critical beforeyou can get to reporting like you need to know what data you're as porting onwalk through your perspective there and some of the common mistakes that peoplemake yeah so dashboards and reporting...

...are important. I don't want to give theimpression that I don't think that it's important to be able to derive insightsfrom the data that you're gathering, but you can't get there until you haveyour structure until you have to find your business process and it can change.So I think a lot of people are like okay. Well, if you do this, it's goingto be settin stone and it's like you can always change and and iterate asyou go. But if you have no process or structure in place, you can't even getto your data, and that was something that we experience ourselves at postal, and soI spent time and a big project defining that with l the state holder, so thatwe had definitions in place and have a structure in place to be able to get tothe data that we were collecting because we're collecting it there'sjust in all of these different places. When you say definitions, tell us tellus more because I think it's a to your point, and you mentioned you knowsingle source of truth. I think it's so important, because so many companiesout there are you know, everybody's got their own report and finance walks intoa meeting and they've got Arr and they've got the number of closed. Onedeals and they've got how many opportunities were created and thensales brings their own report and somehow they have different numberswalk as so. You know how you get to common definition and a single sourceof truth yeah. That is actually something that we dress an exercise wejust went through with our finance marketing and our leadership arounddefinitions, and it's that everyone agrees on what the definition of yourmetrics are and in like business process like your opportunity,something as simple as opportunity stages. We were having a discussionaround this because there are different hand off points along the the go to mygate. Sales Journey and one of those is the ser a hand off it's a very standardpass off point and what is a criteria...

...for that and what is considered acreated opportunity and fiance thought it was one thing andmarketing thought it was one thing, so they were reporting on two separatethings. So marketing is saying: okay, everything is created, is an OP, isn'tof creation, we're accounting. All of that as opportunity. CATION and financeis filtering out things that are rejected or things that are in passingin a passing stage, and so that, obviously that's that's problematic,because those are two very different numbers and you could say: Oh it'sinflated, your numbers are inflated and why are they inflated or what happens?Is Sometimes people will come to me and say why is this report in corrector?This person has this number and this person has this number and I'm like.Okay, that's I look at the filters and I look at like look at the report andtechnically the reports are both correct. It's at the no people aren'tusing the same definition to report on the data, and so that's where there's adisconnected that your teams must must must be on the same page of whatexactly and up created is what exactly is an SL? What exactly is an mk so thateveryone is speaking the same language and when you're making businessdecisions, it's on everyone, who's, making decisions on the same set ofthings. What's your reaction to this this statement because I have a I don'tknow if it's controversial but my perspective is I care more thateverybody's using the same report, then I care that the report is correct,because what I just don't want is a bunch of different teams saying thatthey have different numbers, and that is the thing that throws everythinginto hay wire. Yes, that's almost more kind of traffic because it starts togive people the impression that the data is is wrong and that there'ssomething wrong with the systems and then it becomes a very, very big firedrill. It's like if people are using...

...the same import and maybe something isoff and you are able to catch it, because it's the one report and you'revery intimately familiar with the data and how it's floating and all of theprocesses and how everything is connected and what things are impacting.You can catch those very quickly when it's one report, then nobody even knowsit's like containing the fire in a you know, in a in a small castaly. This is exactlylike closing the door. Okay, I got it, but if they're different reports,you've got fires in different rooms. Your whole house is going to just beengulfed to go up in flames. Yeah Yeah, don't don't not don't one folk eval, Iyou're in the day area we're coming up on fire, so my God you're right, I knowI know I've been like it's really windy where I live to really windy. So I'm,like I hope, last year they turned off our power a lot because of it they'relike the red flag, boardings, high, WID and advisory. If it's not, if it's nota fire, it's a mud slide. If it's Eunion in California, it's always a.let me ask you one question: Who Do you think so I worked at a company once andthe C fo who is kind of a pain in the ass was just adamant that ops fo thatREV OPS report to him. He wanted. Do you think revenue? Not Because- and hispoint is, you know, makes some sense since finance is supposed to controlthe data and finance is the one that puts you, know the reporting togetherfor the board and says this is how you know the business is doing and that'sthe official stance. So I think it in some ways it makes sense and in theother ways, heads of sales cheat Cros. They like to have ravots report to them,because they want to look at the data before before anybody else in thecompany sees it and make sure that they presented it in the right way. Who Doyou think, Raouts LD report to? I actually don't think that they shouldreport Raup should report to either one of those functionns. I think theyshould roll up directly to a Clo or an...

...operation ally focused on anoperational driven leader, because in revenue operations there's a strongreporting component and a strong data component, but the end of the day itstill operations. So to me, I think that should roll up to an operational leaderand if there is no coo or VP operations and directly to the CEO, fair enough, acontroversial stance. Potentially I I think it is. I think it is I've kind ofseen in the circles that reverter should report to the CRO and yeah. I can see where that comes from to me, though I don't think finance isin control all of the data there. They focus on a certain subset of that mostfinancial data there's other data there that I mean, if you don't have a datateam or some data analysts that typically falls. That reporting thenfalls on. Who Yeah I hear you. It's always you, Asia, yea and I'm a team of one. So it's greatwith do you you put controls in you know when youtake on a reos role, one of the things that I think can be super problematicat early stage. Companies- and I see this sometimes at my company- is youknow, sales is writing their own contracts, sending the contracts movingthe deal to closed one on their own and, as a consequence, potentially driving,and it's not that any of those are like a huge problem. It's just the great nowvisibility across the organization to make sure that you can't move a deal,that's not really close to close one or that you're sending out the right termsor things like that right. His ability is a huge piece I think, of whatrevenue operations can bring to the table.

Actually, when I started at postal,there were some pretty good controls in place around that, and it is achallenge because there are so there are so many things to do as a team ofone in an early stage company that, of course, like I'm, I'm thinking we needto deal desk. We need a process to evaluator or contracts need to have alike a standard approval process. So if someone wants to discount it goesthrough this chain of command, but it's all the other priorities you havethat's just not a high one and for the most part, their abs are not likemoving stuff along that they shouldn't and then the approval process its inplace. Right now is manual one. We have to go to tell finance and leave in theSATT sales, and then they look at it together and then they can. Both thisput, the robs can put the discount numbers in like there's no requirementssystematically speaking. There should be eventually at presentlearning we did. We did have a deal desk process that we rolled out and Icame into the middle of that and then we did have like you can't move stagesbackwards or you can't move a stage to close to to any of the later stagesuntil you fill out some of the medic fields, because those are reallyimportant and the post sale team needs them to start service to startimplementation. They cannot start implementation without that information.So you cannot move your stages until you have filled out the a minimum oflike three of those things. We do have a few things in place that we'vedecided our kind of well. We tried, but we do have some system limitation sowhen our VP sales she's on maternity Le Right now, but she's like we need tomake it so that people can only move things out oftheir name that they own it. And I can see the reason for that. But our teamis still small enough and I'm not...

...worried about that enough to put thathigh up on the list to put controls around that. But what I have done isestablished a minimum viable record. I don't want tosay rule because that sots very restrictive, but in order to create lead, we need to have a minimum amountof information. In order for you to come to ravots and say I need touploading, I need these minimum pieces of information. Otherwise I will not dothat up load because things get up loaded into our system and at me I haveto clean it manually. I don't have a data cleansing tool or do I samouat ontool, and so what happens is in the case of a lead getting created and wedon't have information where they came from. Sales is going to be confused andthey're not going to know what to do and they've Brent. To Pin me and ask mewhere they came from t and what sequence should they go in and how towork? The person that is in does the step which quickly drails ear day. Ihave no problem helping and answering questions, but then one questionbecomes another and another and another, and then I'm not focused on what I needto be doing to just why prioritization so important Asia, we're almost at theend of our time together. But one of the last things we like to do is welike to pay it forward a little bit and figure out ideas that have influencedyou books that have influenced to you, maybe great bosses or mentors. Youmentioned a mentor from a couple jobs ago when, when you, when you arepresented with the opportunity to share great ideas or people or influenceswith the rest of us, so that we can follow the bread crum trail a littlebit. What comes to mind absolutely so Julia Geshe was my boss at presentLardy. I think she moved, I think, she's at Tilio now and she was justlike one of the most inspiring kind,... process mid, intelligent people, I've ever workedwith ever and she instilled a lot of the passion I have for process and whythat's so important all of those fundamentals. I got a lot of them fromher. I think she said to Leo now and she is on Lindon. So you could followher. I don't think she posts as a how do you? How do you spell her last name?G, a C H, e T, okay gas say love it, and so, if you have an opportunity toever talk to her, you will get so much. I don't know, I don't think she postscontent and then, in terms of revenue operations, I follow Jeff ignatio fromupkeep. He is I mean in so inspiring that his contentis very actionable, rosalind, clary Santa Lena. Yes, she is also really inSprang, and I like to try to find other women in this space because I'm a woman.So it's it's nice to see revenue operations, people, women in the spacecoming and giving like actionable and sight ful advice. So those are the twoI joined some of the the revenue operations communities to the there area lot of great people in there who are happy to answer questions hop on a call.If you need help, nobody ever makes you feel dumb. Pressing your question: I stillask questions. I so sometimes I'm like I'm doing this and I've been usingsales for for years, and I consider myself of like power years are verystrong user of salesforce, and sometimes I still have questions it'sonly no, I dont make a yeah I'm in the REV ops coop, which is a community byfunnel, like Qu, I'm in there's a great..., a was wizard of ops as well. Yes,wizard about I've heard of that one. I want to check that one out this. Thoseare to an IT's curt. Well, thank you very much. If folks want to reach outto you, what's the best way to contact you, you can send me a message onLinton, I'm on Lindon Asia Orbit Corbett. Thank you so much for being onthe show. Asia. It's been great avenue and it was a bonus episode. So I don'thave to read a lot of ad copy, even though we always love our sponsors. Now,for those of you who listen to the show today, I've got some exciting news.Later this summer, sales tacker is launching a new podcast called revenue,innovators with Mary Chay and Harish Mohan of outreach. You can get thelatest updates on sales, hackers, revenue operations channel so staytuned, and thank you as always, for listening Asia. Thank you so much forbeing on the show, thank you for having you as fit. I E.

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