Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had a favorite Pablo Picasso quote he liked to throw around. He famously shared the quote after first unveiling the Macintosh computer to a wide-eyed, rapturous crowd of more than 2,000 eager shareholders and reporters.
Once he quieted the roaring, cheering crowd, Jobs explained how he and his team were inspired to create the Mac by looking at other great works of art.
Jobs said, “Picasso had a saying, he said good artists copy, great artists steal.”
Picasso never said any such thing, but no matter. Jobs loved this quote and used it often. He was probably misquoting Picasso who actually said “Lesser artists borrow; great artists steal.”
Great artists steal? The saying is regularly evoked to inspire artists, thinkers and designers. But what does it really mean? Jobs and Picasso weren’t advocating actual theft, but rather encouraging people to find inspiration in the work of others, and use it as a starting point for their own original creative output.
So in that spirit of stealing from the best, we’ve assembled three ironclad takeaways from some of the greatest minds working in Revenue Operations, or RevOps, today. And since you can’t do it alone, we’ll cover the types of tools and systems, like Windward, that support successful teams.
Ross Nibur is recognized by many as one of the top 10 Sales Development Leads in the World and Top 100 Sales Coaches to Watch. He runs operations for Toast, an all-in-one platform for the restaurant industry.
In speaking with Jason Reichl on his Kill Yr Silos Podcast, Ross stressed that he believes Design Thinking is a critical piece of being an operations leader. Nibur has a professional background as a prep cook, so he comes to operations from the perspective of a restaurant and explains Design Thinking this way.
“Anytime you go into a restaurant, every grill you’ve ever seen has a bottle of oil sitting right next to it. Why? Because anytime something goes on that grill the grill guy is going to reach over to pick up the bottle and put some oil down for whatever he’s going to cook — burger, chicken, whatever. Doesn't matter. Oil is going on that grill top.
Now, if you were a restaurant operator you’d never take that bottle of oil and stick it in a cabinet down at the bottom of the stairs. So that every time your grill guy needed to do his job, he had to run down a flight of stairs, go and find something, then take it upstairs, put it on the grill go back down and do that whole process over again, right? No. Of course not, because it's just going to add a ton of steps, and screw up the employee experience or the customer experience you're trying to create.
But...in our CRM systems we make our employees run up and down the stairs all the time to find information in the technology. Constantly! That's a design problem.”
Setting up clear, streamlined business practices is the first step toward resolving bad process design and capturing lost revenue. Even though your senior leadership may have set the process up for good reasons, should your team be manually pulling data from multiple sources to update a contract, crossing their fingers that it’s the right data? Peel back everything you do and look at it with fresh eyes through a design-thinking lens.
Some companies hit a dead end right here at this first step. Let’s be frank. It takes courage to open yourself up to criticism and bold, new thinking. But that kind of vulnerability, and a willingness to change is exactly what’s required in the modern RevOps era.
Outfitting your team with the right tools is the second step. Integrate technology into your core business functions. Look for systems and tools, like Windward, that won’t bog down the process and you set employees up for success in getting their work done efficiently and effectively. Well-designed business procedures can lead to twice the result with half the work, and that’s not hype, so it’s definitely worth the time and investment required.
Thiago Sa Friere is the current CRO at Chorus.ai, a leading conversation intelligence platform where he oversees the global customer success, implementation, RevOps, sales, solutions engineering and the technical support team. Prior to Chorus, Thiago led all global customer facing teams at Hudl where he guided their global growth across 20+ countries and 5X revenue.
Sa Friere likes to joke that his CRO title would really be more accurate if it stood for “Customer Relationship Obsessed,” rather than Chief Revenue Officer.
Asked about his new position, Sa Frier said, “I’m excited to drive massive growth at Chorus through a culture of customer obsession."
In a recent conversation with Lorena Morales, host of The Revenue Podcast Sa Freire explained, “I’m here to create a foundation for our people and our customers to be the best versions of themselves. Companies need to have way more of a focus on the voice of the customer. My job is to make sure the customer has a true seat at the table.”
Companies like Chorus don’t create a cult following by accident. It’s a calculated strategy based on the value of prioritizing customer relationships. They reinforce that value with every decision they make in processes, technology and culture.
More and more, the data shows that fortune favors those businesses putting humans – including their customers – at the center of how they build and evolve their business. Creating a radical customer-centric culture takes discipline. You must be committed enough to truly allow customer needs to drive all business and process decisions. The result is that customers feel individually known and their needs understood and anticipated by companies they buy from.
Employees who spend less time recreating documents are freed up to actually connect with the customer and meet their needs.
Jason Reichl co-founded Go Nimbly, the first revenue operations consultancy. The firm works with high-growth companies and claims to increase their client’s customer revenue by 26% by eliminating operational silos.
Reichl feels that all B2B buyers truly yearn for a B2C experience, and that experience is exactly what Revenue Operations can offer. Go Nimbly’s website explains it this way. “Revenue Operations is all about creating personalized experiences for customers, but personalization is more than a throwaway sentence at the beginning of an email. In order to deliver a truly personalized customer experience, you need to understand your buyer journey and your revenue team’s role in improving it.”
Today’s competitive marketplace means brands are no longer built through advertising, but through experiences. The key is to invest in technology and systems that allow your organization to drive stronger relationships with your customers. The best companies are using technology to build immersive, personalized customer journeys across every channel.
Sellers need to spend more time in front of customers, and less time on internal tools and processes. And you know what they say...time is money. That time could be better used in cultivating relationships, helping to grow existing deals or close new ones.
To that end, operators need to find internal tools with a unified and efficient design. Processes roll out smoothly when everything a person needs is right at their fingertips— ultimately improving the customer experience and contributing to revenue.
A big part of finding more revenue in your operations is teaching your team how to look at the data your business is creating. And it’s easier for teams to do that when they share a common language and get to use tools they already know. Windward Studios provides that common language to teams.
For over a decade, Windward Studios has led the industry by creating smarter, more innovative and advanced reporting and document automation. We’re constantly working to make it easier for companies to do amazing things more simply.
Our software enables more frictionless execution and communication. An IT manager of one our government agency clients estimates that by implementing Windward, his group now spends only a tenth of the development time formerly spent on reporting.
Windward was made for the RevOps age. It allows your people to quickly automate the creation of complex documents from dynamic data and integrate them to create incredibly beautiful layouts.
The Windward platform is designed to make your experience frustration-free from start to finish. You don't have to be an IT professional. You can integrate it into any application to generate complex documents from dynamic data in just one click. No other solution is as quick to implement.