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How Best-In-Class Companies Are Using RevOps and What You Can Learn From Them

Download the PDFA revenue operations team discussing finances

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 Hub, that support successful teams.

Lesson #1  Don’t Make Employees Run Downstairs for the Oil aka Incorporate Design Thinking Into Your RevOps Planning

Ross Nibur / Toast, Inc.

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 Hub, 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.

Learn more about How To Avoid The 3 Most Common Obstacles to RevOps Success.

Lesson #2  Don’t Forget What CRO Really Stands For

Thiago Sa Friere / CRO of Chorus.ai

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.

Lesson #3   Give B2B Buyers What They Really Wish For… A B2C Experience

Jason Reichl/CEO - Go Nimbly

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.

Increasing Customer-Facing Time

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.

Windward Hub: Tools Specially Designed for the RevOps Age

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, like Microsoft Dynamics and HubSpot. 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.

Windward Makes All Your Document Automation Work More Seamlessly

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.

Plays Well With Your Systems via Zapier Integrations!

Windward Hub now connects with popular form applications like JotForm and Typeform empowering you to generate documents in a snap when you automate your form-to-document workflow. Leave manual, repetitive work behind focus on what matters and automate the rest with Windward Hub's Zapier integrations.

Our Clients Use Our Tools to Extract Every Last Drop of Revenue From Every Lead

Windward Hub 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 Hub 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.

Learn more about Windward Hub or try a free trial today and start creating documents quickly with our low code/no code solutions.

Tags Start & End

Tags Can Start & End Anywhere

Appendix B

.NET code for multi-page image output

Appendix A

Java code for multi-page image output

Data Bin Search

The Data Bin can now be searched to find a table, column, node or other piece of data without scrolling through it all.

Shrink to Fit

This will shrink the contents of a cell until it fits the defined cell size.

Time Zone Conversion

A new Windward macro has been added to help with converting dates and times from UTC time to the local time zone.

Image Output Format

New image output formats added.

PostScript Output Format

PostScript, commonly used with printers and printing companies, has been added as an additional output format.

New and Improved Datasets (Designer, Java Engine, .NET Engine)

Datasets have been re-written from scratch to be more powerful and easier to use.

Stored Procedure Wizard (Designer)

This works for all tag types that are connected to a SQL-based data source (Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, or DB2).

Boolean Conditional Wizard (Designer)

Before, conditional statements could only be written manually. Now they can also be built using our intuitive Wizard interface.

Reorganized Ribbon

The ribbon menus have been re-organized and consolidated to improve the report design workflow.

XPath 2.0 as Data Source

Adds various capabilities such as inequalities,descending sort, joins, and other functions.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

SQL Select Debugger

SQL Select  Debugger

  • The look and feel was improved
  • Stored Procedure Wizard
  • Improved Exceptions pane

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Tag Editor/Tag Selector

Added a Query tab as a field for typing or pasting in a select statement

  • Color Coding of Keywords
  • TypeAhead
  • Evaluate is now "Preview"

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Rename a Datasource

All tags using that Data source will be automatically updated with that name.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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Connecting to a Data Source

New single interface to replace 2 separate dialog boxes

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Tag Tree

Displays of all the tags in the template, structured as they are placed in the template. This provides a simple & intuitive way to see the structure of your template. Also provides the capability to go to any tag and/or see the properties of any tag.

Added Javelin into the RESTful Engine

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Support for Google Application Engine Integration

The ability to integrate the Windward Engine into Google’s cloud computing platform for developing and hosting web applications dubbed Google Applications Engine (GAE).

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Additional Refinement for HTML Output

  • Improved indentation for ordered and unordered lists
  • Better handling of template header and footer images
  • Better handling for background images and colors

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Redesigned PDF Output Support

This new  integration will allow for processing of complex scripts and bi-directional  text such as Arabic.  Your PDF output  will be much tighter and more closely match your template, and we’ll be able  to respond rapidly to PDF requests and fixes.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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PowerPoint Support

Includes support for new ForEach and slide break handling, table header row repeat across slide breaks, and native Microsoft support for charts and images.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Tags are Color Coded

Tags are color coded in the template by type, making it easy to visually identify them.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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Increased Performance

Version 13’s core code has been reworked and optimized to offer a reduced memory footprint, faster PDF generation and full documentation of supported features and limitations in the specifications for DOCX, XLSX and PPTX.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Advanced Image Properties

Documents can include advanced Word image properties such as shadows, borders, and styles.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Improved HTML Output

Windward has updated HTML output to reflect changing HTML standards.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Version 13 New Data Sources

Windward now works with a slew of new datasources: MongoDB, JSON, Cassandra, OData, Salesforce.com

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Generate Code

The Generate Code tool in the designer allows you to open an existing template and, with a click of a button, automatically create a window with the code needed to run your current template with all data sources and variables. Simply copy this code and paste into your application's code in the appropriate place. You now have Windward integrated into your application.

You only need to do this once. You do not do this for each template. Instead, where it has explicit files for the template and output, change that to parameters you pass to this code. Same for the parameters passed to Windward. This example uses explicit values to show you what to substitute in where.

Pivot Tables Adjusted in Output

Any pivot tables in an XLSX template are carried over to the XLSX output. The ranges in the pivot ranges are adjusted to match the generated output. So your final XLSX will have pivot tables set as expected in the generated file.

This makes creating an XLSX workbook with pivot tables trivial.

Imported Template Can be Set to Match the Parent Styles

In an imported sub-template, if its properties for a style (ex. Normal) differ from the parent template's properties for the style, the use in the sub-template can be set to either use the properties in the sub-template, or the properties in the parent.

You set to retain when you don't want the child template's styling to change when imported. You set to use the parent when you want the styling of the imported template to match the styling in the parent.

Any explicit styling is always retained. This only impacts styling set by styles.

Tags can be Placed in Text Boxes

Tags can be placed in text boxes. Including linked text boxes. This gives you the ability to set the text in a textbox from your data.

Tags can be Placed in Shapes & Smart Art

Tags can be placed in shapes & smart art. This gives you the ability to set the text in a shape from your data.

HTML Output Supports Embedded Images

When generating HTML output, the engine can either write bitmaps as distinct files the generate HTML references, or it can embed the images in the HTML providing a single file for the output.

Footnotes & Endnotes can Have Tags

You can place tags in pretty much any part of a template, including in footnotes & endnotes.

Document Locking Supported in DOCX & XLSX

Any parts of a DOCX or XLSX (PowerPoint does not support this) file that are locked in the template, will be locked the same in the output.

Specify Font Substitution

If a font used in the template does not exist on the server generating a report, the font to substitute can be specified.
In addition, if a glyph to be rendered does not exist in the font specified, you can specify the replacement font. This can be set distinctly for European, Bi-Directional, and Far East fonts.

Process Multiple Datasources Simultaneously

If you need this - it's essential. And if you don't need it, it's irrelevant.

Windward enables you to build a document by applying multiple datasources to the template simultaneously. When Windward is merging the data into a template, it processes the template by handling each tag in order, and each tag pulls from different datasources. (As opposed to processing all of one datasource, then processing the next.)

This allows the select tag to use data from another datasource in its select. For example, if you are pulling customer information from one data source, you can then pull data from the sales datasource using the customer ID of the customer presently processing to pull the sales information for that customer. If you're interested in patching together your data from multiple datasources, read this post on our blog.

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