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Women in Revenue HUG Event | RevOps In Uncertain Times: A Fireside Chat with Nabil Jallouli, CEO at Rollstack

2023 March 22 10:57 GMT-06:00


During this  Women in Revenue HUG event on February 9, 2023, we chatted with Nabil Jallouli, CEO at Rollstack, about the fundamentals of managing RevOps in uncertain times and how to manage teams through hard transitions. Topics covered included:

  • RevOps during mergers and acquisitions: putting two different systems, lingo, and teams together to drive synergies
  • RevOps in a startup environment: going from 0 to 1
  • Building RevOps teams at different stages, from startup to enterprise


A little background on our speaker Nabil Jallouli. Nabil is co-founder and CEO of Rollstack, a tool to embed data and visualizations in slides and docs. Before starting Rollstack, Nabil was the Global Director of RevOps at Deel and, before that, led analytics and strategy, and operations teams at Pinterest and Groupon. He graduated from Ecole Central Paris, the top engineering school in France, with a Masters of Science in Operations Research. Rollstack is backed by Y Combinator.

He is passionate about data and views RevOps as the "Swiss Army Knife" of the corporate world.

RevOps During Mergers and Acquisitions

How do you choose which system to implement between the two systems?

When mergers and acquisitions (M&A) happen in business, it's important first to define what the M&A will look like. Remember that combining activities will improve overall efficiency and allow for cost savings. By aligning a company's goals, then the people, then the systems, tools, and reporting, you'll create a holistic approach that brings together the best of both worlds.

RevOps professionals are key factors in bringing the multiple sources of truth together to ensure seamless integration of the revenue generation elements. When choosing which system to implement, look for synergies and focus on the aspects of the system that can provide value from a financial and revenue outcome. You want to make data gathering as easy as possible. 

Lastly, M&A's are traditionally associated with decreases in headcount; it's vital to maintain company culture and a positive work environment for the teams during this transition time.


What does it take to put together two systems?

RevOps teams are accustomed to working with numerous different systems and teams, although it's always a little easier when there's a plan in place. It's good practice to bring the teams together and set goals that align between both teams. Have both teams conduct an assessment of the systems and policies that are in place. Then bring them together to decide what functionalities are essential, what can be combined, and what aligns best with future initiatives. The chosen functions should be what the company plans to leverage, and then the company can decide which platform fits the bill best.


How do you combine two different processes?

No matter the company's size, both RevOps teams are essential to the process of prioritizing and executing the tasks at hand together. Communicate that one team is not better than the other. Review and agree on the new normal of processes, tools, systems, and reporting. Understand how each company uses its tools and how they can integrate and choose the best CRM for the new organization. Remember, the goal of the RevOps team is to pull multiple sets of data into one location. Companies can die due to inadequate reporting on data- crypto space. Having rigorous metrics reporting is one of the company's essential elements to success. 

The process will be painful; it will be time-consuming. Keep in mind that RevOps can be involved before M&A happens. Strict rules should be set in place for prioritization, and be sure to gather the necessary feedback to take the process to the next step.


RevOps in a start-up environment:  0 to 1

At about what time in your revenue cycle (eg, at $ 1 million ARR) do you implement HubSpot?

It's never too early to get a CRM, which one really depends on the company stage. For HubSpot specifically, the pricing makes it enticing for a start-up to use and implement in the first year. With the free version at implementation then, HubSpot's pricing and product grow as the company grows.

Timing varies on the specific needs and circumstances of the business. Companies implement HubSpot when the ICP is targeted, and the benefits and time spent on implementation outweigh the burden of maintaining a spreadsheet as the single source of truth. When the volume of accounts gets out of hand to manage in a spreadsheet, it's time to implement HubSpot. It's also beneficial on the marketing side to help startups create a flow for marketing touches. 

When would you implement a data lake between the product and CRM?

Companies need to have a reliable way to understand product usage from day one...you need to understand what people are doing with your product and where drop-offs happen. Understanding what users are doing with your product is vital data to promote growth. 

The underlying question is whether to build an in-house solution or buy one. Nabil recommends investing in an in-house data team. This way, the team gains knowledge during the start-up phase and can be leveraged to build and track data the way the company wants to.    It's not a heavy lift, with 1-2 people in house. Early-on investments such as this will definitely produce a positive return over time.

Building RevOps teams: start-up to enterprise

What's the right ratio between SDRs and Sales Ops/RevOps?

The optimum coverage for the sales team may change across companies, although the first sales rep hired needs a RevOps Person in place. This person may not be a true RevOps professional but they should be someone who understands the processes and can provide insight and data to sales. If a RevOps person is not in place, the duties will fall back on the salesperson. Always keep in mind it's easier to start from scratch than starting with a muddied-up system that needs cleaning. Sometimes it's better not to have a system in place if you don't have the proper people to maintain it.

RevOps and Sales work closely together in that RevOps maintains the systems and processes which allows sellers to spend more time with their clients. A rough guideline for hiring sales and RevOps professionals: three to four SDRs for every one RevOps team member.

When do you bring in a Marketing Ops Manager? A Sales Ops Manager? A Customer Success Ops Manager?

Nabil feels that the right way to bring on team members, including managers, is to have a mix of both, with more focus on factions (marketing, sales, customer success) than focus on a leader. In the beginning, it's important for RevOps to be independent of revenue, allowing the team to make fair suggestions based on data rather than faction initiatives. CRM implementation is not specific to any team; it's a company-wide project that all team members must buy into. 

For implementation, it's good practice to have one person manage all systems; depending on geography, you might want local RevOps support vs. global. Break out hiring to include 2/3 in central factions and 1/3 in go-to-market-specific functions.

How do you avoid doing everything as a RevOps Professional?

It's easy for RevOps professionals to end up doing everything. Nabil recommends prioritizing what drives the highest revenue as the most important tasks for completion. RevOps is not about tools, systems, reporting, fixing bugs, or CRM issues. It's about enabling the organization to drive more revenue. While RevOps is made up of the things listed above, it is more closely tied to the sales goals and enabling the team to sell best. 

When tasked with a pile of to-do's, remember to do what RevOps professionals do best, prioritize tasks that drive the highest revenue, show the revenue impact of the tasks, and showcase the impact the tasks have on the sales team and overall revenue.

Aubrey Shiffert

Written by Aubrey Shiffert