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The Challenges and Opportunity of Revenue Operations

Play Video about The Challenges and Opportunity of Revenue Operations Video Transcript: [Music] okay uh Frederik thank you for joining us we're calling this we were debating whether to call this uh founders Fridays or Fred's Fridays because Fred's our plan they're named after you you've been our first guest on this series but the goal of the series is to talk about revenue and we invite anybody who wants to learn about how to drive revenue for their business to be a part of this uh forum. And to be part of this uh interaction with us um and then why Fridays because it's the best day of the week even though it's not Friday today but we'll post this on our site on Friday um so the goal our goal is to educate and entertain as we go so you know feel free to share anecdotes out of your life that would help people get to know you better get to know your business better would like to learn about your company first so I'm going to start there your company is called pixels uh with a z at the end so if you can maybe share a little bit about what pixels does for this audience. Yeah so um what we do at pixels is that we help professional photo studios um uh major brands mostly in fashion apparel um we help them do e-commerce image editing uh in big scale so um yeah we have clients like a lot of big European clients uh Zolando um in America we got gab we got uh Ralph Lauren so a lot of those bigger companies that have a lot of pictures that need to go online every day we helped do their image editing uh retouching all that stuff in scale so and it's very much in the fashion industry where um it's very seasonal you know you have a summer season spring season winter season and you need all these images to go up um so like one day you have a thousand pictures next day you have zero uh images um so what we do is we do that for them and we can always scale so they don't have to you know hire a lot of image editors day to day um or have freelancers um we help them do all that um and right now we're also moving into editorial some more of the more artistic stuff um but yeah basically that's what we do and then we're like uh kind of a hybrid company we have uh automated a big part of the process uh utilizing a lot of ai but then we also got the manual or in-person um. Image editors um so we can do both and uh yeah that's kind of what we do that's very cool and uh with eCommerce taking off as it has over the past year and a half or so I imagine you guys are very busy uh how many customers do you have overall um well when you sit with the rev ups as I do you know sometimes it's actually not that easy um Also because you know we're a SaaS company so we have subscriptions so it's some months it goes up and down a lot um but I think we're hovering somewhere around um I would probably say seven eight hundred uh monthly subscribers amazing yeah fantastic and uh what kind of image volume do you process that can you give the audience a bit of a feel for uh the scale at which you're operating yeah, of course, um so right now we're doing about uh 40 to 50 000 images every single day um and that comes out to uh a little bit um more than eight hundred thousand a month I think wow the volume that we're an amazing uh fantastic so if you are watching and you're an e-commerce company and you're you know you want to get uh highly uh retouched images on your website pixels are the folks to talk to okay uh awesome and um maybe let's talk about you a little bit tell us what you know tell us about your role what you do for pixels uh let's maybe start there yeah so i'm um I'm hired as a rev-ops analyst remedy operations analyst and I'm kind of uh every time somebody asks me I like to describe it as cross-departmental between customer service finance sales marketing and then I'm just kind of the grease that gets everything going so um trying to optimize as much as I can trying to help out alleviate any problems that anyone in those departments have. So yeah I'm the do-it-all guy um that is uh making sure that we don't have any bottlenecks so you're the swiss army knife at pixels probably that that's probably a very good question well we asked uh we asked your boss Janice uh a while back uh if he could introduce us to somebody who could work with us and he said well there's this guy working with data and pushing leads out to all the right salespeople does that sort of describing what rev-ops people are required to do, yeah I think so it's like uh it's a little bit in the east and a little bit in the west and uh just making sure that everything is going smooth and that we're growing at the pace that we want to be growing up that's for sure uh at least some of what I'm doing so Frederik we're going to come back to a much uh longer discussion deeper discussion on RevOps I think first it'd be great for the audience to get to know you a little bit better so maybe share a little bit about yourself where your base what do you like to do outside of work yeah so um, of course, my name is frederick right now I'm based out of denmark, we have our headquarters in copenhagen so I'm kind of in between copenhagen and oz where I'm living right now um supposed to are not supposed to anymore I'm gonna be based out of our san diego office because we're really growing in the u.s and so yeah I'm going over there I just finished my master's degree this summer but have been working full time with pixels uh since the last christmas since last new year um got my master's degree in economics and business administration and yeah in the in my spare time all the sports that I can get my hands on football soccer basketball paddle tennis anything where I can get sweaty that's awesome that's great and uh is san diego some place that you wanted to be at or is it something that you're moving to because of work um so it's a little bit of both I have a lot of friends over there um I have my girlfriend is right now in san diego living in san diego and uh yeah then I got this great opportunity at pixels and they had they have an office over there so it was kind of just like the stars lining and me wanting to have an experience abroad um so everything was just uh coming together and that's kind of why I'm going over there so yeah I think it was just a good fit for everyone I wanted to try something new and they had a need to get somebody over there to help out growing the office over there so yeah a little bit of both well you definitely have the surfer vibe going so it's gonna I think san diego is gonna welcome you I think you can have fun there yeah I've heard that a lot but uh you know I was hoping that I could go over there so I had to to let the flow go yeah you've definitely got the right vibe going okay let's come back to rev-ops okay so um you know I think it's really interesting uh when you describe what you do as a combination of a lot of different business functions and sort of being the glue that brings it all together what are some of the challenges that you face on a day-to-day basis in your role um I think you know as a company we say that we want to let data decide um but a lot of the things that especially we do in sales it comes down to you know having you know we have the data but sometimes it's just coming from a lot of different sources and some of it is not always Clean and then one of the main issues that we have is that we need to kind of stitch everything together and smooth over the little wrinkles and spend a lot of time cleaning the data before that we can actually let the data decide so I would say that the main issue we have is for all of our like our entire tech stack to kind of speak together come together and let us actually Make decisions based on this data so it's a lot of different data sources that we sometimes have to spend a lot of time on um getting to fit together so that we can actually utilize it um so yeah I think that's that's definitely one of the main issues that I have in in in my day-to-day job and one of the things that I spend most of my time on is to kind of get all of our technologies and Especially the sales department but also in finance um to kind of come together and actually represent the truth that we want to make our business decisions on yeah for sure so you work with the sales team the finance team I imagine the customer success team as well and then a lot of the data that you're uh pulling from to understand how your customers are operating is from uh imagine from the product side of the uh The SaaS platform so you know you're trying to pull all these things together you've shared with us in the past the various CRM applications that you have deployed in the various applications that you have to interact with can you share that with this audience just to give them a feel for what that environment looks like for you yeah of course so we have um we're using a HubSpot for both sales and marketing um Then we have our own proprietary platform where people are where our customers are uploading their photos and then we have our internal CRM database then we're using Magento for business intelligence we have a different database for our production system called saw and then we are using uh zoom info for uh go to market intelligence we're using gong as kind of our sales Training platform um what else are we using, of course, we're using a lot of excel google sheets to uh to make all of these sources come together um what else are we using there's probably a couple that I'm that I'm I can't remember right now how about your customer success team are they on Zendesk they're using so yeah we're using Zendesk then we're using a Swedish company called ‘plan’ had yeah um so yeah yeah and then and so as the individual that's kind of the center of it all trying to you know bring the data together and make some meaning out of it you have to then interact and interface with all of these different teams and these different applications like give me a little bit of a sense for what does that work look like from your perspective Yeah so so from my perspective um you know I wasn't there when we hired or when we brought all these different uh applications into the company so right now what I'm spending a lot of time on is like we want for example data from HubSpot to like when we hand over a deal we want that that data to go into plan hat so that our customer uh success managers have that data and they can act on that data then we want to fire it Back over to a report that we're having in google sheets so that the people that hand it over the deal can actually see is moving the right direction or do not do the handover properly and so I'm talking to uh Sapir plan had HubSpot how we can set up webhooks to make everything fire to each other um making all our APIs work properly as they're supposed to so it's a lot of stakeholders in Different places that I'm trying to talk to to to make everything work got it um so uh Frederik when we first reached out to you, uh you were grappling with a couple of interesting use cases for your CSM team for your sales team and you shared that with us, uh and you know that became the uh the primary use case uh on which we are interacting with you in an early Adopter capacity uh would you be you know it'd be great if you could just share that with that use case with this audience so then we can maybe build on that a little bit and talk about uh how we're working together sure um so one of the things that uh you know we as a SaaS company are very much focused on is actually when we have a deal coming in that we are realizing the revenue that we're forecasting this deal to bring to us um because you know we have uh salesmen we have BDRs, SDRs um forecasting a certain deal size and at some point in that process you know they hand it over and at that point you know we it might maybe be it could be a deal that's supposed to be worth over the first year 200 000 um But then we want to make sure that we're actually um getting them set up and ramped properly and that's where we kind of you know have our first problem because we're using a lot of different plates you know we have an accounting system that's where our invoicing goes to we have an order system where you know they're seeing the order sizes and then for us it's you know It's kind of a problem for us to actually in real-time see how much revenue are we getting from these new clients how many images are they uploading um and do we need to step in and do something to kind of uh ramp them better um so especially within the first 30 to 90 days it's really important for us that we're tracking in real-time um How they're ramping uh revenue-wise um so yeah that was one of the things where we're pulling in data from three-four five different sources and where we were we were struggling to do that on our own um and yeah that's uh where you said where you come into the picture got it and um so just to kind of recap what I heard is that you have a consumption-based Pricing model and then you do the initial forecast with your customers but you have to make sure that your customers are actually consuming what they committed to otherwise you cannot uh recognize that revenue right is that good yeah we so again um you know it's a hybrid model where we have you know recurring revenue and we have a subscription price right and in the forecasting, we're actually pulling Out the subscription price and we're only looking at the the the non-recurring revenue so it's like people pay a subscription and they pay per image and we're only looking at the per image price because that's how we can see you know how they're getting ramped and how many images they're actually uploading got it uh very interesting and um when we first Interacted with you you were running all of this in google sheets which uh made my head spin when you walked us through it um but uh maybe share a little bit about some of the challenges of i mean google sheets we see that utilize everywhere but you know I think it'd be helpful to understand what works well with google sheets and then where are the limitations where do you start to hit some boundaries yeah so I think For a guy like me who's uh you know new to the whole coding SQL python all those things that are kind of like the only place where I can actually stitch things together um I think like what works really well is that um you know you can kind of do whatever you want it just takes a little bit of longer time and you can make everything come together um But the problem for me is that you know then if I need something developed in Magento in our business intelligence system then I would always need to go to our like our dev and you know they're doing their own things and they're busy uh we're still growing a lot so they have a lot to do just on our platform and operations wise so sometimes you know it can be a month before they can you know Have some of my stuff in their sprints um so for me it's um the problem is that I would always need to go to other stakeholders to kind of help me out before I can move on so it's just hitting a lot of bottlenecks all the time and I think that's kind of you know one of the main problems for me um And then also you know the automatic updating it's for me I always have to you know Monday morning nine to ten spend an hour maybe more just you know refreshing all the data pulling it from the data sources entering it in transforming it so that it's you know fitting with everything um so it's just time-consuming and it's not real-time and it's not automatic um so that's definitely some of the The bigger issues that I'm having yeah so uh very interesting I think the way that you just uh summed it up which is uh it does a lot of the things you needed to do but it's not real-time and not automatic um so uh you've now we've engaged in an early adopter capacity so we're immensely thankful for the work that you're doing with us and The time you're giving us to uh help along with the build-out of the solution at Immersa working directly with our product team uh share a little bit about what that experience has been like for you in terms of you know you've seen our demo you've you've seen the vision of where the products headed and we are in the process of working through it and delivering it uh give us a little bit of your sense and your feedback for what You've seen so far yeah I think you know uh when you when you're working with data on a daily basis you know you you have like these stream scenarios where everything is just being automated and you know uh whenever there's uh you know something new is happening you want the right stakeholders to get the information right away so they can act on it um but that for me was kind of like an illusion like that was not Really going to be possible in any way um because you know with the business intelligence system you always have to go in you have to look and then you have to like analyze it and then you go and tell some somebody you know what there's how they're supposed to act on it um but one of the really smart things that that you guys were showing me were that you could set up these plays um where you know if we have a number going above a certain threshold or under A certain threshold it would automatically you know be a play for somebody to act on it um so that you know that whole sequence of that being automated and going to the right people and alerting them that now this is happening you have to do something about it um that was one of the things that I was really impressed with and I that i think is you know one of the best use cases for us at least yeah and uh we are in the middle of Putting all of this together for you but you have already gone through our onboarding process uh over a call I think was about a week ago uh anything you'd like to share from that experience what was the onboarding like for you um super smooth um I think uh you know when we started I was thinking a little bit like okay because I'm stitching everything together and I'm having like you know in google Sheets it's like a to ef it's like 140 columns I was thinking you know it's going to be a lot of explanations from my side like why I'm doing things this way and what this means what that means and what the whole uh how everything plays together but it was like um you know uh I gave you guys access to some of the data and then um I think it was it I'm on uh just a couple of weeks later just like everything was automatic in his system and I was just kind of looking at it like how did he just figure that out so yeah a lot smoother and not very time consuming compared to what I at least thought that it was going to be like so uh yeah great so um yeah and Aman is my co-founder and the brains behind the operation and the guy who's going to make our collective Dreams come true in terms of making it really easy for you to access all this data but you know well well on our way we are now working through some of the additional capabilities that we've shown you and you'll start to see that come alive in the product over the next several weeks um okay great so uh let me maybe shift gears a little bit and you know you've recently entered the Rev-ops industry and I believe this is your first role in that capacity and you know we've learned a lot from our interactions with you on the challenges that you face how do you tackle them and how do you try to bring the entire organization together around this challenge of recognizing revenue and getting consumption going for your customers um From where you sit how do you see rev-ops evolve as a role in the industry uh particularly for b2b sas organizations well I think it's um you know especially in the b2b SaaS I think what's going to be really important is that you know you're able to act on everything as quickly as possible and that you know you're not siloing your departments because There are so many you know in almost every industry now there are so many different companies competing for you know a certain target market um so just kind of like the competition is going to grow and it's going to grow so I think it's going to be really really important that everything is is everyone is talking together everything all the departments are like closer together the handovers between Everything is better you know that your analysis is on point and almost in real-time as far as possible because otherwise you know the there's just going to be competitors who are doing that better than you and you know when you're working with subscriptions you know it's all about churn right you got to keep your churn low um so For us, it's almost even more important that you know we're actually growing the customers that we have more than it is acquiring new ones so it's all about having all those little handovers internally in our company work as smooth as possible so I definitely think that you know having those bottleneck alleviators that we rip off analysts or whatever the title may be are um so I think that's definitely going to be Um more and more important the in with time yeah got it uh great Frederik one uh the last question along the rev-ops lines are there any communities or forums that you're a part of uh where you get to interact with people in similar roles as as as you well say I'm i'm still fairly new within this domain but I'm a member of rev genius their slack community um so I'm definitely in there Surfing a lot browsing different, uh you know different forums and channels in there giving getting a lot of inspiration um I'm myself working on being a little bit more active you know networking a little bit more just because I think it's it's really important and that you always need to learn but for me, i've always said that one of my best qualities is that I'm great at googling um so you know you just find All these different forums stack overflow um all these different places where you know it's it's so rare that you're actually the first one to have a problem um communities as well um so if you're good enough at googling you're always going to end up somewhere or somewhere at the same problem as you and you're probably going to be able to find the solution um But yeah I'd say rep genius and the hopscotch community uh for sure um and yeah otherwise you know you just gotta find the right wording figure out what is actually your problem and google it and most of the time you can find a solution yeah that's uh that's perfectly okay so uh we're gonna take this towards a close and I promise you there's gonna be A series of surprise questions at the end so this is the segment now where we ask you some rapid-fire questions it is a word association game it's a trick I stole from uh the CMO at adobe where I used to work in the past and she's a master at it um but the goal is to really understand what's top of mind for you so we're gonna throw out a word and then you throw back a word and you do it and you throw back the first word that comes to Mind and do it fast and you don't really have to think uh think any more about it does that sound good all right disclaimer English is not my first language okay all right that's okay if you'd like this uh if you'd like to throw out a word in a different language you can do that as long as you know that's why I'll i'll do it in English okay perfect um and then uh Just remember one word so single word no more than that excited okay we'll just we'll start with something easy san Diego uh heat okay um how about uh Denmark cold okay uh rev-ops Greece okay integration uh that's a tough one I've i don't know immigration I'm thinking about uh refugees here I meant integration not immigrations, ah but we'll take that one too um okay how about uh spreadsheets google okay revenue uh growth Frederick curls and immersa uh integration thank you uh Frederik it's been fantastic to have you join us today, uh you've been very generous with your time in participating not just in this forum but working with us in solving a very complex problem for this industry and uh you know we will encourage our audience to check out pixels uh if they're in the E-commerce space or if they have any need for touch-ups on photography and uh and check out your website at, uh and you can certainly check us out at uh immersa. co and for anybody who's watching if you'd like to be on this forum and if you have a point of view on how revenue operations evolve from here we'd love to have you join us Frederik thank you so much my pleasure [Music] We use product data to drive sales, speak to our team.

“cross-departmental between customer service, finance, sales, marketing, I’m the grease that gets everything going.” 

Frederik Andersen

About The Guest

Frederik is a Revenue Operations Analyst at Pixelz, where he works with diverse data sources to improve the productivity of the sales and service teams. Frederik has several years of experience in this capacity, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Communications and a Master’s degree in Business from Aarhus University, Netherlands.

Pixelz, based in the Netherlands, provides photo touch-up services for a variety of eCommerce businesses. Founded in 1999 by three Danish entrepreneurs who grew tired of running into the same frustrating problem of post-production processing, they started Pixelz to address this problem. Today, Pixelz provides photo touch-up services to hundreds of eCommerce sites, processing thousands of images a day.

What We Cover

Every business focuses on improving sales by understanding its ideal customer profile and increasing conversion rate but is often challenged by not using the correct data.

Despite access to a variety of software tools and a collaborative team, sales productivity is impacted when data intelligence is not available to the right person at the right time.

In this inaugural episode, Frederik shares a day in the life of revops at Pixelz. He speaks to the key challenges that he faced to connect product usage data with CRM data for his customer-facing teams. Frederik provides shares the tools and technologies that he uses to address these challenges, and how he delivers actionable insights to the sales and service teams at Pixelz to accelerate revenue.

What You Will Learn

A day in the life of a revenue operations analyst

The challenge of connecting and orchestrating data 

The secret sauce to Pixelz’s rapid growth

Pixelz experience working with Immersa’s Early Adopter program

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