Managing Global RevOps Teams – Gabriel Rustice – RevOps Rockstars
An expanding team is a sign of company growth. You must increase sales and support personnel as revenue increases to meet demand. This growth can manifest in creating locations abroad to cater to local customers. Expanding locations creates exciting challenges – what goes into managing a global RevOps team?
We sat down with Gabriel Rustice, VP of Revenue Operations at Docplanner, to hear about his experience with managing global RevOps teams and how he overcomes the challenges a distributed, multi-cultural team poses. As always, our hosts, Jarin Chu, VP of Marketing, and David Carnes, Founder & Chief Evangelist at OpFocus, join Gabriel for the discussion.
Let’s jump into the discussion and hear Gabriel’s advice for global RevOps leaders!
Listen on your favorite podcast app:
What is something you had to learn the hard way?
Gabriel has learned two critical lessons throughout his RevOps career. The first is that “busy does not always mean effective.” He advises to differentiate between noise and priorities, focusing only on initiatives impacting the company. The second lesson is properly balancing technical skills with business and human skills. It’s essential to understand your weaknesses and take action to address them, whether it’s speaking to reps or learning about the technical infrastructure.
How do you transition out of doing busy work?
Folks in RevOps are often swamped with busy work, but aspire to transition into more impactful projects. Gabriel suggests sitting down with stakeholders and taking a hard look at your work to see if it’s adding value. He meets with his team quarterly to evaluate if his priorities align with the company’s goals.
What does your title of VP of Revenue Operations entail?
As VP of Revenue Operations at Docplanner, Gabriel ensures his team consists of highly productive customer-facing professionals equipped to help the company meet its revenue targets. Docplanner’s RevOps function does not include marketing ops as a formal part of the umbrella; instead, there is an informal alignment between the two functions through the customer journey.
Gabriel measures success in his role based on three metrics: tying RevOps to bottom-line revenue, achieving project goals, and delivering excellent service to internal stakeholders. Although they do not own a revenue number, Gabriel believes tying variable comp to revenue numbers is critical to hold the RevOps team accountable. The second metric he tracks, project success, is viewed through OKRs. He looks at the initiatives and the project goals to see if the rollout/implementation was successful. The final success metric, delivering above and beyond customer service, looks at SLA (Service-Level Agreements) and NPS (Net Promoter Score) feedback. Through these three metrics, Gabriel sees his team’s success in meeting business objectives.
How do you structure a RevOps team of over 60 people?
To successfully manage an international team, Docplanner implements a global and local structure. Outside the RevOps function, a global tech stack team manages the platforms and tools. Within RevOps, Docplanner contains a global sales operations unit and a global customer ops team. There are also local departments and functions in each country, including sales and customer ops teams, enablement, data quality, analytics, budgeting & forecasting, project management, and support functions.
Alignment is key when working across global and local teams. For Gabriel, this alignment starts with the vision. It’s challenging to get so many people across different languages and cultures to work together if they don’t have a shared vision of what the company is trying to accomplish. He reinforces this vision through discourse during all-hands meetings. It’s also important to listen and learn from the local teams and create a feedback loop where people constantly provide input on improving processes. At Docplanner, local teams are entrusted to operate quickly, while the global team helps ensure consistency across the company.
How does change management differ in different regions?
When coordinating with global teams, getting buy-in from different functions or markets is crucial. This alignment is especially true during major projects like migrating from HubSpot to Salesforce, which Docplanner is undergoing. Even after getting buy-in, there’s still the challenge of local teams operating under different processes. To overcome this, Gabriel stresses the importance of having a multi-threaded buy-in approach, similar to a sales strategy in enterprise organizations, where all stakeholders are aligned so no one gets blindsided. Leaders must also prioritize spending time with the team, instilling leadership skills, inspiring them, and ensuring they see teammates as human beings to ensure success in change management.
How do you determine which resources to outsource and what to keep in-house?
Gabriel prioritizes doing most things internally, and only outsources if necessary. He notes that cultural differences play a role in outsourcing decisions and that European companies are more reticent about outsourcing. As of the time of this publication, Gabriel is looking to hire for several positions, including a Global Sales Operations Analyst and leadership roles in revenue operations for Brazil and Poland. If interested, visit the Docplanner careers page to learn more about the available positions!
What large-scale changes are you currently prioritizing?
One major project Gabriel focuses on is mapping out and executing a dream state for their customer journey. This cross-functional initiative involves people from the data warehouse, BI, sales ops, customer ops, sales, marketing, and finance. RevOps is the intersection between these departments and is well-positioned to lead this project. To Gabriel, RevOps excels in cross-functional work and encourages teams to take ownership of massive initiatives.
“RevOps is looking at the whole customer journey. By design, it looks across multiple functions. I believe we are well positioned to lead these initiatives.”Gabriel Rustice, VP of Revenue Operations at Docplanner
What tech stack tool could you not live without?
For Gabriel, the most straightforward tool that gets the job done is often the best choice; organizational and technical complexity often hinders scalability. He notes that it’s less about the tool and more about how it’s designed and governed. Regarding CRMs, Gabriel has worked with Salesforce, HubSpot, and Microsoft Dynamics. He notes leaders often overlook Microsoft Dynamics and see it as a fantastic option. A great BI tool for visibility into customer data is also critical; Power BI is Gabriel’s favorite. Gabriel advises leaders to keep tech stacks simple and focus on tools that serve the business’s specific needs for scalability.
“The simplest platform that gets the job done is, in my opinion, the best option.”Gabriel Rustice, VP of Revenue Operations at Docplanner
Where do you go for your at-a-glance view of the company?
Power BI and Tableau are Gabriel’s preferred platforms for an at-a-glance view. These platforms are easy to use, even without a data warehousing infrastructure. One challenge Gabriel faces is unifying their CRM migration process. To address this, Docplanner has built a data warehouse and API team that “many companies would envy.” Since the data is already normalized, most of their work is on data visualization and chart building.
What signals indicate the right time to bring on a BI tool?
Gabriel and David agree that companies should immediately bring in a BI tool when they have a financial system, CRM, and other platforms they want to report across. The key is to find the right BI tool to meet your needs. Some are more turn-key than others, and the cost is also a factor for maturing organizations. When a company has two systems instead of one, that’s the time to start connecting the dots – “the sooner, the better.” Although many teams think they can do this in Excel spreadsheets, it’s best to bring on a BI tool soon as possible.
“The sooner, the better. As soon as you have two systems instead of one, that’s the time to start connecting the dots. So do that sooner than later.”Gabriel Rustice, VP of Revenue Operations at Docplanner
What will be the next significant disruption to the rev ops function?
Gabriel believes RevOps will continue to mature internationally, particularly in Europe and Latin America. The definition of RevOps is still evolving, and he thinks it will become more standardized as the function matures. Artificial AI is another introduction that will continue to advance and disrupt the RevOps function.
“Don’t assume that people will understand; you have to focus on education with the state of the RevOps function.”Gabriel Rustice, VP of Revenue Operations at Docplanner
How did you get into RevOps?
Gabriel separates his life into three distinct chapters. The first chapter involved figuring out his strengths, the second mastering the basics of customer data and visibility, and the final chapter was the transition to RevOps. He joined Aucerna (now Quorum,) an early-stage software company as a Sales Analyst. At the time, he wasn’t sure what the role entailed but found it was one of the best decisions of his career. A mentor at the company instilled a lot of knowledge into Gabriel that prepared him for his eventual career in RevOps. Here, he mastered his companies and learned how to focus on providing value to the customer and company. Gabriel now describes RevOps as “a formal shift to unify operational functions and make the company a true revenue operations machine.” Although Gabriel has accomplished a lot in his career, he’s excited to see what the future holds for himself and the RevOps function.
What advice would you give your past self?
Gabriel would give himself three pieces of advice earlier in his career. The first is to play the long game and think about the bigger picture. Early in their careers, people often focus on the current project rather than how it fits into the company’s long-term plans. The second advice is to be humble and embrace the imposter syndrome: no one is ready, and everyone experiences the impostor syndrome from time to time. Lastly, he says he loves what he does and wants to continue pursuing his career in operations. While he doesn’t have a specific goal for his career bucket list, he’s excited to see where the industry goes in the future.
Expanding your professional career
Gabriel shared great insight into how leaders should manage global RevOps teams! Hearing about RevOps veterans’ experiences is one of the best ways to grow as a leader and avoid common pitfalls. Connect with Gabriel on LinkedIn and check out his company, Docplanner.
Our next episode features a special guest, Pablo Dominguez, an Operating Partner at Insight Partners and the co-author of What a Unicorn Knows, available now! Watch all our past recordings on the RevOps Rockstars Youtube channel!
Listen on your favorite podcast app: