Nail It And Scale It – Cody Guymon – RevOps Rockstars
Joining us for Episode #18 of the RevOps Rockstars Podcast to discuss how to nail it and scale it is Cody Guymon, Chief Operating Officer, GTM Operations at Workato.
Cody Guymon is a strategic sales & operations leader who was recognized as one of Utah’s 2020 Business Executives 40-under-40. He helped Qualtrics go from a $1B unicorn to an $8B SAP acquisition and then through an IPO at a $20B+ valuation. Welcome to the show Chief Operating Officer, GTM Operations at Workato, Cody Guymon! David, Jarin, and Cody sit down this week to discuss the value a statistician brings to an Ops team, why you should start preparing for board meetings as soon as the quarter ends, and the value of doing ride-alongs with sales reps.
“I find a lot of the innovation just comes from listening to sales.”Cody Guymon, Chief Operating Officer, GTM Operations at Workato.
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In this episode, we discuss how RevOps leaders can create the foundation for a sustainable, scalable, high-growth RevOps function — and we discuss the questions and topics listed below:
Questions and topics:
- What’s something Cody had to learn the hard way?
- What does the RevOps team at Workato look like?
- What does the day-to-day of a COO look like?
- How does Cody balance in-house and external resources?
- What type of cross-functional initiatives does Cody lead?
- How does Cody effectively manage multiple departments and communicate with department leaders?
- How does the Workato team use its platform in-house?
- What does Cody think the future of RevOps looks like?
- Learning more about Cody’s background
Here are the top 5 takeaways from the discussion:
- Creating fair and equal sales territories is crucial: Although there is no exact science for territory allocation, Cody recommends consulting with sales leaders for guidance on the best approach. These leaders have valuable input on the team dynamic and help ensure equitable territory distribution.
- The value of having a statistician on the team: Having a statistician responsible for creating predictive analytics on accounts and developing predictive scoring models is critical. This role helps ensure fairness across global operations.
- Size and functions of the RevOps team: The Workato RevOps team includes sales ops, marketing ops, partner ops, and customer success ops. Each functional unit aligns with the function they support, and their metrics and targets do not compete. The team is centrally organized, but each sub-team has incentives and targets related to their respective internal stakeholders.
- Daily responsibilities as Chief Operating Officer: Cody’s day-to-day tasks vary based on the seasonality of RevOps. Some of his responsibilities include compensation planning, territory allocation, quotas/target setting, and sales kickoff (SKO) preparation. He emphasizes the need to balance strategy and execution, listen to sales reps, then implement their innovative suggestions.
- Balancing in-house and outsourced work: Cody’s approach to determining what tasks to keep in-house and what to outsource depends on the speed at which they need the work done. Prioritize urgent and essential tasks, and if a product exists in the market that can be quickly and affordably purchased, they opt for outsourcing. They use an urgent and important matrix to make decisions on whether to buy or build something.
Expanding your professional career
Cody shared great information about how RevOps leaders should approach scaling their business and building an effective foundation of systems, data, and governance.
Connect with Cody on LinkedIn to hear even more RevOps insights, or look at his company, Workato. Our next episode features special guest Kay Dastgheib, VP of GTM Strategy & Operations at Mural. Watch all our past recordings on the RevOps Rockstars Youtube channel!
This podcast is part of the #RevOpsRockstars network.
Full Automated Transcript (May Not Be Completely Defect Free)
Cody Guymon: my best practice is just calling up sales reps that are disgruntled. Tell me why, what, like, what’s so, what’s painful about your life? You know, what, what’s going on operationally that you just hate doing? And that’s, I find a lot of the innovation just comes from listening to sales. I think sometimes RevOps leaders can be, I agree, towerish and just force stuff upon salespeople.
Here’s your comp plan and. Here’s your territory, not you have to take it. And that’s what it is.
David Carnes: Today’s guest is someone we’re really eager to talk with. He’s a strategic sales and operations leader. He was recognized by Utah’s 2020 business executive 40 under 40. He helped Qualtrics go from a $1 billion unicorn to an $8 billion SAP acquisition. We have the Chief Operating Officer of GTM operations at Workato, Cody Guyman. Welcome, Cody, to the podcast.
Cody Guymon: David, Jarin, thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here. Big fan of the podcast.
David Carnes: So Cody, let’s get right to it. What’s something in RevOps that you had to learn the hard way?
Cody Guymon: Territories. Anyone in RevOps knows sales territories are, are really, really big pain. So I got thrust into it in my first experience in RevOps. Uh, that’s what I was, I was a territory manager creating sales territories across the globe, and it’s, it’s a difficult thing for sure. Um, there’s no exact science.
There’s no playbook to go, you know, read up on how to go do this. So I just relied a lot on sales leaders to help guide me through that what they’ve seen work, what are the best reps doing, um, and, and grabbed some tidbits there. And thankfully had a statistician on the team. They decided to be able to do some predictive analytics on accounts and some predictive scoring model-type stuff.
And we kind of lucked out into getting territories right. Uh, early on at Qualtrics, but it’s a beast. Those are really hard. They take months at times, and we were able to thankfully take a three-month process and automate it down to, you know, six minutes at the annual turn now. So it’s, there’s a fun, fun deal, but very, very d.
David Carnes: And when you’re doing that, you’re going through the territory alignment realignment process. What are the key goals of that? Are you trying to achieve fairness or what? What are you trying to achieve?
Cody Guymon: Yeah, lots of goals here. So fairness and equity are one of ’em. You need to make sure that each rep at their given tier has the same chance to go hit their quota as their peer next to them. You don’t want, you know, one, one rep that has. 80 accounts and they’re all customers. You know, that’s an AE five sitting next to another AE five that has one customer and 42 accounts, right?
It’s not gonna be fair. So there’s a balancing act, there’s fairness that needs to happen, but ultimately the goal of territories is for every rep to be successful and hit their quota and have the chance to do so. And then at the company level, it works out at the company level cuz we’ll go crush our goals with that.
But there’s that. That’s definitely one of ’em. Fairness, equity, and then giving a chance for success for every.
Jarin Chu: I’ve never heard Cody of a statistician being part of the territory. planning process I suspect that’s unique to Qualtrics. Uh, just given the nature of the business and, and what Qualtrics did. Um, tell me a little bit more about what kind of analyses they ran in analyzing the accounts and analyzing the patches to ensure fairness.
Cody Guymon: Yeah, so thankfully we have a statistician at Workato where I’m at now as well, and we’re, implementing the same practice here, but what you’re doing is you’re doing a predictive spend model on your accounts So you’re looking at your historic data. And you’re looking at, what accounts are spending and what industries, and you, can basically load up a lot of variables into any stats-based products.
So r or Python, and you can do a predictive spend outcome, and you can balance that and segment your customers and prospects, based on that output. And then you can start to create, you know, fairness across, across the globe in that route. So, you know, for those. You know, stats nerds out there like myself, uh, the package is, is, is called Random Forest and I got that early tidbit from someone at a, at a conference in the early days in RevOps, and they told me that package, it’s basically like a tree-based stats package that you can use to, to get that outcome.
Jarin Chu: Wow. Uh, this makes me wanna know a little bit more about, uh, you mentioned Workado Ha has a statistician as well. A little bit more about the team and, of course then your role. Um, Paint me a picture first, because Workato is a, is a really well-known brand now. Works across many industries, and provides all sorts of automation, integration, and orchestration services.
Um, I think you’re coming up close to a thousand employees, and you got your Series E most recently in 2021. Um, how big is the size of the operations, RevOps specifically, a team that you’re working with, and what kind of functions does that headcount kind of spread out?
Cody Guymon: Yeah, the team here is about 22. So, uh, a small lean team and it, and it spans multiple functions. So it’s all of your, your traditional sales ops as well as marketing ops, partner ops, and CS ops. So it’s really bringing all of the ops orgs together that interact with the revenue side of the business and making sure we break down silos, coordinate together, and that sort of thing.
The statistician that I’m referring to, the title is actually data scientists. So a lot of people will hire data scientists on their analytics teams, and actually, at Workado, he runs our go-to-market analytics and insights team. But, Most data scientists or what I’ve found from data scientists are, are trained in statistics or have some basic understandings and then that helps them be able to code and, and put together, put together those, uh, those models.
Jarin Chu: You mentioned, um, having sales ops, marketing ops, partner ops, and CS ops, and it’s really exciting. Every time I hear cs op. I feel like that’s kind of the, um, forgotten child of RevOps for many companies. Uh, I think a lot of them have a legacy. Maybe starting out in sales ops, um, occasionally having the marketing ops function and then less so partner in CS ops.
Tell me a little bit more about, um, how you’re measuring each of those functions and the success within.
Cody Guymon: Yeah, so. For myself, I tie myself to the company number. I think if the company, you know, that is successful, then, then overall I’m doing my job. But at each of the functional units, they’re gonna be tied to the functions that they support. So even within sales ops, we have people that will support, uh, you know, specifically just AMEA.
Our failed op field ops director of AMEA would be tied to the EMEA number. And, uh, you know, the CS ops would be tied to the overall macro goals of CS, whether it’s around renewal rate or in some cases expansion or consumption. So what we really try to do is get the alignment in RevOps with the organizations that each functional leader supports and, and make sure that those metrics and things that we’re tracking at the company level, they, they don’t compete with one another.
Right. So, one of the groups in my organization is go-to-market comp plans, and so go to market compensation. Right? And so you’re putting together comp plans for. DS and sales and SDRs and the partner team and, and everybody, right? Pre-sales, post-sales, so that you can really make sure that we’re gonna work in harmony together in that customer journey.
And that the, the drivers of what people are getting paid in their variable pay, uh, they don’t compete. That there’s the, you know, we have the clean metrics across the board. And so therefore that’s what we’re really tying that, that compensation or measurement to is how each of those units are.
Jarin Chu: Yeah, that makes a ton of sense. And it sounds like in this case, Nina Forrester, uh, had put out kind of three different models of how most companies think about RevOps. There is the alliance of the willing, there’s the centrally organized, and then there’s the kind of. Uh, not exactly an existing sort of model, and in your case it is centrally organized, but you’re also very clear about ensuring that each of those sub-teams has incentives and targets that are directly related to the internal stakeholders that they support.
Cody Guymon: Absolutely. Yeah. So each of the groups, they really, they’ll hardline to me operationally because there’s, there’s a lot of benefits there, but they’re dotted line into the functional leaders. So they support, so the cs, you know, head of Cs ops, you know, dotted lines is the head of CS, and they, they work in tandem and pair to drive outcomes.
And then hard lines to me to where we can bring in, you know, some of the operational rigor and standardization across the company that will scale efficiently.
Jarin Chu: Your title is? Chief Operating Officer, G T M operations. That’s quite a unique title. We usually, uh, speak to folks who explicitly might have RevOps in their name, and we are starting to see more, uh, G T M Ops as a title in the folks that we’re reaching out to. Can you help paint me a picture? What does your day-to-day actually entail?
Cody Guymon: Yeah, so right now, you know, it’s February; this is the annual turn. You know, our, fiscal ends on January 31st. So right now this is everything from territories getting out globally to comp plans like I just talked about, getting administered, quotas being set, targets being set at the company level. A whole host of all that stuff.
SKO is happening. Who’s going to the club? We gotta pick the winners. There’s data and analysis that goes into all of this. We have a value selling, um, a methodology boot camp that’s coming up, and I’m actually leaving tomorrow to go to Spain to be able to go do that, do that for the Europe team. But there’s so much going on.
This is what I love. Uh, and it changes every day. I think that RevOps has seasons, the annual turn season, you know, two months, three months before the annual turn, and two to three months after is in intense, uh, operational execute. And then I think you get into the next six months, which is really innovative.
That’s the time that I love; I love to execute. It’s great to be there for the org to make sure we’re getting all of this stuff dialed in. But, you know, I really, really enjoy the innovation, right? The data science predictive modeling happens in the innovation time period that we’re caught.
Workato automation makes life easier for sales reps. That type of stuff happens in the innovation season, and so day-to-day changes a ton. And that’s what I love about the John
Jarin Chu: Wow. I, I, I often have that question, um, for. RevOps leaders, which is how you balance that strategy versus execution, right? Because so much of what RevOps is successful is because we’re so good at executing, but the truly forward-looking RevOps organizations are able to really take the time away from just the, the running of right, the running in, and they’re able to kind of take that 50,000-foot view.
And analyze trends, recognize, um, potentially signals that the rest of the business doesn’t get to do. You mentioned, uh, the seasonality of RevOps. I’m wondering when you get into that time for strategic thinking and planning, are there any kinds of, um, practices, rituals, things that you personally employ to help make sure that you have that mind space to do that big picture?
Cody Guymon: Yeah, I think that you’ve, first off, gotta start with giving yourself time to do it. So I will literally block. An hour of time, two hours of time to think about it, um, during the day and, and to kind of step back, right? You have to see the forest from the trees like you’re talking about. You have to be able to get back and see that, that big-picture view.
And, my best practice is just calling up sales reps that are disgruntled. Tell me why, what, like, what’s so, what’s painful about your life? You know, what, what’s going on operationally that you just hate doing? And that’s, I find a lot of the innovation just comes from listening to sales. I think sometimes RevOps leaders can be, I agree, towerish and just force stuff upon salespeople.
Here’s your comp plan and here’s your territory, not you have to take it. And that’s what it is. I’m the exact opposite. If there’s a spectrum of that, I am like in the trenches with salespeople, um, talking to them about everything. And so for me, I find a lot of innovation comes from just listening and then, then, and then using the operational expertise that we have or the tools that we have at our, at our disposal to then go make whatever the suggestion is from the sales leader or sales.
We go innovate to make it actually happen and sometimes make it happen faster. Um, so, so anyways, those, those are, those are some of my best practices.
Jarin Chu: Really, really good advice, uh, to listen and to be in there with the end users, uh, take their feedback, especially when they’re unhappy. And that’s uncomfortable sometimes, right?
Cody Guymon: Yeah. Yeah.
Jarin Chu: um, with this many kinds of roles and functions and tasks that, uh, you have in, in the department, um, I suspect you have a good opinion and approach on what kinds of things you try to keep in-house.
Uh, in terms of go-to-market operations at RevOps. What kinds of things might you want to actually consider external help, especially when the team is growing? How do you kind of balance in-house versus outsourcing?
Cody Guymon: Yeah, I think, uh, Outcomes and speed are the ones that I prioritize, right? So if it’s something that’s gonna have high impact and, and we need it quickly, and it’s gonna take a while to build, we’ll go buy it. I mean, that, they just, we need, it’s time to value, right? It’s time to market. So for us in operations, if it’s a, if there’s a product that exists in the space that we, that we need and we can go buy it quickly at an affordable price, you know, and saves us time, then, then that’s super important.
I think you see that most across SaaS where. Super hyper-growth. Um, you know, a lot of times you’re, you’re not, you’re not growing five to 10%, and you have all this time on your hands to go figure out, you know, how to build stuff and, and get, you know, more cost-effective. You’re gonna probably buy, buy some things quicker if there’s, if the value’s there.
And so for me, that’s usually what, what I’ll do if, if I want to build something, it could be something that’s longer term. Some of the, the most, uh, you know, I use an urgent and important matrix with a lot of projects that I put, and if it’s urgent and important. We probably are gonna buy, if there’s something there.
If it’s, uh, not as urgent and super important, we’ll probably build, like if we have time and we can put that in the seasons where we’re innovating, and we want to go build, we’ll go do it. So I think for me, I’m, I’m balancing kind of urgent and, and important.
David Carnes: Little, little known Trivias that Op Focus actually had an app on Salesforce’s app exchange that allowed. To, uh, basically graph out all your activities or tasks as urgent versus important. And, uh, it was the early days of Visual Force. We thought it was pretty cool. Uh, MJ and I on our, our team who’s our SVP of technology, I wrote it out on a napkin and said, I think, I think this would be helpful to people
Cody Guymon: helpful. I think that’s, uh, I, I preach that all the time. That’s, that’s with my team to prioritize. That’s where we go after urgent, important.
David Carnes: So you were talking about outcomes earlier. When thinking about big outcomes, uh, corporate level, cross-functional initiatives, uh, can you share with us what types of initiatives within Workado that you and your team own that are that big across the entire organization?
Cody Guymon: Yeah, I think, you know, the annual plan that’s going to the board, the numbers across the board, how are we gonna get there with n R R, the metrics that matter now, right? I think your, uh, rule of 40 really matters now and how you’re gonna get there and the right balanced approach that you’re gonna take. Uh, your N R r goals that matter.
A lot of private companies are starting to key into what matters on the public market as the dynamics have shifted in the last 12 months. And so, you know, from the RevOps perspective coming in and being able to provide guidance and a path to get there and the numbers behind it and the metrics, I mean, massive company-wide initiative, uh, for, for RevOps, for sure.
David Carnes: And I’m curious, uh, so you are, uh, newer to the organization, congratulations. That’s. Exciting. Uh, I’m trying to think how many board cycles you might have, uh, had an opportunity to do this next, uh, question that I have for you. Uh, like do you interface with the board, uh, or the investors for
Cody Guymon: I do. Yeah. Yeah. I’ve got my first one in March, so I’m super excited about it. It’ll be the first time, that I’ve had it here at Workado. Uh, we definitely will; I’ll be in the room. We prep the board deck, you know, we’re, we’re facilitating that collection of. Of board slides and data and all of that stuff across the company and, and really crafting the narrative and, and all of that stuff when it comes to the board.
David Carnes: that’s great. It’s so interesting. Do you have a suggestion for how early, or a preference for how early you and your teams start working on that?
Cody Guymon: Yeah. We like to start prepping it as soon as the quarter ends. So as soon as the quarter, quarter ends, we have roughly six weeks, and so we kind of. Go backwards on a Gantt chart. From there on, you know, what we need right off the bat, the data, as we, as we do the close on the year, the quarter with finance, and we start loading things in at that point, um, we’ll really dial it in and have a, a polished V1 version of the deck, you know, a week to two weeks before the board meetings so that we can meet on it and discuss the, the contents and where, where we might need to double click a little bit and then we’re gonna grab some more data and fine-tune that thing.
But I, I personally, I’m early. I love to prep early. I don’t like to wait till the last minute. Gives me too much stress and anxiety. So I’m, I’m, as soon as the quarter ends, I’m jumping in.
David Carnes: So while we’re on the topic of reporting, where, where do you go to get a glance view of how the business is, how things are going for the business?
Cody Guymon: Yeah, so forecasting tool first and foremost for me, I think if you’ve got a good one, we’re a boost-up shop here at Workato. I used, uh, the clarity at Qualtrics, but, but a forecasting, um, tool that gives you some insights and, and maybe even some predictions on where you’re gonna land for the quarter or future quarters, what your pipeline coverage is, what, what leaders are calling in there.
Where we think there might be risks, there are so many insights that can come from a forecasting tool. And then we use Sigma for our reporting needs and BI needs. And so, you know, we’ve got ten foundational reports that we’re kind of looking at there. And so I think between the two systems, you know, maybe some Salesforce dashboards in there, we, we can kind of see, uh, see the holistic business.
David Carnes: Oh, that’s so great. All right, so, I have a very important question for you. Uh, so early in my career I worked for three software companies. In the olden days, we called it eating your own dog Food. Nowadays, I think we might refer to it as drinking your own champagne. I’m really curious, what are some ways that you use Workato to solve RevOps needs internally?
Cody Guymon: Yeah, I’m, I’m learning a ton about this as I’m joining the company, right? I’ve been here four months. But I love what I’m seeing so far. So think about some pain points that are typical in RevOps. The ones that pop to mind are, you know, lead routing, and lead scoring, and Workato does that automatically in the background.
You don’t have to, you know, worry and have people manually do that. You can put whatever scoring model you have and connect the systems together and do some lead routing and lead scoring. That’s one. You know, one example, another one, Salesforce hygiene. Uh, you. I hate past-due close dates on deals. You know, you’re coming in the quarter, and it has a close date from a month ago.
You can ping reps in Slack, you know, through the integration and just say the day that it’s past due, Hey, your, your date is past due. What’s the new close date? You put something in Slack, and it feeds back into Salesforce, and now you have a lot better hygiene because your forecast is only really gonna be as good as your hygiene.
And so, the easier we can make that for sales the better. So think that’s one example of hygiene that you can do. Um, you know, past due close eight, but there are a million others that RevOps leaders know that they’d love to clean up. It’s about serving it simply and easily for sales reps so that they can quickly, you know, on their phone at Slack, uh, be able, to handle that, um, on the fly.
And, and the other. And another one is like, uh, approvals with deal desk, you know, Super easy to integrate Slack and, and Salesforce through Workato and, and, and tee that up. So the end of the quarter, rather than having to go check, you know, all these emails and then open up Salesforce and then go find the approval.
But it, you know, you gotta do it on a desktop version cuz it’s way easier to do that than on, uh, on the email. You can literally just get slacked, and it’ll pull up all the deal. Uh, you know, the things about the deal that matter. What are the payment terms, what’s the deal size, you know, any special exception that’s making it up to myself, COO, or CRO, and you just literally press approve or throw a comment back on why you wouldn’t approve it?
And so those are, those are a couple of examples that I’d give on how, you know, Workato is drinking its own Kool-Aid, but I think what’s exciting is that the possibilities are endless. It’s really any. Any manual task as an operator that you don’t love or, or that salespeople don’t really love doing. It’s about integrating the apps and automating them and, uh, and work CAO’s world-class at that.
David Carnes: Yeah, it seems like with Workato you have an opportunity to really tighten up each step of the RevOps, the flow of information through RevOps, and we see it in so many interesting ways, whether it’s enrichment or like you’re talking about with Slack. Uh, so many interesting ways to do callouts and improve the information as it’s flowing through the operation.
Cody Guymon: Absolutely, and for me, As an operations leader, I remember the early days in my career where so much of what I was doing was just copying and pasting things from a spreadsheet to slides and reformatting it and manual tasks, right? And, that doesn’t give me a ton of joy. I love the strategy; I love the thought of what the numbers are actually saying, not putting ’em in the slides.
You can automate a Google Slide template to feed from live data and like QBR decks, we all do qbr, right? You can press a button and the QBR deck’s done because it’s feeding in all of the automated data into a template and it’s all automated on Workato. And so for me, just in general, the possibilities are endless.
And where I start with is like, what do I not enjoy about my job that’s manual and where can I free up time for my whole organization? To be innovating because that’s really, as you both know, as you’ve interviewed tons of RevOps leaders, that’s what separates really good operations teams from ones that just execute.
It’s really the innovation. What are you doing differently than other people? How did you get ahead so much quicker? And if we can automate or use statistics or scoring models or whatever, that’s really what separates, I think, really world-class operations teams from a.
Jarin Chu: And. Saying gets me really excited because, um, the, the idea that, hey, the technology now is becoming mature enough to not only help our end users, the folks on the frontline, right, sales, sales users, marketing users, uh, customer success users, The people who are supporting them behind the scenes, like RevOps are now also getting our suite of updates with, with the plus of, um, automation, with the plus of being able to take a lot of those manual processes away from our day-to-day so that we can actually focus on the forest.
As you said, if we look at RevOps more broadly and things that we are also, that you are looking forward to. What do you think will be the next big disruption or the next big blessing? However, you might want to frame it to RevOps that will transform, uh, folks’ lives in RevOps.
Cody Guymon: Yeah, I think we’re at a really interesting time in the RevOps space. I think I saw a report recently that, you know, revenue operations is one of, the highest occupations hired in the last year. You know, it’s climbing the charts, and so with that comes a lot of tech that’s trying to become the RevOps platform.
Right. And we’re seeing that across the globe. We’re seeing so many companies becoming not just a forecasting tool, but trying to also be the out outbound prospecting tool, the data enrichment tool, the BI tool, right? And you start to see a lot of people jumping into that. I mean, you see clearly, you see gong, you see outreach, they’re, they’re starting to meld into.
Similar companies where they’re, they’re doing everything now. No one’s like, you’re not functionally just the best at forecasting; you’re now trying to also be functionally best at, at outbound. Right. And so I think what we’re gonna see is a lot of consolidation in the space in a winner emerges. And I’m excited to see who the winner is.
I think it’s, uh, it’s gonna be fun and exciting to see who emerges from the pack. But right now I would say we’re in a spot where each company still has its domain expertise. It’s where they started. It’s the bread and butter; it’s what they started. And whoever can get the parody on the other one’s quickest, probably gonna pull ahead.
And so I think what we’ll see in the industry is some consolidation. Probably one tool that can do everything for RevOps leaders that will emerge then that’s gonna be fun to watch.
Jarin Chu: Yeah, and we saw that similar kind. Evolution in the last, I would say, you know, prior 10 years when it came to MarTech solutions, right? Um, different tools that traditionally did forms all day long or email all day long, ended up, of course adopting, you know, what we now consider to be bread and butter marketing operations or marketing automation functionality.
So that horizontal integration, I think is, um, inevitable when you think about Cody, your. Uh, job and the things that you still have to do more manually or be more involved in. Is there something that you wish there was a tool out there or a vendor out there who could also like, take that piece of your job, uh, off your plate so that you can actually do more of that strategic thinking?
Cody Guymon: I would love it if somebody could design a tech around deal disputes and rules of engagement. That would be ideal. I you know that’s part of the job that I don’t love. Right? You get a big global deal and it, you know, is a leader in one country and moves to another one, but they, you know, whatever it is, right?
Everybody’s got rules of engagement, something that they’re following on deal splits. And oftentimes I’ve gotta be, you know, the judge and the jury on those and decide what the split’s gonna be or who gets the credit. And, you know, you stay at a company long enough and you, you really start to upset a lot of people
So for me, I, you know, try and balance that out. Try and be as fair and practical as I can. Try to default to the rules, kind of like law, you know, case law would be, but, but for me, if there was a tool that could just handle all of that and I never had to deal with that part of my job, that’d be fantastic.
David Carnes: I love it. So probably one of our listeners out there is an aspiring entrepreneur and can lean in and go solve that. Take some funding and become the next unicorn.
Cody Guymon: Yes. I love it.
David Carnes: So, so Cody, we’d like to shift and, and talk a bit about you. So you are raising your family in Eagle Mountain, Utah. That sounds like an incredibly beautiful place.
Cody Guymon: Yeah. it’s wonderful. I, I grew up in the East Bay in Livermore, California, but I’ve been. In Utah, 18, 19 years now. So, uh, it’s a fantastic state. I love it. We’ve got a wife and three kids. We live in Eagle Mountain. It’s, you know, 30 minutes from everything, but it’s also 30 minutes away from everything too, which I love.
So it’s, it’s, it’s a rural place out here in Utah, but it’s growing pretty big and, and, uh, we enjoy it. It’s beautiful. Mountains, snow, all that good.
David Carnes: Oh, that’s so great. You did an undergraduate in finance at the University of Utah. You did an M B A at the University of Utah. In your prior position, you were c o O of global sales at Qualtrics. So I’m curious; take us back. How did you get into sass RevOps in the first place?
Cody Guymon: I think most RevOps people would say they stumbled into it. I didn’t, I definitely didn’t graduate from my finance undergrad and say that I want to go into RevOps and I don’t even know if that was an actual title at the time, so I don’t think it was, uh, but, but anyways, I’ll let you know the journey. I started off, uh, doing some consulting.
That’s where I started out. The first kind of real job was doing consulting. And really developed a good skillset, I would say, in just Excel and PowerPoint and presenting and things of that nature that consulting does well. But I didn’t love the consulting business where I’d pass over the slide deck and hope and praise somebody that could, uh, implement what I just spent months doing.
Um, in that slide deck. I wanted to see it end to end. So I knew from there I wanted to get into something where I could operationally execute, not just do the strategy side. So I, uh, I, that’s where I jumped into tech in the. Worked my way around, I think I naturally gravitated towards salespeople. And so, uh, I really, like most of my friends were in sales.
Uh, but, but I had kind of an affinity for analytics and insights and like figuring out how to help sales do better. I didn’t love the risk of, the high, uh, variable pay and commission structure. I grew up, uh, I grew up kind of on and off of, uh, the food stamps and government assistance. And so I, I’m kind of risk-averse when it comes to money.
I’d rather take a little bit less, you know, give me a smooth paycheck that I can budget again, that’s stable and like that brings me comfort and happiness, right? So I wanted to be in sales a little bit and still have that desire, and I like to do customer-facing things now. In my role, but at the time I was averse to kind of going into, you know, 50% variable comp, and so I wanted to still help my friends go win.
And so that’s where I started to get into just sales ops at that time as an analyst, you know, maybe a senior analyst and, and work into an operations leader from there, just in sales op and then, uh, you know, getting into to Qualtrics and being able to start kind of in territories and sales ops, you know, go to market strategy piece.
There was; it was fun. And then it kind of just one thing led to another. I don’t know, like, you know, when you’re on a hyper-growth company and grateful for, you know, what I had at Qualtrics, right? We’ve got acquired, like you mentioned at the beginning for 8 billion, then we spun off and went public at 27 billion.
And uh, you know, it’s this wild ride. So if you’re, If you, if you’re doing your job well and you, you know, things come your way, you know, my advice would be to just take it, say yes to everything that people ask you to go do. And I just started taking it and kind of working my way up there and ultimately, you know, was there for six years and, and led to my role over here.
So I think I did not start out wanting to get into it, but I knew what I did. Like in my consulting days, I knew what I did, like kind of finding who I wanted to interact with and be close to the revenue side, but maybe leverage some operational skillset and analytics skillset.
David Carnes: So, so some really great advice there. Um, what, what I’m kind of excited about for you is, uh, I imagine the move over to Workado is potential to just go do it all over again.
Cody Guymon: Yeah, absolutely. I, I love, love the team here. Um, really attracted to the product and, and what it does for people like us, our operations leaders, right? It frees us up to go. Do some really innovative, fun stuff, and so I love the product and it; it helps other departments obviously than just ops, but yeah I met the team.
Here at Workado, the executive team, and VJ’s fantastic. The founder, c e o, as well as the entire exec team, and, and really fell in, fell in love with the people first, and fell in love with the product and then saw the opportunity ahead and felt like this would be a good, you know, a good place to go. Leverage what I learned and failed at Qualtrics and stumbled along the way and maybe, you know, knowing what I know.
Could set it up right from the start and get things going a bit earlier maybe that I could see around the corner, uh, with, that’s gonna, you know, what’s gonna happen at a billion in revenue, right? And so it’s gonna happen at 2000 sales reps, you know, and, and bring that philosophy down, you know when there are 150 sales reps, right?
And so you’re just setting things up from the start rather than seeing them break later on. And so that, that, all of that stuff really attracted me here.
David Carnes: Well, and I hope before you get to that 2000 sales reps and beyond that, you have that deal conflict software that you want to, uh,
Cody Guymon: Please, please. I’m looking for that one. I’ll be at buyer if anyone wants to develop.
Jarin Chu: Cody, I’m interested in a little bit of like introspective, um, thoughts from you, and specifically what I mean by that is, I think your earliest RevOps role was, in healthcare and, in an intern position. And later on, you’ve taken also different kinds of RevOps roles, in kind of that extended healthcare space, eventually into, um, kind of like smart home electronics.
There’s a manufacturing bent to it. And then, of course, you know, we’ve been talking about Qualtrics and Workato in the last. Uh, 30 minutes or so. If you were to look back on that day one of being in RevOps and maybe specifically in SaaS RevOps, what kind of advice would you give to yourself given where you are today?
Cody Guymon: great question. I would give myself the advice to nail it and scale it. Like, you’re gonna start in some function of RevOps. It could be Deal Desk; it could be marketing ops, or analytics. It could be, um, you know, partner enablement. Doesn’t really matter, right? You’re gonna; you’re gonna start somewhere. Just nail your core job and be world-class at it, and then scale yourself.
So as soon as you can. Give kind of what you’ve been doing and be able to hire someone and train them up to be able to do it so you can go focus on other things, or if opportunities come your way. You know, I would always just say scale yourself. Continue to do it. Like saying yes to every opportunity, even if you don’t feel prepared.
None of us feel prepared. You’re just gonna figure it out as you go. So have confidence in yourself that you’re gonna be able to figure that out. And so, so nail it and scale it is kind of my mantra with, with RevOps in general, if you wanna kind of progress. And then, um, also just, yeah, I would say be close to sales and revenue and understand how it works.
Understand how deals are coming in and, you know, Ride shotgun with salespeople and, and go to marketing events and see like what’s happening at them that’s actually converting. Be curious. So another one, you know, advice was for you to be curious. Just try and figure it out and um, and I think that that bodes well for anyone.
If you’re at the right company, you gotta be at the right company that’s growing fast. You know, and you really do an excellent job at your core job, and it gets noticed, you’re gonna have more thrown on your, on your plate. You’re gonna be able to progress, and then, you know, good things happen.
Jarin Chu: So I know you are going to be, uh, nailing your core job in the, the roles you’re in today. And I know, uh, you’ve been at Workato for, um, coming up close to a half year. You know, there’s gonna be lots more to learn and lots more to be curious about. If we were to zoom out and think a bit more broadly about kind of your career, um, trajectory and your bucket list items, what might be next, uh, in an ideal world for you, Cody?
Uh, or maybe what might be last that, uh, whichever way you wanna answer it. Yeah.
Cody Guymon: Yeah, great question. I think right now, you know, you said I’ve only been here four months, so I’ve got a long runway here at Workato that I’m excited about, and you know, we’re still private, so you’re taking the company public, and then operating as a public company will be really exciting.
In my current role here and on the executive team. I think that you know, zooming out what comes next after that at some point, whether at Workado or not, I’d love to be the president or c e o of a company, SaaS company. Take them public, do all of that fun stuff, and lead, lead an entire group. But you know, when that happens and where it happens, you know, I’ve got a lot of runways here at Workado, but that would be probably the next step.
Jarin Chu: Yeah, that sounds like a very, very exciting challenge. My last question here, uh, about, uh, really you as a person, Cody, is around. What you do outside of work. Obviously, work is a big part of our lives. You know, we spend, uh, probably more than a third of it in front of the screen with our teams, but what do you do to unwind?
What are the things outside that, um, makes you, especially given where you are, where you live, uh, that, that makes you feel like, wow, life is so beautiful. This is, this is a wonderful way to put things in context here.
Cody Guymon: Yeah, my family, number one, I mean, life’s beautiful. We’ve got a wife and three, three kids that are great and healthy, so it’s wonderful. We like to go explore Utah, Utah’s a playground for people that like the outdoors. So we’ve got one of those Airstream travel trailers. They’re like one of those Chrome Twinkies that’s, you know, driving on the road there.
That’s, uh, that we go take, we go up into the mountain. We boondock. So we don’t really go to like, you know, campsites or RV parks. We go just in the middle of the mountain somewhere, bring a generator and we just go explore the outdoors. So, we do that for fun. I love, to hike. I love to fish, love to hunt.
Um, but we do that as a family, which is great. And, and then I love to explore the mountains, in the winter, and snowboard. My wife skis, the kids are skiing, they’re young, but we’re getting ’em going already. We like to unwind by just kind of disconnecting, fully getting into it, the middle of a mountain where you have no cell service, exploring the national parks.
If you haven’t been to Moab, go to Moab. Uh, going to Zion National Park is amazing. You know, it’s, it’s a wonderful spot. It’s kind of a playground for us, so that’s what we love to do for fun.
David Carnes: Like you’re in a perfect part of the world for all of those activities. I’m really happy for you and your family.
Cody Guymon: Thank you. Yeah, I appreciate it. We love it.
David Carnes: So Cody, where can people find you? Are you out on social media? What if somebody wanted to follow you or reach out to you? How might they do that?
Cody Guymon: Yeah, LinkedIn is great, so, so you can, uh, find me on LinkedIn, connect with me, you know, uh, send me messages. But, uh, sometimes, well, you know, as we all know, we get overloaded as a RevOps with messages and stuff that’s coming into us, so sometimes I don’t see it as well. So if you’d want to email me. Uh, my email address is just CodyGuymon@gmail.com or email@example.com.
Either of those works and, uh, you know, would love to connect with other RevOps leaders or aspiring RevOps people out there that want to learn and grow. I think for me, I love to, mentor and, and help where I can. Um, and you know, I’ve, I’ve been given a, a lot of mentorship in my days and so would love to return the.
David Carnes: And how can one of our listeners learn more about work?
Cody Guymon: Yeah, go to the website, you know, form, fill out something to learn or just ask me, you know, if you wanna, if you wanna shoot me an email and ask and see where you wanna apply it in, in, in your RevOps function or anywhere in your company, um, happy to connect you with the right people, but also share my learnings and be a part of that journey with you too.
David Carnes: Oh, it’s so great that you’re willing to be a resource and I can think, can only imagine. There are probably a million and million, and one uses for Workato within RevOps. So, uh, I’ll be excited to continue to learn about those. Um, I’m curious, uh, what are some resources or communities that you turn to learn more about and continue your journey in RevOps?
Cody Guymon: I think this podcast is fantastic. It’s forums like this where you can learn from other people doing the same thing. That really matters. I think, um, one thing I’ve kind of done in my career that’s maybe not as formal out there is just, uh, you know, take people to lunch. I’ll just find, you know, I live out here in Utah.
It, it’s got a good, good tech scene here. There are quite a few great tech companies, right, whether, you know, it’s Divvy or Lucid or, or Qualtrics or others podium. And so for me, I’ll just, you know, Can somebody on LinkedIn or, or find a friend that works there and get their number and say, Hey, you wanna go to lunch?
I’ll take you to lunch. I’ve been doing that since I graduated. I was told, uh, by somebody named Scott Paul that the best investment you can make is just lunches and take taking people that you aspire to be your mentor and go, uh, go take ’em to lunch. So for me, it’s a $20 investment, and I’m learning, you know, Thousands of dollars worth of value from these lunches.
And so for me, that’s, that’s where I go to learn. I think even when I go to conferences when you ask about how I learned about the predictive scoring model, I was at an Anaplan conference eight years ago, and there was somebody in RevOps at Tableau, and I remember just going out to lunch and talking and learned, learned a lot about the Random Forest model.
So that was like my key in there. So I think taking people to lunch, you know if I’m traveling, if I’m in the Bay Area and I’m gonna go there for WACA. You know, whether it’s a, you know, a Warrior’s game that we’ll go to and have a, a suite at, or it’s, or it’s just a, a, I haven’t got an hour for lunch, and I can go find somebody out in the bay.
It’s a rev theater at a local company. I’ll try and set up lunch. So I think that’s, that’s the way to go. For me, it’s just getting to know people personally.
David Carnes: Such great advice. Um, and we’re curious too, are there any other RevOps pros that you might think would be a good fit on the podcast? Any, any? Out there that you’re following or you, you know, you, you track the, uh, the materials that they produce.
Cody Guymon: Yeah, I think, um, two people come to mind. Uh, BJ Larson at click up is a good friend and a fantastic leader. be really interesting to have on the podcast. He played in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills and then got into RevOps after retirement,
David Carnes: All right? That’s gotta be the most original RevOps origin story,
Cody Guymon: Yep, for sure. And Yai over at Pendo. Um, YAI is fantastic. We’ve been, I, I just met her, uh, here recently through Workado connections, through our, our, uh, VCs and, and I’ve been, uh, meeting with Yazi over, over at Pindo, uh, weekly and biweekly. It’s another thing that I would do is just. You know, ask around, who are people?
If you’re a private company, who, else you know, do you, does your board member really admire the RevOps space in their portfolio? And you’ll start to see who those all-stars are. And, you know, YAI came to mind and, and was brought up. And so I just reached out and asked if we could meet. We met and uh, and it’s been fantastic to learn and grow from her.
And so, uh, and now we got a biweekly sync going for 30 minutes, and we get to talk about, Hey, how’s your annual turn going? What, you know, what are, what are you doing over there that’s really innovative and fun and, and we learn from each other. So, uh, I think back to your previous question, um, you know, I, that, that’s another, another tidbit there, but I think those two would be fantastic for the podcast.
David Carnes: So Cody, I want to thank you so much for being a guest today on the RevOps Rock Stars Podcast. I learned so much. I feel like you’ve shared about so many interesting topics from territory management to deal conflicts. Your, uh, your, uh, love, love of the outdoors and, and how you unwind from the, uh, the insanity of RevOps.
It’s really been a pleasure, to have you on today. Um, thank you so much, for joining us.
Cody Guymon: Thank you both. David Jar’s been, it’s been my pleasure. I appreciate it and uh, had a great time.
Jarin Chu: And I also want to thank our audience for listening and, um, soaking up all of Cody’s gems. I got, uh, some very actionable takeaways here. Uh, you know, facing and calling up that disgruntled red. Have those conversations stay close to the ground, um, taking people out to lunch. I’m excited to do more of that now with your prompting, Cody, and also with, um, thankfully Covid more in the background.
Uh, and also things like asking your board who they admire, um, in terms of execs and RevOps and building your network that way. I think our audience is probably gonna be able to take a lot of these actionable items and incorporate it into their network, uh, building. Exercises. So thank you and thank you Cody again for sharing such wonderful advice, uh, for our audience.
Cody Guymon: Thank you.
Jarin Chu: And this has been another exciting episode of RevOps RockStars. See you next time.
David Carnes: Stay classy. Rock stars.