Pulling the Right Data – Ben Bryer – RevOps Rockstars Podcast

Data is at the core of everything you do as a RevOps leader. It provides a glimpse into how projects or campaigns are performing, uncovers the trends that drive business decisions, and at the end of the day, it’s how you’re measured. That’s why you must pull the right data, populated with the right processes and right systems.

To discuss the critical role data plays in RevOps, we turned to a seasoned veteran, Ben Bryer, Vice President of Business Operations at Facet Wealth, for his experiences and advice for revenue leaders. With hosts, Jarin Chu, VP of Marketing, and David Carnes, Founder & Chief Evangelist at OpFocus, the RevOps Rockstars podcast brings together the best and brightest in RevOps to share hard-earned takeaways and stand on the shoulders of giants.

Let’s jump into the discussion with Ben!

Listen on your favorite podcast app:

What is something in RevOps you’ve had to learn the hard way?

As someone who entered RevOps with a systems engineering background, driving adoption was one of Ben’s biggest challenges. Implementing new systems and procedures is difficult for some people to accept. You must sell what you’re doing and how it benefits the organization. Properly communicating this to your team drives buy-in and adoption. 

What does the title VP of Business Operations entail, and how do you measure success?

Over time, roles tend to pull in more and more functions. In Ben’s case, he transitioned from sales operations to business operations. The business operations function required an understanding of the whole flow of systems and data, from an unknown prospect to an evergreen customer. Other functions focus on one part of the customer life cycle, but his role requires a complete, end-to-end view of the business.

VP of Operations, measuring success through accurate and reliable data
An operations leader supports processes across the business

What’s something you wish you’d done sooner in your role?

We all wish we could go back and do something over; hindsight’s 20/20, right? For Ben, it’s better communication around how proper system setup and processes impact data. Bad data results from companies setting up systems poorly or users entering data incorrectly due to a lack of guardrails. With his background, Ben thought this was common knowledge, but learned that he must remind stakeholders of the root cause and address the underlying issues to keep data clean, long-term. 

Where do you begin when you need to tackle multiple problems simultaneously?

Before implementing change, you must first understand the root of the problem. Look at the reports you’re using and where the source data lives. Somewhere along the line, you’ll find where the data discrepancy appeared.

Data doesn’t make itself to be wrong; it’s generated incorrectly.

Ben Bryer, Vice President of Business Operations at Facet Wealth

What does your Biz Ops role entail, and does it differ from RevOps? 

Comparing the two, BizOps has a little more scope, focusing on the entire company rather than marketing, sales, CS, and even product, which many consider RevOps. Where he sees the fundamental divide between BizOps and RevOps is the more technical, back-end work, including security concerns that fall solidly into business operations.

Every part of a company fuels revenue, which is the lifeblood of a company.

Ben Bryer, Vice President of Business Operations at Facet Wealth

Do you need to educate those around you on what your role does or does not entail?

Frequently. Ben outlines his job descriptions once when he begins a position, then again as the team completes projects and sees success. He elaborates, “In Operations, it’s easy to fall into a situation where when things go well, no one knows what you’re doing, but when things go bad, it’s your fault.” You don’t want other departments thinking you’re a help desk at their disposal or a “big brother” governance function.

How do you determine the balance of in-house and external functions?

When leveraging external resources, you must consider what’s best kept in-house. Ben wants to support data analysis and engineering in-house since he believes that the success of those roles requires an intimate understanding of the company. He leverages external consultants for implementations or system work in areas where an internal team might not have deep or broad expertise. Leveraging consultants has the added benefit of training your team in the system, so they’re self-sufficient moving forward.

Leveraging in-housed and external resources to help pull relevant data and perform niche tasks
Leverage external resources for specialized tasks

What tech stack tool could you not live without?

We’ll admit, this one threw us off a bit: Ben says the platform he could not live without is Excel. Excel offers much reporting and has been refined over the years to add more capabilities. Ben also credits Excel models for setting him on his operations path.

Where do you get your at-a-glance view?

A lot of his view comes from Tableau. His Tableau instance brings in data from his SaaS platform as well as Salesforce. There is a shift at Facet Wealth where Ben wants to “make data democratic” and enable his team to pull reports as needed. Salesforce provides an excellent opportunity for offering this to team members for non-platform data. 

What platform do you rely on for Health Checks?

Facet Wealth has a data science branch that uses a tool called Sisu. On the roadmap is a plan to bring this in-house and use their data science that they can then feed into their CRM.

Use health checks to pull data on your companies performance and risks
Perform health checks regularly to stay ahead of market trends

What excites you most about the future of RevOps?

In recent years, more tools directly meet the challenges RevOps faces. Examples include Chili Piper and Gong. Gong provides call insights that take hours of evaluation. The rate of technology becoming available to meet challenges enables Ben to focus on the evaluation and strategy aspects of the role. 

In the past, the build/buy conversation frequently resulted in teams needing to build a solution from the ground up because no tool out there satisfied the requirements exactly. Specialized tech offerings now focus on solving these problems and are cost-effective enough for teams to buy instead.  

How did Ben get into RevOps?

Like many of us, Ben’s career took a few twists and turns. He started out studying English and Philosophy, initially on a path to becoming a literature professor. Coming out of college, he became a substitute teacher, eventually leaving to take an editorial job for a directory. In this role, he worked on a database that served as a backbone for the directory. It was on this project that his love of system work became evident. He taught himself SQL and Access and moved into an engineering role at a data platform company. This role was the beginning of Ben’s career, and it’s incredible to hear the different paths leaders take on their RevOps journey. If you’re interested in learning more, this discussion is worth a listen!

Expanding your professional career

There is so much to take away from our conversation with Ben. You’re likely trying to figure out how to start incorporating this knowledge in your work. You can connect with Ben on LinkedIn or check out his company, Facet Wealth

We’ve only started diving into the wealth of knowledge in RevOps learning. Stay on the lookout for our next episode of RevOps Rockstars when we’re speaking with Branden Baldwin, VP of Revenue Operations at Mavrck. You can listen to the latest episodes of RevOps Rockstars on your favorite podcast app!

Listen on your favorite podcast app:

Brian Waterson

about the author

Brian Waterson

As Senior Director of Operations, Brian’s job is to ensure that his colleagues in Marketing, Sales, Delivery, and Finance have the systems, tools, and processes they need to excel in their daily work. For him, the role is most rewarding when he is enabling the rest of the company to do their job even better. 

His Salesforce career spans about a decade, split almost equally between client-facing consulting work and internal system administration and product ownership. Like many people, Brian fell into Salesforce work accidentally and was quickly hooked. Some of you may remember him from his previous days at OpFocus in 2013-2017 where he worked with many fantastic clients.

Brian holds a BA in International Relations from Boston University and a MA in International Conflict Studies from King’s College London.

For Brain, one of his favorite Salesforce features is Analytics CRM (formerly TableauCRM / Einstein Analytics / Wave.) Compared to standard Salesforce dashboards, he feels it provides much more flexibility when visualizing and joining data. It has been great to introduce it into the OpFocus product mix!

We often forget that it is now Salesforce, but he is also a huge fan of Slack. Brian is excited to see how Salesforce better integrates the two platforms in future releases.