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💡 Growth Genius Spotlight Recap 💡

💡 Growth Genius Spotlight Recap 💡

Post Series: Growth Genius Spotlight

💡The Growth Ops Model – Lessons Learned💡

Palen Schwab, VP of RevOps

All companies in high growth mode are searching for that secret sauce to help them effectively scale. A key in that secret sauce is having well-orchestrated operations. So what exactly does orchestration mean in operations?  

In our recent Growth Genius Spotlight: The Growth Ops Model – Lessons Learned, Melissa McCready, President of The Growth Ops Community interviews Palen Schwab, VP of RevOps at cyber security darling, Lacework (recently funded a whopping $525M), where he shares his experiences at Lacework and top tips to orchestrating operations across teams at high scale and a lightning pace. 

Too often Operations organizations are relegated to order takers where they’re directed to execute on tactical activities rather than aligned to overall organizational goals. This often means Ops professionals are pulled in many directions with requests from multiple leaders and different departments which can lead to frustration and burnout. Palen shares how he’s positioned his team as strategic players for their business, offering the wise words of

“keep it simple, ask the why”

Lacework RevOps Org Structure

The centralized RevOps team at Lacework includes SalesOps, MarketingOps, ChannelOps, Analysts, Deal Desk and the Compensation function. Palen is responsible for implementing and scaling processes and technologies to enable fast-paced growth across all these teams. A centralized org keeps the data and the processes from getting siloed, but it’s also important to have dotted lines for groups that are working more closely with other teams.

What makes his RevOps team work comes down to a phenomenal go-to-market leadership team including his direct manager, CRO, Andy Byron. With this strong leadership in place, he is empowered to operate as “Switzerland” for Lacework where he can push back when necessary and make smart decisions for the company. 

“We are going into every week marching in the same direction and it’s very clear where the top 3-4 priorities need to be at any given time.” – Palen Schwab

Top Skill Sets Needed for RevOps

  1. Curiosity – you can’t play from one playbook, you need to customize each plan for each company.
  2. Constantly evaluate new tools and new ways of thinking – you can gain an advantage by doing things differently. For example, embracing and making Slack alerts actionable.

Top Lessons Learned for Running a Team 

  1. Hire the right people at the right time – to keep up with growth, get ahead of your hiring plan and look for big engines who work quickly, with good clock speed and can have impact
  2. Err on the side of over communication – have tools in place to reduce risks, allow for rapid response and empower your team to not be afraid to push a button and move forward with an idea.
  3. Managers need to block and tackle, resetting priorities often with direct team and functional teams
  4. Be an Educator as a manager and also be excited about what you are building as an Ops person
  5. Don’t start a conversation by adding a new field in Salesforce!

“Run fast, fail early, make adjustments” – Palen Schwab

Favorite Ops Tech, Tools and  Toys

Here are a few of Palen’s favorite Ops Tools to support the Revenue teams.

  • Troops – sends Slack notifications based on Salesforce data
  • Scratchpad – since you can’t force people to become Salesforce power users, give them a spreadsheet view of their forecast
  • Datafox – technographic data, ability to put account scoring into segments
  • LeanData – lead, contact and account routing, it doesn’t get enough credit, but is integral for a core tech stack

Crystal Ball – Looking forward for RevOps

  • Pod Structure: Palen still sees a lot of burnout in this field and thinks that creating a Pod structure could alleviate that issue of SalesOps supporting too many people.  
  • Global Functional Playbooks: centralizing gives better reporting for the overall organization
  • Reduction of Interfaces and Tools: too many tools overwhelm reps and create job friction
  • Simplify to 3 Interfaces: Strategic Interface (Scratchpad for forecasting, Reactive Interface (Slack alerts for Salesforce updates needed), Action Interface (Outreach of Engagement Platform)

Ideally you want a system to work as a personal assistant. It tells the reps what’s working and what’s next, so they can get back to what they do best.

Final Words of Wisdom

Keep things simple. Operations Teams are always going to have a lot of problems to solve. When growing fast and scaling, a simple solution is often best. Complexity will get in the way. The best solutions are elegant and simple. When it gets complicated, ask the why.

What incredible tips, insights and lessons learned from a RevOps leader who has first-hand experience in well-orchestrated operations to drive lightning growth. If you haven’t listened to this full Growth Genius Spotlight with Palen Schwab, check it out here.

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