Creating a Rev Ops Certification with Kyle Jepson

Michael Hartmann: [00:00:00] Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of OpsCast brought to you by the MO Pros . I’m Michael Hartmann joined today by cohost Mike Rizzo. And what year is it Mike? The year of the MO Pro. There we go. I didn’t steal it for me this time. It’s all good. All right. So today this is I’m actually really excited about this.

We’re gonna be talking about revenue ops, and I guess maybe we will, we’ll ask our guests about this, but if it applies to marketing ops too, but definitely revenue ops certifications and more, and our guest is Kyle Jepson, who is. A senior inbound sales specialist at HubSpot, where he produces educational content for the HubSpot academy.

Kyle’s been with HubSpot over the last about almost seven years. It looks like in education and support. In addition, he has a master’s degree in applied linguistics from Boston university. Prior to that, he held roles in customer sport, account management and inside sales. Kyle, thanks for joining us.

Kyle Jepson: Yeah, I’m excited to be here. Thanks for having me. We’re good.

Michael Hartmann: So I can’t wait to talk more about the certification program with HubSpot, [00:01:00] but first of all, I, when I was kinda getting ready for this and seeing your background in linguistics just curious, like, how did you combine linguistics with marketing and sales technology?

Kyle Jepson: I’m honestly not convinced I did. One of those people that you ask me about my degree and say, what are you doing with it? And it feels like nothing. I won’t say it’s irrelevant since I do video based training. And so I script it out and I read it off a teleprompter. And I think a lot about the words I’m using and stuff.

My training as a linguist has taught me that everything is in some sense, ambiguous. There’s no such thing as a sentence. Somebody somewhere can find a way to misunderstand it. And I’m always pushing to try to make it as clear and as simple as possible. And I. I go round and round with my content editors about what is, and is not good or bad grammar, because linguists are pretty liberal on that point.

If I talk and you understand me, if you get my point, my grammar was perfect. They don’t always feel that way. Oh yeah.

Michael Hartmann: That point about everything being ambiguous is so [00:02:00] insightful. I love that really is

Mike Rizzo: particularly these days. I think just with what’s going on in the world in general, around social media and whether it’s Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, it doesn’t matter.

You’re still someone somewhere to your point is gonna misinterpret what you wrote or said, or

Kyle Jepson: even in my own email. Yeah. I think we’ve yeah. I think we’ve all discovered over email or slack or whatever. Tone is hard when you’re writing, right? Like you, you say something and people take it the totally wrong.

I’m really glad that I’m not just like writing blog posts. I write things, but most people don’t read my words. The transcripts are out there. People want them, but most times I get to deliver them and I can emphasize the word I wanna emphasize and I can do hand gestures. And hopefully that helps.

I don’t know. Yeah.

Michael Hartmann: So yeah, he just did hand gesture for me. I sure that I

Kyle Jepson: wave my hands. Yeah.

Michael Hartmann: All right. So I, this just popped in my head, my friend, my friends who are truly like writers, Oxford comma or not.

Kyle Jepson: I’m Oxford com office. Yeah,

Mike Rizzo: I am too. I’m with you on that? I feel I have a feeling that some of our listeners are [00:03:00] like, all right, now I’m not gonna listen to this

Kyle Jepson: show anymore.

yeah, we just lost some folks. We may probably equally picked up

Mike Rizzo: just as many, cuz they’re gonna be like here. It’s all my Oxford friends. Here’s this show you can listen to I’m over it now. Anyway,

Michael Hartmann: we got, we’ve got these grammar geeks, right? Grammar, Nazis are coming at us at this point, right?

Yeah. No, I think that’s great. Gosh, and there’s I might have to, I might have to find this for the show notes or for some random stuff, but there’s a, there’s actually a song that, and I’m trying to remember the band name now. I’ll think of it later, but it’s called Oxford comma and. Oh man.

Yeah, it’s actually

Mike Rizzo: not actively Google while we continue this show. .

Michael Hartmann: There we go. Alright, so that, that is that’s fascinating to me that I’m always fascinated at how. How many people are in this space, where if you looked at their background on paper, like how in the world did they end up there?

So this is always interesting to me. And like you my degree is in engineering and in particular, like an [00:04:00] industrial engineering kind of world, like how I end up in, in marketing. I don’t know. yeah. Alright so going back to like, why we had you originally wanted to have you on the, on this episode.

Was that you had been posting a lot of great content on LinkedIn. I think if people aren’t following you, I would encourage them to do it. I think it’s always good stuff. But one of the things you were talking about was a revenue operation certification program that you’ve been involved with at HubSpot.

So let’s just so let’s start there. Like, how did the idea. Of a certification program and I think in particular about revenue operations, as opposed to say marketing operations specifically, how did that come about and how did it get started and kinda walk us through that process?

Kyle Jepson: Yeah. So my job at HubSpot academy is.

My, my primary job is to teach people how to use HubSpot’s sales tools, our CRM and related tools by extension because we target mostly small and mid-size businesses. I teach some general sales best [00:05:00] practices. And the longer I’ve been here doing that, the more sales related things I’ve found to teach.

I’ve created a certification program on sales enablement and sales management. And as I was researching. Topics. I do a lot of interviews when I’m creating courses and I, I started bumping up against people who were in sales ops. And I started realizing there was this whole additional layer that was really critical to sales success.

That wasn’t, that fell between the cracks. If you’re just talking about sales management and sales enable, or like what frontline sellers do, there’s this whole background shadow realm of operations. And so I, I started. Investing in that I thought of sales ops. Yeah. I could do that. But when I started talking to people who were in sales operations, I started hearing this term revenue operations.

And I started hearing about the frustrations of being in operations in a, and being so limited and I’m sure in marketing ops, it’s the same way, right? Like you, you have all these insights, you have all this data. But if you’re just rolling up to the head of marketing, or if you’re just rolling up to the head of sales you, your [00:06:00] reach and the things you can implement and change is pretty limited.

And there’s this idea of revenue operations being across the full customer journey, right? Marketing and sales and customer support and success. All those frontline operations pulled together into a single space and. That was really interesting to me. And not 100% of the sales op people I talked to were on board with this.

I think because if you’re in sales ops, you’re connected to the sales team. And if you look at marketing sales and customer support the team, that’s always the best funded in sales. And so they’re the ones who have the resources and stuff, and they’re like, nah, we don’t really need marketing ops.

We don’t really, but some of them were like, no I really think this is the future. And and so I was trying to figure out what to do with that. And. HubSpot decided we’re gonna start making tools for operations people. We’re gonna start really thinking about how to support people in this role.

And so I teamed up with some of the people who are investigating that internally and for HubSpot, cuz we’re all about, we call it the flywheel, this really interconnected, smooth journey across marketing sales and customer service or revenue [00:07:00] operations just made a ton of sense. Looking at any one piece of it seemed.

Insufficient and not quite in line with our philosophies. And HubSpot as a whole has really we reorganized our entire operations team to, to make ahead of revenue operations and bring all those teams together. And we started investigating how we wanted to teach people to do this, using our tools.

And so I, I got to ride that wave and what came out of it after a year and a half of work. The revenue operations certification course that we just launched a few weeks ago.

Mike Rizzo: That’s so incredible. I, and I, you and I have talked a number of times, Kyle, about certification in general.

Yeah. And I think it makes perfect sense, right? When you look at the stack that hub spots put together from sales to marketing, to client success and support. Revenue operations, categorically, as you’ve already touched on, certainly fits the sort of umbrella for all of those things. And I think it makes a ton of sense for HubSpot to focus on this.

And I love that your you and your team are all bringing more education to light around[00:08:00] the said topic. And, to, just to because I’m a HubSpot fan guy, just to put it out into the world. Like I heard you say earlier, you’re often building content for that small to medium size business, but the reality is that like HubSpot’s moving up market super fast and you, for sure.

I think if I remember correctly from conversations that I’ve had with a number of people internally at HubSpot, You all drink your own champagne, you use your full stack internally pretty much, right? Yeah.

Kyle Jepson: Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. So we are now a 7,000 person company and we use HubSpot as our CRM and our marketing automation.

And yeah, we are we feel the pain of it sometimes, but since we’ve done that, we made that change. I would say, I don’t know, 2000. Yeah. I thought it was around 19. That has really accelerated a lot of enterprise feature. It that are now available to our customers because we ourselves so badly needed. And that has helped our platform

Mike Rizzo: mature a lot.

Yeah, I think. And that’s just, I think that is super, super [00:09:00] interesting. When you talk about, building ahead of revenue operations inside of an enterprise like that, that can utilize your stack and and then help continue to push that education. I think we, we should probably just do another, call with some of, some more of your rev op teams ever, just to learn about how does rev op work at an enterprise rate.

Yeah. Maybe you can share a little bit about like the structure of what came of that sort of org change and maybe what does the team look like right now for, from a rev op perspective?

Kyle Jepson: Yeah. I am definitely not the right person to talk about that in depth, but Alison Elworthy who is a long time Hubspotter and has done a.

Made a lot of really important decisions over the years that have helped HubSpot become the company. It is she got put in as our head of revenue, operations and and HubSpot always, we’re a sort of unusual company org chart wise, just because of our history. We started out.

As a blog about marketing best practices, and we start building tools to help with that. And so like [00:10:00] proportionately, our marketing team is enormous, right. We have hundreds of people on our marketing team, which for an organization, our science is not normal. And then also from the beginning, we’ve all always been about like systematizing and optimizing.

And if you’re a small business, like the way you can compete with bigger businesses is having the right technology and the right strategies. And we have always over indexed on operations people and resources. And so we had an enormous sales, operations team and we had a dedicated marketing operations.

Oh wow. We had operations all over the place. And so this org change, which I think we implemented, I wanna say beginning 20, 20. Okay. Yeah. So relatively recent, we. Yeah we shuffled all those people around and we brought them into a single organization and that, that was tough.

It was a big, like we were really taking a leap of faith here that this was gonna be worthwhile. And I would say now two years later, I, the dust is settled. Everything’s been, but the transition was tough. And if you could [00:11:00] get Allison or someone on that team on here, I’m sure they could tell you more viscerally what it was like to go through that.

That would be a

Michael Hartmann: fascinating story. Sure.

Kyle Jepson: Yeah, but actually partially because of that in the revenues off at revenue operations certification we talk about org charts and we really emphasize, that is not the first step don’t think step number one is changing people around in your company or changing people’s titles, or get the data come up with a strategy, start proving things out.

And then once you get that to a certain point and you’re ready to really invest in, in accelerating it, then you can talk about all that stuff. I for any organization, just the effort and pain required to, to move people around and change your org. You’ve gotta like for there to be any return on that investment, you’ve gotta already know exactly what the plan is.

And how prove what’s a little bit,

Mike Rizzo: what’s the the goal, right? Or like the metrics by which you’ll live by for that new organizational team.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah, [00:12:00] exactly. It’s understanding the why. Behind it. Yeah. Interesting. Yeah. So I’m I want, can we dive a, I wanna, I was, there’s something that you said about how this evolved at the certification program and where you said you started talking to primarily sales ops people.

And you got a mixed response about the idea of revenue operations, which doesn’t surprise me all that much. For a variety of reasons, like I’m not trying to bag on sales op people. I think one of the things we’ve talked about on the podcast on a regular basis is the differences and challenges and how you measure effectiveness of sales versus marketing.

I think sales. Generally speaking, right? They’ve got the benefit of things, either being a win or a loss, it’s almost binary win. And so sales ops naturally is built around supporting, understanding where that’s working, where it’s not working and Supporting that kind of stuff.

Whereas marketing, I think is a, has been a tougher thing. And it’s why I believe why things like marketing attribution came around and stuff like that. Trying [00:13:00] to quantify that in a different way. Yeah. Anyway, so with that is as background, I’m curious, once you started going down that path started talking to sales ops people.

I don’t, if you said it, I missed it. Did you start also talking to then other marketing op like marketing ops people and customer success ops? Yeah. And did you get a different reaction or a different sort of feel for the idea and the concept of revenue operations at that point?

Kyle Jepson: Yeah. So it’s interesting.

Just I haven’t done this recently, but just a simple search on LinkedIn by job title. There are a lot more sales ops. People out there than other kinds of ops people. But I was able because just the nature of the network I run in, because I’m at HubSpot, I was able to find quite a few marketing ops people and started talking with them and understanding their job.

It’s funny, early on when I very first had this idea of what if I investigate operations? I was having a conversation with a pretty prominent HubSpot partner. And I was like, yeah, I’m thinking about sales operations. I’m curious about other kinds of operations too, like marketing operations and customer success.

And he was like marketing operations. [00:14:00] That’s not real what?

Mike Rizzo: And

Kyle Jepson: I was like, wait, what? . And so it just I, and that’s that, it’s really interesting as I’ve gone through this process of talking to people in different kinds of roles, how they concept. The operations space. And I as I developed, even when I was first just thinking, I’m just gonna do sales operations, I started to get this vision of who it was exactly I wanted to talk to.

And this, I maintained throughout the entire journey which, the course was called revenue operations, and theoretically I’m target. People in revenue operations, but whether you’re in marketing ops or sales ops or success ops or some other kind of ops, what I’ve discovered is at small and midsized businesses, particularly if there is a person in one of those roles, a sales ops role, or marketing op roles or marketing ops role or whatever.

Often, kinda like you were saying, you don’t know how you got into marketing. there. The story I kept hearing over and over, I asked people how’d you get into ops and they’d be like There was on the sales floor or there was running a marketing campaign. And I realized I didn’t have the [00:15:00] data to do a job I needed.

And so I pulled some reports and I talked to the executives and I said, Hey, look, if we change these. It’d be better. And they’re like, wow, you’re really good at making charts and stuff. That’s not your job. And then it was their job, but now they’re in the job and they have zero funding and they have really no executive investment.

And every time they go talk to the executives and say, Hey, like I did that thing you told me, you hired me to do, which is to build charts and the charts suggest we should do this thing. Can we do that thing? They expect you. So I’ll be like, no, there’s nobody . And it’s just like, why did you put me in this job?

You’re not gonna listen to what I’m gonna say. And so that’s who I built this course for, right? Like you person who feel like you’re the only one who sees that the emperor has no clothes on, right? Like you, you have this idea. But you can’t figure out how to get things move forward or maybe you just have some sense that something’s wrong and you see the charts are trending in the wrong direction, but you can’t figure out.

Let me research this and build you a course. That’ll give you the tools. You need to start getting executive buy-in to start defining effective strategies, [00:16:00] to start moving things forward in the way you’re hoping to which is a really interesting space to play in. I’m not really the course.

If somebody’s not in operations and they’re trying to decide if they would like a job in operations, it’s a free course. Go ahead. Take it. I don’t know if it’ll help you get hired anywhere. Cuz it’s brand new, but if you wanna know what the world is great. Or if you’re like a really accomplished professional, you’re a revenue operations leader at a well, and you have a well funded team at a growing company.

Like I think you’ll find some very interesting insights in the course and I hope it answers some questions for you, but the person I really want to help is just that person who’s. We need operation. Like here I am. Like, have you seen the data? I’m trying to tell you and why aren’t you listening?

What else can I do? And I’m hoping it’ll give that person the structure and the techniques and the persuasive insights to to really get through moving. I

Michael Hartmann: love that. Yeah, I do too, but I, so that wanted to get into who is this targeted at? And I think you answered that pretty directly there.

I’m [00:17:00] curious though, I guess two, two questions beg from that one is, do you anticipate that there might be a version of this that would be more applicable to say someone who’s. Maybe in marketing ops or in sales ops, and wants to move to that broader coverage of revenue ops. The second one is if I’m understanding what you’re saying, and I haven’t.

Gone through the course. And so I don’t know the details of it. It sounds based on what you just, you screamed from that mountaintop there literally that it provide it. I think the idea sounds like what you were trying to do is provide a framework for somebody to help, educate and support and pitch the idea internally with their senior leadership on why they should be investing in revenue ops.

Is that OK?

Kyle Jepson: Yeah. Yeah. And just in general I. I think that person that I described who just got into this job, because they really like the data and the charts like that is not necessarily a person who has. like a, an analytics kind of background and can draw the right conclusions by looking at the [00:18:00] charts.

And so I just wanted to give them a more formal tool set of kind of a broad set of skills. Some of that is, is data analysis. Some of it is some kind of just basic business understanding of revenue and stuff and a big piece of it turned out to be, and I, I. You’re excited to talk about this a little later, but it’s the finance tools, right?

The accounting stuff which I didn’t really expect coming into this. And we can talk about that more in a minute, but I, what I learned is if you’re gonna do any kind of operations, really, there’s a really broad set of skills you need. It’s not just that you’re really good at analysts, right?

Or it’s not that you know how to do marketing or do sales or do customer success it’s that you can kinda start to marry all these things together. And then use that to build a business case for driving revenue. That you can tie it back to that, which is what the executives are actually gonna care about.

And I don’t think that’s a skillset. Anyone can just get organically accidentally. I think some people have a really strong background in one of those things. And then the rest of it, they just have to learn on the fly. And so I wanted to help fill in some of the, [00:19:00] I,

Mike Rizzo: I love that. That’s the focus.

I just want to for those that hear this episode before summer camp happens this summer, like coincidentally, like we have Jess cow, who’s a very wonderful thought leader in the Marketo space. She’s super smart very talented. She’s actually gonna come lead a workshop and it. Does a lot of this too Kyle, like where she’s gonna help us understand how to think more like a scientist and do that hypothesis sort of line of thinking so that you can go and Hey, I think this is what happening.

This is what’s happening. And, here’s how I pulled all this stuff together to go, prove out my theory and all of that stuff. And then at the end of that at summer camp, we’re gonna run a game where it’s I think we’re referring to it as how to take like marketing ops, geek, speak and make it C-suite speak.

And so yeah, you can communicate. That’s so important react to the thing. So I think it, it all falls very much in line with. I think you identified the right audience. I think you identified the right purpose. Cause , from what I can tell from our audience and from our [00:20:00] community, that’s a big sticking point is like translating sort of the hypothesis to executive, buy-in right.

Like getting somebody to adopt it.

Kyle Jepson: Yeah. Yeah. And one thing I’ll say on that while we’re on this topic of translating different languages, I think revenue operations is not in any way. The end of marketing ops sales ops, customer success ops. Like I think if you, if I imagine my, I talk mostly about sales because that’s the discipline.

I know, but if you imagine like a really good sales op person, they’re gonna be there on the sales floor, even if now the sales floor is a remote space, like they’re gonna understand the process. The sales rep is doing every time, right? They’re gonna know where those endless loading screens are. They’re gonna know how many different times the same information has to be entered into different systems.

They’re gonna see that, and they’re gonna understand. Sales, they might have a background in sales. They’re gonna understand the goals and the frustrations. And then when you think about the executives, they’re all thinking about. Cash flow and revenue and margins and those two worlds are so far removed.

And so where I see a [00:21:00] really good rev new operations person, and especially like a leader of a team standing is maybe you still have that marketing ops person who is deep into marketing thing and understands the campaigns and the strategies and the tools. And you have the same thing for sales and you have the same thing on the customer side.

But then that all rolls up to this revenue. Operations person who understands operations and they, and the sales ops marketing ops success ops people speak in the wor in the language of operations and under, and systems and all this. But then that person can turn around and take, talk to the executives and turn it all into financials and turn it into, to these high level executive business.

And it’s all the same conversation, right? It’s all trying to accomplish the same things. It’s just a matter of using. The words, the people you’re talking to understand and tying it to the metrics they care about.

Michael Hartmann: I think, this point about building a case, I think a lot of us have gone through.

Scenario where we like intuitively we see either some data or we see a process or we see a technical thing and we go [00:22:00] that’s broken, or it could be better this way. And it’s an intuitive thing, but yeah, if it requires, money to be spent or reach something to be allocated. We get frustrated when we pitch the case and they don’t like, we can’t articulate that.

And so it gets doesn’t happen. Or we get lots of questions back. Yeah. And I think that’s that’s the challenge you’re getting at. And just taking it down a level like I’ve got on my team, relatively new marketing ops person. And one of the things I’m trying to do is to make sure that. No, no issues with executing within our platform or doing things or supporting campaigns.

What I’m trying to help is to help teach that person how to understand the why and the context behind why we’re doing things. And in particular as it the role is expanding to get more involved with lead flow and things like that. They need to understand how the sales team works, how they operate.

And I think that’s a big piece of what I think we’ve in general, right? [00:23:00] There’s not been a huge on the marketing upside a lot. I think of consistent. Emphasis put on understanding that across okay. Across the business. Yeah, I would definitely agree

Mike Rizzo: with that. I, there was a, an example that I tried to go back to it was the CEO of stack Moi and I think her head of sales, we were all at a conference together and they were picking my brain about this idea of marketing apps versus rev robots and long story short they I’m probably gonna butcher the example, but like the idea was that like, Hey, this like high value government lead comes in, right? Like this like very specific government type of domain.

But it like. It doesn’t go anywhere. And then they just wanted to see what my reaction was to that. And I was like, I like, so we’ll fix the problem. And they’re like, yeah, you’re not rev ops. Like you, you need to understand that there is a one person in the company. That needs every single one of those domains to be directly routed to them.

It skips the entire process. It [00:24:00] goes straight to the per and that’s the thing is like to echo what you’re saying, right? Like a lot of the times in marketing apps, we don’t realize that there is someone somewhere in the sales org that is solely responsible for those high value records. and it needs to skip the whole process and go there as fast as possible.

Yeah. So lots of learning to be done.

Michael Hartmann: yeah, no, I think it’s really like it’s really insightful, but Kyle kind of alluded to one of my sort of pet things that I like to talk about is the lack of I’ll call it finance and account like finance and accounting. And then I think the one that’s growing is related, which is that, and you talked about with what Jessica’s gonna talk about Mike, which is how to think like a data scientist or an a analyst, I think understanding how to do analytics. Yeah. I think those are really important skills that, again, haven’t been, I think an area of focus, but I think are becoming one. I actually think the data analyst. Stuff is [00:25:00] really becoming more important, faster, because there’s so much data that we don’t get to really leverage.

But I think as you get to a role where you’re trying to pitch ideas, the finance part does. So Kyle like that was one of the things that really triggered me to reach out to you to have you on as a guest. But so talk us through, like, how did that come about that you, I know the finance piece became a part of the certification program.

But how I think it would be good for our audience to hear about how that came about and why you thought, like, why you invested so much time in building your understanding. So it could be incorporated.

Kyle Jepson: Yeah. Yeah. The format of the online course for the revenue operations certification is that I did interviews with a couple dozen people in various operations roles.

And then each lesson or module or whatever you wanna call it that you go through is clips from those interviews. And then me as your teacher or Mary Barbara, another professor here at HubSpot academy kind of synthesizing the ideas for you and making them more actionable and pointing out patterns, right?

This person over here, this person over here at different industries, different spaces, they do it [00:26:00] the same way and got the same results. So Hey, maybe we should generalize this as a rule. One of the people I recorded an interview with is a woman named Alicia Butler PI. She has podcast, she’s written a book.

She, she consults with a lot of kinda operations kind of things. I was really excited to, to get to sit down with her and as I was coordinating the interview with her and we were trying to figure out what we should talk about. I’d read some of her book I’d listened to a little of her podcast and I realized There’s the kind of this problem I had encountered that I’ve already described which is that there are people who are in an operation seat, right?

That is their title. That is their job. And yet they can’t get the executives to listen to them for anything. And all of their ideas are just ignored. How do we empower that person? What can they do to change that situation? And she had a lot of really good insights and expertise on that. So she and I sat down for this.

I. And she came well prepared. She had like four points here or four things that every operations person really needs to invest in. And one of those was understanding what she called the language of business, which is accounting. And [00:27:00] and she said, nobody in operations just knows this and nobody can figure it out for free.

Like you, you gotta invest the time. And it’s the 21st century. So get online, go to edX, go to whatever. Take some courses, learn the basics. You don’t have to make yourself an accountant. You just need to be able to understand that language and speak in it and make your points. In that way, because that’s what executives are discussing when they’re getting together and deciding what’s important for the business.

It was a great interview. And I was going through the transcripts after resolve and I was, she had spoken in depth and was really eloquent and my original thought was like, I won’t be in this lesson at all. I’ll just publish her. But the more I thought about it, I was like, People can’t come to HubSpot academy and take a free course that tells them, go to edX and take some free courses.

Like that is not helpful because like the one thing I know about operations people is their most crucial and constrained resources, time. All of them have no time for even like their duties of their job, let alone going out for self-improvement. And so I, I realized. Where I can add value here is I can go take those courses and then come back and give a summary, right?

Because the goal [00:28:00] is not for you as an operations person, to be able to land an accounting job. Most people in operations probably wouldn’t want that. But to be able to understand those core crucial parts, that the things that your executives are going to understand and actually care about is vital.

And so I went on edX. I took a couple of accounting courses The professor was really animated and you could tell he just loved accounting. And I was like I, and some were very boring and hard to follow. But I started again, like noticing patterns okay. Here okay, everybody talks about cash flow statements.

Everybody talks about balance sheets, and there are just these three or four really crucial things that if you can understand these accounting tools, if you at least know what they mean and know where your job as an operations person fits in. And if you can, I, if you can. Your ideas in a way that as opposed to sounding like an expense, they sound like they’re going to improve revenue.

That’s gonna be huge for you. And it was hard I’d never taken an accounting course in my life. And I I took the courses. I like, yeah, I understand this. Yeah. But then when I sat down to, to write a lesson [00:29:00] that I was gonna read off a teleprompter, I was like, hold on, I better go back and review that.

Cuz like I can’t quite connect the dots here. And I, it was this cool moment. I got to bring this learner’s mindset. Like I said, I’ve never taken an accounting course before. And so I knew exactly all the stuff that I was like, hold on. What did you just say? That doesn’t make any sense.

There are so many pieces that were like completely unintuitive to me. I would, they would tell me the equations and they would like subtract to think that I was pretty sure you were supposed to add. And just like I had to, it took a long time. And then I sent it to my content editors and the one who was working on her.

Name’s Tina, she came back and she’s just I dunno what you’re saying here. And so that was helpful. Again, was this important. And so we went around these, she and I both new to this world of accounting trying to figure it out together, trying to make it a way that sh too.

Two novices could understand each other, but was still accurate. And once we had that, then I was like, okay, this I think is gonna be maybe the most valuable piece of this course, because that was a lot of time and worked for me. And [00:30:00] thankfully it’s my job to do this kind of stuff for operations person.

It’s never their job, to invest however many hours I invested in taking those courses and actually being able to internalize and understand them well enough to explain them to someone else. And. It’s very much a crash course. It’s very high level. It’s accounting in 30 minutes.

But I’m pretty sure any operations person will take the time to. To really understand it and dig in will be so much better able to talk to their executives and not just present their own ideas, but to understand the feedback that they’re given, right? When the accounting person or the CEO or the CFO, or whoever raises a concern and is what about cost of good sold or whatever?

They’ll actually know what that means and they’ll be able to, oh actually we can implement this change without increasing it. Yeah. And and that’s gonna be huge for anyone. And

Michael Hartmann: I would pause it that just being able to hold a conversation about it, whether or not you actually are able to build an, even a better I’ll call it ROI model for something.

Yeah, that is [00:31:00] probably a side benefit, but having be able to have the conversation, you make a really good point of be able to understand the feedback you’re getting and why it’s coming back that way is huge in and of itself.

Kyle Jepson: Yeah, absolutely. Because I have never tried to pitch anything to an executive team before, but now that I understand, like how hard it was for me to learn this, even the very most basics of accounting, I can totally imagine.

The an enormous communication barrier, right? You’re a little overwhelmed and intimidated anyway, by talking to the executives, the C-suite there. And then they start using these terms and asking you questions that you don’t even understand what they’re getting at. And it’s just like the whole, that sounds awful.

And so if I could help anyone avoid that situation and go in there confidently and say things clearly, and as questions come in, be able to understand and respond to. Confidently that’s

Mike Rizzo: appreciate that you called all this stuff out. Like I, I to, I, I definitely not. I I definitely take for granted that I went [00:32:00] to a business school, went through all of those courses, by the way.

Really struggled with accounting but got through it. And it did give me that baseline. And I take that for granted now that I actually understand some of the fundamentals. I’m not, I probably couldn’t hold my own in a real conversation about accounting, but, I understand fundamentally some of that stuff And I totally, it just, that’s the kind of thing that I just missed where, oh, I realized that is a value added and Michael talks about it all the time, how there’s an importance to having this understanding.

And I just. We talked to these guests all the time about how they fell into marketing ops and they come from every single or ops in general. They come from all kinds of backgrounds and you’re right. Yeah. They’re not necessarily going to understand the fundamentals of accounting and all that

Kyle Jepson: stuff.

Yeah. It’s important. And I love the way you framed it. Just understanding the fundamentals is SU. For an operations person, right? Like never at any point, should your executives be like, oh yeah. And can you [00:33:00] make balance sheet for us? Or you wanna calculate our, our cash flow or something like, no, don’t do that.

But if you can take those forms, if you can get that data and circle line 17 and say, this is the number I’m gonna move. Then you’re in right now, they understand exactly what you wanna do, what your goal is, what it means for the company, what impact it’ll drive. And if you can really say I’m pretty sure if we change these system species and these processes over here, you will see this number move without investing any additional dollars.

Just let me do it. Now you’re having one conversation. Yeah, totally


Mike Rizzo: with that. I love it. I have sorry. I just wanted to throw out I also think it. Sympathy goes out to all of our listeners who are in this marketing op sales ops, rev ops, CS ops kind of function. That’s just one component of the fundamentals that you need to understand.

Michael Hartmann: Like I


Mike Rizzo: the granted that I got a little bit of that education in my collegiate years. And then I went in and I was like, oh what is this developer world all about? And I try I went in and tried to learn code and stuff. [00:34:00] And so I could have a real conversation with our developers around, Hey, I need to implement a new landing page or.

So I just had a fundamental understanding of how to speak to them and know that my request isn’t gonna take, 12 weeks it’s reasonable to expect two or what have you. That’s just vice versa or vice versa the other way around. Most often it’s the other way around. Yeah, I, so again, just sympathy out there, like you just getting a baseline understanding of this stuff will help your trajectory in the career of operations.

No holds BARR

Michael Hartmann: yeah. And Kyle said that the same thing I would, like some of this stuff is just, it’s totally transferable. Yeah. Regardless of what business you’re in, whatever yeah. So I think that’s the other thing, right? Some of these skills are really valuable to have, regardless of what you’re doing or where, what kind of company you work at.

The certification program couple of questions for you. One. I know you talked about a profile of the type of person. Do you think there’s a profile of what the type of company somebody’s at like stage or whatever that would [00:35:00] be Mo probably get the most benefit out of the course.

And then the second, if someone was interested in pursuing the course, what would What should they expect in terms of the amount of time and it sounds like it’s free. So like cost yeah. The time and energy that would have to go into to getting the most out of it.

Kyle Jepson: Yeah, for sure. So a as far as like a company profile that would benefit from it most I really think that if.

If you’re a, if you’re a super early stage startup and you’re still trying to figure out product market fit, you’re not really ready for an investment in operations quite yet. You’ve gotta get that product market fit right. First, if you went through this rev op certification program and got all these best practices and put them in place to accelerate the processes you currently have in place.

You might accelerate yourself in the wrong direction. Right? You’ve got there. There’s some hard years. You’ve gotta go through just getting that first piece. So I would say not on that extreme on the opposite extreme if you are HubSpot, you’re 7,000 people, you’ve got a rev op [00:36:00] department with a yeah, you’re probably a little too mature for the, it’ll be interesting to you.

It’ll be helpful, but I. I think somewhere in the middle, if you have, if you’re past that startup stage, you know what you’ve got product market fit, you know what you’re selling, who you’re selling it to, how they wanna buy it. And you’re looking to scale you wanna grow. You’ve got an inflection point there where I think.

Just some operational excellence would serve you really well. And that is the phase of company whether you are about to start scaling or you’ve been scaling for a little bit, and you’re trying to figure out how to accelerate that or you’re anywhere in that messy phase where you want the, all the charts to arc upward and break that linear growth.

That’s where I think these tools are really gonna be helpful for you as for what’s involved. It is free. There are. Nine. I think I should know this off the top of my head, nine different lessons in there. Each one is less than an hour long. I would say the whole thing is probably like six-ish hours of video content.

And then to get certified to get the actual certificate there’s just like a 50 question, [00:37:00] multiple choice exam you have to pass. I would say the biggest piece of value and also the thing that’ll take the most effort in time is we’ve put together this 45 page fillable PDF workbook that goes with it.

So you watch these videos. As I mentioned, there are interviews from people out real operations professionals doing this at real companies. So you have that inspiration then there’s me and Mary. And we’re trying to pull it together into a framework that you can follow. You’re gonna have an understanding there, right?

And if you pass that exam and the quizzes that are sprinkled through, then that shows you have an understanding, but To apply that to your company is gonna take some work. I don’t know. Like I always think of when I was in high school math and I’d be sitting in class and the teacher would be doing stuff on the board and I’d be like, yeah, I get it.

I get it. I get it. And then I’d go home to do my homework and I’d open the book and be like, I don’t even know where to start. I don’t understand what you want me to do. That’s what this workbook is gonna help you avoid. We’re gonna take all these. These kind of frameworks, these best practices, these things that are happening out in the world.

And we’re gonna ask you questions and give you activities. That’ll help you. Oh, I need to pull this information and I need to apply it over here. And that workbook that [00:38:00] 45 page workbook, I would say that is the thing you’re gonna get the most value out because once it’s done, once you’ve done the work to fill it in, now you’ve got a playbook that you can use.

You can identify which strategies are need to be your top priorities. You. Figure out how to communicate that to your executives to get buy in and you can figure out what it looks like to actually implement that. That’s

Michael Hartmann: awesome. Wow. So we’ve covered a ton of ground and I’m really, I’m really curious to about this certification and it’s one of the things we are championing with the no post.

I’m curious. So is there anything that we like we didn’t cover here that wanna make sure that our audience hears about before we kinda wrap.

Kyle Jepson: No, I feel good. This’s been fun. Good. Yeah.

Michael Hartmann: I think we, I think we are this is a great service so I appreciate you coming on sharing about it.

And so if folks want to kinda keep up with what you’re, you’re doing or what HubSpot’s doing, what’s the best way for them to do that?

Kyle Jepson: I am addicted to LinkedIn. Kyle Jepson, it’s in slash Kyle Anthony Jepson is my full name, no [00:39:00] dashes or hyphens or anything. I’m I. It’s a twofer.

You get to know what I’m up to and what HubSpot is up to. I post almost daily videos about product updates and things changing in the HubSpot platform. Connect with me there. I, if you let me know that you heard about me here on the OpsCast I’ll happily connect with you. I’m happy to DM about whatever you wanna talk.

Michael Hartmann: Awesome. No, and I can attest Kyle that puts out a ton of stuff and it’s always good. It is really good.

Mike Rizzo: I get a lot. Thanks. We’re, we use HubSpot for MO Pros , and there’s moments where I’m like, really , that’s

Kyle Jepson: a thing know, so I’m going for, so it’s

Michael Hartmann: pretty cool. That’s fantastic, Kyle, thank you so much for sharing.

I, this has been really, I think a fun conversation on my PO side. Just. I think hopefully our audience, I think they’ll learned a lot. And it’ll be curious to hear if you get more signups. Yeah, that would be,

Mike Rizzo: I, for one, I have a little bit of FOMO right now. Like I feel like I need

Kyle Jepson: to go take it.

Mike Rizzo: cause the stuff you described, I was like, man, I wonder if I remember all the basics of accounting. I’m gonna have to go check that out. [00:40:00]

Michael Hartmann: that’s awesome. And as always, Mike, thank you. I know we missed Naomi today, but and then to our audience thank you for continuing to support us and listen as always, we’re always looking for additional input and feedback.

So give us ratings and reviews on the different platforms. And if you’ve got ideas or suggestions, feel free to reach out to Mike or Naomi or me through the MO Pros community or through LinkedIn or wherever it works for you until next time. Thanks

Kyle Jepson: everybody. Thanks everyone.

Mike Rizzo: Thanks.