Brad Coffey's 3 Ways to Be More Strategic
Last night, we had a full house of ops, sales, marketing and customer success people join us at T3 Innovation Studio for our 7th Strategic BizOps Meetup. In addition to the amazing venue, T3 Advisors also served up fantastic food and drink throughout the evening. Many thanks to Greg Hoffmeister and team.
This Meetup featured a fireside chat with Brad Coffey, HubSpot's Chief Strategy Officer. Brad started his HubSpot career in 2008 as Director of Operations. Since then, Brad's role has evolved and expanded to include responsibility for go-to-market strategy, products, packaging, pricing, strategic partnership, investments and acquisitions. If you missed the event, don't worry, we'll be publishing a transcript of the interview as soon as we can get it done.
BTW, when we way fireside chat, we mean it. Check out our "fire" in this photo of Brad and me.
Brad shared great stories from every phase of his career at HubSpot. From his early days in Ops to his current role as Chief Strategy Officer, Brad has worked hard to have an impact on HubSpot's strategic direction. Here are three quick pieces of advice that have served Brad well throughout his career.
1. Always Come Up With A Plan
Brad credited a mentor from before his HubSpot days for this piece of advice. There are so many situations at work when we are asked to work as a member of a team to come up with a plan, including plans for bringing a new product to market, hiring a new sales team or developing a marketing campaign. The key advice is to always be proactive and come up with your own plan before engaging with the team. This forces you to really think through all the issues. It helps you see what the faults are with your own logic and figure out what you missed. When you work it through in advance, you are in a much better position to make a valuable contribution to the team, and the team's output will inevitably be better as a result.
2. Take Your Data Analysis to the Strategic Level
Brad worked very closely with Mark Roberge when Mark was the head of sales at HubSpot. Mark frequently asked Brad for the numbers and Brad delivered. But Mark also encouraged Brad to always think about the "why?" behind the request. In short, always deliver the report as requested, but also spend the time to consider whether there is a better approach or different way to get to the root of the issue. For example, when an executive asks you to do a lifetime value (LTV) analysis for your business, you should deliver the report as requested but also think about why the executive is looking for this data. Is she trying to figure out how to allocate resources in order to increase lifetime value? If so, then the next level of analysis should be done, which means segmenting the customers to determine which segments have strong LTV and which ones don't. This helps the company win by investing in the best segments to drive up LTV.
3. Build Your Impact Not Your Empire
Brad has never had a big team but he has always had a big strategic impact. One big reason is that Brad has always had his hands on the data, and his philosophy is to democratize the access to the data. In the early days, he used sales and marketing data to figure out a winning sales motion. Later, he was a key member of the team that figured out pricing based on "Contacts" as the key value metric that powers HubSpot's growth. Brad's advice is to share the data broadly instead of using it to build an empire. The return on the data analysis will be much bigger that way.
If you are interested in future events and newsletters, you can subscribe to the Strategic BizOps Community here. We hope to see you at future events.
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Alex is CEO and Founder of Rekener. Previously, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer at ZeroTurnaround and as President of the Delta Division of BBN Technologies. At BBN, Alex co-founded RAMP and AVOKE, both recurring SaaS businesses. Alex’s companies have generated $500M in liquidity events and more than $1B in sales. He’s been working on cracking the code on recurring revenue businesses since 1999 when he started an application service provider (remember those?) called Informio.
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