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A Customer-Centric Approach to Operations
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A Customer-Centric Approach to Operations

Throughout Seasons One and Two of Aspiring Ops, we’ve heard how some of the best strategy and operations leaders have started thinking about operations as a growth engine for their companies. 

Whether accelerating growth by removing friction or driving growth by creating proactively persuasive insights that help uncover opportunities, the best strategy and operations leaders are fueling growth across the business. 

However, just as important as growth through new customer acquisition is the focus on growing with customers. 

Our most recent guest on Aspiring Ops, Peter Clare, SVP of Operations at Jobvite had this to say about his team’s focus, “There is nobody in our business that isn’t here to serve customers and help bring new customers in. Those are the two things you have to do effectively to have a high growth business.” 

With this philosophy in mind, Jobvite’s operational structure is designed so that everyone, even those in non-customer facing roles, still have customers at the focus of what they do.  

On this episode of Aspiring Ops, Peter shares how serving others and focusing on outcomes led to his customer-centric approach to building an operational structure that’s focused on serving over 10,000 customers at Jobvite.

Our Takeaway

Like so many great strategy and operations leaders, Peter’s ability to flex into unique roles across all areas of the business and focus on an expected output for the company has driven his journey into strategy and ops. 

However, one key ingredient to Peter’s journey is his ability to quickly understand challenges and identify the right resources to achieve the desired outcome. Part of what makes this possible is his ability to think of problems in terms of ‘timezones’. But at a more fundamental level, Peter sets himself and his team members up for success by his commitment to establishing an operating framework that creates a regular rhythm and cadence for solving these challenges. 

As Peter shares, “Ignoring the operating system isn't an option.” 

But as Peter also points out, any operating system only works and thrives if your team is willing to put in the work to constantly evaluate what’s best for your business. 

To put this into practice, Jobvite puts a pause on all corporate meetings during the last week of the quarter. In taking all of their corporate meetings off the calendar, it helps the company reset what meetings and processes are important. What meetings are mission critical? What parts of the process aren’t serving the company? What needs to change to better serve the company as we scale? 

The awareness and confidence that the company has in evaluating each of the meetings and how they are serving the business helps realign the company and keep a consistent operating rhythm and cadence in place. 

For so many companies, they are looking for a silver bullet as it relates to how many meetings they should have or how they should structure their meetings. But the reality is that it’s a constant work in progress. 

Peter’s advice and tactical application of how Jobvite continues to evolve in building an operating framework that serves their employees and customers is a great example of the impact strategy and operations leaders can have in helping their company continue growing. 

Interested in learning more about Jobvite? Check out their site here

Want to learn more about how Elate is working with other strategy and ops leaders? Request a sneak peek today.

Peter Clare - Aspiring Ops Transcript 

[00:00:00] Brooks Busch: [00:00:00] Hello, I'm Brooks Busch. And I'd like to welcome you to Aspiring Ops a series meant to unite us all around a common purpose to amplify the voices of world-class strategy and operations leaders. As they share their personal stories and provide practical steps, we can all take to help scale our companies and ourselves as leaders.

So thank you for joining us on this journey to support those aspiring. As we all navigate the ambiguous ever-changing waters often referred to as operations. We're looking forward to building this community with each and every one of you now onto the next episode of aspiring ops.

Brooks Busch: [00:00:53] Hello, and welcome to another episode of Aspiring Ops. My name is Brooks Busch, and I'm joined here today by Peter Clare. Peter is the [00:01:00] Senior Vice President of Operations at Jobvite. Jobvite is the leading applicant tracking software and recruiting platform that helps thousands of companies source, hire, and onboard top talent. Peter, thanks for taking the time.

Peter Clare: Hi, Brooks. Great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Brooks Busch: Absolutely. So really looking forward to diving in today's conversation, your background and journey into operations is a unique one. It's got a good story behind it in and of itself. And obviously some threads that we'll pull on here throughout, but maybe to start with, if you don't mind, just love to hear a little bit about your journey.

Peter Clare: [00:01:33] Well, thanks for the, for the opportunity. I think it's a fun story to tell. So I've essentially worked for this company since 2001. Um, and I started as the it manager. It was my first time a management job building internal systems for pre commercialized, a software startup.

Very, very typical early stage story with. I went from being an it manager, building internal systems to being effective at building systems and taking [00:02:00] over development. The development team was building software until one or two o'clock in the morning. You're getting ready for big demos to sell our first kind of $2k per year customers.

And I was the only one that knew where not to click when the actual sales call occurred at six o'clock the next morning. So I would get up and I suddenly became the sales engineer. And then we, uh, had customers that wanted to buy the software. So we had to build it implementation team, and then they had feedback.

So we had built a support team and then have even more feedback. So we built a product management team and it was just one of those kinds of snowballing effects where we were figuring it all out. As we went along and built the company up over the years to about just shy of about 20 million in revenue.

At that time, uh, late 2018, we were purchased by Jobvite and, uh, became part of a bigger play that was more, you know, close to about 75 million. Um, been working with the, with the Jobvite team, managing operations now for just over two years. [00:03:00] And, uh, we just, uh, leveled up again with a couple more acquisitions and got the team to think just over 500 employees, about a hundred million in revenue.

And it's been a pretty crazy journey, so happy to share whatever I can through the process, but it really was, uh, backed into operations by knowing how to do almost every function in the company type of story.

Brooks Busch: [00:03:17] Yeah, and in and of itself, I think that's so common amongst strategy and operations leaders.

You kind of find yourself falling backwards into the role itself by just continuing to amass more knowledge and flex into different areas of the organization. And I'm just curious early on, how did you start to realize that that was a super power or something that you really thrived in of flexing between, look, I'm managing all of the it too. I'm the solutions engineer. So I'm selling to I'm building out customer success. Like, how did you go about just pressing into those, those areas?

Peter Clare: [00:03:54] There's a, I think there's a couple, a couple of core driving factors that probably the [00:04:00] most significant of them is a desire to take care of other people.

So I started in like student leadership when I was in the seventh grade. And at that time it was really about, you know, making sure that my buddies were taken care of or were, were being taken advantage of her being represented properly. But as that evolved and matured into, you know, working in software companies, it really became about, you know, a strong desire to make sure that no balls were dropped. And, kind of the typical ops and strategy leaders have major imposter syndrome because they're having to figure it out as they go along.

But in my case, just being driven by the goal of, you know, moving everybody forward, moving the company forward, moving the team forward and contributing where I can.

Brooks Busch: [00:04:42] That’s really interesting because from a personal perspective, it's, it's pretty obvious like that thread of helping people and ensuring that folks are set up for success is really common because it allows you to say, look, I'm going to be okay, stepping into more of a generalist role, knowing that.

Look, I might not be [00:05:00] a specialist at this area. However, I'm going to figure it out on the fly. But it also comes with a sense of being okay with the unknown. And is that just something early on that you just didn't mind?

Peter Clare: [00:05:13] Yeah, I, I think I've never, I suppose I've never really felt like it was about going into something unknown for me.

I've always had a pretty clear view of what the problem is. Not having a tremendous amount of experience in how to solve the problem is probably where it's a little more of a experimentation, but at the end of the day, Yeah, I've always just focused on what is the expected output and what is the customer experience that we're trying to drive.

And if you start from a, what is this going to feel like pretty much anything that doesn't require a deep technical skill. Like you have it, you need a deep technical skillset to be able to, you know, for example, to, to write code, but you don't need a deep technical skill set to understand. You know what a customer experience is going to feel like if you're doing a sales call versus doing a customer support call versus doing a product discovery call.

[00:06:00] And so I've always found it's about focusing on what the expected output and what the look and feel of that is to the customer. Um, and then of course, as quickly as you can you bring in the experts once you've kind of got the, the core bleeding stopped, if you will.

Brooks Busch: [00:06:15] So even in and of itself though, you know what the outcome is, the desired outcome that you're driving towards.

However, even in the examples that you just gave, that's a lot of different switching between areas of the brain. Driving towards those outcomes. So one thing that early on when you and I first had the opportunity to meet that we talked about is the amount of, of just simple context, switching that you have to have to be successful in strategy and ops.

So it's look, I know the desired outcome. That context switching piece, I would assume is that other key ingredient here too, where you've found yourself time and time again, falling back into a skillset.

Peter Clare: [00:06:52] Yeah, I think that’s a good, good point for me. The, the device I always use is I think of it in terms of time zones.

So is the time zone of what I'm [00:07:00] working on a 24 hour problem? Is it a three week, three month or three-year problem? And the mindset is different and I've really focused operations. And the structures that we create and all of those types of the types of meetings that we have to make sure that you're only dealing with one time zone at a time, because no matter how good you are at shifting, you know, brain shifting between a product meeting and a sales meeting or worse, you know, a customer escalation right off of that into a sales call, it really becomes about making sure that you're set on what time zone are you talking about and what time zone are you solving for?

Because. You know, we often have to solve problems today in a way that's completely different than the ongoing three year time zone of solving for that problem. So I think of those times zones almost every day, at least a dozen times, like w which tines on am I focused in, on as a device to kind of center into what we're, what we're working on.

Brooks Busch: [00:07:56] Especially growth stage companies or high growth companies. There's [00:08:00] so many different opportunities or so many fires that are always burning. There has to be a mechanism that you can use or fall back on of. Look here is how I prioritize things that are the most important or, or as you're putting it that time zone element for.

Okay. How do we actually start addressing these as a company?

Peter Clare: [00:08:19] And I think one of the key things that we've done that, um, I'm very proud of that the team has really embraced is figuring out an operational rhythm that makes sure that. We have a, a clear way to communicate to customers, to sales, prospects, et cetera, when something is going to get addressed.

So that instead of the customer says, Hey, I need X, Y, and Z. And then we have a hundred reps that go off. So I'll get you an answer right away, which can just swamp your organization. If you're in a growth mode and you don't have a bunch of resources sitting around. To be able to say, Hey, we've got a meeting on Tuesday.

All of the key leaders are going to be there. Is it okay if I get back to you on a Wednesday after I've had a chance to share this with all of the brightest [00:09:00] minds inside of Jobvite and nine times out of 10, the customer says, great. I think that's awesome. Versus the other experience, which would be, you know, it's two days later and they're going, you said, you'd get back to me right away.

Why didn't you call me? And so it really does end up being about how do you set a clear expectation for customers. And then also give the team permission to break the rules when it truly does need to break the processes because it is urgent.

Brooks Busch: [00:09:25] Yeah. And I think this speaks to, and this is one of the reasons why Peter early on, when we were working with you and the Jobvite team early on, one of the things that you highlighted your own focus at Jobvite was bringing this customer centric approach to operations, which.

I think everyone would give like some form of lip service to that. Operations should also help our customers by helping our sales team or marketing team. But you were pretty explicit and said, ‘no, it should be customer centric in how we build operations.’ And so even that rhythm and cadence that you just mentioned of how do we escalate [00:10:00] problems?

How do we talk through problems that are being brought to us that ties into it. So we'd love to just hear a little bit of your philosophy and how you built that into the operations side of Jobvite.

Peter Clare: [00:10:11] Well, I think it's probably helpful to give a little bit of the backdrop of why we're so focused here.

Jobvite has over at this point, over 10,000 customers collectively, and they range all the way from very large enterprises that pay us seven figures a year. Down to literally, you know, three and four person recruiting firms or, you know, 10 person convenience stores. And so with 10,000 customers and 500 employees, you have to be efficient.

You have to find a way to, to, uh, segment them effectively and then treat them appropriately for the size of revenue. And the level of investment that you can make. So I'm just a firm believer that there is nobody that is in our business, that isn't here to serve customers and help bring new customers in.

That's it, that's the two [00:11:00] things that you need to do effectively to have a high growth business. And so our operational structure is designed to make sure that everybody that is in a non customer facing roles still has customers. At the core of everything that they do. And so we do that through a sequence of meetings.

So, you know, our customer teams are organized into pods. If you've got a SMB customers, maybe a pod of two people is going to work on 300 accounts. And they need to treat those accounts in aggregate. Like what's the best thing for this group of 300 accounts. And then maybe in our large enterprise, a pod is going to have two customers and it's very bespoke in terms of the investment, but in both cases, they're handling roughly 3 million in revenue.

You know, they're gonna have their, their business review if you will, every week to talk about what their key needs are. And then that goes to the client leadership team. Which then essentially triages the outputs of that. So what do [00:12:00] we need to solve for, and the time zone for this to think about it as like this week, like who's on first who's on second this week and, uh, whatever they can't handle, then it goes into Tuesday meeting where we bring in all of the product leadership.

And the other folks that can help outside of just the core customer team. And they'll get into motion on anything that we, that we can solve for that week. And in spite of having over 10,000 customers collectively, we ended up in a situation every week where one of them asks us for something that we've never seen before.

And so in those cases, what we do is we have a solution reviewable. Where all of the brightest product minds in the company come together and anybody who can submit a half page or one page papers saying, you know, XYZ customer or prospect. Wants to do this and what do you recommend? And so in that case, we sit down and we go through a process of brainstorming.

It's the one meeting per week that I allowed to be totally unstructured and is really about, you know, let's, let's just be [00:13:00] innovative in how we come up with a solution. But what that means is essentially, you know, the, the core of our operating rhythm is, you know, Mondays we're checking on the customer's Tuesdays.

We're making sure that everybody in the company is focused on solving the today problems, where it makes sense to solve it. And Fridays were poking our head up to say, what are the new things that are coming up that we should potentially pay attention to? And then we run a, a different process that occurs kind of on Thursdays, which is really around managing to our long-term objectives and the BHAG’s and all of that kind of stuff around improving and working on the business itself to hopefully over time eliminate the, the requirement to do these coordination meetings every day.

Not hopeful that they'll ever disappear.

Brooks Busch: [00:13:44] So it’s almost like there's this multiple I tier approach or this structured approach where you have the solution requirement for product meeting that helps keep kind of everything moving and in rhythm. And in unison, you then have a solution for, for review board.

[00:14:00] Excuse me. That's really focused on, okay. How do we solve bigger problems that might not be solved by, you know, a simple 30 minute meeting? In both of those are almost put in place to protect or guard that longer term vision or the longer term session of, Hey, where are we going as a business? What are the main priorities that we have or themes that we have for the year, for the next three to five years?

And it's this like tiered structure that allows for day-to-day execution, but also longterm execution as well. Is that fair to say?

Peter Clare: [00:14:31] Yeah, I think that's a good point. And you'll notice I always talk about it as putting customers at the center of what we're doing, but it's certainly not putting customers in the driver's seat for everything that we ever do, because again, the customers will always have more work for us to do than we could possibly do.

And if we just react to, to request, we'll never do anything innovative. So in many ways that operating structure is designed to keep the innovation space safe. One of the things I always say is if all we did was [00:15:00] listen to our customers, They would love us all the way until the point where they leave us and they would leave us for somebody that's being more innovative.

So to me, it's, it's tantamount that we protect that innovation time and we give breathing room to our product and engineering team to do things that are innovative and that are driving the market forward in general.

Brooks Busch: [00:15:16] So walk us through even that session, that, that innovation section of the meetings that are focused on the longterm. Even curious how those meetings themselves might tie into moore of like the overall annual strategic plan that Jobvite is going to put in place.

Peter Clare: [00:15:33] So I think generally I'm super proud of our product and engineering team and how we are agile in our approach without using, you know, without using agile as an excuse, not to be strategic in how we forward. But essentially the way, the way we look at it is we have a directional 18-month roadmap.

And we think about it in terms of, probably the stuff in the, in the coming quarter is fixed, right. And the stuff in [00:16:00] the, in the second and third quarter out are a little bit more fungible, I would say they're semi fixed. And then, uh, when you get into quarter four and five and six, that's really just directional.

And it's because particularly in the human capital space in talent acquisition, things are changing so rapidly, and the pace of change isn't slowing down such that what's important today might not be important in six months. So we have a robust planning process that we've gone through to get to the 18 months

That's, you know, off-site sessions or virtual offsites and brainstorming and tying to the revenue goals and all that kind of stuff. But then when you get into the actual heartbeat and rhythm of it, you know, we have a product advisory council that split between our SMB mid-market customers and larger enterprise manager.

Uh, they provide us inputting into product. We've got the voice of the customer meetings that occur throughout the process. Two of which are the requirements from product that's solution review board, but then there's also a more formalized [00:17:00] product advisory council within the team. And then we've also got Pendo and other, these other tools that we're using to gather feedback on an ongoing basis and wrap them into our, our general.

Brooks Busch: [00:17:11] Sure, that's super helpful. And again, it gets back to the theme of look, we have to put customers at the center, but it isn't just putting them at the center of them telling us what we need to be building. It's thinking, what are they going to need 3, 5, 10 years from now? How do we think ahead of the curve there? Hear what they're saying today, but understand that what they're telling us they want might not actually be, specifically what we need to be building for, because it just solves for the immediacy versus the long-term.

Peter Clare: [00:17:38] Just real quickly, in case any of our customers are listening, I don't want to diminish what they're asking.

Like the stuff that they're asking for all real, it's just, it's it's meeting today's needs. It's not meeting where the market's heading and, and we would be doing our customers a disservice. If all we did was focus on the stuff we're being asked for today. And instead of, you know, we look hard at all of the stuff that's coming in and we, [00:18:00] we look at it against, obviously, legal risks that are occurring with changing legislation. I was going to the top of the list. We think about operational risk to our customers as, as really important. I would think about automation and how can we save them time as, as really important when they want to a certain button needs to be moved over to the left week.

We'll probably prioritize that a little lower for some strategic development. I just didn't want to give the impression that we shut all that stuff down because we certainly do listen. And a lot of it is valid, but we just have to always be on that tightrope.

Brooks Busch: [00:18:31] So even zooming back out a little bit, speaking to it at the leadership level for jobs.

Going through this process, working with you all, I know one of the structures that you have in place are like EOS meetings. You run some form or variation of EOS as how your structure the overall operating framework. And I think what we've seen from most high growth companies that are successful in implementing any structure is there's you take, you take a framework [00:19:00] and then you tailor it towards your business a little bit.

You take the things that are really beneficial and you make sure that they. Meets an ad structure and a cadence in a rhythm to the business without burdening it with everything is black and white and it has to be done a certain way. So really curious, even from that leadership perspective, how you've gone about structuring that operating framework, that then allows everything else that we've been talking about to kind of fall in.

Peter Clare: [00:19:25] Yeah, I think the stuff that we're talking about is really the extension to the, to the EOS framework. So we use a modified version of EOS. The way I would put it at a high level is if you're, uh, if, if you read Traction, get a grip on your business, you'll see it. All of the examples in there are owner/operator $3 to $7 million in revenue type of companies where the department heads have absolute understanding of everything that's going on.

And so they can come to a once a week or once every two weeks. Staff meeting and they can do all of the coordination in that meeting. Once you scale that up in our business, I think we have 65 people [00:20:00] managers. There's just no way you can do all the coordination in that meeting and cover the longer-term time's on of your objectives, where you're working or rocks, where you're working on the, improving the business in general.

So we ultimately landed on an every two week cadence for our held hands. And the way that those work is that each of the department heads. Does an L10 with their level two leadership and those all occur before the senior leadership level 10 so that we can flow issues that are unresolvable at a department level up into the L tan and proceed from there as it relates to the true EOS process, augmenting that we have these coordination meetings that occur on Mondays.

I talked about the customer set of coordination. Product and engineering does coordination meetings on Monday. Marketing, lead gen, and sales do coordination meetings on Monday. So that whole Monday is focused on coordinating for the week. Tuesday is the things that couldn't get solved within those functional [00:21:00] areas.

The rest of the week is, is open except for every second week, where on Thursdays we do the L10s and on Fridays we have this solution review board is an intentional designed to make sure that we've got the who's on first. Right at the start of the week. And then as we settle into the week on Thursdays, we look at the broader metrics.

We look at the issues, we look at the opportunities and make sure that we're giving them the full weight of a, of a conversation without trying to have, you know, a single department had, uh, representing 65 managers of people in a two-hour coordination meeting.

Brooks Busch: [00:21:32] I'm loving you going into the detail here, Peter, because we get asked ask so often, like what does it actually look like to put a framework in place?

Especially for larger companies, you know, Jobvite by now is 500 plus employees and a lot of companies this size, it's one thing to say yes, use it. OKRs or EOS or any, any framework. It's another thing to actually see it done and put in place in the way that you're describing. [00:22:00] Throughout the week progress of, you know, it starts on Monday and here's how it flows into Tuesday and Wednesday, and so on.

It's almost these tributaries that roll into the bigger river where everything is, is continuing to go with the flow of the company versus so often what we see is when you implement these frameworks, all of a sudden you create these like pockets where information starts to get lost because it's not being communicated from the individual to the manager manager, to director, director to leadership.

But that sounds like the way you just walk through a tactically. So often we miss that piece because companies either haven't figured it out or don't realize that, look, it isn't just like you put one meeting in place and it solves all of your problems. No, usually there's a lot more complexity that goes into it.

Peter Clare: [00:22:45] Yeah, and what I would say is for those listening, it's a constant process. So every three months, the last week of every quarter, we pause all corporate meetings. So this entire process that we just talked about, the [00:23:00] last week of the quarter is on pause. And it's on pause for two reasons.

Number one, particularly in our enterprise and large enterprise space, like 80% of the business we close, we close on the last week of the quarter. Which we're obviously always trying to fix. But customers and the business world in general is, is conditioned to think about these things in quarters. And so we want to make sure that the day-to-day process doesn't either get abandoned or get in the way of sales deals.

And then secondly, because we want people to kind of pop their head up and think about during that week, what parts of the process aren't serving us. And I consistently on a quarterly basis have to go and eliminate all of the meetings that have popped up around the process that are just because we're not effectively using the meetings as outlined. Or because a newer thing has come up where we need to set up a, what we would call an initiative set of meetings. So it's maybe it's just for this quarter, but it's a separate meeting to go and achieve something, cross functional and be more intentional [00:24:00] about it. But we're constantly working on this. Constantly resetting the agendas to make sure that everybody's on the same page.

Looking at who, the people that are attending the meetings are. Do they need to be there? Are they getting value out of it? And so we just continue to rededicate ourselves to this and continue to work on it. We’re always trying to shine a light on what isn't is not serving us from the operating system. And I think the key is we're not tied to the meetings that are there on the agendas that are there.

If there's something that's not serving us, we will change it and we'll update it based on the feedback that we're getting. But what we are constantly saying, and this is in alignment with our cultural values, just ignoring the operating system isn’t an option. So embrace and extend is a phrase I find myself using very frequently with the broader team.

Brooks Busch: [00:24:46] Embrace and extend. I think that so often can be just applied to, we don't always have to do things the way they've been done, because that's the way they've been done. Let's constantly think about how these processes or this structure should [00:25:00] evolve with us as the business evolves, because we look a lot different as a company now than we did a year ago, three years ago, etc.

Peter Clare: [00:25:07] I also think that as much as they want to embrace and extend, you also have to not always be thinking there's a better mouse trap. So is there a way to always be looking at it and re-looking at it without throwing the baby out with the bath water,

Brooks Busch: [00:25:21] the process of like, not just change for the sake of change, but, ‘Hey, is this going to add substantive value to the way that we're doing it today?’

Peter Clare: [00:25:28] And that's one of the things by the way, the week off at the end of the quarter, one of my colleagues came up with it, uh, two quarters ago. It's really helpful for, it almost acts as a reset without having to change all the meetings. Because everybody goes, walks away, and says, oh, that's why we have those meetings.

Cause that was so, uh, that's been a real nice addition that we added in recently. And I've been running this, this process as we've scaled up for, I think, close to five years. Um, but I can promise you, it hasn't stayed the same for more than six months, but it hasn't changed much [00:26:00] either. It's just been about tweaking it.

Brooks Busch: [00:26:01] Yeah, just tweaks along the way. So, so that is super helpful. Just getting into the tactical and the practicality of look, how do you. Implement a framework, but then how do you allow that framework to evolve and to grow with you as a company? Peter you've, you've been in strategy and operations for several years now through not just telemetry, but then the acquisition to Jobvite.

And now, uh, as you all continue to scale to bring on new companies in your time in strategy and operations, you've seen a lot of those changes and evolutions. What do you see? Strategy and ops, continuing to evolve, evolve into over the next. One year three year, five years out.

Peter Clare: [00:26:42] I think that, you know, how we effectively incorporate some of the new AI technologies is really important.

I'm not optimistic that there's any kind of cure all there, but there is a lot of good stuff that can help our organization. Certainly. But how do you get that those tax embedded it in the [00:27:00] operating process? And then all of the data that we're generating to today, he is the, is the next big mission. I think fighting the proliferation of, of new tools versus existing tools and how those existing tools work through the process.

As you know, from our discussion with going away is the other thing. And then I do think that as baseline automations continue to improve. What we're going to see as our functional areas are going to become more and more specialized. And that's going to mean that there's a bigger and bigger disconnect in terms of how people want to do things, sort of the personality of individual orgs within a company start to manifest themselves.

And I think doubling down on these operating systems, whichever one you choose is going to become increasingly important so that everybody's playing from the same place. They speak the same language as they're going through this process. And I just see ops playing a greater and greater role in making sure that all of those different departments are working together effectively, particularly all of my experiences in SAS [00:28:00] software.

And I'm a huge believer in the final asset in SAS is for service. So making sure that the service runs holistically as the only way you grow a SAS company. And I think officer's going to be right at the center of that. Yeah.

Brooks Busch: [00:28:11] The operational component of a SaaS company should be viewed as something that can help grow the company, right?

Remove barriers, remove friction, help unlock new opportunities by to your point, implementing structure and process that allows you to accelerate or repress in on opportunities versus. Like traditional operations, which is more viewed as retroactive reporting, or maybe wrapping in like finance numbers.

That's not what operations and strategy looks like going forward. So I'm so glad that you brought that up because ultimately like the efficiency of operations should add to revenue should add to growth, should add to how you service and support companies and customers.

Peter Clare: [00:28:53] When you think about the, I think it's some something like, you know, 78% of the buying journey is done before they ever talked to a sales rep.

[00:29:00] So that means, you're thinking about social media posts. You're thinking about G2 crowd and trust radius. All of that stuff is, is going to manifest itself to your buyers based on how your operations run. So I would argue that it's the most critical thing to growing a software business and. I've embraced it as such

Brooks Busch: [00:29:20] Peter, if you look back to early stages of your career, when you were just first starting to feel out strategy and operations and what this role looked like, what advice would you have given yourself?

Or what advice would you give to someone? That's early stages of their career, trying to understand, Hey, strategy and operations, a path that I would want to go down. What are the things that they should be aware of the skill sets that they should try to be sharpening as they think about that?

Peter Clare: [00:29:47] I would say the first and foremost is you absolutely have to have the ability to think in multiple time zones.

You have to be able to think about long-term solutions without holding the [00:30:00] short term solution ransom. I think that's number one. I think number two is you have to have a genuine curiosity, a true delight in figuring out how something works and then how you can make it better. And then I would say the final item from my perspective is you have to really care about helping other people in many ways.

It's a very thankless job. You know, nobody wants to be the, the meeting police, you know, which is, it can easily feel like right. And nobody wants to be the one that's focused on consistency. Nobody wants to be like, everybody wants to be like, oh, I have this great idea for six years from now. So unless you're driven by actually solving problems and really get juiced up on that, then, uh, I would not recommend going down this path,

Brooks Busch: [00:30:44] The substance behind the ideas, right?

There are constantly great ideas at high-growth companies. There's boundless opportunity, limitless opportunities. But it's taking those ideas sifting through them, finding the gray ones and then actually putting them into [00:31:00] execution versus just having ideas themselves. Well,

Peter Clare: [00:31:03] Look at the number of failed businesses that start and you'll figure out how valuable the execution is.

Brooks Busch: [00:31:09] Sure. Peter, thank you so much for taking the time to join us, to go through your journey your time at Jobvite really appreciate you joining the podcast.

Peter Clare: [00:31:18] All right. Thank you so much for having me Brooks.

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