Ruchi Kasliwal

Head of Revenue

,

Telenav

   |    

April 30, 2021

Telenav are experts at navigation platforms, helping people get from point A to point B everyday. But how do they get from point A to point B within their quote to cash systems?Join our host Sandeep Jain as he sits down with Ruchi Kasliwal, the Head of Revenue at Telenav, as they discuss their unique revenue model and how a company like Telenav leverages monetization systems.

Podcast Transcript:

Sandeep Jain:

Hi. Welcome to the 4th episode of “The Enterprise Monetization” podcast. And this is your host, Sandeep Jain. In this podcast, we invite thought leaders from monetization space that has CPQ billing revenue operations, so that you can learn about challenges, opportunities and best practices in enterprise monetization. Today, I'm pleased to introduce an invited guest Ruchi Kasliwal. Ruchi is the Head of Revenue at Telenav. Before that, Ruchi was at Confluent, MongoDB, and other companies. And currently, she is also part of the advisory board at Clarity, which is a startup that simplifying the contract review process. With that, Ruchi, welcome to this podcast.

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Thank you, Sandeep. It's a pleasure to be here.

Sandeep Jain:

Great. So hey, before we go into Quote-to-Cash details, would you like to share a fun fact about you?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Sure, sure. One of the fun facts, I can talk about myself, this something others will be surprised of, is I love to go out in the evenings and just watch the lights, not the moons and stars but the lights at different places. And just look at all the different ways the landscape lights are placed. And just observe that and not many people know about this for me.  

Sandeep Jain:

That's very interesting. So Ruchi, any place in mind that where you were fascinated about the lights that you saw?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

One of my favorite times to see the lights is, of course during the Christmas season, where everybody is going above and beyond to put lights on their houses. And a secret spot that I can think of is in Fremont in an area called Nines where you can go and see lots of Christmas lights, and it feels like you're actually in North Pole. So all different varieties of lights being showcased and each houses.

Sandeep Jain:

While that's something new that I learned today, because I've been in the Bay Area for last 20 years and my family, you know, we go out to see Christmas lights. But I'd never heard of this place. So we'll go there for sure.

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Yeah, you should definitely check it out.

Sandeep Jain:

Awesome. So from Christmas lights to Quote-to-Cash now. But before that, actually, could you share like your professional background? You know, you worked at some fascinating companies before, and you're a Telenav now. So can you just describe your journey into this world?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Sure, absolutely. So for me, my journey started in finance in the revenue world. And basically, from there on, I've always been fascinated with revenue and how all the backend processes work. I've been at companies MongoDB, Confluent. And before that, I was at Goshen technology. And seeing all these companies grow from a very 220 people company to almost 1000 People Company has been fascinating. Growth that you see in this expect, except exponential companies has been amazing and to grow with them was a big part of my career.

Sandeep Jain:

Awesome. And so for folks who do not know about Telenav, could you just describe what Telenav does?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Sure. We manufacture we have software that goes into navigation systems. So essentially, when you see the GM Ford's and Toyota's of the world, and you'll see the navigation going on, it's all powered by the Telenav software. And it provides point of interest, locations, live searches for any kind of situation, it's restaurants you're looking for. So it's primarily navigation software that we provide.

Sandeep Jain:

Got it. And you guys are a public company and a private company? So what's your current situation now?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Yes, so we actually were a public company for last decade or so. But then we just recently went back private. And the main reason for that is to we do believe that our company needs to go through a big transformation, and expanding into different product lines. That's the way to go to turn it private and bring back the true value of the company.

Sandeep Jain:

Understood, understood. And so I guess you went private, like a couple of months ago?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Very recently.

Sandeep Jain:

Yeah. So can you talk about your revenue before that and like, and the reason I'm asking this question is to understand the extent of your Quote-to-Cash systems like, what's your revenue? What are your primary channels of selling? Is it a self-serve? Is a direct sales related? Is it through partners?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Sure. So our revenue channels, our primary focus with the OEMs, or the car manufacturers, and our biggest channel of revenue is through direct sales. We do have, used to have mobile advertising. But that's a product line that has been reamed out already. But our biggest channel has been through OEM. Now, the way our revenue works is, it's royalty-based revenue. So the number of cars that are sold, based on that we earn royalties on the software that goes on those cars.

Sandeep Jain:

I see, understood. And so could you talk about the Quote-to-Cash system in place to enable this sort of workflow? I think there's a first time I'm talking to somebody with this sort of unique royalty based startup business model?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Right. So royalty based businesses, a very unique business to the, primarily this is in the car industry, because it's you can relate it to usage based business, the more you use. The more revenues that you earn. So the more cars that GM sells, the more revenues we would earn. So in talking back on the Quote-to-Cash part of it, like our contracts are generally pretty long term contracts. Because having a software installed in a car is not an overnight thing, you need to have the right components built due for that software to run. And the way our contracts work is you keep adding features. And when we talk about features, it's the features that the car companies want, and how is your software going to support these features. So it's an ever evolving process in terms of contracting. And for that you have to have a very robust back end system to support these changes and features, changes and contracts. And how do you price these changes? How does it have an impact on your back office and your revenues and royalties that you earn? In addition to that, we also have royalties that we pay to our vendors. So it's not just a front end process, but a back end process as well.

Sandeep Jain:

Got it. And what are the systems, like what is your Quote-to-Cash systems that you're using to enable this?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

So in our current company, we do use a version of Salesforce, but our primary Quote-to-Cash system is still very manual, and very nascent in terms of going through red line Word documents. And that is something that needs to be enhanced and bring brought to more modern life and automated solutions.

Sandeep Jain:

But given that, what you're sharing, like, I'm assuming the number of transactions that you guys have is very few. Are these contracts are huge in terms of dollar value. So doing things manually, maybe okay?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

For now, it might be okay. But as we expand into different product lines, different markets, this is not a sustainable place to be. So for that you have to have a solution which can cater to big contracts. Because even though these are big long term contracts, there are high volume transactions that go within these contracts. So to cater to those, you need a robust back end solution.

Sandeep Jain:

So what do you mean by, sorry, I didn't catch that part of the large number of transactions that go as far as one contract. What do you mean by that?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

So by that, I mean there, if you're familiar a little bit with the car industry, each car company has different model years based on the years, the models, like I'll just take GM or Ford, for example, there are different versions of Ford Explorer, different versions of Ford Explorer within different years, all the features that keep changing, and you multiply that with the number of people buying these Ford cars, and you have volumes and volumes of transactions where the software is being used. So that's what I mean by high volume transactions.

Sandeep Jain:

But in your case, I'm assuming that probably before the end of the quarter, you receive a massive excel from Ford, which says how many, you know, cars are sold?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Yes, we do. And that is where the beauty comes in of processing, order processing, making sure the prices are right, the model numbers are right, the model years are right. So that's exactly where having a good system to reconcile these things comes in place.

Sandeep Jain:

Understood, understood. And do you use, like, what do you use for order management today?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

So order management is all done through our ERP system, NetSuite. And also part of it goes through our self-billing system.

Sandeep Jain:

I see, and what is the self-billing system, I'm sorry?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

The self-billing system in our current company is more related to our internal processes that we have, we have a homegrown way of tracking different payments, different transactions. So I wouldn't call it a very robust billing system, but it's a very self-created, enhanced or excel on steroids. Let's put it that way, excel on steroids.

Sandeep Jain:

That's interesting. So Ruchi, based on, so it looks like you guys are going private, you guys are planning to do something wonderful. So as you see this transition of the company, what are your thoughts about your current Quote-to-Cash system? I know you mentioned that it needs to change, but on what X’s, are you thinking this requires rethought?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Sure. So the way our company is heading, we are going to go more on high volume transaction business. Obviously, I cannot share too many details. But just to give you a gist of the scope of the change, it's going to go more on consumer level businesses. And when we talk about consumer relevant businesses, it's all high volume, low dollar transactions. And that is where you need to have systems in place, tools in place that can support the volumes of transactions that we are expecting. And that would mean providing the users a self-serve kind of tool where they can purchase what they are looking for. And then billings can be generated, payments can be generated seamlessly. So the user does not have any hiccups. And for that we need to develop back end systems to track all these transactions. And there could be different flavors of the transactions that users can purchase. So providing that product catalog in a very seamless way and a user friendly way is the critical part, which needs to be sorted out now.

Sandeep Jain:

So that's interesting. You mentioned that, given that these are the requirements, like I heard high volume, low dollar, sales serve,  and possibly direct sales as well, because that's as well?  

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Yes, yes.  

Sandeep Jain:

Given these requirements, do you think that you have an answer for this problem today, in terms of what systems you may use to solve this?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

So I've visited multiple companies before, and this is similar to like usage based billing, uses based business. And I have yet to see a tool or a solution that can work. And that has not happened. Like in a few of my prior companies, we had homegrown billing systems, which really did not work to the scale that we needed it to work. So I don't have a solution. I'm still looking. And there is something that can be built. But I would rather have an outside vendor provide that kind of tool rather than building it internally.

Sandeep Jain:

So a couple of follow up, Ruchi. So why do companies go to the route of building their own only to realize what you just said, that hey, does not meet my needs? So why do you think people still continue to build?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

This is I think, Sandeep, a very classic case, where companies generally think, Oh, I have all this engineering talent, who my engineers can really build you a tool. You're just looking for a billing tool. But in reality, that's not exactly what the finance or the ops folks are really looking for. And that is one of the biggest mistakes that companies do that they think that it's a simple tool. It's not a simple tool. It requires a lot of thought and process to be put together to build this tool. And when you have companies out there who can build this tool as their bread and butter, why do we want to spend resources, internal resources, in terms of time, effort, money, to build something that's readily available? So to have a scalable and expertise. Now, not every company has the expertise to build this kind of tools. And having a band-aid solution is not always a good solution.

Sandeep Jain:

Got it. Great, Richie. So another follow up. You talked about challenges in usage based billing. What's so hard about usage? Like, why is this still a problem?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Yeah, sure. So usage based billing is actually a very new business model that the companies are facing, enterprises are facing. And it's as new as I would say, not more than five to six years. And people are still thinking about how to solve for this. In usage based billing, the key that you need to know is what's the usage and what's the price point that I need to put out there? And as usage increases, how do you make that price point work? Like how do you provide the user having the functionality of tiered pricing? So all of these functions are still not available in any of the tools? The other thing that I can think about when usage based billing is how do you generate the bills? How do you make sure that there is a minimum commit as an enterprise, you need to make sure you have a consistent ARR? So how do you make sure there's a minimum commit that I can build my customer on? Is it a catch up at the end of the term, or do you keep doing a methodology of monthly minimum versus actual usage? So there are lots of still open questions that needs to be solved.

Sandeep Jain:

I see. But then tell me this Ruchi, there are companies today that are whose entire bread and butter and business model is usage. But I think, Confluent could be in that category. Even maybe MongoDB, means dealing with usage like it's is it completely manual or like what are these companies doing?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

It's a hybrid solution that these companies have come up with. But I wouldn't say this is a very scalable solution. Because a lot of the tools available out there, especially from a finance perspective, do not solve for the entire Q2C cycle. Like, you know, how do you generate the quote? How do you get the user to put in their credit card? How do you make sure that the cash is collected, there's a lot of backend information that needs to be tracked. And ultimately, there are chunks that you need to track, there needs to be lot of customization done. So it is not a foolproof solution yet. It is still hybrid, where there's a lot of manual work in the backend that needs to be done, especially by the accounting and finance team, when they are trying to reconcile all the data,

Sandeep Jain:

I see. My understanding was that given these existing products, you know, you can create a metering table on whatever the axis of monetization is. And then the products that are emitting usage, you know, you dump it in an Excel or something. And then you upload this in the billing system, and it will calculate this at the end of the month or a quarter or whatever it is?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Not really. So a very simple example, it can be that there are different versions of the usage product that you can provide, depending on the type of product and there are different varieties. So a certain user, I'll just take a very simple example, a certain user wants a license or some kind of product software license. Now there's specific requirements, they want certain security, certain storage size, certain location. So these are the different variables that go into that use it. So the first challenge that I see the companies face is how do you provide these to be very seamless, less click, and more function for the user? Let's say that's all done, and companies come up with a very nice front end system, but then how do you convert all of that in the backend? It cannot be a fixed price thing. So you need to have different kinds of methodologies to convert this and monetize it. And at the end of it, how do you collect the cash related to that? How do you track thus user and so that you can make sure you have continuous ARR from this user? So there are different challenges still out there that has not been solved for.

Sandeep Jain:

I see. In your mind, is there any company or any way to do this, or any example on how to do this right, given that there is not a good solution exists or people have to experimented on their own how to get it done?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

I think, like each business is definitely different but a very simplistic solution to do this right would be to have a seamless integration between what's out there in terms of the code that's been generated? And then how does it integrate in the back end in your accounting and finance tools? And that's not just limited to your cash coming in? But how do you track all these different metrics? If you have a user who's having a hard time navigating through the portal to just generate a quote, then it becomes very difficult for them to come back again to your portal. So that's the churn that you would see on that user. So those are different things that can be done. There're tools out there. I know NetSuite has a tool called usage based billing, but it still does not solve the issue of variable usage. It still has fixed usage that is being implemented, but doesn't solve the issue of variable usage patterns.

Sandeep Jain:

Understood. And so on that note, Ruchi. I know there's a like, there's three big products or features here. It's like one is CPQ and other is billing. And another is your ERP with his general ledger. And when I said features, I actually meant functionalities.  

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Tools.

Sandeep Jain:

Tools, yeah. So these three unique functions, three separate functions now. What do you think about combining these together? So you have, you know, one vendor saying billing and general ledger are together. Another saying billing and CPQ to be together. Like, what's your perspective on these three functionalities existing separately, or should they be together, any thoughts on that?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

I would love to have one seamless tool that works for all three of them, because you have to think of it this way that the data that goes in in the front end from in the CPQ tool is ultimately what is being recorded in the billings and in your general ledger or your ERP system. So if you have one source of information, one true source of data, then you have consistent information going throughout the whole process. And it simplifies the processes for the organization on so like your sales and sales ops functions, who are primarily involved in the CPQ side, are looking at the same thing that probably your billings guys, which are the OTC guys looking at, and ultimately, your finance and accounting folks who are looking at the ERP system. So at least one consistent information is being flowed throughout the entire process. And that brings in lots of operational efficiencies, you will all be talking the same terms and not talking apples and oranges when dealing with any kind of situations.

Sandeep Jain:

Understood. Ruchi, based on your previous examples, or companies that you worked at, can you give us specific examples on what problems you guys faced because these things were separate? Like, was it like…?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. So I'm sure you must be hearing this a lot. Because this is this is when the standard processes and lots of organizations where all these three tools are either built in silos are managed in silos, and there's no connection between the two, between the three, actually. So in my previous orgs, or previous companies, we had very, very big challenges. Because in the CPQ tool, if we wanted to put a price list, and that was not consistent with the price list that you had in your billing tool, which in turn was not consistent with the ERP pricing, then you had the same order being transacted at three different price points, which was a big issue. There's no reconciliation that would get done. The customer, if they are getting a bill, which is totally off than what their quote was, then there will be lot of customer satisfaction issues. So having one tool which addresses all three of these is the solution to go for.

Sandeep Jain:

Understood. And do you see the industry moving there in some ways?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Yes, I would say like I know that for example, Salesforce CPQ has their CPQ tool, which is the Quote generator or Quote builder, and then they also have functionality of Billings, Salesforce just I do not know if they have still integrated with the ERPs systems or not. But there are work talks about that. But and I don't know if they have done it yet. But I think if there are tools available that caters to all three needs, then that would be the way to go.

Sandeep Jain:

Understood, understood. And Ruchi, in your role do you interact with like the sales ops people? And would they share the same opinion as you have like that they need to be together?  

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Yes. So in my roles, like my role is not limited just to the revenue function, like I have a very wide role, which is basically all of operations, which starts from implementing deal desk, for example, deal desk is a biggest thing that helps the sales guys in shortening the deal closure process. And on the other side, you don't have to implement any of the tools you need to interact to with the IT and engineering or the BSA teams, also the BI teams. So it's, I would say that sales ops for sure does feel like we should have consistency. And what's being presented to the customer should be consistent with what is eventually sent to the customer. And that's why having one simple tool or one single tool that connects the three is very important. I'm sure the sales ops guys that you talk to would share the same opinion.

Sandeep Jain:

Got it. And probably I should have asked you earlier about this. I want to talk about your team, like what does your team do? And does it have, I know you do your head of revenue at Telenav? But does that mean it encompasses both finance and sales, or how does it work?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

So what I do right now is like, of course, on the finance side, I am responsible for revenue operations, which includes all of your order to cash functions, and also finally booking of revenue, the booking of the top line of the company, and also includes a lot of technical accounting and contract negotiations with our sales and BD guys. On the ops side, I am implementing deal desk, which is a big thing nowadays in all enterprise software companies, because deal desk is essentially your backbone of the company, where the responsibility resides to ensure that everything related to a deal is being done in a single team. And the sales guys don't have to go figure out, okay, who do I need to get pricing approval? Who do I need to go to get product approvals? What kind of features can this be added on things like that. So that's why having a deal desk function in an organization is very beneficial. So I lead all of those functions, and along with that, you know, my I'm big involved in NPI, new product introductions as well. So making sure that any new product and features that are launched in the company have the right backbone with them.

Sandeep Jain:

Understood. And, hey Ruchi, I liked this description of deal desk. Could you talk a little bit more about this? Like, is it just a set of processes done by a few people, or is it a set of tools that the deal desk folks use?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Yeah, so I actually implemented this at Mongo about four or five years ago now and it's a full blown function. Now there are like 10 or 12 people doing the dealer squirt. So deal desk, you can call it like a central monetization team that helps close deals on the front end, and in the back end also helps improve efficiencies within the organizations. So deal desk has a big share in implementing any tools and processes. That simplifies your front end processes as it relates to sales ops, lead generation, or SDR and LD. I might be talking to many acronyms, so let me know if you want me to elaborate on that. So on the front end, and on the back end deal desk has a big share in implementation of tools like CPQ because they know in and out of how these tools should function what kind of priceless needs to be there. Are we talking regional priceless? Do we need to have multiple currencies implemented? What kind of product portfolio needs to be implemented? So all of these things and compasses the function of deals desk. And once deals come through, how does it transition from being the deal and an order to the billings role to the finance role.  

Sandeep Jain:

Got it. And Ruchi, to enable the tools to do what the deal desk wants them to do, do you engage with it counterpart to make things happen or is it done within the deal desk itself? Like, you have people with software knowledge or IT knowledge to do?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

No, it depends company to company, but very holistically like deal desk responsibilities is to work with the business system analyst and the PSA teams can reside under the IT orgs in the company, and generally I've seen IT orgs being under the CFOR. So they work with the BSAs to put together the BRBs. And those BRBs are then vetted out along with product guys also, because product has a big say in what goes on to product has to make sure they have all the different items available, the product catalog is available, if it is a standalone item versus a bundle product that they want to sell. So, this involves collaborations with the IT folks, product folks, the marketing team as well, like you know, collateral, what kind of collateral will go out. And to some extent, even sales enablement. So it's a very wide function. That's why I call it the backbone of any organization. Because if a deal desk is working smoothly, then you have a happy camper in your sales or because deal desk makes sure that sales is doing sales functions and not doing admin functions. Like, if you've talked to a few sales folks, I'm sure the biggest challenge that they have seen in their roles is how easy or difficult is it to generate a quote? How many clicks do they have to do and how many variations of the product they have to select? So simplifying those processes is the core function of deal desk.

Sandeep Jain:

Understood. And Ruchi, we talked earlier about, like the CPQ billing and ERP kind of sitting together. But what's your advice or recommendation to vendors based on the pain points that US practitioners are facing? Like, do you have any other tips like these things, vendors should be thinking, these specific things to make life of a few guys easier?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

So there can be lots of advices. But I think one of the things I would say as a vendor, don't try to solve for everything, you know, pick your niche, and then build on that. That's the key thing. Because when you try to solve a sales ops function, rev ops function, and also finance function and billing function, then it's too big of a bite to chew on. So one of the biggest things I would say is pick a niche, and then build on it. And each organization has different business processes internally. But the core of those business processes always the same. So the thing that they should work on is what is the end result? Are they trying to solve it for the sales guys, or are they trying to solve it for the finance guys, or the IT guys? I think that's the biggest thing that people start solving the problem for everybody.

Sandeep Jain:

I see. But it's your only a point, if you're bringing CPQ and billing together, then the product will have to deal with sales and financial together.  

Ruchi Kasliwal:

True. But then again, like I said, you can always land and expand is a big strategy in sales. All right, so first, we need to identify what's the key problem child? Is it generations of quote that is the problem child, or is it generation of bills? That's a problem child. And then you solve for those things and expand on that that is the best way to go forward. Instead of building a tool or my tool is going to solve this and this and this and this all at once.

Sandeep Jain:

I see. Understood, understood. And Ruchi, on a similar note, what do you think about AI and ML in Quote-to-Cash? Is it like theory? Should it be done at this stage, or is it just a whole?  

Ruchi Kasliwal:

No, no, I think it's for real, and it's here to stay. Like, you know, the smartness that the AI tools and ML tools bring to these processes is just amazing. From a CPQ perspective, like we talked a little bit ago about the number of clicks a sales guy has to do, so this is something that you can do trained the system that take for these kinds of enterprise deals or these kinds of deals, this is the standard format that each time my sales guy is generated. So why not just give him out of the box solution that do you want this kind of format? Do you want this kind of format? And that's like, it's ready for the guy to go take it and close the deal on. So then AI and ML are big on those.

Sandeep Jain:

Got it. Got it. This brings us to the end of the podcast, Ruchi. Thanks a lot for sharing your insights about the CPQ billing, ERP and the usage side. But before we let you go, could you share a business resource, like maybe a podcast, a book, or maybe even a blog that you ended up liking and why?

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Sure, sure. I think one of the business resource I wouldn't call it just business, but it kind of touches a little bit of the human side of the business as well. The author is Adam Grant. And if you've read the book called “Think Again”, he's amazing. Like I like listening to his podcasts very regularly on TED also. But the way he presents unlearning of things is amazing. Like the way he presents this via storytelling way is very impressive. And it's very important for people to unlearn what they have already learned, especially as we venture into this new industries, new models. We are no longer in a very simple SaaS based or subscription based business like we talked about usage based, it's very different ballgame. So very important to unlearn what you already know and be open to learning new things.

Sandeep Jain:

That's interesting. You mentioned that, I think we need to unlearn that CPQ billing and ERP need to be separate.

Ruchi Kasliwal:

Yes, that's the critical part here that these are all the nervous systems of the company and they all need to work together and not in silos.  

Sandeep Jain:

Awesome.  

Ruchi Kasliwal:

And you nailed it, Sandeep, like unlearned the fact that CPQ and billing should be different.

Sandeep Jain:

Awesome, Ruchi. Hey, once again, thank you so much for your time today.

Ruchi Kasliwal:

All right. Thank you so much, Sandeep, for having me.

Sandeep Jain: Hi. Welcome to the 8th episode of “The Enterprise Monetization” podcast. And this is your host, Sandeep Jain. In this podcast, we invite thought leaders from monetization space that has CPQ and billing, so that you can learn about challenges, opportunities, and best practices in enterprise monetization. Today, I'm pleased to invite Navin Persaud. To this podcast, Navin has a deep expertise in running sales and marketing ops. He's currently the Head of Revenue Ops at a company called 1Password. I'm pretty sure all of you would know what that company is for. But for those of you who don't know, 1Password is a private company based out of Toronto, Canada, and they do password management for both businesses and for personal use. So they are like a Product-Led Growth company, if you're familiar with the term Product-Led Growth. Prior to that, Navin managed operations at several companies such as Fixed Software, Ceridian, Leader, Lenovo and IBM Canada. With that, I want to extend a very warm welcome to Navin. Navin, welcome to the show.
Navin Persaud: Thanks, Sandeep. Happy to be here.
Sandeep Jain:  Awesome. So, before we start, can you share a quick fun fact about yourself that you'd like to share with the audience of this podcast?
Navin Persaud: Sure, sure thing. I think people who know me know I love to fish fishing. I'm not exactly a great fisherman, but I love the analogies that that fishing offers me in my work life to my personal life. And really that persistence, the amount of effort preparedness, these are all things that work in both elements, whether, you're fishing or whether you're that sales rep trying to close that up order.
Sandeep Jain:  It's interesting. I don't fish but I could never call it that analogy. Well, we've all seen the fisherman just sitting and just waiting for the hook to be engaged. I don't know, what's the right phrase there? But I can imagine the patience and the diligence required to get this thing done, it's very interesting. Do you fish often, by the way?
Navin Persaud: Anytime I can get.
Sandeep Jain:  Wow. Okay. So I'm assuming you're close to a place which allows you to do what you want to do?
Navin Persaud: Proximity water doesn't stop me. If I have time, I'll go find it
Sandeep Jain:  How much is this, if you don't mind me asking this, the paying for this activity is like a few hours like what's the time commitment?
Navin Persaud: Yeah, usually, you have to know that you're gonna go a day before because then you have to pack the vehicle and make sure you have all your gear, have bade know that you're waking up early the next morning, and then you go.
Sandeep Jain:  Got it. And once again, my goodness, but is it kind of a solo sport, or is it?
Navin Persaud: It's either, but like, the great joy for me is taking my son. So my son is 18. And he loves fishing as much as I do. And sometimes he's pulling me to go fish when? No, I'm not thinking about it. So it's actually really great.
Sandeep Jain:  That's interesting. That's interesting. My son is eight years old, probably, that's a good dad and son bonding exercise, I guess. So thank you for sharing this, by the way. Let's come to some other fun stuff that we want to talk about today, which is monetization. So I give a quick summary to our audience. But Julie, just quickly share about your professional journey. You know, it seems that you started in marketing, sales, and then you're now into revenue operations, which is sort of an over encompassing thing?
Navin Persaud: Sure. I started my career as an IBM 15years, right at a university, I thought I was going to be a lawyer at IBM. Opportunity at IBM was amazing, as you know, entering the workforce, starting off as you know, an operations moving into sales roles, finding a home operations, and then eventually moving into SaaS organizations Rev Ops 2015. And then learning SaaS from there on in having never experienced Salesforce, didn't really know what SaaS was never sold software, moving from like a commodity based business to software and, you know, looking back, I wish I had done it sooner.
Sandeep Jain:  Go ahead and dial up one password. Can you talk more about the company and your role at 1Password?
Navin Persaud: Sure. I've been to 1Password for just over six months now. It's been an amazing journey, their Product-Led Growth Company, they serve as both individuals so like a B2C model, and companies as a B2B model. They're on an incredible growth curve at the moment. Product-Led, and my role here as leader of Rev Ops is to really just look at the internal processes and systems and sort of help the team remove obstacles, to just keep that efficiency rolling out, it's been a great journey. I've enjoyed the ride. And I look forward to more projects and initiatives that we're about to embark on here shortly.
Sandeep Jain:  Understood. And could you talk more about, like how your role is structured within is apart of the sales organization? Because revenue operations crosses the multiple boundaries of multiple functions. So that's why I'm curious about how it is organized at your company.
Navin Persaud: Yes, for sure. So I reported to our CRO, so we're part of the go to market organization, which is effectively sales, and that's typically what I've seen in my career. I think, once I've reached this particular level, I've always reported into either CRO or CMO. But generally in sales, because that's where the pain is felt. That's where they need someone to help them with the systems, and the process, and the reporting and the data. So it's a natural fit, and a natural home sales affords you the opportunity to be on the same team on the same page, so that you're working with each other as opposed to against each other, which is always great. In order to get things done, get buy in, and to generally just move initiatives forward.
Sandeep Jain:  Understood, and what companies have a separate revenue operations function, do they also have a Sales Ops as a function or is it kind of merged with the Revenue Ops?
Navin Persaud: I think Rev Ops is a new creature in the last few years, it's a buzzword. I think sales ops was more of a legacy term that companies are sort of just shifting away from. In the past, I've seen sales ops, I've been a sales ops leader, and it's really about, you have an MQL, you've created a customer, you have an MQL, you've created a customer like that was the journey. And your role was to operate within that. Whereas Rev Ops is a lot more encompassing is you have an MQL, you have a customer, then you have an upsell, you have a renewal, you have a churn, you start all over again, you have expansion. It's more of a full cycle. And it marries well into organizations where you have a CRO, who owns not only the new customer sales teams, but also the customer success and expansion teams as well. So it's a nice little wrapper.
Sandeep Jain:  Awesome. I think you explained this very well. And I mean, I've talked to quite a few people on that, but I think explanation hits the mark. So thank you for sharing that. And so look, we talked about a Product-Led Growth scenario. So can you talk about the challenges in this journey that you talked about, from a view point of a Product-Led Growth company?
Navin Persaud: Yeah. So first of all, it's great to be working in a Product-Led Growth company. Because here you have great virality in your product, great demand. And really what you're coming in, at least from my perspective, to fix are effectively the plumbing of all the systems and the billing and the process and the lead flow sand how all of that works in behind the scenes. And your hope is you're just trying to fix things and those processes to get out of the way of a product. So that the velocity people can you can acquire new customers that can move through your sales teams, and then into your customer success teams at great speed. Whereas the inverse is if you're not working in a Product-Led Growth company, you're really trying to fix those things to help drive velocity where it doesn't already exist, and that's where it's really challenging. In terms of challenges, I would say, having the ability for customers to self-serve is paramount. Lot of Product-Led Growth companies has the ability to acquire customers. So they would have like an Ecommerce solution where customers can sign up for a trial and then buy on their own. But not a lot of them have the ability for customers to move to different forms of payment. They have to get to a human in those instances. And that's where these bottlenecks start to appear and surface. And if not built and sort of planned appropriately. You run into scaling resourcing issues, because then all of a sudden, this, this big wave of customers who potentially needs to be upgraded or pay in a different way, needs a human to do it. And therefore you need more humans to kind of meet that demand.
Sandeep Jain:  So let's just focus on that. So this is the B2C workflow that you're talking about. And is there like the tools existing tools don't have that. They don't have an answer to that workflow that you're looking for. And you have to build these experiences yourself, or the experience is not great from the like, what's the problem there?
Navin Persaud: Well, this is actually B2B as well. But I find that a lot of Product-Led Growth companies, their product, and the way in which they bill is something that is inherent and built within their product from the get go. And over time, they extend the reach of the product to service billing and integrate with other systems. Sometimes it's not ideal, like it's not the best way or not really what the intentions of the product were solely there to solve for. And then you reach that period of limitation where it's either you, you scale back what the product is, and you buy something that just doesn't well in the market to solve for those pains, you just have to reach a certain amount of growth where you have to make that decision. And in the meantime, you have to make things work with the product you haven’t place, and the structure and a process that's already built into your platform, to scale allow for growth, and give that flexibility and upgrade paths etc.
Sandeep Jain:  Understood. And with respect to this particular like there are two workflows from B2C and B2B.And the tool that comes there is the CPQ, which is workhouses, the product catalogue, do you see any challenges there having a CPQ service these different channels, where your customers are coming from?
Navin Persaud: WithB2C, it's pretty simple. Like you try the product, you like it, you put down a credit card, you pick your tear away, you go, it's really not, from what I've seen, the CPQ use case there, where CPQ is most prevalent is on the B2B side, specifically, where you have a customer putting their hand up saying, you know, I hate pricing. CPQ is really your subscription engine, your ability to understand what the customer needs price of that quote, and then turn it into a customer with a subscription and a contract to be able to amend upsell down, sell churn renew over time. And it's really the management of that engine across 1000s of customers that makes it complex, if not done quickly. And in an efficient way, I've seen significant challenges with companies where they've waited. And then they decided, yeah, you know what, we need to go do this, and the work is just a lot longer, a lot longer. So because CPQ, and the systems I've dealt with are complex, it's that you have to translate or almost rinse everything that what was built into the CPQ framework, so that it can spit out what you need for it to go forward. And that's where all the challenge lies.
Sandeep Jain:  Understood. And then you'll experience Navin, for product like good companies, even for the customers coming from B2B. Is there a requirement for a self-serve CPQ that I don't want to put my credit card, but I'm gonna do a deal of several $1,000 or10s of 1000s of dollars. But I'd still want to talk to a salesperson, is that a valid scenario that companies should think about?
Navin Persaud: Absolutely. For the point that I raised earlier, if you're aren't building a fly wheel within yourself serve engine, your website's always on, and the ability flexibility for customers to buy what they need, without necessarily always having to talk to a human to get it done. You're hurting yourself, because then you're really relying on your ability to scale on the people that you have to service that demand in a timely fashion with the right price points, and all the other administrative actions that follow it. Companies who are Product-Led Growth and build that flexibility in from the start before them the ability to ramp sales teams over time to be extremely targeted, focused on a specific cohort of customers, whether it be in your enterprise or specific industries, or specific product types, etc. that’s really powerful. But if you're really requiring on the humans to service your demand, because you have a limitation of what someone can buy on their own, then you're sort of at the bit at the mercy of the people that you can hire and putting see.
Sandeep Jain:  Got it. And so one side of the CPQ may have been but the other side is a billing for that. Do you see any challenges with billing for both your B2C and B2Bcustomers?
Navin Persaud: Yeah, from personal experience, B2C is a new thing for me, so I won't go into that. I see. That's pretty straightforward. A lot of vendors out there I think Stripe was one of the most predominant ones. From a B2B standpoint, yes, because even if whatever CPQ you decide to choose and use, you then have to play nice with your billing system, a lot of companies that I've been with almost all of them, except for one, use NetSuite, which is typically your ideal stack. And you have to basically have the two systems play nice like you're going to do a set of calculations and understanding of ARR, and subscription and term and everything else and then basically tell the other system, here's what you need to go and do with that data. Here's how you need to create sales orders and invoices and renewals and billing schedules. And at any point, we may send you something else to upsell and down sell, etc. and your systems need to be handling that. I've never seen it. I've never joined a company where that process was great at the get go.
Sandeep Jain:  Understood. Well, from a NetSuite perspective, running subscription billing, do you find this, is this flexible? What do you think about the flexibility of the tools to support the amendments and renewal cases? That's something that is brought by all, every time I speak with somebody who say I have a very complex or unique renewal process or an amendment. And so what do you think about the complexity of the tools or ability of the tools to do service, this core requirement of SaaS businesses?
Navin Persaud: It's never really that can solution, do it. It's almost always do you have the skill in house to make it happen? I've seen this time and time again. So I mean, we just came off of a CPQ implementation, it was a huge lift. We're now sort of like cleaning up thereafter. But now we're focused on the next piece, which is like how do we integrate this data that we're getting on a CPQ, to our billing system, and what needs to change or what needs to be accommodated so that we can automatically send data back and forth. So it's not a capability issue, it's whether you have the skill and hours to turn on the feature functions that are necessary to accommodate. Quite often, I've seen that suite instances really just be stood up to generate invoices, and a lot of manual work being done by a finance team, just to accommodate that. You really don't want to be building like a massive building team, because that's just an administrative burden into GNA. What you want to be able to do is understand the areas whereby you can automate things, so that you can eliminate the time it takes for you to send out invoices, so you can improve the time it takes to collect cash, so that you can keep customers happy and renewing. So you can just be sort of pro active. And so like to recap, it's never the capabilities of the systems. It's the complexity and the resources of skill to actually make it happen.
Sandeep Jain:  Got it. And Navin, any thoughts on usage-based billing?
Navin Persaud: As a customer, I've seen it. So I've bought a lot of SaaS in my SaaS career. You have Salesforce and DocuSign, all these other solutions. And I'm constantly managing how many users do we have available today team, because we're hiring more people. And I need to make sure that I need to either go buy some or use what I have. And some companies do really well, they get you right when you need that license. You know, you can go into their self-serve like Sales force, the greatest example, I can go on self-serve my own licenses right now, whatever I need, I don't have to talk to anybody, will I get a deal? No, but I will get the licenses I need right now. If I'm thinking I'm going to need to make a bigger purchase off to call up my rep, and we'll have to talk through it that way. But night or day that's afforded to me, and that's available. Other companies have soft caps. I've dealt with a number of vendors whereby you can go over we'll catch you on a true up either at renewal or at some interval that you reach through their head. It's easier for me as a customer, because then you know, I can deal with it. It's more of like a deferred pain and it doesn't interrupt my business flow. I sort of liked that model being the vendor. I'm not sure how much I like that model, because I'm potentially leaving some error on the table, or I'm potentially hoping that my team has the right visibility to the reporting to understand where those trips scenarios exist. So they can go after that revenue at the right time.
Sandeep Jain:  Understood. So you're talking about mostly like a seat-based model where your number of seats are growing…
Navin Persaud: Unless you're also referring to like how much you use the product, DocuSign is a great example of that, I believe they have two models. I've used both where you have seat based or you have envelope based. An envelope base where they basically say, you get this many envelopes in a period. And you can just have as many different users in the system as you want doesn't matter, we're just going to charge you based on the number of envelopes you send out. And when you exceed that, we're automatically just going to bump you to the next year.
Sandeep Jain:  Got it. So I was asking more about that use case, which is, as a revenue offset, 1Password,that's if you decide to have usage billing for your own product. I don't know if you have it currently or not. But if it is based on I don't know, number of different sites, or number of different licenses that are stored in 1Password,and you charge your customers on the basis of that, does that add complexity to your own billing, like how you build your customers and how you do your operations for your customers?
Navin Persaud: On the self-serve side, companies like that, not really. I mean, every time you add a user, you get a charge. And when it's done through like systems like Stripe, or otherwise, the get you as soon as you add the user your credit cards on file, you get sent an invoice immediately. Where it becomes more challenging is when you have to move to invoicing as terms of payment, or something other than credit card. That's where you're having to understand that the change in usage, translate it into your billing process, and then issue an invoice. That's where it can be more complicated if you don't have the right systems talking to each other at the right times to actually automate that work. If that work is manual, it's not scalable.
Sandeep Jain:  Got it. I think the first use case which is more an advanced sort of billing, so pre-buy is what you need. So if I'm going from 5 seats to 10, I go and do the transaction on the website, which is going to be simple versus the scenario where somebody has to monitor how much I'm using. And then at the end of the quarter, month or year, generate an invoice based on how much I used; this requires a different billing scenario.
Navin Persaud: Great. Other companies are also adopting like packs or bundles, whereby you can pre buy, you know, like a bundle of 30or 40 seats. And then you can, you know, start using them and filling them upas you go for the company. You get the immediate purchase of that number of licenses straight up for the user, you have a threshold right away that you can fill and then figure out once you get past it.
Sandeep Jain:  Got it. So, Navin, when you look at this from now, let's say 100,000 foot view, B2CB2B,CPQ billing usage. And you look at this whole thing, is there one big challenge that sort of comes out for you saying, well, if somebody would have solved that actually will make sense or make your life easier as a RevOps person?
Navin Persaud: So I'll say this, the start, I love Salesforce. I'm like, I absolutely adore the platform, because it has made a different career for me. But the way that it's designed, unless you have the right skill in house, and your know what you're doing, and you have a plan, you can fall off the Yellow Brick Road in an instant, you can then decide to go and customize a bunch of things. And then realize, oh my god, I should have just configured some things because now it's so much complexity. You know, CPQ is a great product. I've implemented it three times now. And the biggest challenge each time that I've implemented, it was that we didn't start with it. We ended up with it. Because we realized the homegrown or existing process we had just wasn't going to cut it anymore, was creating downstream problems with our billing our ability to invoice, track renewals, understand churn, we needed something systematic programmatic. And moving to that system was the biggest pain every time that I've done it, not because the system is a pain, it's because you have a wealth of migrated data that you have to translate over. So there's advice that I could give to someone, it's don't wait. Don't try and build it on your own. Figure out a plan that's scalable for your business now, and portable life and when you need to move to something else. But if you don't allow for that, you're just deferring a whole lot of pain for your future ops team that's going to come in here and try and solve what you didn't plan for from the get go.
Sandeep Jain:  Got it, got it Navin. Anything about the interface between the CPQ and the billing systems. I think you alluded to that earlier. I think he talked about NetSuite versus and there could be other accounting systems as well, or billing systems, I should say?
Navin Persaud: You really need a partnership there with your ops team or whoever is going to manage your CPQ and your billing systems because you know, your hand in hand, you have one solution, generating quotes and renewals. Another solution highly dependent on that output to generate invoices and ensure payment. They have to be speaking the same language from like how you're recording revenue, if you have ramp deals, what are you going to invoice, is it staggered? What amendments look like? And then related to that is compensation, something that we're not even talking about here, but you have another team and finance needs to figure out how to pay your sellers, and how to incent them, and how to ensure that the revenue and the data they're getting is accurate and aligns to the plans and programs that are in place. So it's not just billing and solving that issue. There's another element of compensation that also has to play nice in this world.
Sandeep Jain:  Got it. And follow up on this. This the management of this accounting system of the billing system fall into the RevOps team or the finance team sort of owns that, I'm assuming it's a mixed responsibility, but I was just curious too?
Navin Persaud: It is definitely a mixed responsibility. One I'm continuing to learn and understand and grow through. And in my world today, if it's in Salesforce, my team owns it in terms of understanding untangling, making sure the data is accurate. We then partner with our finance teams to ensure that their invoices are accurate, and they go out the way they need to go. Finance owns everything, once it's passed it over to their system, invoice collections, all that thing. The ongoing management of subscription is where you really need to ensure that you have the right resources in place, regardless of which team so that you can understand those one offs, those nuances, you know, sales reps will always you know, apologize in advance to all my sales reps, they will always take the simplest path again. And because that's the nature of the beast and I applaud them for it. And I'm always trying to make them have that simplest path. The reality is, you got to make sure it's right, because then you have so many other things hinging off the accuracy of that an accurate invoice accurate comp, a renewal that needs to go out in a year's time, an amendment that could happen at any notice, a notice of churn expansion, etc. All these things hinge off accurate data and your system. And if you're billing if you're CPQ engine isn't accurately you know, keeping track of that data and managing contracts, you've just created a cycle of pain
Sandeep Jain:  Actually a good segue to this is how to structure the teams. Like you have done earlier talked about Sales Ops being more tactical, RevOps is now being more encompassing term. But now there is also this billing piece we were just talking about. So what's your recommendation, how to structure the teams to sort of minimize the friction and maximize your and go to market efficiency, I guess?
Navin Persaud: Yeah, I can talk a little bit about my team, we’re structured into three pillars, I have like a technical side of the team that handles our CRM and all the related integrations. They manage for of our projects and what we prioritize, I have a Reporting Analytics and soon to be managing the subscription or deal desk function. There did generally ensure that you know, the top of funnel is working, pipelines progressing, deals are getting closed accurately, rinse repeat, and then the analytics from that. The third function is a newer one, one that I'm starting up in sort of like the growth ops function. A resource or team of resources dedicated to understanding the customer success business, to ensure that there are renewals and amendments and upsells and growth. A repeated trend that I've seen in every SaaS company had been with, you grow through expansion, you may acquire logos on acquisition, but you grow on the backs of your customers. So ensuring that you have the right level of insight and data around how your customers are performing over time, their health, their metrics, etc. is absolutely vital for that engine to be, you know, firing on all cylinders.
Sandeep Jain:  That's very interesting. You describe that, Navin. And so companies have a customer support function, which is a post-sales support, but there's also customer success, which is post sales account management. Is your customer happy enough? Are we solving their pain points so that you know once the time comes to renewal, you see the flywheel effect at that point. Is this, How is your this third pillar correlated with a customer success team?
Navin Persaud: So shout out to all my customer success colleagues, customer success as a function, they're the quarterback in my mind. If you follow sports, specifically football, they're the quarterback. So sales makes a sale, they get the glory, then it's off to the customer success rep to make you successful. So speaking as a customer, I've worked with some amazing customer success reps that have increased my time to value with their software simply by being a knowledgeable and accessible resource around their product. And that's no different now, like with our customer success mission is ensuring that we have successful onboarding, that we have a single point of contact on all product related questions that were up to date on new feature functions, that we have our renewals on time. Like it's a super important function, because any subscription business cannot succeed if subscriptions aren't renewed. And your customer success function is the one that is totally armed at making sure that happens.
Sandeep Jain:  Got it. So what you're saying is, look, there is a place for customer success as a project manager or as a quarterback to make sure that the account is overall successful. But this third pillar that you talked about, how does that function relate with the overall customer success team?
Navin Persaud: Yeah, partner in crime almost like to help that team, understand their customers, segment them, help them understand renewal, help them coalesce all of the data that comes that companies like us collect to understand the health of that customer adoption usage, whether they're happy, generate a health score, which can then understand customers that are likely to renew customers are not likely to renew, what actions can we take to mitigate? What actions can we take to create advocates and promoters to grow and expand and create virality within your product, and more advocates, all of these things are data points that lives scattered in your CRM, or if you're lucky enough to have like a solution, like a gain site. They live there. But you need people to help pull it out and present it in a way that you can action it on a daily, monthly quarterly basis.
Sandeep Jain:  It's really interesting you're talking about this. Over the weekend, I was talking to a friend, he's a Sales Engineering Director at a security company, they are like the 5 billion in value that file. So they're a big company. And he's like Sandeep, I'm in sales engineering, I need visibility into what happens. It is what is happening with my existing customer accounts. And I think they're using gainsiteas well. It's like, well, I don't know, the visibility into the data that I can give to my team that they can make some sense out of it, and they can start helping them. So his particular ask was, look, I need to find out what features are being used by certain sort of customers like, what are the tickets that they're finding out? Are there about feature requests, which means that you're engaged with the product, or is it about more complaining that, hey, this thing doesn't work? So he's like, I'm flying blind. So can just somebody provide me the data? And so I can kind of relate that comment with what you were talking about, is there's a separate customer success team, but your team is in the middle that can help provide that visibility.
Navin Persaud: Absolutely.
Sandeep Jain:  So very interesting. Another related question, when you look at this whole B2B and B2Cworkflows for a product, lead growth company, is there like one of the minimum number of tools that you think teams off such as yours have to deal with to get things done? Now there's a CRM going to be there, there is a billing system CPQ. Like for usage, would you think about another system? Like how many systems do you think people shouldn’t?
Navin Persaud: Generally, SaaS companies have what I call like the SaaS spinal cord, you've got your marketing automation, that passes through your CRM, and then you have your billing system, and then connected to all of those things should be your product or way to provision it. Those are like the four core things that should be standard in every SaaS company. How are you marketing acquiring customers? Are you managing pipeline? How are you billing them? And then where are you provisioning them? Every SaaS companies should have those elements, it could be all one element. And then you have another element for your product, but they've got them all represented in some way or another. Each of those pieces of tech though, require ownership. So that you understand both the process and the data as your workflow moves through them. Without like naming any names, but I feel like companies tend to focus in one area and not so much in the other and they leave these bottlenecks. For example, great acquiring leads, but don't really think about how to make sure they get to the right humans at the right time so that they can make the right impactful connections to create pipeline, where they have a great CRM and don't think about, how are we going to sell a product? How are we going to price it quoted, renew it, etc. We're having an invoicing system that just does invoices and leads you to hire so many people in finance, because it's all manual. And lastly, don't have a means to provision the product in a timely manner. That's probably one of the things that I've seen in a lot of other companies and that it's super manual, it's not connected, there's no connective tissue when you close the deal, it says it starts here, when does it actually available to the customer for use? Those are all like, I say that the four key areas that you need to have structure and teams around and specific ownership to those systems, and then they all need to be sort of working together collaboratively. So if there's an operational function across those departments, they should all be talking to each other.
Sandeep Jain:  Got it. And Navin, if there's one or two things that you think can solve your biggest pain, what would those be assuming Gods are smiling at you today?
Navin Persaud: Let's play this fictitious example. Let's say in year two, I landed another SaaS company. And I get in there, I'll be like, okay, day one, I wouldn’t know how I'm doing it today, if you're selling anything, if you're just starting out, or if you have at least some inertia, we need to standardize this now. Because the pain, it's a road of pain, to get to CPQ once you have a lot of customers, because then you have this massive amount of history to crawl through to accurately understand all of your customers, their commitments, what they're worth, when they renew, etc, that the project that could be simple, becomes quite extensive. And I think a big barrier for a lot of companies is that, yes, Salesforce is a great product out there. But they feel as though they have to reach to a certain size before it makes like financial sense to get there. Totally get it, they got to figure it out somewhere in between, because like waiting, makes what could be simple, really difficult. CPQ like the Salesforce product, it's not hard to implement. What makes this hard is the time that you've waited, before you actually decide to go and do it. That was that's what makes it difficult. So they need a bridge, that there's definitely a market for companies that are atX to X size, that needs something to just manage that within their CRM in a more structured function. Format, don't do custom will try and build something, find something that's successful in the marketplace, it's compatible, and run with it.
Sandeep Jain:  One thing that's a great piece of advice, Navin, and one thing that I was thought about while you're speaking is if I'm a customer, and I will self-serve experience. Now if I'm dealing with two separate products, one with a CPQ and billing. So I need to self-service experience for buying. So that's brought by the CPQ. But I also need a sales of experience for invoicing. Now, if those are two traditionally separate systems, what happens to me as a customer? Am I looking at two different universes then, or how does that work? Actually, I'm just thinking aloud here.
Navin Persaud: Yeah, from a self-service standpoint, if it's a credit card transaction, it's typically one system. You buy you transact, you get invoice it all in one, sort of stripe is making a killing. It's when you get to limitations in your product, because your product is sort of like an extension or a legacy billing system that is maybe reaching a little further. And you didn't build a way for customers to move from tier one to tier two. And you then say, well, you've got to talk to a human. So there's a little problem, you have to go to a human. And you add, like inadvertently, you're adding friction to that.
Sandeep Jain:  Yeah, got it, Navin. Actually, I was referring to that particular workflow because what I've heard from folks is, look, credit card payments is easy schmoozing. You know, that's everybody gets it. But the problem is when the deal size goes up, your number I've heard is more than $2,000, some companies have limits on how much money you can put on the corporate credit card. So they say well, I need an upgrade for $3,000. I know what I want to buy as a sale person, so could you give me a quote, a self-serve quote that I can give it to my team. And I want to get an invoice as well there, but without talking to anybody. So that's where the self-serve CPQ self-serve billing, and bank to bank transfers and all that thing sort of comes up, which is I think what you're saying is a human has to get involved. As the consumer doesn't want it, the vendor does want it. But it just so happens that that you have to deal with.
Navin Persaud: Huge pain point, think of government entities, nonprofits, companies with you know, certain invoice requirements, like a lot of companies would love to buy self-serve, but can't because they have rules and policies that requires a paper invoice or a digital invoice, or they have a VAT ID or they have some kind of requirement that prevents them from transacting through a credit card. And that almost always in what I've seen remains talking to human.
Sandeep Jain:  Got it. So how do we get human out of the quote of the cash?
Navin Persaud: It's not always how you get out, its how do you ensure that you're deploying your humans in the most effective way as possible. Like, if you're you know, I love sports,so it's a great time loving sports right now with football and hockey and basketball and baseball going on. And you think of yourself as a manager, how do you deploy your players so that they can be efficient and lead you to winning outcomes, and deploying sellers to small transactions that are high volume, that's not success? That's employee churn. That's difficult to manage, it's difficult for your reps to get to quota, your response time suffer. So those are the things that you've got to look for to understand, okay, you've got great volume and velocity here. But you don't have an automated means to. It's all for it. And what you really want to do is put your humans on these larger customers to expand them and grow them. And that's what maybe takes more time. This smaller flywheel stuff that opens and closes quickly, you need a system to do that quickly. You know, there's a stat out there today that says, most buying decisions are 60% made before even talking to a human. And I agree, any SaaS that I've looked to buy, I've already done my research, I've taken as much of my demo, I've gone into G2 crowd or Trust Radius. I've looked at their support documentation. I've done everything that I think I need to do. Then at the last point, I'll be like, Okay, let me see your demo and send me a quote, that's when I'll engage as human.
Sandeep Jain:  That's a good way of putting in. And it's not about taking people out of the equation, but figuring out where they are most useful. And I think that's the big, big challenge in quote to cash today. Awesome. I did hear that calendar bell, a few seconds back. So I know the clock is ticking. So before we let you go Navin, do you have any recommendation on a resource, like a book, or a podcast, or maybe a blog that you want to share with our audience, that something that you identified with, and you want to share why as well?
Navin Persaud: Two things. One, I'm a huge Ted Lasso fan. Anyone who knows me probably knows the character that I fit in really well there. So I won't say it. The book that I've really enjoyed, as I've worked through it, as it's called “The subtle art of not giving enough”. And it's a great book, it really just summarizes that. There's only so many things in your life that really requires all of your attention, and effort to actually like, throw your passion behind it. And really be upset when you don't have the outcome. Everything else just work through it, it happen. Because if you don't, you're just going to stress yourself out. You're gonna have these outcomes, you're gonna have this all around you where people are not going to want to approach you, you're going to be combative, you're just never going to be happy. And once you realize that there's this inflection point in your life where so many so many things that I can manage within my control, to really, really care about and the rest, I still care about them. And if it's out of my control, it's out of my control. And it's a super resource. Mark Manson is the author, the subtle art of not giving a f$%^, basically the counterintuitive approach to living a good life. I recommend for anyone in a high stress situation.
Sandeep Jain:  So between fishing and this book that's how you manage your time, I guess.
Navin Persaud: I do. I try and get away from the screens as much as possible connecting with nature. And it's really for me, it's not about fishing. It's about being somewhere, some quiet some nature, focusing on just a single thing that bobber in the water and letting everything else just kind of like leave my mind. It's amazing. It's refreshing. It allows you to recharge and come back. Focus on the 30 things that enter my mind, the minute Monday 8am rolls around.
Sandeep Jain:  I love this, Navin, and I'll actually read this thing. The book that you suggested is just makes so much sense. While I hear you say that. So hey, look, it's been a fascinating conversation. I wish you the very best of luck at 1Password. The company is doing awesome. That applies for a lot of growth, which means a lot of work. Good work for you and your team. So best wishes there and thank you for your time today.
Navin Persaud: Great, thank you. Take care.