Entrepreneurial Sales Ops Management – Rachel Haley of Clarus Designs

Rachel Haley, Co-founder and CEO at Clarus Designs, jumped onto the Sales Ops Demystified Podcast to share how she started her outsourcing sales ops consulting company, the current sales operations challenges, and how she plans to overcome them. Check out all the episodes here.

Connect with Rachel Haley and Clarus Designs here:

Key Takeaways

Rachel’s journey into sales operations

Rachel started her career in finance, where she worked with an asset management firm. During her career, she realized that the biggest value drivers in these companies were the entrepreneurs. She was motivated to start her own company wedding planning. She always wanted to be her boss; after two years, she planned to explore venture capitalists and pitched her idea on many different platforms. The investors told her that she lacked skills to invest in; she had no technical or operational skills at that time. Despite all the fallbacks, Rachel didn’t lose hope and decided to learn these skills.

She worked at Salesforce in finance management, where she learned technical skills like python, SQL, and JavaScript. She learned these languages in her free time; her only goal was to start her own company. Rachel also met her current co-founder and partner, Greg Dalli, who was doing something similar to Rachel. Greg worked for a business intelligence company called AdRoll. In 2015, Rachel and Greg started Clarus Designs, an outsourced sales ops design consulting firm. They worked with many companies where they figured out where the companies were lagging in the revenue trajectory.  

It’s never too late to invest in sales ops!

According to Rachel, she learned a lot from the operational perspective that it is never too early to invest in sales operations. Rachel mentioned the recent conversation she had with her CEO at Snowflakes, and he told her that he wished he had more budget to invest in sales operations. “Investing in sales operations should be prioritized.” 

Evolution stages of Clarus Designs

In 2013, Rachel’s goal was to build a product either for the consumers or other businesses. When she started Clarus Designs in 2015, it was purely a consulting agency. Rachel mentioned that the benefits of a service-based business are that you can generate revenue more easily. Today, Clarus Designs make a huge chunk of revenue from sales operations’ consultancy. The company also has the other two businesses in line; one is outsourcing, where they work with really small companies that don’t have the capital and internal STR teams. This outsourcing team operates in the Philippines; this team helps in generating leads.

The third line of this business is a product that manages a large amount of data. This is a new line, and they have only one customer for this. Rachel is excited about this product line.

At what point did sales ops become a big part of Rachel’s career?

Rachel found sales operations extremely interesting when she had her first client in 2015, they were a small marketing ad agency, and they asked for a compensation plan. At that time, she lacked experience in this field because she had never done it before. She worked with her co-founder Greg, who was well experienced in this. She learned a lot from Greg, and working with him made sales operations seem very interesting for her.

Current challenges in sales ops

According to Rachel, the current challenge is the element of working remotely. In San Francisco, the offices have not opened yet, which will happen for the rest of 2020. Rachel mentioned that communicating and leading a team from a remote standpoint is a big challenge.

Another challenge is maintaining the output; we need to deliver the same output by going remote.

Who in the world of sales operations would Rachel take for lunch? 

Rachel said that she would love to take her old boss, Ben Kwon, at Sumo Logic as he possesses an operationally-focused brain, and he’s good at processing and leading the teams.

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