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How Rattle Rattles

How Rattle Rattles — Episode 1

Nick Gaudio
December 5, 2022
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In a very real way, “Dogfooding” can smack of performativity. Fakeness. Meat-adjacent odors. Sure, it’s storytelling-by-doing, putting your own proverbial taste buds on the line to try your product or service, but what if dogfooding isn’t just a method to understand customer use, or as an overly evocative sales technique? What if a company’s success or failure was entirely predicated on how effectively their own product works? Could you even call that "dogfooding"? Actually, no. It’s something else. Something more like...

Call It 'Existential Dogfooding'

The bike company CEO sets up a ramp over the Grand Canyon; the scuba company ventures to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. The bike back tire hits on the other side of the chasm; a diver returns, a handful of pearls. 

Here at Rattle, that’s our experience exactly (well, the B2B equivalent anyway). 

And this notion — that we use our own product here as a means of survival — is exceptional, rare, and particularly interesting. That's why we’ve developed How Rattle Rattles, to open up about what it’s like to use us, as us.

At Rattle, our typical buyers and champions aren’t the majority of our product’s day-to-day users (of course not unusual in B2B). Those who receive and interact with the Rattle messages most are on-the-ground sales reps.

So it only made sense to start the series here.

Meet Justin K., Our Lead SDR

Justin K. is our lead SDR with a few years of experience in the tech selling space before coming to Rattle. He was one of the first nine people to join the team.

At Rattle, Justin self-describes as a “player coach,” and what I learned from him is how important pipeline visibility — seeing — is to SDRs, for many more reasons than you might expect. Let's start there.

Seeing is learning

One of Rattle’s most celebrated benefits is how quickly and effectively we win over even the most stubborn reps. It's the first coup for RevOps, and it happens nearly immediately.

According to Justin, for him, this realization arrived for him from the day-to-day experience of simply avoiding the laborious UX of SFDC.

“On a day-to-day basis, I use Rattle for any reason not to have to go into Salesforce,” Justin laughs. “It’s creating contacts, accounts, opportunities in Slack. Whenever a demo happens for myself and an AE on a call, the AE qualifies it right away. So I'll change that opportunity into their name in Slack, so I don't have to go into Salesforce. That's really easy. And it’s that kind of stuff that you do right away that makes the value apparent.”

But Rattle’s more than just a slick way to avoid the dated Salesforce UX and operate within the sleek trappings of Slack, Justin says. It’s also a tool that turns generating opportunities into learning opportunities.

Rattle's New Opp alert from Salesforce
A real-life example of Rattle's New Opp alert from Salesforce

It does this by providing a novel sense of visibility that SDRs typically aren’t used to getting.

“I'm in all our different visibility channels. I'm in all the deal rooms,” Justin says, referencing Rattle’s ability to create dedicated Slack channels for the right stakeholders to be added at the right times.

“So whenever I create an opportunity, a deal room's created with myself and the AE. And then later on, our RevOps leader gets looped in. Then, our chief of staff. With some deal rooms, even [Rattle’s CEO] Sahil or our CS team gets looped in. I get to see every opportunity from the start to finish.”

So what does that sort of newfound visibility do for Justin?

“Well, in other jobs, if I created an opportunity for an AE, I would be on the first call. Then, they would say, ‘Great, it went well, I'll qualify it for you.’ And then… nothing. I didn't hear about that opportunity unless I asked, or if I was on the email for Closed Won.”

That’s it?

“Yup. And I didn't learn anything about selling, the deal cycle, or different stages of the deal.”

But at Rattle, Justin can see, get involved, and learn.

“Even if I'm not contributing to every single conversation, I'm seeing it happen. Whether it's in the deal room or the stage changes channel. It's all happening in Slack. It's very transparent.”

In fact, it’s fostering a culture of transparency, Justin says. 

“I think that's also a really great way to learn, as the deal progresses in a deal room. I see RevOps or our CEO talk to one of the AEs and say, ‘Hey, we should build an ROI deck. We should loop in this or that decision-maker on the next call.’ I see how that's done before I'm an AE myself.”

Seeing is believing

Another interesting, and arguably even more important byproduct resulting from a culture of transparency, via pipeline visibility

Seeing becomes believing… In the mission of RevOps.

Justin explains the importance of RevOps, data hygiene, et all. is now crystal-clear to him in ways that were far from obvious in the past.

An example of a RattleClosed Won alert from Salesforce
An example of a RattleClosed Won alert from Salesforce

“I didn't fully understand how important RevOps was at my former roles,” he says, “because that culture wasn't built. I understand now, RevOps is my friend. Had I known what I do now, I would've been meeting with them if not weekly, on a biweekly basis, as I do now.”

Justin finally sees that RevOps job isn’t to make his life harder, he jokes.

“It’s to make me more efficient, to drive more revenue. And when you have that kind of relationship, it's so much easier to work together.”

Believing is doing

“It’s rare when you have a tool that helps ops get the data they need, but also helps the reps be more efficient,” Justin explains. “Usually it's one or the other. And that's where you see a lot of butting of heads between RevOps and sales. Then, they get siloed. Anything ops does, sales is like, ‘Oh great, another change.’”

It’s very unique that Rattle produces that sort of real, ground-level collaboration. And one of the features that Justin called out specifically as an example: his use of Meeting DMs

“It’s just an alert that pops up in Slack right before your meeting. It tells you who you're talking to, gives you some background. You could pull up the opportunity with buttons like ‘log my call notes,’ ‘update Salesforce,’ basically anything you would end up going at the Salesforce to, just do it on that alert.”

Seems simple enough, but how has that inspired cross-department collaboration?

“Let's say RevOps set the Meeting DM up where you could log a call, you could change the stage, add next steps, but the AE also wants to be able to add ARR or add a product, something different to make their ability to sell better. They now easily go to RevOps and say, ‘Hey, could you add this button on this alert?’ We know it’ll take RevOps 30 seconds. There's no lift involved. There's no butting of heads. In other tools…. Sales may not go to ops with problems and just ignore that kinda stuff. With Rattle, it’s so easy we just don’t.”

From RevOps to “Rep Ops”

Stepping back, in a way, the biggest takeaway from my chat with Justin was that Rattle produces a very keen sense of ownership among reps — one they otherwise rarely feel. 

Reps aren’t asked to simply abide by the strictures of the RevOps process “because I said so”: They learn why. They participate. They actively improve the process. All because they can have quick access to everything at their fingertips.

The SFDC to Slack difference is almost like the difference between going to the library and Googling; charting a plot on a physical map or just using GPS. 

Usability matters. Majorly. Improvements don’t just increase use. It changes culture.

Now, Justin, and other ambitious upstarts like him, can follow the opportunities they source through the entire pipeline. They can discover why an opp landed Closed Won, or didn’t. They can see if it’s stuck in a stage. They can — and often do — ask RevOps for new workflows to directly help them get better at their job. 

Even for SDRs who don’t want to nag busy AEs or rifle through the labyrinth of SFDC… Rattle makes the entire team more inclined to buy in… both to the tactical side of RevOps and even the overarching philosophy of it, too. 

From RevOps to “Rep Ops.” From different, siloed rooms in a ship’s hull, to all-hands-on-deck.

With Rattle, reps and ops really do come together — and a truly special revenue team culture blossoms.

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