As part of Aviso's Revenue Navigators Series, we spoke with Branden Jenkins, Chief Operating Officer at Medius. This post is the first of two segments breaking down Branden’s interview with Aviso. In this interview, Branden shares his insights on managing the go-to-market tech stack bloat, the biggest mistakes first-time COOs make and how to win in this environment, and the key career inflection points that led him to his current role as COO at Medius.
Aviso: What is the biggest mistake you see first-time COOs make and how can they win in this environment?
Branden Jenkins: Today's environment is no longer about "growth at all costs." As a COO, I must ensure that our growth is efficient and profitable. I've found that rapid growth can often conceal operational shortcomings, so it's crucial to keep costs in mind when developing plans.
To succeed, I focus on three key principles.
- First, it's essential to keep the main thing as the main thing. It's easy for someone in my role to get sidetracked by various tasks, but maintaining focus on the core mission is crucial.
- Second, I emphasize the importance of acting quickly by biting small and chewing fast. I tell my team that if a project takes a year, I'm not interested. It's important to move with a sense of urgency.
- Lastly, I believe that perfect is the enemy of good. With cloud software constantly evolving, it doesn't need to be perfect to start delivering value. It's important just to get started.
Ultimately, success comes down to focusing on the fundamentals, such as accurately forecasting and improving conversion ratios in the all-bound funnel. By delivering value to our customers, we can expect upsells, cross-sells, and referrals in return. To bring it all together, it's essential to reduce complexity in our business, apply data-driven decision-making, and harmonize our systems and processes.
Aviso: What can COOs do to manage the GTM tech stack bloat? What frameworks can they use to decide what is essential?
Branden Jenkins: As the COO at Medius, my main focus is to comprehend the customer journey and align it with our revenue operations plan. This is crucial for managing our go-to-market tech stack bloat. We need a clear go-to-market motion that matches our objectives, whether we're using a land and expand strategy or adding value in other ways. Doing this helps us determine technology's role in our operations and prevents feeling overwhelmed by the many available solutions.
Businesses like ours often face the challenge of acquiring too many tools, leading to a cluttered and bloated tech stack. This not only raises costs but also slows us down, decreasing our agility in a fast-paced market. To address this issue, I focus on minimizing the systems and processes we use. Simplifying our tech stack helps us reduce complexity and become more adaptable.
It's crucial to assess the value of new tools and their potential for integration with existing solutions. Companies often implement systems with unused features, which hampers their progress. Therefore, I always evaluate the impact of each new tool on our operations and its necessity before adding it to our tech stack.
Aviso: What are some key career inflection points that led you via revenue leadership to be COO at Medius?
Branden Jenkins: I started my career in B2B software sales, where I discovered my passion for selling business-specific software. My journey began at a retail management point of sale company. Eventually, I became the CEO and grew the company organically for a decade before it was sold to NetSuite in 2012.
At NetSuite, I joined a larger venture as the Global GM of Retail. I helped grow the business from $25 million to $150 million in revenue. This experience taught me about scaling businesses and addressing organizational challenges using a single suite, like NetSuite.
While at NetSuite, Oracle acquired the company, and I witnessed its growth from $250 million to $2 billion. This inspired me to find a company with great potential, an excellent product, and satisfied customers. My goal was to discover a strong product-market fit that needed help with its go-to-market strategy. This led me to Medius.
Medius specializes in accounts payable automation through a top-tier application. I initially joined as the Chief Strategy Officer. However, I informed the board of my passion for both devising and executing strategies. This focus on execution eventually led to my current role as Chief Operating Officer.
To thrive in today's competitive landscape, COOs and revenue leaders must align the customer journey with their revenue operations plan and establish a clear go-to-market motion. By simplifying the tech stack, they can reduce complexity, minimize costs, and improve agility, enabling teams to innovate and respond swiftly to market changes while avoiding the pitfalls of a bloated and cluttered tech stack.
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Branden Jenkins, COO, Medius
Branden Jenkins is a seasoned executive with 20 years of experience, including CEO and Chairman roles, as well as Global General Manager and Vice President roles at Oracle NetSuite. He specializes in driving rapid business growth and running cross-functional teams, helping grow Oracle NetSuite from $250M to $2 billion. As Chief Operating Officer at Medius, he leads the strategic direction in go-to-market, product strategy, corporate development, and alliances.