When Marketing is Led by the Customer: The Economics of the SaaS Business

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It's cutting into your exercise time it stabbing you in the back nine and it's attacking your peace of mind. It's pain and it's getting in between you and the life few onto live CD medic target your pain at its source. It's fast acting relief with active. OTC ingredients plus the added benefits of THC free hemp oil get get back to your life with CBD medic available online and at CBS these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose treat cure or prevent any disease welcome. Everybody's time once again to grab your board. Maybe snowboard this time of year and ride that sales pipeline highflying with our gold medal winner Mannheim's. We're GONNA get to customer success and advocacy. We've got a lot to talk about today. Thank you so much everyone for joining us on another episode of sales pipeline radio. We we are here every week. At Eleven thirty Pacific two thirty eastern. We're live on the lead a funnel media radio network and we are featuring every week experts in B. Two B. Sales the marketing today is no different. We have Jocelyn Brown. She is the VP of Customer Success Al Acadia. She is from Canadia really really excited to have her join us today. talk a lot more about customer success in Customer Advocacy Jocelyn. Thanks again for joining US my pleasure man. If you listen to the show in the past you know that we are is guilty not as a lot of marketers and that we spend the majority of our time talking about acquisition we tend the majority of our time talking about getting customers on board and when you look at the budgets and the resources a lot of beating me marketing marketing groups I think that's reflected there as well. You've got all these people and budgets and marketing technology do acquisition and then when it comes to sort of keeping customers oftentimes it's it's a toll free number an and occasional newsletter and I don't know if you saw just this morning a friend of both of ours politics Shema who's the CEO of nudge. You put something up on Lincoln talking about customer success than in now that previously obviously it might have been more reactive. It was more important service now. It's really a a revenue driver for the business to drive advocacy basset of the brand expansion so maybe used to be kind of a maybe after thought. Maybe something that was thought of as more reactive administrative and tactical is now very much a strategic part of the business so would love to have you kind of talk about your perspective there and then what you guys are doing a without allocating as well yeah. Absolutely I think probably the advent of subscription economy really of SAS is what has is put just such a spotlight on retention on investment in your customers and stop business model really has given a seat at the table to those folks that actually work with the customers Dan Day out because we sort of have to earn their business every day. Either barrier to leave is very low and we need to make sure that they are are constantly feeling like they're getting value in feeling valued in that sort of business relationship. I've been doing it for ten. Plus years probably early longer than that if I were to really admit it and really for me being with the customers where it's at it is really the center of the company from results from revenue from mm-hmm from sort of anything I actually work with customers Po sale but I also owned a fairly large number in that I am responsible for all the renewal revenue and also so oliver expansion revenue which accounts for a very significant part of our growth so to say it's just kind of an afterthought or a piece is a gross misunderstanding of the economics of Saas Business so certainly allocated the the customer is the center really bevery thing and you know we built our product for that we organize denies our journey for that. Our customers really lead our marketing they are best kind of voice in the market. peer to peer references are kind of valuable due to our prospects so putting the time and effort and attention into our customers to make sure that they are receiving value means that they're going to talk about it. They're gonNA explain it in the market. They're going to continue to work with US and advocate for our business so I think those that haven't figured that out yet are behind. I wholeheartedly agree and let's let's talk about how that relates to what we talk a lot about here even on the acquisition side which is the buying journey and I think oftentimes we think of the buying journey too often his ending when someone one buys like that may be the middle may be the end of the sales process but it's really the middle of what I'd call the Revenue Bowtie you know the you may have gotten someone to buy but that's when things really begin as someone who's spent quite a bit of time and I want to get back and talk about the Likud as well. How do you as a customer success professional think about the buying journey? It's way beyond the on the deal right. Absolutely I think also just in the nature of how people by now because it's a lot easier to try things because it's a lot easier you're to sort of start small and grow from there you also are seeing that people are really trying and then expanding so that land and expand strategy that we were successful with that Alachua and is a very big piece of our strategy at allocated is let's get people in in experiencing our product experiencing our team solving their problem. Maybe the smaller scale and then help them kind of map out how to get got to a fully executed strategy fully executed and that there's there's really no downside to US bringing in customer at a sort of smaller scale L. because we know first of all that our technology is going to help them. We know that our team understand what's going on has done it many many times before and is going to provide provide them the right kind of guidance and we know we let them kind of set the terms of how they grow that it's going to be the right solution and the right fit. We're not going to kind of have to back back into it based on a sale cycle that maybe not everybody knew enough to run really well so for us. There's no fear of people coming in and sort of trying. Take a bit first because history tells us that a great place for us to start and grow and we've had great success there and then it makes the whole process a loophole less the friction in the process for the customer and a lot easier. They don't have to fix everything all at once. We don't have to do a big bang. Release can really kind of move them along and that's a little change in the buying in process. That's a little change in technology. Were Immigrations and things like that are easier but that's also just our philosophy. We want you to get a feel for technology to feel some relief of us being able to help solve that problem and then experience our team because our team really is so invested in making sure that you are successful that you're going to partner with us. It's GonNa feel like a real partnership talking today on sales pipeline radio with Jocelyn Brown. She's the vice president of Customer Success at allocated I mean this is a company that clearly is spot in on doing customer success right I think by by having your position there by having the resources and the focus there I think it is part of the culture as a part of the priorities and I think that was clear to me as well when I think I met you for the first time back when you were at Alachua which is eventually bought by Oracle and the local experience conferences. There aren't very many conference. Is I go to where you see more hugs handshakes you know when you see people that hadn't even met each other before but because of the relationship they built because of the bond that exists between customers and not just the company but the people at the company that isn't an incredible comparative advantage talk about how customer success and customer advocacy was really at the heart of the culture of Alachua and how that's really sort of developed the programs you built from that point forward. I mean there's no question that part of my goal is to recreate some of what was so great at Alachua and I've been very fortunate and then there are a lot of people here that are willing to come along that ride with me. There are so many good examples of what we did there but I think the primary one was that everybody believed that the customer was at the center of what we were doing. There was sort of a concept. The customer was in the room all the time. All of our meeting rooms were named after customers. everyone in the company had some portion of their compensation tied to a customer success type of metric. It really was pervasive. We talked our marketing was led by the voice of our customers. We told stories all the time they were always there. They were ever present and I think that just meant that we were always thinking about them and we were very invested in not just the companies we're helping but the individual people and relationships that were driving that another part of the customer evangelism and Customer Experience Program at Alachua that I I would certainly part of it as well as a as a l quick customer and partner was top line your customer success staff extended into your customers. You had customers that were essentially ambassadors and support staff in many cases for each other talk a little bit about where top leaders came from or the why that was such a key part of the success for you the investment or the choice to really put that kind of investment in their came out of a project called ice was the ideal customer experience where people from sort of all of the postals Louisville's functions got together and try to figure out where all the ways that we can make this experience even better for our customers where we can make it easy to do business with us where we can celebrate great success where we can share stories where we can help people grow together and it was just clear that we needed to get as much of our expertise not just from the staff but from the customers that had grown up with us through got through transformation in marketing into marketing automation out there as we could put and really who's also an extension of various successfully been running a small customer events throughout our region mostly in the US but even in Europe where where we get customers together and we almost didn't have to present anything they wanted to talk to each other and we just saw this amazing networking effect and this incredible edible desire for everybody to help everybody else so. We really felt like we were building something. It was a pretty transformative time in the B. Two B. Marketing space than everybody was on that same mission and everybody wanted to help everybody else so top learners really was our best way to kind of amplify that and as you we know it really did exactly that where our customers became our best educators are best marketers and really the best source for expertise top liners just I just said this would be was basically a discussion board. It was a it was a discussion board with common threads where you could attach documents and I mean a lot of companies have those does but I think hopefully what you've heard from Jocelyn so far is there was something very special about the culture there was something about the priorities of the organization the people that are leading the people that founded it and you know that that really drove what happened with customers and I think you know you can set up message boards. You can start newsletters but unless you have that culture. It's not going to go where you want it to go. We're going to have to take a quick break here. Pay Some bills. We'll be back in a couple minutes with more with Jocelyn Brown vice president of customer success and allocated. You're talking a lot more about advocacy a little more about the old eloquent days and what she she sees moving forward in terms of driving more revenue responsible customer programs you're listening sales pipeline radio in a world where the speed of innovation and change and be to be marketing has never been greater. The only thing bigger is the need for clarity for a blueprint for guide to what's really working king and how about a way to apply specifically today to increase sales pipeline growth velocity and most of all conversion it. That's what you'll find in the modern marketers field guide and mazing league can download it for free hines marketing dot com just like it sounds H. E. Z. The M. A. R. K. E. I. N. G. IT encompasses the entire sales and marketing cycle but in quick bursts with lots of specific actionable ideas strategies tactics you can put to work right away like today the low table of contents helps them narrow in and tackle cla problem and it's something you can come back to over and over again as a reference guide why not download your free copy of the modern marketers field guide. It's free hines marketing dot com just like it sounds. Hei Z. Marketing Dot Com all right back to our program with Matt. Hi thank you so much everyone for joining. If you like what you're hearing today make sure you join us every week coming up in the next couple of weeks and next week on sales pipeline radio we have Joe Hyland. He's the CMO of on twenty four. We're going to talk talk about secrets of CMO's secret successes behinds mobis revenue leaders joey started a podcast called confessions of CMO. We talked a little about that and the week after our first episode in March. I'm super excited. We have Jill Conrad. She is one of my favorite people in the B. Two B. Sales world. She's written a number of books including snap selling and just huge hugely hugely influential to me into others in B. Two B. Sales so excited to have her join. The program is well today. We still have a little more time with Jocelyn Brown. She's the VP of customer MMA success at Ala Katya Jocelyn from your journey from eloquent Oracle to where you are today having that sort of culture and focus on customer success is great but I think continuing to provide fight ideas and insights to your customers oftentimes and I think we've seen this data from Gartner and CB in others. It's not just providing phone number to call. It's not adding more features. It's really helping helping your customers become smarter giving them new ideas and insights that is a huge competitive differentiator so the content or seeing online and then what you're providing to customers is a huge part of your job as well absolutely and I think to bring it to sort of brass tacks as much as we talked about a lot of softer stuff in the culture of Alachua that really drove such an amazing community for us. I mean that resulted in in real impact in real results and not came with investment doesn't happen by accident and and there is a real outcome to that so customer success should not be mistaken for dialing for smiles. It's absolutely not that when you understand stand a customer's business with when you have a great relationship and great empathy for what they're trying to accomplish and you're really trying to help them solve that problem. You will make that company company successful and they will grow by more and you will make that individual successful and they will remember that and they will take you everywhere they go and not amplifying effect of advocacy advocacy comes from the real work of listening understanding and providing solutions for your customers that includes clued your software but also in advice gyns in connections in helping them talk to peers that are struggling with the same things I would want anybody to mistake customer success just for service or something saw it has a true and very real business benefit absolutely a lot of people listening. Probably you're in that that can't we talked about the beginning ending of the of the episode around just not really having people not having resources and so if I'm if I'm a VP mark listening saying yeah this makes sense. We need to be doing this but I don't have Jocelyn on my team yet I don't have you know we have this in my budget. What are some things people can do to build the foundation for a more impactful customer success effort effort yeah absolutely the the good news is it's probably an extension of some of the stuff you already do that? Idea of journey mapping notes talked about a lot in the the marketing. It's extending that all the way through the customer life cycle and understanding the touch points the contents the tools the other other types of things the triggers all the way through that they're going to help the customer better going to provide opportunity for your company and sort of seeing where your gaps are and where you might be able to get the biggest bang for your buck in terms of closing that gap understanding the journey that your customer is going through and using your tool is just as important as understanding the journey Ernie that they go through in researching understanding and making a buying decision but a lot of the same tools apply a lot of the same theory applies a lot of the same work can be done for me. It's always going to involve a team. I think that in certainly be nothing really can replace that relationship and that empathy and somebody really feeling like you care what happens to them in the context of how you're working with them. I had the version of a customer who I've realized I worked with for eleven years. Come visit us in our headquarters and just before she got up to tell her story she returned to me and said having a company really care about you. Matters maters a lot and she's a buyer. She's the person making that decision and not matters to her so I think sometimes people forget the human equation that there's real you work in building relationships and those relationships carry an inherent value for the customer and for the company. That's sort of working now. There's no doubt about that. There aren't enough people that I think prioritize that I think too often we look at the spreadsheet and we managed through you know the numbers we wanna hit we look at customers is buildings but buildings don't actually sign checks the people inside the buildings do and there's something about having a good relationship with someone in showing and proving that you care that not only generates loyalty but gives gives you a little bit of the benefit of the doubt you know you've got you know things are going to break you know things are going to not work the way they want. You want them to so you know I think in the right environment you know in in in in most environments comments you get pro customers that are angry and yell and scream and get upset in an environment where you actually make this part of the culture where you make you make a care they call and wonder what they can do to help you there rooting for you who took to do it well before we have to wrap up here in a couple of minutes. You've been doing this for a while. I think there's a lot of people that I know that you've worked with that. We've talked about in the past that you've learned from who for people people that want to learn more about how to do this right who are some of the people that have been influential for you people in terms of Customer Care Customer Advocacy that you'd recommend people go and read I take just an incredible amount of learning from my days at Alachua and I continue to work with those people and talk to them. So you mentioned Politici- Ema he certainly were right on customer success in the power relationships. Heather Fe is WHO's at look book is probably one of the most talented advocacy leaders that I've really ever met. I'm against that customer so I spent a lot of time reading their content and have had a chance to meet Alison pickens. I think she writes some really great stuff. It's really practical stuff. Maybe about the operational organizational things that maybe people are kind of craving. You've got you've actually got a plethora of people talking about it ran right now what I would suggest is fine the meet up in your local city and go and talk to a bunch of people it's really in that networking effect in not community that I get at my best ideas and I get my greatest value because as we are kind of building on this kind of a profession you don't know who's GonNa have your next best idea and and I think people are bringing experience from lots of other functions that is just accelerating the growth of customer success just making us better so find your friends. I love to hear hear from people. I'm very happy to talk to them. So you can find me on Lincoln my twitter handle is Josh Brown. JC Brown. I'm happy to interact on on this stuff because that's what's fun for me appreciate you doing that and I think you know your coach. Share in your answers reinforce everything I know about you just being a very genuine very customer centric person very very open to sharing ideas is and and your experience with other appreciate that very much I would echo the fine friends meet friends stay connected with friends that also have similar roles not necessarily in your industry not necessarily what your same the type of customer I think sometimes if you get into other industries other customer situations you might discover something that you hadn't thought about in your four walls that someone else is doing because of what feels natural them that might be truly innovative new in your industry that gives you another edge so definitely important to continue to be lifetime lifelong learners. We'll speak in Paula lifelong learners. We're going to have to wrap things up here. You're on another episode of Sales Piper. If you like what you hear today and if you want to share this episode with other people on your team you can do a number of different ways you can go and a couple of days to sales pipeline radio radio DOT com we will have this entire episode on demand and you can share that with your fear your friends peers and colleagues all episode past present and Future of Hill Pipeline Radio Radio on sales pipeline radio DOT COM don't miss another episode subscribe to the series up on itunes store Google play and we'll have a highlight of this session in on hines marketing dot com in just a few days as well with links to the Al Acadia content page with links to the upcoming workshop and then we'll put a link to Joscelyn's twitter account account as well so thanks very much Johnson joining us today got a great couple of weeks of episodes coming up as usual. Thank you very much for joining us on behalf of Migrate Producer Paul this is Matt Heinz. CNN Week on sales pipeline radio once again you've been riding the sales pipeline with Matt Hines hines marketing right here in the funnel radio network forever Listener Hi. It's Jamie progressive's number one number number two employee leave a message at the Hey Jamie. It's me Jamie this. Is Your daily Pep Talk. I know it's been rough going ever since people found out about your acapella group mad harmony but but you will bounce back I mean you're the guy always helping people find coverage options with the name your price tool. It should be you giving me the pep talk now. Get out there hit that high note and take mad ED harmony all the way to nationals this year sorry it was pitchy Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and affiliates price and coverage match limited by State Law. It's cutting into your exercise time and it's stabbing you in the back nine and it's attacking your peace of mind. It's pain and it's

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