You want outcomes? Allison Pickens, Chief Customer & Corporate Development Officer at Gainsight, has outcomes. In fact, she is perhaps suggesting the ultimate customer outcome that a customer could have after using your product. That outcome? Getting promoted. Think about it. Someone...an actual person bought your product. They stuck their neck out. Convinced many other people in their organization that buying your product was a good idea. The your product is a promise to make some meaningful improvement. People agreed and green-lighted the project. Looking back...someone is going to ask, "Was that a success?" If it was, perhaps your customer now looks so good, he or she ought to be promoted. Right? So, how many of your customers have been promoted? I think that might be the ultimate customer outcome.
Maybe you've never heard of value engineering, but it's been around. A while. According to Stephen Morse, there is a direct correlation between a company's success and the focus they bring to bear on getting Value Engineering right. And on this episode of Helping Sells Radio, Morse helps us get it right.
She tried. And she succeeded. Naturally. Emilia D'Anzica, founder of Customer Growth Advisors, joined Helping Sells Radio intending to take over the show and interview Bill about his book. We did that at the end of the show, but before we did, we spent time talking about Emilia and her work with customer success teams. Very early on in the show we talked about on-boarding pitfalls because we all want to avoid them. One of the pitfalls Emilia wants us all to really get is that we assume our customers will just learn how to use our software. And this is not true. Customer needs our help in on-boarding to understand why and how to use our software. But that does not mean turning on the fire hose and trying to show the customers everything. Emilia urges us to make sure the on-boarding training is laser focused on the fewest most important task that get customers to perform the one thing they bought our product for...whatever that it. Don't do more that because customers will forget it anyway. Just get them to the one thing first. Then build on that learning later.
Michael Redbord, General Manager of the Service Hub at HubSpot, joined Helping Sells Radio to talk about making customers successful. Software companies have to focus on building trust, adding value, and helping people do their job better. But how far should we go in helping our customer be successful? Asked another way, "Should the gym employee come to my house and throw away the cookies?" While Michael doesn't think the gym should go to people's houses slapping cookies out of their hands, we should try to help customers do their jobs better, not just get them to log into our software. Just think about how HubSpot does his. A lot of it is with education: educational blogs, HubSpot Academy, and the book "Inbound!" Speaking of books, Michael thinks the topic of making customers successful more than warrants a book. We agree. Write it, Michael.
Matt Cameron used to hand write letters to prospects to get into their office for a sales call. After granting Matt a meeting, a global company CFO said to him, "I need to believe that you know something that I need to know now." Whoa! How many SDRs are thinking like that? Not many. At least in part, it seems this experience has driven Matt on his mission to help sales people learn executive acumen and become experts in the domain into which they sell, so that they can help prospects create value. Matt is well on his way. He founded SalesOps Central and created the SaaSy Sales Management boot camp to do just that. His background is as a sales leader at Salesforce and Yammer, two sales juggernauts to be sure.
According to Jeanne Bliss, a four-time author, customer experience expert, and founder of Customer Bliss, one of the keys to creating an amazing customer experience starts by hiring people and not resumes. "Employees often define the company for customers," she said, influencing the entire customer experience. Jeanne joined Bill on Helping Sells Radio podcast to talk about why today's companies need to wrap humanity into their customer experience model and how that helps them grow.
According to Ari Hoffman, customer success is kind of like being a professional sports coach. The coach's number 1 priority isn't to fill the stands with fans, help the team get new sponsors, or worry about the price of food at the concession stands — it's to help the players win games. Help the players succeed on the field (or court, or wherever they play). It's just one of the reasons why Hoffman, Customer Fanatic at MindTouch, spends his days listening to and sharing stories with customers, colleagues, other people in the tech industry, and even his friends and family. He wants to hear it all because he's curious about the stories that "engage people and raise the bar for everyone."
In the world of paid advertising, social media channels are a hard to be successful with. Mainly because we're not on social media looking for something to buy. Jessica McGlory, Director of Paid Social at Jellyfish, says the challenge with it is that you're interrupting someone's day, so it "better be something they want to see." Jessica joined Bill on Helping Sells Radio to talk about how paid ads really are good for B2B, why it's important to remember the people you're talking to, and the myth that advertisers are listening in to people through their smartphones without their knowledge (FYI, it really is a myth).
Companies know they should be using their data more effectively, but there's just so much of it that it's hard to know where to start. The biggest hurdle, according to Patrick Lawler and Dave Derington of Azuqua is that data is isolated in different areas of the company. The second is that no one has a good process to analyze the data they gather, so it just sits there, accumulating. "The idea of 'my data' can be daunting," Patrick said. "You'll make incremental strides if you just break it down into little chunks."
Heidi K. Gardner, Ph.D.
Professor at Harvard Law and author of the book,
Smart Collaboration: How Professionals and Their Firms Succeed by Breaking Down Silos.