In this episode, we chat with Close.io CEO and Co-Founder Steli Efti about how today's SaaS companies win by building software for the end users, not the buyers. Steli also discusses why so many organizations struggle with hiring really good sales leaders, how to convert a services business to a SaaS business, SaaS industry trends for 2018, and more.
Steve Portigal has interviewed everyone from high-finance traders to rock musicians, regular families to medical professionals, all in search of finding out how to make products better. "Great leaders are not territorial," he said in this episode of Helping Sells Radio. "They're looking for everything and anything that can help make their products better."
In his book, Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights, Portigal starts off by stating that "you are not the user". That is, that interviewers are not the users of the product and so shouldn't be involved in the user research experience.
"The whole purpose of the interview is to understand someone else's point of view, belief structure, the language they use, etc. in order to embrace their perspective," says Portigal.
In this episode, we spoke to Ken Hirsohn, past president, current treasurer, and longstanding board member of the Computer Education Management Association (CEdMA). Ken talked to us about running customer education operations at Alien Vault, ServiceNow, Salesforce, and Veritas (Symantec). He has run multi-million dollar education operations with education as a P&L, and in this episode, talks about the ever-evolving role of training and integrating customer training with the entire customer experience.
Keynote speaker, storytelling coach, and bestselling author Paul Smith joins Helping Sells Radio to talk about his book SELL WITH A STORY. If you want a practical explanation for how you can use stories to help your customers, this episode is for you. Paul provides many examples of how to use stories in the sales process, with existing customers, and even how brilliant it is to tell stories about people who are not even your customers.
Marty Cagan, founder and partner of the Silicon Valley Product Group and author of the book, Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love, joins Helping Sells Radio to talk about the new edition of his book, why product managers should fall in love with the problem not the solution, and whether Ben Horowitz is as hardcore in person as he is in his book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers.
This week's episode of the Helping Sells podcast features Boaz Moar, currently the VP of Customer Success at OpenGov. Boaz has spent more than 25 years leading customer success teams in a variety of industries and developed a new index metric CS pros can use to zero in on the customers that will help your grow and increase revenues in the future.
In this episode of Helping Sells, Boaz sat down with Bill and Sarah to talk about the Customer Maturity Index (CMI) and how companies can use it to help their customers be more successful with their products.
Greg Warner, Senior Technical Consultant at ServiceRocket, joins Helping Sells Radio to discuss how he helps customers avoid hurting themselves in their software projects. Or as Greg puts it, "Stopping them from running down the hallway with scissors." Greg also talks about how he helped a manager see his grandkids for the first time in months by helping him set up his work processes in Jira. Now that's an outcome.
Irit Eizips of CSMPractice explains that customer success is a two-way street between the customer success manager and the client. Both are accountable for achieving desired outcomes sought by the client.
In our latest episode of Helping Sells Radio, Nicolle Paradise, Senior Director of Client Experience at ADP explains how she uses data and customer feedback to help guide how ADP deals with customers. Nicolle is a "big fan" of looking at customer data to discover how they're really feeling about her products and company. She combines what customers tell her with what the data to get a holistic view of the customers.
According to ClientSuccess CEO Dave Blake, most customer success teams were focused on tactical activities like onboarding and renewals. But what about the in-between? In this episode, Blake shares how companies who want to drive value and successful outcomes with their customers can do so by working on the entire customer lifecycle.
Marcus Sheridan joins Helping Sells Radio to discuss his book They Ask You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today's Digital Consumer, which is a call for entrepreneurs, marketing and sales professionals to answer customer questions as a means for helping customers, building trust, and driving sales. It is a simple approach that most of your competitors would not dare dream of implementing.
Adam O'Donnell, co-founder and CEO of Successly Live, joins Helping Sell Radio to share what he learned from interviewing more than 200 customer success leaders. Adam and his team discovered some surprising insights about how many teams are using CS platforms (hint: it's way less than you probably think), the maturity of the CS industry, the most common reasons CS initiatives fail, and more.
Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré is a SaaS Consultant and Customer Success Evangelist, who takes startups from problem/solution fit to product/market fit, all the way through growth marketing and scalable customer development. We invited Nichole on the show to talk about why product managers should include customer success milestones in user flows and how product management can work better with Customer Success and use Customer Success milestones to help customers achieve their own journey.
Emilia D'Anzica, VP of Customer Engagement at WalkMe, has returned to Helping Sells Radio to talk about what to do when customers want to take an approach that customer success managers know will not lead to success, and how to educate customers on why they should take a different approach. In other words, Emilia wants CSMs to lead customers to success.
In this episode of Helping Sells Radio, Chris Doell, VP of Customer Success for the cloud security division of Cisco, talks about the importance of evaluating software vendors on four post-sales criteria in addition to price, features, benefits, and product fit, which most software buyers already focus on. Doell says these four criteria are hardly ever in RFPs that he receives from buyers, but you can bet they are in all of the RFPs that he sends to vendors. We dive into these four criteria with Doell to help you improve how you evaluate software companies.
In this special episode of Helping Sells Radio, a panel of customer education executives at open source software companies share how to run customer education as profit-and-loss-focused businesses at global scale. Panelists include Cloudera Vice President of Customer Success Sarah Sproehnle, MuleSoft Head of Education and Certification Richard Huie-Buickius, and Couchbase Vice President of Learning and Strategic Development Peter Childers. This panel was recorded at the Business of Customer Education Conference (BOCE), which was co-located at the Gainsight Pulse Customer Success Conference in May 2017.
In this special episode of Helping Sells Radio, Gainsight Head of Training Dave Derington and ServiceRocket Learning Platform Product Manager Jesse Miller tackle an issue that befuddles most customer education teams: how to link customer education activity with business results. They clarify the process for answering the question, "What impact did customer education have on customer satisfaction, NPS, product adoption, renewal rates, and even product sales?" Answering these questions can turn customer education leaders into rock stars in their companies because they have the potential to turn education from overhead to a profit center that contributes directly to company growth. This talk was recorded at the Business of Customer Education Conference (BOCE), which was co-located at the Gainsight Pulse Customer Success Conference in May 2017.
In this special episode of Helping Sells Radio, Atlassian's Director of Training Sherry Quinn shares how to scale customer training and address different customers' needs by starting with a core curriculum and repurposing it into multiple formats. This is a recording of her talk at the Business of Customer Education Conference (BOCE), which was co-located at the Gainsight Pulse Customer Success Conference in May 2017.
In this special episode of Helping Sells Radio, Director of Workplace by Facebook for the Americas Monica Adractas gives a talk about how Facebook thinks about educating employees of enterprise customers, many of whom do not have email and do not sit at desks. Deskless workers interact with colleagues at work primarily through an app in their mobile phone, which requires a whole new way of thinking about educating customers at scale. This is a recording of her talk at the Business of Customer Education Conference (BOCE), which was co-located at the Gainsight Pulse Customer Success Conference in May 2017.
In this special episode of Helping Sells Radio, ServiceRocket Founder and CEO Rob Castaneda gives a talk at the 2017 Business of Customer Education Conference (BOCE) about how to use eduction to proactively help customers. ServiceRocket co-located its BOCE Conference at the Gainsight Pulse Customer Success Conference as a track dedicated to helping software professionals help their customers learn their software and achieve business outcomes.
In this episode of Helping Sells Radio we're joined by post-sales expert Kia Puhm. Kia is an entrepreneurial executive who has held chief positions in customer success, services, account management and support at companies such as: Oracle, Eloqua, Day Software (Adobe), Intelex Technologies, and Blueprint Software Systems. Kia has pioneered the art of customer experience by leading businesses through the transition to customer-centric organizations. Kia explains how to end the product-sales-customer success-support tug of war.
On this episode of Helping Sells Radio, Stratejos Founder and CEO Scott Middleton talks to us about how artificial intelligence (AI) is already changing project management. Chat bots are so smart, they can understand project performance and even tell who the highest performing people on the project team are.
On this episode of Helping Sells Radio, Rachel Orston, CEO of UserIQ talks about a new role she has hired called customer growth architect. She explains that even though a customer architect is about customers success, it is not a customer success role. We found this interesting and dug into the purpose of this role and how it will be measured....right down to the metrics.
Donna Weber, Principal at Springboard Solutions Consulting, joined the show to talk about the need to align customer education to customer because because no matter what you call it, customer success is about the entire post sales customer experience. That includes training.
Chad Horenfeldt is a Customer Experience and Customer Success executive with 15+ years experience developing Customer Success teams with companies of all sizes. At Bluecore, he serves as Vice President of Customer Success and manages a CS team of CSMs, client onboarding, Support, technical services and education. Chad joined the show to discuss specific tips for hacking Customer Success at your own company.