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Helping Sells Radio

In the software business, Selling Doesn't Help. Helping Sells. Helping Sells Radio is a podcast about helping customers discover, adopt, and thrive using your software. Host Bill Cushard talks to experts about helping sells in software adoption, customer success, sales, marketing, customer training, and more. Subscribe and listen to get insider tips for leveraging "strategic generosity" to grow your software business. Brought to you by ServiceRocket Media.
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Now displaying: Category: Customer Success
Dec 20, 2018

Here's the problem with consulting. An expert comes in, advises, and leaves. OR. If more than advise is needed, a consultant is hired for a long term engagement to actually do the work. Months and months of billable work occurs. Call it staff augmentation that is very expensive. Eventually the consultants leaves, the engagement is over and very little of the capability remains with the client. This is a good short term solution to a problem. Andrew Marks and Todd Eby, co-founders of SuccessHacker don't think is approach is good for the consulting firm or good for the client. They don't consider a client engagement successful unless they teach a client what they need to know so they can continue to do it themselves. "We don't want to be there for a long time. We want to come in, teach clients what they need to know, and help then get on the journey." SuccessHacker approaches consulting with an education mindset. How do you approach engagements with your clients? 

Learn more about Andrew and Todd and SuccessHacker:

-SuccessHacker: https://www.successhacker.co

-Outcomes Community: https://www.customersuccess.community

-Andrew Marks on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewmarks/

 Andrew Marks on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CSuccessHacker

-Todd Eby on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/toddceby/

-Todd Eby on Twitter: https://twitter.com/toddceby

Dec 19, 2018

Customer Success has taken the world by storm. And customer education is a pillar of customer success, says Dave Derington, Director of User Enablement of Azuqua and Adam Avramescu, head of customer education and training at Checkr. Think about it. Customer success is all about figuring out how to keep customers happy and get them to use more of our products. If that is customer success in a nutshell, then Dave and Adam argue that customer education is the answer to those questions. Said another way. Education sells more product. It brings more customers back. It fosters loyalty. It gets customers excited about your product and your company. It builds community.  Customer education cannot solve all of your problems, but it can set customers up for success. 

We also talked about Dave and Adam's new podcast CELab: Customer Education Labs. It focuses on customer education and their first episode is about how to get started with customer education.

Here is a link to the first episode:

Dec 18, 2018

Sue Duris, director of marketing and customer experience at M4 Communications, comes into the studio to talk about the similarity and differences between customer experience, customer success, and marketing. We started with customer experience. Sue says her favorite definition of customer experience comes from Forrester, which says that it's every interaction or touchpoint a customer has with your brand. Every. Interaction. Bill had to ask, "Doesn't that include the experience our customers have when we send them invoices? What if the invoice looks like we created it manually. What if it was sent from a "no-reply" email address? What if the customer has a question about the invoice and no one gets back to her? Does the accounts receivable manager need a promotion to customer experience manager?" These are the kinds of questions we talk about with Sue on this episode of Helping Sells Radio. 

Nov 20, 2018

We talk about the customer journey. But the term journey implies there is a path, and customers take the path. If customers are unique, and most of us think they are, then wouldn't they take their own path? And if each customer takes a unique path, then how are WE (software companies) supposed to manage that? The answer is: We aren't. That's why I like that Ellie Wu talked about moments. Ellie Wu, Senior Director of Customer Success at SAP Concur and a top 100 Customer Success Influencer, joins Helping Radio to talk about owning moments (not the customer). WE talk about a lot of other things too, including fawning over her Linkedin videos, whether to hire a customer success executive or a customer success manager first, and we even talked briefly about Olympic skeleton racer, Noelle Pikus Pace and how she overcame the possible destruction of her Olympic dreams with one statement from her doctor in her darkest moment. 

Learn more about Ellie:

Nov 14, 2018

What would you do, if you could split off a small team of developers and could direct them on changes to the product that customers hound you about every day? This new team, your team, would work in parallel to the product development team, unencumbered by the restrictions of the product roadmap. No more begging the product team to listen to you. No more making the case that this customer is special and this feature is important. No more explaining to customers, "I promise, I'll pass that along to our product team." What if you could make those changes happen? What if you could be a true voice of the customer? This is what Mel Bilge, customer experience led at Learndot by ServiceRocket can do. Jealous? In disbelief? Well, we talk to her about how it works, why she did it, and why Mel thinks this could be the future of the product / customer experience mashup. 

Learn more about Mel:

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melihabilge/

Sep 17, 2018

Here is the question of the day: "How far do you go to help a customer adopt your software?" I ask this question to many of our guests, and there isn't one right answer. As you can imagine, there are many answers. In other words, "It depends." My favorite answer now comes from Arjun Devgan, VP of global customer success and services at Percolate. His answer is to create a methodology for adopting the software and then publish an eBook describing it and also publishing tools customers can use during their implementation or digital transformation. 

This is just like the question I received after my talk at CS100 Summit 2018 run by ClientSuccess about what courses one should start building if there is nothing today. The second course topic I suggested is to create a course on your rollout methodology. The idea is to help a customer with a proven process for getting up and running on your software. Presumably, you have such a process. Why not teach customers how to do it?

Percolate codified their process in "The Percolate Adoption Framework." Which anyone can download. Take a look. It will inspire you.

The Percolate Adoption Framework: https://learn.percolate.com/software-adoption-framework-enterprise-percolate/#

Arjun's Gainsight Blog, "The Customer Success Identity Crisis." https://www.gainsight.com/blog/customer-success-identity-crisis/

Arjun on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/arjundevgan/

Arjun on Twitter: https://twitter.com/arjun_devgan

Arjun at Percolate: https://percolate.com/team#

Sep 12, 2018

It is the the sixth and FINAL in the CS100 Summit Preparation Pack, so it is appropriate that we finish this series with Dave Blake's episode. The CS100 Summit Preparation Pack is a collection of past Helping Sells Radio guests who are also speaking at the 2018 CS100 Summit put on by ClientSuccess. When the agenda came out, it was glaringly obvious what a high level of speakers ClientSuccess attracts for their conference, we noticed five speakers were past guest of Helping Sells Radio. So we go together in the studio and decided to re-air all five of those episode just before and during the conference. 

Enjoy the CS100 Summit Preparation Pack.

From Dave's episode:

One of the biggest obstacles to this customer-centric evolution is the buy-in of executives. According to Dave they believe in it because it's "THE" thing to do, however they don't invest the time and resources to make it truly happen. So they create CS teams within their organizations, yet they don't give them the ability or power to impact change within the organization to truly deliver a CS experience to customers. For example, if a product enhancement request comes from the CS team to the product development team, however there is no mechanism for the development team to prioritize the enhancement in their workflow. Worse yet, there may not be a way for the CS team to even speak to the development team to submit the request!

Only when executives break down the barriers between teams and departments and give accountability for CS to the right spots in the organization can it truly become a CS-focused company culture. "Until you turn the perspective outward, from outside to inside, that won't change," Dave said.

Sep 11, 2018

It is episode five in the CS100 Summit Preparation Pack. The CS100 Summit Preparation Pack is a collection of past Helping Sells Radio guests who are also speaking at the 2018 CS100 Summit put on by ClientSuccess. When the agenda came out, it was glaringly obvious what a high level of speakers ClientSuccess attracts for their conference, we noticed five speakers were past guest of Helping Sells Radio. So we go together in the studio and decided to re-air all five of those episode just before and during the conference. 

Enjoy the CS100 Summit Preparation Pack.

From Kristen's episode:

How can B2B companies get better with data?

To improve their relationship with data, B2B companies should plan out their data collection processes from start to finish, advises Kristen. "Leverage the people they have in place in high-touch customer roles," she said. To augment what they're going to do with technology in the future instead of with people, she went on to explain.

Tech tools can help B2B companies increase their one-to-many customer relationships and reduce the amount of people involved in maintaining the relationship on a regular basis. That's not to say companies can reduce the number of CS staff, but rather, deploying their staff in higher value tasks and let the technology take over the lower value ones.

Sep 11, 2018

It is episode four in the CS100 Summit Preparation Pack. The CS100 Summit Preparation Pack is a collection of past Helping Sells Radio guests who are also speaking at the 2018 CS100 Summit put on by ClientSuccess. When the agenda came out, it was glaringly obvious what a high level of speakers ClientSuccess attracts for their conference, we noticed five speakers were past guest of Helping Sells Radio. So we go together in the studio and decided to re-air all five of those episode just before and during the conference. 

Enjoy the CS100 Summit Preparation Pack.

From Nicolle's episode:

"Is it possible to monitor Customer Experience just by looking at data? Can we do that?" Bill was curious, since it can be hard to get customers to tell the truth when asking for feedback.

"In some organizations it's possible," Nicolle replied. "But I wouldn't recommend it." She explained that the data is only one part of the equation. It only gives you some of the information you need to create a positive CX for customers. At some point you'll need to speak to the customers to get the information directly from them. "You still have to  talk to people to see what they're doing, how they're feeling, how they're using your products," she said. After all, you may discover your customers are using your products in a completely unexpected and unintended way that works!

Sep 10, 2018

It is episode three in the CS100 Summit Preparation Pack. The CS100 Summit Preparation Pack is a collection of past Helping Sells Radio guests who are also speaking at the 2018 CS100 Summit put on by ClientSuccess. When the agenda came out, it was glaringly obvious what a high level of speakers ClientSuccess attracts for their conference, we noticed five speakers were past guest of Helping Sells Radio. So we go together in the studio and decided to re-air all five of those episode just before and during the conference. 

Enjoy the CS100 Summit Preparation Pack.

From Todd Eby's episode:

Customer Success is simple. But the simplest things are often the hardest.

Todd's customer success philosophy: "Understand what Success looks like to your customers. Make it your mission to deliver the direction, guidance and experience necessary for your customers to achieve their definition of success and you’ll be successful. It’s as simple as that. " Is this really simple? If it is, why aren't more companies doing it? Or are they? Every company is like a snowflake; there is no cookie-cutter approach. That's why companies struggle.

Sep 10, 2018

Although this is Helping Sells Radio Episode 85, it is episode two in the CS100 Summit Preparation Pack. The CS100 Summit Preparation Pack is a collection of past Helping Sells Radio guests who are also speaking at the 2018 CS100 Summit put on by ClientSuccess. When the agenda came out, it was glaringly obvious what a high level of speakers ClientSuccess attracts for their conference, we noticed five speakers were past guest of Helping Sells Radio. So we go together in the studio and decided to re-air all five of those episode just before and during the conference. 

Enjoy the CS100 Summit Preparation Pack

From Nils' previous episode:

Nils has developed a model for building great customer success organizations. He calls it the 4 P’s of Customer Success.

  1. People
  2. Purpose
  3. Process
  4. Platform

We talked through this model and one of the most interesting parts of that discussion might have been the most controversial part of the interview. When it comes to purpose, a customer success team can have a primary purpose of satisfying customers or driving revenues, but it cannot drive both. Nils tells us we have to choose what to focus on. It is not to say teams cannot have both, but you cannot focus on both. 
 
If you want to learn more about the 4 P’s of Customer Success, you can download the eBook that Glide Consulting has put together.

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