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."
This episode is so good we had to re-air it. Plus, we are going to experiment a little by going back into the archives once in a while and pull out some gems and bring them back to the front of the line. We'd love to know what you think. One of these gems is of course the episode with Catherine Blackmore, GVP of Customer Success at Oracle Marketing Cloud. Three things we learned from Catherine are 1) education is a critical part of customer success. You cannot help customers be successful unless you help them learn. 2) Obviously, education is not all of it. With any software project, people have to change how they work. We have to help our customers through that change. Change management is part of customer success too. 3) There seems to be an endless debate about who should own the customer. Lost in this debate is how and whether sales and service is converging. Some signs say, "Yes." This is also a fun episode because we reminisced about stealing one of Catherine's ideas, which by the way, led to two new customer. Maybe you should steal this idea, too. We hope you like the re-broadcasting idea. Tell us if you do on Twitter using #HelpingSells.
The first thing they did is insult me by telling me my data sucks. Actually, Your Data Sucks: Join the Club was the name of their talk at the 2018 Gainsight Pulse Conference. Patrick Lawler, Director of Customer Success and Services and Dave Derington, Director of User Enablement both from Azuqua join Helping Sells Radio to help us understand how we can use data to help our teams help our customers. Better. That sounds like a worthy endeavor because figuring out how to deliver customer success in a scalable way cab help our companies grow.
It is always a treat when guests come into the studio because in-person interviews are so much more conversational and, therefore, better. Jessica McGlory, director of paid social at the online marketing firm Jellyfish, joins us to talk about how paid media can be helpful. Most of us don't think about paid online social advertising as being helpful, but when it is targeted the right way, contains the right message, and offers something useful, it can definitely help people achieve outcomes.
CSO Insights found that of companies that push through a CRM software implementation, less than 40% of organizations achieve full scales end-user adoption. That is what Brandon Bruce, COO and Co-founder of Cirrus Insight, tells us in this episode of Helping Sells Radio. We talk about why software projects fail and how to turn them around. He details all of this in his book, "The Shelfware Problem: A Guide to CRM Adoption."
We spend all of our time on Helping Sells Radio talking about how to help customers achieve outcomes. In this episode, we're talking about how to help employees be their best at work. Aubrey Blanche, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Atlassian, talks about how creating inclusive workplaces helps teams perform at higher levels and do the best work of their lives.
Sangram Vajre, CMO and Co-Founder of Terminus, joined Helping Sells Radio to discuss how to drive revenue through account-based marketing. Sangram is also the author of Account-Based Marketing For Dummies and is the mastermind behind #FlipMyFunnel, which is on a mission to build the largest and most connected vendor-agnostic community of B2B marketing, sales and customer success professionals by leading them to become masters of their craft and heroes in their organization.
Heidi Gardner, Distinguished Fellow in the Center on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School, joins Helping Sells Radio to discuss her book Smart Collaboration: How Professionals and Their Firms Succeed by Breaking Down Silos. Her research has shown that when professional services firms bring multiple teams in to help clients achieve outcomes beyond the original engagement, in many cases without billing some of the early discovery work by the additional teams, that the firm can actually increase revenue per client. This has staggering implications for customer success and professional services teams who should focus on helping customers beyond the singular reason they were hired in the first place.
In this episode we spoke to Tom Gerace, founder and CEO of Skyword, a leading content marketing platform and services company. Tom is a longtime entrepreneur and co-author of the book Storynomics: Story-drive Marketing in the Post-Advertising World. Tom joined us to discuss approaches to marketing and selling software in a post-advertising world.
Josh Harcus, renowned author and sales leader, and Kyle Jepson, Inbound Sales Professor at HubSpot Academy, joined Helping Sells Radio to talk about increasing revenue by teaching sales teams to call customers and ask, "what can I help you find?" In this episode we explore why most sales teams pitch themselves into a corner and how to re-frame sales conversations into helping opportunities.
Founders know that to have success, they need to sell — a lot. And quickly. Which is why their first hire is usually a salesperson. They want an expert to capitalize on any traction or buzz their early stage company has. Whitney Sales, General Partner at Acceleprise Ventures and creator of The Sales Method, joined Helping Sells podcast this week to talk about early-stage companies and why founders must learn to love selling.
Kristen Hayer, Founder and CEO of "The Success League," a customer success consulting firm that works with executives who are ready to build and develop a top performing customer success team, joins Helping Sells Radio to talk about why CSMs need to embrace data and learn to use it to create a seamless customer experience for their customers. Easier said than done, but Kristen has practical tips for CS teams keen to grow their impact.
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.
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.
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.