The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 1 year ago

A Guide to Post-Sale Revenue Generation w/ Michael Tuso

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

When the sale’s over... 

 

What do you do to generate more revenue?

 

Today I’m speaking with Michael Tuso, Director of Revenue Performance at Chili Piper, to find out the best ways to generate post-sale revenue.

 

And, more importantly, how to make it scalable. 

 

What we talked about:

 

- What happened when Chili Piper split post-sales roles

 

- How to think about coaching and champion enablement

 

- How COVID-19 is impacting Chili Piper’s strategy



This blogpost includes highlights of our podcast interview with Michael Tuso, Director of Revenue Performance at Chili Piper

 

For the entire interview, you can listen to The B2B Revenue Executive Experience. If you don’t use Apple Podcasts, we suggest this link.

Our Customer Success Team has gotten betterat what they do and our account management team has been really good at themore business case side of the house, and it's been super, super excellent. So in terms of winning deals and cross selling and up cells, thatspecialization was is really where it's started for us. You're listening to the BBrevenue executive experience, a podcast dedicated to helping the executives train their sales andmarketing teams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies were toolsand resources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth inthree, two, one. Welcome every one to the BB revenue executive experience. I'm your host, Chad Sanderson. Today we're talking about how to bookmore meetings would post sale buyers the generate revenue, how to create a scalablestructule that works for your teams and how to identify that low hanging fruit onyour post sale teams for revenue generation. To help us, we have withUS Michael Tuso, director of revenue performance for Chili Piper, a company whichoffers a suite of automated tools that help revenue teams convert more leads into qualifiedmeetings faster. Michael, thank you for taking the time and welcome to theshow. Yeah, absolutely, I'm super excited to be here. So wealways start with a a kind of AWF of wall question just for the audienceto get to know you a little bit better and and the current circumstances haveallowed me to change up a little bit. So, considering we're all in thenew work from home reality, curious to know if extra time at homehas allowed you to reconnect with a passion, hobby, pastime more develop something newthat allows you to, you know, espression, creative side, or justfeeds those non working hours. Yeah, so I'm a huge fan of reinforcingwork with other activities. I think it helps mitigate things like stress,and I think you know particularly, I noticed working in sales all of mycareer that when people get stressed out they tend to abandon the things that thatthey love, like exercise and and hobbies and things like that. And I'mlike, don't abandon those things just because you're stressed out and in fact investin those things. But anyway, that's sort of my philosophy. So Iyou know, me and my partner have been really diligent about. Well,I've learned how to make like twenty different types of ice cream. We starteda garden. You can't see me right now. I have a buzz haircut, so now I know how to do that. I've probably read ninebooks, around nine books or so. So really double down on that andor kind of really committed to exercise routine. Traveled then Kut. So I'm reallydoubling down on those things that I love right now and really encouraging myteam to do so as well, because I think it's I think it's funand I think it's helpful and kind of makes you lighten up a little bit. Absolutely, absolutely. You have to have a divide between work and selfimprovement. You have to have it or...

...you start to go crazy locked ina house. Yeah, all right, so let's start with some context.We're talking post sales motion, right, so we've already want to deal andnow we want to expand. Any account or up cell companies often struggle,you know, with this, but when you when you think about these situations, what works most effectively from your perspective and what doesn't, what hurts thoseefforts? Yeah, so I'd like to sort of start with how we thinkabout the post sales emotion a little bit. I I've seen very frequently that companieslump the post sales and notion until one role and we sort of startedour company like that. Everything with Tal it's under customer success. And lastyear or CEO heard a speaker at a conference that we were sponsoring talk aboutthis idea of separating customer success and account management and and it's funny. Sowe don't do sales kickoffs or anything like that, but instead, you know, and at the time, if we hit a major company milestone, wewould fly everyone to like a country abroad, essentially ranked out these huge airbnbs andbasically just enjoy whatever country we were visiting. So that's what we doin Lou Lou escale house. And so he heard this talk at a conferenceand then he comes back from the conference and we had all been working towardsthis big goal of trying it was going to a Beza. Was this specificone for the entire company. And that was June of last year. Hegoes to the conference, he comes back in July split the customer success andAccount Management Role and then in August the revenue that the account management team wasbasically equal to that of our entire sale team from just splitting that one hole. And then we ended up going to a visa as an entire company becauseof the efforts of the account management team in October. So the whole companywent to that. So that's kind of a real story of what we didand how much fun we had there, to give a little bit of context. And the real revenue implications were pretty profound in that sort of traditional likepost sales motion. Through the splitting of the role it really created specialization andI've heard people make the argument, well, you should only do that at bigcompany's you know, what's the cack of doing everything and there's so manyexpenses and things like that, and it really wasn't the case for us.Through spitting the roles, we've our customer success team has gotten better at whatthey do and our account management team has been really good at the more businesscase side of the House and it's been super, super excellent. So interms of winning deals and cross selling and up cells, that specialization was isreally where it started for us. Excellent, okay, and so when you thinkabout dividing those roles up completely makes sense it's it is a different typeof focus on the account. Some companies will have a tendency to use theattempts to use the same types of a...

...prospecting approaches on both sides of thatequation and I'm curious some of the mature that we had before you before wegot on on the podcast, you didn't feel like those same prospecting methods workedthe same in the situations. So I was hoping you could compare and contrastfor us. Yeah, so the thing that I noticed with that prospecting asa necessity, obviously, regardless of you know which type of everything roll andthen my mind, for our company that's Strae or am and prospecting is anecessity. But prospecting should be conducted differently for each of those roles and notsort of universally. And so I would never ask an an to put ourexisting customers into a cadence and mass blast them, obviously. So I knowthat sounds kind of crazy, but the thing that we did was actually woreand a complete opposite direction of that and we got really, really methodical andthe first thing that I worked with the team on in that month of July. But we made the decision or what are the specific reasons, because justas like a real story, they were considered there. Like you know,I don't I don't know how we're going to, you know, get thesecross cells from these really rigorous goals. That's being asked of us. Andyou know, my role is director of revenue performance. It goes a littlebit beyond how people define sales or revenue enablement. I really do focus onthe coaching and training of the team there. So they're asking a how do Iactually do this? So we spent a ton of time first identifying whatare the specific reasons that we can come up to with or to reach outto people, and then how do we systematically do that? And it almostautomated way. So I we experimented with like one or two to kind ofput the training wheels on. You know, how can you do a ninety dayhealth check, like something as simple as that is an impetus to havea conversation with your prospects and then you gain the account intelligence which then enablesyou to book another meeting into account to conduct either that cross cell or upsell. Obviously it's really effective to do one of those types of sales at themoment or at the time of renewal as well. So we did specific trainingson that. Prior to that, these two specific people did not do calltraining, email reviews, like really much of that. So we really reallydouble down here, like what is the messaging we're sending out? Why arewe doing it, or are the reasons we're going to do it, andhow do we systematically prospect? And we sort of, I did I wasn'tlike heavy handed with it. In the first month that we did this.We sort of did it almost like game, a fight it, like how arewe going to do this, and like a really light way. Andthey came up with this huge document of all the reasons why they would reachout to people. It was so well thought out. And now they reallyuse that to to they use account intelligence plus this list to really learn abouteverything that's going on to an account and...

...then really coming up with really solidreasons to reach out to them and schedule meetings to then crossing up. Soso those are super interesting exercise for us. And so when you when you thinkabout this and you think about, okay, so an AE has sold, you know, sold us in. We're in there and now we havemaybe a primary initial buyer, but we're we need to branch out right.So relationship is always a challenge, sometimes exact. So have you found thatyour customer success teams are running into people that are want to share, youknow, the Chili Piper story inside of the organization and introduce people? Ordo they feel neglected or maybe like you're maybe they're like feel a little lessimportant because you're trying to expand it? Do it? How do you managethat delicate balancer? So we are very big believers and that concept of championenablement and really enabling you know, that specific person in the company who isa champion of our products and get in and you know everything that they needand being well thought out. Actually I was one of the first sort ofchampions on the customer side. I purchased the product before I actually work here, so I've direct experience with that. Like myself as a manager at aprevious company, say sort of know how that actually feels to be enabled.But part of being part of champion enablement is also not relying on one champion. I mean, you know, I talked about this a lot. Theaverage the average tenure of a VP of sales these days at a start upis about nineteen months. So if you have something with that high of aturnover and you only have one contact in an account, well it's going tobe hard harder for that to be sticky because WHO's going to go to batfor you? Who's going to hear contact when that person leaves? The partof the stickiness is getting multiple teams sees your account. So you maybe youdon't get the maybe you just get sell into one product and one account onthe account executive side when they close the deal. But maybe early on.You know, we have data that shows us that the earlier on we canget into different department than more successful it is. We we know things likecustomer success, as ability to get account health up really high really early,and it's in their teams trained and enabled as far as like our customers alsoaffects our ability to cross sell an up cell. So it's really this ideaof thinking of revenue whole list scale and how it feeds into this am process, because everyone is, you know, working towards the same bowl of maximizingrevenue and each team affects that. So so we I sort of view itas more like a puzzle piece, then then maybe a negative thing. Sothat's just kind of my thing. But we're really, really big on championenablement. Yeah, makes sense right. We want to provide value. Ifyou provide value to somebody makes them look, you know, successful, then there'sa relationship and a trust there that there that they can bring you furtherinside of the organizations. Completely makes sense.

So think about it from a coachingperspective. How do you differ your coaching approaches with the a's versus acustomer success in the Post Sale side? Yeah, that's a good point.So the a emotion, just institutionally, is an older emotion in our company. I also think like as in the sales world as a whole, formy experience I think it's more well understood in terms of both the SR andthe account executive role. So we actually do weekly training so where all threeteams are present. So we train all of them on concepts that will helpenable them. So we may present on one that we did recently was ona couple of different books. Actually, one of the first trainings we didactually had the account management team lead it and they presented on the book.Never split the difference in a huge fan of that. So we do ourgroup trainings together, but then in the coaching sessions that is really focused onthat specific into individual we also do small group coaching. So that specific andindividual or that specific team and how they differ from how those sessions differ fromthe sales team is very simple. The sales team is always sort of goingfor that net new revenue, whereas there's a few different factors at play.For example, and a past few months with sort of everything going on inthe world, the account management roles sort of changed. It went from arole that was aggressively going after cross cells and up cells to really really focusingon renewal, customer retention and helping our buyers so that it will then helpour customer retention over time, which is still a business goal of theirs,but it's sort of like shifted. So a big focus of our trainings immediatelyshifted. Or you know, how how do we use tactical empathy right nowin order to retain our customers, make sure that they're happy and kind ofwe're understanding of everything that were they're going to and if we have the abilityto cross sewn up. So maybe a non affected industries will make that afocus too, but right now we really want to do the right thing byour existing customer. So the focus change a little bit. So that's likeone example of how it might be different. They ease. We focus more ontargeting, not affected industries, net new business they are and so sothat differed, differed slightly, and just a most recent example. Excellent.All right. So let's pivot here a little bit and talk about Chili Pipers. To the audience knows, tell us you know, what does the companydo and you know what's your view on how successful you've been to this pointand what the future hold? Yeah, absolutely so. We're most known forscheduling. That's how we were born. So when a lead comes through throughyour website, most of the time people...

...sort of have antiquated processes in placelike an SLA. When the data shows if you don't reach out to someonewithin the first five minutes, your ability to convert it goes down by eightyeight percent. So Chili Piper schedules and routes the the meeting to the rightindividual. It also qualifies it in real time. So it takes literally likeseconds to do the processes that normally take hours or days and we know thatit's so important to capture that moment of intent when a buyer is like searching. So we're most owned for that sort of scheduling process at the time ofform fell scheduling, qualifying and routing. Most recently, we have developed atool that allows for coaching and account intelligence based out of your email. Soif you think of the sort a collaborative function of like Google drive plus youremail inbox and sort of combining this to technologies, it's similar to that.So that's something we're actually right in the middle of watching right now. Excellentactually expanding the product base. Love it. So when, when you look atkind of the current environment right since then, think the way things havechanged, has it impacted kind of slip Piper's top line, business objective oryour you know, the way that you're being tasked inside of the organization?Just like to give the audience some perspective on how people are being affected andresponding to the current environment. If fortunately, as far as our part or differentteams are best, Ye, our team, for example, has thepast two months have been some of the best months that they've ever had.A lot of that was some investment that team had done and in the waythat they're targeting and thinking about, thinking about the way that they're they're prospecting. As far as a company that the sales the sales team is also doingvery well. Account Management probably pivoted a little bit more than any of theteams in terms of really trying to be there for their customers and focus onretention, so that changed a little bit for them. We're already on theup swaying with that, though. As far as that company as a whole, it's really been a philosophical pillar for everyone in the company that people cansort of add act or rationally and times of like fear and then certainty.The philosophy of our company right now is doubling down on learning and doubling downand investing in our people and our products, because eventually they'll be a day whenyou know sort of things are are more back to normal. You knowa report was released yesterday and that SAS space that hiring shrunk really fast whenall of this went down, but we're starting to see data come through thatis very positive in terms of job openings and things like that. So thingsare up on up swaying and in this whole process we've doubled down done twothings, and that's investing in our people and processes and really retraining, reenabling and and focusing on learning for everyone in the company as a whole.Yeah, and that's I mean it's a great move right it. Those ofus that remember, we've, you know,...

I don't want to make myself seemolder than I am, but but you know, live through eleven andthen two thousand and eight and now there's this and they're all different in thereand there's is, you know, people that are impacted, unfortunately, thenthere are companies that have, you know, that opportunity to invest in those.If we look back historically, those that have invested in their people andproducts have come out on the other side significantly in better shape. So greatto hear that that's going on over there. What are some of the challenges thatyou that you wrestle with from an enablement perspective in terms of, youknow, the teams itself, things that you're kind of trying to deal withright now is you focus on getting towards hitting whatever the the year end goalsare. Yeah, it's been a little bit of a recalibration. In termsof challenges for the team is sort of been more so around go to marketwith a new product. Any time you anytime you do that, you haveto really think that through. So historically, with our account management team, forexample, we have had the same scheduling products that we've been cross selling, selling and renewing through the introduction of a completely new email tool. It'sa totally different tool with a ton of potential. So our team has beenusing it for four months. I've been using it as a way of coachingthe team, but the teams themselves have been using it to collaborate closed deals, to gain account intelligence, things like that, and so I think thatfiguring that piece out of going to market with a new product is always apretty big deal. So that's super top of mine for all of us rightnow. Love, love, thank you for sharing that insight. So let'sChange Direction here a little bit. We ask all of our guests two standardquestions towards the end of reaching you. First, simply, as a directorof inside of an organization, that makes you, don't know, a prospectfor many people and I'm always curious to understand if somebody doesn't have a trustedreferral into like a trusted reference in what works for you to capture your aattention and earn the right to thirteen, fifteen, twenty minutes on your calendar. Yeah, so the first thing that's like an immediate sort of no gofor me. It used to be really normal to ask for fifteen minutes insort of these these CTA's that are maybe not adding like a ton to theprospect and the receiving side. We used to be able to get away withthat and you know, I use it as a person, as a salespersonto I've really trained the team to get away from CTA's like that into moresofter approaches. So that's sort of the first kind of visceral reaction to thatis so many of them are really kind of aggressive CTAs. The second thingI would say is like, don't be so eager to jump to the theproduct. Like have a conversation with people. Lighten it up a little bit.You know, people are incentivized on goals and that's sort of hard numbersand quotas, but you have to slow down your your process a little bit. So, you know, I get so many emails that hey, youknow, I saw that you're the director...

...of revenue performance. What Xyz companydoes is blank like don't that. That makes me want to delete the email. So I also tell the team to not do that, and it's adifference in telling them not to do it and getting them to feel why thatis not a good experience for the prospect. So every single one of those emailsthat I get, whether good or bad, I send them over slackedthe entire team and I asked them to analyze that and then, instead ofinstead of just critically thinking about it, I want the behavior to be reinforcedthe Austin to kind of respond as if they were the prospect and what theywould do differently. So there's the kind of two things top of mind.Yeah, and that's a great at every anytime I get a really bad prospectingemail, I forward it back to the CEO of the company and just say, if you want help fixing this, give me a call. This isthis is not. I'm not going to talk to your repoot, but butyou should. Let's have a conversation. I can help you fix this.All right. Last question. We call it our acceleration. Didn't sight.If there's one thing you could tell sales, marketing or professional services people one pieceof advice you could give them that you believe would help them hit theirtargets. What would it be and why? So I've been very big on theconcept of really focusing on showing people how to do things. So,like, very frequently I go into companies and talk to companies and they're justfigure focusing on the wet so they're focusing on like wide activity and metrics.So what's your talk time? Like these very antiquated type of metrics. Nowpeople need the execution and follow through, and that's really neat a firm understandingof like how and why things are happening. So showing the reps how to actuallydo something, like getting the practice and, like you know, I'venever met someone who did a perfect objection handle after getting a brand new objectionsthey haven't dealt with before. Those things take practice. So first of themhow to do it and then manage that behavior into existence and then move onto the next thing. And so I think that, like sales management andall of these roles that I'm talking about, is really missing that right now.It's just a fundamental awareness of why are we doing the things that we'redoing the way that we're doing them, and then how do I actually showmy team how to do it and not for me, is like the biggestpart of enabling your team to be successful. Yeah, love, I could notagree more. Could not agree more perfect, Michael. If a listenersinterested in talking more about these topics we touched on today, or you wantto get in touch, where should we send them? We would you likeit's a yeah, absolutely. So. I'm super responsive on Linkedin. Youcan just search me Michael to so that's the easiest way to find me andI'd be more than happy to connect with anybody listening. Excellent. Like,I can't thank you enough for taking time to be on the show today.It's been great. Love to hear the perspectives. Thank you for sharing everything. Yeah, it's been fine. Thank you so much to take it.was excited to talk to you. All right, everybody that does it forthis episode, you know, the drill be to be REV exactcom share itwith friends, Family, Co Workers,...

...pee like what you hear Lewis Reviewon Itunes, and until next time, we value selling associates, which wewill nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the BB revenue executiveexperience. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the showand Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening.Until next time,.

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