The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 3 months ago

The Role of the Chief Customer Officer with Michael Hubbard

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Customer obsessed”

“Customer-centric”

“Customer focussed”

These are the buzzwords companies use to show off how much they focus on their customers.

But only a few are doing this consistently with measurable success.

The true measure of customer centricity can only be found by asking this question:

What percentage of your new business comes from existing customers?

To share more about how a Chief Customer Officer should be driving this in your business, we’re joined by Michael Hubbard, Senior Vice President of Customer Success, Services, and Support at Smartsheet, an NYSE-listed SaaS company that has built a workflow management platform that empowers business of all sizes to scale and deliver value. Michael covers the role of the Chief Customer Officer in maximizing customer lifetime value.

Join us as we discuss:

  • Why is the lifetime value of a customer so important?
  • The role of the Chief Customer Officer
  • The Power Of Feedback   

Now that you know the importance of customer success and being customer-focused… it’s time to learn how to discover some sales methodology secrets and prepare a winning GTM strategy. Check out the full list of episodes here: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for B2B Revenue Executive Experience in your favorite podcast player.

You're listening to the B two B revenue executive experience, a podcast dedicated to helping executives train their sales and marketing teams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three, two, one. Welcome everyone to to be, to be revenue executive experience. I'm your host, Carlos No Che, and I'm joined by my co host, Lisa Snare. Say Hi Lisa. Hi Folks, today we're gonna talk about the role of the chief customer officer and their impact on the industry. Now we see more and more companies talk about earning and maintaining customer relationships based on value, but only a few are doing this consistently with measurable success. And to help us out with that topic today we have Michael Hubbard, Senior Vice President of customer success, services and support at smart sheet, which seems to have figured out exactly how to maximize the lifetime value of your customers. We both have been looking forward to this conversation and Michael, thank you so much for taking the time today and welcome to the show. Thanks a lot Carlos and Lisa. Okay, Michael, before we jump into the topic of the day, we like to start with a question to help our audience get to know you a little better. What is something you're passionate about which people who only know you through business might be surprised to learn? Sure, I'd say there's a few things, but example I'll give today is music. Right, so I actively play in a rock and roll band on the drummer and part time singer. Were pretty heavy band, doing metallica, asy Osborne, guns and roses, a little ghost all right, a little van Halen. So we let our hair down that way, virtually, and our next show is at the cubby bear and Wrigley Bill. I'm based out of Chicago on the eight of July. Come on out, and I didn't know that. That's a good one for the folk sent our audience. On a personal side, I've known Michael for over ten years. It's God, it's hard to believe it's been so long. I've gotten to meet Michael to some of his prior roles and he's been a client as well. So thank you so much, Michael, for joining us. All right, tell us a little bit about smart sheet. How did you get there? How did your career arrive at this point? Sure so. I've been a smart sheet for about two years. So the first thing I'd say anyone who's thinking about transitioning, as we emerged from the pandemic, you can totally transition to a new company in this virtual world. I did it at the height of covid and it's been a great ride. Two years ago I joined a smart sheet because an opportunity to really do the full post sales experience right own the P and L for services. We're about a hundred million dollar services business. Own The customer success organization, including renewals. So we'll we'll end the year, hopefully around eight hundred million dollars of renewing are are and then drive the support organization, which was a newer part of my remit. I've been around support after twenty years and on Prem and cloud software has been never led support. So really excited to do that. And then we created a few words along the way. My background before that was mostly enterprise software companies, a place like service now, places like vm ware, places like Oracle, many of those where I got to know Carlos and the visualized folks, and my jam is kind of a couple hundred million in revenue to a couple of billion in revenue. That's the Phase I really enjoy where you're still maniacly customer focused, that you're starting to build the muscles and maturity of a big software company and you can do it right. Excellent. All right. So let's start understanding your view on this role of this chief customers officer. Sure so, chief customer officers sort of a little bit of a new animal in the zoo right of software and so as as we sort of created the success organization to be a complement to sales and sometimes it's the account management functions, sometimes it's almost a post sales feature discovery and enablement function. It is getting wrapped into sort of fulfilling all the brand promises in terms of experience that a customer has from the day they sign on the line that is...

...dotted to initiating that service and onboarding them through success to getting them excited about fitting it into a use case through maybe higher low touch services and implementation. So then getting through the first part of a relationship, which is when something goes wrong. You know, if you get through that you have a real relationship, which is often the supporting side of things and getting things back on track. And then what I've brought to that role here at smart sheet, which is things I've learned in places like service now and and vm ware before that, is making sure it's all wrapped up in a prescriptive journey for how customers maximize their value by injecting risk and cost. What you do when you put a new software platform into your operating environment excellent. I mean, through the years, year we saw like the services team getting a customer up and running, then handing it over to someone and support. Then this new role of customer success kind of came around and everything always seem siloed. So it sounds like all that, plus kind of being an advocated that thinks is becoming part of this customer success for some role that I get there right. That's exactly right. So it's unfortunate if a customer has to be the workflow and the navigator between what'son success versus what's in support versus what'son services. Right, that should be seamless. And so when you put it together into a common word under a common leader, you start to create engagement methodologies that make it seamless, so that really everyone in that word is trying to do two things make sure customers are super, super successful on their attempts to achieve value and that we're advocating for any change we should be making internally in products or processes to show up the way our brand promises. We will love it all right. So, prior to the podcasts we had discussed a little bit about the importance about understanding customers lifetime value. Can you share with US why lifetime value of the customers seems to be so important and basically kind of versus the cost of acquisition? Why is that so important? assasmade? Right, so we're not going to get into the dry technical unpacking of what's Lt v TWOKAC as a calculation means, but it's exactly what you're token on. At their Carlos, we just lost part of our audience and a pocket protectors and we're ready to go right. But if we talk about L T v TWOCAC in normal language, what we're talking about is a secular shift to renewals based business, an annual re occurring revenue, or even monthly we occurring revenue. And so if you say versus the past, from maybe people signed up and they bought an asset that they owned and they bought services for three or six years tie do it. You sort of knew that all the cost you incurred to make that prospect the customer, you had three or six years of benefits coming out of it. Now, that cost, you may still have three or six years of benefit, but only based upon how you treat them, because they may leave you one month in and a monthly plan or one year and an annual plan. And so therefore you know the fuse that the period you have to get it right is so much shorter, which means that all of these post sales experiences and teams, it's super important. The macroeconomic environment makes even harsher. In general, I think right now, if I look at my own business and the ways I'm spending going to spend money the rest of this year, I'm going to spend more money with the people I already have in terms of vendors and suppliers than I am to try some new flyer on a new idea with a new vendor. Right. And so if you're out there as a sales professional and you're thinking about your prospect accounts versus your existing accounts. I think there's huge opportunity for us to go expand our existing accounts just because of all the new sort of ways that procurement and financial teams and customers aren't putting any spend under scrutiny. That's gonna be easier with the people that have already earned good will, have already proved themselves in your vendor community, and so I think expansion versus landing new accounts could be a great growth lover. And that's what customer organizations do, that's what customer chief customer officers organizations do. That's what we've been hearing more and more as well, Michael, is that that expansion opportunity is a top focus for a lot of our clients...

...and it seems like now more than ever, mapping that customer journey is important. What does that look like as a maturity of a customer, the growth of a customer? So what have you seen as best practices like? Shouldn't this really start back in our sales and marketing motions? Yeah, so I think most great companies that are disrupting or improving a market start by really listening to and being led by the invitation of their customers as to the right way to find market fit, the right way to have differentiated value, like the very customer. Lad but once you're a few years, a few million dollars, a few thousand customers into that journey, especially in the assas environment, where you're running the customers environment, you are operationally seeing and managing the entire journey, it's incumbent upon you to start to mind those insights and complement the anecdotal data of getting from customers about what they want, what they like, their hopes and dreams. There the channel Lenges with what the data actually says in terms of at scale, that this is the way that people go from initial states of value, maturity, intensity of usage, scale of usage and the outcomes they're pursuing early in their journey to, you know, the sort of Nirvana later states of their journey, and to start to prescribe the breakpoints at which some customers stall out and they never really get past the initial endings of maturity, while other customers push through it. And when you start to map those journeys you'll find that there are heuristic leaps, there are solutions that you can give your customers at scale so they get maximum value, they get the maturity faster. They achieve scale in a more great way through the prescription of what everyone else has already figured out. And, let's be honest, most customers, especially in a semi recessionary environment, they want to do what they know everybody else has proven works, and that's what mapping a customer journey does, right. What does everybody else like me use your products for it? How does everybody else like me get the most value from your products? And how often the sellers have heard that? And how many times did you make up the answer? Right, like, what we should be doing is mining the data and insights and giving you the answer. And you'll initially get comments that like you can't get that those answers from the data we have. You can't easily, but you can get the answers right. It just take some effort. Right. No, that's very true, and something that luckily, we are also hearing more of is people trying to truly understand what it's like to be in their customers shoes, all the way from like we work with STR teams, prospecting teams, all the way through to that CSM organization that's really helping to grow, expand nurture those relationships and hearing companies talk about having their strs empowered to truly understand their customers perspective, I think is a shift that I definitely didn't see when I started out over a decade ago. There was very little exact type of commitment to understanding that perspective. So I think we're headed in the right direction. For sure. That's right. And when we do that work post sales, back to your sort of initial framing of should this come from marketing and sales? It informs marketing and sales. So as we do this work in the context of what customers actually experience, we bring it closed loop back to inform the brand premise change, the targeting of where we'll play and why we will win in terms of where we market, and then the SDR a new business rep sort of penetration areas. I love that because it's actually advice that I give clients. Sometimes it's like we'll talk about Oh, like, what's the I C P? Do you understand how to speak to these customers? What's the messaging is supposed to look like? How do you make it compelling? And I'll literally say, don't you have a CSM T talk to them. They're talking to your customers every day, all day. They know exactly what is compelling to them about working with us as a company. They know exactly the value realized by them by working with us as a company. So I love to hear you say that. So, Michael, with today's competitive landscape and, as you had professor or mentioned, the Economic Times that we're facing, is it so much more than just positioning product features and functions? Is it more than understanding at that level...

...what the value is? Can you provide your views on that? Absolutely, in any environment, including this one, it always comes down to opportunity costs. Right, you're gonna get to a buyer who has less budget than they have great ideas presented to them and they're going to have to Trea as your prioritize top ten spend items out of fifty that haven't r o I, but which are the top ten with either the best R I or the most strategic impact. And so it is. It's more important than ever to have a really clear reason why you're going to be in the top ten list or, in this environment, maybe the top three. Right, the top three projects are gonna get it reproved. And there's two parts of that discussion. One is it's clearly it's the financial side and you've got people involved in that decision process that are just looking at things like internal rate of return, R O I, that present value hurdle rate, et CETERA. But then you've got another group of people in that same meeting that maybe aren't on the procurement and finance side but own the business results, that are saying, but I'm I need to make this shift. If I make this shift, I will drive growth or I will improve return or I will put the outcomes. And so you have to have sort of the heart and the mind. And so the mind side might be tied to, yeah, those hard financial measures in the business case, but then you have to provide the context of why it's worth, why do anything at all, and that has to be that you have to have established what major business objective you're contributing to. Right. So is it a top line? Is it the bottom line is at risk? Is it about customer experience? Is it about Rep Productivity? Is it about making your brand premise reel in the market? And so if you do those two things and the journey can do that if you're building a good, prescriptive customer journey and only says how you get from low maturity to high maturity in a prescriptive, successful way that people have already proven, but it puts it in the context of most people start with us to save money. Then they progress because they realize if they share these same capabilities that are saving the money internally with how they interact with their customers externally it helps them make money right. And so if you create a good journey, it will prescribe not only the way you consume features in your platform or your product from early to late states of maturity and adoption, but it will also show how the context of why a company is putting you into that new process, exposing you to those users, how that changes over time, too often from cost based to revenue based to risk based, and that is often tied to bigger conversations around a shift that exists at the boardering level of we're trying to reduce friction on how we do business with customers and that's been on that growth as an example. Well said, Michael. I know you. You're a great networker and you have a great group of friends. I can't tell you. I'm bringing that up because I can't tell you how many million, sometimes even more than that, size companies we deal with that are we catch them and they're just trying to transition from being enamored with their products or their platform to really trying to be more of a value based kind of selling motion. And you talked earlier about this focus on business outcomes. How important is it and how do you help companies that are didn't catch onto that early enough and are trying to make that transition? Any advice there? Yeah, so, if you're fortunate, you're in this situation I've seen before, which is you've created enough goodwill with some of your best customers that they're inviting you into the boss's bosses room for a basically a thank you meeting, right and they're saying, Hey, Carlos, we really love what you guys have done. From us, I hear there are only positive things from the team, and then you start to launch into all the things you want to do next and they start saying, well, frankly, we're kind of done, like you did a good job, you delivered what you said you would, which most people don't, and so that's why I wanted to meet you. But what we're kind of done, and so if you haven't set that larger business context, you end up in a prison of success, right, where they've sort of put you into a box as to what you're using, what you're good for and the types of problems you solve based upon just the initial deal. And you have to break out of that prison of success and you do that by reframing essentially into a larger...

...game. That what I did at the project level to take out cost if we did it at scale, it would show up on your income statement or it would show up on your balance sheet, right, depending what type of process work with the type of costs were taking out. And then you have to have some really tangible examples that if you know enough about the customer, sure you're tying it to their initiatives, but if you don't know enough, for about the customer, you should create a journey that says this journey is propelled by these major industry drivers. Right. So, for instance, maybe it's this thing called distributed work and work from home and the new digital workplace, and you know every single customer is gonna be struggling with that so if your solution is a part of that, you don't want to just say I'm a video conference and solution. You want to say that this is part of a larger strategy that all of our customers are considering, which is the future of digital workplace. And then you're getting yourself into a different frame of mine. Same thing for us at smart sheet. It's not that we're just a better way to do project management and work intake. It's that we're defined it with changing the way people work so that anyone, anywhere can change the way they work in a low code and Code Way and that you can see that change at scales, so that you can tell what a thousand of your employees are doing and all that effort they're putting in, is it going to help you get your major business objectives or not? So it's super important to change the frame so that you're it's still credible, it's still threaded back to the features and functions that you actually deploy, but it's in the context is something that they're talking about before you come in the room because it's top of mind. I love that we talked about value something. We talked about their business objectives and business issues. That's exactly what you're talking about, these higher level business goals and how we can help the client achieve those goals, versus just fixing the smallest little problem or this even even bigger little problem over here. Because he started adding those little rocks together, they have a measurable impact and all the way you put that. I will say that sometimes I'm talking to customer success teams, for example, the first problem I kind of get rend into, it was like the light bulb goes off because this is good and I just haven't been asking about that sort of stuff. I've been trapped in these more of these technical features and getting them working versus understanding the customer, their journey and what they're trying to do as a business, and it's kind of requires them to kind of pull back a little bit and get the bigger picture and the other part of it. I also feel like they get trapped in talking to lower technical folks. I'm not trying to just say anything bad about lower technical ficus. I don't need a whole bunch of email on it. They're important too, but if someone is responsible for that aspect of the business, it's unfair to ask them, hey, what are those bigger business objectives that you're trying to do. They're not living that every day. You know, any advice after customer success on how do they use maybe even the greater team to try to get that perspective? Yeah, absolutely well, one of the basics I remember from the first time I sat in a value selling class with you guys, which you cannot you're not actually selling if you're talking to someone who can't buy right. And so it's sort of the same thing. Like if you're in customer success, your job is to delight users and unlock understanding of features in the context of these cases that drive to their retention and expansion of that customer. And so if you're only doing half of that sentence, because you're only talking to the people that that basically are going to fill out the C sat and the NPS score on how much they like your product, you're not talking to the people who are going to decide whether to broaden their usage of the product and or even keep you as a tool in the tool set. You're not doing the whole job. You're not doing the full version of customer success if you're only speaking to users. Because the leading indicator is yes, get people in the APP, get the usage up and get the and make sure that they're happy in their usage. But the lagging indicator that ultimately pays your bills and my bills is when they expand or they were new. And so that's where I mean. If you look at the Public Trade Company and smart shooting, in the two years that that I've been on this journey, you know, went from the ant dollar attention rate in the one twenties too, now we're up to one thirty three. We went...

...from a turing rate of double digit turing rate and now, you know, a low single digit turn rate. And so and it is all about making sure we're spending a balanced amount of time between the users and the decision makers and buyers, between the delighting them and solving the problem that they're currently focused on to also talking about planning where they could use us in problems that are on the horizon and being as comfortable with explaining how our products problems as we are uncovering what problems are most important solving and the way we would measure value by solving. Now do you that's smart she do you divide that up, and too, across multiple roles? In other words, have a customer success rep that's working with you, but I may also have an executive assigned to some key accounts. Any advice there? Yeah, absolutely. I mean we have a very long tailed business, meaning like we don't have an eight twenty business, where of our customers that create eight percent of our revenue. We're a long tail right. So we have to make our three thousand dollar a year customers successful because we have so many of them. And then, of course we have our four million dollar your customers that we also wanted to be wildly successful. But the coverage strategy and the segmentation strategy and the executive involvement strategy is very different across the three thousand dollar versus the four million dollar customer. And so you got to have a tech touch motion as you go into those lower air our approaches, but some of those tech touch motions are driven by a specialist who really really knows an area in depth that your General C S M does not. Just like. As you go upmarket to those larger, more strategic segments with larger air are yeah, you do start to put together a village of folks that you c Semon is the whole relationship. You have a product specialist who's coming in to address a particularly high value but maybe complicated feature set to make sure it maps with the use case. Maybe you have a value specialist right, someone who is coming in and asking some questions about usage in the context of impact and starting to put a financial proxy in place for what it would be and providing benchmarking data for for costs and benefits that your audience doesn't have in terms of what's it worth to save an hour a week for a project manager in our world? And then, yes, executive sponsorship very, very important. I mean that higher you going your own organization and more comfortable they're going to be having business outcome and business issue and business context conversations as opposed to only the future function conversations. You and Lisa mentioned earlier a little bit about the economic climate and, let's face it, more and more every day we hear about a new inflation report or something else and it isn't just a US problem. What's a global problem. So in thinking about that right, we've all been world enough. We've been through some ups and we've been through some downs in the any advice on how an organization could better leverage the chief customer officer and their team to really try to survive and excel during these economic times. Yeah, so one of them we touched on earlier, which is I think it's a time to get close or stay close to the customers you have, because people are gonna be looking to do more with the folks that have already delivered for them, versus trying new relationships. Right. So that CS team and that renewals business is going to become super, super important, as it's, I think, going to be the source of a lot of growth. The second is I think it's always they're welcome when someone comes to you UN solicited and says, I see this macro trend and I wonder how it's impacting you and what is it we could be doing to help and if you're prepared with instead of just reacting to their things saying yeah, we love a Christ discount or we love something for free, if you were instead to also come in and say, because we've looked at the way you're using the product and we see a little bit of a difference between all the things you're entitled to be doing with the product versus the way you're using it, could be intensity of usage, it could be the features...

...that you've turned on. It could just be that certain best practices that unlock value your team doesn't seem to be deploying in what we can see of the usage profile, and offer to invest in working with some of the process owners or the leadership to say let's really maximize the value that is being left on the table, that's leaking out of this product, because shame on us together, we've not maximized and optimized what you can get out of what you are you know. And if you go through that process without trying to get them to sign up for more premium features or more users or more bells and whistles, you're going to come across invitations to learn about new bells and whistles. Right. It's shouldn't naturally happen along the way. I love that. I love that. So we talked a little bit about LTV and CAC, not to scare more people off, but what are some other things like, and you were just saying about well, I guess would be maybe NPS scores. Of what other things should C C os be looking at measuring to understand the impact of the overall business? Yeah, so I think it's really important to first have a balance between leading indicators and lagging indicators. Right so, especially when we're talking about the post sales world, we're sort of the the end of all these great things that brand marketing did, that solution marketing did, the product marketing did that, then sales executed and that product continued to improve and then, okay, we got a customer to sign up. The rest of the journey continues, but so much of it has been framed so within that we have to very quickly have some leading indicators in our part of the journey. The lagging indicators are well understood, right there in the financial statements if you're publicly traded company, right there. They may be gap or non gap standard, but they're they're very standard. And it's things like net dollar attention rate. It's things like sharing rate, which is how many dollars you lose of the total dollars you were doing. They are things like MPs, which is how do I feel on a scale of one tendent, my likeliest to recommend to a friend or colleague doing business with you, and you get those outcomes of losses, retention rate and MPs, and it's too late actually to fix them. So what are the leading indicators? Right? They're gonna be different for different businesses, right, but in most businesses it starts with getting from selling a bunch of something to actual people who have agreed to create their logo on credentials, to access to that system, to use that things. A very basic thought of like we've sold the capacity. How are we doing on allocating that capacity to someone who's trying to do something right? Real basics, right. The step after that, now that I know who is a person, is it has access to this amazing asset we've sold them in the provision. Then how often are they trying to use it? Right? And then the third is on as many interactions as possible. It could be in the product, it could be a survey afterwards, it could be an invitation to a webinarmuned conversation, just really that interaction, basic sat feedback that says how are they feeling about things? Right? And then there's so much of this. In a digital project you can do in the APP, but if you're not in a pure digital project product, you can do it through your marketing campaigns and through surveys and things like that as well. Right. That's great, and clearly smart sheet is a top leading company in this kind of thing. However, we're curious, do you have any other examples of organizations you admire for their customer service, their customer offerings, their customer first, customer centric attitude? How did they get it right and why do you think that? Yeah, there are so many, and there's so many. Also that it's not a constant state. Right, like if things were constant in life and entropy didn't exists, it would be easy. Right, Carlos would never get on a scale again because he just worked out and ate right for that one month and everything was set up right. Sure you how to bring my weight into this ten years. So there's so many great companies out...

...there that are that are getting this right, and it's I think most of them start by really aligning to the user, and that's where CS comes from, and really aligning to that user experience and empowering that user. And it's empowering that user not only to be successful with the product but to tell their story of how they're successful with giving them a platform to tell their story, and that could be through things like user groups, that could be through things like customer evidence programs that could be through conferences and essentially getting your unsung heroes to become heroes, right. So I when you look at we have some fun smart shoot around our partnership with mcclair and f one racing, but the people that we're putting on our customer evidence are not Daniel Ricardo and land of Morris, the drivers, although they're great and they say things about us and it's really fun for me, it's six four, to stand next to those guys and take a Selfie and see how modest there that they are. But it's the people that are that we're making our testimonials about. In terms of our partners ship with McLaren racing, is the off track heroes, right, and so actually branding the off track heroes around that, and it's the people that are using smart sheet to change the way they run the business at McLaren. When I was back at vm ware, it was very much about the people in the data center, right, and and how the work they were doing by turning hardware and the software through virtualization software from vmware. There's always sort of tongue in cheek. It was saving all this money by taking a big room of computers and making it a small room of computers because of the power of virtualization. But it was saving marriages. was saving marriages because we were making hardware less prone to failure, making it more fault tolerant, by taking things that used to be able to be broken in one place and instead of make the mobile through software so you can move it to someplace that wasn't broken. Very commonplace now in the cloud world, but not fifteen years ago in the world of virtualization. And so, putting in that context that you know as a vm ware administrator, we were saving marriages by helping people not have to up in the middle of the night and manage and how did you go to the Dataset, right, and so that you do want to start telling stories that both have that heart and mind that is really making a hero out of the person who's solving the problem and or feeling the pain of the problem, not just the executive who owns the big financial outcome. Right, and people will lean into that sort of that sort of invitation, which is to help the little guy do the right thing, to serve the customer, improved the business, health their peers, etcetera. So we're trying to drive your customers to adopt your technology. Make them personal stories, right, make them personal stories about the little guy with the big problem is trying to do the right thing and how you're helping that happen. I love it. When I moved from Chicago to California for this, I guess really my first kind of tech startup, Kort of thing called they're ready public. At the time. I look back and one of the things that we had early on was this program called wereaving fans and, Michael, that's kind of the whole thing. Beyond it was from our support and services side of the House and I was like, Hey, we're trying to create raving fans for our technologies. Go to talent table and you can't get there if you can't connect on some level of personal value for them. You can't just being a better feature. It's sometimes I kind of took around like we're most loyal to the products or brands, not because they got everything right, but how they reacted when they didn't. So we can kind of go from there. All right, is there what's some number one thing you think most people get wrong maybe in trying to do something like this and develop that customer focused environment. Yeah, so I think that if you're trying to make a shift in how you show up with customers and really be customer first and customer focus, that the biggest mistake I see people make is underestimating their appetite for that change versus their torchtion. Right. So this idea that I'm going to do a wholesale change everywhere, right, and so it's in terms of every part of the post sale journey,...

...every customer, every market, every version of our product. So a mile wide and an inch deep. Or, on the flip side, starting with focus, but starting with focus in such a way that the solution will never be able to scale, right, meaning that it's it's a great solution for the one percent of customers that spend that create of our revenue. But like, what about the the other of our customers that we couldn't afford or logistically ever support putting that amount of care and wrapping around that account? And so you've got to sort of find the goldilocks zone in the middle. Okay, it's a wide enough percentage of our customers that will make a material sustaining impact not only the revenue but to sort of customers sentiment right, because it's not just the customers that spend the most with you that create the brand impact. It's the loudest voices, which are aren't always aligned. Often they're inversely aligned. Your biggest customers are pretty quiet that your smallest customers are making all kinds of ways in the market. So you've gotta in terms of the reviews online and the feedback on forums and so forth, right. So you've got to find that Goali loots one in the middle we're going to touch a large enough percentage of the customers that actually shifts brand perception and customer perception. But you do also have to pick a high ground, like it's a portion of your product, your market, for your critical moments in the post sales experience. That that's going to be the thing we're great at right and so maybe our make to make it real, maybe we have too many manual processes and executing our renewal, but we're going to make sure that customer onboarding is amazing right and it's like we'd love to fix both right now, but we've got to be honest. Customer onboarding is going to be the thing we're amazing APP and we're gonna be amazing at it for everybody who spends more than thirty thousand a year with us, but not everyone, right. Why? Thirty thousand a year versus a hundred thousand a year versus three us? And well, that should be data driven. That should be I should grab customers and all spend buckets are given the same amount of care in onboarding and see which ones, at renewal time, have I actually put them on a different rejecture. And so that was that's a real example from one of these firms that I looked at where we realized we could raise the bar and focus on onboarding above a certain threshold that was higher than we thought. We didn't have a downside down market because the expectations weren't that high with the small customers and how they were onboarding, and we could double down and really get the most value in the places where onboarding made of material. Yeah, you know, another area that again, I'm just thinking about this and will be my last point, is I see organizations wanting to put this focus on the customer in Business Outcomes, but they forget that, hey, he can't as have a tiny little team doing this. This takes resources. So if you know, I'm talking to someone's customer success droles. I'm all in. I have six hundred accounts. Story about just no way I'm gonna have enough time to give him that level of service. And that's, you know, kind of just kind of thinking through the scale of these things and the effort that it takes. Beyond folks, this is something that I kind of seeing. Until they either okay, we're gonna have a different level of service for a set of customers, that's all we can deliver, or we're gonna grow enough to provide that level of service for everyone, is something they need to kind of consider. All Right, Michael, this thing can go on for because I kind of love the topic, but I'm gonna Change Direction on you a little bit. We asked our guests to main or standard questions at the end of each of our episodes. The first one is this. As a executive, a business leader and organization, people are trying to prospect into you, their sales professionals trying to get to you. Can you help our audience understand what gets your attention? What's something that someone that doesn't know you, doesn't have a connection into your network for that warm connection? How do they build credibility and get your attention? Yeah, so two thoughts. depends. The first one is if...

...you're if I'm already a customer, versus from the prospect. So if I'm already a customer, the way you get my attention is with our love, tough love. Tell me what my team needs to be doing better, versus just sharing all the great news of how wonderful my team is. Right, and I used this myself in driving renew those conversations with customers. Right like, we all love and appreciate getting feedback that our teams are doing a good job, and we're happy to hear that. But we also were number. We're totally focused on how can we help them do even better. And so if you as a vendor, I'm already spending money with you. I've already got your solution in my environment. I assume you know more about how customers succeed with you than I do, and I assume there's probably someone out there who's doing it better that I'm doing. So share that insight in a constructive and thoughtful way. That suggests your teams doing this well, but if they were the pivot in this way, they could do even better. Right, and so I don't get enough of that sort of tough love and to push me to help my teams do things even better. And then the other obviously, as a as a prospect. It starts with knowing my business. I get a lot of solicitations that are based upon the fact that they've googled me. Right. I got someone who sent me a video of a pitch where they're playing the drums because they found out I was a drummer. And Yeah, I watched the video, but I didn't take the meeting or called them back right where they got? Yes, they got two minutes of my time because I watched the video, but I didn't take the meeting. Right. So, but the people who reach out and they clearly understand what we're saying is a publicly traded company, are hurls and they're bringing it back to what I control and what is happening in my world. That preparation is meaningful and more likely to accept the cold call. Show me you know me and not just me but my company. Yeah, my business. My challenge is yeah, yeah, we hear that a lot. Excellent, Michael. Last question. We call this our acceleration insight. What may be one thing you could share with our listeners, one piece of advice that you believe will really help them to achieve or exceed their goals and targets this year? Yeah, I think always that heart and mind work together on making decisions right, and so you very quickly, consciously, are subconsciously decide how much you trust and value a relationship and or a potential procurement partner. But and then you justify it right. You justify it based upon the R O I and the financial reasonable stuff. It's even more true in this environment right where there's less dollars to go around, less tolerance for risk, more expectation that if we take a chance, it needs to be proven that it's paying off successfully very quickly. And so I would just back to your earlier kind of Carlos. I have six D accounts. I'd just be really laser focused on okay, but if nothing changed, there's the two hundred that are going to do well enough to get you to your number. Where is the ten to twenty that, if something big change, would be major negle vers, and just try to get really tight on that ten to twenty or these in the last six months of the year. That you're anchored and financial value that Chev a unique and differentiated value statement. That value is not just dollars and cents, with dollars and cents and context of a business outcome that's core to the company's strategy. So you're not just doing good work, you're doing important work in that environment and then you're going to rise to the top of the pack. When they like to say yes to five solutions and projects and great ideas, but they're almost saying yes to two. They're not saying no to the others. They're giving them the slow no, which is we're gonna do this as soon as times get better and you don't want to be getting the slow now. Perfect, Michael. If a listener is interested in talking more about the topics we touched on today, what is the best way for them to get in contact with you? Yeah, obviously you love to help you out with any of this.

From a smart sheet perspective, to go out the smart sheet dot com and you're in the project, program process or operations space. And then more on the customer outcomes and customer rules that we talked about today of services success support. My linkedin is the best place to find me. So Michael Hubbard Info, one word Michael Hubbard Info. Look forward to here in form you guys. Amazing, Michael. We can't thank you enough for your time today. It's been really great having you on the show. Thanks so much, Lisa. Thanks Carlos. Let's have a great second half of the year here. It sounds good. All right, everyone that does it for this episode. Please check US out at www dot B two b REV EXAC DOT com. Share your episode, this episode, with your family, friends, dogs, kids, the Co workers and if you like what you here, please do us a favor and throw us a five star review on itunes. Until next time, myself, Carlos, not j and the whole team here at the B Two b revenue executive experience wish you nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the B two B revenue executive experience. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show on Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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