Building your initial Customer Success team can be challenging and time consuming without understanding how to properly manage the process. This week on the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast, we are joined by Allison Pickens, the VP of Customer Success and Business Operations at Gainsight, who sheds some light on exactly how she setup and manages the Customer Success team at Gainsight. For those of you that don't know, Gainsight provides a Customer Success software solution and also manages a community of Customer Success leaders.
Today, Allison spoke with us about all the do’s and don’ts of establishing a customer success team. In the episode, we cover how to define CS, when to create a customer success team, how to manage your first hire, and even some common pitfalls to look out for. We also discuss the goals of CS and how it should fit into a company to maximize its positive impact.
We hope you enjoy learning about “Building your Initial Customer Success Team”. For even more information on Customer Success, visit Allison's blog where she posts weekly on the topic!
In the SaaS world, a proof of concept can be a Honey Pot—a quick preamble to a great customer win—or a Bear Trap—a drain on resources without clear end in sight. Ken Pouliot of Gigya joined us in the studio this week to share his framework for a repeatably effective proof of concept. If your customers try before they buy to any extent, we know you'll enjoy this latest episode: "The Proof of Concept Deal: Bear Trap or Honey Pot?"
Ken is VP of sales at Gigya, a customer identity management firm that helps customers turn anonymous visitors into known customers, enabling the collection of rich first-party data. With years of enterprise sales experience, Ken has seen the proof of concept play out both ways at companies like Box, Symantec, Veracode and Verisign. In his experience, a few key structural choices can turn a proof of concept into a startup sales team's secret weapon, giving reps valuable experience and paving the way for lower-friction reference sales. Without the right structure, however, you risk a POC becoming a time-consuming experiment in frustration. In today's episode we'll discuss a framework for structuring proof of concept deals that will ensure all parties are on the same page, with clear milestones, timelines and expectations, helping your sales team turn POCs into Honey Pots that close big deals reliably, rather than risking valuable time, focus and potentially even IP.
In this episode, Ken leads us through the best ways to make the most out of running a proof of concept, with specific pointers around key considerations like length, milestones, and the involvement of sales vs. engineering. Happy listening and make sure to subscribe on iTunes for a new episode every week!
Prospecting is something that every sales executive thinks about constantly. The goal of prospecting is always the same: Convert prospective customers into current customers. However, successful prospecting methods may differ by industry and today we had Max Spitalnick on the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast to discuss some of the unique prospecting methods for commercial real estate SaaS. Max is a Sales Executive at Hightower. For those that do not know, Hightower is a leading commercial leasing management platform that enables brokers and owners to better conduct their end-to-end leasing workflow. The platform allows CRE professionals to collaborate with their teams, manage important files, and update deals all in real-time from the web and mobile devices.
Today, Max spoke with the Bowery Capital team about some of the unique prospecting methods he has found to be successful for selling into the commercial real estate industry. We cover everything from identifying the target customer, nurturing that customer and even how to navigate through some of the common sales blockers to ultimately close a deal. We also touch on some of the specific industry challenges in prospecting and how Max has been able to overcome these. Lastly, we closed out the discussion with some of the negotiation tactics that Max and his team use when they get stuck in the prospecting phase for too long. We hope you enjoy listening to these unique prospecting methods for commercial real estate!
This week, Bill Hobbs joined us in the Bowery Capital studio to discuss "Growth Hacking With User Behavior." Bill is the VP of Sales at Totango, a leading customer success management platform and a company deeply steeped in the importance of user behavior.
Growth hacking, no doubt, is an overused term, but we take it here to mean tips and tricks you can use as an early-stage founder or employee to win more customers faster and keep them longer. What we'll talk about today is how to use your existing or past users' behavior in product to drive or improve growth hacking techniques. You might be familiar with the fact that you can use product engagement data to reduce churn, improve trial conversion and drive upsell / cross-sell (if you aren't, I'm sure Bill and his colleagues at Totango would be happy to tell you). But we'll discuss how you can take growth hacking a level deeper through the micro-segmentation of your users or customers by behavior, and also by other potentially relevant factors such as role or industry. These strategies don't apply just to freemium solutions focused on conversion or post-sales efforts (churn / up-sell & cross-sell) either. If collected properly, user behavior during beta and trial periods can be used to increase close rates. That data is equally valuable in crafting your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), sales scripts, ad / content marketing copy, and much more. As Bill will tell us, successful growth hacking requires a deep understanding of your target user and there's no better way to develop that knowledge than product engagement data.
Bill's growth hacking expertise goes back to his first career working with Fortune 500 companies to turn around struggling business lines by restoring rapid revenue expansion. Since then, he's served on the Board of Advisors to several tech companies, founded two businesses, led sales at Chartbeat, had a cameo in film The Wolf of Wall Street, and became a bestselling author with The Work Book: How To Build Your Personal Brand and Get Hired (check it out here). Today, he advises business leaders to help them master the art of growth hacking: expanding into new markets, growing revenues and building sustainable business models. And of course, as VP of Sales at Totango, he heads up business in the Eastern US and EMEA markets.
In today's episode, we'll explore 10+ growth hacking techniques leveraging user behavior that every SaaS salesperson, marketer, customer success rep and early-stage founder should consider. We hope you'll give the full podcast a listen here. Until next week!