The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

72. Better Marketing Through Product, Sales, and Customer Conversations w/ Shanee Ben-Zur


Now more than ever, having a focus on the customer experience matters. If we're not empathetic to what our customers are going through, we won’t just not make a sale, we’ll make an enemy. This timely reminder underscores the importance of customer data as an avenue for relating to the deep needs of the customer. 


You’ve heard of account-based marketing and selling… Account-based information ties into the customer experience just as closely.


In this episode, I interview Shanee Ben-Zur, Head of Marketing, Media, & Growth at Crunchbase, about using data to develop fuller pictures of your customers:


What we talked about:

- Shanee’s A/B test strategy and project team

- CX touches wants, needs, and desires - not just finances

- Organizing and interpreting customer interviews

- Deeply understanding who the customer is means recognizing their stress & problem solving from a desire to help

- If you can’t measure it, should you be doing it?

- Where sales meets marketing meets product

Subscribe, listen, and rate/review the Customer Experience Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play or Google Podcasts, and find more episodes on our blog.

Now more than ever, having afocus on the customer experience is important because if we're not empathetic to what ourcustomers are going through, it's not just that you won't make a sale,it's that you're going to make an enemy. Potentially, the single most important thingyou can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for yourcustomers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment,achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. Thisis the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. Your dataisn't always telling the full story. To reveal more meaningful insights, you haveto do something unscalable. Talk to your customers. Our guest today brings ideasto get a better, fuller picture of your customer Pr Social Media Content,marketing, influencer marketing, life cycle marketing, demand Jin, you name it.She's done it at companies like dropbox and VIDEA and sales force. Shecurrently serves as head of marketing, media and growth at crunch base. ShaniBenzor, welcome to the customer experience podcast. Thank you. Nice to me hereyeah, I really appreciate your time and I'm looking forward to the conversation. But before we get going, you're in San Francisco. What's the stateof affairs with regard to the coronavirus pandemic? How's it affecting you or your teamor your customers? Just kind of set the scene there. Well,I've been in social isolation for almost a month now, so I'm on myfourth week of being in my home and working from home. We made thetransition pretty quickly at crunch base. Once we saw things accelerating, we madethe decision that we were going to go remote and we went from a almosta hundred percent in San Francisco headquartered company to a one hundred percent virtual company. And I think a lot of other SASS companies in the area went throughthe same thing and that in of itself was very stressful. That, compiledwith what's happening in the world, was more stress. And then, youknow, we are a company that sells to a lot of other companies thatare kind of at the forefront of dealing with this and they are stress.So overall, I would say it's kind of an unprecedented amount of stress andactually now more than ever, having a focus on the customer experience is importantbecause if we're not empathetic to what our customers are going through, it's notjust that you won't make a sale, it's that you're going to make anenemy potentially. I've seen a lot of people on linkedin saying if you sendme in a note right now and you don't acknowledge what's happening, you're goingon the junk pile. Yeah, it is. Everything is heightened. Sofor you, how big is your team that you manage? I have twentytwo people on the team right now. And how what's that process like?So when I first started at crunch base about a year and a half ago, we were a team of five. So we've grown very quickly in thattime and we are still adding a couple team members even throughout this you know, I think for me it's about having really clear swim lings for each personon the team. We span pretty much the entire funnel for marketing, frombrand all the way down to user retention, and each of those teams needs toknow what their perview is. But I also really care about teams workingtogether. So we do a lot through slack through scrum meetings to try toshare out what the key learnings from one pod are with another pod and hopefullyidentify where there's some like economies of scale versus just more isolated and in apretty already isolating time. So you already mentioned customer experience wants. When Isay customer experience, what does that mean to you? What is that termcapture or represent? I think a lot of times in businesses we focus onwhat we want from the user. We want them to pay US money,we want them to be more active in the product, and I think thecustomer experience is more about what the user wants from us and more about howthey actually feel when they interact with us. Yeah, that feeling is a really, really key thing that I'm hearing more and thinking a lot more aboutin so it's this idea. I love what you offered. There's just akind of flip it a little bit and...

...think about how our decisions make themfeel about themselves, about us and our products and services, etc. I'mfamiliar with crunch base, but for anyone who might not be, who iscrunch base? Who are your customers and what problem do you solve for them? Yeah, so crunch base, the name has been around for a longtime. We actually spun out as a company about five years ago and itis essentially a database with some really strong social tools on top of it thatallow you to source for prospects, whether you're prospecting for a sales lead oran investor, or you're an investor looking for an entrepreneur. People come onto our site because we have information about many, many private companies, typicallyhard to find information, and we give them signals as to whether those companiesare healthy, scaling viable. We have got lots of categorization that allow peopleto really kind of drill down into what type of industries they care about andfor us, we're sort of trying to lead this trend around account based everything. So you've heard of account based marketing, there's account based selling and our beliefis now that there's more and more privacy laws at the sort of individualcontact level, the importance of account based information is is more than ever.So that's really what we try to do, is how people prospect at the accountlevel so that they know how to better use their time and fortunately,our unfortunately, now that we have so many companies that are dealing with distressaround coronavirus. Being able to know what companies you should start your search onversus just sort of like spray and pray at the lead level is also reallyimportant. The people who typically use US salespeople, number one. They're lookingto make deals. It's really hard to make deals when people are in financialdistress. The investor community also use US and entrepreneurs, and those are typicallykind of like our three core audiences. And then we also have a licensingbusiness where people who are building products that rely on company information can use ourdata. Really interesting. I love this idea of account based everything and you'reobviously well positioned to do it, especially with some potentially proprietary information to helppeople connect with their accounts more effectively. Have you seen the use go beat like in this account based everything concept? Obviously the applications in in the prospectingand sales process are easy to imagine, but beyond that, have you seenany interesting use outside of the sales role? Yeah, I mean whenwe started to kind of develop what we're working on some really big changes inthe product and when we started to develop it we were looking at what arethe types of relationships that happened between two companies and we realize, like anyperson who interfaces with another company could rely on account based x. So anexample would be like your bed person is trying to look for a partnership.You know when you go to a corporate website, you go wwwcompany namcom.There isn't like a website that's like hello bd, people come here, andI think that's sort of like a need we're trying to fill, as anyreal business to business connection that you need to make, whether it's in exchangefor money or in exchange for income and trade, like a bed deal typicallyis. There isn't a resource or a place you can go to, andthat's something that we're trying to explore because it's just super inefficient for me totype in like job title on a website and get anybody who has that jobtitle, but who knows if they're still in the company I thought they wereat. Who knows if their companies doing layoffs right now. They're very distracted. So that's that's really like the the niche we're trying to fill, whichis it's just a lot more efficient, it's a lot more effective, it'sa better use of everybody's time really good. So you've already talked about three specifictypes of customers. You are a data company with with a really coolservice layer over it. It sounds like let's talk about getting a fuller pictureof the customer. What is really interesting to you about this challenge of blendingessentially quantitative and qualitative? Yeah, I mean so, I come from kindof like a growth, hacking and growth...

...background and I think when people hearthat they shutter. I know typically engineering teams try to run away when theysee a marketing person from a growth background come into the room, and Idon't blame them, and I think it's because, you know, at theheart oftentimes engineers are extremely customer centric and they see that those little tweaks thatare too are growth oriented, aren't always with the customer experience in mind.There with the dollar in mind, and for the most part they're right.And what you want to look for as somebody who has some type of guardrailmetrics where you're not only prioritizing the dollar over the user experience. And anexample for us at crunch base we were experimenting with pay walls, with registrationwalls and pay walls and you know, if you push the paywall to thetop, current basis typically been a very strong fremium brand. If we wantedto push the paywall to the top, yeah, there would be some moneythat comes through initially, but the customer experience would be so bad and sodifferent from what people expect that we would likely turn a lot of our coreuser base away. So, even though we did some tests, we endedup removing any hard pay walls from the website and right now we only havesome like soft wall reminders, and we're even exploring what the user experience hasbeen as result of those. Interesting how do you in experiments like that?How do you kind of organize people around the opportunity to do the problem orthe challenge is just like a regular part of your you know, some partof your team's workflow, or like how do you how does that work comeabout? I love this idea of testing various types of walls. Yeah,so you know, when we first did it in the very, very earlydays, it was kind of like well, we never had trial, so let'sroll out trial and we never did this, so let's roll out this. And as we became more sophisticated, and this is really Kudos to theengineering and product team. We rolled out an a be testing platform. Weuse split and that allows us to make really educated decisions versus like well,it looks like all the numbers are better and not really know if there's likecannibalization happening. So that's one things. Having an a be testing platform isreally helpful. But beyond that, I think what we realize in terms ofgalvanizing the company behind an idea was first principles. So we spend some timecoming up with what our first principles would be. You know, things likeactually living our mission. Our mission is to democratize access to opportunities. Wereally think that if more people can do the thing they want to do,everybody benefits. So, like, is this wall democratizing access or is itnot democratizing access? That's one question we ask ourselves. We look at thingslike, you know, the signals that we have that customers are getting value. One of the things we want to do is actually deliver something valuable tothese or not just ask for something from them. And we did this likevery I wouldn't say it was a hundred percent scientific, but we took thefirst principles and for each of the scenarios of wall do were exploring. Wedid like a plus one if it helped towards the first principle and one ifit took away from the principle, in a zero and we vetted the opportunitiesbased on the AB test initially, using that score, and there were someobvious very negative ones, and so we drop those out and then the onesthat we're sort of in the neutral to positive then we started to make moresubjective decisions with the help of the people who are part of the working group. Excellent. I really love that approach. And when does the customer get involved? When do we do essentially the unscalable? When do we pick upthe phone or shoot out an email or set up a zoom call or whatever? When do you go directly to customers to to inform decisions for us?And I again I think this is a really strong vote of confidence behind theway our product team is organized. We are never not talking to customers.So before we even begin building a new feature, were interviewing customers. Youknow, we really wanted to figure out how we can build a better productfor the sales use case. So we've been spending a lot of time interviewingsales people in many different industries and that's to help us understand where would weeven start. And then once we launch a feature and it gets out ofyou know, we're when we're AB testing, we might do some like light interviewshere and there, but then once it gets out of a be testingit, it goes to a hundred percent.

Then we're sort of leaning on ourCX team to do, you know, a little bit more handson talking tocustomers. And on the marketing side we're monitoring social every day for anyproductive feedback that people are giving. We have we a is delighted, sowe're seeing what are people actually submitting in their delighted scores. So at alltimes we're looking at what our customers saying and if we ever see a trendor if we see an uptick in a specific conversation, that triggers another conversationeither within the product team at the executive level. It just allows us toconstantly be with our ear to the ground on what customers are feeling about theproduct. But I think one of the most important ones is knowing that we'rebuilding for what they want versus building for what we want. Again. Forme, that customer experience definition is what are their wants, needs desires?What are they dealing with within their lives, versus just our financial need? Yeah, so you mentioned several sources of customer feedback. How do you allorganize around it? I mean, does someone just like push the conversation buttonor the alarm button if something's getting really hot or you know, or doyou of a designed, like cross functional meeting around it? I mean like, for example, a bombomb? We've had a voice of the customer meeting. It's been in various iterations, driven by different motivations at different times andyou know, different teams have been represented differently over the years. So it'slike it's sometimes it's just top of mind. For me. How do you allyou know, with with the various sources of input you talked about?How do you organize around that information? I mean to be honest, Ithink we have a lot of room for improvement. I don't think we figuredit out yet. We haven't cracked the nut on it. It does feellike what we will will typically get the signal of like this metric seems outof whack, but I don't know why. And then we'll go in and investigatea little bit more deeply. There are some reports that come out ona regular basis. So the the UX researchers, they share reports on theresearch that they're doing. That's a lot of the forward looking research. Thecustomer experienced team shares kind of weekly and monthly feedback that they're seeing. Butwhat we would benefit from is having something like a voice of the customer CrossFunctional Meeting where we highlight, Hey, this is the key theme. Itshould probably impact this team's work. You know, maybe it's the marketing team. Sometimes we'll run an advertising campaign that might be too unclear what the goalis, or will have a content piece that's out there that maybe is controversial. Like there needs to be a way that those teams can direct the feedbackto the team that can actually take action, and I think that's something we're lookingat, but we haven't, I figured out yet yet. So justfor if this is useful to you or to anyone listening, we have delightedand we do some serving through Pendo, feeding into one slack channel that anyonecan subscribe to and that I find that to be really, really interesting anduseful, especially when people choose to add comments to the to the scoring,and so anyway, see it anytime it's it's really good. So you've mentionedyour CX team a couple times in so they're kind of two camps on thisper my. You know, dozens of conversations on this on the show.Some people that's just like an evolution or a sub team within customer success andfor other people it is it's this designed additional layer that works across multiple teams. What does CX mean for you from an organizational structural standpoint? So crunchbase has two product lines kind of. We have a self serf business that'sthe free crunch based most people know it's crunch based pro and then we havea direct sales business that sells an enterprise and kind of a licensing solution.The CS team covers many of the like larger accounts who have custom contracts.They have CS managers. And then on our self surf business, that's whereour CX team sits and they're kind of doing more of the scaled support.So that's that's really the division of labor between the two teams. They doroll up into one overall customer success director and she's thinking about how do wecreate a great experience for our customers through...

...out whichever product lying there on,and then we do a lot of information sharing between the two. So ifwe're seeing that there's an fqu coming in from our Self Serf Business, willshare that information over to our direct sales business. And often times, andwhy I say sort of like customer experiences, a non scalable but very critical thing. Oftentimes your sales people, your CS people, the ones who areon the front lines. They are the canaries in the coal mine and theywill bring you something that's not yet scaled and they'll say, hey, thisis something to look out for and, depending on how sensitive your team isto being able to pivot and change, you either take action at that pointor you take that information and you start looking for data that backs it upat scale. And that's what's happening with both our sales team and CS team. I mean just last week our sales team was telling us, Hey,our prospects are telling us that, you know, their budgets are getting frozen, and then when we go look at the data, we see are afewer people are starting trials and they were two weeks before now, and it'sa result of that. Or you know, we're seeing on the demanding side ofmarketing, we're seeing that we are getting the same level of MQLS,but those mqls aren't turning into appointments. And then when we talk to thesales team they tell us they're not even agreeing to get on the phone anymore. Like these are good leads, but those companies are dealing with so muchin the world. So again, it's not you know, if you wentto an analytics person, they would say this isn't statistically significant. But Ithink the business is an art and you are looking for that middle ground betweenstatistical significant kids and, frankly, human significance. It's really good. It'sthe art in the science piece of it. The so really good in that CSand sales are obviously customer facing. There are a lot of customer conversations. They're just by the nature of the role and having that come into marketingand other teams. When does marketing go out in and directly communicate with customers, like is that is that a regular thing, or is that on anan ad hoc as needed basis, like in terms of direct customer communication,besides, something something like social obviously, which is one of the channels youmentioned. When do you get out in talk to customers? Your team membersrather yeah, so I look at my product marketing team. One of theircore goals is to help us deeply understand who the customer is. So theysit alongside the UX research team in order to help us get a better understandingof the customer. And while the uxe search team is asking questions that relateto how people experience the product, product marketing team is asking questions about theperson. So an example would be like, you know, we now know that, for our our perspective, customers who are sales development reps, theylove reading sports publications, they love ESPN, and that's not a thing that theUS researcher would find out, but it is something that the pmm wouldfind out, and for as it gives us a glimpse into like, okay, well, if they love sports and now, because of coronavirus, prettymuch every major sport has been canceled, that's another layer of stress that they'redealing with with. You know, it also tells us, can we comeup with the sports analogy for something that we're talking about? You know,it's this three hundred and sixty view of you who the person is and whattheir highs are like, what their thows are like. That's the PMM teamand they're going out and talking to customers constantly. I think there's also sortof the engagement that we get. So when we send out an email tousers, most of our emails don't have no replies. There actually are repliablein boxes and we're reading that feedback. An example was we have a dailynewsletter that we send out that has kind of like the latest funding rounds fromcompanies, the latest acquisitions from companies, and we hadn't decided yet how wewere going to change that in light of coronavirus. So we were continuing tosend it out as normal and we got several emails back where people were sayinglike, I am glad to see that others are thriving, but I amtruly in the worst position I have been in my entire career and seeing thisnewsletter makes me feel bad. And for you know, for us, itwas like, okay, we were working on some other things. You hadprioritize some other things around coronavirus, but then we shifted our priority to makingsure that we had some kind of acknowledgement... that newsletter of like, ifyou need resources, these resources available to you. This newsletter will continue becausewe think that knowing what companies are still thriving is a positive signal for anybodyWHO's trying to do business. Still add such a good example and I thinkit's so important, mostly because I did it for years and I learned somuch doing it. Is Being I was to direct reply, like is theonly marketing person for several years every email, whether it was an offer or anewsletter, Webin or invite, whatever, came from my personal email address,which meant that I had and I felt like that gave me, asa marketer or just a really good feel and I love I love that exampleof what you offered and how you can take something and just, you know, a little tweak makes it more appropriate for the situation because you care abouthow customers feel. This is a kind of a call back to earlier inthe conversation, but it's something I was interested in. Is, you know, your first principles? Are these? Are these stated? Are they documented? How many are there in is scalability, like do you just crunch base inyour team? Have a position on some things that just are not appropriateto even work on scaling. Yeah, I think at this point our firstprinciples are decided almost in the kind of like not initiative level, that's toonarrow, but sort of overall project area will have first principles. There area few things that are unchanging, like that idea of are we giving morevalue than we're asking from the customers? Are we living our mission? Thoseare things that kind of are persistent through everything. But then there are somethat might be just specific to that particular kind of area of work and wetypically will publish those. We use like marketing request docs, are product requestdots. In those outline who the decision makers are, who the input peopleare and then also what the first principles are and what the hypothesis is.And typically, when you're one of them more senior of viewers, what you'relooking for is what's the like potential impact or scale and you're weighing that againstwhat are all the other ideas I've seen come across my desk. So thatquestion of how do you prioritize one thing or over another? That is reallywhat I spend most of my time with my team talking about is like thisis a great idea. Is this the idea to execute now, or isthere a different idea that you have in the hopper that would have figger potentialimpact? And we kind of triangulate between difficulty, likelihood of success and potentialimpact and using that triangulation will come up with what are the initiatives we prioritize? And we use the okay. Our system here nice is that monthly quarterly. So the okay ours our quarterly goals and then within each team we usethe sprint system, when we use a one week sprint and with these requestdocs the projects can last through multiple sprints, but they're essentially the tactics that willhelp us achieve the key result we've outlined. And are okay ours reallygood. So you have a very what I feel like is a very largerole. Can you just describe the scope of your role in specifically any philosophythat guides you shared some of it already, and then maybe let's transition from thereinto how you interface with other teams. You've already talked a little bit aboutthat, but you know the goal of the show is to talk alittle bit of alignment and it seems like. Seems like you have a lot tooffer there. So start with me again. The scope of your role. Yes, so I have several commas in my title, but what theyreally turn into is my team runs brand, product marketing, digital marketing, comsops, and I think that's all of it. It's essentially top offunnel, midfunnel consideration and then customer acquisition, demand generation and customer attention. Soit's really all parts of engaging with customers from before they've ever heard fromus to being a multiyear customer. And for me, my philosophy with thewhole team is one thing is if you can't measure it, should you bedoing it? Ask yourself that question. The other is we don't do initiatives, we do experiments. I think you...

...know, traditionally marketing is seen asa thing that does big, flashy stuff and is measured on the number ofstuff they do, and I don't want that to be what our team isabout. It's more around we have a hypothesis of what a particular project coulddo, we test whether it can actually do that and then we scale ittoo many users and by following that kind of ethos we're able to ensure thateverything we do provides value to the company and to the customer. And interms of the partnerships, we work really closely with sales, so we havea demand Gent team that is driving leads for sales. We're also beginning topartner with our CSTSM team to see if we can use some of the automationthat marketing uses on the self serf side to support how they manage accounts onthe CSM side. And we we partnered very closely with the product and engineeringteams because we're trying to help them figure out how do we bring to marketthe new features that they're building and how do we bring back some of thatwith the customer to them to inform with the product roadmap should be. Andthen the CX team. So I would say social sort of a shared servicebetween us and CX and because we are very closely aligned with product, wecan also give cx a heads up. Hey, this new feature is comingout, we think it might raise some questions. Can you help us kindof bulk up what is happening on the knowledge base with information to proactively tellthem? So in a lot of ways marketing is is kind of like aconnective tissue between multiple teams, and I think there's lots of points of connectivetissue. But for us we are one part service organization supporting those teams andone part strategy organization helping them think about how marketing should be supporting them.So smart. I love your approach and I want to know the answer tothe question. If you can't measure it, should you be doing it? It'sjust like kind of hearkens back to the kind of the art in thescience pieces, like can you think of something that you green lighted or supportedeven though it couldn't be measured? Yeah, I mean I think this is whereteams can get frustrated with leaders, because what they want is consistency andreliability and sometimes you just have to break the rules. I think one thingthat we've really been trying to drill into the team is that our primary targetaudience right now is the salesperson. But when this kind of coronavirus crisis tookover and we started to think about how can we provide value to our usersand it was really around highlighting free resources, we started looking for resources that alsosupported the other personas. That are typical uses of crunch base and Ithink people are sort of like wait, but you told us we have tofocus just on sales. Why are we doing this? And for me itwas like look, these are members of our community, these are members ofthe ecosystem. The purpose of this initiative is just to create a supportive environmentfor these people who are truly in distress. This is separate from our kind ofmore commercially prioritize gains. Is it confusing? Yes, I would beconfused if I was on my team. In my boss said way, butnow you want me to focus on everybody. But this is one of those exceptionswhere it's like these are exceptional times and I think we can differentiate ourbrand if we show that we actually care about what people are going through andthat we really do want to be helpful to them. So I hope thatmy team accepts that as a as a proper reason why we veered from ourvery strict course. Yeah, that is it is very challenging. We decidedsomething that we could do uniquely to help was to offer bombomb absolutely free toeducators at all levels, from like Pre k through PhD, and so,within like thirty six hours of green lighting the project, we had at live. It's been live for a couple weeks now and we've got like thirty fivehundred to four thousand, I don't know where we are exactly right now.Teachers of all over, from all over the place using it in order tostay facetoface with their peers and with students and with parents, and we're gettingreally good, positive feedback on it.

But to kind of what you offeredthere, it was like we knew it was the right thing. It's notcommercials, generating no revenue. In fact it's costing US money to a hostall the videos be you know, we're trying to have themselves served, butof course they're still in our communication channels, you know, needing some help andguidance, which is reasonable. And then the tension of you know,we still do have to adjust so much of the rest of our marketing andmessaging pieces at the same time. So how do you balance all of thisand where does it fall in the priority and how long does it stay apriority? It was like all hands for two days basically to get it live, and so really interesting and challenging. But it's this obviously, as you'reexperiencing leadership in a really, really unique time. You know, to yourpoint, sometimes you have to either break the rules or just throw them outor just not look at them or something. Yeah, yeah, I I neverexpected that I would be going through this and leading through this, andit's, you know, at times it's overwhelming because I care. I spenda lot of time caring. Right like, I cared deeply about my team,I care deeply about the company, I cared deeply about the customers,I care deeply about my own fan only in my own community, and allof that care is sort of overwhelming and it makes it difficult to make thelogical decisions that I've typically known for. But I think like if there everwas a time to not be logical, this is it. Sure, becauseit's a lot of it doesn't make any sense. I'm going to ask youa couple of questions that I really enjoy asking, especially with someone like youwho's working. You know, the way that you view your marketing team andwhat it's purposes and the way it connects to the rest of the organization,the connective tissue, as you said. What do you wish more product peopleor developers newer understood about marketing or the marketing function, like you're you're settingme up to start a fire. I'm not, I'm not. I havegot that reaction before, but I still like the question. I always findlike anyway, I won't tea that anymore. If do you have anything to offerthere? I think it's a very symbiotic relationship. You know, Iwould say that the tightest symbiotic relationships, again are that marketing product, marketing, sales and marketing see us and the marketing products symbiosis is we can giveinsight into what people want on an ongoing basis. We can also give insightinto what people will consume at a higher rate. So there's you know,I think it was apple who always talked about like people don't know what theywant, you know, and they're building these products that we never asked for. If you just ask the question, what do you want, you're goingto end up with a product that's a direct competitor of something they already know. We can help you with that sort of like what they don't even knowthey want, but what they need. That's part of the symbiotic relationship,this sort of informing the product roadmap. And the other is we can alsohelp understand when and how to bring those features to market. So yes,you could just keep releasing things on an ongoing basis and and just let itbe a steady drip of features to users. But there's something really powerful about kindof putting things into a bucket. So we might be able to helpyou understand. Hey, all these features, these things are collaboration features and Ithink you know in this time of isolation, collaboration is really important.So why don't we change the timing of the releases of these things and putit under this kind of messaging banner? And that's not something product has tothink about, but that is something that marketing things about and can help sortof inform, and that's around this like go to market strategy, go tomarket position and go to market messaging. That's really where we can be useful. where I have seen the relationship not be symbiotic or I've seen it sortof be less effective is when one team or the other is the soul leader. It really does have to be side by side. You know, ifmarketing is just informing product, they might be overpromising what they can actually deliver. If Product is the only one leading and marketing is involved. They mightjust be doing things into, you know, an echo chamber or like a treefalls into force and one hears it, kind of thing. But when theywork together, that's when you build...

...products that actually have product market fitand that customers really want and meet and understand. Yeah, that I likethe way you took that and I like the symbiosis language. Can you talkabout the same thing with regard to sales and marketing? Yeah, I meanit's it's so interesting because I have I've worked in organizations where those relationships werevery unhealthy and now in crunch based I think it's the first time where I'veseen them be extremely healthy. And I don't know if it's a factor ofthe company being so small that we actually have personal relationships, like I havea very close relationship with the head of product with the head of sales,and I don't know if that's the reason, but whatever it is, I wouldI would fight somebody if they tried to get in the way of theefficacy of that relationship. So the symbiosis between marketing and sales is on thesale side, what they're offering is that frontline canary in the coal and whatare people actually saying. In a lot of ways they're like the UX researcherfor us and on our side we are letting them know, hey, here'show we can get to scale. Like you may be finding that only peoplewith this very specific job title are the ones who convert. But if weonly focused on that before it gets to you, you won't have any leadsto work. So we're giving them feedback around like what's the macro trends thatare happening out in the world, and bringing that down to them. We'realso able to say, Hey, we've been doing these like top of funnelcontent marketing things, either ebooks or Webinars, and this is what's resonating with them, and and feeding that back to the sales team as like topical informationthat they could be bringing up. So it really is they're telling us what'sworking on their side, we're telling them what's working on our side and andagain we're triangulating what's actually the need of these are in the customer and Ithink the other part of the symbiotic relationship is because we have a tight relationshipwith product, we can help translate what it is that sales people are seeingcustomers or prospects ask for on the front line into a reasonable request for theproduct team because, you know, typically what you see happen is you'll haveone sales interaction where a prospect will say, Oh, I want this feature,and then that sales person will go to product and be like this iswhat we need and pot it was like, I don't even understand the words thatyou're saying. You can be the middle people for that and help translate. Yeah, this is a great that is a really good marketing function relativeto sales and product. I love that call out and I think you're absolutelyright. I do think the personal relationships make a big, big difference.There's just, you know, so much that comes out of a healthy relationshipwith another human that just can't be faked or replicated any other way than thenthrough the you know, knowing, understanding and appreciating the other person at thefoundation for being successful together. The emotional safety to be vulnerable between those teamsis also critical. So it really is you have to win together, butyou also have to fail together. And if there starts to be situations,especially now and in high times, where leads are going to be harder tocome by, if you have a situation where there starts to be finger pointingand that trust gets lost. That's also when, I think, that symbioticrelationship becomes unhealthy. So finding a way to build lots of visibility and transparencybetween the team such that anybody, anywhere can make a suggestion. No commitmentwhether it'll happen, but a feeling of like, Hey, I can throwthis idea over to you I know that you'll take it in the spirit inwhich it was intended. That, I think, is also a really important, important part of what makes the symbatic relationship work. It's fantastic. Ithink this idea of winning and losing together really prevents one of the worst thingsthat can happen from a from a relationship standpoint or a functional standpoint, isblaming you. You a looking for blame and these kinds of looks some ofthat negative behavior that happens when you're not losing together and being honest about itwith each other. And again, some of the keywords you offered there,including transparency, so that everyone understands exactly what's going on. I have soenjoyed this conversation. You have a lot going on. I'm going to giveyou the rest of your day back, but before I do I want tolet listeners know that if you enjoyed this...

...conversation, you might like episode thirtyfour with Michael Red Board, formerly of hub spot, for things every customerwishes you understood about them, and episode sixty three and more recent one withDavid Merman Scott creating fans through human connection. Shinny, before I let you go, I would love to know someone who you appreciate for the positive impactthat she or he has had on your life or your career. Caddie surveUS and she was my former manager at dropbocks. I'm a really direct person. Sometimes that is good, sometimes that is bad, and for most ofmy career I was told to just be softer, to be less intimidating,and I think that was really hard for me kind of growing up in mycareer, because I always felt like who I am was not right, whoI am was not good for the workplace, and caddy was the first person whosaid they're wrong. Who you are is what it makes you magical andlean into it. Flex to people. You're not trying to hurt other people, but lean into what makes you strong. Don't be afraid and honestly, itwas like an unlockgate where I just felt like I was able to achievea million times more than I ever had before because I wasn't wasteing as muchtime thinking about how to be smaller, how to be less. So hugethank you to caddy. I think she really changed my life in a lotof ways, starting with my job. The phrase I was thinking as you'resharing. That was like life changing me, like this opportunity to give yourself permissionjust to do what you do as you do. It is just sowonderful. Great call out there. How about a company that you really respector appreciate for the way that they deliver for you as a customer? SoI've been noodling on this, this idea, and I think I'm going to callit a really small, small business. I'm a member of a small wineclub up in Napa and originally I had my delivery address as my husband'soffice, because you know, you have to sign for alcohol in California,and I got the email notification that it was being shifted to the office andwe were under a lockdown. So I immediately shot them an email. Youknow, I'm just like shooting emails to random email addresses at the winery andI'm like hey, is there any way we could change this? And youknow, in less than twenty four hours they said no problem, they hadit redirected, which I can only imagine how difficult that was, and theythey were just like so happy to do it for me because they understood whatI was going through, being literally locked indoors, and I think it justshowed a you know, I can only imagine how stressful it is for them. They're very small business. I'm sure that as people lose more of theirincome, luxuries like wine are going to be things that they cut. Andyet they took the time to express loyalty towards an existing customer and go aboveand beyond what my expectations were of them. And I'm seeing that actually that levelof loyalty and customer focus happened from a lot of really small businesses.Is and I have this hypothesis and hope that there's going to be a resurgencein the sort of like cottage industry and maybe a beginning of a shift awayfrom the monolithic brands because of this level of customer focus. Yeah, it'sreally interesting to think about. I love the example, by the way,and it's it is I think they're going to be okay, and I saythat only because here in Colorado, when we got our state, they callour stay at home, when we got our stayathome order, they accepted,of course, grossries and some other things like that, but they also accept, up did the liquor stores and beer stores and wine stores, and samething happened to my buddy Steve Out in Pennsylvania. You know that. Theyfirst they closed the beer stores and then they opened the back up like aweek later. So I hopefully that business will be okay. But what youoffer is really interesting, especially is people's careers are disrupted and they need tomaybe reinvent whenever we're on kind of the better side of this situation that we'reall in right now, and so I have the same hope. It's reallyit's an exciting thought and I do think the kind of the essence of whatyou offered there too, is this idea that these are the times we aregoing to remember how the brands and companies...

...and products and services made us feel. So the ones that make us feel cared for long term Yalty. Thething that's all about empathy. Right now. It is. It's I'm seeing alot of that on Linkedin and it's nice. I hope that a lotof these things that emerge, including like I were recording this on a Monday, so you know I'm home, but I feel like now, a coupleweeks into it, we're not as far along as you are that I feelobviously closer to my family, because I see them a lot more, mywife and my son, and and closer to my neighborhood because I'm walking andrunning a lot more and at different times of the day. I'm more familiarwith the way the light moves through my own home during the day. It'sjust, you know, I'm hoping that some of these some of these smallthings, in these nice things, stay with us when some new normalcy returns. I agree. I agree. I think there's a lot of really interestingnew changes that are happening around us, and the people and the companies thatare agile and able to adapt to this world, I think we're going tofind so many cool new things happen. I'm also a little optimistic about this. Like obviously I hope that we find a way to stymy the the spreadof this disease because the like, the human impact is horrible. But thisis also where like interesting innovation is going to happen. People are going tobe more connected to their family, people are going to be more connected totheir communities, and that's a thing, at least in the US, we'veneeded for a while. You know, it's weird that isolation is what's drivingconnection, but it is. Yeah, I feel like all the social networksare a bit more lively than before. Of course, facebook in particular stillas kind of antagonistic as ever. It's weird how something like this can beso political, but I do feel like there is more people are there lookingfor that kind of connection. Of course, at bombomb because we make it easyto record and send videos and not just do zoom calls like this.Zoom, of course, is probably through the roof crazy busy right now,but so are we. It's really interesting, you know, on the one sidewe have people, you know, strung customers who are struggling, youknow, and they're reviewing all of their expenses and trying to figure out whatthey're going to do, but on the other side we have, I guess, generally speaking, lead flow. That is that we haven't seen in sometime. It's been it's also just so interesting. I am going to letyou get back to your day. I appreciate you so much. I appreciateyour time and I know if someone is listening to us right now they appreciateyour time and your insights as well. So if anyone wants to follow upand connect with you or with crunch bas where would you send people with crunchBas just wwcrunch bascom with me. I'm on Linkedin, Shitty Benzer. Thereown a lot of us, so you'll probably find me, and also ontwitter. Matchity Benzer. Awesome. Thank you again so much and I hopeyou have a great rest of your day and I hope you are unlocked soon. Thank you you too. Clear Communication, human connection, higher conversion. Theseare just some of the benefits of adding video to the messages you're sendingevery day. It's easy to do with just a little guidance, so pickup the official book. Rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos accelerate sales and improvecustomer experience. Learn more in order today at Bombombcom Book. That's bombthe OMBCOM book. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember thesingle most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a betterexperience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing rightnow in your favorite podcast player, or visit Bombombcom podcasts.

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