The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 years 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 a focus on the customer experience is important because if we're not empathetic to what our customers 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 thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. Your data isn't always telling the full story. To reveal more meaningful insights, you have to do something unscalable. Talk to your customers. Our guest today brings ideas to 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. She currently serves as head of marketing, media and growth at crunch base. Shani Benzor, welcome to the customer experience podcast. Thank you. Nice to me here yeah, 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 state of affairs with regard to the coronavirus pandemic? How's it affecting you or your team or 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 my fourth week of being in my home and working from home. We made the transition pretty quickly at crunch base. Once we saw things accelerating, we made the decision that we were going to go remote and we went from a almost a 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 through the same thing and that in of itself was very stressful. That, compiled with what's happening in the world, was more stress. And then, you know, we are a company that sells to a lot of other companies that are 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 and actually now more than ever, having a focus on the customer experience is important because if we're not empathetic to what our customers 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. I've seen a lot of people on linkedin saying if you send me in a note right now and you don't acknowledge what's happening, you're going on the junk pile. Yeah, it is. Everything is heightened. So for you, how big is your team that you manage? I have twenty two 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 that time 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 person on the team. We span pretty much the entire funnel for marketing, from brand all the way down to user retention, and each of those teams needs to know what their perview is. But I also really care about teams working together. So we do a lot through slack through scrum meetings to try to share out what the key learnings from one pod are with another pod and hopefully identify where there's some like economies of scale versus just more isolated and in a pretty already isolating time. So you already mentioned customer experience wants. When I say customer experience, what does that mean to you? What is that term capture or represent? I think a lot of times in businesses we focus on what 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 the customer experience is more about what the user wants from us and more about how they 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 about in so it's this idea. I love what you offered. There's just a kind of flip it a little bit and...

...think about how our decisions make them feel about themselves, about us and our products and services, etc. I'm familiar with crunch base, but for anyone who might not be, who is crunch base? Who are your customers and what problem do you solve for them? Yeah, so crunch base, the name has been around for a long time. We actually spun out as a company about five years ago and it is essentially a database with some really strong social tools on top of it that allow you to source for prospects, whether you're prospecting for a sales lead or an investor, or you're an investor looking for an entrepreneur. People come on to our site because we have information about many, many private companies, typically hard to find information, and we give them signals as to whether those companies are healthy, scaling viable. We have got lots of categorization that allow people to really kind of drill down into what type of industries they care about and for 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 belief is now that there's more and more privacy laws at the sort of individual contact 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 account level 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 distress around coronavirus. Being able to know what companies you should start your search on versus just sort of like spray and pray at the lead level is also really important. The people who typically use US salespeople, number one. They're looking to make deals. It's really hard to make deals when people are in financial distress. The investor community also use US and entrepreneurs, and those are typically kind of like our three core audiences. And then we also have a licensing business where people who are building products that rely on company information can use our data. Really interesting. I love this idea of account based everything and you're obviously well positioned to do it, especially with some potentially proprietary information to help people connect with their accounts more effectively. Have you seen the use go be at like in this account based everything concept? Obviously the applications in in the prospecting and sales process are easy to imagine, but beyond that, have you seen any interesting use outside of the sales role? Yeah, I mean when we started to kind of develop what we're working on some really big changes in the product and when we started to develop it we were looking at what are the types of relationships that happened between two companies and we realize, like any person who interfaces with another company could rely on account based x. So an example 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, and I think that's sort of like a need we're trying to fill, as any real business to business connection that you need to make, whether it's in exchange for money or in exchange for income and trade, like a bed deal typically is. There isn't a resource or a place you can go to, and that's something that we're trying to explore because it's just super inefficient for me to type in like job title on a website and get anybody who has that job title, but who knows if they're still in the company I thought they were at. 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, which is it's just a lot more efficient, it's a lot more effective, it's a better use of everybody's time really good. So you've already talked about three specific types of customers. You are a data company with with a really cool service layer over it. It sounds like let's talk about getting a fuller picture of the customer. What is really interesting to you about this challenge of blending essentially quantitative and qualitative? Yeah, I mean so, I come from kind of like a growth, hacking and growth...

...background and I think when people hear that they shutter. I know typically engineering teams try to run away when they see a marketing person from a growth background come into the room, and I don't blame them, and I think it's because, you know, at the heart oftentimes engineers are extremely customer centric and they see that those little tweaks that are 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 guardrail metrics where you're not only prioritizing the dollar over the user experience. And an example for us at crunch base we were experimenting with pay walls, with registration walls and pay walls and you know, if you push the paywall to the top, current basis typically been a very strong fremium brand. If we wanted to push the paywall to the top, yeah, there would be some money that comes through initially, but the customer experience would be so bad and so different from what people expect that we would likely turn a lot of our core user base away. So, even though we did some tests, we ended up removing any hard pay walls from the website and right now we only have some like soft wall reminders, and we're even exploring what the user experience has been 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 or the challenge is just like a regular part of your you know, some part of your team's workflow, or like how do you how does that work come about? I love this idea of testing various types of walls. Yeah, so you know, when we first did it in the very, very early days, it was kind of like well, we never had trial, so let's roll 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 the engineering and product team. We rolled out an a be testing platform. We use 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 like cannibalization happening. So that's one things. Having an a be testing platform is really helpful. But beyond that, I think what we realize in terms of galvanizing the company behind an idea was first principles. So we spend some time coming up with what our first principles would be. You know, things like actually living our mission. Our mission is to democratize access to opportunities. We really think that if more people can do the thing they want to do, everybody benefits. So, like, is this wall democratizing access or is it not democratizing access? That's one question we ask ourselves. We look at things like, 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 to these or not just ask for something from them. And we did this like very I wouldn't say it was a hundred percent scientific, but we took the first principles and for each of the scenarios of wall do were exploring. We did like a plus one if it helped towards the first principle and one if it took away from the principle, in a zero and we vetted the opportunities based on the AB test initially, using that score, and there were some obvious very negative ones, and so we drop those out and then the ones that we're sort of in the neutral to positive then we started to make more subjective 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 up the 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 the way our product team is organized. We are never not talking to customers. So before we even begin building a new feature, were interviewing customers. You know, we really wanted to figure out how we can build a better product for the sales use case. So we've been spending a lot of time interviewing sales people in many different industries and that's to help us understand where would we even start. And then once we launch a feature and it gets out of you know, we're when we're AB testing, we might do some like light interviews here and there, but then once it gets out of a be testing it, it goes to a hundred percent.

Then we're sort of leaning on our CX team to do, you know, a little bit more handson talking to customers. And on the marketing side we're monitoring social every day for any productive feedback that people are giving. We have we a is delighted, so we're seeing what are people actually submitting in their delighted scores. So at all times we're looking at what our customers saying and if we ever see a trend or if we see an uptick in a specific conversation, that triggers another conversation either within the product team at the executive level. It just allows us to constantly be with our ear to the ground on what customers are feeling about the product. But I think one of the most important ones is knowing that we're building for what they want versus building for what we want. Again. For me, 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 all organize around it? I mean, does someone just like push the conversation button or the alarm button if something's getting really hot or you know, or do you 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 and you know, different teams have been represented differently over the years. So it's like it's sometimes it's just top of mind. For me. How do you all you know, with with the various sources of input you talked about? How do you organize around that information? I mean to be honest, I think we have a lot of room for improvement. I don't think we figured it out yet. We haven't cracked the nut on it. It does feel like what we will will typically get the signal of like this metric seems out of whack, but I don't know why. And then we'll go in and investigate a little bit more deeply. There are some reports that come out on a regular basis. So the the UX researchers, they share reports on the research that they're doing. That's a lot of the forward looking research. The customer experienced team shares kind of weekly and monthly feedback that they're seeing. But what we would benefit from is having something like a voice of the customer Cross Functional Meeting where we highlight, Hey, this is the key theme. It should 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 goal is, 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 feedback to the team that can actually take action, and I think that's something we're looking at, but we haven't, I figured out yet yet. So just for if this is useful to you or to anyone listening, we have delighted and we do some serving through Pendo, feeding into one slack channel that anyone can subscribe to and that I find that to be really, really interesting and useful, 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 mentioned your CX team a couple times in so they're kind of two camps on this per 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 and for 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 crunch base has two product lines kind of. We have a self serf business that's the free crunch based most people know it's crunch based pro and then we have a 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 where our 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 do roll up into one overall customer success director and she's thinking about how do we create 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 if we're seeing that there's an fqu coming in from our Self Serf Business, will share that information over to our direct sales business. And often times, and why I say sort of like customer experiences, a non scalable but very critical thing. Oftentimes your sales people, your CS people, the ones who are on the front lines. They are the canaries in the coal mine and they will bring you something that's not yet scaled and they'll say, hey, this is something to look out for and, depending on how sensitive your team is to being able to pivot and change, you either take action at that point or you take that information and you start looking for data that backs it up at 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 a fewer people are starting trials and they were two weeks before now, and it's a result of that. Or you know, we're seeing on the demanding side of marketing, 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 the sales 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 much in the world. So again, it's not you know, if you went to an analytics person, they would say this isn't statistically significant. But I think the business is an art and you are looking for that middle ground between statistical significant kids and, frankly, human significance. It's really good. It's the art in the science piece of it. The so really good in that CS and 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 marketing and 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 an an ad hoc as needed basis, like in terms of direct customer communication, besides, something something like social obviously, which is one of the channels you mentioned. When do you get out in talk to customers? Your team members rather yeah, so I look at my product marketing team. One of their core goals is to help us deeply understand who the customer is. So they sit alongside the UX research team in order to help us get a better understanding of the customer. And while the uxe search team is asking questions that relate to how people experience the product, product marketing team is asking questions about the person. So an example would be like, you know, we now know that, for our our perspective, customers who are sales development reps, they love reading sports publications, they love ESPN, and that's not a thing that the US researcher would find out, but it is something that the pmm would find out, and for as it gives us a glimpse into like, okay, well, if they love sports and now, because of coronavirus, pretty much every major sport has been canceled, that's another layer of stress that they're dealing with with. You know, it also tells us, can we come up 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 what their highs are like, what their thows are like. That's the PMM team and they're going out and talking to customers constantly. I think there's also sort of the engagement that we get. So when we send out an email to users, most of our emails don't have no replies. There actually are repliable in boxes and we're reading that feedback. An example was we have a daily newsletter that we send out that has kind of like the latest funding rounds from companies, the latest acquisitions from companies, and we hadn't decided yet how we were going to change that in light of coronavirus. So we were continuing to send it out as normal and we got several emails back where people were saying like, I am glad to see that others are thriving, but I am truly in the worst position I have been in my entire career and seeing this newsletter makes me feel bad. And for you know, for us, it was like, okay, we were working on some other things. You had prioritize some other things around coronavirus, but then we shifted our priority to making sure that we had some kind of acknowledgement... that newsletter of like, if you need resources, these resources available to you. This newsletter will continue because we think that knowing what companies are still thriving is a positive signal for anybody WHO's trying to do business. Still add such a good example and I think it's so important, mostly because I did it for years and I learned so much doing it. Is Being I was to direct reply, like is the only marketing person for several years every email, whether it was an offer or a newsletter, Webin or invite, whatever, came from my personal email address, which meant that I had and I felt like that gave me, as a marketer or just a really good feel and I love I love that example of 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 about how customers feel. This is a kind of a call back to earlier in the 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 in your team? Have a position on some things that just are not appropriate to even work on scaling. Yeah, I think at this point our first principles are decided almost in the kind of like not initiative level, that's too narrow, but sort of overall project area will have first principles. There are a few things that are unchanging, like that idea of are we giving more value than we're asking from the customers? Are we living our mission? Those are things that kind of are persistent through everything. But then there are some that might be just specific to that particular kind of area of work and we typically will publish those. We use like marketing request docs, are product request dots. In those outline who the decision makers are, who the input people are 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're looking for is what's the like potential impact or scale and you're weighing that against what are all the other ideas I've seen come across my desk. So that question of how do you prioritize one thing or over another? That is really what I spend most of my time with my team talking about is like this is a great idea. Is this the idea to execute now, or is there a different idea that you have in the hopper that would have figger potential impact? And we kind of triangulate between difficulty, likelihood of success and potential impact 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 use the sprint system, when we use a one week sprint and with these request docs the projects can last through multiple sprints, but they're essentially the tactics that will help us achieve the key result we've outlined. And are okay ours really good. So you have a very what I feel like is a very large role. Can you just describe the scope of your role in specifically any philosophy that guides you shared some of it already, and then maybe let's transition from there into how you interface with other teams. You've already talked a little bit about that, but you know the goal of the show is to talk a little bit of alignment and it seems like. Seems like you have a lot to offer there. So start with me again. The scope of your role. Yes, so I have several commas in my title, but what they really turn into is my team runs brand, product marketing, digital marketing, coms ops, and I think that's all of it. It's essentially top of funnel, midfunnel consideration and then customer acquisition, demand generation and customer attention. So it's really all parts of engaging with customers from before they've ever heard from us to being a multiyear customer. And for me, my philosophy with the whole team is one thing is if you can't measure it, should you be doing it? Ask yourself that question. The other is we don't do initiatives, we do experiments. I think you...

...know, traditionally marketing is seen as a thing that does big, flashy stuff and is measured on the number of stuff they do, and I don't want that to be what our team is about. It's more around we have a hypothesis of what a particular project could do, we test whether it can actually do that and then we scale it too many users and by following that kind of ethos we're able to ensure that everything we do provides value to the company and to the customer. And in terms of the partnerships, we work really closely with sales, so we have a demand Gent team that is driving leads for sales. We're also beginning to partner with our CSTSM team to see if we can use some of the automation that marketing uses on the self serf side to support how they manage accounts on the CSM side. And we we partnered very closely with the product and engineering teams because we're trying to help them figure out how do we bring to market the new features that they're building and how do we bring back some of that with the customer to them to inform with the product roadmap should be. And then the CX team. So I would say social sort of a shared service between us and CX and because we are very closely aligned with product, we can also give cx a heads up. Hey, this new feature is coming out, we think it might raise some questions. Can you help us kind of bulk up what is happening on the knowledge base with information to proactively tell them? So in a lot of ways marketing is is kind of like a connective tissue between multiple teams, and I think there's lots of points of connective tissue. But for us we are one part service organization supporting those teams and one 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 to the question. If you can't measure it, should you be doing it? It's just like kind of hearkens back to the kind of the art in the science pieces, like can you think of something that you green lighted or supported even though it couldn't be measured? Yeah, I mean I think this is where teams can get frustrated with leaders, because what they want is consistency and reliability and sometimes you just have to break the rules. I think one thing that we've really been trying to drill into the team is that our primary target audience right now is the salesperson. But when this kind of coronavirus crisis took over and we started to think about how can we provide value to our users and it was really around highlighting free resources, we started looking for resources that also supported the other personas. That are typical uses of crunch base and I think people are sort of like wait, but you told us we have to focus just on sales. Why are we doing this? And for me it was like look, these are members of our community, these are members of the ecosystem. The purpose of this initiative is just to create a supportive environment for these people who are truly in distress. This is separate from our kind of more commercially prioritize gains. Is it confusing? Yes, I would be confused if I was on my team. In my boss said way, but now you want me to focus on everybody. But this is one of those exceptions where it's like these are exceptional times and I think we can differentiate our brand if we show that we actually care about what people are going through and that we really do want to be helpful to them. So I hope that my team accepts that as a as a proper reason why we veered from our very strict course. Yeah, that is it is very challenging. We decided something that we could do uniquely to help was to offer bombomb absolutely free to educators 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 five hundred 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 to stay facetoface with their peers and with students and with parents, and we're getting really good, positive feedback on it.

But to kind of what you offered there, it was like we knew it was the right thing. It's not commercials, generating no revenue. In fact it's costing US money to a host all the videos be you know, we're trying to have themselves served, but of course they're still in our communication channels, you know, needing some help and guidance, which is reasonable. And then the tension of you know, we still do have to adjust so much of the rest of our marketing and messaging pieces at the same time. So how do you balance all of this and where does it fall in the priority and how long does it stay a priority? 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're experiencing leadership in a really, really unique time. You know, to your point, sometimes you have to either break the rules or just throw them out or just not look at them or something. Yeah, yeah, I I never expected that I would be going through this and leading through this, and it's, you know, at times it's overwhelming because I care. I spend a 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 all of that care is sort of overwhelming and it makes it difficult to make the logical decisions that I've typically known for. But I think like if there ever was a time to not be logical, this is it. Sure, because it's a lot of it doesn't make any sense. I'm going to ask you a couple of questions that I really enjoy asking, especially with someone like you who's working. You know, the way that you view your marketing team and what 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 people or developers newer understood about marketing or the marketing function, like you're you're setting me up to start a fire. I'm not, I'm not. I have got that reaction before, but I still like the question. I always find like anyway, I won't tea that anymore. If do you have anything to offer there? I think it's a very symbiotic relationship. You know, I would 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 give insight into what people want on an ongoing basis. We can also give insight into 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 they want, 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 going to 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 know they 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 also help 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 it be a steady drip of features to users. But there's something really powerful about kind of putting things into a bucket. So we might be able to help you understand. Hey, all these features, these things are collaboration features and I think 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 put it under this kind of messaging banner? And that's not something product has to think about, but that is something that marketing things about and can help sort of inform, and that's around this like go to market strategy, go to market 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 sort of 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, if marketing 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 might just be doing things into, you know, an echo chamber or like a tree falls into force and one hears it, kind of thing. But when they work together, that's when you build...

...products that actually have product market fit and that customers really want and meet and understand. Yeah, that I like the way you took that and I like the symbiosis language. Can you talk about the same thing with regard to sales and marketing? Yeah, I mean it's it's so interesting because I have I've worked in organizations where those relationships were very unhealthy and now in crunch based I think it's the first time where I've seen them be extremely healthy. And I don't know if it's a factor of the company being so small that we actually have personal relationships, like I have a 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 would I would fight somebody if they tried to get in the way of the efficacy of that relationship. So the symbiosis between marketing and sales is on the sale side, what they're offering is that frontline canary in the coal and what are people actually saying. In a lot of ways they're like the UX researcher for us and on our side we are letting them know, hey, here's how we can get to scale. Like you may be finding that only people with this very specific job title are the ones who convert. But if we only focused on that before it gets to you, you won't have any leads to work. So we're giving them feedback around like what's the macro trends that are happening out in the world, and bringing that down to them. We're also able to say, Hey, we've been doing these like top of funnel content 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 information that they could be bringing up. So it really is they're telling us what's working on their side, we're telling them what's working on our side and and again we're triangulating what's actually the need of these are in the customer and I think the other part of the symbiotic relationship is because we have a tight relationship with product, we can help translate what it is that sales people are seeing customers or prospects ask for on the front line into a reasonable request for the product team because, you know, typically what you see happen is you'll have one 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 is what we need and pot it was like, I don't even understand the words that you'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 relative to sales and product. I love that call out and I think you're absolutely right. I do think the personal relationships make a big, big difference. There's just, you know, so much that comes out of a healthy relationship with another human that just can't be faked or replicated any other way than then through the you know, knowing, understanding and appreciating the other person at the foundation for being successful together. The emotional safety to be vulnerable between those teams is also critical. So it really is you have to win together, but you 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 to come by, if you have a situation where there starts to be finger pointing and that trust gets lost. That's also when, I think, that symbiotic relationship becomes unhealthy. So finding a way to build lots of visibility and transparency between the team such that anybody, anywhere can make a suggestion. No commitment whether it'll happen, but a feeling of like, Hey, I can throw this idea over to you I know that you'll take it in the spirit in which it was intended. That, I think, is also a really important, important part of what makes the symbatic relationship work. It's fantastic. I think this idea of winning and losing together really prevents one of the worst things that can happen from a from a relationship standpoint or a functional standpoint, is blaming you. You a looking for blame and these kinds of looks some of that negative behavior that happens when you're not losing together and being honest about it with each other. And again, some of the keywords you offered there, including transparency, so that everyone understands exactly what's going on. I have so enjoyed this conversation. You have a lot going on. I'm going to give you the rest of your day back, but before I do I want to let listeners know that if you enjoyed this...

...conversation, you might like episode thirty four with Michael Red Board, formerly of hub spot, for things every customer wishes you understood about them, and episode sixty three and more recent one with David 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 impact that she or he has had on your life or your career. Caddie surve US 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 of my 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 my career, because I always felt like who I am was not right, who I am was not good for the workplace, and caddy was the first person who said they're wrong. Who you are is what it makes you magical and lean 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, it was like an unlockgate where I just felt like I was able to achieve a million times more than I ever had before because I wasn't wasteing as much time thinking about how to be smaller, how to be less. So huge thank you to caddy. I think she really changed my life in a lot of ways, starting with my job. The phrase I was thinking as you're sharing. That was like life changing me, like this opportunity to give yourself permission just to do what you do as you do. It is just so wonderful. Great call out there. How about a company that you really respect or appreciate for the way that they deliver for you as a customer? So I've been noodling on this, this idea, and I think I'm going to call it a really small, small business. I'm a member of a small wine club up in Napa and originally I had my delivery address as my husband's office, 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 and we were under a lockdown. So I immediately shot them an email. You know, I'm just like shooting emails to random email addresses at the winery and I'm like hey, is there any way we could change this? And you know, in less than twenty four hours they said no problem, they had it redirected, which I can only imagine how difficult that was, and they they were just like so happy to do it for me because they understood what I was going through, being literally locked indoors, and I think it just showed 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 their income, luxuries like wine are going to be things that they cut. And yet they took the time to express loyalty towards an existing customer and go above and beyond what my expectations were of them. And I'm seeing that actually that level of 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 resurgence in the sort of like cottage industry and maybe a beginning of a shift away from the monolithic brands because of this level of customer focus. Yeah, it's really 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 say that only because here in Colorado, when we got our state, they call our 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 same thing happened to my buddy Steve Out in Pennsylvania. You know that. They first they closed the beer stores and then they opened the back up like a week later. So I hopefully that business will be okay. But what you offer is really interesting, especially is people's careers are disrupted and they need to maybe reinvent whenever we're on kind of the better side of this situation that we're all in right now, and so I have the same hope. It's really it's an exciting thought and I do think the kind of the essence of what you offered there too, is this idea that these are the times we are going 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. The thing that's all about empathy. Right now. It is. It's I'm seeing a lot of that on Linkedin and it's nice. I hope that a lot of 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 couple weeks into it, we're not as far along as you are that I feel obviously closer to my family, because I see them a lot more, my wife and my son, and and closer to my neighborhood because I'm walking and running a lot more and at different times of the day. I'm more familiar with the way the light moves through my own home during the day. It's just, you know, I'm hoping that some of these some of these small things, in these nice things, stay with us when some new normalcy returns. I agree. I agree. I think there's a lot of really interesting new changes that are happening around us, and the people and the companies that are agile and able to adapt to this world, I think we're going to find 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 spread of this disease because the like, the human impact is horrible. But this is also where like interesting innovation is going to happen. People are going to be more connected to their family, people are going to be more connected to their communities, and that's a thing, at least in the US, we've needed for a while. You know, it's weird that isolation is what's driving connection, but it is. Yeah, I feel like all the social networks are a bit more lively than before. Of course, facebook in particular still as kind of antagonistic as ever. It's weird how something like this can be so political, but I do feel like there is more people are there looking for that kind of connection. Of course, at bombomb because we make it easy to 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 side we have people, you know, strung customers who are struggling, you know, and they're reviewing all of their expenses and trying to figure out what they'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 some time. It's been it's also just so interesting. I am going to let you get back to your day. I appreciate you so much. I appreciate your time and I know if someone is listening to us right now they appreciate your time and your insights as well. So if anyone wants to follow up and connect with you or with crunch bas where would you send people with crunch Bas just wwcrunch bascom with me. I'm on Linkedin, Shitty Benzer. There own a lot of us, so you'll probably find me, and also on twitter. Matchity Benzer. Awesome. Thank you again so much and I hope you have a great rest of your day and I hope you are unlocked soon. Thank you you too. Clear Communication, human connection, higher conversion. These are just some of the benefits of adding video to the messages you're sending every day. It's easy to do with just a little guidance, so pick up the official book. Rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos accelerate sales and improve customer experience. Learn more in order today at Bombombcom Book. That's bomb the OMBCOM book. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember the single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player, or visit Bombombcom podcasts.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (207)