How Does Customer Success Help Power The RevOps Flywheel?
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Speaker 1: (00:00)
Our guests and we'll go to meet the speakers. But, uh, welcome to everybody who's here. Uh, today we're gonna chat through how customer success helps power the rev ops flywheel. So we'll talk about cool customer success stuff, cool rev ops stuff. Uh, and then we'll take some questions, uh, at the end as well. So we'll go ahead and jump to intros. Uh, I'm Connor. I am the c e o of Aptitude eight. We are a, are a HubSpot Diamond partner, uh, soon to be elite, uh, if we can get a couple things working out here in the next couple days. Uh, so we're excited about that. Um, and we're primarily our rev ops, uh, consulting firm. So excited to, uh, to be with these guys. And with that, I will, uh, I'll hand it over to you, Dan.
Speaker 2: (00:36)
Yes, Connor. Um, yeah, so my name's Dan, co-founder of org Chart Hub. Um, prior to founding org chart hub, I used to work for a another SaaS business based in the uk. Um, and spent five and a half years with them. Um, mainly, uh, head of cs. So I'm gonna kind of talk to my experience on that side in regards to CS and Rev ops. Um, cause I think that's probably most of the good stuff. And then, um, yeah, over to you Mike.
Speaker 3: (00:59)
Thanks Dan. Uh, and guys, I'm Mike. Uh, I've been at HubSpot for, gosh, al almost 11 years now. Uh, almost all of it in customer success. I, I was one of the founding members of our, uh, renewals department and helped to build a lot of the, uh, systems and operations of that. And that's really where my fascination for rev ops came from, uh, is, is really working in between like sales and services and with marketing. And, um, so I'm excited to chat today about the role of customer success in rev ops.
Speaker 1: (01:34)
Cool. Uh, so with that, I, I'll, I'll hand the mic over to, uh, to Mike first. Uh, but for what we're going through today. So we'll talk through, uh, role of, of customer success and rev ops, how they fit into the rest of this as a core go to market team, um, how to work with the rest of your flywheel, um, what your customer success team should look like. And then we'll go through some, some details on, on how you can leverage a lot of rev ops practices to, uh, give value to your CS team. So with that, Mike, I will let you kick us off on, uh, on CS and Rev ops and speak to your extensive experience in these things.
Speaker 3: (02:07)
Yeah, absolutely. And, um, yeah, I'm really looking forward to having the chat here with you guys. Dave, any questions, you know, come along, feel free to interrupt and, and we just have a, a, a fireside chat, a zoom side chat. Um, okay. So to kick things off, actually want to tell a short story about a hotel called the Magic Castle in Los Angeles. The Magic Castle is one of the highest rated hotels in Los Angeles, rated higher than many premier hotels. However, if you look at pictures online, you'll notice that it looks like a budget motel with like a hot tub size pool. So how does this two story apartment complex from the fifties become one of LA's top-rated hotels? You see, the Magic Castle pays attention to creating special moments are moments that matter, one of those being through something they call the Popsicle hotline.
Speaker 3: (03:04)
And, uh, the Popsicle hotline is, uh, is built by with this. They have a cherry red phone mounted, uh, to a wall near the pool. When you pick it up, someone would answer with Hello Popsicle hotline, and you place an order for popsicles, and like moments later, a waiter wearing white gloves delivers you cherry orange and great popsicles on a silver tray, poolside all complimentary. You see, the Magic Castle has figured out that the delight customers, you don't need to assess over every detail of their experience. You just need to over-deliver on a few ma a few moments that matter most to, to the customer. And the customers will forget about the small swimming pools or underwhelming decor if they have these very special moments. So you want your company to be like the magic castle and a focus on these special moments, these moments that matter.
Speaker 3: (03:59)
And if you get those right, they can work in concert to give customers a superior experience from a customer's perspective. And software a service, um, SaaS businesses, these are from these special moments. They genuinely occur from the go-to-market teams as how they're generated. Um, marketing creates contents that the customer reads as a first impression. Sales, having that first contact in a discovery demo call potentially moving to a closing sequence. And then here's the role of customer success. Customer success steps in with the kickoff onboarding moment, uh, to ensure the product works is advertised. Uh, the moments that they receive value from the promise, impact and their renewal experience. There's actually a lot of critical moments that customer success owns to secure and grow the revenue to win. You really need to have those sales, marketing, and customer success teams kinda a lie. They can't be working in silos, uh, to, to really, you know, execute those special moments.
Speaker 3: (05:06)
Uh, if each team is trying to do it in, in a silo, then you kinda step on each other's toes and it may not actually coordinate those as strongly as you may want. So you need to have a one team culture, like in onboarding account management and renewals. This coordinated approach can really help to, uh, to customize your customer expectations to actually execute this. You need people and system processes. But what we find of Connor, if we can go to the next slide there, is that a lot of, uh, sorry, just go one slide before is, um, that a lot of businesses have these kind of silos of sales renewals and success. They don't, don't actually work or communicate through the systems. And what happens then, if, if you go down to the next one, is that we create these, um, these workarounds, um, because the systems don't talk to each other. And, and that ends up creating friction between these teams.
Speaker 3: (06:11)
So what you really want to have is this people collaboration and system collaboration. And in between there you have data sharing that share, that's, you know, marketing is sharing that, hey, this customer has consumed these eBooks or watched these videos. They're most interested in this, and the sales is talking to the customer success team, and, and they're all kind of talking together. You have that data sharing and process collaboration. If you can get that right, then what that looks like is, uh, the customer experience, revenue impact, employee experience, and revenue reporting. Well, these are kind of the main things that a customer success rev ops function really starts to pay attention to. Um, that's how we fit into this picture of aligning the systems and processes. So then if you look at those responsibilities, um, we're responsible for, for coordinating a one team kind of approach to having a great customer experience.
Speaker 3: (07:11)
Uh, we're focused on revenue retention and revenue growth. Uh, we have to have a great employee experience. Uh, we ultimately are gonna be interacting with the customers. We need to make sure that our tools are set up for success. And then finally, you know, revenue reporting. But this all looks different depending on what your, what your main goals are for your customer success team. Uh, I I find that generally in, um, different stages of your company's growth, you may have different focuses of the customer success team, uh, whether it be on, um, sorry, with your company's goals, maybe on acquiring more customers. Well then your, then your customer success team will work very closely with sales and marketing and, and product plays a role there when you're more focused on just retaining, um, customer success and support are gonna work together to find those product bugs and surface those up to, um, to the other teams.
Speaker 3: (08:14)
And when you're expanding revenue, which is where I think that all companies should really be focused on is, you know, your success team plays a big role in working with your, working with your customers to, to identify that growth then and, um, and, and work with the sales team to help, uh, to help spread it out. So that's kinda high level kinda introduction there to, to what I see is kinda the role of customer success and rev ops. What, uh, maybe we'll do now is pass it over to Dan to talk about, uh, defining your customer success team.
Speaker 2: (08:51)
Mike. Does, uh, HubSpot have a Popsicle phone?
Speaker 3: (08:54)
? I think we're working on it. It's one of those ideas that's uh, that's this brewing in the, in the HubSpot labs.
Speaker 1: (09:01)
I, I had not heard that story, Mike. And I think to, to give you credence to it, we had stayed, uh, I think in like the Langham in Chicago. And I, I remember it was funny, as you referenced, this was the number one thing that I remember, and this is like a nice hotel, we were like leaving the city is they had a phone in the hallway. And when I picked it up, someone just said, yes, hello, what can we do for you? Like, it didn't ring, I didn't click any buttons. I was like, this is amazing. Like, this is wild . Uh, and and that totally resonated with me, and no one even brought me popsicles on the other. That sounds like an announcement.
Speaker 3: (09:28)
Yeah. And, and, and I think that's like the main point that I wanted to make here is, you know, those when what customer success, rev ops, you wanna I identify what are those special moments for, for your business and for your companies? Um, and identify what those are, what can you do? And then help enable it. Uh, like renewal is obviously a big, uh, moment in a customer's life cycle. Um, so that's whatever the first thing that happens with that renewal. That's, that's a, a, a moment that matters. It, it could be the first, like if you're sending like notification emails to say, Hey, your renewal's coming up. Well that's, that, that's the first moment that they have. So how are you customizing that? What sort of experience are you generating for your customer? And uh, and that's really where I see the role of CS and Rev ops is enabling these moments that matter.
Speaker 2: (10:24)
Makes sense. Um, cool. I'll, uh, I'll jump onto my section. So, as Mike said on the slide before, the relationship between CS and revenue depends. Now I hate it when people say it depends. It's very annoying. But CS structures and goals are different for every single team. Um, and it really, uh, is down to, um, h who you selling to, what's your product type. Um, and this changed for us at my previous company over and over and over again. And so I'm gonna talk to our experience in terms of how it chopped and changed, um, and how it developed and some of the stuff that, that happened during that period. And hopefully you can take away some, some insights from, from this story. So, um, as I mentioned, um, I started at a company called a crew. It was the very early days of a crew, which is, uh, the SAS business.
Speaker 2: (11:14)
I joined, we were just on 150 K a r r. I was their first sales hire. And we, uh, made our way, um, towards the 10 million mark. Unfortunately, we didn't quite get there. We got acquired before that moment happened. So, um, I didn't have the experience beyond that, like Mike, uh, Mike did. But there's a lot that went on during that period of time. Um, and we probably tried every single combination of CS structure you can think of. Um, and so I'll, I'll jump into the learnings just now. The hard part about this is if you Google, how should I structure my CS team? We didn't get an answer in 2014 or 2015, and you won't get an answer today. Um, and that's really annoying. But, uh, as I said, let me talk to a couple of the insights if you could, um, move on to the next slide for me.
Speaker 2: (12:03)
Um, Connor, so where we were at back in 20 14, 20 15 is we had a business where we were selling to small b2b, uh, businesses. And we had a freemium plan that was all going very smoothly at the time. And we had two people in cs, they were fully focused on the maintained side, so they were focusing on the adoption and they had a lot of product goals. And the challenges came when we got a lot. We started, fortunately for us starters get a lot of attention on the enterprise side. Um, so we had, uh, attention from like people like PayPal and I B M who wanted to start to use our product. This changed everything. Uh, it changed the way our product had to work, it changed the way that we thought about cs. So what happened then is because I was one of the first salespeople, c e O came to me and said, uh, do you mind kind of going into a CS role, kind of a head of account management looking after CS for a while?
Speaker 2: (13:01)
That while turned into about three and a half years. And, uh, what happened was, uh, we went from the CS team being responsible for the maintain, to maintain retention. And we took on expansion as well. The expansion piece was interesting, right? If you hear people talk about whether CS should be responsible for expansion, it's kind of like, MA might, you either love it or hate it, you agree with it or you disagree with it. I'm kind of in between. I'm, I'm all right with it. And I'll explain why in a second. So where we are at in our product cycle, um, and this is hopefully gonna be relevant for those of you. In the early stages, the product was evolving and our cost base customer base was evolving. And the old customer, unfortunately for us was starting to churn and kind of like, rightly so, cuz we were going further and further up market and our, our main focus was enterprise.
Speaker 2: (13:54)
It was becoming enterprise. What that meant is our retention logo retention was horrific. It was like 65%. It was, it was awful. So our CS focus had to be on a combination of expansion and retention, expansion on the biggest customers, ensuring their successful firstly. But then because they're enterprise businesses, often you landing for us, it was like Europe in their European office. And then we're expanding across the world and, and in North America and apac. So we did, in the end, we started to do a really good job on the expansion piece. So we had a net revenue retention of 130%, but our retention was sloppy and it was sloppy, but it was okay. That was kind of a learning that I'd not heard anybody talk about that you can have very poor logo retention, but have good net revenue retention. And we, we wrote, we raised money off the back of that.
Speaker 2: (14:47)
So people were agreeing with us that it was okay, it wasn't okay after another year or a year and a half when we were still finding that the situation. So I take responsibility for this. I think we focused too much on the expansion side, not enough on the retention side. As we were thinking about that, we got acquired by, uh, integrate.com. They had a different structure anyway. They were, uh, CS team as retention and main maintenance focused. Uh, and this and the sales team were expansion focused, uh, only like hunters and farmers. So they had teams that just focused on expansion and teams that just focused on, uh, on the, uh, new business. So we went the full gamut, backwards and forwards. Um, and I think the biggest kind of lesson, or one of the biggest takeaways I took away from that journey was you really need to, um, focus on who your customer is today, but who is your customer gonna be in the next year or two years? And certainly within all chart hub today, that's what we think about. Like we solely built org chart hub for HubSpot. HubSpot's customer base today is probably gonna change over the next two to three years as HubSpot features fill out, lafa go further up market. So we need to think about that now and how we might change our CS team and how that relates to revenue. Um, yeah, every two Connor.
Speaker 1: (16:15)
Cool. Uh, so I, I think on, on my, what I'm just talk about is sort of like how you equip in, in your tech stack and using some of the tools that you have, um, your team with the details to, to actually go after this. So I think one of the first pieces, and I think in aggregate, right, is like, customers are a lot more complicated than than prospects. Um, you, you probably invest in data enrichment tools and you maybe have some web tracking or other elements for your sales teams to sort of know what people are interested in what's going on. But the number of signals and the amount of data you have about people before they're a customers just significantly less, right? So like if, if someone's an active customer, they have accounts, they have subscriptions, they have usage data, they're doing things in your product, they're talking to people at your company.
Speaker 1: (16:59)
And in order to get your customer facing CS teams best equipped to manage those customers, you have to give them a lot of that data. And I think this is actually where, uh, HubSpot, I think really, really excels, um, a as a solution as well. Um, so behavioral events, um, there's a legacy version, there's a new version, which is very, very cool. Uh, I, we recommend a lot of folks look into it. And so things that you can do with this, right? So adding in product data, uh, to your contact records. So you can send in when people last logged in, when was the last time that they interacted with key features or did specific actions. One of the things that we do with a lot of customers is go through their, uh, their product interaction and say, what are the key events that people interact with?
Speaker 1: (17:37)
And the reality is, if you have a developed product org, um, your product team probably already knows what these are, and you can, you can typically just tag along to whatever they're using to manage some of the, the product analytics as well. And if you can, can surface that data to your CS teams, not only can they use it on an individual level, but they can build lists around these behavior. They can go pull a list using all of your C R M data that says, who are my highest value accounts that I manage, uh, who are my highest value accounts that haven't logged in in the last 30 days, or haven't taken a key action or haven't added users in a really long time. And you can start to build those segments out and that allows them to figure out who should I be talking to instead of just sort of going through their, their list of active customers and, and sort of running campaigns against them.
Speaker 1: (18:21)
Instead, they're really focusing on the people that are the most important. Additionally, you can start leveraging some of the marketing side functionality, right? So lead scorings is one example, but uh, you can extend some of your scoring models into, uh, CS side actions. So who, who are the, the customers that have the most engagement, which are the ones that are the healthiest? And how can I use those to prioritize my actions? And ultimately this should aggregate up to how do you move to proactive customer success, uh, that's based on engagement instead of just reactive, right? Uh, you don't want your CS people to be firefighters that only manage accounts when someone's frustrated or upset or sort of has a signal. You want them to be able to get ahead of that interaction and not wait till they give you a bad CSAT score, reach out and say, Hey, we're thinking about about canceling.
Speaker 1: (19:04)
And now they spend all of their time managing churn requests instead of building and helping customers and, and getting, helping them get value, uh, out of, out of your product and out of your service and solution. And I think these are just some super tactical ways you can do that. Um, and another one that I, I really like, if we jump ahead to the next slide, um, is something that, that came, there we go. Uh, something that, uh, I think how's that is, it's kind of old news at this point, but it's still one of my favorite things, uh, is, is the custom object side, which is, um, tailor HubSpot's data model to your business. Um, and store things like invoices and subscriptions and plans. And we, we have folks who are managing, we we're working with a customer, um, that does, uh, brick manufacturing.
Speaker 1: (19:46)
And one of the big problems with our sales reps is, hey, we have people that order bricks and then we ship them bricks. But the sales rep then needs to find out, did all the bricks arrive? Are any of them damaged? Do you need a replacement order? And then being able to store that shipment data in HubSpot allows them to queue up those sort of CS side actions of, uh, Hey, did everything arrive okay? Do you need help with anything? Instead of waiting for someone to come in and be like, Hey, our shipment arrive, sorry we didn't look at it for a week, but a bunch of these are broken and now it's sort of chewing up the rest of the supply chain. Um, similar to your order history. Find out what are the elements that are critical to your post-sale success? What, what are the things your CS team needs to deliver a really excellent experience, and how can you equip them with that data and push a lot of this in?
Speaker 1: (20:27)
And the beauty of sort of custom objects in the, in the house out world is you're no longer a limited to what data already exists in the platform. You can really be pushing in information about anything else that would be valuable to your teams. And this will equip them so much better to handle a lot of these pieces so that they have that at their fingertips, uh, in terms of sort of like how to go about this, right? So, so those are some super tactical ways. Uh, if we jump ahead to the next slide, um, in terms of getting started. So if you identify kind of initially what, what are the goals? What are you trying to measure your csna about? I think Daniel and Michael talked about this a lot. Is it, is it exclusively on renewals? Is it upsell? Is it expansion? Like, what are the things that you care, uh, about them doing?
Speaker 1: (21:05)
And if you can define how CS fits into the overall organization, you should be able to manage that. And then the next thing we always recommend across all sort of rev ops functions is audit your existing process. Go look at what your CS team does. I think CS is one of my favorite, uh, groups than we do audits around, because you always find out, oh yeah, in order to do this, I reference this other spreadsheet, I go to this billing system, I go log into the product and look at their usage history and like everything ends up informing what's going on across stuff. And you're like, oh my God, these guys spend so much time leveraging other tools and just trying to figure out where they should be focused. And so audit your whole process. Find out what other tools and systems that they're using and, and accessing, um, and then ultimately start figuring out how you can implement change.
Speaker 1: (21:47)
Uh, ideally move from one side of the workflow to the other. Change management's hard. If you have a small, nimble team, you can probably do this really, really quickly. Um, if you're on the larger side, uh, it'll take a little bit more planning and change management, but start to sort of implement a lot of those out and, and design those product owners. Um, and the biggest thing I think that's important, and this applies to all go-to-market team, is I think especially on css, people who are divorced from it. So even just hearing Michael and Dan talk about this, there's so many of these things that I, I don't think about on, on the technical rev op side that are so applicable and bring someone in who can be a product owner from those teams, and can be the person who says, I, I know what this needs to look like.
Speaker 1: (22:23)
I will bait it for you. And don't solve problems that people don't really feel like they have. Um, jumping ahead to, to the next one here, uh, this is lightweight, but this is just an example of really map out that process, understand how all this works, see what they do. And you could probably start to automate, uh, a bunch of different components of this. And so whether you're doing integrated tools, whether you're leveraging sort of things like operations hub and doing coded actions, or you're leveraging standard hubs, automation, technology, however you end up solving these problems, really get a firm idea of what are all the manual steps? What are the other systems people log into? We really like to create kind of a current state of how are things done today? And then a future state of how would these work if we eliminated all of the friction, um, for our customer facing teams, and how could they be more effective and efficient, um, and really map a lot of this out. And then you should be able to, uh, start to implement a lot of those changes. Um, so with that, I'll, I'll transition over to questions. Um, and uh, if anyone has anything that you guys would like to, to ask or, or get input on, uh, please let us know. Or also to mi Michael and Dan, if you guys have comments, I, I wanted to interject on a couple things that you guys said that I thought were awesome.
Speaker 2: (23:33)
I've got a question for Mike, if that's all right. Cause hopefully it'll be interesting for everyone. Mike, you've been at HubSpot for like a long time. 11 years is a good stint at HubSpot. How, how has, uh, the relationship in terms of revenue and CS changed over those 11 years, or would've thought would be some interesting nuggets during that period?
Speaker 3: (23:56)
Um, yeah, so I guess what do you mean? Like, uh, the focus on revenue retention versus, uh, revenue expansion?
Speaker 2: (24:02)
Speaker 3: (24:04)
So, uh, yeah, it's definitely ebbed and flowed. I, I, we can see some, um, we've had different periods in, when I first joined HubSpot, it was really focused more on just a straight retention, uh, where we had account managers, um, who would try to do some identification of growth, but it was more just, let's make sure and let's just make sure we have happy, happy customers. And, uh, and what Connor was talking about earlier with having those, uh, mapping out what like product usage your customers have and if they're logging in and what we, we would call the health score criteria, uh, was really important, uh, to be able to get, um, you know, a good view of your customer base and, and start to move to a more proactive instead of reactive model.
Speaker 3: (24:54)
Over time, uh, that shifted even more into revenue, uh, retention place where we actually started a sales team that was purely inside sales and, uh, and they would, you know, message the, the customer base and, and try to, to drum up more business, uh, where the customer success team was only measured on logo retention and, um, that worked. There were some good things and bad things about it. Like I think there was, it worked from a financial perspective. Um, we, there was also a lot of, uh, stepping on toes where just the, the teams weren't super coordinated all the time and, uh, a customer may have called into the support or had a, just had a call with their account manager and complaining about, uh, feature or something that's not working. And then just a couple days later, you know, get a phone call from a sales rep, you know, trying to sell them something.
Speaker 3: (25:51)
Um, oh, now we we're more balanced. Now I think we're much more nuanced in our approach, uh, and with Yemeni is our, uh, HubSpot hired a chief customer officer a couple of years ago on named Yamini, who's really, you know, has, uh, rev ops at the central theme of our kind of three year transition and, uh, and aligning, um, our team. So we're marketing, sales, and customer success are working in much greater tandem, and that allows us to really focus on net revenue retention as, as the main driver. Uh, it, it is, we still have a secondary metric of logo retention, so it's not something we don't look at. Mm-hmm. But it's net revenue retention of like, if a customer's not seeing success, let's not like downgrade them to the lowest package possible because I hit my logo retention numbers. Um, you actually want to like dig in, find out what's not working with them. Is there opportunity to, to fix what's not working? Is there other, is there other parts of your platform that can help solve that really get to the root of problems, uh, and not have an easy way out that just downgrading. So yeah, it's, it's evolved over time. Is the, uh, the short answer to it, Dan?
Speaker 2: (27:06)
Speaker 1: (27:07)
A follow up on that for, for either of you. Uh, it's just really interesting to me less on the, uh, sort of like what, what's the KPI management and sort of how we wanna look at it. I'm usually on the downstream of that, of like, Hey, we need to measure this. How do we, how do we build it, uh, on your guys' end in terms of the difference between those both of you sort of touched on that, can you guys expand on like h how to think about the difference between those two and how they can be, uh, sort of like conversely related where you can sort of have a higher, higher net retention, even if you're sort of decreasing the logo retention or just like expand on that for somebody who maybe a little more divorced from the details of those CS KPIs?
Speaker 2: (27:43)
Yeah, I can kind of like touch on why we had that situation. Um, so, um, kind of what I was trying to explain was we were okay with the lo with the very kind of the poor logo attention for a period of time cuz the product was changing and the customer base was changing. I think that's relatively acceptable. Um, if you are kind of like making that pivot to a, to a different customer base, where it became unacceptable is we continue to kind of have a relatively poor number. Um, and the product had changed and, and the CS team had had changed. So we need to look at that in more detail. But it's a tricky one cuz it is, it's just a constant balance and there's no , there's no, like, you always have some like goals on what, on the number that you want to hit and you hear about these goals and Jason Lempkin talking about them and other, other famous sass people talking about them. But, um, that's why I meant, but it's tricky for what product stage you are are at. Um, and I think you just need need to kind of like think about that as well.
Speaker 3: (28:47)
Yeah, it totally agree, Dan. Um, it could even be, it even changes with the, the type of customers that you're, that you're working with. Um, and I can imagine with your previous company, uh, if you have too many, if you're losing all, most of your customers, but your net net revenue retention's growing, that just means that you're having like, uh, a frothy amount of, uh, a few customers who are adding to, to your business and that that's really risky, uh, in, in some, in some business models where you now, if one of those customers leaves, well now you're not doing so great. Um, as, as, as you look at, uh, like small business mid marketing enterprises, um, types of customers in the way you approach those customers, I and I have a different approach to working with enterprise customers where yes, net revenue is still the, still the goal.
Speaker 3: (29:43)
Like I still want to expand, but I have much more emphasis on logo retention in, in those high, high dollar, high value accounts, um, than, as opposed to very small business or small business accounts where I typically they're getting like one product to start and they're solving one pain point solution and they're growing their business and as they grow their business, they have other problems that come and you can, your product can help to solve those. So you're focused more on expansion. So, um, yeah, it can change depending on even who your target audience is.
Speaker 1: (30:30)
Audience questions from anybody, otherwise I'll just keep picking your brains. Do you guys think that there is, um, I, I think so one of the things that you talked about, Dan, is like early in your product lifecycle that you have customers that are, uh, maybe not a good fit for where your sort of product is evolving and changing or some of those other pieces of, like, do, do you guys think that there's any situation where there is either proactive or productive or, or churn that's, you know, le less of a, a concern, uh, or something that you sort of are, are proactively removing customers from that book or sort of managing them out versus continuously looking at that renewal?
Speaker 2: (31:13)
Yeah, I mean we, we in, again, in my last in a career last SaaS company, we definitely had that situation and it is, it's uh, it's, and , I was one of the people having those tricky conversations with the customers where we were no longer a good fit for them for, so there was not a huge amount, but there was a, a group where it was not good and you just have to be open with them and just say, look, this is the direction that the product and the business is going in. We were right for you. We are not gonna be right for you going forward. And some of those customers stuck around knowing that, um, cuz they were just hanging on cuz it was still working okay for them. Um, and then eventually as it, as the product developed even further in the wrong direction, um, they would go. I think the really tricky part is you can, you can spend too long thinking it's acceptable that you have those people disappear and you need to flip at some point. You need to flip that and change and go, no, no, it's no longer acceptable. We've got rid of, well we are no longer working with those types of customers. And the faster you kind of get to that point, really the better.
Speaker 1: (32:16)
I think it's a really good call out that it, like, if you embrace that mindset, it can very quickly become like, oh yeah, you know, they're, they're just not a good fit. And then all of a sudden you're just sort of like making excuses for, for people turning out, which is not a good look.
Speaker 2: (32:29)
No, definitely not.
Speaker 3: (32:30)
Yeah. Yeah. Again, it kind of, it comes to the balance, right? Uh, if you need to make a decision, do you want to build that for your customers? Like do, is that the, the, is that the market that you're trying to solve? Is that the pains you're trying to solve? Um, and if not, then I think Danny did the exact right thing. Just be upfront, transparent and say, here's the direction that we're going.
Speaker 2: (32:53)
Um, Connor, I'd love to, so something we think about at org chart hub, because obviously we are huge users of HubSpot ourselves, we do put um, uh, data, product data into HubSpot and, and do lots of things related to that. But I'd love to hear what other customers are doing with that. Like some of them the
Speaker 1: (33:10)
Best examples. Yeah, uh, for sure those are my favorite problems to solve. Uh, and it's, and it, what's interesting is I think that the, um, let's put product data in the CRM 12, 18 months ago, it was like, oh yeah, like that's really interesting. Like, we should think about doing that. And now it, like we're having new customers come in that are like, we need a crm. We know marketing solution number one thing that's most important to us is like, we need a product data in there. Like let's talk about how we do that. Uh, and I think I, I don't think it's quite table stakes yet, but I do think that, uh, I think that's coming. Uh, and, and it should be something that you're thinking about and caring about. So what we typically see are, uh, one of the first pieces is like account creation.
Speaker 1: (33:50)
If, so, if you're a free trial driven business, we see this a lot where you use the forms api, push in contact creation, make sure you know who, who are my current, uh, people that are on trials know how long your trials last. Um, and then being able to see where those trials are at. And that's a little bit more up, up in the funnel. Uh, but in terms of sort of that product integration for that starting point, um, and being able to sort of see then what are the key actions that you care about, uh, sort of like in your trial experience, but then do the same exercise. So we see people do this cuz they, sometimes you'll have sort of a growth marketer, somebody on the product team that's really focused on like pretrial activation, but that mindset ends up disappearing, uh, on, on the CS side.
Speaker 1: (34:27)
And so I think the first piece is like, what are the key actions that are important? And you can, you can, and I'm not the person to, to speak to exactly how to do this, but you can, you can analyze this data, you can assess it, you can see, you know, what are the things that, uh, our customers do that most historically leads to them driving value from the platform most historically leads to them like actually renewing and, and staying. And it depends on how big your data set is and your product analytics and all those other pieces, but really have a good handle on what are the actions that we care about. Um, and then find out how you can get them into, uh, your CRM solution. And I think additionally to that, we also see people send, uh, both behavioral data. So that would be, you know, every time someone logs in every, sometime when someone maybe on in your case, right, it could be like they created a new org chart, uh, they added people to an org chart.
Speaker 1: (35:12)
Like those would be individual events. Um, and then also field level information. So how, how many org charts do they have? How many people or is on their average org chart? Uh, those are like field level pieces. And with, and honestly I think a lot of people think about, um, integration problems as they need really complex bidirectional syncing between all these applications. You really don't to get value, like really all you need is, uh, do they have an account? What are they they paying for? What tier are they on? Uh, what are the critical actions that they've taken and when was the last time they did those things? And with that data, you can create super proactive, uh, CS campaigns and surface, uh, automated touches and human touches against people based off of their engagement. We've seen customers that just by introducing, um, sort of more of like a, uh, renewal like life cycle type funnel.
Speaker 1: (36:00)
So think about it as here's someone who has, uh, really low engagement, they haven't really been involved in the platform, let's start sending them on an automated journey, uh, and trying to get them to kind of come back and, and use the tool before their next renewal. And they sort of have people that that's working really well against. And then for people it's not working well against, they're injecting sort of manual human-driven CS touches. And all of a sudden, instead of your CSM saying, uh, yeah, I have all these accounts, I've only gotten to this many, I'm calling 'em, they're, they're really saying like, here are the people who are totally fine, here are the people I'm engaging with and here's our action plan against each one of them. And ultimately to do that, like really you just need a last login date and then like, when was the last time they did some critical action that you care about? And you can power all of that automation off of that and add granularity as you go.
Speaker 3: (36:46)
Speaker 2: (36:48)
Speaker 3: (36:48)
Back. Go ahead Dan. No, go ahead
Speaker 2: (36:49)
Dan. I was gonna say that last login date is, um, it's underutilized, isn't it? It's like such a powerful, powerful number or date. Um,
Speaker 1: (36:58)
Yeah. All, all you need is last all You're like, oh wow, this person's logged in in like six months and we we should go find out what's going on.
Speaker 3: (37:06)
Yeah. That, that's
Speaker 1: (37:07)
Software's not, yeah, I soft, I, the, the, the phrase I use a lot is like, software's not a gym membership, right? Like, if, if people sign up and they pay for a year and they turn, it's horrible. Like it's not a good outcome at all. We don't want them to just be paying us and never use the tool they need to be driving value out of it, uh, or else it doesn't work. Uh, there's a question from Suzanne. I'll, I'll, I haven't read, is I'll read it to you guys and then I'm hoping that 1, 1 1 of you jumps on this, which is, uh, how does customer success and product teams collaborate most effectively, uh, when product data is now in the crm? So for us, activation and successful product configuration is being owned much more by customer success than product. Um, I'm happy to give a perspective there, but I imagine that, uh, both Dan and Mike have dealt with this really directly as well.
Speaker 3: (37:51)
Yeah. Um, I could take a stab at it. Uh, so the way I would see it then is like products would be kind of owning the facilitation of getting that data into the c r m, um, and, and, and helping making it, uh, consumable by the customer success team and now the customer success team can, can leverage that data that the product team is now giving them to, to help build almost exactly what you're talking about there, Connor nudges or internal alerts, uh, scoring systems, health scoring systems, um, to be able to, to be proactive and, and reactive talking to their customers. Uh, but it, it needs to be, it is more of a partnership to where when you have that data that you're getting from the product team, um, you know, the first time, the first like weeks and months that you get it, you're gonna learn stuff and you're gonna learn, well actually this data is great, but I actually need, I needed, uh, like a, a different version of that where I maybe need this data point instead of that data point. So it'll evolve and grow. And if you, you need to have a commitment from the product team to, you know, not be, not be reaching out to the customers or engaging with the customers, but to have that partnership to say, I'm gonna help give you the data to help make, um, your role in facilitating great customer experiences, um, through customer success to the most effective as possible.
Speaker 1: (39:18)
Yeah, I think to extend on that as well is I think that, um, product is gonna end up owning what, what gets tracked and is it, is it accessible? And what we typically find is sort of adding in a new thing that's ever been tracked before is, is a ha is hard, right? It's a high lift to do that. Um, so I, I'd always start with, uh, hey product, what do you have already? Uh, what's a field? What are events that you track? Do you send those somewhere else? Like are you using some sort of like, whether it's a mix panel or an Amplitude or you know, a GA or whatever you're using to kind of manage product behavior. Um, are you using one of those now and if so, what events are you, are you sending to those solutions? Um, and then I sort of have a CS and go back to them and be like, Hey, what of these do you care about?
Speaker 1: (40:00)
Um, cuz I'm sure that there's tons in there that they're like, none of this means anything to me. Like I don't, it just doesn't matter to me. It matters to a UX designer. Um, and then the CS team should be able to tell you, here are the things that we care about, uh, that we would really like to manage. Um, and, and I think we, we typically see that relationship brokered by someone on the rev op side. Um, and, and someone really saying, okay, hey, what do you care about? What do you have? How do we get those things connected? And sort of designing that integration piece of it. Um, but regardless of who sort of like owns that part of the experience, I think the important piece is they probably have a lot of this data already, and if they don't, CS can have a really meaningful interaction, especially at an earlier stage of an organization of defining what should we care about tracking, um, that we don't track.
Speaker 1: (40:43)
And your CS team can probably tell you, I would love to know if my customers have done X. Uh, and then that really informs product of here are the key things we should be managing. And the way that we usually think about it is, uh, manage the individual event, manage the, the incrementing numbers, so how many of them have there, have there been, and then the last date. Uh, and if you of the those three numbers, you, you can build really, really sophisticated, um, rules and automations and segments, uh, out of all of that as well.
Speaker 3: (41:12)
And, and keep it simple. I think that's what you're saying there, Connor. I think it's, that's one of the most important messages from this. Uh, so Suzanne, I think you just said you might have missed the beginning of the presentation. I was talking about, uh, those, these moments that matter and creating special events, uh, for your customers. So like really, really boiling it down to, to what, what data do you actually need to help create those experiences? Like, do you really need to know that they, um, have like opened your ebook 45 times? Like, just really think about what are those critical things? And, and what I would, if you haven't done so already, like I find a helpful exercise is to create, uh, kind of a health scorecard, uh, of an i of, uh, of four customers that you can do a kind of grading metric against. Uh, and that could be like last logins obviously a really good one. Uh, combinations of apps, like if they're using this app and this app, they're more successful together, uh, transactions, uh, NPSs data if you have it, maybe there's some financial data, uh, but start to build out like a health check sort of model and manually grade your customers against it and see does it work? And, and then you can be better informed when you, when you need to make requests from the product team.
Speaker 1: (42:35)
Yeah, I think to tack onto that too, to your point, um, and this applies to all integrations, uh, but I think also on the product side too, people always start with, I need really tight, realtime, bidirectional, all the fields, all the data. And it's like start, start with really what adds value. Uh, and, and that doesn't mean that, you know, having all the data is, is useless, but uh, you know, it starts to be noise. Um, and you really wanna focus on what are the key signals that really can drive outcomes, uh, and and really focus on how can we measure and manage those. And I think to your point, you don't need to build the whole integration to figure that out. Uh, it, it's really a strategy exercise between what are those customer segments, what is the user behavior? And let's sort of combine all of those together and come out the other side with here are the three or four things we maybe care about and everything else is, is noise.
Speaker 3: (43:24)
Uh, well we, I'll tell you a quick story about how HubSpot evolved this. Um, when we started the renewals team, uh, six or seven years ago, one of the first functions that we built was this, this health health score. And, uh, for a year and a half we had the renewal managers manually filling out a health score for every customer coming up for renewal. And so we would have to go like, look at the, for us, I think we were, I forget what we were using, something like Mix Panel or something like that. We would go and look at those numbers, we would then go back into our scorecard system. We would fill that out, we would go read like what the customer's, uh, support comments were. It, it would take about an hour, hour and a half. It was a heavy investment into, into getting to to, to get to know the health of a customer. And we'd do that six months before renewal and three months before renewal. And we built up that data for almost, like I said, a year and a half before we hired a data scientist to come in and start to automate a lot of that. And now today it is all automated and we can have the health of the customer at our fingertips anytime, but we spent a heavy investment making sure we got that right before we started to make a heavy investment into, into building it out.
Speaker 1: (44:43)
I to echo that, this is a, what was it? What was it, the HubSpot headcount when you guys were doing this at that time or number of you, any meaningful metric on size, whether it's people or customers?
Speaker 3: (44:54)
Uh, let's see, with people we were probably like 800 employees, 6, 6, 7, 6, 7, 800
Speaker 1: (45:02)
Employees. And I think the, the important part here is like you don't need to solve for the perfect situation to, to really add an and include meaningful value. And I think that that's a really valuable anecdote cuz I think that one of the things that we always are working with smaller organizations on is this desire to really over-engineer and over-complicate and do a lot of these things and it's like, listen man, like it, if you have 800 people and you have all of these customers and you're doing all of this and you can build out house scores that's solved for some of this, like, that's a good first step. And really make sure you understand that strategy in which you care about before you're building out all of the complex integration components or else you're gonna have to tear it all down later anyway.
Speaker 3: (45:46)
Yeah, if you, something my, uh, director likes to say a lot if you, uh, if you automate a broken process while you still have a broken process, so, uh, go back to the roots of, of what you're looking for. Um, yeah, and you had mentioned their earlier counter rev ops typically owns, it's kind of in between, between products and, uh, customer success. And if you have a rev op function, um, that's super and like you, you, that helps to bring that alignment there, um, and, and to work between the two orgs. And if you don't have it, that's okay too, but, you know, start to build those relationships yourself.
Speaker 1: (46:27)
Take one more else. We'll wrap, if anyone has anything else that you wanna ask, I'll start thanking you guys regardless, which is, uh, this is awesome. Thank you guys so much for coming.
Speaker 3: (46:39)
Yeah, absolutely. Uh, Connor, I actually had a question for you. Sure. You know, you've been doing these integrations, um, for, for customers with inside of HubSpot and I find it is super exciting to have, uh, custom objects and being able to do this like really cool stuff with inside of HubSpot. Uh, what are kind of like the top, uh, pains that, that your customers are seeing and that you're helping to solve now
Speaker 1: (47:05)
That is a doozy of a question. . Uh, I I would say, uh, the, let's see top how many, how many did did you give me? Did you just say top pans? I didn't get, I
Speaker 3: (47:16)
Didn't get Yeah, yeah. Top pains. Yeah, no, no numbers. Very, very open.
Speaker 1: (47:20)
Uh, I, so I would say like some of the big ones that we always see is, um, it all comes down really to alignment between different functions, right? And where that critical function breaks off. So we see between sales and marketing, it's, it's attribution, it's marketing's doing all these things and sales is doing these things if we don't know which one is driving value and we're trying to figure that out so we can make sort of Gordon market investments as a pretty constant theme. Um, I'd say pr I, I'll sort of use the term like product blindness, but one of the reasons that I talk a lot about, uh, the integration components from other parts of the process mm-hmm. product here is specific to like, if you're a SaaS company and you have some of those pieces figured out, but even if you're not a SaaS company, right?
Speaker 1: (47:58)
If you're doing shipping or you have some service delivery or wherever the post sale experience is driven, I think the someone we see all the time is the, uh, the CS and the sales teams and the people that are interacting with customers just don't have data about who that customer is or what that customer's doing, especially after the sale. Um, and you know, we see it on the service delivery side of like, how many hours in the retainer has this person used? Is there project almost done? Like Yeah. Is their project over budget? Like, I don't know, , uh, and, and similarly, right, you see it on, uh, software is like, Hey, I'm telling this customer like, Hey, are you planning on renewing what's going on? And this customer's like, yeah, dude, like we're doing tons of stuff in the product right now. Like, like, don't, don't, like now I'm like, are you gonna turn us off?
Speaker 1: (48:39)
Like, are you gonna upgrade us? Do we need to be worried about that? Should we be reevaluating this whole position? Um, and I think just generally having, uh, information around the rest of the pieces, um, of what that looks like. And so I think that adds a lot of value as well. Um, and then I'd put sort of the, uh, other elements that we run into are, uh, having generally like data sync integration woes across different tools as well. Um, I give a, a big shout out to, uh, if you guys have not seen the new, uh, HubSpot commercial, uh, what is HubSpot when I, I'd check it out. I think it speaks really heavily to this, uh, which is people just being like, Hey, I'm seeing this in this system, and you're seeing that in that system and no one knows what the right answer is.
Speaker 1: (49:25)
And, and we see that being a common challenge that we run into as well, which comes down to it's sync, it's processed it, some data doesn't get to some places and it gets to others. Um, and that's sort of a pretty consistent theme regardless of, of which team, uh, we end up working with. So we do, we do a lot of audits, we do a lot of process enhancements, we do a lot of integration and technical execution work, but I think it really comes back to like the strategy of defining, uh, and I really like the, if you automated broken process, you still have a broken process, which is, yeah, we have a lot of like, what, what is the problem we're trying to solve here? And you find out like, we built layer on top of layer on top of layer. And like the root cause issue is just that like no one knows if this customer has an active plan, so we've created all this stuff going on. You're like, if we knew that, would we need to do any of this? Like, oh no, that That'd be great. Uh, and you sort of want to question that premise of like, is this even the problem that we have?
Speaker 3: (50:18)
Speaker 1: (50:20)
Cool. Any, any closing things before I, before I cut you both off and say we're done? ?
Speaker 3: (50:29)
Uh, I'd just like to, to thank you guys for, for inviting me here. Um, I always love to talk about customer success and rev ops. I find it such a fascinating topic because like as you mentioned Connor, like when you start to dive into a customer success team and what are they doing today and like how are they managing this? It's, it's all over the place. It's all over the spectrum of how people are solving this cuz it's such a, such a ne necessity, uh, to have, but nobody, there's no like blueprint to say like, if you're going, like, if you're going like sales has lots of blueprints, you can look 'em up, there's tons of them. You can pick a method and go for it. And customer success is still totally evolving. And uh, and it's a lot of fun to be in this space and have your hands, uh, in, in creating these solutions for, for your company and for your customers and, and in your career. And as you start to grow your skills and start to go off and help maybe build your own company or go work for other companies. Like we're building this customer success rev op function now. And, uh, so thanks for, thanks for having me here and chatting about it and I hope that we can do this again and continue the conversation because I don't think it stops here.
Speaker 2: (51:43)
No, and I'll just echo that as well. Like, S Cs role is different from company to company to company and like Mike said, if you're doing sales, it's pretty similar. Like it's, it is win a win a new customer move on, win a new customer move on. Whereas cs, there's so many different responsibilities we didn't even touch on, uh, health scoring being one of them. Um, so yeah, always happy to debate and uh, and chat through all the things that CS are involved with
Speaker 1: (52:11)
For sure. We should do a debate on that. If CS should be what, what should CS be focused on? Renewals, expansion. Like what, what is that metric would be a fun conversation as well. Uh, well thank you guys both so, so much for coming and sharing your insights both as heavy practitioners, uh, and, and experts at a whole bunch of different stages of organization, uh, is really awesome. So really appreciate you guys coming on. Thanks everybody for, for attending. We'll send out the recording as well for, uh, anybody who wasn't able to make it or, uh, to anybody who joined, uh, a little later than the start time as well. Um, but thank you guys all so much and we will do uh, more of these in the future
Speaker 2: (52:46)
Cheer. Thank you. Thanks
Speaker 3: (52:48)