The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

How Role Specialization Leads to a Seamless Customer Experience w/ Roy Raanani

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Role specialization is becoming more and more important to the customer experience.

Roy Raanani, CEO of Chorus.ai, joins us to chat about how the conversational intelligence leader creates a seamless customer experience (and how you can too).

If you want to take at a deep dive into the mind of customers to improve their experience, this is the episode for you.

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast.This podcast is brought to you by outreach dot ioh, the leading sales engagementplatform helping companies, sellers and customer success engaged with buyers and customers in themodern sales era. Check out sales engagementcom for new episodes resources in the bookon sales engagement coming soon. Now let's get into today's episode. Everyone,thanks to get for joining us on another incredible episode of these sales engagement podcast. I'm your host, Jovi Nollo, senior content managing editor at outreach,and we have another fantastic guest on the show today. We have Roy Ranani, CEO of chorus dot Ai, and he's going to be talking a littlebit about handoffs, about the evolution of role, specialization, a lot ofdifferent things. But before we get to that, I'm going to toss iton over to Roy, who can introduce himself tell us a little bit abouthis background and more about chorus. Roy, thanks for being on the show.My pleasure. Thanks much for having me. So tell us a littlebit about chorus and how you got there. Yeah, well, we started thecompany a little over three years ago. I am originally from Toronto, Canada. So I apologize if any of your listeners have trouble with my accent. But I started off studying engineering and built my career doing technical pre salesfor an enterprise software company, and so that was my first exposure to theworld of startups, the world of tech and working remotely on the phone,working directly with clients and just realizing how important those conversations are with customers andthe impact that a good versus a bad conversation can have on their experience andwhether or not they ultimately convert and become a customer. So I spent abouteight years doing law or scale consulting to large technology companies and everything from Cirrqueto sole at to gold mines in Interior Alaska, before going back to myfirst love, which was building companies and realizing there was an amazing opportunity tohelp companies have better business conversations by analyzing and improving their sales and customer successcalls. Yeah, and chances are our listeners have probably had some interaction withchorus at this point. It's been a part of a meeting they've had and, full disclosure, are going to market. Team uses chorus and chorus employees.He's outreach. So just want to get that out there. We loveeach other's products. So yeah, that's get that clear in the beginning here, but I want to talk a little bit. Let let's start at thebeginning here. We're talking about handoffs, but it's really about creating this hiscohesive and enjoyable end to end customer experience. Can you talk a little bit aboutthat? Yeah, it's you know, it's really interesting because if you lookat the evolution, what we're really talking about is a move towards rolespecialization and if you put on your customer...

...centric cat and I know that allof us think about how we can put the customer front and Center. Theoptimal experience for a customer would be one person across the entire journey that canmeet all their needs, from initial contact to doing the discovery, to gettingthe deal closed, to servicing and delivering on the commitments that were made.And that was how we started. But over time there's a lot of pressure. That happens in organizations and obviously we look towards role specialization. We startedthinking about creating a specialized role for people that would just focus on doing theoutbound prospecting and creating that initial contact and we had accounty executives that are spendingmore and more of their time focusing on more qualified leads to improve that productivityand then, of course, handing off the customer at that point to somebodyspecialized in servicing the account and making sure that their needs are being met.And on the plus side of that, you're getting a lot more efficiency becausewe know how different those motions are. We know that we have very differentways of compensating and rewarding people, we know that we look for different typesof skill sets, and so there were all of these benefits that came fromthat specialization. But every time you have a process and there's a boundary oran interface case, you introduce complexity, you introduce the need for coordination costsand there's a real risk to the customer experience if it isn't done well.And so I think that in any organization there's an opportunity to think deeply aboutthe customer journey, thinking about those interface does, thinking about who in theorganization owns what part of it is it? You know, in many organizations theXDR teams may report into marketing and then it gets handed over to sales, which is in a separate organization, and then it gets handed over tocustomer success, which may yet again be a separate organization. And so reallythinking about how to structure the organization, how to structure the incentives, howto make sure everybody's working together. is where the team work comes into playat the leadership level. Well, let's talk a little bit about those challengesthat come with the benefits of rule specialization. I mean, it can be toomany cooks in the kitchen, but, as we've found over time, thisis the correct process, but it's not without challenges. Talk a littlebit about the challenges that you're seeing as these as all of these organizations areworking together, and then how can you overcome some? Yeah, I meanmy my first point, more my I should say, my first observation fromworking with hundreds of companies, their customers of ours that we try to helpwith this problem is, first and foremost, very little of it is intentional,or as intentional as you want it to be. And so at somescale, at some level of scale, things don't happen by accident like everythinghas to happen intentionally, and the challenge, of course, is information which isthe cornerstone of all of this, is what gets lost. So thefirst thing that we tried to do is figure out how do we understand whatthe most important information is to a customer...

...and make sure that that information isbeing captured make sure that it's getting shared with everybody that needs to be involved. The second thing that we look for is creating trust. And especially inhigh growth organizations, sometimes things slip through the cracked then if there isn't apresumption of trust between the folks that are working together, that things aren't beingdone, you know intentionally they're just maybe not being done because it's not documentedin the process or the processes and being executed as well as possible can leadto the issues. So thinking through how do you build tight relationships between thoseteams so that they understand that they both have the customers best interest at heartand if something happens, it's an opportunity to get better, it's an opportunityto learn from it, to improve the process and not create any additional tension. And then thirdly, I would say it's about creating a really tight feedbackloop so that as you're learning and as you're doing these handoffs let's say,for example, that an xtr schedules a meeting and the account executive ends uptaking that meeting and disqualify the opportunity. In many organization happens all the time. Right. In many organizations, there may not be a feedback loop wherethe account executive shares that feedback directly with the XDR, right to basically sayhey, Joe, really appreciate you scheduling this meeting for me. By theway, twenty minutes in we started digging into this and it turned out thatthey actually didn't have this aspect of our ICP, which means they're not ready, which is why I'm sending it back to you. And so, ifthinking about how do you create a process where you're closing that loop with thefolks that need to you know, that need to be aware, such thatyou can improve the process, such that there's clear metrics and reporting on whatis working what isn't working, and going from there, I want to goback to trust a little bit because obviously if without that feedback loop right andin a disqualifies an account and the SDR never knows why or the Xtr neverknows why, that takes a big hit to the trust factor. Right,you're just you're in the dark. You think I did all this work andyou know these guys just or this gal is just throwing stuff away. I'msure you've come in to organizations when they started implementing chorus and you've seen thatbroken trust issue right there. How do you begin to repair them? Yeah, it's a really great question and you're right, it's so important. Oneof the things that I think really impacts it is a lack of transparency andand so you know one of the things that I know this. You knowthis is one of the great implications of implementing software like outreach, when youstart to get visibility into how many activities people are doing and that information becomespublic to the team and you start to see, hey, you know thisperson, I can see why they're performing better, I can see what they'redoing. Transparency help solve a lot of issues with what we're talking about.Usually those interactions, right, the phone calls or the meetings when the AEtakes over, are a black box and...

...so the conversation happens and there's novisibility to anybody but the account executive of what happened in that meeting. Andso it becomes. He said, she said. Once you implement something likechorus and you can actually point to the conversation itself, you can answer thequestion very easily. Was the opportunity not qualified, in which case here's acoaching moment for the BDR and the account executive, if you give them theright coaching to say, you know, hey, Rebecca, whenever we're dowe disqualifying opportunity. Let's really give a shout out to the xdr that scheduledthe meeting because you can do their job. We couldn't do our jobs without them, and let's use it as an opportunity for you to coach them onwhat they can do differently or better next time. That creates an opportunity tobuild trust and because the XDR can actually listen to that call that at theAE had, they can see that, hey, you know why, you'reright. Like they were right, this wasn't properly qualified and I can learnfrom that. On the other side, there have been a lot of customersthat, as they start pushing up market, the leads are maybe a little bitless warm than they used to be. When somebody was coming in down theywere putting their hand up and basically saying I'm ready to buy, andand that's transitioning to you know, it's an outbound colder opportunity where the a'shave to work a lot more and maybe they're not used to the amount ofwork that they need to put in or the skills that are required on thatcall to convert the opportunity, and so they may unintentionally disqualify it, thinkingthis person's not ready, where if their manager had heard that conversation, theycould say, you know, you know what, Joe, I actually don'tthink that this should have been disqualified. It might take a little bit morework, but this is a part of your pipeline. Let's talk through whatwe can do to overcome some of those objections. Let's talk through some ofthe things that we could highlight to make to create the urgency around why thisis something that they should be looking at now. And so all of thattransparency, I think, helps create the trusts because you're not just operating ina vacuum. Yeah, I one hundred percent agree and I know we're focusinga lot on xtr to AE handoffs here and you're laying out a lot ofvery tactical things that people can do right away. But what about post sale? What about account executive to customer success? And then by first of what aboutwhen they gets tossed back? On occasion, we talk a little bitabout that. Yeah, I mean putting my putting my customer centerric hat onagain. I think it's, you know, for a lot of customers it's reallyscary to buy a piece of software and not know whether or not it'sgoing to play out the way that it was promised during the sales process.It's a risk. It's a risk right and and people, you know,these buyers are oftentimes putting parts of their career on the line when they choosea vendor, when they select to work withoutreach or when they choose to workwith chorus, and so those initial conversations after they signed the contract and it's, you know, in the point of no return. A lot of thetime, they're not worried about the you know, the spend or the youknow, the dollars that they're out there worried about and I actually going tobe able to hit my objectives right?...

Am I going to get that promotion? Are I going to look bad for leaning in to this particular vendor onthis particular technology, and so I think that the trust point that we weretalking about really comes into play. And a lot of the time the challengesthat we hear from our customers is that there the the CSN doesn't necessarily havethe full context right. Imagine that there have been seven meetings involving multiple peoplewhere the account executive was running the show, really deeply understanding their needs. Buthow much of that really makes its way into the CRM? How muchlike how many of our account executives are really scheduling a one hour call withthe CSM to walk them through exactly what the expectations are, what it isthat we committed to in the words of the customer, so that the CSMcan start the call feeling like, you know, there wasn't a single missedbeat right, like we talked about at the very beginning. Imagine that weonly had one role and it was responsible for selling and implementing and delivering thevalue. And so that's really the biggest challenge that we see and many customersget frustrated if that information transfer doesn't happen and they're repeating themselves. It feelslike a bit of a bait and switch. Absolutely, and it's I'm mulling itover in my mind. It's so difficult to make that experience on theon the buyer side to be so seamless because you have so many people involved. I mean, what are some just like concrete takeaways right now today thatour listeners can do to make all of these handoffs better? I mean we'vegot sometimes a's or overpromising and now CSS to pick up the pieces. Wehave best durs working their butts off sourcing leads. A's are d queuing thingswithout the knowledge. I mean we've got over some things, but like tinylittle tactical things people can take away. I think the first thing is togoing back to the A to CSM handoff. The first thing would be there's realvalue and recording calls, and I'm not just saying that because in theCEO of a company that does it. But a's don't have the time andI think that we can all appreciate that. It's very difficult for them to makean hour to, you know, sixty to ninety minutes to do afull handoff to the CSM, even though it's it's the right thing for thecustomer and so being able to hand off very specific moments in key meetings withthe prospect to the CSMS that they can hear in their own words what theprospect is looking for, what the expectations are, is fantastic. Secondly,putting things in writing right. So if you are creating a mutual close plan, if you're articulating what the commitments are, you're getting that mutual buy and fromthe prospect becomes extremely powerful. Number three is, and I know thatyou can't do this for all deals, for all customer commers, but certainlyas you move up market, we found that customer success can be a realdifferentiator in the sales process, and so making sure that the account executives aretrained on exactly what the CS process looks like once a deal gets closed andcan speak to it, and even better,...

...if implementation is something that's that's akey decision criteria for the buyer. Thinking about involving the CSN in oneof the later stage meetings right and having them walk through this is what theimplementation would look like. Obviously you want to make sure that you're only doingthat for deals that are very likely to close or that you have a goodshot of at the right point in the sales process. But that also helpsmake that transition even smoother. I love that. I love involving this,the the CSM, in a late stage call. I think that's you know, I don't think I've heard that before and any of it's super valuable.Yeah, we tend to do it a lot because, you know, withwith sales software in particular, everybody knows the fear of shelf ware. Theywould they worry about, are we going to buy something? Is it goingto be implemented, is it going to be used? And so for us, differentiating through customer success has been a big winner for us in upmarket conversationsespecially. And the second thing that we've done that's been extremely effective is definingvery specific stages for post sale in sales forcecom with very clear exit criteria theexact same way that you have them in the sales process. And so anexample might be that the first you know, typically thirty days during the onboarding phase. You can't exit the onboarding phase until you have eighty percent plus useradoption, right. So whatever user adoption metrics you're looking for, let's measurethem. Let's make sure that we're reporting on them and that becomes part ofthe stagegate for exiting the onboarding phase. And so if you do things likethat, if you include an MPs measure, for example, you know the threethings that we look at our engagement, so making sure that eighty percent plusof users are onboarded and have become daily active users, making sure thatthere's a high net promoter score and then ultimately looking for evangelism or a customerreferral right and so those are very concrete types of things that you can thinkabout. And Yeah, I'd be curious how many of your listeners are creatingseparate stages post sale at the opportunity level to the measure. You know howlong our customers spending and each one of those stages, and is there cleardata that shows you know that we've hit certain milestones that we know impact adoptionvalue and evangelism? That eighty percent number? It's really interesting. I'm imagining youhave CS people they're just bogged down. I mean, obviously with with toolslike ours, people like them, they adopt them pretty easily, butfor companies out there that you have to work pretty hard to get that adoptionrate up to eighty percent. I mean are you just hiring more and worthyas people are on boarding people like what's I'm just blown away by you.Can't leave that stage until you get eighty percent. That's a pretty high number. Yeah, I'm not I'm not really sure what to say. I thinkthat a part of it comes down to product right and a part of itcomes down to change management. But we communicate those expectations to our customers.So the customers that the CSM will actually...

...say, you know, hey,Joe, we're going on board you. But I just want to be reallyup front about what we look for. I don't consider onboarding done until wehave eighty percent of the license seats as active users, right, as monthlyactive users, and once we do that, we're going to do this, thisand this. This is what we're going to deliver. And then,once we've delivered that, I want to be able to come to you andask you for a referral. That is my goal, that's what I'm beingrewarded on, that's what I'm being measured on and that's our goal. Wewant to make you successful and then I want to I want to be ata point where I can I can ask you know, for you to referus to other folks, and it works because then everybody knows that we're allin the same page. And we actually share those score cards with our customersduring the on boarding phase and beyond, so they see exactly where adoption is, they see exactly where the value is, who's using who's not using, andthen we help them drive that change through the org I mean, Ithink that's fantastic and I hope that a lot of our listeners will start implementingsomething like that because it just ensures success throughout the having the customer. Youknow, having a customer mean like you're just you're getting off on a goodfirst step and a good first impression and getting most of the organization adopting yourproduct, and it's it makes everything a lot easier from that point on.So if there was one takeaway right that our listeners could have, and youknow they if they've zoned out for the majority of the PODCAST, would thatbe? I think the one takeaway would be spend as much, if notmore, time looking at the interfaces or the boundaries between key parts in yoursales process as you do digging into a specific stage. So we all knowhow much time we spend really thinking about the initial called call and how torun it and how to improve it? We all think about how to runa great demo or a great discovery call. How much time are we spending thinkingabout that interface in the handoff and what we're looking for and how tomeasure if it's working and how to improve it? And the hard part aboutthat is that the one person who is most impacted by it isn't a partof the conversation. They're not on the room at all. And how doyou make sure that that voice is a part of the conversation and you're puttingthem front and center so that you can hopefully, hopefully went off of theback of the quality product that you have and, on top of that,maybe add in the quality of your your customer experience. Absolutely I think everyonerewind and play that one one more time so it sinks in. That wasfantastic. Right. If people want to get ahold of you and learn moreabout you or chorus, how can they do that? Sure things, soyou can reach me on Linkedin, Roy Renanni, are double a and Ani, or on twitter at Roy are perfect, and also go to chorus dot AI. I'm sure to learn more about your product. Absolutely. I wantto thank you for being on the show today, Roy, and I alsowant to think chorus for being a top...

...tier sponsor of unleash this year atleast. It's coming up in March in study San Diego. Roy, youand last year, how what would you think of it? Unleash was oneof, if not the best customer conference that I had been to. Wesponsored it last year as a platinum sponsor. Absolutely loved it. There's something aboutpeople that there's something about unleash, sorry outreach customers that feel like thereally students of the game, and so I felt like I had some ofthe best conversations about the future of sales, the future of creating repeatable, highgrowth, well understood customer centric sales processes. And obviously we have aton of mutual customers without reach, and so it was a great opportunity forme to connect with the customers of ours faces to face and just have areally great time. So we're excited to be a sponsor again this year andan even bigger, more successful conference than last year. Yeah, absolutely,and and Roy's exactly right. It's a great time to to connect with customers. It was the first time I met Roy. We sat at the sametable at one of the dinners and it was a fantastic and now here weare on a podcast. I want to have a I have a special giftfor all of our listeners. As we said, at least she's coming up, and if you go to unleash dot outreach dioh and enter the Promo Codepod goals, that's pod goals all on word he Odgoa Ls, you gettwenty percent off regular ticket price. So go for it. We want tohang out with you down in San Diego. Roy Wants to meet you, Iwant to meet you. Everybody outreach wants to meet you. So goingbuy your tickets and we'll see you down there in March, when the restof the country is drenched in rain and buried in snow. Come down tothe beach and get some Sun. Joe. Can I add one more thing?I just realized that we have a we actually have a special offer foroutreach customers, and so if you want a full year of chorus dot aifor outreach voice to automatically analyze your outreach voice calls, you can sign upat start dotcrus dot ai slash outreach voice awesome. That's perfect. I meanI would hope that everyone would at least give it a shot. Maybe Daycall you up and get a demo of a Corus, because it's fantastic andit's a kind of fun to listen to other people's sales calls. It's great. They can feel like kind of eavesdropping a little bit. Don't worry,they know you're listening, but it's it's always a good time to hear helppeople pitch and talk to customers. So go check it out and thanks again, Roy for being on the show. If you like what you heard today, go to itunes give us a good rating or go to sales engagemcom andsubscribe to the podcast and we will see you next time on these sales gagementpodcast. This was another episode of the sales engagement podcast. Join US atsales engagementcom for new episodes, resources and the book on sales engagement coming soon. To get the most out of your sales engagement strategy, make sure tocheck out outreach die Oh, the leading sales engagement platform. See you onthe next episode.

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