Do you know a lot about your customers? And if you do, do you struggle to find ways to put those insights into action?
Welcome or welcome back to insider insights, timely and relevant insights from B2B insiders. I'm your host Lorin McCann. And today we have special guests Georgiana Loudy. Georgianna is a SAS marketing and growth advisor who helps companies like sprout social, Unbounce and app cues turn customer insights into revenue generating outcomes. She's also the cofounder of forget the funnel, a program for marketers, founders, and the product leaders to create scalable customer led growth. So geo, welcome to the show. I've shared a brief introduction about you, but tell us a little bit more about yourself and what brought you into the role that you're in today.
Speaker 1: (00:45)
Um, first of all, thanks for having me. It's great to be here. Um, so my background, uh, I've been doing marketing online for nearly 20 years. Uh, it was just talking about this yesterday that it is shocking that I got into online marketing in like 1999 in like the eCommerce space and SEO and content marketing and social media marketing and all that stuff, sort of at the various or front of it. And then around, um, 2010, I shifted focus. Actually, maybe it's 2009 I shifted focus almost entirely to tech startups and SAS. So for the last 10, 10 years I've been completely focused on B2B software, uh, because I love it and I love the subscription model that comes along with SAS and how interesting that makes marketing because the traditional sort of acquisition focused marketing though it's super fun and there's lots to do there. And I love hanging out there in the SAS business model. Marketing has a role to play in the entire customer experience, which, um, I don't know. I just think it's really, really cool and really fun and it's always changing and yeah, super fun to get to be there.
Speaker 2: (01:59)
Yeah, that's amazing. I mean, I think it's so cool that you, since you have so much experience in this one area, we've seen it evolve over the last 10 years. You kind of been there for huge part of the journey is, you know, the entire SAS space is become, it's gone from what it was 10 years ago to what it is today. Um, okay. So I'm gonna throw, I'm gonna throw like a surprise question at you right out of the [inaudible]
Speaker 1: (02:26)
Speaker 2: (02:27)
I guess like the biggest change from 10 with us with 10 years ago to today.
Speaker 1: (02:32)
Oh, that's a great question. Um, you know what, I wish I could say the, the sort of standard fare like, Oh, the fact that it's like not on prem anymore and it's all in the cloud because that's sort of a given 10 years go. It was like that's when the cloud really took over. I mean not that on prem isn't still a thing cause obviously it is still the thing is in some industries, but it obviously, um, moving to like, uh, web apps, um, and you know, cloud based software was the obviously the biggest change. But to be honest with you, between then when it really started and now mostly it's like the sophistication, uh, [inaudible] of product development and product strategy and it's just done so much more smartly now. Okay. If that makes sense. You mean like strategy and like the UX just, just think about what it was like to use, you know, the, the, the QuickBooks that you bought off the shelf in like versus the QuickBooks that you use today. It's just so much more user friendly and it's like a more enjoyable experience. And I think that development and product, um, managers are really more, more focused now on making sure that the, the software experience is enjoyable as opposed to functional. It was very functional before and now the light is like, it's a, it's a core value of like a lot of software companies and you know, making sure that that experience is actually [inaudible] fun and smooth, you know, more customer focused then just functionality.
Speaker 2: (04:13)
Definitely. Okay. That's a great insight and I'm so grateful that um, I, I guess that has been the biggest change because it makes everyone's life so much better. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Okay. Um, great. So you handled this, this curve ball questions, everything else is going to be super easy. But, um, question number one is, you know, you've been doing this for so long, you obviously have seen this space transform so much and you know, you know, really like what th what's next in fast. Mmm. And what's relevant right now. So what's the, what's the number one thing that has you most excited?
Speaker 1: (04:52)
Uh, yeah, when we talked about this a couple of weeks back and customer research is definitely, um, like it's wonderful, wonderful to see customer research sort of make its way into, Mmm. Just like it's, it's made its way into like the popular sort of dialogue in my space, which is in marketing. Right. Um, and that is lovely to see. You know, finally marketers talking about customer research is like, that's a big change. That was not the case even a few years ago. And why that excites me is because customer research is, is going to sort of fuel the next evolution, I believe in SAS, which is that B2B, especially on the B2B side, because I think B to C already knows this very well. But on the B2B side, lowering the touch needed to acquire a customer and onboard a customer really lends itself very well or I should say relies on customer research and really having a deep customer, uh, understanding.
Speaker 1: (05:57)
Mmm. Because if you don't have that customer understanding, you're basically building a lower touch product experience blindly like you're doing it and you can gather that customer insight. You're in a way, way, way better position than you. You're in a more strategic decision or position I should say, to build experiences that are going to resonate and that will speak to individual customer's needs. And when I say individual, I need, you know, a use case or segment or um, okay job to be done so to speak. And you can actually build much more effective. Uh, I'll just say onboarding for now, but obviously acquisition is really important as far as customer research goes, expansion, retention, all those things that you can Jessica, a lot more effective. It'd be a lot more effective if you really have a deep customer understanding. And one of my friends favorite recent examples of this, which is like in the wild and very recent is uh, Michael licks, um, who's the CEO of video card and vid yard recently.
Speaker 1: (07:00)
They're, they're going to be my poster child for this a little bit. Um, so there's a, an Intercom, a podcast. I am forgetting the name of the podcast right now. It is a great one though. I think it's, amen. Um, and I also saw, uh, Michael Litt at SAS doc talking about this. Um, essentially how they went down market instead of upmarket and they went from targeting only companies. Um, I believe it was like 200 plus. So they were going for like, I mean it's still arguably SMB, but the larger SMB, um, or, or you know, mid market and they went from focusing on only that to instead of moving over to a two way, way, way lowering the barrier and letting everybody in. So basically open the flood Gates and offered a freemium solution so that many more people could experiment with the tool and get access to it.
Speaker 1: (07:53)
And, and I achieve like reach a value with it. And then once they needed more sophisticated functionality, they're, they're, they're receiving value. Um, they're already, um, well I'll use a terrible word, but like indoctrinated into using video card and then they're in a position to pay. Um, and so them switching, I don't know what the numbers are, I know it's multi-millions, but they, in a very short period of time, we're able to grow really, really quickly by offering a much lower touch acquisition strategy essentially. And not only acquisition but also onboarding. And so they were really deliberate about it and they have like re the benefits of it big time. Super interesting story. I would definitely say in the show notes or something, I'll send you the link to that article. It's really, really interesting. Yeah, we'll include it. So this is the thing though, cause like what an unsexy mu but most people don't. Yeah. But I mean yeah, you know, I am just imagining a, you know, their team like sitting in a conference room and thanks, we're going to go downmarket yeah, yeah.
Speaker 1: (09:03)
Right, right. That's not really, I think, how to thinking. So, um, maybe we can actually, let's break this down a little bit more even. Um, and just, but before we do, I just, I want to clarify for people. So when we're talking about customer research, um, I think a lot of people are thinking of surveys. For example, we're looking at there, um, analytics data or something. So what, what do you mean when you're saying customer research for the purpose of really getting amazing results? Yeah, uh, that's a really good question. Um, so depending on the, unfortunately the answer is it depends, which I guess, yeah, I have to lead with that. Um, mostly it depends because it depends on the, the makeup of the company and the resources available. So there's some companies that are early stage and very small operations that, um, they just really need to get their feet wet and they need to get started.
Speaker 1: (10:06)
And so surveys are great sort of gateway drug, so to speak, to getting into, um, gaining some of that insight so that they can develop some hypotheses and then run some experiments. Um, and so that would be surveys. I, you know, customer surveys, website surveys, things like that. Even like [inaudible], um, some market research, especially if you're like pre-launch, I mean that's all you have, right? You have to do [inaudible] the market research, but there are some really effective, very turnkey ways to do customer research for those, you know, companies who are either resource strapped or maybe have, um, a C suite that is a little bit resistant to investing in like longterm research. Um, and I really do describe it as the gateway drug because once you do do a little bit and, um, you glean some of that insight, it becomes really obvious to the leadership team.
Speaker 1: (11:01)
Like, wow, we can make way more strategic decisions now because we have just this little insight. And that only took a couple of weeks or maybe a month, um, to gather. And then obviously at more mature companies, um, and those that are bought into customer research and maybe even have a customer experience team potentially, obviously that looks very different for that team. Right? It would be more ongoing. It would be iterative. Um, [inaudible] I imagine, um, you know, experiments run, hypotheses, run and experiments run all the time and, and there'd be potential to wow at every stage company there should be potential for customer insight to influence product strategy. But, uh, inside of a more mature company, obviously product strategy would rely a lot on customer research, right? So anybody in product management would be looking to research and customer insights, um, in order to make those decisions. So they could be at that level.
Speaker 1: (11:58)
They might be customer advisory boards or um, very deliberate, uh, beta testing or ongoing surveys or very timely sort of surveys being, uh, requested it. Mmm. Or surveys I should say, being served every timely moments within a customer experience, depending on what is being optimized for. Depending on, you know, what a problem is, trying to be solved. Very specific and contextual, contextual, that was the word I needed. What do you think about actual, like conversations, actual customer interviews? Does that factor into your process? For sure. Um, there are a lot of scenarios where the only option is interviews like an [inaudible], um, especially for, uh, in the enterprise space. If your customers are enterprise that you don't have, there's no way you could run an effective survey [inaudible] with, you know, under a couple of hundred people. Like there's no way out. Only choice in that scenario is to run interviews.
Speaker 1: (13:00)
Um, I see. I think, and I, you know, I would defer to you on this obviously cause I don't consider myself like a customer research expert by any means, but I do. Um, did you do it a little bit and obviously I support companies through it. I what worries me about interviews mostly again is like stakeholder pushback. Um, because right. They're not easy. They're so easy to mess up. They really are making take a long time too run and like finish the whole process from beginning to end because you've got to identify the right customers to reach out to and then you've got to get them to agree in, you've got to get them to show up and then you gotta not watch the interview itself. And then you got to take, and you've got to like parse the transcripts and like it's heavy lifting.
Speaker 1: (13:45)
It's very, um, there's a lot to it. And there's a little there, there's a lot more, um, margin for error maybe and for estate longer. But the result you get is so, so, so much richer than in surveys. And what am I doing to please, to attack, uh, to tackle interviews is actually to start with a survey and then to get that client at the survey stage. So you do your segmenting ahead of time and then as part of the survey process, ask some sort of question within the survey that basically, um, gauges their willingness to do an interview and then if that survey responses dig into this more, then you've already got, uh, people to reach out to. So there's [inaudible] so to speak. I love that. I think that's a great way when I, when we go in to do something, we just, we skip the surveys, but for like an ongoing to maintain it. And I think getting through, it really is, it's very appropriate for a very complex sale for now. Yes. And it is, I think that initial, so we do that whole process in six, eight weeks. Wow. But it's very tight
Speaker 2: (14:51)
because there are so many things. Once someone's trained on it, you can maintain it and you can do it.
Speaker 2: (14:56)
Mmm. Month over month and get that consistent feedback. But I think, yeah, doing the interview correctly, um, recruiting correctly, there's so many things, but it's, it's an amazing place to start out. But so, so this is great because we've clarified, so this is the kind of, when we're talking about what customer insights are we building on. So for that, um, maybe higher Philocity or, or lower touch hail, but you're really digging into, it can be surveys, it can be [inaudible] um, you know, it can be, it can be something like that. And then way on the other end, maybe it's, um, it's more in depth. Margaret market research study. Um, so we,
Speaker 1: (15:37)
yeah, it depends on what you're solving for. Like it depends what the end, the objective of the research is. Yeah. [inaudible] if it's product strategy of a complex pro, like you cannot do that with a survey. There's no way. But if you're a hypotheses about how somebody may want to evaluate your tool, then I think you can, especially in a high velocity or low ACB scenario, you can absolutely develop a hypotheses based on a survey.
Speaker 2: (16:06)
Speaker 1: (16:08)
I popped the, the experiment is part of the research process.
Speaker 2: (16:12)
Totally. Totally. Okay. So, so this is enough to kind of think our teeth into. So we're not talking about customer research. Okay. So we talked to our sales team and this is what they're telling us. You know, we talked to someone in marketing and this is what they think, you know, and calling that research or calling that we, you know, put together a persona. Yeah. Everyone got together and kind of came up with some ideas. And so we feel like we've done some research. So we're talking about really engaging customers or you know, engaging someone who's maybe in the buying process and not yet a customer and then working from that data. So, um, so now I guess we can, we can kind of switch gears a little bit to get even deeper into this, this idea. Um, but can you, can you share and, um, and actual business challenge that you've experienced recently that maybe ties into this idea of operationalizing customer insights?
Speaker 1: (17:09)
Yeah, for sure. Um, so there's a number of, uh, examples I can pull funding from an obviously every company that I've worked with has unique to them. Um, sort of problems and challenges in general though. I would say that, um, yeah though though people tend to reach out to, uh, to somebody like me with like, we need more leads, we need more leads is always the thing. Right? And then what ultimately ends up being the real conversation to be had is like, well actually you don't need more leads. What you need is to fix your evaluation phase. And what I mean by that is like, if you think of the, you'd be entirety of your customer experience as like a journey. And, and I know this is like very common fare customer journey mapping is like, people have heard customer journey map and it's, it's not like a new term in any way.
Speaker 1: (18:09)
Um, and a lot of people have I think negative connotations attached to customer journey mapping cause it feels a little bit antiquated, which is laughable that that could be possibly antiquated. But, um, so I don't actually like to talk about customer journey mapping quite so much as like customer experience mapping, which actually takes the problem into account as well. And also in a SAS environment. So critically the customer phase and like retention and expansion opportunities. So if you think of the customer experience then as being everything from experiencing the problem that your customer has before finding a solution like yours all the way through to expansion and retention, that evaluation phase that lives obviously somewhere in the middle, uh, is typically in my experience where the, where, um, most SAS companies have room to grow or room to, or even though they think they have an awareness problem and they need more leads, actually what they need to do better, a better job of is leverage the leads they're already getting and convert more of those into happily paying customers.
Speaker 1: (19:18)
And so that's tends to be where I hang out first. Because like there's no point in filling a leaky bucket obviously. And we all, we all know that. Um, so with a number of the companies that I work with, I, we'll do very sort of, and I have a a company in mind right now, but generally, like I was saying, this is so typical then it's almost all of the companies that I work with. If this is not solved for, if this evaluation phase, this onboarding activation to engagement, um, is not solved for, there's no point in investing elsewhere. And I say this coming from it from a customer experiences of marketing standpoint, not from a product development standpoint because from a product development standpoint, if you work product cannot retain customers, then you got bigger problems. Yeah. And I think that, so that's, I mean that's a huge conversation in terms of product.
Speaker 1: (20:14)
So maybe like marketing from a marketing perspective. Yes, exactly. It will have to come back again and talk about product. Yeah. So, so you know, with the assumption being that your product is valuable and that you have happily paying customers once they buy brute force, make it through to actually becoming engaged with your product. Um, that, that, you know, assuming that is indeed the case, that evaluation phase is the best next place to invest. Um, that onboarding activation and engagement there again, no point in spending investing more in acquisition or generating more leads until that software force. So, um, that said, depending on the maturity of the company, the size of the team, the resources available, um, typically what I'll do, um, and what I did with this given company, which was especially interesting cause they are very, um, they were not vertical specific. They have tons of use case.
Speaker 1: (21:09)
They're a very horizontal product. So in this scenario, what we did was, um, and I D I did this along with their director of growth, their head of growth. So he and I worked together and we basically went through the process of running a website survey and running a customer survey so that we could identify a few different things. So on the website it was to identify the level of awareness for the people who were visiting websites. We could get a sense of, you know, um, are they totally new to their type of solution where they totally knew or were they totally just new to their brand? Like were they solution aware or product aware? What sort of level of awareness is the majority of the website traffic? And that was like you can identify some pretty low hanging fruit opportunities there to switch up messaging on the website.
Speaker 1: (21:58)
But in addition to that we could more effectively position the, um, the sign up process and um, the positioning against competitors and things like that. Um, so all of that to say that that survey, I mean I won't get into like the actual questions asked, but that survey paired with a customer survey, they sort of enrich each other. The lowest hanging fruit is that level of awareness when a visitor lands on the website and what they're comparing. That is like a sort of a separate [inaudible] that's an acquisition thing. But those two, uh, surveys combined, um, can give us enough insight to develop a hypothesis about what the customer's job to be done is. So jobs to be done is a popular framework. Um, I do not propose that I'm an expert in this framework, but what I really do appreciate about the jobs to be done framework is that it puts you in a position to understand what your customer is immediate sort of need is and like the context with which they're seeking a solution and what it is they need to see in your solution in order to achieve their desired outcome.
Speaker 1: (23:07)
So the job statement in general is when I, which is their situation and then it's a situation or struggle, I want to what's motivating them to move forward so I can, which is their desired outcome. So this customer survey, um, that gets sent out to, I mean, you don't need it ton of responses to this stash of policies, but you do need a couple dozen, right? You would need at least 25 responses. Um, there the questions really, really dig at like what was going on in your life when you were seeking a solution? You know, now that you have this solution [inaudible] are you able to do that you weren't able to do before? You know, what was the moment that you knew that this was going to be the right solution for you and this was going to solve your problems and the answers to those questions.
Speaker 1: (23:52)
Do you really put you in a position to Mmm, to walk in to do a lot of things like positioning and value proposition and marketing and all that kind of stuff. But as it pertains to the evaluation phase, it puts you in a good position to be able to segment your customers into what is it they're specifically trying to solve for? So in the case of the company that I'm talking about, they had such a Mmm. A sort of horizontal market that they weren't, they didn't have an industry to rely on. They didn't have industry language necessarily to rely on. There was no very specific role or title couldn't, there's no persona, there's no cookie cutter persona there to target. But what they could do was people who were seeking a solution to a very real business problem, regardless of industry, regardless of title. Um, they could speak to that immediate need and the problem being solved, uh, much more specifically.
Speaker 1: (24:47)
And then during the onboarding process and the evaluation of their tool, show them that like what their customers told them, what their best customers told them was the moment that they knew this was the right solution for them. Like it sounds ridiculous, but you can just like lay it all out like your best customers said this is what they needed. So now you are in a position to be able to provide an onboarding experience for these new customers that lays that out for them. It makes it really, really obvious and shows them, brings them to their aha moment or their first value moment a lot more quickly. Um, as opposed to maybe some of your longer term customers who got there by brute force. Right. Because you are providing information to them totally. That is wonderful. That's such a great example of how you can start to implement it.
Speaker 1: (25:35)
And I, you know, it's funny because those, some of the survey questions you described, that's exactly how I conduct the interviews when I'm doing interviews is with those lessons and you build a story and it's not the sort of personas or you use the job speed out of framework. Mmm. It doesn't, it doesn't break out by, um, it's not role-based personas. It's very behavioral and it's outcome focused. Yes. [inaudible] and in my experience also, well doesn't it often doesn't matter what the verticals are. Sometimes it really does. Sometimes it doesn't. Yeah. Um, so that's, that's really cool. And I also want to just maybe bring up the, or or kind of circle back to this idea that you mentioned. You're like, this sounds so basic customer journey mapping, whatever. But I think, I think of it like, I don't know, like doing a pushup or something. There's people who [inaudible] they'll do a bunch of pushups in there. Like, I dunno, like I'm not getting any results from it cause they're just getting it wrong.
Speaker 1: (26:35)
But we take it, I think we kind of take for granted all the, you know, so many things we do in our lives and work and everything that maybe we never learned how to do it right. And when you make those little, um, that basic thing becomes a game changer. Yes. Well I think this process that you're describing, you know, really is a lot like that because now I think the status quo, um, and B to B is this all feels really hard. Feels like there's hurdles. Yeah. Then we have to jump through and when you do this, it's like easy, right? Because you'll just look at this feedback and now there's a roadmap. Yup. 100% perfect word to describe it. Um, and I would say that like, it's not that this type of research, especially at a survey level research, that's not enough, right?
Speaker 1: (27:29)
That that's just, it's enough to put you in a position to run, to develop a, I'm pretty solid hypotheses and then run an experiment against it to sort of validate it. And so in this scenario with this, um, company that I was working with, we developed, Mmm. I think we got to three different, three unique jobs to be done, so to speak. So the situation, three separate situations that people were in when they sought out a solution like theirs. And we were able to segment their onboarding too so that each of those scenarios, each of those types of customers could get an onboarding relevance to them. So the onboarding itself was segmented and the customers themselves were segmented. And that's not to say that after they, um, you know, adopt and you become engaged with the product, that they always stay that way. No, no, no.
Speaker 1: (28:21)
Like people could be done. Yeah, there's new problems they get, they get in there and then there's another job to be done. So it's not like this is the end all be all by any means. But if you could develop a hypotheses of what this onboarding could look like for this struggle or pain that's being experienced, that you're solving for, then you can, I dunno, just send them a percentage of your customers through your new customers through that onboarding experience. Whether or not it's high touch or low touch is almost beside the point. It's mostly messaging and end process. And you may, you may discover in your research that there's a certain segment of your customers don't ever want to talk to anybody and you may discover there's another segment of your customers that need handholding all the way through the process. And then you as a business owner in a position to say, you know what, I only want the people that need the the handholding because we want really high ECB.
Speaker 1: (29:15)
Oh, what type customers? Or you may be in a position as a business owner to say, you know what? No, we want the ones that understand our value implicitly and that don't actually need to talk to anybody that are way less expensive to acquire as a customer. And that we can provide a low touch sort of self-serve onboarding experience too. So we can just like turn up the dial on the front end of it, so to speak and really scale. So the research, not only are you in a position to be able to experiment with like improvement, improving conversion rates and you know, leads to or are trial or w to paid conversion rate. Uh, but you also might get a position to say, we're not going to serve those customers anymore because that doesn't make sense for our business. We're only going to target the specific group.
Speaker 1: (29:57)
And that influences more than just onboarding and evaluation of your product. That influences your positioning as a company, your messaging, uh, your marketing strategy, tactics. Um, yeah. So it, okay. [inaudible] it's like, um, it, like, I often describe it as a gateway drug. It's just like, just, just scratch the surface and you'll see enough value that you'll say, I don't know how we could've made a decision without this. And it doesn't have to be, it'd be end all be all. It doesn't have to be, you know, six months long a research project. It can be just enough two develop hypotheses or make some insightful decisions and make some change and then validate that that's indeed I'm going to work.
Speaker 2: (30:43)
Yeah, totally. And I mean, you get so much information and maybe like under a quarter, I'm imagining with some of these these, okay,
Speaker 1: (30:55)
so quick turnaround. Actually
Speaker 2: (30:57)
I've seen companies struggle, um, with these, you know, with coming to a decision in some of these areas, we're going to go up market. Are we going to go down market? You know, what, who are we going to focus on? Mmm. And you know, I'm thinking of one, it took them two years to finally call it quits and just they, cause they were just brute forcing their way through everything. I'm not listening to feedback. And if they could have, they could have and they fell so far behind, um, everyone else in their category, they had a best in class product and they just didn't iterate fast enough. They didn't get that. They didn't have a feedback loop.
Speaker 1: (31:34)
Speaker 2: (31:36)
Mmm. What you're doing. I just love it. So I know we're, we're coming up on time. So what advice would you have for somebody who is going through a process like this? So they've done their research, um, we've actually engaged with customers through surveys or interviews and now they have to implement it somehow. What, what advice would you have for them?
Speaker 1: (31:58)
Um, well, I would hope in that scenario there was somebody who was in charge of the research process and who had a sort of holistic, holistic objectives for the research. If it was their sort of first run it, yeah. Mmm. Some retreat research for a specific, with a specific goal in mind, which I would assume is beyond potentially just marketing or just product or just sales. Um, so hopefully there is somebody who has been at the helm of the research, uh, because otherwise it goes off the rails and it becomes not usable. Lisa really does need to be something that is
Speaker 2: (32:37)
Speaker 1: (32:37)
owned. Uh, typically what I recommend is if it is, so I work with a lot of, a lot of head of marketing and a lot of head of growth, uh, also customer success as well, product marketing. Um, typically what I'll recommend to somebody like that that's inside of a company that is in charge of that research is to build bridges with sales and product in particular. Um, and sorry, and customer success. So those, you know, in particular is kind of, you can't do anything in absence of having like a bit of a committee dedicated to providing a better customer experience. Really, at the end of the day, that's what it's about. And customer experience is not a marketing thing. It's not a sales thing. It's not a product thing. It's not a co owned by all of those departments. Mmm. And arguably, you know more. But at the very minimum, those people should be in the room.
Speaker 1: (33:30)
Um, and I think a committee dedicated to solving for specific thing is a really good way to tackle it with those leaders because, um, all of those departments will be affected. All of those teams will be affected. And if you try to, as a marketing leader, say we're going to try this new onboarding thing and like product wasn't around for that conversation or CS even worse isn't around for that conversation. The whole CS team is going to be like, like, who nobody thought about us, you know, uh, you know, how does this affect us? How does this affect our goals? They have to be part of the process. You cannot do this in a silo at all. So that would, that would definitely be, Mmm. My sort of first piece of advice along with that is stakeholder buy in. So the C suite or the senior leadership team, because those department heads are on that committee, you'll have a lot easier time getting, uh, senior leadership, uh, bought in, um, and onboard if you have those leaders all also on board.
Speaker 1: (34:33)
Right. So like first you go out and find your committee of people that are going to tackle this with you and the teams and everybody's on board. And then the C suite is gonna be like, well, if all the, you know, department heads are leaders, team leads are in the, in on this, then like go forth. Um, it's a lot easier to do that as opposed to a head of marketing saying, I'm going to do this thing. Yeah. Without involving anybody and also tapping into the collective insight of the other teams as well. Right. I mean, you made this point earlier talking to your sales team, talking to your customer support reps. that's critically important. You can't make any of these sort of, you know, all encompassing changes to the customer experience without consulting or tapping into what these people know about your customers and balancing that and pairing that with what your customers are telling you.
Speaker 1: (35:21)
Totally, totally agreed. And I think that's another great way to form hypotheses just to kind of get everything out on the table. Everything feels heard. I know everybody, it also feels like you said invested and um, yeah. And it's kind of, yeah. Talking to customers, which not a lot of companies are use in the way that, you know, when you are doing it and you know, we're doing it. So, um, really, really cool. Okay. Um, Oh my goodness. So let's talk about a business resource. Um, so something like a book or a podcast or a tool that you're getting the most value out of right now? A really great question. I wish I could have like a bunch of pocket. I do listen to a lot of podcasts, but they're all SAS related and they're very easy to find mostly. Um, what I tend to recommend a lot is a book, uh, obviously awesome by April Dunford who is a friend of mine.
Speaker 1: (36:15)
And I was, I was fortunate enough to get an early copy of it and I was like, as soon as I read it, I was like, every founder I work with needs to read this book before I work with them. And I, I swear every company that I was working with at the time, I was like, please read this book. I shouldn't say all because, because um, you know, some, sometimes more mature companies are more savvy to this and sometimes sometimes not. So all that said, it's a book on positioning and it's really, really great and it's a, it's like the sort of foundation four, um, so much of this like if you don't know you were positioning as a company or it's not customer research can absolutely influence positioning and it should, but it's a really great, it's a really great way, and this sounds like manipulative, but like it's really right.
Speaker 1: (37:05)
Great way to have founders be like, Oh yeah, it's true. We need to know this. Like we don't know the answer to this question and he's so right because the, yeah, the potential negative repercussions of not understanding your positioning in the market are detrimental. So it really sort of puts an extra fire under them so to speak, to solve for this problem. Aware of the exact book, obviously. Awesome is definitely on my high, high, high end recommendations list. And then as far as tools, what I would say is a about a year and a half ago, Mmm. My consultancy and company and we started using a tool called notion, which is, um, it's been gaining a lot of popularity but it's been a slow incline for them because notion is one of those tools that you can use in almost any way. And so it's become, it's a bit hard to wrap your head around. I'm trying to think of a similar product. Mmm.
Speaker 1: (38:09)
Uh, I can't think of one off the top of my head, but essentially how we use it is, okay, well for us it's replaced for the most part Google docs, it has replaced, I like our project management tool. It has replaced. What else is it replaced? Um, I mean those two, we're the first that we, we have moved almost entirely away from, which was really nice. We still use like spreadsheets and things like that outside of notion, but we use it like a company Wiki and we use it to house all of our SLPs. We do, we have a master task database where all, if we do our, all of our project management in there, Mmm. We also have our client portals. When we work with companies, we send up our client portals in there or clients are all invited to their own little, their own little Wiki.
Speaker 1: (38:55)
Um, so it's just, it's kind of been a game changer for us. We live in notion Slack and notion are our, are our tools right now. It's just, I've seen very mature companies use it as like a Wiki or a place to organize. Like, okay, ours are there strategically, plenty and only limited to that use case. And I've seen other companies like my own, which it basically overtakes and replaces a lot of other tools. Mmm. So that has been a game changer for us in 2019 we adopted it fully, fully, and it was, it was a, it's been really, really great for us.
Speaker 2: (39:31)
Maybe the resources. Okay. Um, I will link both of those below. So anyone listening, you want to check them out and I got to say, I'm going to, I'm going to put this book on my reading list cause you're the second guest too. Recommended. So also, yeah, for anybody else listening, um, that it sounds definitely like a must read. [inaudible] amazing. Okay. And if anyone wants to reach you, um, after they listen to this, what would be the best way to do that?
Speaker 1: (40:00)
Uh, Twitter probably would be the best place to reach me or by email. So on Twitter, my Twitter handle is G, G I a, which is totally foolish because I joined Twitter early enough to have gotten my first name. I didn't take it seriously enough. I was like, Oh, I'll just put this silly name. So I hang out on Twitter quite a bit. Um, by email I can be reachable as well. Um, GIA, so JIA, which is my, like Georgianna is a very long name. So [email protected] is my email address. Feel free to reach out to me. Um, Hey, elevate.com is where I'm available. Four advisory work. And then forget the funnel.com is our other website for more of our education stuff in training.
Speaker 2: (40:45)
Wonderful. Okay. Um, and final question, um, what is the best piece of business advice that you ever received?
Speaker 1: (40:55)
Yeah, this is like a nearly impossible question to answer. Uh, I have to sort of like [inaudible] channel if I go back to like maybe my first, I don't know if it was best piece of business advice I ever received, but definitely one of the that I remember I have had to have been maybe a teenager. I was maybe like 15 ish years old. My father has, uh, been in business and retail for 40 years and he misses a number of years ago, but he, he happens to be in the flower business, which, um, was an evolution of like being in the landscaping business. And then he went to like retail flowers and he was, he's like, I could be selling anything. It doesn't matter what you're selling. I could be selling toilet paper and it wouldn't matter. It's, it's like I just love being in business and I love selling and I love, you know, loving my product and whatever.
Speaker 1: (41:44)
And it's essentially like you fall in love with your customers, that you fall in love with your, you know, your, your solution for your customers. And that's really all that matters. And I, I was like really, really anything. I don't know if it could be anything, but I appreciated the sentiment that essentially you just really love being a business owner and being an entrepreneur. And that's, that's [inaudible] the takeaway that I took from it is like if you're passionate about entrepreneurship and you're passionate about solving a problem for your customers, that's really what is going to carry you through all the tough yes, that inevitably comes from a business owner 100%. That's some great data. And by then we've had a lot on this. So, yeah, really, really great advice though. So thank you so much for coming on today. This was, um, just an amazing episode and, um, anyone listening or watching, if you've made it this [inaudible] thank you for sticking around. You can subscribe. Um, I will see you on the next
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