Episode No:05

Building Relationship Capital for CS Teams at AppsFlyer

Ziv Peled

Chief CO, Appsflyer

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Ep#05: Building Relationship Capital for
CS Teams at AppsFlyer ft. Ziv Peled (Chief Customer Officer, Appsflyer)
Ep#05: Building Relationship Capital for CS Teams at AppsFlyer ft. Ziv Peled (Chief Customer Officer, Appsflyer)
  • Ep#05: Building Relationship Capital for CS Teams at AppsFlyer ft. Ziv Peled (Chief Customer Officer, Appsflyer)

Episode Summary

Today we are joined with Ziv Peled, Chief Customer Officer at Appsflyer which is a SaaS mobile marketing analytics and attribution platform. In the episode, Ziv discusses the evolution of their customer success programme scaling from a customer-facing team of 10 to 380 people. Key takeaways:
  • Building a three-pillar customer data infrastructure to gain more visibility into customer relations.
  • Early-stage B2B startups should just focus on their onboarding for the first 1-2 years.
  • Adapting customer engagement models across Enterprise, SMB and small businesses.
  • How Appsflyer built a custom object in Salesforce to measure the relationship capital.
  • How to build better customer forecasting.
  • Better relationship with customers always leads to a better NPS score.
Tune in to the episode to get more insights into a unicorn journey of customer success where there is a whole training university for customer-facing talents, that builds the right mindset of putting customers at the centre of everything.
  • Salesforce
  • CardClan
  • Looker
  • Gong
  • Troops
  • Crunchbase
Key Takeaways Time
What distinguishes Appsflyer’s customer-facing teams from other customer-facing teams? 4:35
How Appsflyer builds deeper connections with their customers? 18:15
Why Appsflyer decided to build their own Customer Success platform? 23:24

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Ziv: When B2B SaaS gets mature, you want to be very confident you believe you want to develop the forecast stability. Adil: Hey, welcome to the hyper engaged podcast. It’s a weekly interview-style podcast series, we will pick the brains of some of the best customer success leaders across the globe, and try to unearth customer engagement beyond onboarding, expansion and churn. So let’s get right in. Adil: Hello, guys, we’ve got zip from AppsFlyer. Let me tell you a little bit about Appsflyer and then we get him an opportunity to introduce himself. It was our entire pleasure that we got Ziv and one of the team members from AppsFlyer. Because all the work they’ve done since 2000, I guess, 13 After the initial phase, it was quite exceptional. Apps are just you guys know, it’s, it is a billion-dollar company. It’s a unicorn, they’re serving customers like HBO, KFC, and they are more focused towards customer privacy. And you know, I cannot know any better than this guy. So you go ahead, sir. And tell us more about your role as a chief customer officer, and how customer success is making an impact in Appsflyer and what are your what are your top tier goals at Appsflyer? Ziv: Great. So first of all, thank you for having me. In about AppsFlyer Yeah, we are definitely we are serving marketeers, all over the world. We started in the mobile app ecosystem, and we are now serving the broader marketing teams. I think, first of all, I think you know Appsflyer is unique company because we’re, you know, it’s not this, you see lots of startups, lots of technology company, but we are providing something that is mission-critical to marketeers. I mean, that’s, that’s where it starts even back then in 2013, even before I joined Appsflyer, in 2011, we saw the demand, we saw the need in the market. A little bit about my role, you know, I’m the Chief Customer Officer, so I lead the customer success of the customer support teams. In the end, I oversee everything that is customers. And, you know, if I think about my focus, my focus is one, delivering value to customers. Two, we are here to build relationships, long term, deep relationships with our customers. And maybe the third part is, is we are here to make sure that Appsflyer is customer-obsessed that the company and other departments are also customer-obsessed. Over the years. Maybe last point about that is that we evolved to be people obsessed, doesn’t matter if it’s employees, partners, or customers. We are people obsessed. Adil: Yeah, that’s, that’s really, really interesting that you brought that up, I am a 90s kid. And, you know, I grew up listening to see people like Steve Jobs. And I still remember out in the Silicon Valley kept on screaming all these years back in the 90s, that, you know, the best product teams and best products are the ones that understand the customer needs the fastest, the fastest. So that is why he actually introduced that concept in the valley. Back in the years, okay, you got to be customer first. You need to live and breathe with your customer every freaking day, no matter what. So that is the only way you can serve them better whether you have a product or service or any team that you’re leading. So it was quite interesting that you as the team because I’m following you guys a lot for quite some years on LinkedIn, the content feeds that you guys shared the podcast episodes that you need all your team that goes, and you just like Nuffsaid, You guys are customer-first approach. So what are the key ingredients that separate Appsflyer from other SaaS businesses? Not in a bad way? Of course. I mean, we’re all fishing in the same water and we’re serving and sharing the same love. But apart from that, what is that one thing that you believe that separates customer-facing teams and Appsflyer than other customer-facing teams? Ziv: So I think, first of all, I think it’s always a balance. So you know, if we go 10 years ago, and we go five years ago, and we look at now that it’s all different. So it’s always about balance, though. I want to serve all the customers. I want to serve all the customers with the best service. And it’s not feasible. I can’t do it. But you know, when we were small, we were managing to 100 200 300 customers, we would die for them, we would do everything we can. Now, over the years, you are getting your first of all, you are hiring more people, the teams are very, very large. Now, the Appsflyer team is almost 1400 people. And my team is almost 300. So we invest a lot of resources, a lot of budget is going towards client services, customer experience. And I think that the maybe the main thing over the years we are doing again, you know, now we are in the 1000s of 1000s of customers, we cannot serve all customer the same. So maybe the first thing that we were doing in the last two years, is looking at this segmentation to see it. Okay, so those are enterprise customers. And we translate what is customer-obsessed for enterprise customers in Appsflyer today. And then for the SMB, for the growth customers, we’re asking ourselves, what do we need to do with them. And then we have the small customers. And we also want to serve them with at least something with a webinar, with one too many broadcasts with more PLG things. And then we also have free customers now I cannot guarantee or provide the same level of service to my free customers. But I do want to interact with them and I do want to learn about them. And I do want to add them. And over time you do it more and more with technology, with different services, whether it’s a knowledge base, it’s a community, it’s a customer portal that we started to work on last year. I think those are the main points around that. Adil: Okay. So that actually leads to a question, which is pretty much connected to this. You talked about technology, you talked about, you know, segmentation of your customers. So at Appsflyer just talking on the blueprint CS model, inside your processes, what do you think that how it, like, what on the fundamental side, like, what is the fundamentals of your customer success playbook at abstract, like, ranging from small to enterprise, even that when nobody knows what trial customer is small or big. So you got to crack them all, you got to see, okay, how we can provide better experience and all. So, what is your playbook? What is your mantra inside Appsflyer? Because a lot of our audience say, they would love to know, because you’ve got a really, really big team, and you have the space, and you have the room to experiment and streamline a lot of, you know, CS processes and share some keynotes. Ziv: So again, I think, first of all, if you look at the playbook, so we have different teams and different approaches to each tier, we look at the, of course, the first segment, the enterprise, and we have a very, you know, extreme engagement playbook with them. From the very early days, we do also the pre-sale. So from the very early days, we are there to support sales in selling the right offering to these customers, building, designing the right solutions. And then going into how we deploy it, how we work together with the customer to implement it. Onboarding, training, adoption. And we do their full onboarding process. And then we have the onboarding, Business Review, and we end the onboarding, then we do QBRs. There’s a lot of things that we do across the year with customers. And even between those, you know, we work with our customers on a weekly basis. Definitely with enterprise teams, because if you think about it, also the these teams, they invest more money into marketing anyhow, so they need us more. So it’s also trivial. Now the growth segment, the maybe the SMB segment, is a segment that is a bit of both. So you have some small customers there that we need to manage in one too many. And we try to do that we manage more customers don’t try to do that. At the same time, we have some customers that we already identified potential or strategic for rising stars, customers that are growing massively. And we, first of all, we engage with them, we add them and then when we really see that potential is coming, then we upgrade them. Whether it’s an upgrade of the package or not. And then we have the small segment the small customers and where maybe we can Think about the smallest segment. And in the free segment, there we have the real extreme one too many. Usually, it’s one person or two people per region that manages the entire small customers. And that we do usually, understanding where these customers are currently in their milestone in Appsflyer. And what do we need to do in order to get him to the next level? Invite them to a webinar, send them more material and push them towards something. Then it is. If you look at it for five years, some of these customers would get from free to small to growth to enterprise. Adil: Yeah, yeah. So this is basically the journey of an average customer at Appsflyer. So just a quick question on that. So since you spoke about different segmentation, how Appsflyer serves, and, you know, integrates and allocates team towards it. And the eventual goal is the same, you want to retain them as much and you want to make sure that success is the more number one part that your team is serving, investing time and energy. So when you talk about, you know, success, on, on average for any customer, so what is one indicator that, like, it’s of course, there are some health scores, there are some indicators that, you know, your CS team and account managers, for some enterprise customers, they actually monitor on a daily basis that is a part of their day to day job. Like, if you as somebody that is leading all three customer-facing teams at Appsflyer. What is that one, Key to Success for, like when every customer? What is the best case scenario for you as a CCO at Appsflyer would define for any customer using Appsflyer? Just like when we launched Content Studio, we were also serving SMBs to enterprise. You know, one of the customers we had was Unilever. So we try to analyze our product and you know, growth engineering team tried to analyze, okay, how many social accounts that business is integrating how many spaces that business is creating inside our platform? And, of course, engagement and time that is that part of adoption. So what is the one thing that clicks on you when somebody asks you, okay, what is the best-case scenario for Appsflyer to recognize any customers as a prime customer? Ziv: So first of all, again, it can be customers in any segment. And I think that in the end is how much value we provide them. So how much do they need us. And then, you know, you can also call it value realization. But in the end, I want to know that I’m helping these customers, I want to know that they get the best value that they can get both from the platform, but not only from the platform, but also from the CSM. So I think a good CSM understands the customers very well, understand their focus on I will know what to speak about in every interaction. And I think that the next level to even get there even more to is, is also understand the person on the other side. You know, there’s in the end, there’s a campaign manager or a mobile marketeer or director of user acquisition on the Adil: You have to walk in your customer’s shoes all the time. Ziv: And I want to understand them professionally. But I also want to understand them personally. Where are they in their career? How did I help them in their career? What can I do more, in order to be there for them? Maybe, you know, maybe, you know, in COVID, we saw it in the maybe first six months of COVID, we sorted some of our customers, all the people that we interact with, they needed us, psychologically. And then for us, after COVID started, we also had to change, a massive change in the ecosystem with Apple with iOS 14. So they needed us as well. They really needed us as well. Also, to discuss a lot about what is going to happen in September, with this iOS 14 change, how we will be able to do marketing, how we will be able to measure and then for the first time the customer success manager ed the opportunity to be an educator to be kind of also a psychologist. And by the way, in the beginning It wasn’t easy for the CSM because the CSM them said that it’s in himself or herself. They also were in COVID and they also were in, because of I was feeling from went from certainty, and knowing or knowing it all 99% of the questions they did answer to, and then after, they had only the knowledge for 50 60% of the questions, and they also lived in uncertainty, and then we needed to help them get stronger, mentally, and to be able to help the customer and then elevate yourself even to be the educator. Adil: I love that. I absolutely love that the way you brought that up, you know, I mean, the customer relationship, you know, customer-facing roles for multiple businesses for ever since 2009. I’ve spoken to more than roughly one I used to speak with more than 20 30 people every day. So you know, having a connection on a step deeper level, with your customer. That’s priceless, that that actually is priceless on a level that takes like all the data is surpasses everything else, when you actually make your customer feel that you are heard, and you are cared here, you are part of us and we are together in this. So I absolutely love the way you are you as the company as a business and as a customer-facing team approaching towards like working with your customers hands-on and when times are hard. It’s been really really hard for everybody in the past two and a half years since you know Coronavirus and pandemic and you know all the hype and fear. They need somebody to you know, you know, listen to them, you know, somebody to understand and you know, you know, be a part of their pain. So it may take a little more time than, you know, your CS team monitoring segment or Mixpanel or Salesforce and all, then that technology maybe a little more time. But when you talk about value addition, when you do that, it’s all about relationship, you get to know them a whole lot better than me, you are a lot more senior. So it’s all about building relationships, customer success is all about building relationships. People, your customer, whether small or big, they will remember you for your product or service and until this day, but the way you make them feel they will remember forever. So I’ve just, I’m also a co-founder at CardClan. You know, it was just side hustle, we build this SaaS platform. A few months back, we’ve got around 320 businesses already integrated. So our mantra with CardClan is to make sure that you just get rid of automated emails, low touch models, automated emails, and you know, reminders and follow-ups, just send them a beautiful card, and replace your email communication with the card and add your message everything that you want, in a very fun way to connect them in a deeper level. If you just see our mantra, you just see, make communications more human. So that is our mantra at CardClan. Ziv: I love that. I’ll give you two points, two points here about around this. So one, we in the last two years, we invested a lot also built a tool built a methodology about relationship management. So we have now in Salesforce we have our own custom object that manages the relationship one to one, the CSM and the contract on that side. And the systems are updating this every 30 to 60 days. And it’s the least that they work on they understand what is the level of engagement they have with each of those significant relationships and they maintain it, this is one. The second thing I love your point about making the interaction more human more lively, and I will take it from you what we do we try to you know, and maybe you will like my analogy I when I look at B2B SaaS, I say a B2B SaaS it’s almost like an airline business. You know, you go fly and all over the place. You know, if you fly three, four times a year, you can be sure that at least once you will have a bad experience. And then a good airline knows how to compensate on that experience. And B2B SaaS is the same sometimes, something will break, it can be a bug, service interruption. It can be something in the service, something will go wrong. And then what we are trying to do is that we’re trying to be there also when it’s positive. So we are trying when a customer of ours is getting funded, or achieving one of their milestones, usually we try to do also something more creative. But if we don’t find anything more creative, we send them a cake. And the cake is in the shape of their company, or what’s the company is all about. And we write a nice message on the cake that says, This is the milestone that you are celebrating, we’re celebrating it with you, the Appsflyer team. And I believe we are sending since 2019, maybe even 2018 hundreds of cakes every year, usually on fund on funding on funding. But sometimes when we find the right milestone, so one of our customers is getting to 1 billion downloads or something else in their KPIs, we celebrate that. So this is very emotional with someone goes into we just said the world, what was sold to DoorDash with for $7 billion. So we sent a cake, and the cake looks like a scooter with the world bag and then we say we celebrate your acquisition to DoorDash. Adil: Exactly. I cannot say it enough that the amount of peace we’re receiving right now the amount of joy that I’m receiving right now, for listen to the things that you’re just saying, because I’m just the way, I mean, just the way I approached, you guys are approaching the same way on a pretty huge level. That is different. But my point is to have a personal touch with your customers is always you know, it’s just not about retention. It’s just not about like, people talk enough about retention and net revenue retention and churn and how we can, you know, expand more of our customers and all, we are Hyper Engage, we are more focused towards the journey. I mean, we spoke to a team at Fastly, Emily Garza, I’m sure you’re familiar with. I mean, she’s built the CS team back in the years for six years from the ground up. And she’s made some high-level decisions just on the engagement side. So that is why we are so much, you know, interested in knowing what why what makes Appsflyer successful as a customer-facing team and what different they put on the table for the customers and how others can leverage it. Of course, a lot of our listeners won’t have as big infrastructure as big funding. I know that you’ve raised more than 200 million as of now. But what do you suggest on this part? Like personally, there is a lot of technology, you know Catalyst, you know Gainsight, Nick Mehta, all these guys are doing, these guys are doing extraordinarily well. They are providing actionable insights. How do you see, you know, how do you suggest as a small business starting up in a SaaS space, and trying to skyrocket their customer success, you know, processes from ground up? So what is that one key takeaway that you would suggest because you shared a huge amount of valuable knowledge. Ziv: First of all, I think any company in any size needs to first do the mandatory so you know, you need to build your tech stack, the mandatory part so you have to have Salesforce, you have to have, there’s a few things you have to add. If you didn’t build the support in Zendesk, maybe you have Salesforce but if you have this, you must have Zendesk, these are the musts, I think, then when you identify that you are in the first hyper-growth, then you need to decide that you build your CS ops. And then you need to evaluate if you can take one of the current technologies, the old ones Gainsight, Totango, the new ones, Catalyst, Churn Zero whatever or you build it your own. I think that the first time that you understand that you’re in hyper-growth, it’s maybe the first time that you need to decide I’m building my own. We tried for three years to work with Totango, it didn’t work well for us back then. I don’t know the platform of Totango today. Back then it didn’t work for us. We started to build our own over Salesforce and Looker. And it’s by far the best customer success platform ever. Adil: What difference does this make? Ziv: We have 228 customer success managers in 17 offices from China to San Francisco. And it really works well and again in all different levels. So we do we focus on the value and then we go on the journey and we get to the relationships and it all builds to the net revenue retention. We are speaking all these languages. But we are focusing on the day to day activities that you have to do in order to get to the lagging indicators and we measure it also by leading indicators we look at the revenue bridge. We look at the trend, we look at the CSQ and CSQOs, we look at what’s happening now. And what we believe it will yield in 2, 3, 4 months or maybe a year even from now. Now, after, I’m now obsessed with relationships for the last two and a half years. We have validated that more relationships, better relationships, a more engaged relationships will yield better NPS and will yield better NRR. And it sounds common sense. But you have to practice it and you have to push it, and you have to do it. And you have to send cakes. And now I have to send also cards. Adil: So, Ziv, you spoke about forecasting your customers, and then build meaningful. Of course, a lot of businesses they’ve already spoken a lot of businesses they’ve already. They’re trying to build engagements, you know, they’re trying to build more touchpoints so they can have meaningful conversations. So what do you suggest at this point, like, since you’ve been trying Totango, I’ve seen Vitaly, I’ve seen Totango, I’ve seen Gainsight, Catalyst. You know, a lot of CS tools in the past, you can say one and a half, two years, because I’m trying to build one of my own as well, just for, just like you said, for our product, I’m thinking the same way I’m not, I’m not still not believing that we are so much similar in our thoughts. And you know, the way we approach things. So we also tried a lot of things and things don’t seem to work. Some have data, some have, you know, 360 view of the customer’s account level pro, you know, dashboard level, and help us but none of these tools have an ability to empower your CS team. You know, when you talk about scalability, you talk, you don’t talk about five CSMs, you don’t talk about 150 customers. So when you talk about scalability and the process, the software that you can have a scalability with, they don’t provide you the actionable. Your CS teams like your CSM, the actionable touchpoints, they provide you data, they provide you insights, but they don’t provide you engagement touchpoints, because a lot of businesses I’ve spoken to, they are engaging, everybody tries to engage, you know, when when you see your customers not adopting to the software, you try to engage, you try to get information from the sales, sales team, product team and, you know, you were going around those handoffs. But just like Emily said, in the last episode, you’re the right person to ask this. She said, Of course building a conversation, touching base with your customer at the right times for their interest, like you be customer first is important, but forecasting it and having the right information ahead of time is equally important. Because a lot of your customers, if that touchpoint is not meaningful to them, they wouldn’t like to talk to you. And you go to regular QBRs. And you know, business reviews and all they know your renewals meeting and you know, you pick PDFs you come up with, it doesn’t matter. The only thing the bottleneck for the CSMs for more than I would say 60% SaaS businesses right now is having the right information ahead of time to forecast the conversation and build a meaningful connection out of it. And how do you do, like, put it like, what is your opinion on it? Ziv: First of all, I think that the minute you decide to build your own platform, then it’s up to you and, up to, so it absolutely was under my vision. And for the capabilities of the CS ops and the BRT. And in the end, I think that what really makes a difference in our system is that we have at least three pillars of data. So we have the usage data, or the product analytics data, so everything that we’re sending to amplitude or to Google Analytics, we also get to our Looker, and some of it even goes to Salesforce. We have the second pillar. That is the packet of engagement messages, emails, interactions, meetings. We look at Gong recordings, we look at many, many different things. And I think also in that area, we also get the relationships. So the relationship asset is also there. So I know how many relationships you have, I know when was the last time you interacted with one of these relationships? Were they responsive, responsive to you, etc. And the last thing is the commercial aspect. So we know how much they are paying, increase, decrease, we also look at something that we call the decision factor, we say we know the contacts, we know that we are interacting with those contacts, we know the deal those contacts are using the system. And according to all the data that we have, we also ranked them on what is their decision rank. So if you are the account owner of the Appsflyer account, and we saw you as part of the contact in the last opportunity, you will be decision rank one, because we know you are an important rank in the decision for…So now when I go to now when I go into an account, and I know this is an account that goes into renewal in four months, now I know, first of all, the CSM needs to forecast the renewal twice, four months before and two months before, because I can already see the first part. And then three months before the renewal, we do a renewal committee and we speak about all the renewals that we are going to do in three months. And then we record a decision of what is the renewal strategy. And we do it in Salesforce. So everyone in the CS team, everyone in the CS team, everyone in the ops team, Sales ops, CS ops, we know what is the decision? What is the renewal strategy decision about this account? And then we also know the coverage I everything that I just explained. I also know the coverage, what is the coverage of engagement? What is the coverage or relationships? What is the coverage of renewals? Am I covering 80% of the revenue or 90% of the revenue? Adil: Can you briefly explain on the coverage term, that what does it mean in abstract for our audience, please? Ziv: So if I look at my tiers, if I look at my segmentation, and I look at what is the revenue percentage of that. So let’s say that I’m now looking at tier one, tier two, or tier three. And when I look at the revenue coverage, I’m covering 85% of the revenue. So if I now go to the renewal committee of February, and I covered 85% of the revenue, I can be very well confident that I know, you know, in a few percentage to each direction, what is going to be the bottom line of the renewals. And its 1000s of customers. When a B2B SaaS gets mature, you want to be very confident. You’re going to want to you want to develop the forecast stability. Adil: 100% 100% You got it pretty much spot on, on you know, customer forecasting segment of your business just like the way in 2022 Appsflyer has built this big CS team. Of course, nobody can, it’s not our own overnight success. It’s not a red carpet or something for a small business that has like a few 100 customers, B2B SaaS, can you tell us briefly on what was your challenge at that time when we started researching you back in 2013, 2014, in the initial phases, of course, you’ve got to pitch perfect. There are some shortcomings you’d find a fit if you’re experimenting, everything does. So what are the key challenges that you think more than 90% of the CS teams would face even today to be at some level as Appsflyer years forward? Ziv: Yeah, you’re speaking about a smaller team in a smaller company. I think that, first of all, they need to be very, very focused, you know, don’t go and, you know, build OKRs and goals and KPIs. Yeah, you need to measure everything. I agree to that. I agree that measurement is important. I think you need to have some time something like a Northern Star. I think the focus of the first years is, is very much focused on onboarding. You know, you need to be very focused on the onboarding experience, you said it before, you know, it’s and this, this is by Maya Angelou, everyone will remember how you made them feel, not what you told them. It’s not what you promise, not what you did for how you made them feel. And this is why I think, you know, the onboarding, the focus of the onboarding is a lot about a set of expectations, delivering on that set of expectations, and then it’s all about what you do there, you know, you’re, I think the best thing a customer success manager can do is to understand the focus of the customer, and deliver on that if I can deliver the two things that you’re focused on. And also to set expertize I say in two weeks, we will be able to do the first scenario and in eight weeks, we will be able to do the second scenario, and we deliver on that, then nothing else matters. It doesn’t matter if we were expensive than the other vendor, it doesn’t matter if we had one feature that that vendor didn’t have or vice versa. It’s how we made them feel. Adil: Exactly, I cannot tell you enough that how much I love this conversation. We’re not gonna take much of your time, just 10 more minutes if you have it. So just a quick, touch on this part, like forecasting your customers and for our audience, Ziv being the chief customer officer at Appsflyer being in the customer success for so so many years, he’s actually giving an advice to start-up B2B SaaS businesses, to small, like, with a few 100 customers. For the first few years, you got to focus more towards the onboarding and understanding your customer needs. So which means it is so so so important for any business in the initial phase to be customer centric, and have 100% visibility on the customer and goals. So now the question is if, of course, the front runners are always the salespeople, you know that. So once you acquire a customer, then goes to the onboarding CS team in all departments? How do you think in your opinion, a CS manager, like customer success manager, small, slash account manager relies on the initial conversation that the customer has with the front runners, the sales team, because if I’m your customer, the goals that I’ve shared on day one, will probably remain the same. And how you serve those goals that I’ve shared with your sales rep. is very, very important for the customer success team. So of course, I know that a lot of you know, team, they have automated process for the handoffs, notes, some of the businesses they are doing in the spreadsheets and all they have automated somehow the process is based on their budget and all, doesn’t matter. The key goal needs to be served. What is it? What is that? What is your opinion on this? Like? How important is that? How impactful is that towards, you know, having complete control on the visibility of customer goals? And what is the best product for thinking or don’t think about elsewhere, that you guys are huge enough. I tried to have these small folks and listening to this. And I’m sure there is no better person than you. Ziv: So I believe again, I’m taking what we’re doing now. And by stripping it back to seven years ago. I think that the best thing is to understand why in the customer’s words, why they bought the solution. What is the reason? And by the way, in the end, this is the business desired outcome. The business desired outcome is why the customer decided to buy your solution. In their words. They’re not buying mobile measurement. They’re not buying marketing measurement. They’re not buying PS 360 Anti fraud solution. No, they are trying to optimize user acquisition. And if you look at the KPI is they’re trying to increase their LTV. And then I can come and I can say customers in the gaming industry that wanted to increase their LTV uses feature A feature B feature C and I don’t go in and sell feature A feature B feature C. I want to understand from you in your words. What you want, what do you want to achieve this year? What are your challenges? What are your challenges this year? If I I can understand your goals, how you measure those in KPI and maybe even challenges. Not only that I can help you achieve that, and be your partner for life. I can also from the challenges, I can understand which products I need to build. This is very crucial for any company that is in the initial phases. And it’s super strategic. So strategic in the very first, you know, I always say that CSMs, in the first two years, they’re not only CSMs, they are also a kind of a router firewall, they get lots of lots of lots of lots of requests. And then if they’re very intelligent, then they will be able to know which one to push back and which one to communicate internally to the product managers. Think about the company of 30 people, 10 developers, one product, one marketing, two managers, CEO, co-founders. I take now, the 10 requests that I got this week and I communicate it in the company, I create noise. And sometimes I can even, this is the biggest customer, we must do this for you. We’ll get a lot of noise. And a lot of a too many resources occupied by this. If I’m pushing back on eight requests, but I’m taking the most important two requests. One is already communicating with our roadmap. The second one, I think it’s strategic, then I bring a lot of focus to the company. This is why when you hire the first CSMs, you need to be very, very picky, very, very picky and to pick the right people that are not the regular CSMs. They are router firewalls, they have the intelligence of knowing a little bit of sales skills, a little bit of product management skills, a little bit of understanding. You know, I always say that the there’s what is this strategic CSM strategic system is a system that understands what we’re selling now. But also, what will we sell in 12 months? If I know how to communicate that, then I can get my customers excited. I can get them on board in our journey. In the eight years in Appsflyer ctually, this is a huge journey. We’ve done a lot of different things. And every time we added more and more and more value to our customers. It came from the customers we’re not, no one here is a genius. We listen to our customers, we double down on it. We’ve done 10 to 20% we can we can’t do 100% of the things. But we tried to pick the right things. And I can say that we succeeded in a lot of things, not in everything. Adil: 100%. So taking on this point as well, like a lot of SaaS startups like even in the valley, there’s a mantra that okay, 30% is your product and the problem that you’re solving, 70% is how you shape that product over time. Based on the customer usage and feedback. How do you agree with this? Ziv: Yeah, I’m not sure about the percentages, but definitely, I think, like, the product is a lot of value. But I think then there’s the lots of components or how you develop it over time, because you know, I think b2b SaaS, especially you must deliver more and more value all the time. It’s a long journey. And I think that it’s also a lot about the, you know, when I think about relationship, maybe the last point about relationship, I think that in, in the journey the over the years, you build a relationship capital, you have 300 users, 400 users, 1000 users, 10,000 users. Among those 10,000 users, you have a smaller group that likes you, the promoters. Then you have some of them are supporters, they will say good things about you. And then you have the advocates, the group that they will sell…every time that they can, they will sell you to someone else because they really love the product and really, you change their lives. And I believe that any b2b sales need to really understand like, what is, you know, it’s not only about the term, you need to understand the term, but it’s also about my relationship. And I think the difference with Tommy is accounts term his company’s relationship capital, his contacts, it’s human to human. Adil: Relationship capital. Yeah, this is a term that you brought up today. I love that. I love that. And it takes time. You know, it takes time, it takes patience. You know, a lot of, you know, of course, you’ve got it pretty, pretty decent streamlined out in Appsflyer, where a lot of businesses they actually struggle to, you know, train their CS teams. So what kind of training initiatives you guys have taken over the years at Appsflyer? Because that’s going to be pretty important for people that can, you know, definitely, it’s not going to cost them as huge as some of the strategic things that you’ve discussed the mindset change, focus on the onboarding and relationship building now you brought up, you know, a relationship capital that takes years and it actually these are, these are the people that actually promote advocates, just like you said, your customers that are going to share the word of mouth. And that’s how you actually your product gets contagious. So how did you get to this point at Appsflyer? Explain a bit on that and what kind of initiatives you’ve taken, failures and all. Ziv: Training is definitely…we have another department, that is all about the training. And they do an amazing job. So in the last six years, they built an Appsflyer Academy for onboarding new employees. And then it’s also used for ongoing, so when you have a good new product, or some different programs for managers, but in the end, I think it’s a lot about, you know, understanding also the also, the academy maybe covers 70% of the thing. And then we have something very specific in customer success, still enjoyed efforts with the L&D. But it’s all about what we’re expecting from a system to know, the methodology, how to use the tools, how to interact with people. So we look at all these things. And some of those…later on are very, very specific technical things that we’re doing. We see a sense, specifically about relationships. Adil: Exactly. Again, what on the growth engineering side, of course, some businesses, they have a growth engineering team with a different hierarchy. So what is the process for growth engineering is that the CSM get trained on that, first they need to know about the engineering part as well, the technology part as well, you know, relationships. Ziv: Yeah, this is covered in the academy, again, it’s high-level, we cover the product. But this has been done in the academy. Adil: Wonderful, wonderful. So just leaving on a mod since we had a very fruitful conversation today. And I’ve learned that personally with you, and I cannot appreciate you taking the time enough today. And like when you talk about CS ops, because we are focused more on the engagement part of CS operations, to achieve whatever goals that they have. It’s not about the goal, it’s about the journey. This podcast is about the journey. And you added all this information to it, like on the CS ops when you talk about what kind of technology that you think can come handy, you can talk about Appsflyer, all the tech tools that you’re using for data analytics, for product, for all the pillars that you have for that, and how, of course then there is one part to integrate the tools. The other part is to leverage this like in a very potential manner in a very powerful way. So how do you think this is critical Appsflyer, and what do you recommend b2b SaaS companies because a lot of b2b teams are going to be listening to this podcast. Ziv: Yeah, so again, I think I as I said before, I think the main thing first of all is the core is your CRM Salesforce for most cases, and then you need a good BI tool. We use looker. We use other other components in the stack. So we have Gong, we are using Troops. Were using different technologies to sync emails, Salesforce, etc. And then I believe that in addition to that, we are also developing more components mainly above, Salesforce and Looker. Now I think that the most important thing in the mindset of CS ops needs to be, what does the individual contributor, customer success manager needs. If you understand that, and you understand the focus, you’re, you understand everything. Adil: Loved that, Ziv. You also spoke about, you know, having external, since you’ve been shipping cakes to your customers, there’s one story that you shared, the customer got some funding or he got acquired, the customer got acquired, and you just shared that gesture with them. So all these operations they actually work on the account these account managers get the data is that any technology involved from the external sources, a bit like the pull out, pull it out from CrunchBase, or something, maybe your LinkedIn is there any tool that brings an external data points to your CS team? Ziv: We get the information from CrunchBase, every day. it’s funnelled to Salesforce. Then we have a trigger in Troops. So it pushes this to slack to the CSM. The CSM is getting Slack. They have a button, it opens Asana in the cakes project. And they open this template there and they copy the template and they open the request to marketing to create a cake, then we have budget according to the budget, you get the size of the cake. And within two, three days to one week, the cake will be shipped. Adil: Loved it, man. Absolutely loved it. So you know folks listening to this podcast, you will realize which I did too that the success of Appsflyer, it lies in the way they build their systems, the way they had the leadership making some high-level decisions, not only just on the technology, but on the mindset. How they’re developing the mindset of the CS ops, it is so so important. You give a CSM the best tool in the world, the best data in the world, the best technology or best, you know, reporting authorities in the world. But if that CSM doesn’t have a kind of mindset, it takes you cannot you cannot be you cannot make it a win. Do you agree with it? That’s why your training team and your training department, your academy is big enough. And it’s as listen to all that you’ve shared today. They are playing a huge part in actually executing and making it a success for of course the net net revenue retention of the business. So is there anything that you wanted to share as any advice you have for we’ve spoken to Head of Customer Success for multiple SaaS companies, any advice, any suggestion that you have, and also share your credentials, so people can reach you out, ask questions because you have been an educator today? Ziv: I think you know, it all starts and it all ends with the people. So I always say it’s all about the people. And, you know, I try, I start to say it’s all about the people, it’s all about relationships. And then I start to say it’s the relationship capital, but I think even without the relationship capital, I think it’s important. In the end, I think that what I’m saying is, you need to hire the right people, you need to invest in your people, you need to develop them. And, this will make any company highly successful. So it’s very, you know, it’s not easy to hire people. You know, sometimes you need to be very picky to wait for the right person. But in the end, when you do find the right person, then it pays off. Adil: It pays off absolutely it does. And of course, you cannot get it right on one glance, of course, you have your intuition when making a decision on someone in the hiring process and all, but the way you actually build like the training part and all, you know, you may get the raw talent, but you got to have an intuition, an eye out for, like, the vision to see the people as a leader yourself that how teachable is that person. And of course, the commitment, attitude, that comes along as well. And, you know, I think Hard work beats everything, you know, any day anytime. So it’s all about the hard work that you could do and the people are willing to do for your business and how bought in they are into your vision. So I really, really appreciate your time, Ziv. For today. Please share your contact like your credentials where people can best reach you at and ask questions if at any point they have. So your LinkedIn or something you can share your email or anything, any point of contact for an audience to reach. Ziv: I’m available on LinkedIn. I’m just Ziv Peled it on LinkedIn. Adil: Okay, great. Great. Okay, thank you very much. Adil: Thank you so very much for staying with us on the episode. Please share your feedback at adil@hyperengage.io. We definitely need it. We will see you next time another guest on the stage with some concrete tips on how to operate better as a Customer Success leader and how you can empower engagements with building some meaningful relationships. We qualify people for the episode just to make sure we bring value to the listeners. do reach out if you want to refer any CS leader. Until next time, goodbye and have a good rest of your day.

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