Adil Saleh: Hey, greetings everybody, this is Hyperengage podcast and we have Mick from Vormats, he is serving as a head of customer success. And the last time we had one product, SaaS product, feature name Goldcast, will dig in deep into what Vormats does. Thank you very much for taking the time today, and, you know, coming up here for this conversation.
Mick Weijers: Thank you Adil for for having me. And of course, to Taylor as well. What do you want to discuss today? Like? What are we gonna imagine or what we’re going to bring to bring to our audience?
Adil Saleh: Absolutely. So, first off, we would like to know more about what what is that your role about? Like, why did you choose that? And a bit more insights into your personality? Like, why did you choose customer success as a profession? What is your why, a little bit on that, and then you know about the product, because we, we know how video work does how you know, you, I mean, how it helps in the onboarding and training and, you know, knowledge base for your entire team, not just the customer, or the your entire operation, we would like to more know more about about Vormats.
Mick Weijers: So like, a little over 10 years ago, I started to work in tech, actually, uploading content into a Magento database as like a product manager and combination with sales. And since then I slowly grow grew into commercial teams, like I really loved uploading content. But actually client side was more more my my cup of tea, and then being a sales manager into the travel tech, and then afterwards actually realized that sales is nice. But in a SaaS or subscription based model, actually, post sales is where it begins. So I grew into the post sales sales organization. But I could say that I think I’m one of the more commercial focused customer success leaders and people in my team always say me, come on, can we also take off our sales shoes sometimes? And I actually say no, you have to like commercials, CS, lifetime value, revenue, creation, creative value creation, and willingness to pay like spreadsheets. And over three years ago, we started with four months. And I actually was the first one to challenge the two co founders and said, No, we don’t do enterprise sales, we go into SaaS, what do we need a, like modern business model. And that’s in shorts. That’s my that’s my history. And then in four months, we were in the go to market team, the boards, and today, I’m still focusing on marketing longin. And on customer success as Head of Customer Success. It’s been a fun ride.
Taylor Kenerson: It really feels like you’re comfortable and standing your ground when you know, like, what you what you should be doing what gives you the confidence to do that. I mean, I know so many people are often afraid to speak up, but you seem to drive in that direction.
Mick Weijers: Actually, I think I’m comfortable being uncomfortable. Like I completely know that it’s all about learning, connecting, asking questions and saying that you fail thing a few years ago, I build a little framework. So I make a list of things I need to do in a day. And if I didn’t succeed in the end, then either it’s not important enough. And if it is important enough, why did I not ask someone for help? And and I had a few managers that were asking like, Okay, make this really, you have some balls, like you say, actually, I don’t know how to do it. Give me the tools to do it. And being uncomfortable helped me grow faster and having chats with people like yourselves and really growing and dare to ask the question. So I don’t say I’m confident and just say that I know how to deal with uncertainty. Like the only certainty is that in one or two or five years, everything is going to be different. On that topic, like I don’t know if you know workweek from Steve Carrigan I really love that book. It’s about like going going post trans transition phase.
Taylor Kenerson: That’s amazing. I was just one of the one of the things I could just tell everybody that you’re definitely like a little nerdy on the book side, I was gonna say what are some books that have changed your perspective and shifted your thinking into like growing and feeling comfortable with being uncomfortable?
Mick Weijers: It’s definitely that one and that’s what I like to like, tell to my team like it’s not about what you know, today. It’s about how fast can you learn what you have to know in a year? Like Adil, Taylor If I would ask you like, Do you know what the role is going to be like in two years? No. Or maybe you say, yes. Yeah, I’ll give you all my money. I’ll give you all my money, like every now and tell me
Adil Saleh: I’m sorry. Go ahead.
Taylor Kenerson: No, I was gonna say that, that those are great points. It’s really looking at your How fast can you know that You don’t know. And that’s when in those moments in that in that moment is how, you know exponentially fast you develop a new grow. It’s amazing. Absolutely.
Adil Saleh: And having that sort of a beginner’s mind, that is always has to be intact with you that can help you forecast, you know, things that you you don’t know, and you just don’t have any visibility on. So it’s just about, you know, hustling, and it’s just about finding your answers, because that’s about it. So let us, you know, because looking at your solution, I was thinking that, you know, a product or service like Vormats, any individual or personal bank can use it. Any customer support team, whether one or 100, people can use it outreach team can use it, can you tell us more about what value means to your customer?
Mick Weijers: So, in the beginning, we started with a mobile app. And we really liked that heavily on user generated content or employee generated content. And slowly, we’ve learned that maybe we were a bit early and bigger to like bigger traditional companies are very slow in their transition. And maybe we thought we could change their way of working in two months. But now we know give me three to five years for that. So we started with mobile on the go. And now we’ve adopted to a foremost platform where we help enterprises really adopt video in their day to day, so we know that video can work for sales. But the power of asynchronous video is really millions and billions like we all know the prezi, loom. And it’s a very interesting space. But it has a lot to do with the change of the way of working and adding a lot of value to a single touch point and go from there. So what you said like creating a database for your own team, with help videos, for example, how to make a upsell deal, very, like straightforward how to make an upsell deal in HubSpot. So you can use that for my whole CS team, but also for the future team. And that’s how you save a lot of time, you don’t answer questions anymore, without making a macro like that, or like like intercom or any of the software like customer success or customer support tools. So we’re making templates, making macros, but we’re there with text, but we’re not there with video yet. That’s where we add value into internal communication, but also really on that employer branding side of things where it’s all about, you’ll have a job ad and it’s amazing, but if you want to show the people show the culture show the place where you’ll be working, you need at least a photo and definitely not a stock photo, but better if you would also have a little tour, like the next gen like Gen Z that actually says that they don’t trust corporate videos anymore, because it’s never reality. It’s all about transparency and and slowly that’s taking over the role. But yeah, is this the right moment? Where we early three years ago? How’s it going to be in two years? Again, like if you know, like we can only make predictions and forecasts but tell me and I’ll pay you a lot.
Adil Saleh: Yeah, I mean and almost every time you’ll get it wrong before it unleashes in front of your eyes. So yeah, so getting more into the product because we have used loom it’s more collaborative for our business product as well. We have our own product named CardClan that helps people replace email engagements with digital cards so you will have an entire experience that messages and all and links to videos proposals and you know payment links and follow up next and everything so our thought process initially was since I’m a guy that has been with with companies doing client relationship and you know, customer support, sales and all that all my life so I thought that you know, we should have some sort of, you know, fun as well as originality into communication instead of people you know, getting tired of old school emails and you know, promotion I get it every day you get it. So that was a thought process. So what was your thought process while building it for for let’s say, not just enterprise but small to mid market or even you go ahead and says like, if I’m starting my SaaS product, early stage company size of 10 people how would I leverage a product like Vormats?
Mick Weijers: So you are one of the early adapters and I think right like If you can add humor to a process, amazing, like I know salespeople that make memes and get like high conversion rate, but it’s not for everyone. If you’re a small team of ten, maybe one of them is creative enough with some tools and makes video. But if you really want to change the full process, you need to make sure that you facilitate, train and educate all levels of people like I don’t know if you want to say red, blue, green, yellow, or if you say early adopters, laggards. But in the end, what we do is we really went through the like, to the bottom of that what why do people not make videos yet? Is it insecurity? Do they know how to smile? How can we up the quality? How can you create templates, or really easy to use, no editing. But like a little AIA, you need to step a little bit to the right a little bit to the left, when people fail, and they’re focused on themselves. And they are super insecure about my left nostril is bigger than my other nostril. So they forget about the message. And they need someone to tell them, it’s about your message. Like it doesn’t matter if your hair is left or right. And all of those little things we productized and we made trainings about it. So we’re not there for the one person that is creative enough now worried therefore the other 90% that needs, the extra push it’s an inspiration, is it customer onboarding, Is it a video from the CEO actually saying, you can spend time on this, you’re allowed to spend time and especially for the traditional companies, like your business end of your business review making videos, it’s not in there. But you are responsible for conversion rates. And we know that video could be an add on it and could increase it. But then how can you facilitate those people and that’s what C level managers now are struggling with, like, you can also promote that one guy that’s already doing it. But just doing a good job is not going to help the other nine that need extra push or need extra guidance.
Adil Saleh: Yeah, that’s true. That’s, that’s, that’s kind of true. Initially, when you’re smaller sizes smaller, you are more focus towards, you know, people that can get shit done, to be very honest. Because, you know, you don’t, you don’t have time, a lot of time to work on the people. That’s, that’s true, too. And you need to make sure you’re spending it in the right places on for something bigger, that brings some outcome. So now, how big is your team at Vormats?
Mick Weijers: Like the customer success team is only four at the moment, but our revenue team is like 15. And then we also have freelancers. But I’m also coaching some other teams like as a mentor in their that they have some bigger teams. So that’s that’s really fun to see the differences. Also they’ve been some model, they’ve been a go to market the difference in like, we all know if you tech tough or high touch or what what are you allowed, but but like we are, we are still very small team. And yeah, we’re building the plane while flying. I have to say we’re maybe at a slower start with three years gradual growth, but we’re really going like aiming for the for this, like the jump very soon. But it’s also momentum. And yeah, sometimes I wish I was at Gong, and like had a product market fit from the beginning. But but that’s that’s the interesting part.
Adil Saleh: Yeah, no, definitely you have to find the right market fit. And it takes time, you need to find different like ways to penetrate as well as you have to do a lot of experience and experiments and fail. And you need to learn failing first. And then, you know, that’s the SaaS journey. It’s a part of the game people like, you know, all these big giants, senior leaders 15 plus years been sitting in companies like Gong, Facebook Metaverse, and all that they have gone through the same process. So it’s definitely the part of the game and your industry, I would say we have we already have a partner SaaS back from them Content Studio. And it’s been there for more than five years in leading this space, it took them like four plus years. And they also had a saturated space. But as compared to them in the marketing space. Yours is lot better. Like it’s less saturated, like you’ll find a few tools like loom just scaled it like two years ago, it was a shitty product back in 2017 18, when I started using it for my product and my team at Content Studio. So It was surprisingly, the improved experience, improved the feature set efficiency, you know, support each other. And now we have been using it as a paid service like for my entire team, like starting from myself and even my customer support representative for my product users room. So how collaborative is Vormats, I’m pretty interested in knowing more about it.
Mick Weijers: So like, I don’t know if you’re aware of privacy and security regulations in Europe, but it’s completely Different than in the US like, what can we do? What what are we not allowed to do? So it’s all about data hosting, where or where artists service collaboration, okay? So we truly have a product where teams can collaborate. But in a safe way, data classification is very important. We’re way more regulated than and then sometimes what I would do would like also in terms of what kind of customer data do we know what kind of customer data can be tracked with our customers? Can we actually communicate with our champions and our buyers? What is the non anonymous and what’s what’s what’s not. So that’s really just to put a little bit of context, but like, like, we have a collaborative model where you’re, you make a video, and then someone else can edit it and can add some stuff and get make a copy. And I have a database video where I explain something and then you make a little clip. Like saying, Hey, mick look at the video from Taylor, where she explains your problem. Boom. So that’s all about collaboration. I don’t know if that answers your your question on like collaboration, but that’s where we, where we are. And it’s all about saving time and money and making making a smooth process. But making it personal. Like if I would just forward a video of Taylor, my my customer or my brain would say I mick but I’m doing business with you. But if I personalize it and say, Hey, I totally understand your question, I do have a look at Taylor’s video, boom, NPS scores goes up. And that’s that’s that’s what I would love more about personalization, after this age of digitalization, where everything was unpersonal And like, how can we flip the switch? Organized, sort of make it nice? And I think maybe 3d modeling is going to be the next thing and the avatars and holograms? And how can we make it? Personal again?
Taylor Kenerson: Can you make this dive into how you balance like leveraging the technology, but also trying to keep that personal touch? While saving time, obviously, like tech saves time, clearly, but it also, you know, removes certain opportunities for relationships and touchpoints to happen. So how do you like balance that within the company?
Mick Weijers: So we have a team? That’s very much video first. So that’s, it’s amazing. And we always think about how to personalize, especially in my team, I’ve got some some guys that really say, Okay, what’s we have sentiment trackers, we have felt value tracker, so then we know, okay, if there’s a if there’s too many unhappy or happy or, or some concerned customers, that’s how we track if we are personal or not or not. We also try to call each other’s customer and say, Hey, how do you like the service? And we constantly track how the services interpreted on that on that level? With NPS or CSAT or anything, but in the end, we always ask your questions. Are we delivering personalized messages or not? And I think that’s the big question. And if you are not analyzing your own processes, then that’s the number one thing to start doing. Because you do need to act to scale. But you also need to check. When is scaling. More important than than personalized scaling? It’s like personalized messaging at scale. That’s where I think the true value is in the new day and age. The tools are there, the cameras are ready for it. The internet is ready for it. Some of the platforms are still behind, but they’re coming they’re coming along. So yeah, it’s it’s it’s going to be a tipping point, like how long is it going to be that we don’t see any emails without video anymore? When is that going to happen?
Adil Saleh: Yeah, I mean, a lot has gone through the wind of technology. And there are some negatives. That’s a long debate. We can put it for another day. But it’s a long debate, I 100% can echo with what you’re where you’re coming from. Because I’m also a communication guy. I’ve worked with people all my life, like all the companies, all the teams that I’ve built, all my job was to work with people and take work and understand them. And it’s all about being genuine, no matter what. And technology gives you efficiency in in trying to react, but to be able to being genuine or original. You still need a human touch. So that’s a long debate what kind of technology you’re using, like let’s I assume you’re not supposed to share your customer base, like directly here but let’s let’s assume you or your team of five people, you have around 80 enterprise customers. Let’s talk talk about first enterprise segment. What is your average customer journey and average CSM or slash account executive managers the book of business tell us a bit about a bit about what is the day in day out for your customer success manager?
Mick Weijers: Yeah, so we truly have a system where customer success managers are industry experts. So you manage like a group of 40 to 50, like star accounts, where we have impact meetings. And some people say, yeah, you need to actually standardize or make make reports and send them out. But we really personalize our impact meetings with benchmarks, with videos with inspiration with growth, we have a land and expand model. So there’s no contact is very important to see where the milestones are at. So our tech stack is Excel. Actually, we do a lot in Excel. We have HubSpot, we have slack. And we have some custom messaging with our customers that we have a we have a customer onboarding or messaging portal where we are in contact with our customer, but also with our champion. But that’s all built in the platform built into. But those are, it’s very basic, our tech stack that we use to communicate with our customers. It’s so it’s hubspot, it’s, and then it’s email. And then it’s our own platform and our own tools. And that’s it. And we’ve been thinking of adopting a customer success platform. But at the moment, it doesn’t provide that much value. And also, like one of the one of the challenges is that if we adopt a customer success platform, it needs to be within the ERR. So within Europe, because of all third party supplier rules and regulations of the future. And most of the good ones are in the U.S. So yeah, we’re not there yet. So therefore, we have like MySQL connected with Excel and, and having all kinds of triggers and labels, and linking that back into triggers and Combine that with sentiment. And that’s how we do our business.
Adil Saleh: Yeah, that that definitely makes sense. So I mean, there is another notion into it, which is what I’ve learned when talking to these people, you know, it’s not necessary for you to have a dedicated customer success platform. At this event, while you can have your custom objects built in customer story, in your source of truth, which can be Salesforce can be any CRM that you use. So did you think about it, like having your customize data layers for your CS, customer facing team, and then they stay integrated with the product team or tech team?
Mick Weijers: Yeah, we’re like, we actually like to implement services. So we have crisp, we have, like, also another adapt crisp actually, like a knowledge base and messaging integration. But we don’t want to build everything on our own. Because then you want to have like, a goal. At the end, you have a horrible tech stack to keep up if you want to build everything yourself. But you it’s what what what do you need, like, we just do know that hubspot is not going to be the long term future. But like for the for a few years, you can use it as a customer success is just to, you have amazing, like amazing consultants that can make it into customer service management, too. But I do believe that a dedicated tool in the future will be the way to go. But if you look at how they like, how they’re growing, if you look at the big three players, and two years ago, they had a completely different proposition and features and knowledge and they’re rapidly developing. And I think in a long run, everyone will need a single source of truth, because that is the problem. How do you have like a nice data warehouse connected to a single source of truth that your, as a CS person, you don’t always have to switch between all kinds of like tools from JIRA all the way to slack and then checking in so I do truly believe in it. But I don’t know if the moment is there. Like, at the moment, you need a CRM for sales, but you don’t need a CS tool yet.
Adil Saleh: Yeah, that completely. Makes sense. And, and also, a lot of customer facing teams, they need data that drives action that makes sense to them. And they a lot of things that they look at, and they grasp from other places, that number one, they consumes a lot of their time. Number two, it doesn’t drive them, you know, immediate actions or instant action or critical actions. So that is why all these tools like gainsight like, you know, calculators and all these divided lead tools you might be looking around. So these are pretty helpful. And just like you said, you don’t need it yet. Maybe down the road, you know that it’s a way to go. Great. So let’s talk more about your team. Like how closely you’re integrated as team members you’re working remotely or is that you know, on site you bought from all of the team or from Netherlands?
Mick Weijers: Yeah, we have like we have a hybrid team where we Do still believe in in sourcing talent and relocating to Amsterdam at the moment. We do have some some development teams abroad, but everyone client facing, we actually say come over, come to the office and come learn. I am a fan of remote working. And I truly believe that that’s the future. But I also really love to connect and being in the same room if it’s possible and overhearing conversation and building the machine offline. And I highly respect companies that built a machine remote, like then you have need to have a very clear structure and way of working in place. But also, now we if you want to have that remote team, you need specialists, you really need people that what you said get shit done. And that’s in a tough market right now. How can you find the talent that you know, we’ll spend all the time remote, and I prefer training them a little bit more, and getting a little more media junior people on board and grow with them. And otherwise, you need to have the experience Customer Success person that knows how to build a machine you need to experience account executives and knows how to work remote. And then yeah, the salaries go up. risk goes up. Yeah,
Adil Saleh: exactly. And Europe, there is also a language barrier, like your product must be multilingual as well as your people must need to speak like Dutch and you know, your Spanish original language. How about that? Like? Yeah, so
Mick Weijers: it’s the hyper localization that that I truly believe in? Yes, you can, you can come far away with like, like a long way with English. But a German hospital will never do business with you if you don’t have a German point of sales and a German knowledge base and a German training module. And, of course, like some of the early adopters in the SAS companies in Berlin might might do it. But if you want to go for like the big chunk of markets, then like the enterprise says you need to localize. So the Nordics, you need to localize and localization is not that costly anymore. Like you can just create multi link multi language. And luckily, we have automated translations in our videos. So yeah, we can add any kind of subtitle to a video and making sure that it can be localized. But yeah, translating an app is easy with new cloud, translating your knowledge base. But also, video is such a sensitive topic still, how can you make a transition into a company? How can you change behavior? Never you just need someone that knows the culture. Like if you don’t know the culture, you cannot change behavior. Like, that’s just not gonna work. So I’m traveling a lot between Amsterdam and Madrid, Spain, and things have worked in Amsterdam will not work in Madrid, it’s well in the US, like if it works in Washington, it will probably work in New York and in LA and in Seattle. And that’s the desk I’m always jealous about scaling in in the US first and scaling in Europe. Like it’s insane, like or scaling in, let’s say India, or any other bigger, bigger country, I would love it. But yeah, the reality is that if I drive two hours to the south, I’m in Belgium two hours to East I’m in Germany, two hours to the north, actually, I mean, see when I go to Denmark like yeah, it’s a melting pot of cultures and also different behavior and different behavior around change and being a change agent.
Taylor Kenerson: How do you how do you know which cultures and what kind of touchpoints and what things you should be doing to evolve and adapt to like those new or not emerging industries but those that you want to slowly tap into? How do you know there’s so much information
Mick Weijers: local partners is one like try like how can you translate your pain points into their pain points testing and getting someone on the ground that knows that has experience with your buyer personas really helps. Personally I’m also connected to a communities called pavilion or revenue collective. And then I just can ask any sales sales leader in in any of the capitals? Hey, what works for you what are the agencies you work with? Can you can you link link maybe is having community in Europe is definitely necessary. Having someone that can help you with go to markets it has been there and it can review we have a lot of consultants that help us okay, go to market in order to get in get some expert in there. If you want to do it all by yourself. You’re gonna feel even more like yeah, and really, having a network of people is is truly what I believe in.
Adil Saleh: Yeah, It is it becomes necessary parts like and with a solution like yours and you’re so much targeting towards enterprise. And just like you mentioned that one thing about about the enterprise or local business in Berlin, you cannot like you cannot they won’t even meet on a coffee table. You know, they wont even start the initial initial conversation. So it becomes harder for people that are on the front row front runners. So yeah, that was interesting. Like this touches a bit on what what kind of growth metrics do you see going into next next year? And where are you guys heading, by the way.
Mick Weijers: So like getting slowly we were we were cutting away use cases. And now we’re focusing on really on internal communication, team communication and employer branding. And, and education. And awareness is one of them. going to the localization topic, I can create an amazing webinar that fits with Dutch culture, and a pain point with, let’s say, I can make like a webinar for municipalities about a change in my legislation for how to request a new passport. I don’t know that it’s super local, and it will work here. But it’s definitely not going to work in Germany. So you need to find those triggers. And how can you say, visual communication is necessary to actually achieve x y Z? And that’s where we are slowly growing into that we do know what are the success use cases in industries, departments, and also countries. And that’s the that’s the, that’s the magical space that we’re in. Because I also know where it’s not going to work. Like if your company is very stressing on your day to day and it’s micromanaged. And you need to have a certain list done. There’s no room for experimentation, video is not the way to go. And not not not to grow. So where we are looking for is to find the one or two video touch points that really help a team to excel and as slowly grow and expand as our land explained, and afterwards explode. So sometimes we grow from 10 licenses to 1000. And really, they want to see the success first. But often they don’t know yet what success could be because it’s completely new for them. But their enterprises are not the people where the startup entrepreneurs are coming from Yes, sometimes, of course. But yeah, they’re more like, if I do my thing, tomorrow, I’m going to do the exact same thing, then obviously, I’m going to do the exact same thing, until someone tells me to do something else. And then I’m going to do that exact same thing. And repeat and repeat and repeat. And that’s that’s the fun thing, like talking to people like you. But actually doing business with a completely different persona. And that’s, that’s a lot of fun.
Adil Saleh: It’s all about, you know, finding fun, and not just a passion, a grit of heddle you know how you can hustle more and what drives you day to day? And what’s something that you’re choosing every day. And if you have that something that you’re looking up to that will always create interesting turns into life. And that can be anything.
Mick Weijers: Have you have you ever served as truly enterprise customers, I’ve always been more in SMB and SaaS type of companies as
Adil Saleh: customers. I represented Quicken Loans mortgage, when I started my first job then I we did sales for at&t. You know, some insurances, Medicaid, Medicare. So we’ve worked for those companies that were enterprise when when I started the startup like SaaS journey back in 2017. It was small product in the marketing space, social media marketing space with 700 customers. And, you know, I build initial team customer facing team processes and everything. Then I left three years later, and I started my own product. So just like you mentioned, we work mostly with, you know, with entrepreneurs, or early stage startups or maybe small to medium scale sized businesses, but not enterprise. Now when I jumped into services business because I wanted to field my products, I wanted to do product that needed needed investment in Personal Capital and everything. So for that I started business managed service business or for a lot of big businesses that we have done. So we are currently working with with an enterprise businesses business out of New York Cognito and ascend learning they are one of the leaders in the space, you know, elearning space, they’re working with NGOs and all that. They’re working nationwide in the US, so and I felt the difference just like I mentioned, so I definitely felt the difference. So it’s you have to If you have to find yourself pretty much placed their processes, they’re not going to move, they’re not going to move the needle for you. So that’s what I’ve learned.
Mick Weijers: So like, like one of the guys in the team, we have like, like bi weekly training sessions. And last time, it was all about being an internal change agent for our own team, but then also being a change agent for our customers. And that truly understanding the person you’re talking with or talking to on the other side is crucial. Because we thought, okay, what is necessary to be a change agent for someone in our team? How many steps do you need? And then how is it different from being a change agent in one of the companies that we actually work for? And that made us realize what do we need to provide our champions our buyers with, to go to their transition process, and we constantly need to remind ourselves that they are not like us. And that sounds, maybe that sounds horrible, but we gonna have to say, okay, that process will go slower. So good luck, change. Think about the customer, think about the buyer. And don’t try to fall into this trap, where you just take yourself as an like NS one, and then think like, I’m the customer, I’m a bird, I’m a human being now really like persona segments. And I don’t know, that’s what I like about this, the segmented approach of enterprises and people everyone is different, and how can we service them? And how can we make sure that we have a onboarding flow for all the different segments, they all go to their success in a different time span? Maybe someone does less than a day someone doesn’t in three years? And I think that’s where customer success is. Heading.
Adil Saleh: Approach. Exactly. And all these, you can say, principles and rules, they are so much tied to the to the fundamentals, like Steve Jobs, has been saying, like early 90s, used to say the same things, you got to be customer centric, you got to distance because there was no technology, or not much tools and all that. But he still achieved it. Why? Because he knew that how he can he can embed into his team’s DNA, initial team’s DNA, that how to become how to be and go down to your customers level, and then understand and understand the position and talk that way, you know, listen to them as much as possible and build better products on that.
Mick Weijers: On one end, you need to be customer centric, yes. But on the other hand, you also need to understand how to communicate to a board and to investors and metrics also matter. And you can always say, Yeah, but customers met like matter. Like, if your customer base is 20. And you don’t have a vision, and you don’t say okay, but like to actually have the voice of the customer, we need a bigger customer base before we can take them serious. So that’s always like, when going to be customer centric, let’s avoid you need to have actually reliable data. And that’s sometimes tricky. Like, yeah, we need to be customer centric, but also, a little bit with the hat. Yeah, you don’t always just say whatever
Adil Saleh: you want. Exactly understanding the role of the customer, maybe whoever the point of contact is, you need to understand that position. What was how it was there, the loads are human, and then in my inbox every Monday, and I know how many people how many people I need to respond in two or three days that that’s going to be normal to them, and how many people I need to respond in maybe in a few hours. So I know that those companies are different, those customers are different. If I react this way, they will be okay. If I read this way they would like definitely, it’s going to be unusual. So it’s it’s all about you know, just like I mentioned before, understanding the role and position of your point of contact by communicating whether you’re commuting into the city or a board member or or investor, you need to know their position, what they need to hear what you need to tell. So it’s just all about understanding and being there walking in their shoes more more often.
Mick Weijers: I always say it’s about shifting Shifting gears. So sometimes you need to be in the first year or like at least in Europe for like second third fourth, like you need to go and drive in parks and it’s it’s more difficult. But yeah, and it’s you can shift in leadership styles which you can also you also need to shift in what you communicate if you if you’re going to present data, then yeah, how are you going to present it? It’s not manipulation but it’s just setting the stage it’s framing and and that’s really I mean, JR gets now listening like work on your being a chameleon, like really like go and be able to shift gears and don’t say no, this is how I am like No, always adapt to the person that’s on the other side of the table. Adapt to your customers, adapt to your leadership, adapt to your investors. Yeah, that’s my that’s my advice.
Adil Saleh: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. You got to be adaptive. And, you know, you need to mold with just like a water, you know, with everything that comes along. And Twitter is is pretty good at it. You know, killer. Do you have any question on that?
Taylor Kenerson: No, I think that that’s an amazing little nugget. And, Mick, I think it’s really important that, you know, no matter what, at the end of the day, it comes down to, you know, conversations, and you really need to cherish those conversations, no matter if it’s about the CTO, the board, members, your customers, each conversation should be just as important. And when you, you know, view those conversations with that importance, you’re able to get the nuggets that you need in order to pivot in order to refine and to move forward and grow. And I think, you know, that’s, it’s amazing that, you know, there are other people out there with these types of mindsets.
Mick Weijers: Like, let’s, let’s try, like, let’s try to dig one like a little deeper. So I don’t know, the people you talk to says, often got people in customer success. Now we’re still struggling with getting a seat on the revenue table. And often people are a bit more support and soft. But how can we educate those people that if you want to have nr metrics, and if you want to have like a seat at a revenue table, that what can we tell them to do? And to be a little more like a CFO, or a little more like to see our own he led Chief Revenue Officer? Like? How can what can we provide them? Or how can we help them like to be taken seriously, on a revenue level and also in in the board board meetings? Do you have any experience, or what you’ve used to coach people to make that switch?
Taylor Kenerson: Honestly, it just in my personal experience, I’m no expert in these areas, but it’s less about, you know, telling what people what they have to do and guiding the way showing them this is the this is how I foresee it to be done. Let’s try it this way. And if you are the one me, you know, the person coaching is the one that has to get their hands dirty to show this is the way or this is how I would go about the situation, then, you know, it’s way worth that extra effort. And that going the extra mile to show exemplify what you’re looking for, you know, it’s one thing to direct and to, you know, work together collaboratively. But what if they don’t even know what first step to take? Even though you’re saying, you know, it’s an it comes with, you know, not only psychologically to you know, what are their experiences? What, how have their experiences shaped, why they’re making the decision not to move with that hat on the CFO hat, you know, kind of unpeel where their mindset is, and what is driving that lack of, you know, thought and motivation toward that. Yeah, that’s really interesting. Definitely, definitely answer. It’s definitely super interesting, though, and it’s all about, really, at least for me, it doesn’t matter what I’m doing. I work on a bunch of different things. I’m, I’m on the SAS side, but I also do a lot of different hands on work I do I build high rises here in New York City. So I’m actually hands on in some things on the con, the construction side of things, and sometimes it’s way worth it to doesn’t matter if you own the company, like give me the screwdriver, I’ll show you how to frame frame the house, and then we’ll move forward, you know, and sometimes it takes that little extra Oh shit, like, Okay, this is how it’s gonna be done. And sometimes it has to be done, you don’t want now it’s gonna take me an extra two hours, but I just motivated him to work harder for for two years, you know? And sometimes that trade off if you have to uncover that trade off for yourself. And that’s really important.
Mick Weijers: Yeah, just just meeting by example, that’s, that’s
Adil Saleh: all about going first, it’s all about going first and you know, getting your hands dirty and showing people how it’s done. Maybe they can or cannot do it. But once they see you doing it going first. That will give them an extra push. And, of course, there’s still going to be people that won’t get shit done. But again, you have to push push them as much harder as as possible as you can possibly could. So I think this is pretty deep and nice conversation we got into the last 20 minutes. I really appreciate your time. We’re pretty much on it. You know for taking the time today for this episode. And we have so many friends and business partners in a not in Europe. I’m talking about Netherlands and with definitely touch base on things that we can, we can help each other, support each other in any way any later much way. And touch base. Take good care of yourself. And thanks one more time for taking the time.
Mick Weijers: Thank you with you and Taylor.
Taylor Kenerson: Thank you, Mick. We really appreciate your you’re awesome. I’m gonna connect with what I’ll connect with you on LinkedIn so you can stay in touch. This is an awesome conversation.
Mick Weijers: So like, if you have any people in the Netherlands that work in Customer Success, let them like connect. Like please with me because I sort of tried to get all the activity and events in customer success to grow the community. Like we have leadership dinners, we have breakfast events, we have virtual meetings. And I sort of tried to get her it’s there’s like a little look slowly your community growing. Like London already has one. Paris already has one. And now we’re building on in Amsterdam. So if you know anyone, please let them connect. And we have to grow and especially women in customer success, because they sometimes are a bit quiet. You don’t hear from them that much. They’re super important. And often it’s the guys they’re a bit more vocal and present on LinkedIn. So please share, connect and
Adil Saleh: you’re here really soon. Promise. Yeah, not probably the girls. I don’t talk much with girls, by the way. I’m not so compatible. Anyway. They feel like I’m always toxic, but you know, for sure for the boys. So that’s some business friends relationship. I’ll definitely touch base with you. Take good care of some my friend.
Mick Weijers: Goodbye.