Adil Saleh: Hey, greetings, everybody. This is Adil from hyper engage podcast, we have our co-host Taylor, and a special guest, Patrice. I mean, it’s been pretty long that we were thinking of having somebody from businesses like these, a very diverse and unique kind of technologies in terms of serving specifically, on a very high level to the fintech. Thank you very much Patrice for showing up and taking the time today.
Patrice Boffa: Well, thanks for having me. Excited to be here.
Adil Saleh: Great, great Patrice, You know, before we move forward and dig in deep into what kind of operations you have, at yours, Business Technology, why not we just start off with how you started this journey, what is your passion? And what is your why of jumping into the customer-facing, you know, operations, and you know, what kind of framework you had back then when you started with this business? And I also see, you’ve been part of some venture capitalist firms too. And you’ve been a seed investor yourself. So give us a little dive into all of your prior experiences. Thank you.
Patrice Boffa: Sure. So pretty much I got into technology, like in 2000, right in the bubble, obviously, a bunch of startups a bunch of opportunities. So that’s really what got me into technology. At the time, it was more on the pure technical side as a software developer, kind of system engineer. After that, I moved into consulting for a little bit. So as technical consultants then did a lot of pre-sales and went into sales a little bit. So that’s really when they start having that customer-facing experience. And most of the beginning of my career was in Europe, I worked in Monaco, in France for a while. And then, at one point, my company asked me to relocate to the US to the Bay Area, then I moved, and got back into pre-sales into supporting customers. And then the whole idea of consulting came back. So we created a consulting group. Pretty much kind of like that was like the high-level consultants that we had a kind of like an escalation path at the time. And yeah, after that, it was just creating new teams, new services, the company I was with went into security. So we created a managed service. So then there was something totally new our manager is that means you’re handling everything for the customer. So that was brand new for us. So spent a lot of time there building the business, which was super successful for the company. It was like the fast-growing business line, done that for a little bit then went into managing services in sports products as well on how we monetize services in sport, managed services. And yeah, after 15 years, of being in large public companies being a vice president services in sports and took a break and went back to startup life. And to your point that that was a little bit when I started investing in a company that was a time series database, work there for a year was an advisor decided to invest in the company because I think the tech was quite unique. In the meantime, I had a VC that reached out to me to be an advisor for their web three and security in particular, and everything that’s coming up around the metaverse as well. So that was another interest that overlaps a little bit with my current role at arkose labs where we do a lot of security and fraud for all the web through platforms like Roblox and others that are out there. So that’s that was also kind of like a lot of those synergies coming together at the right timing and, and pretty much now I’m running customer success for Arkose Labs, which as you mentioned, we’re very big in the FinTech space in gaming and, and a few other verticals as well. So that’s, that’s a little bit my journey from starting technical being in customer-facing roles, sales, and all the way up to really owning the customer at this point.
Taylor Kenerson: So beautiful. What caused the spark to transition from such big companies to go back into startup life?
Patrice Boffa: So, I, I enjoy and I had a great career, as I say, kind of spending 15 years at a company gets you got to the, I guess, higher level than I could have imagined for the beginning. I think that the biggest thing is that when companies start growing like single digits, the flexibility to change things and move fast is very complicated, for example, to do just changing the packaging on something or just releasing a new product or get rollout a new idea the amount of effort and coordination and buying that unit you need to get from the whole organization makes things very slow. It’s We’re talking like, not months, we’re talking years in some cases if you want to release something, so just to go through the product release process that we had at the time was something that it’s it will take somewhere between 12 to 1824 months depending on how complex it is and how much planning you have to do in advance and get all the buy-in from all your peers and all the other groups. So yeah, I went, as I say, 15 years is a long time, when you start a company or 400 people, you have the feeling that things are moving really fast. And then you can see that growth starts slowing down and lots of more processes and all that happens. And then you’ll see like, yeah, just the energy and the vibe to do new things. The appetite starts kind of diminishing over time. So that was what was really like the trigger for me was, again, going back to a small structure, I had to find the right size as well, like the first one that I mentioned, were invested. I was like employee number eight. So it was a lot more hands-on than what I initially expected, which was a good experience for a year. But I’m very pragmatic. And I was doing a lot of technical work. And honestly, I haven’t been in that technical field for years. So we’re getting back into it. My own realization was, I’m not as good as you, you can hire a very good engineer out off the street or someone that has more technical skills than I do. I think my skill set is a little bit more on kind of like at the next level when you need to build or scale up a business. So that’s when I transitioned to Arkose at the time where I joined, I think we were like that people were a little bit shy to 200. Now, so that was more a little bit my sweet spot where, again, the same playbook, we started building managed services, monetizing, building a customer success organization, and scaling it up, which was I think that’s a little bit more my sweet spot. And the fact that we were in hyper-growth mode, we doubled revenue last year, and we are on track to do a similar this year. So I think those are, again, the ability to change things fast see the impacts, and keep running. I think that’s really what excites me until right now. I’m good in that in that spot.
Adil Saleh: It was I’m so much I would say I’m so much excited to get my head around the customer journey. Let’s take one of your biggest customers, PayPal, like they’re leading the fintech. What does the customer journey look like for a product like this? Because I’ve seen a been looking around to Tech, we know a lot of legacy businesses that are competing with you in the market. But how do you stand out? And what is the journey that you have defined? Let’s say, you can take an example for any customer, so for our audience to understand.
Patrice Boffa: yeah, I think we’re lucky because we don’t have to deal with scaling challenges that much. I think if we look at our customer base, we are somewhere around the 75 customer range right now, most of them are fortune 500, as you name they’re gonna be like the paintballs all recognizable brands. And the big differentiator that we have is because we only have like 75 customers, and we’re really in that kind of like enterprise here, all those customers are very strategic, then we can provide the full managed service and white glove treatment. And to your point, like we’re competing with a lot of solutions that have been out there that don’t provide that level of support and engagement. And we see that all the time. We had a few major takeaways from competitors, in particular, large companies. And you can see that even if they’re using cloud platforms and security solutions like Google when they ship to us the engagement that we have with the team, being close to the customer, like the expertise, the extra amount that we provide, it really makes a difference from them. Because, again, those businesses are here to scale and make money, they are a little bit in a different approach. They cover like all the tears, some of them, they do like very small SMB businesses all the way to enterprise. And they have a hard time figuring out how to serve all the different tiers. And the fact that we are very focused on kind of like those top-tier accounts, that makes our life easier. If we look at our average AR I think we’re somewhere in the 250k range AR so that gives you a sense about like the average size of our customers that is quite big from that perspective. So that makes at least my life easier and my engagement because then you can really focus on the kind
Adil Saleh: of focus on those limited enterprise accounts. So now you guys have account managers like dedicated account managers because you’re serving more, more often high touch model?
Patrice Boffa: Right? So we have a lower ratio than most CS organizations, two reasons for that. One is because we’ve managed service, we are inlined, we protect our business. So there’s always a lot of activity going on, meaning that if there is going to be like fraud attempts attack, so we have that ongoing engagement with customers, some of our large customers, we have a shared Slack integration with them, you can see that there’s like 30-50 conversations that they have going on with them just because we’re really an extension of their sock and their teams. So that gives the level of engagement, obviously. So if you look at the structure that we have, we’re going to have like an account executive, that is going to be focusing on the commercial aspects, we’re going to have one CSM. For our strategic accounts, we usually have one CSM for five accounts. But again, if we look at some of the accounts that are quite large, like Microsoft, then Microsoft is not really one account there, just like multiple properties underneath it. And then as we go into the lower tiers, we’re kind of like in the ratio of somewhere between like five and ten those two kind of large customers. But again, it really comes down into security, and worried about how active your customers are. So we talked a little bit about kind of the metaverse and the gaming platforms, a lot of kids a lot of monetization going on. So they’re like an easy target, people go after them. So a lot of activity going on there. I think some of the other verticals, maybe a little bit less. But it really comes down to I think the most active ones are gaming, social, and fintech that’s where we see a lot of the focus. And then the some of the other ones, I will say more enterprise, it’s, we’re just kind of like the insurance just to make sure that nothing bad happens. But it’s it’s kind of like a one. Once in a while Stein, we’re gonna see something abnormal going on, versus the Oh, the hot brands, it happens to like multiple times a day that we get a hey, what’s going on here, like we see some.
Adil Saleh: That’s part of, Patrice help!
Patrice Boffa: Yeah, and that will say that’s, that’s really it when you’re beneficiaries. And as I say you’re in line. And usually, that’s the big thing that we do is we do a lot of proactive notification. So our goal is to let the customer know when something bad happens before they notice and make sure that we let them know that we’re already on top of it. And here’s what we’re doing, and just keep them posted. So as I say that whole proactiveness builds a whole different relationship with some of our competitors that have automated platforms, because what they’re going to tell you is like, hey, we noticed something, you’ll figure it out versus a little bit our approach, which is, hey, we noticed something, here’s what the investigation is telling us. Here’s what are we going to do about it. And here’s how we can prevent that from happening in the future. So you have really liked that extension. And I will say, all the feedback, if we look at our NPS score our GT reviews, and our CSAT surveys, like we really have our best in class rating across the board. And I think, yeah, I guess the challenge for us will be how we scale that as we keep growing. And that’s an area where we’re focusing on trying to identify what are the tasks that are not high-value tasks for the customer. I think what are we what I want to leverage the team for is our expertise, what we learned from our customers about the technology of the fraud space, and how we can kind of like spread that information across the customers but really try to automate everything that comes down to analysis and reporting. And because those are not valuable tasks, like we don’t, I don’t want people just to feel spreadsheets and do copy and paste. Make reports. If we can automate that and really focus on the on the value-added items. I think that’s our fastest scaling.
Adil Saleh: Absolutely. So that is why I was thinking in the back of my mind, you know, for the post-sales operations for the success operations. Why not? I mean, I’m not sure if you haven’t done it yet, or you’re thinking of it, why not? You have a dedicated customer success tool like they’ve got friends, a lot of tools like catalysts, Vitally, Gainsight. They’re the legacy tools, Totango, and all these guys. They’ve been featuring and sharing their stories and challenges and takeaways that we took, like I was thinking that for high touch model is equally important to have everything centralized and get your account executives data that matters and that drives action. What do you think about it?
Patrice Boffa: so yeah, we were actually using Churn zero right now. And the reason why we choose Churn zero, we were evaluating Gainsight totango and catalyst as well because you mentioned them. The reason why we choose Churn zero, it actually goes back to your initial question, which is about the customer journey. And the fact that in Churn zero, you have the ability just to define that customer journey and trigger plays at it each
Adil Saleh: Oh, got it. Got it. So you are basically integrating and pointing events and you are defining in yourself as a customer.
Patrice Boffa: Correct. So we define the customer journey and we say like from the moment that actually now we’re even extended that when we do a POV, so the pre-sales team are using churn zero as well. So we do, a POC all the way up to when we signed the contract. And when it comes to the renewal, we have defined all the actions so you’re gonna have like your Qbrs, you’re gonna have like your month’s checkpoints, we’re tracking all their customer activity, like usage attacks. So we’re building that into churn zero. And like that whole journey is, It’s the two reasons why we use them is like for those journeys, and those playbooks that we can integrate in churn zero, that the other competitors didn’t have something built in, you have to have like a project management tool on top of it. The other aspect is that they have NPS surveys integrated as well. So that makes again, for me, it’s one less vendor, and I have never seen one single platform.
Adil Saleh: Absolutely, I was, I was I just forgot, because I listened to Andrew, Michael, Alot, like his podcast, they’re doing pretty good for quite some years now. So it’s just it was just some thought that came up. That’s good. So you have a dedicated customer platform Success Platform, and that manages all the data. And it basically checks all the events from your CRMs. And you know, all these three tools like product usage data, as well, and all of that. And then that triggers
Patrice Boffa: The challenge is not so much using the platform its actually doing the whole integration because all those vendors make it sound that it’s very easy. And you’re gonna have everything into one place, and you have all those dashboards. And then the reality is like, once you start a project, then doing all the integrations and the data correlation. That’s, that’s really the time-consuming part. So we have someone dedicated on our business operations seam just to just manage kind of
Adil Saleh: just to do the initial integration, and then make sure data is pointing in the right direction. And if anything changes in the CRM, make sure it’s, it’s alright. Yeah, customer success team. That’s great. You know, having a centralized tool, do you have any, like, custom objects for any external sources that say, PayPal is having some or Microsoft having some press release, and just on the point to find a touch point for your account executive, to build a conversation or build a better relationship or maybe having different touch view also track external data sources, like press releases, like News’s acquisition news, like any funding rate, anything like that, like from CrunchBase, from LinkedIn, from all these are you just managing?
Patrice Boffa: We haven’t operationalized that. The one thing that we do is for our customers, as I say, we have internal Slack channels, and we have a subscription to Google News for those particular customers, which is, it’s the basic version, one of the things that we’re looking into is kind of like the social watching brands. The reason is, that a lot of the account compromise and security issues, they tend to pop up very fast on Reddit, on Twitter, and that, so we look at a few vendors just to integrate that and see if that happens in some of the flows where we’re protecting the customer, then that could help us to take action. The other part for us is that it’s also interesting, it’s not so much about the news for expansion, I think those are given. But it’s the fact that because we’re in line, and we’re protecting security events, a lot of times we’re going to see an increase in traffic or activity for a customer. And a lot of times they forget to tell us what’s going on. So we have a few string platforms, we have a few eCommerce vendors, you mentioned PayPal like you can imagine that if when there is an eCommerce event, then you can see PayPal transactions going on as well. So that gives us a little bit of visibility. The reason why we’re looking at Google News is just seeing, hey, is there something that could explain that increase in traffic, because a lot of times that customers, either they forget to tell us or they’re so big that they don’t know if there’s a marketing campaign going on on their site? So a lot of times we’re gonna raise that, and they’re gonna say, Oh, let me talk to my marketing team. And oh, yes, they just did a promotion. And they didn’t tell us about it. So a lot of times, we’re bridging the gap with a lot of internal, like, Hey, is that expected? And they’re like, let me figure this one out.
Taylor Kenerson: How do you manage that? Because so, I mean, that’s something that, you know, these companies are so large, obviously, back to the point where there are so many different silos in these companies. How do you I mean, you know, finding out about something is could be a detriment. So how do you stay on top of that? How do you integrate all of these things?
Patrice Boffa: So a lot of what we do is, as I say, the bracket alerting. So the moment that we see something abnormal, we’re going to ask a question to the customer. And if we know that it’s something malicious, we’re going to say like, Hey, This seems like an attack and we’re good. But if we don’t find any particular attack vector and we just see an increase in activity, then the question for them is, hey, is there something going on that we’re not aware of? And as I say, a lot of times, it’s those companies, you have the security team and the operations team, they don’t talk to the marketing team. And then it’s always good because it shows that again, we’re on top of it, and we’re monitoring their traffic, and we’re really caring for them. And we’re always being proactive. So I think that’s, that’s a positive side of
Adil Saleh: customer success standpoint. Yeah.
Patrice Boffa: Right. I think on the customer side, those teams, sometimes they get annoyed, because they’re like, Oh, we don’t know. Like, they haven’t told us so you again. So, again, it’s more a customer, by customer by I think most of the customers appreciate that. Appreciate that. We’re letting them know. And sometimes, they’re happy that we flagged something because they were not aware of it. And that allows them to just review their internal processes. Some of the customers, They’re like, yeah, like, don’t bother me with that. Like, if it’s not a security threat, then yeah, just ignore it. So yeah, again, we just have to adapt. And it goes back to the white glove treatment and making sure that we tailor the service to every customer. Like once you understand what your customer wants, then if it’s within something acceptable, and it’s not going to derail your current processes, then yeah, you can adapt to
Taylor Kenerson: how do you how do you differ? How do you see, empower, empowering your internal team to be so detail-oriented? And like, really focus on those details? Because it’s so easy for you know, you hire someone, and they’re just like, oh, we have to care about the details. But, you know, we could skip over this, it’s not really that important. How do you empower your internal team to really go after those things.
Patrice Boffa: So I think it goes back to the maturity of the product, the company and again, your vision for the CS team, the reality is, we’ll still be a young company, like the product, as I say, it’s not as mature as automated as we want. So in order to be successful here, you have to be in the details, you need to understand what’s going on. We’re not a company that sells, let’s say, licenses, seats for your buyer SaaS and you’re just going to go to your customer and now are you happy, like is your team growing? Do you want to buy more licenses? That’s that’s a whole different business like that has nothing to do with us someone that has been a CSM in that Word will not be able to provide value here, I think here. Again, the CSM role is and we have like the PS and our security analyst roles are very well defined very, you have to be in the details. You have to be knowledgeable about the space, you have to be knowledgeable about the vertical and you have to be able to provide value to your customer when it comes to that. So I think, to answer your question is from the beginning, we’re looking at very specific profiles, or our onboarding. And we have a technical enablement team, where we have like weekly training is also like how we cultivate that and how we share information. So we always keep the team engaged. And yeah, I will say sometimes is a little bit challenging as well. And that’s one of the challenges that we will have to figure out, which is, in some of the larger accounts, I think we want to be a little bit more strategic and less into the details. So that’s again, something that we’re thinking about is like how we add maybe kind of like supporting layer four, some of those strategic CSM, so they can focus a little bit more on the big picture and have someone that handles more those details as well. Like, if you really want to keep growing that relationship, then we’ll need to get to that to that particular point.
Adil Saleh: Absolutely, absolutely. You know, because it becomes, it becomes kind of annoying for some customers to you know, they, I mean, of course, you know what phase they’re going through like growth phase and all that and there’s like talk about Microsoft and there’s so much product focus customer-centric, you know, and if you have any point of contact that you know, there is so much into the product and growth and all that and you come about and talk about these things that they’re not even aware of that they will number one, scare them, number two, it will definitely raise questions and different doubts different pictures into their mind. And versus somebody that talks about these in this like mentioned on a bigger picture, and you have somebody that takes care of the rest.
Patrice Boffa: I think are also different to your point. I think if we look at some of those large customers that were I will say they have been around for long time tech companies or even I will say FIs, is that if we’re everything is slower and it takes time to make any changes then I think the details are important for the database and really about how we take care of the business today. But then things take time to move. So I think it’s a very different profile versus we also handle a lot of large companies that were born in the cloud. And even if they’re very large as well, you can see that their pace and their approach their technical lead teams, where they’re in the details and the questions they have, they really want to have someone that is sharp that can talk to them into details, they still have a vision about what they’re trying to achieve. But I think they’re the pace at which they evolve, they want to have someone technical that is going to talk to them. And it’s going to help to move things forward fast, rather than the other large companies where everything has to get planned and is like six, nine months. If you ask for a change, it’s something that is going to take is going to take forever to get done. So I think that’s also the balance going from company profiles that even if they’re their spend is the same with us. Their needs are totally different, just based on company culture, and how they operate as well.
Adil Saleh: You just stumbled right into it. We were thinking about the culture, what kind of culture Did you guys have, what kind of DNA regions do you guys have inside? And how integrated a team is the interesting company wide? Can you tell us more about it?
Patrice Boffa: Yeah, so I think the DNA, we have to make a few adjustments. When I came in, I think that they had to make, some basic changes because historically, the company was started in Australia, but most of our customers like 98% of our customers are here in the US. So we’re still supporting a lot of providing a lot of support out of Australia, which was not scalable. So we had to rebalance that. Kind of like establish, the team really gets to a 24/7. Live support. So we have a center in Australia, and we have a team in EMEA. And we have a team in America. So now we have those three locations that provide 24/7 support. I think going back to the culture, the same thing, we had to do a few adjustments. I’ve been here for over two years. And as I say, when you double revenue year over year and customer accounts, then you’re forcing to maturity faster than other companies. So I think that was a little bit part of the culture was also stop saying yes to everything. Stop customers, customizing gives the customer awesome or something like, again, when you’re a startup and you’re starting with 30 customers, you tend to say agree to everything, because you don’t know that this guy is going to backfire later. So when you come with a little bit of experience, you start moving the lines a little bit and say like, yes, that is something that we can accommodate. That’s definitely a hard No because that’s not a scalable process for us. So I think that’s when you shift a little bit the culture from everyone running with their head on fire and trying to please the customers no matter what to getting to a point that it’s more balanced. As I say, we really have to define our support tiers, what you’re getting for each one of the tears, making sure that the team understands that a PS customer obsession is one of our key values, but at the same time, we have to scale the business, we have to be profitable. So that’s how you operate along those lines. So I think it’s honestly, it’s just a lot of defining kind of like what success means like, we want to monetize our services, we want to be profitable, we want to be best in class when it comes to customer satisfaction. And then we’re going to enable the team to be successful by providing them training resources and all the support they need to achieve that about it. That’s, that’s really, I think it’s just educating everyone like we were lucky that we are a size that we can still spend one on one time with everyone and educate them and answer your question. So it makes it easier just to define that culture. I will say they’ve been in organizations in the past, when you have like, few 100 people reporting into you, then it becomes very hard to get to that level of understanding from all the teams because you, you need a little bit of a boilerplate message and say, like, here’s what we’re trying to achieve and follow the Runbooks. And we’re gonna get there. I will say that’s, yeah, I’ve done that in the past, I think it shows your limits. Because as you scale, I think the hard part is just to keep you will not only have rockstars on your team, and it’s very hard to keep that level of engagement and that quality of the people because obviously you have to scale and you have to hire more and there’s a little bit of dilution there. So that’s why I think for now we’re in that spot that we can hand pick the right people on the team, we can make them buy into the culture. As I say we’re small enough that we keep growing and we can see results. And it’s, that’s a great thing is like if you’re doing something well then you get full recognition to your point about how we work with the other teams. I think there’s a lot of that idea of sharing success every time we achieve something great and it’s it’s a team win. And we’re at that size that everyone knows each other so even if we’re 200 People like that’s the way you do Isn’t size that you can really capitalize on that? I think, obviously, as you get bigger and you have more global locations, then those are the challenges that we’re going to face at some point. But for now, I think that, yeah, again, we have done it on the culture side.
Adil Saleh: Great way to do that. And, you know, a lot of SAS businesses already say startups like series, ABC, their employees, employees, their team members, they actually recognize them with kind of one thing that stands out, let’s say, catalysts, they have the best culture for their, for their lower staff. Let’s make this so is there anything that people relate to like your own people relate you guys with, like your senior leadership with, like, what you guys are known for?
Patrice Boffa: I will say, the thing that we’re known for is we’re very accessible. I think, from that perspective, I will say Our CEO is based on your comments like I look younger, but he’s way younger than me is like 30 to 33 years old, one of the co-founders. So I think that that also balanced the culture a little bit too, meaning that you might not have like the full experience of driving a business, but obviously came up with that great idea and is a great driver always pushing people and always being engaged. And he has no issues reaching out to individuals across the board. So I think that a company culture where everyone is accessible, like independent of your role, your seniority, then it makes a big difference because it feels that everyone is supported to some extent. And if you have a question like, yeah, you can slack Kevin, our CEO, and he’s going to give you an answer, like he’s not going to ignore your is not going to go into the whole talk to that audit person, I think is very engaged. And it shows the ways very engaged with customers as well as entering customer questions, and jumping into channels into the discussion. So I think that that also drives a little bit of the culture about getting stuff done. Meaning that if we are going to roll up our sleeves coming up from the CEO, or, or down to the water levels, and we’re going to get it done. So I think that’s, again, it’s something that we’re at that size, that that’s possible. And we’re doing that I think, again, those are going to force us to change later on. For now. It works fine for us, I think, again, with every step, there is going to be a new challenge that is going to come up.
Adil Saleh: Absolutely, absolutely. It’s there are things that are just a part of the game, you need to just embrace them and fail, feel better, and then improve the trade. So it was a great story. It was really nice having you today, Patrice, and especially for the technology that you’ve introduced the ins and outs, and the kind of team that you built. And the way you’re so specific about choosing people, hiring people, you know, in terms of their background, technology, standards, and all because it is I know that now that it is so much needed, and it’s critical. So if you don’t have,
Patrice Boffa: if you don’t have a lot of headcount and budgets, you really have to cherry-pick people, as I say, when you’re in a larger organization if you have average players, they can you don’t notice them. Because if you have 100 people and you have eight or 10 of those, then they go on notice, but when you have a small organization with like 4045 people, then you know, everyone they know, all their peers, and if someone is not going to perform, they’re going to call it out. And the spotlight is on Yeah, yeah, it’s a team effort. And people are gonna say, and we’re pretty open about it saying like, Hey, we’re going to help you like if you’re beat, you’re strong about it. Yeah, you need to carry your weight, and you need to contribute here. So, again, I think a lot of that is due to the size and yeah, it just, you just need to spend time, like even on the hiring, choosing the right people, because you know that if you make a hiring mistake, then it’s going to be hard on you, it’s going to be hard on the team hard on the customer. So again, if you can, if you can avoid dealing with that by spending more time and bringing onboarding the right person, then I think that’s, that’s really critical for us.
Adil Saleh: Exactly that and that echoes with me a lot. Why? Because I love hiring people. And sometimes it turns out good and I love that too. But a lot of the times, you know, very next day I figured out this guy’s not a long-term thing. But it still takes me like six to eight months to actually get rid of that person. So again, as I mentioned, it becomes very hard to get rid of people if you make the decision in the first place, which was wrong.
Patrice Boffa: It’s not so much the process of getting rid of them is really the as I say the impact for the team because they know that you make the wrong choice. One is very obvious like they’re going to question your leadership if you don’t take action right away. So if your point sometimes you cannot make the change right away and six, eight months you’re trying to figure out how you’re gonna get out of this mess and right. And then you’re gonna have it again on our organizations calling out and say like, well, we see an issue with quality, like that person is not up to the mark. So now you’re getting your peers as well commenting on, on know that. So again, like that’s why even here like we made those mistakes and pretty much we have to pause and just be like, Hey, let’s take our time, I think that if we delay the hiring by a month or two, but we find the right person and we’re confident that they’re the right person, we also tweak our hiring processes. While we’re we noticed that a lot of people are technical, but they’re not very good at communicating. So we change and we give them like, Hey, here’s a deck, give us a pitch back. Here’s an analysis, show us how you’re going to present that to the customer. So we make those adjustments to make sure that every time we had a blind spot, and we miss something in the hiring process, then next time, we’re not going to repeat the same mistake as well.
Taylor Kenerson: That’s amazing. And I think that that’s, that’s some of the biggest things is it’s one thing, you know, to be aware of what’s going on, it’s another thing because an app and apply that awareness and that knowledge that you’re gaining, and how to evolve and go from there. That that’s critical. And then one of the biggest nuggets you said that resonated with me is saying no, saying no is some of the most it’s so important sometimes. Because when you say yes, you’re actually saying no to other things that could you know, give you more value and drive the value. And you could be blindsided by that because of your constant, you know, the mindset of Yes, yes. Yes. Pleasing, pleasing, and you lose focus. So that’s, that’s a really critical, little nugget to really hone in on is no is just as important as Yes, sometimes I will
Patrice Boffa: say is the hero is no but important, like curious why we say no, and walking the customers and the team through the logic because again, it’s like, Hey, you asked for four layers of approvals. When we want to make a change? My answer is like, well, we can not do that. Because, again, we’re not going to start a particular thread for 10 hours chasing people down, and you’re going to complain that we’re not effective. So here’s why we’re going to say no to that. So I think it’s, it’s always the why and showing that we have the customer’s best interests when we say no, is like, no, because you’re going to be happy today. But you’re going to be unhappy, like 10 days from now when things are gonna go wrong. Because either we have done that in the past, or we know that it’s gonna go wrong. And that’s what we’re trying to prevent. So I think the white part is even more important to the know, on my pain there, done that. And here is why we, we prefer not to do this, this approach and, again, offer an alternative or it is a discussion. And I think that’s the most value there. Because if you position that as we’re having your best interests in mind, they’re going to be open to listen what you have to say. And sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it’s a little bit more tricky, but it helps quite a lot because you’re preventing problems for you down the road.
Adil Saleh: Absolutely, absolutely. And your customer success operations are more reliant on relationships to because you get to not only communicate but ask them the right question and get your answers at the right time to forecast some of the problems that may happen down the road. And for that, you need to find the capacity of that relationship. We call it relationship capital. So wherever you count, you need to build a relationship capital as well. And this becomes more critical in this customer success, high touch model , as opposed to SAS businesses that are serving plg models and serving like automated digital CS models. So this is something I see different there, too.
Patrice Boffa: Yeah. And it’s something again, that it’s a lot of times when you see yes, and things go wrong, people forget what you say yes, in the first place. The example I give all the time, it’s like you’re gonna have a salesperson say like, oh, we absolutely have to say yes, because it’s a multimillion-dollar contract, and you’re gonna say yes to it. And then three months later, everything goes wrong, and they’re gonna blame you for it when they were like the first one to high five years when you close like a multimillion-dollar contract. So I think there are both cases, there’s the internal case where as I say, people have a short memory. They look at the revenue and they look at the short wins and they forget about what’s gonna happen down the road. So I think that’s, that’s again, a good reason why to say no, or make sure that your document and you’re very vocal about I disagreeing with this particular decision. The other one is on the customer side as well. Because even on the customer side, there’s a lot of turnovers and sometimes you’re going to say yes to something and then another team is going to come after and they’re going to say why you did that in the first place and then say like, we didn’t want to but it forced us into So so yeah there’s both sides of the coin internal and customer side that when you when you say yes to something that you’re not convinced is the right decision you end up paying the price for it so
Adil Saleh: yeah. Okay, Patrice, I think we are pretty much up on the time I will really appreciate you being so open. So genuine and generous about sharing this information knowledge scenario. I love that and I’m sure when once this episode will be up, it’s going to boom because there’s something very concrete that we discussed in the latter half. So I appreciate you taking the time today. And we shall wait one more time in a few months. When when we think we have some discussion points and we will talk about them until then we take good care of ourselves.
Patrice Boffa: Thank you and looking forward to appreciating spending time with you guys and answering the questions that were quite, quite amazing. So love it.
Adil Saleh: No less than talk soon.
Taylor Kenerson: Patrice, be safe be awesome. We’ll be in touch. Cool peace, guys.