Episode No:31

Transforming Web Engagement with Qualified.com ft.

Dan Darcy

CCO, Qualified

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Ep#31: Transforming Web Engagement with
Qualified.com ft. Dan Darcy (CCO, Qualified)
Ep#31: Transforming Web Engagement with Qualified.com ft. Dan Darcy (CCO, Qualified)
  • Ep#31: Transforming Web Engagement with Qualified.com ft. Dan Darcy (CCO, Qualified)

Episode Summary

The company website has become an essential asset for companies in the post-pandemic world. Until now, companies have had no way of knowing who’s on their site, and no way of meeting with their best buyers, instantly. To discuss this essential element of the customer success journey we speak to Dan Darcy, Chief Customer Officer at Qualified.com. Qualified enables companies to have valuable conversations with the right people using the website as the digital store frame. Dan walks us through their customer success operations and the lessons he has learned throughout his journey at Salesforce and Qualified.com and shares some great advice for early-stage startups.
Key Takeaways Time
Meet Dan Darcy, Chief Customer Officer at Qualified.com 1:38
His Salesforce journey 2:32
Becoming a part of Qualified.com 3:45
About Qualified.com 5:45
The biggest motivation to join Qualified.com 8:38
What Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff taught him 9:38
3 things that differentiate qualified.com 14:53
Best practices for helping your customers succeed 17:48
Measuring customer success 22:14
Dan’s advice for startups 27:08

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Dan Darcy: You know, everyone when they come on podcasts or they’re on panels at sessions always talk about the greatness and everything. But I mean, it really is about starting small. And it’s just really being about simplistic about what you’re trying to do. Taylor Kenerson: Welcome to the hyper engage podcast. We are so happy to have you along our journey. Here. We uncover bits of knowledge from some of the greatest minds in tech. We unearth, the hows, whys and whats that drive the tech of today. Welcome to the movement. Adil Saleh: Hey, greetings, everybody. This is Adil from hyperengage podcast, we have our co host Taylor Kenerson from New Jersey and a special a very special guest from Qualified.com, Chief Customer Officer leading the entire communication team over there. And I really appreciate his time that he took from his schedule today. Thank you very much for joining, Dan. Dan Darcy: Thank you for having me. Yeah. Loved it. Adil Saleh: Loved it. So then starting up, you know, I know. And even before we got connected, we were you honest, the journey of qualified.com. And then I looked at your profile, you had heaps of experience working with salesforce for back in the years. And then you also been a part of, you know, decision making teams at Oracle back in the years to so we have so much even be guests have so much to learn from you today. So could you just, you know, dive a little back and give us a bit of your background, your mindset at that time? What kind of challenges you had there? What what what made you move made the next move all the moves that you made, along your career. Dan Darcy: Absolutely. So, obviously, growing up in San Francisco, all I knew, from an early on age, my dad said the same thing you need to get into technology. And so I was like, of course. Okay, so I went to a school locally here at Santa Clara University, Go Broncos. And then from that point on, technology has been part of my life. As you just mentioned earlier, like, you know, I first started Oracle, well, I first started a company called Hyperion, which was really around the business performance management. And then that took me because I peering got acquired by Oracle into Oracle. And then that from that point on, I got to learn a little bit more around, you know, like sales operations and how sales works. And it was just such a fascinating aspect to me. But what I really didn’t understand was, you know, how business works. And that then came through Salesforce, and I made the move from Oracle to Salesforce, because a great friend of mine said he had an opening on his team, and I did not know anything about Salesforce at the time. And he said, You should come I have a perfect spot for you on my product marketing team. You’re very technical, I’d love to see you join me. And then I joined Salesforce. And so Salesforce back when I started was back in 2008, it was around a couple 1000 people, employees, large companies were using this because, you know, obviously, the Internet was starting to just take off a little bit more. And at that Salesforce was really where I learned pretty much a majority of, you know, and the success of where I am today, the number one thing I will talk about is really customer success. And that has been ingrained from day one, when I worked at Salesforce, it’s really all about the customer and and we need to do what it takes to be with that customer. And then, you know, after 13 years at Salesforce, I joined qualified, because I felt like it was also another shift. I mean, when I joined first Salesforce at the beginning, it was really around this shift around cloud computing. And I thought that was fascinating. People obviously had their data locked on premise with, you know, with with their systems, and then this new model of putting your stuff in the cloud, right, it was back then it was called on demand or SAS. But now obviously everyone knows it as the cloud. So I love that shift and being part of that shift, and then I left Salesforce to join qualified because I see another shift happening within the marketing realm and that marketing is really my go to, you know, basically home base for me from a from a you know, business perspective. I love I’m a I’m born a marketer, and I love marketing, and I love working with marketers. So that’s what brought me to qualify today. Adil Saleh: Oh, loved it. That’s inspiration and it’s not something that you know, you took some small amount of time just a couple Love yours to figure that out. You weren’t really like for freaking 30 years, you figured out okay, now I have to move move on in a platform like, qualified, I was just looking at your customer stories, the way you guys are streamlining the entire pipeline system pipeline generation for revenue teams starting out, just give me a sneak peek into what kind of what was your first thought looking at qualified.com As somebody that has worked for the longest time with Salesforce, and has this been implemented after you came in join, that we only need to focus on once a year and we just Salesforce and target audience will be the SAS businesses strictly on the medium to large scale market that are using Salesforce as as their sole source of truth. How does that play out? Dan Darcy: Yeah, so let me let me start off with, you know, you kind of explained it really well. What qualified is qualified.com is is the pipeline platform pipeline generation platform for all companies that use Salesforce, and, and I’ll explain why and what that is. And, you know, when the pandemic hit, you know, companies had to move digitally faster. I mean, that was basically an imperative because no one was leaving their homes. So everyone, everything was happening online. And that was where my light bulbs went off where I’m like, you know, like, how are people going to really engage in work. And so it really started thinking about all these new paradigms and shifts to a new way of working. But then also, if you think about it, there was also what was burgeoning was a new way of buying as well. And so people were looking at websites, and taking a look at the websites and, and really, the website is a company’s number one asset, all marketers, what they do is they drive traffic to the website, to then have hopefully, cross your fingers have people fill out a form to then go into the system, the lead system, and then have a salesperson contact them later. But that’s not like, that’s not the future, the form completes or not the future. And I think a lot of you also out there will agree with me on this, like when you fill out a form and if you see content that’s gated, you know what’s going to happen, you’re going to get spammed multiple times you’re going to be probably put into a nurture campaign, you may be followed up by a sales rep two or three days later, but you kind of want that information right now. And so that’s where, you know, qualified can really help change the game in terms of that, where we don’t even talk about form completes anymore, it’s really around the conversations that happen on your website. So what we are able to do is we effectively turn your website into an active digital storefront where you can connect with other humans at that company, to understand a little bit more about your business. So if you wanted to learn more about that product right on the website, right at that moment of intent, buying intent, you can engage with a sales rep right there through qualified. And the way we’re able to do that is because we connect Salesforce to your website and and all of your other sales and marketing systems, we connect that all together through qualified so that when a visitor hits the website, we know exactly who that person is, and how how we how they may want to be engaged with. And we can also see what they’re looking at. And, you know, what’s the type of information that trying to see. So that shift of actually making the website a very active, like, think of it as a digital storefront, like someone’s walking into your digital store, and then they can engage with a sales rep right there. That is a huge shift for people. And so that to me, is what I got really excited about leaving Salesforce to come and join qualified. And I’m like, this is going to be the future, every website is going to need a way to engage with their visitors, their prospects, their customers right on their site. Taylor Kenerson: Thanks so much for that explanation and really diving diving deep into that into that journey. Can you kind of touch on what you are? That shift you mentioned, you know, that those when you were going into Salesforce, and then you joined, you know, what, what are those commonalities that you look for in these industry disruptive? You know, software’s like, can you dive into that? Dan Darcy: Yeah, I mean, it’s a great question. You know, it’s it’s one of those things where what I loved what I was doing at Salesforce for a very long time was, you know, one of the biggest lessons I learned from Marc Benioff was to stay relevant. And for a lot of businesses out there technology is constant, right? There’s so much innovation innovation is constant, and like things are always moving. And we’re you know, it This is a very cliche term, but you want to obviously skate to where the puck is going versus following the puck, right. And so when I saw this, you know, I mean, what Salesforce has always encouraged is really the innovation. And it really incorporating innovation, specifically around the customer and the customer 360. And so what Salesforce does an incredible job of is really providing a 360 degree view of your customer, no matter where they engage with that, where no matter where a customer or prospect engages with your brand, out there in the market, Salesforce can capture that information, pull it into 360 degree view of that specific person. And then with all that data, you can do so much about that, right? So what qualified is able to do is tap into that customer data, so that when the visitor hits the site, all of a sudden, we know exactly who this person is, what they bought before, or, you know, you know, what, what tickets they’ve logged or what cases they may be driving, and that, you know, so when I saw this innovation happening with qualified and where, you know, the, you know, like I said, my home base for me is personally marketing, when this is going to be a marker, every marketers dream, it’s just that we have to like, you know, it’s one of those things that I love is like, it’s like a gospel, we have to just spread the gospel of, of this whole conversational space, and really having a great dialogue around your number one asset, which is the website. And so when I saw that happening, I’m like, Oh, my gosh, I want to be a part of that and build that again, and get that same feeling that I felt when I started helping build Salesforce back in the day from 2008. Even though I was at, you know, around the 2000 mark, for employees, it still felt like a start a 2000 person startup. And that’s what the beauty of also Salesforce was, but I really wanted to go to a true startup. So when I joined qualified, it was definitely, you know, very early on Series A, but I love building and innovating and creating again. So that was that’s why I brought that over. And, you know, just noticing there’s so many different technologies out there and shifts. But this one was something that was near and dear to my heart and something I’m very passionate about. Adil Saleh: Absolutely, absolutely. And that’s that’s what, you know, a lot of even customers look up to, like looking at platforms like qualifi.com, and looking at the team, the kind of exposure they had. And now the kind of, you know, kind of operations, they’re setting and GDM metrics, they’re, they’re involved in all the high level decisions that they make you build on that. Because with the repetition of platforms, like you know, Gong platforms, like these startups for the last, like 10 years, you can say, a lot of SaaS platforms came up from the very like buffer, you know, it’s a social media marketing platform that like came up in 2011. And it’s like, skyrocketed, just the way that they’ve they’ve initial mindset and initial instinct, and of the leadership. Wonderful. So you talked about data, a little bit like data intelligence, when it comes to qualified.com, it gives you the data in the right places. So you can make decisions right there then, without looking around, or making time and getting followed up. So now what kind of what operations you have setting up for all three of your teams, be it like support be it sales, or revenue teams or the success teams could give us a you know, brief recap, recap on all the teams and how you view them as a leader? Dan Darcy: Yeah, so from a from a go to market perspective, you know, we have a pretty traditional direct sales model, you know, an inbound team and outbound team and account executive team, and a sales solution engineering team. But, but where I think we’ve kind of differentiated and done things a little bit differently is on the post sales side. Not to say that anything, pre sales is, is as bad, it’s actually pretty amazing. It’s a tried and true machine. And it’s completely effective. But where, where I think we’re differentiated is really on the post sales side. And this is where we had to think about things different differently. So as the chief customer officer, I run all of customer success, our, our, you know, success team, our support team, we have a support team, of course, we have a customer education team, and we have a customer Programs team. And all of those teams work together to really create this incredible customer experience post sales, but we also work across, you know, in the pre sale side to to make it an incredible buying experience. And that’s actually what a lot of what our customers love about us is that they have such an incredible buying experience that we want to continue that on into the post sales, you know, customer experience, but where I was gonna say about like, where we differentiated things, it’s really around three things we have We’re philosophy, which is about whatever it takes. And then we have our people, which is kind of how we thought about things a little bit differently. And then our process. So first is our whatever it takes philosophy around really building a mantra internally, not even just on our success team, but with with our, with the entire company, which is, we want to do whatever it takes to help our customers, you know, drive pipeline and ROI, because we know and recognize that pipeline is the lifeblood of every business. So we take that very seriously. And we want to help our customers get pipeline massive amounts of pipeline, so that they succeed, because that is true customer success. If they succeed, we succeed. And we’re part of that success. And then it’s like, obviously, a great flywheel of success that continues to happen as they grow, we grow with them. And then the second is around the people. So, you know, success management, traditionally, you know, with customer success managers, Salesforce was credited for starting that way back in the day, where it was unheard of to have an actual person dedicated to their success after the sell. Well, now, I’ve also combined that role, along with a Solution Architect. So it’s someone who can actually hands on keyboard do the work and implementation and success management for our customers. So we combine those two roles together, where, you know, if you think about right now, in the traditional model, a success manager is Greg goes, Oh, hey, actually, oh, you need to do that? Well, we need to engage with the professional services team. Or you can actually do that yourself. And it’s good find that on our university. But the success manager here at qualified is like, oh, we’ll do that right now for you. Let’s talk about this. What are you trying to achieve? Here are the best practices, here’s what I’ve thought about doing and other things. Like they’re called Success architects, because they’re a hybrid between a success manager and a Solution Architect. So my are qualified success architects, I personally believe are the best in the business. And you know, our G2 reviews really say it for us, if you actually can go to everyone can go to g2.com Look up qualified.com and see the reviews. It’s, it’s it’s incredible. And this is working. And that is where I feel like that’s how our teams are set up. But that’s where I feel like we’re differentiated. So Adil Saleh: it is super important to you know, when customer gets a foot in the door, you have somebody not only someone that can be so good at communication and relationship, but also on the technical side, just like you have a bet. That refers to someone technical, right? Yeah. Yeah. Yes. Dan Darcy: Yes. So yeah, they are technical. Well, and to your point to the other thing, too, that we’re that I feel like is differentiate that we drive is we’re always constantly want to earn their trust, and, and, and their renewal, in a sense, right? So if you think about that, how do you do that? Well, it’s about showcasing ROIs and and showcasing their KPIs and the way they look at their business, and is qualified, really helping, you know, drive their KPIs, and eventually giving them true ROI. And so that is what we’re maniacally focused on from the very beginning is understanding, you know, what are their KPIs? What’s their Northstar? What do they want to try and drive for? And every month, we’re always checking in on them with like, here’s your ROI numbers here, the KPI numbers, what do you think, Okay, I think we should be doing this better, or this is fantastic. And that constant, you know, iteration is really where I think is a lot of the secret sauce to our business of really helping our customers succeed. And knowing that we actually have their back when it comes to driving pipeline for them. Taylor Kenerson: That’s, that’s a really important, that’s a really important fact of, you know, having that strong bond with your customers so that they know that at the end of the day, you always have their back no matter what it takes. And to going to that extra extra mile is always what’s going to, you know, stick in the back of their mind when you’re trying to spread your gospel to get them to renew, which is really important, of course. So you delve a little bit of course of your team. So you have four different you know, sections, you got the success, the support the education, and you’re kind of learning in your programming sector. So how do all these different teams stay on top of the data that’s coming in? And then you also mentioned, you know, you’re able to reiterate and have these conversations on the fly with these customers. So how is that data getting passed and making and being actionable for you know, all of these different teams within the larger team? Dan Darcy: Yeah, no, great question. I mean, if we could have daily stand ups with the entire team, we we would you know, that’s it, but it’s obviously very difficult and very expensive. If you think about bringing everyone on a call. Well, it it all starts with the customer journey and really instrumenting that cost From our journey, and taking a look at what that customer journey should be like, and then how do we make the technology, the process and the people kind of fit to what that customer journey should look like? And then we always are looking at the data to your point. Once we instrument that data, we’re constantly taking a look, how do we improve, and we have an ops, Customer Success operations team, led by a gentleman of the name of grant Guerrero, who’s incredible, and he’s just constantly updating the machine. And we’re always looking at like, okay, hey, you know, we’d like to see this faster time to value here. Well, how do we do that? Well, okay, we probably need better education and content, so that they can kind of learn on their own. Okay, well, maybe we should add another check a checkpoint here that kind of addresses these things, or we should do that. That’s we’re just constantly iterative on the process. And, you know, there’s, it’s, it’s never done, right? It’s never a finish line. So it’s, it’s always that, but it always does start with the journey. It’s taking a look at like, what are the success metrics across each phases of those journey, and then go from there. So we have an implementation phase, on average, our customers are live within 30 days. And then we have a momentum phase, which is really we call it momentum, which is like, we’re constantly wanting to drive the momentum of our customer forward, up into the right. And so we got to go after that momentum phase and continue to drive that. And then, and then when we you know, towards the end, or if there’s issues that arise, you know, we have definitely get well plans, and we, you know, enact those plays and playbooks and things. And so all of that stuff, all of those plays, they’re all instrumented. They’re all they’re all measured. And I mean, that’s where I’m a huge data geek, of making sure that we have all of that going. Because it’s like, if you can’t measure, it’s not going to obviously ever change. So. Taylor Kenerson: So, and I’m so glad you said that you’re a data data geek. Let’s let’s jump in and dive into that a bit. What are your CS indicators look like in order to measure, you know, the success of, you know, specific customers within? Dan Darcy: Yeah, yeah. Great, great, great question. So I’ll just say our standard hockey scorecard of metrics is obviously gross renewal rate, net retention rate, right, CSAT, NPS. And then things that go along those lines from there’s like that those are our external metrics, if you will. But then internally, we’re always looking at, you know, implementation time, we’re looking at the usage metrics, we actually built something called the customer happiness score, where, you know, based on a lot of different things that inputs into that it could be utilization coming off of the product, but it also could be our success architects sentiment, it could be also did they give us some customer reviews on G2, how’s the NPS score? So all of that stuff is are really all incorporated together into really waiting and driving that that customer happiness score. And then we also look at fast time to value what when is the first time that that our customers actually close have a closed one deal because of qualified? And so that is, those are the things that we’re constantly trying to really look to and improve? And how do we get our customers to see value faster, and so that we pride ourselves on Adil Saleh: that side of it, I love the way you have given terms that you know, that are just slightly different to the industry standard. And it is sign up, you know, motivation as well like customer happiness score, that we have seen people saying customer perception score, CP, CPC, CPS. So a lot of these terminologies, they matter a lot when it comes to, you know, living by it day in, day out. So it’s it matters a lot. So you talked about technology? Could you just give us a high level view on just on the post sales operation? What kind of technologies have you incorporated, like CRMs? And they’re just piping the data into the success team? In what form? How translatable it is, is it there? Is there any kind of dedicated customer success tool you’re using to make sure they stay on top of it. Dan Darcy: So this is going to come as no surprise, we’re a Salesforce shop, so everything lives and breathes inside of Salesforce. And we built basically our success methodology, which we call whatever the whatever it takes success methodology, we build that into Salesforce. And so we have a success record inside of Salesforce or a success object that that houses all of that data, other technologies to get other data for us as we use get feedback, which is another great partner of ours, that slash Survey Monkey slash Momentive, that that basically surveys our customers and then that data is automatically fed into Salesforce. So you know, it’s all automated. We use quip Which is another Salesforce thing that drives a lot of the success joint plans that we have with our customers, we obviously use Slack to engage with each other. But there’s no, there’s nothing really secret to, to that, except for really just defining what your process is. And then putting that into the tool, and then making the tool work for you. So that’s why I love Salesforce is because it’s so customizable. Adil Saleh: It’s so customizable. So I’ve seen like teams from appsflyer, they are also building custom objects using Looker, using tools like that gives them a centralized view of all of their teams. And then based on the defined process and rule based processes, they get the all the data points get triggered and aggregated at the right time. So everybody stays on top. And then that defines their high level metrics as well, that sounds like Dan Darcy: we’ve also built integrations from our tool qualified into Salesforce so that we can pull those utilization rates off of the product. And then that’s where we build like, you know, the customer happiness score, like are they utilizing these features? Or? Or have they use these tools? And how do their? How do their metrics really look at a high level to see if like, they’re, they’re adopting it properly? Or, you know, or engaging with it enough? Adil Saleh: So I have a startup question because this, this would definitely resonate with a lot of startups. So, of course, very early on, like with a small team, maybe a team that also does success support sales all at once, like bunch of five or six people early on in our technology company, what is your advice for them, when it comes to monitoring the data and monitoring it in the way that it gets translated to the customer success team so that they can take that drives action? Basically, the data, that projection, because the company as big as business as big as qualified for them is by Bz, so you can look back and in the beginning, how you started at qualified to be able to have everything in corporate up till today. What was your journey that looked like? Dan Darcy: Yeah, I mean, that’s a great question. Because, you know, everyone, when they come on podcasts, or they’re on panels at sessions always talk about the greatness and everything. But I mean, it really is about starting small. And it’s just really being about simplistic about what you’re trying to do. Like, when I first started here, we didn’t have an implementation process that was defined. So you know, and, and it was one of those things where, like, we kind of had it, they were like doing it, but it wasn’t really a standard. And so we just knew, like, like, we crossed our fingers, hopefully, you know, and our customers would get there, you know, whether it was with brute force or not, but we really had to sit down and define that process. And then we’re like, Okay, coming out of this process, what do we think success looks like? What are the measures that we’re going to see? You know, you know, and then we also were like, Okay, well, what does the customer feel about it? Right? And how do we measure like, what, like, aspects of the implementation journey, so we’re really just as about starting small and like, and really keeping it simple to first of all, what’s the one main metric that you want to really try and drive from this process, and like, let’s just try to aim for that. And then over time, that’s when I you know, you can add in all these things, like, you know, customer time to value and this and that, and it all builds on each other. But it really is, as I was talking about earlier, with Taylor, it’s about an iterative process, it’s just start small, starts very simple. And then and then kind of build up from there. So Taylor Kenerson: I’m so glad. I’m so glad you actually touched on that, Dan, that, you know, so many people have the perception that Oh, my God, this company, like, they’re, they’re raising money, how are they doing this, they like started off this way, like, No, you actually, you know, you got to start somewhere in it. And, and it takes those, putting those building blocks together. And sometimes it’s the crossing of the fingers to hope that the processes are working well enough, so that then you can document that actually, you know, and proceed from there. So that’s a really important, you know, fact to just be aware of, as you’re building. Yeah, and Dan Darcy: the other thing I’ll add to that, it’s really about our customers to that really pushed us in different directions. Because, you know, I’m not I’m sitting here, in this process is doing great, but it’s because of our customers who have had the patience with us, but we’ve also messed up many times as well too. And what I love about this is that our customers really understand that we’re humans and that we’re really, we really want to be as great as we can be, and we’re working at it and it takes time. And you know, just that iterative process over time. Like it is really a lot about the human element. And then our customers have really helped us be become better so that’s why I really bow down to our customers and like and really pushing us forward on driving this you know, whatever it takes mentality because you know, if you were to say like, oh, you you actually hit on ROI every single month with the customer like yes Because I want the customer to know like saying like, we want to take the onus of like, like them realizing the value of qualified on us and we’ll help them see them. And and it’s proven to be successful for us. Adil Saleh: It’s it’s all about driving value the Sooners in the most seamless way, and communicate trying to communicate it in the way that it gets translated and aligns with your customer goals. Dan Darcy: Let me let me let me just let me just explain on that. Because look, what just happened with the market? The market tanked. The first thing everyone wants to do is cut program or cut, you know, software spent? Adil Saleh: Yes Dan Darcy: Everyone did this, right? And then everyone’s gonna go look at well, what what software like, technology in my stack is giving me value. Right. And so thank goodness that we were kind of already there. That company saw the value in that. And they were like, we can’t cut this. This is an incredible budget item. And so that’s how we’re always constantly thinking like, how do we bring more value to our customers? Adil Saleh: Yeah, absolutely. So before this, I wouldn’t say recession. But this era that just came up a one and a half years back, every startup was thinking, we’ll just try to have a decent team with great credentials, have the biggest problem with a bigger market cap, and just build a minimum viable product and go get like, see, like 5 million seen. Easy peasy, but it’s not happening these days, I was just listening to Zeb Evans, the founder of clickup, he was telling the exact same thing that we need to transition from this mindset and work better towards efficiency towards making experience better having if not paid, having better users, like, you know, good handful of better users in the first place that, you know, having some sort of customer voice is so important early on. And that is why so many businesses have sitting in series A B now thinking about, you know, cost optimization, cutting the team, you know, laying off the teams, we have a platform here in Pakistan, I’m located here in Pakistan. So our biggest consumer base, startup tech startup was been laid up like just a couple of months back, and they raise 100 50 million bucks. And my friends, they’ve working with the leadership team, and I’ve seen their porters, their growth was just skyrocketing. But again, they haven’t had the right financial plans. And this is one of the factors that shows and that definitely gets the investors and Board of Directors really nuts. Dan Darcy: Yeah, I mean, let me tell you, like, when, when the market took a tank, we we started, we had to look at our business differently as well. I mean, it’s been a 13 year great run of like, you know, making it rain. And now it’s like, we need to get back to, you know, the core fundamentals of really running a business. And, you know, we said to ourselves, how do we become undeniably fundable in case we need to, you know, fundraise in the future? And so we needed to look at what are those metrics, like the burn multiple, like our, you know, spend, are we doing this, like, how are we doing things and so, you know, just like every other company, we we, you know, batten down the hatches and really want to weather the storm. But also at the same time we doubled, if not tripled down on our customers to really make sure that they were seeing value because they were going through the same thing. And again, going back to pipeline is the lifeblood of every business, right? We were like, oh, gosh, how do we now flip on more plays, to drive more pipeline for our customers. And that’s kind of where our focus really went to? Adil Saleh: Loved it. Absolutely loved it that you have been so concrete about this, this matter. So just last thing, because I’m sure you’re up in the time, too. So last thing for the early stage startups. How do you see Customer Success digital customer success in the eyes of an early stage startup? Do they still have to manage everything in Salesforce or maybe HubSpot, Salesforce? They cannot afford it starting off maybe HubSpot, intercom or this? Do you still think as a leader that they already own since day one, they need to measure data they need to get it translated? Dan Darcy: I mean, look, I think obviously for for the startups that are starting out. It doesn’t matter about the technology yet it doesn’t matter about the KPIs yet. It’s mattering. are you solving? are you solving a true business problem for the customer and really going deep with active listening on the customer? I mean, we have these customer heroes early on, that gave us a chance way back in the day, you know, and that, you know, we would give it to them for free if we could just sit next to them and learn from them. videotape them get their raw feedback. Like that’s what we did. We sat next we drove to whatever their offices were and sat next to, you know, a bunch of inbound reps and we heard from them, like their raw feedback, whether this was great, or it sucked, or this or that. And, you know, the technology there was writing it down on a piece of pen and paper. And then, you know, translating that into a spreadsheet of like features for a backlog, right? And then you kind of we built it up from there. So, you know, I think you can go pretty far away without a lot of the data and the technology stuff as you have to have your gut feel. And I know that a lot of startups, founders out there do. So really trust your gut, but really drive the act of listening amongst your customers on like, is this solving a true business problem? And once you get that fit, then we start kind of laying down the tracks for well, how do we get there? How to repeat that process? How do we do that again? And, you know, it doesn’t need to be in a Word doc of any sort. That’s like, Okay, step one is to do this. I mean, that’s, that’s literally what how this started with us. And then over time, you know, it’s like, oh, gosh, we actually need a CRM, because we need to track this, we’re getting a little bit too big. So then how do we start there, and kind of going from that, and so you know, that that was, that’s been the journey of, of qualified and, and, you know, but it is, it’s a lot of hard work, but it’s a lot of really about the customer like and making sure we’re solving true customer problems. Adil Saleh: Absolutely, absolutely. Spot on. So living the customer is super important more than anything else that you do. And in the first years, we also spoke so much about this, the onboarding experience, how you onboard customer, your initial how, what set of questions you bring, you know, onto the table, and then you just like I said, traveling to their offices and talking to the reps and basically making them feel heard in the first place. And make a lot of a lot of startups, they actually go by, like they are relationship oriented. They first build a relationship they know inside this product is not so so good at this moment, but what they can do is build trust, build relationship and take the feedback. Dan Darcy: So this is gonna sound this is gonna sound cheesy, though, too. But like that trust and relationship is so important. So how do you scale that? Right, and that that’s why we I mean, like, it sounds like an oxymoron, I’m scaling, trust and relationships. But it’s the way you do it is by ingraining, a philosophy within everyone. And that’s why we have this, whatever it takes philosophy, if you go to qualify.com/implementation, there’s a video of me talking about our whatever it takes philosophy. And that that mantra, that feeling that thing is ingrained in all of our employees as they begin and start, because it’s like, this is why we’re different. It’s because of our prospects, our customers, our employees, and our partners really pushing us and listening to them, all of the different stakeholders to really build a better company. And that’s what we’re trying to do and really help our customers. And, as we’ve talked about, our mission is pipeline generation, which is the lifeblood. So that’s why I’m so passionate about it, just because I know that, you know, I wake up every day going, Okay, how is my team going to dry generate more pipeline, because then these people, these other companies need that pipeline to grow their own businesses and to have and live their own lives. So I feel a lot of that pressure. And it sounds silly to say it like that. But it’s true, because everyone on my team has that accountability of driving that, that that customer success to have that lifeblood of survival for the companies out there. Adil Saleh: Yeah, definitely. And this is, this is very critical. And initially, it’s very critical to sticking, sticking strongly with your mantras, and having your team to live day in day out. It’s super important. I really appreciate that, that you took the time. I love this conversation. Thank you very much, Dan, one more time for taking these 40 minutes. And any advice are one of our partners, our team, our product team need from you. We’d really appreciate if you can touch us back in a few months or whatever is possible for you. Because I know I see the knowledge that you have. Nobody can take that away. And people need to people need to listen, people need to connect with you. People like you made more of you guys. Dan Darcy: Yeah, Taylor, Adil. Thank you so much for having me. And like if I could give one piece of advice to everyone out there. Let’s just have fun. And like let’s do some great work together. So, but thank you so much for having me and I hope this was beneficial for people listening. Adil Saleh: We can see it. Thank you. Okay, thanks. 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 in another guest on the stage with some concrete tips and how to operate better as a Customer Success leader and how you can empower engagements with some building some meaningful relationships. We qualify people for the episode just to make sure we bring the value to the listeners. Do reach us 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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