Episode No:48

The Road to Startup Success: Christian Kletzl's Journey to Building UserGems ft.

Christian Kletzl

CEO, UserGems

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Ep#48: The Road to Startup
Success: Christian Kletzl’s Journey to Building UserGems ft. Christian Kletzl (CEO, UserGems)
Ep#48: The Road to Startup Success: Christian Kletzl’s Journey to Building UserGems ft. Christian Kletzl (CEO, UserGems)
  • Ep#48: The Road to Startup Success: Christian Kletzl’s Journey to Building UserGems ft. Christian Kletzl (CEO, UserGems)

Episode Summary

On today’s episode, we spoke with the mastermind behind UserGems, CEO Christian Kletzl. He shared with us his journey of pivoting and persevering in the startup world, as well as his valuable insights on customer-centricity. We learned that sometimes, even the craziest ideas can lead to success with the right approach. Christian emphasized the importance of putting ego aside and being open to advice from others in the community. He also highlighted the significance of customer success for the entire organization and gave us a sneak peek into UserGems’ current goals. So, if you’re ready to level up your startup game, let’s dive in!
Key Takeaways Time
From ShelfFlip to UserGems: A Journey of Learning and Growth 3:42
Pivot or Persevere: Navigating the Challenges of Y Combinator 5:22
Prioritizing User Experience in Product Development 7:29
Bringing the Best Ideas to Life: Insights from Christian 13:38
The Evolution of UserGems 15:32
The Importance of Customer-Centricity for the Entire Organization 23:21
UserGems’ Vision for the Future 36:57

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Christian Kletzl 0:01 People come in, have this idea. See that others are growing really quickly, and that you are not. And then you need to figure out okay, is there something I can do on my current product? Or should I completely change? Taylor Kenerson 0:15 Welcome to the Hyperengage 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 0:34 Hey, greetings, everybody. This is Adil we have bring a podcast we have our co host, Taylor Kennison, and our very special guest, Christian is the CEO and co founder of UserGems, has been there for about five years with this product. Prior to this, we found him with an engineering role at Microsoft. And then he was a product manager at Google as well as and talk more about him. Thank you very much. First of all, for taking the time question. Christian Kletzl 0:59 Adil. Hey, Taylor, great to be here. Adil Saleh 1:03 Love that. Okay. So you know, thinking of somebody from an engineering background, I’m sure you had a bit of real good experience quality experience back at Microsoft. And then you moved as a product manager, of course, that is living closer to the product technology. And having a longer term view on the product is what it takes to be a good product manager. And then you ended up finding your own SaaS product and mostly for the revenue teams. So could you just walk us through from the initial mind frame? Because it’s all about your choices? Like how like these choices? basically define this is what I believe I’m sure. It’s just my opinion, you can absolutely discard this, but it’s all about choices, how you define. So what was the initial work in progress days when you thought, okay, whether I gotta go to Trump from an engineering standpoint, should I go build my own product? Have some experience who would need some experience working with Google and Microsoft, and then leading that journey towards the user journey? And how did you find that idea? Christian Kletzl 2:15 Oh, man, that’s such a long story. So the question is what to focus on? But I think for me, there’s a few things. So I’m originally from Austria. So it’s also actually the question how helped to get into tech. And I think it’s easier now. But back then there weren’t many tech startups in Austria. And then also the question, how do you actually get to San Francisco? That was really the big question. I knew I wanted to get there. It’s actually not easy as a foreigner to to say, okay, San Francisco, here I am. And now I found my startup, because you need to be, you need to be able to stay there. So for me, the first step was always getting to San Francisco to be in the tech hub. And so that was that was actually the story of okay, working engineering role at Microsoft, then doing my MBA in the US that totally helped getting over then starting at Google, which helped get into San Francisco. And then based on this, okay, now I’m in the mecca of technology, what am I doing now? And that’s where then okay, just like everyone else here, I need to try this, I need to start my own startup. And that’s really where, then the founding story begins. Taylor Kenerson 3:22 And walk us through what that looked like. So you had an idea? What was the idea? How did you? Did you see a problem? Or was it something that you initially thought of? And then how did that all come into play? I know, it’s such a long story, but dive into it. Like, what were some of the growing pains that you’ve faced in that in those transitions and those pivotal moments of your your journey? Christian Kletzl 3:41 Yeah, and I think it’s also interesting, if you look at what we’re doing now, like b2b sales and marketing solution, the first startup that we had was in a b2c space. So it was called ShelfFlip. And what we did is we helped people resell products they no longer need. So the idea was, we analyze what you bought, we went through your email inbox, analyzed what you bought, identified the resale value and told you Hey, you can resell it here, that’s the price click a button and resell it. That came from a need. I was doing my MBA and had a whole lot of stuff when I moved, and I wanted to sell it and it was a pain. And so that’s why we created that product. And I distinctly remember when when we recreated the product, when we had the first prototype, it’s like, This is it. This is so amazing. I’m like, it’s so amazing for myself, like I want to use this myself. And I’m sure this is gonna, this is gonna explode in popularity. And it didn’t. Okay, and I think this is also this is one of the lessons that actually I learned in my MBA but that I carry with me like, the first step is actually figuring out maybe you’re just weird. And so maybe you’re the only one who thinks this is a problem and who would like to have the solution. So then is popping out of this and putting hundreds of hours into this, can you figure out whether you just read before any development? Taylor Kenerson 5:06 And take us through? I know, you know, you went into yc. Now, with ShelfFlip, so what was that? Give us a little brief on on that journey and what that looked like and then how you turned it over into now usergems and bridge that gap. Christian Kletzl 5:22 Yeah, that is that also then takes a while I always talk about the 1500 days of pain. Airbnb talks about the 1000 days, I talked about the 1500 days of pain. In this case, it’s like we went into YC, it’s actually interesting how many people change their idea during yc. Basically, people come in, have this idea, see that others are growing really quickly, and that you are not? And then you need to figure out okay, is there something I can do on my current product? Or should I completely change the idea? And the first thing is always, okay, I have this idea. I really like it. So what changes? Can I make too quickly? Out? Is the thing gonna fly or not? And so during these, what is it three months of yc? That’s actually what we try to do. Okay, so we have this product, how can we make it grow? Okay, and it’s like, the faster you can iterate. And that’s why, if you have a tech background, what tech co founder, the main reason why C really loves this is because it enables you to iterate really, really quickly. So this means to quickly you can change a little bit and get feedback and figure out is this and the faster you actually get to an answer. And the answer can be yes or no, but at least you have an answer. And so in these weeks, it was like, Okay, we made it iteration didn’t work, made an iteration, didn’t work, made iteration, didn’t work. So at some point, it’s like, okay, I can iterate here forever? Or how can I figure out is the thing ever gonna work out? And so what we did is like, what’s the craziest version, we can think of like this whole? Do things that don’t scale? So we just thought, Okay, what is the maximum of this? And let’s just do this version? And if that version doesn’t work, then then then we’re done here, we should probably do something else. Adil Saleh 7:11 Great. Great. And who you were taking feedback? Like, did you have like, your future prospects on the line? Or did you have any kind of strategic community that you were trying your ideas and maybe doing some presentation or prototype analysis with them? How did you find the real cases real time users? Christian Kletzl 7:29 Yeah. I’m always torn here between that there’s so many people that suggest okay, like, don’t even create it. Just go out there with a piece of paper and get feedback. I don’t know, that never worked for me, I needed to have something. So it’s kind of like, what’s the. the people that give you this advice? Haven’t done it either. They just think back and think this could work. But I’ve never seen anyone actually do it. So in our case, it’s really what is the smallest version we can do that shows that at least a little bit. That one advice, like it’s also the YC partner, and and all the other YC founders are just an amazing community in terms of like, they’ve seen very similar things. So you go to them for advice. But the number one thing advice I would say is like, what do you use it for? And the question gets really annoying, but it is the right question. Like just, I can give you my advice. And it’s as a YC partner, it’s probably a really good advice, but it’s only one. So go out there and talk to your users and actually work with that advice. For b2c. It’s actually I would say, a little bit easier in that. Because during YC, I would say you have more money than you have time. So it’s kind of like how quickly can I use Facebook advertising Google advertising to get some traffic, and show them some kind of version? So for us, it was always okay, we create a new version, and we put dollars on it so that we quickly get feedback from the users. In our case, it was can we help you resell stuff, and how many people connect the email inbox? And if they did that, how many of them then actually sold? And the fun fact here is that actually, our latest version is like, are people actually interested in reselling stuff was actually not an app. But rather what we did is we create, we created I think, 100 boxes, went into one big building and put it in front of the door and say, we said your stuff, just put it in there. And when this didn’t work, we just do okay, it’s not gonna work out. But it was it was still the user feedback. Interestingly, it was an offline feedback, not an online feedback. Adil Saleh 9:50 Got it. Got it. So, you know, you really validated your idea. You really tested your idea and is it was it completely shut down at the end or like, how did that how did you? How did it end? Christian Kletzl 10:03 Yes. At this point, when this didn’t work, we just said, Okay, this is it. And I remember where we were when we made this decision. And for us, it was it was late at night or walking around. And then we finally said, Okay, this is it. This is not going to work. Okay. And then at this point, you just need to, to, like, stop it. And we just took time off. We went to, we went to Napa, like just a few days doing nothing, absolutely nothing. And then, okay, when we come back, it’s like, okay, let’s restart this. What are we doing now? Adil Saleh 10:37 Oh, great Taylor. So we’ve got first failure story to that. We’ve got so many startups here sharing like all the more glitters and glamorous stories of their success. And so what was lesson for you? And how did it help you to start your next startup, and you were doing incredibly well, UserGems? Christian Kletzl 10:56 Yeah, I think the biggest one is really this figuring out whether you’re just weird. And then like, how quickly can you figure that out? Like this is really just a big fan of give me feedback as soon as possible. And I just know that the first version will not be great. But it’s also really hard to see this through your own eyes. So what actually the one thing that worked works really well for me is trying to see through someone else’s eyes. And that’s where you need the user feedback as soon as possible. I don’t interestingly, as soon as I show it to someone else, they don’t even have to tell me, I now see all the flaws that I didn’t see when it was just me a second, you put someone else on there. And I think just basically, if there’s one thing that I’m focused on completely is usually let’s say this would take, let’s call it a month, how can I do this in a week? And then make your co founder would say, How can I do this in a day? Because that situation you need Taylor Kenerson 11:53 It’s shaping that constant feedback loop where everything is that quick pivot, you’re taking that lean methodology, in a sense, building the minimal viable product that you can, and getting it out there? And then receiving that quick, those quick feedback? And then really, where you see some of the gaps is, can you handle the feedback? Or are you going to stick to your initial idea, and not really be open minded to what you’re receiving? And what you’re receiving? Sometimes it’s harsh, and sometimes it’s difficult to face. So can you walk us through maybe some of the initial feedback you got for UserGems, what usergems is what the problem is that you saw, and walk us through now what it is? Christian Kletzl 12:34 Yeah. And before I do that, there’s actually one quote that I really like, it’s about Bill Gates, one of his competitors, that they would make Bill Gates so dangerous, is that he doesn’t care who’s right, whether he’s right, he only cares about what is right. And like, we like to live by that as well. I want to figure out what is right. And I don’t care if it was me who came up with that. Taylor Kenerson 12:58 And that’s so central to really being a team player, not only for yourself, but you see the higher goal of you know, what you signed up to be a part of you’re going all in. And you know that regardless of whether it’s your idea, someone else’s, it’s just about what’s right for the, whatever that goal is, and whatever is going to shape that. And sometimes your Ego is the Enemy. And if you’re not able to remove that ego, you get into those conflicts where you’re not able to shape, iterate and really get grow. I feel like it’s less about how good your ideas and how quickly you could iterate and shape it and get your feedback and continue to grow in that way. Christian Kletzl 13:38 Absolutely. And I think what’s also really interesting in this is going a completely different way. But so so many conversations, even in Silicon Valley, even in the YC network is about this imposter syndrome, where we always, we always think everyone else is better. But what’s actually really interesting is, we don’t have to be the one that’s the smartest, that suggests always the very best ideas, we just need to be the one that a identifies this who has the really good ideas, and then actually getting this out. And as you say, making sure my ego isn’t in the way of the best idea to survive to thrive. Adil Saleh 14:11 Great, great. And I’m loving this concept, by the way, and this is this is same as Steve Jobs he back in the years already in the 90s he never cared what everybody else is wandering throughout his journey. Only thing that he he wanted, he knew is what he wanted to do. And whatever it takes, he will do it no matter you know, he talks about a players a lot. He fired a lot a lot of a lot of people at that time used to call him egoistic and arrogant. But inside him he always knew what he wanted to do and whatever team that he needs to do to accomplish that. So it takes a lot of self belief, Courage grid to survive as as, as as an idealist, you know, because it’s your idea. You got to make sure that you got to be willing to be knocked down every other month. Yes, and how was that journey for you? Like, first, you had some beta access, like people logged in, and businesses logged in for the Early Access, and you showed them the minimal viable product handed over to them? And what was that journey? What was the initial feedback and how the pivot? And, and because it’s your idea people will have all their opinions bit what you wrote. So great. So tell us more about you know how it originated. The idea we use them and how you guys pulled back together? And was this the same guy, this CTO or was it different team back then? Christian Kletzl 15:19 So my CTO is my identical twin brother. So yes, so we Taylor Kenerson 15:28 don’t work with family. That’s the Christian Kletzl 15:32 No, no, no, we’re still working together. So yes, we were working together back then. And we’re still working together after all these years. You know that why COA says, like how, always asked how long have you known your co founder? That certainly was an easy question for us to answer during the process. So still the same person. So working on this together working through all the iterations, even, even the switch from like the end of the ShelfFlip to use, it turns now took a few iterations, we had a candidate sharing network in between. So the idea was, companies have been talking to a lot of really great candidates, some are not the right fit, you can like share them with other companies in your network. What was interesting, here are the connection years, there was always about publicly available data. So for for shelfFlip, it was about we analyze it, even an email inbox and then get the publicly available information of how much is an item worth. Here, it’s at about the publicly available information about candidates. And then we pivoted this idea to publicly available information about your users. And that’s really what user terms is about. So the idea, you provide a list of your buyers, your power users, your champions, we identify them and track them for changes. And if anyone changes their job, the two things we do, there’s a churn risk on one hand, because your champion leaves, so we notify customer success. And then there’s a sales opportunity and the other end wherever this person ends up. So that that’s that even that took a while from the original hiring product to then actually dig a small team of us developing a prototype for this and then that working. Adil Saleh 17:19 Great. So I do see you have sort of an AI model that uses them. So of course, you’re doing some intelligence to help revenue teams marketing team better manage their pipelines, of course, they need organizations they need, they need to make sure they close investors, and they have, you know, organized systems and or maybe some sort of advancements inside these intelligent systems, I’m sure. phenom I’ve used things like fit Pipedrive sales layer, Close io, you know, for specifically for the sales team pipe generation met Dan Darcy. of it was also for marketing teams. It was from pipeline generation. So, I mean, I was looking at your background, your background, more than the product management side, his background more on the on the marketing side, the inside, he’s been worked at PwC, sort of a firm on the accounting side as well, like accounting firm PwC, as far as I remember. So how do you build these technical gaps on your team? Like building these AI is to make the system Christian Kletzl 18:25 smarter? Yeah, we actually both have a an engineering background. So we’re both developers. It’s actually quite interesting because I studied engineering, my co founder study business. I mean, I attended my MBA, but it’s really interesting that I actually then I took on the role of leading the revenue team, he took on the role of leading engineering team, but he was really we both were developers early on. I think what actually harder or more interesting is how we did that switch from engineering to actually leading the revenue team. I think for many people, it might be the other way around. But for us it was actually the story of the startup salesperson like the founding salesperson because what if you come from engineering sales doesn’t come naturally to you talking to customers talking to prospects doesn’t come naturally. So for us Taylor Kenerson 19:20 Walk us through that walk us through what that that that was like Sorry, did you like oh, like look up on Google how to add a cell Christian Kletzl 19:32 you talked in the past tense I’m not sure when talking to past tense it’s still a process. I’m definitely I think that that’s the number one lesson for everyone that starts it does get easier and say like I remember how nervous I was for the first few phone calls there was a part of me there was like, maybe they’re not picking up maybe and I was kind of like hoping for them not to pick up and then they picked up and then I had to do my sense. But yeah, Taylor completely there’s there’s actually a really good book found “make sales”, basically, that walks you through how to best do this. And, I mean, you have the benefits of being a founding sales because you have the passion, and you have all the in detailed knowledge. And I think for me, it was just the passion about the product that shine through that made it a little bit easier. Adil Saleh 20:19 Let me tell you a good story back in 2013, I was working for marketing, social media marketing, sales platform content studio, I was more of leading customer success team there. So we had like, kind of like four or five different kinds of calls every day. So one day, I just picked someone from from the engineering team. And he was always shy, like, I used to work with the product team and back end developers, front end developers all these, taking feedback from the customers shipping the product, making sure it’s done as good. So that guy always kind of, I was always uncomfortable talking to him, I said, I need to find a solution to it. So I just called him one day and I said at 3pm, you’re going to talk to a customer and that feature you build, he’s going to just talk to you about that feature, you’re just going to explain what you did, there’s nothing else you’re going to be talking about. So he did write that I was surprised that he did, right. So one thing that I noticed there, there, if an engineer has been put to sell something, that’s that’s he’s not, he’s not done. He’s not so confident it has so much connecting the self belief stages. Now I’ve learned sales, I’ve done sales, it is it has more to do more to do what what’s really believing. So if you believe in your offer, if you believe in what you’re talking about, it’s easy, it becomes so easier. And in your case, if just imagine you’re working for someone else, and you have a sales role with an engineering background, it will be so hard, it will be so hard for you now your starter co founder yourself you are CEO, you know, Inside Out of that problem that you’re solving, you have a real belief in it, it becomes a lot easier talking to the customer. And you’re talking about that that problem and how you can help them to make an impact. So that was good. 100% Christian Kletzl 22:09 Agree. I think the what what still was a big step for me is as an engineer, you think about features, what do I develop versus salesperson you need, you need to think about benefits for the customer. And I think this witch in like, I’m not selling you, you can do X, but you achieve y of your goals. And that was the important switch for me. Adil Saleh 22:35 Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, this is this, I mean salmon connect my is kind of my mentor I’ve been listening to his speeches have for the last 11 or 12 years. So there is a book named “start with why” it’s a refund. So whenever you find time, just distributed read. Great. So user, Jim, starting out with initial team having the MVP ready, again, some initial customer initial traction, working on how you can basically set up scalable operations and take the feedback ship the product, and at the same time, make sure you have customers, retention of the customer becomes the biggest challenge that that’s the first challenge for the marketing teams. How did you cope with that? In the beginning? And where is it now? What kind of operations have you set up towards the post sales side of your business? Christian Kletzl 23:20 Yeah, I think that that was also the natural progression, I think of my role, and probably for every CEO. But I started out being the first salesperson, I needed to be able to sell it, I always said we achieved product market fit because I was able to sell it. So we were selling this then we were hiring salespeople. And I became kind of like the customer success manager for these early customers. And I think both of these roles are very important for the CEO to have, because then you can directly see okay, what the what a what are the pain points, prospects talk about in the sales process. And then once they’re sold, what are the pain points, A) that are really getting solved with the product, and then B) What are still the issues that are arising because then you can directly communicate it to the product team can make sure that maybe even the feedback loop to the sales team, maybe which customers aren’t right, because you’re not solving their needs. So I think for us, it turned into my role being very big on the CS side because of this, because I think the closer you can be to the customer, the better it is for the company. Adil Saleh 24:30 Okay, it’s always about staying closer to your customer, make sure you evolve the goals over time. And they may not come all at once, like on a sales call on day one. Taylor Kenerson 24:40 And that goes back to like the original start of when you have an idea like what do you first do you go to your customers and even when you’re in growth, like you still have to do that, obviously in a different capacity with different resources in a different way. But you still have to continue those basic functions of what it took to even begin having the business. And I feel like sometimes it’s lost. When you do grow, you feel like you’re too good, or you’re too mature to keep it simple and go back to the basics of what it even took to get off the ground in the first place. And talk about like how cs then has played a role. And user Jepson. What that whole process looks like burger post sales. Christian Kletzl 25:21 Yeah, and I think I want to highlight that this is this is not only CS, this is not only the CEO, but I think every single role should be talking more to the customer. And it’s actually not easy. I’ve been preaching this, and I don’t think we even have weeks where we don’t do a good job of this. But marketing should talk to customers. That way, you don’t have product marketing, but engineering product should talk to customers, they don’t have a goal of how many hours our organization outside of the CS team talks to customers. That’s actually the first process like put this into the OKRs there. In terms of CS, how it’s probably still the, if I look at how I spent my week, I think the biggest part for me is spending it with customer success. And that means talking about any customers work can help but also popping in and like if there are, for example, any new stakeholders, especially if it’s C suite that joins the cause that we tried to match it and then I’ll jump in as well. Adil Saleh 26:26 Hmm. Okay, cool stuff. So you know, communication engagements, always good for for the leadership to make that make high level decisions. And that can have a direct impact on to you know, making, they’re making sure that they evolve with the goals, it is super important for the product team. So, you know, there’s a lot of technology around this, I’m sure, you talked about CS as an organization wide principle, and it should be a part of operating principle, customer success, we talked about in law, we spoke to, like, unicorns doing it at scale, we learned their story. And now we talk about, you know, how they can help these startups do for the ground up. So investing into data is the biggest concern, starting up. So how you’re enabling your customer facing team to stay on top of the customer activities, to know them more and to serve them better. So what kind of technologies revert your training and management anything that you guys are taking initiative? So? Christian Kletzl 27:29 Yeah, it’s interesting. I think there’s there’s two actually two distinct types of data here that I think are super valuable. So the first one is the user data, how are they using the platform, how they’re not using the platform, but but there’s also the second part of data, which is actually data about the people in your customer organization. So I’ll go into detail in both. So we’ve identified the four top signals that identify a customer that’s very successful with us versus one that isn’t. And so when we talk about signals, this is really this is what our systems go through every single week. How are these four signals, and they see this in the CSM platform? How are these four signals for every one of my customers? And if one is red, for example, in our case, it’s outreach great. So we gave you, hey, these 100 people that your previous buyers change their job, and then we look into how many of these 100 people did a customer reach out to? And if that number is below 33%, then we then this indicator is red. And our price, like our discussions are, how can we make sure they reach out to more people. So we have these four indicators. And every single week we look for each customer, we look at all of these four. Adil Saleh 28:43 So of course, when it comes to exceptional behaviors and patterns, of course, you have standardized, you can say metrics or rules or conditions. So how you measure those exceptional type ones, and how you basically customize those, those signals or you can say routes for them. Christian Kletzl 29:06 I’m not sure we do that yet. In a good fashion. I think it’s more around. I think they’re still in that two things that don’t scale phase of it. We’re we don’t have we have b2b customers. So we don’t have hundreds of 1000s of customers where we need to filter down, but rather we’re in a CSM model. You have up to 50 customers you can go through every single week, every single customer. Adil Saleh 29:31 You’re talking about SMBs like mostly small businesses to mid market. Are you talking about? Slightly medium to large scale enterprise? Christian Kletzl 29:40 Yeah, for US customers typically 200 to 2000 employees. So mid market and then a little bit on both ends Adil Saleh 29:49 some as well. upmarket. Okay, cool. So you go on please, for the second part. Christian Kletzl 29:54 The second part, which I think is so interesting, because it became so much more important Oh, The last six months, is actually identifying and tracking people in your customer accounts for movement. And we’ve seen both right now. So it’s obviously there’s, there’s the are like these riffs that are being that are happening at my customer account. So it could just beat up my champion is suddenly gone. And I don’t even hear about this because they’re just gone one day to the next. So, but if my champions leaving this is this is right, it’s a second biggest reason for churn. So I need to make sure that if this happens, I immediately know about this, and I go in and I generate a new champion, the worst that can happen is, if I send a renewal email, Hey, you’re going to renew in 30 days, and this email bounces, or I don’t hear back and I send a follow up and they don’t get back. And then I realize the person is gone. So the first thing we do is we check every single customer account every single check in to see who’s leaving that account. But the second piece is always really interesting. It’s actually who’s moving into my customer accounts. Because if there’s a new decision maker, the first thing they do is, what tools do I need. So we’ve also seen scenarios where there is a new VP of Rev ops or a new CMO. And suddenly, every no tool is safe. It’s like I’m going through the list. And the last thing you want is receiving an email from them and say, become insurance without ever having talked to you. So if there’s a new decision maker moving in, we immediately get in touch with them. Adil Saleh 31:25 Cool stuff will stop. And that is very, very important. And this happens a lot like, especially on this, these are so many indicators, like you mentioned that you can set it up and make sure you get that data in the first place before that customer gets and you have a notification that, you know, they’re almost gone. So when it comes to product adoption, you spoke about standardized routes, and you can make a playbook. So what kind of data metrics are you guys tracking? To make sure your customers are well adopted? And then the users metrics are pretty much mentoring Christian Kletzl 32:07 we actually so we say the marketing our goal is to generate revenue for you. So the biggest metrics for us is actually how much revenue have we generated for you? And then how much pipeline have we generated for you in the first place? So all of our rules are based on this of okay. What is their revenue that the closed one opportunities are the opportunities created? And then if if it’s lower than it should be then we look into what else can we suggest what else can we do for them to increase this number? So this means we don’t have automatic messaging, if any of these indicators are below where they should be like here’s our suggestion do this. We let’s make it a working lunch, we pay lunch, and we’ll work on this together, do it in an hour. Taylor Kenerson 32:58 How are you managing those those signals and then who is managing those those signals Christian Kletzl 33:05 it’s the CSM manager on our end. So he’s he’s setting everything up with zero solution is plan had, that then sends out these notifications to the individual CSM that’s assigned every every account has a CSM lesson. Adil Saleh 33:20 So you using can have for your customer facing team and the back end, your product manager set up everything in segment like all those events, custom events that you pass in map into planet, I’m glad that you recommend dinner background. So you understand all of this, you know, segment and amplitude part Mixpanel, there has to be a segment or amplitude for you know, to pipe all the data into the other platforms. Like yeah, Christian Kletzl 33:46 we use Salesforce as a CRM, but actually also as our as our data storage. So a lot of the signals, even any usage signals is getting pushed into our sales force. And because of this, it gets pushed into our CSF. I think the the interesting part about Salesforce, everyone uses it as a CRM, but it’s actually power is that every sales every so many organization use it as data storage that then gets pushed into other systems. Adil Saleh 34:13 It’s a source of truth. Yes. Great. So how big is your team not talking about posting like support, technical or customer support, and customer success teams. Christian Kletzl 34:25 So customer success is six people at the moment, including manage six people. And we have RevOps as well, like we’ve Internal RevOps, but they are kind of like our secret weapon for both pre and post sales. If they come into sales conversation, we have much higher win rates and obviously, absolutely than the ones that help with implementation. They’ve seen it dozens of times they’ve done it in our organization so they can get in and help really really quickly and talk with a stakeholder, the red ops person that is very similar to them. Adil Saleh 34:58 So there are two up Unity, I see looking at the UserGems, like it’s more tailored towards revenue teams and marketing teams. So amongst your customer base right now, are those more revenue teams or more marketing teams? Or it’s just a complete betters? Christian Kletzl 35:15 Yeah, it’s I mean, our whole goal, even where we want to go with user terms as the platform is actually to better help sales and marketing orchestrate their activities. And that’s why we always want to work with both marketing and sales and actually CS, but we want that whatever sales does, if we identify a job change, and the SDR reaches out, that at the very same time marketing advertisers to this person, it needs to happen. Our attention span is too short. If I just get an email, I ignore it, I need to get 1000 touch points across marketing, LinkedIn phone call email, and it needs to be orchestrated, so that I actually identify like I can, I can understand what the company does, based on not one touch points, but actually 10 that add up. Adil Saleh 36:03 And I’m glad that you mentioned because we talk so much about fears to see as relationship is to see as integration, because of course sales work for S just like marketing works for sales. So it has to be a strong integration between marketing and sales. And in your case, it is because marketing teams are using it using the platform. So and I’m glad that you have some pre sales team as well that are more the revenue team, the revenue side the experience, so they can translate on they can have talking the same language with these revenue teams. Yes. And close deals faster. This is what your jam does. I love the model. So what is how do you think the future for four years is Usergems like in the next two years? What are the key breakthroughs that you’re looking up to maybe some of the milestones. Christian Kletzl 36:57 It’s actually really doubling down on the sales and marketing orchestration. So what I mean by this even what we’re doing right now, like when we identify a job change, it’s not about the data, we we live in a world where we say data services, it’s all about the workflow, what happens next. And our platform helps you automate as much as possible after this, what happens next. And so this means that, let’s say if they try and target account, an SDR should reach out and marketing should advertise if they join an open up account, then an EA should reach out or get notified and marketing should advertise. If they join a customer account. In CS, they should be notified that CS should be doing something. And there are more and more of these act, like the changes the data that is available earlier about your target or your customer organization, where you should then act on it. And we help you identify the data but actually help you act on it. That’s like it’s all about the workflow and the orchestration. Adil Saleh 37:56 It’s Yes, absolutely. So I second that, you know, data is only valuable when it drives the next question. Yes, it’s all about it. So it has to drive action. Great. Love that. So you want to double down on things. So what do you think you should have done better in the past are you now going to do better towards achieving that goal? Christian Kletzl 38:18 Yeah, so it’s so real. So focus on like, I keep repeating this, but it’s about like, we started out with tracking your champions for changes, right. And then we tell you, hey, SDR reach out to this person. But the next step is actually this multi threading that you need. So I’ll give you an example. If there are three people that used us a chance at this organization, and then they move to another organization, I have now three champions, but they also have, let’s say, their manager, or their colleague in marketing that I can reach out to. So in addition to these three people, I should reach out to their boss and say, Hey, John, and Jennifer, previously use us a chance to talk to them about their experience. And then I also reach out to marketing and say, Hey, your sales colleagues already used us a chance. But we also always work with marketing. And so we want to bring them in into the into the presets conversation, we do the same during an open opportunity. So we have found that to be multi thread. So we do it for open up. We also do for customers. But this is multi threading. We found wind rates increased five apps if we bring in all three stakeholders, sales, marketing operations. So now now we get ourselves get notifications that say, Hey, there’s no marketing involved. Here is the VP of Marketing, bring them in and bring them in means sales reaches out marketing advertisers to them. Adil Saleh 39:38 Hmm. Okay, so you have like, how much of this is automated, like, how much of this is scalable? This is what I’m trying to figure out. Like, if I leave users then I go into another platform, let’s say Catalyst or any the platform and their, their their sales team. Of course, they’re using some other platform, and you reach out to him. Head of Sales, they’re one of your team members reach out to head of sales and big and come to me have a discussion how much of this is automated? How would you get to know where I left automatically? Of course, right now it’s possible you have like six 710 15 people, once you have like 200 250 300 people, how would I get to know do you have any integration with LinkedIn, you get an internal data sources inside your platform for your customers? Just talking about the use case? Christian Kletzl 40:29 Yeah. So we get, we get the user information from our customer. So who buys the product, who uses the product? We then combine it with the publicly available information, data on LinkedIn, data, Google, and that then push and then there’s this automation happening into Salesforce into sales, loft and outreach so that they’re immediately sequences being triggered. Adil Saleh 40:53 opportunities created like this comes in as an opportunity. Yes. Depends Christian Kletzl 40:59 on the customer. Some for does, some doesnt Adil Saleh 41:04 may love that. And this this entire experience is already built, or is it on the roadmap? Christian Kletzl 41:09 Yes, so big part of this is built. And then we add more and more of these automation steps. What else can be an automation is always a little bit scary. We don’t want to automate everything, and you don’t even need a salesperson. But what would we actually big fans of is if you automate pushing it into an outreach, sequence, or cadence, you automate, Adil Saleh 41:32 you automate it in a way that it only gives you the next spec section, maybe you can act, you can have your own intelligence and you can put your own strategy into it just gives you triggers, or maybe years of source experience and that a lot is that is that is half of the job. So yes. Okay, present, it was real, real, real nice. Talking to you. It was, you know, it came with a lot of different stories that are unique to any other episode that we ever had in the past one year. So thank you very much for your time for these concrete, insightful nuggets that you gave us today. And we wish to meet you again. Awesome. Christian Kletzl 42:18 A This was great conversation. Thank you so much for having me here. Taylor Kenerson 42:21 Thank you. Have a beautiful day. Christian Kletzl 42:23 You too. Adil Saleh 42:25 Right. 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 and another guest on the stage with some concrete tips on how to operate better as a Customer Success leader and how you can empower engagements with 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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