Episode No:Episode 88

Seven years of Category Creation at Sendoso - World’s best direct mail platform

Kris Rudeegraap

CEO, Sendoso

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Ep88# Seven years of Category
Creation ft. Kris at Sendoso – World’s best direct mail platform
Ep88# Seven years of Category Creation ft. Kris at Sendoso – World’s best direct mail platform
  • Ep88# Seven years of Category Creation ft. Kris at Sendoso – World’s best direct mail platform

Episode Summary

In this dynamic episode, Adil Saleh dives deep into a conversation with Kris, the CEO of Sendoso. Discover the diverse range of services this platform offers, spanning marketing, sales, customer success, and HR teams, and how Sendoso is transforming customer and employee engagement. Kris reveals the art of forging meaningful connections with customers, tapping into pivotal life moments and product milestones. Learn how Sendoso seamlessly integrates with customer success tools and CRM platforms, optimizing the customer journey and operating as a personalized direct mail service for high-value clients.
Key Takeaways Time
Kris started Sendoso 7 years ago to help scale sending physical gifts and direct mail during the sales process. It was very manual and time-consuming before. 2:15
Sendoso integrates with CRMs and sales tools to track campaign members and measure ROI of gifts/direct mail. This allows customers to optimize campaigns. 4:06
Sendoso can be used to enhance customer relationships during onboarding, retention, and expansion. Personal touches and gifts help build loyalty. 6:11
For startups, building customer relationships is critical early on to get case studies, referrals, and high retention. Sendoso can help. 8:09
Sendoso has an employee gifting side as well to improve recruiting, onboarding, recognition, and retention. Empowering managers to gift is a trend. 13:17
Sendoso has a huge global marketplace of gift options and logistics capabilities. They help source and fulfill gifting campaigns end-to-end. 14:51
Sendoso uses data and AI to suggest personalized, relevant gifts based on location, interests, and more. This caters to diverse teams. 14:51
Sendoso invests in customer education through training, community forums, and an annual customer awards event. 14:51

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[00:00:04] Adil Saleh: Hey, greetings everybody. This is a deal from and you know, in the past we spoke to leadership at GoM, we spoke to leadership at Appsra. Both of these are unicorn companies and one of these, they are investing so much into the customer education and customer relationship. One of them, we heard that they're sending cakes to their customers. We, we heard a lot of these companies sending favorable cards, welcome cards and mails directly to their employees. [00:00:34] Adil Saleh: And this is not some problem that we're trying to address here since we have a guest that is very special to us. And it was pretty much longer waited someone like Chris, who's the CEO of Sendoso a Platform. That is more of in a sending management category but it does whole range of different things for marketing, sales, customer success, HR teams and all that. So we'll definitely dive into the use cases and how big of an impact a platform like Sendoso has made in the past seven years. So first of all Chris, thank you very much for taking the time out of your schedule and we really appreciate your presence today and I'm sure it's going to be super powerful today. [00:01:15] Kris: Yeah, thank you so much for having me. Excited to chat and excited to share. [00:01:18] Adil Saleh: My wisdom with the that love that. [00:01:22] Adil Saleh: So somebody coming from account executive more on the enterprise like account management side. How do you see in the beginning, if you just fast forward like three or five years back, thinking of being a part of a platform like Sendoso that is basically trying to help with customer engagement, employee retention, recognition, relationships with people. It's all about people. Your customers are people, your employees are people. So what kind of motivation and inner dialogues you had back then when you were an enterprise account executive, when you were account manager back in the years? So could you just drive us through a little bit on your thought process back then? [00:02:07] Kris: Yeah, so I started Sendoso about seven years ago and prior to that I spent about a decade in software sales in various companies and various roles. And for me, what it all boiled down to, and you mentioned it, is that people buy from people and you've got to build relationships with people to book meetings, to close deals faster, to get referrals. And for me, I saw an opportunity that I was doing very manually. So aside from sending out emails, making cold calls, I found myself at night in the office packing boxes, sending out handwritten notes, sending out gifts. I'd be on a call and hear a dog bark and quickly go to Amazon to send over a dog toy or hear that someone was going on maternity leave and sending over a onesie that we had in our swag closet. And all these things just built better relationships and really helped me connect better on a human to human level. It was just manual and time intensive. I remember packing boxes, I remember expense reports, I remember going to click on tracking links to see if the FedEx thing was delivered yet and I'd manually log it in salesforce. And so I thought to myself, why isn't there a platform that can do all this for me and also can enable the entire team to be able to send stuff out during the sales process, during the customer process and really help scale that out? [00:03:29] Adil Saleh: Yes, absolutely. It definitely is a big enough of a problem and it has been grown ever since the evolution of AI because everybody's writing content now. Everybody is sending emails. If somebody's sitting in wait time with no experience, they can write killer emails and send and make people it becomes boring. A lot of times during the any if you just talk about the customer journeys during the any journey of the customer becomes boring. If you get emails every 15 days, every month and it's not delivering value, it doesn't have any personal intuition or personal touch to it. So that's when I first and I got just for my audience, I told Chris Pre record as well, I met my friend, I've known him for about 15 years. We are sharing the same love for customer relationship, client relationship. So he was a part of team at Keep Trucking on the commercial customer success side, working with someone like Joan Gleason. I'm originally from Pakistan, so they have a very big team here in the Asia, in the capital. So he was leading that team. And he's now founder of another SaaS product that he's trying to build. It's more of a service based right now. But he wanted to exit and he was sitting right here with me a few years back, almost two years back, right on this chair. I'm still in the same office. And he showed me the farewell card that he's received and that's when I asked him, okay, what kind of platform they're using. So then I saw the branding for Sendozo and that's when I was thinking that these folks are doing great job and you got a pretty fair team here in Pakistan as well. That's what I only heard. I'm not so sure about it. But you have a team here, some team here in the Asia as well, which is really good. So that is the kind of impact it has made me. So now I'm founding a product. I'm going to have customers in the coming years and there is one thing that I'm going to do when it comes to having personalized experiences for customers that is not so much to do with their account, the growth of the account and whatever. It can be as simple as sending a card to a customer that has just raised $5 million series B and you're just trying to recognize them apart from anything else that you guys are doing with that customer. So it is so much powerful when it comes to having personal connections. So now sitting at like seven years down the road, you have customers like Gong Zendap, I told, motives they've been using back in the year. I'm not sure about today, but how you guys have made sure that it is not just an experience that you're trying to make better, but also enabling your customers to measure it. Like what kind of KPIs you have, like if I'm your customer, using it for 1000 customers, for employees as well. So how I can measure the performance, let's say performance meaning the number of responses, how I can improve them, number of open rates, how I can improve them, reactions, what kind of reactions I'm getting from the customers or employees. So how you guys are measuring these KPIs? [00:06:40] Kris: Yeah, I think measuring the ROI of a channel is extremely important, especially in today's world where you're trying to optimize channels from a sales and marketing perspective. So some of the things that we really early on focus on is how do we integrate into your tech stack? Whether it's your CRM salesforce or HubSpot, whether it's your sales engagement tool, whether it's your marketing automation platform. Or dozens of other software platforms so that we can have data in, data out, and we can push data back into those systems so we can say, hey, we're sending out these thousand mailers. We want to tag the campaign members and then we want to track to see what happens after that gift or that mailer was delivered. So that's one of the things that we do, which is fully automated and really nice. Because previously, like when I said when I was back in sales, I'd send over a gift out to a prospect or a customer, and I would either have to manually track it or I would just send it and forget to track it. And I might close a deal, but it wouldn't look like it came from my handwritten note because I wasn't tracking it. So one of the things we do is automatically track everyone as campaign members into your CRM or other marketing and sales softwares. And then there's other things you can do thereafter, like QR code, short, URLs and other things that you want to track the results and you can test out what are the different things that you're sending and what's driving better results. [00:08:00] Adil Saleh: Incredible. Incredible. [00:08:02] Adil Saleh: Let's also jump a little bit on the post here journey, which is like, we have so many customer success leaders, teams working at different companies listening to this episode. And this can be their biggest concern because they are working really hands on on the enterprise side as well as in the midmarket and SMB towards ensuring the adoption and onboarding time to value, making sure the customer is well, all these features are retained and everything. So when it comes to these kind of customer journeys, so how do you think Sendoso can play a part in that when it comes to post sales some high risk. [00:08:43] Kris: Yeah, so I heard a stat that it's five times more expensive to find a new customer than it is to keep an existing. And so I think over the years, a lot of companies have overemphasized the importance of new arr and new customers and have glorified the sales team in that that's the best team at the company. But I think in recent years, we're seeing, hey, the importance of customer success, the importance of that post sales team. And so it's really like, well, what are the other tools that that team can use to engage with customers, to build out a customer journey that really inspires customers to want to retain or even expand their usage? And so one of those things is building a better relationship with your customer and so we see our customers do that and we see ourselves do that by looking at using Sendoso for either product usage milestones like hey, you've done XYZ in the product, congrats, here's something for you. Or hey, after you add your 20th user, you get this Swag bundle and so you can drive credit usage incentives or just life moments like you had a baby, you're getting married, you got a promotion. These different things can go really well. Even we see someone that was on a call with a customer and they heard him coughing, feeling a little sick, instantly send them a little get well gift or an E gift to DoorDash to say, hey, sounds like you weren't feeling too well on that call. Grab lunch on me today and hopefully you feel know people again. People buy from people. People renew from people. And so when that renewal comes up, you're not just renewing this vendor contract, you're renewing that relationship with that CSM because you're friendly now. You don't want to leave that friendship. And I think that's a critical thing that Customer Success Teams account management teams are doing these days. [00:10:36] Adil Saleh: Yes. And another point a lot of these small to mid sized companies they are so focused on product like Role which is good. They want everybody have self served model and everybody to automatically onboard and adopt it to the platform and then retail and expand it. They have different reviews and feedback that they can automatically take and feed it to the system, make everything self driven. But at the same point, when it comes to building personal relationships and personal connections, you need platforms like these. You always had touch points just like one you mentioned. Customer came up, said that I'm not feeling better so there's a touch points. It's just about how you can go above and beyond and go extra mile to make that customer feel and hurt about that outside of work, outside of professional capacity and whatever relationship in a professional capacity you have and that plays pretty well in the longer term. I think in a smaller company, I would say startups such as sitting at Series A, precede Series A to Series A. [00:11:47] Adil Saleh: How do you think, number one, from the investment standpoint, they want to do more with less. That's a new mantra that you're sitting in Silicon Valley, you know, that more with less and do smartly at the same time incorporate tools like Sendoso. What is that one thing that you would suggest to these companies in the early days, first two years? I would say yeah. [00:12:07] Kris: So I think know tool like Sendoso can be used for any stage company. And we have a free plan that can be used if you really want a limited set of our offerings and product and software or up to the largest companies in the world are using Sendoso. So I think there's no stage restriction in terms of when you should or shouldn't be building better relationships with your customers. In fact, in the early days it's almost more important to build these customer relationships because those are going to be your key market customers that are going to do early case studies, do early customer reference calls, be advocates in your community for life and see year over year retention and renewal growth. And so I think it's actually probably more critical in the early years because each customer is so important that you need to keep and grow and retain. And I think one of the things I would say is kind of a takeaway task is really think about that entire customer journey from the first time you reach out to them and prospect into year five of the renewal and really try to map that out and figure out what are those different touch points. Hey, we want to have this onboarding graduation milestone and we want to send them a customer welcome kit here. Or we want our SDRs to be able to send lunchy gifts the day of a demo to increase conversion rates and really map out everything in the very early years. And where do you want to use email, phone, direct mail, gifting, et cetera, et cetera, throughout that process so that you can build that into your routine and build that into your automations in the early years. [00:13:50] Adil Saleh: Cool. Wonderful. This is amazing. [00:13:53] Adil Saleh: One question I have regarding this only for the customer success teams, account management teams, do you have any sort of integration? Those who can live within their systems, where they are breathing, like, let's say they're using Vitally, they're using Gainsight, you have an integration inside them so they don't have to look around, hop around different other tools. So what kind of workflow would that be best? [00:14:18] Kris: We have a direct integration in Gainsight and other CS tools. So definitely have those integrations. And then for most companies they'll use a CRM regardless. So salesforce or HubSpot, et cetera. And you can even set up automations. Like we have customers that will say if deal equals closed one, then automatically send the customer welcome kit with a message that says hi, first name, blah blah blah, and have a personalized note along with it. Too. So for companies that want to automate certain parts of the customer journey, we can support that. Or we have the ability to go into the tech tools that you currently use, and we have a little button that you can click and send one time or load up like a CSV or a list and send to many people at once. Too. [00:15:05] Adil Saleh: Oh, great. Amazing. [00:15:07] Adil Saleh: And when it comes to direct mails, you have partners that you guys are working with. How does that workflow? Works? Of course. Top of the line revenue is something that is also sitting in your lap. So talking about the high ticket customers when you tend to send them gifts as a direct mail, so how does that workflow? Ensure success. [00:15:30] Kris: Yeah. So aside from being a world class software company, we also are a world class global logistics and marketplace company. And so what's unique about us is that we're going out and finding thousands of merchants and hundreds of thousands of products, curating them into our marketplace and through our global warehouse network. Too and so the beauty of that is you might want to send one day some chocolates and then you want to send, another day you want to send wine and another day you want to send an egift card to deliveroo or another day you want to send a handwritten note in a kit with some swag. And so we have the entire gambit of really anything you could ever want to think of and more. And so that makes it nice because you don't have to go out and search and find who's going to be the best at providing these really cool mugs that we want to send out. It's like, no, we have all of that in the marketplace. We've curated it. We even have a custom campaign services team where you can come to us and say, hey, I'm looking to do a program for account based marketing for our top 200 accounts and we want to do something around this upcoming conference for Dreamforce for salesforce. What do you have in mind? And then our campaign services team, behind the Scenes will present three, four, five ideas and then go out and make sure we procure and source all those things. Getting them into one of our facilities, kitting them together and getting them ready to get mailed a we're a partner to our customers and helping them make sure that they can really deliver that wow factor to their prospects or their customers or their employees. [00:17:11] Adil Saleh: Wow, that is exceptional. I was thinking that just behind the scenes while I was preparing having the notes and preparing for this episode, I was thinking, okay, they might have some partners just like groupweeting send out cars. They have some local partners in different states and they work with those maybe some printing companies that they're working with. I was thinking along those lines. I'm sorry, that is so dumb of me, thinking along those lines. But you have an entire ecosystem, and you're working as joint partners with your customers, which is huge. Of course it takes time, it takes resources and all of that, but you're pretty much customer centric. You're trying to deliver value every day. That's inspiring. Thank you very much for explaining that in detail. [00:17:58] Adil Saleh: So now this one thing more about, like we discussed on the customer side, I was reading to an article on Bloomberg that is more about employee retention that is a growing pain in the tech industry for the first time after a long time that people are trying to juggle around different jobs and roles. Their health is not fine, they're complaining, they're not in so good relationship with their people's team and their leadership and all of that. So now as a company, being a CEO of Sendoso, so how you guys are investing towards employee retention, recognition and empowering or educating your customer base to use this product more towards I clearly see the use cases that can go both ways for the customer, for the people, and this can be a bigger problem for your customers down the road when it comes to making sure you retain your employees for the longest time. [00:18:54] Kris: Yeah, no, we are a lot of people leaders, HR leaders love our platform, especially in this kind of world where you have remote teams as well, where you can't just go to someone's desk and easily give them a gift or some swag. And so, again, as you think about the customer journey on the customer side, you want to think about your employee journey on the employee side, and you want to map that out, hey, what's the first day that an employee joins or if you're in recruiting, what do we want to do during the recruiting? And candidate, there's a someone has an interview today, let's send them a Starbucks gift card in the morning and say, hey, looking forward to this interview. Here's a Starbucks coffee gift card on me to enjoy some coffee today. And that's going to wow somebody. That's going to be a different experience than they're getting with the other interviews. And it gives you an upper hand and also gives you another reason to reach out and engage with that candidate. And then once you have that employee, you're thinking about things like employee anniversary milestones, work milestones, promotion milestones, as well as thinking like different life moments again, weddings, kids, other areas that they're personally invested in. And so I think we've done a good job of building out, again, this huge marketplace that has a lot of different options and in some cases, letting the employee pick what they want. You might be able to give an option where, hey, here's ten things, pick which one you want. I think that's a big trend in employees. Not just wanting one size fits all, but wanting to pick their own gift or their own reward or their own prize. That's really important. And then also we see a lot of companies wanting to empower middle management and saying, hey, HR team just shouldn't be the ones that gift out everything all the time. Let's give it to the managers, the directors, the VP, and give them a budget and say, hey, you can go ahead and spiff your team, create rewards for your team. You might have an employee that went above and beyond today and helped a customer become successful, and you want to give them a shout out and send them some kudos, but also you want to attach a little gift to that to make it even more powerful. [00:21:08] Adil Saleh: Yes, and that's about it. [00:21:10] Adil Saleh: Because a lot of your team members, you talked about diverse teams, remote teams. We get to hear a lot of these CEOs, co founders that come across we have team in Canada, we have team in UK, we have team in different parts of Europe, we have team in Asia, we have team in Singapore, like Central Asia, most of these. So a lot of cultural differences as well. A lot of differences in a positive way that you can fulfill by different things matter differently to different people when it comes to having culture differences. And as a company, how are you trying to have some focal point to make sure you take care of everybody's interest, no matter where they're living, where they're coming from, what kind of differences they have. So that's why these platforms like Sendoso can be so powerful. Thinking just about I'm sitting here, let's say in Pakistan. I'm sitting here in Pakistan and I care about more about when it comes to sport, I care more about cricket. I don't care more about the baseball. Yes, that's the thing. One thing that is what I'm thinking on top of my mind right now. Let's say people, 100 people, four different range of regions that are geography with this. So how Sendoso enables, is there any automated way that they can feed into the data to the platform so they recognize, okay, this person has this kind of interest, this person is going through this, of course, some mainstream data that is like their birthday, anniversaries, all these live events. That is something that we can take care of. What about the other events that are more tailored to the geography? [00:22:54] Kris: So we actually have a gift suggestion feature in the platform, too, where you can put in a person and it'll go out there and use both Data and AIS, as well as kind of this human in the loop. Behind the scenes where we'll go figure out, like, hey, you just tweeted about cricket, or, you're located in Pakistan, or, we saw on LinkedIn that you post that you love a sports team. And so based on that, we can bring in suggestions too, and say, send this instead of that. And that's a really helpful feature. So we're bringing in data across the web and across other data sources besides just your typical birthday anniversary. But what are your preferences and interests? Super cool. [00:23:38] Adil Saleh: That matters. Yeah, that matters. [00:23:40] Adil Saleh: Okay, great. So now let's talk a little bit about customer education. I know a lot of these platforms, they started their own podcast and talking to the customer, talk to the partners that way. They're delivering content education, awareness, all of that. I see you have customer stories that are more tailored towards educating customers, just like they educated me today while I was doing research. [00:24:00] Kris: Now. [00:24:02] Adil Saleh: How you guys are invested towards the customer relationships in a longer term period. If I have a longer term view on this going forward, you want to start your own community. A lot of these platforms, they have their own communities. I see. I guess you have an academy or school, something like that. Could you dive a little deeper into that too? So in terms of customer education, yes. [00:24:27] Kris: We have a customer education team. We have a Sandoso university that's doing a lot of customer trainings. We also have a sandoso community where we engage all of our users so that they can share with each other ideas invited to product betas and other customer events. So I think it's really important to harness your community and leverage that as well as, like you said, build out a customer education program so that your customers feel enabled to use your platform the best they can. We also have an annual awards for our customer too, which is another fun way to celebrate your top users and share a trophy and really rally behind their success. [00:25:14] Adil Saleh: Love that. Great. [00:25:17] Adil Saleh: So one last question. That's sort of a Chris question now, sitting here, ten years of behind, sitting in the platform, having it in the growth state, you see more than $100 in the fund and you're growing. What is that one thing that you think you could have done differently during these seven years? And what is that towards the growth of the business? I would not say the word company. The business. Business meaning revenue. All of that, investments and all. And what is that one thing that you would do differently today? [00:25:56] Kris: Do differently? I mean, I think we're on a really good path and I don't know, a lot of different things I would do. [00:26:05] Kris: Maybe small things like certain hires. I'd hire different people sooner than later. I might think about certain product on our roadmap that I'd build sooner than later. But in retrospect, I think looking back, I feel like we've done everything in the right pattern and I'm super excited for the future. [00:26:27] Adil Saleh: Yeah. Sometimes you think that you're late or early, but you're just about time. It's all about making sure that you make mistakes and you're turned to not making them, and you learn from other people's mistake as well. You cannot live long enough to make them yourself anyway, but you got to make sure that you are looking around, always looking around. And that's how we are getting exposure. Get to we met more than 100 people right now, different companies, big, small, mid size. And that's how we're trying to learn from the industry, from the people. And you've been such a powerful learning standard for me today, first of all. And then once this episode go out, definitely in three weeks, it's going to be such an insightful episode for our audiences. [00:27:10] Adil Saleh: So thank you very much, Chris, one more time for sharing your knowledge experiences. I do see you're advising some of the platforms, and some of them are pretty cool. Goldcast. They came on last year in our podcast as well. I spoke to that lady. It was incredible experience, and I realized why they're using Sendoso and why they're performing, because they had a very diverse team and which was something really good about them for that. Excellent. Appreciate your time. [00:27:40] Kris: Yeah, thanks for having me on today. All right, see ya. [00:27:43] Adil Saleh: Have a good rest of the day, brother. Bye.

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