Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy Officer at Corporate Visions, joined The Collaborator to discuss the importance of renewal messaging that is separate and different from messaging used for customer acquisition.
Tim is a master at delivering customer conversations that win and leverages decision science-backed research to improve marketing and sales messaging.
Customer renewals have never been more critical than they are today.
The Collaborator 0:00 JOHN Moore, the collaborator, focused in on sharing information that really hopefully expands people’s way of thinking about how we do enablement, how we think about the buyer journey and selling overall. And I’m super excited to have Tim riester. here from corporate visions. We’re going to talk about renewal messaging, and and probably knowing Tim 50,000 other interesting things, including why we’re both wearing black vest today, but we’ll get to that over the course of the hour. Tim, did you want to just briefly introduce yourself? Tim Riesterer 0:30 Well, I just discovered I need a cool nickname. You’re John Moore, the collaborator, I’m The Collaborator 0:35 Tim Riesterer the brain. Oh, no, Tim Riesterer 0:37 the expander we’re talking about the expansion sale today. So I’ll be the expander The Collaborator 0:41 and it’s also right here on Audible. Tim Riesterer 0:44 Okay. It’s also on my waistline is feeling these days too. So Ah, hence the black vest. I’m so Chief Strategy Officer at corporate visions. We’re a company that helps businesses build their messages tell their story. And then develop the skills to deliver that story in a remarkable and memorable way. So we like helping companies distinguish and differentiate themselves in the market through story and the power yet of when a sellers lips move and not to be, you know, it’s it’s a different medium right now, but we still have to have conversation. So we try to focus on the customer conversation. The Collaborator 1:24 Yeah, no, absolutely. And you guys have Well, I’ve long been blown away by both your presentation skills, but also the underlying messaging, which is which is far more important, Tim, so I was stoked to have the opportunity to have you joined you know, what got me excited about what happened he reached out to you in the first place was I heard you talking about something which I think should be obvious to us all, but I felt so stupid, because it wasn’t obvious to me until I heard you say it. buyers and customers existing, I should say prospects. And existing customers really need different messaging that move them along their interview. pathways and journeys. You know, what prompted you to start looking at this problem where this whole area in the first place? Tim Riesterer 2:09 Well, so we had done like a lot of companies, a lot of work and research in the area of acquisition and the psychology of how do prospects change their mind? And how do you get them to change their mind and agree to do something different than what they’re doing and then to agree to do it with you? And so provocative insight, challenging all that stuff. We called it why change were big. And it was funny as more of our clients who were recurring revenue clients, SAS clients, and then more and more companies moved into that field, regardless of what they were in. They all started having contracts and subscriptions and licenses and renewals. They all started going, you know, should we be using the same provocative, disruptive sort of approach when we talk to existing customers at renewal time Time. And we were you know, we’re so into the science and study of it. We were kind of like up. And they went first we’re like, I think so. I mean, every survey says customers want to be challenged. I wanted so. So. But because we do studies, we decided we should study it. The Collaborator 3:17 Not. And that’s phenomenal. glad you did. You know, I know you could spend hours upon hours talking about your research and what you found, but at a high level, could you tell us a little bit more about the differences between the messaging needs for those two very distinct audiences? Tim Riesterer 3:34 Yeah, so what we discovered so fundamentally, when we look at the psychology of a buyer, we’re trying to understand how they frame value and the context they’re in and how they make choices. And it became really evident after the studies but like you, we were actually a little surprised at first, we work with outside partners. We work with a researcher at Stanford in the states and one at work Business School outside of London. And they were at least surprised by our findings. So the the concept basically is rooted in status quo bias. That is humans, we prefer to hold on to our status quo. We’re biased toward our status quo. And we try to keep it stable. And in order to convince somebody to change, you actually have to disrupt you have to defeat you have to otherwise unhinge their status quo and convince them that their status quo is literally unsafe. So you’re trying to defeat status quo bias. Turns out when you’re the incumbent, you are the status quo bias. And and you shouldn’t actually disrupt defeat or otherwise tried to unhinge what is now an incumbent advantage. You’re trying to defeat an incumbent when you win new business, but you’re trying to stay the incumbent, and there are advantages to be the incumbent and you overlook them completely when you use traditional, provocative, insight driven, challenging sort of approaches. In fact, you create unnecessary theory disruption that causes the customer to go Hmm, if I have to change that much anyways, um, maybe I should relook at this. Why should I assume, you know, you bring me all this new stuff and I have to think about all this new stuff. Maybe I should take a look around. Why should I assume my incumbents got this? All right? The Collaborator 5:16 No. And it’s fascinating. And it’s so obvious when you say it. And when you looked at the research, it came back and I did take time to, to listen to your book on Audible, and download the E book on your site as well, which provided a really good overview of a lot of this stuff. But it’s amazingly obvious when you say it. What personally surprised you though, you know, what surprised you the most in this research? Tim Riesterer 5:43 Well, first of all, the least surprised in our research were the scientists because they were like, Oh, yay, all you did was prove that status quo bias is a thing. And there’s like only 40 years of research and proven that here. We thought we had this like incredible breakthrough because we’d all bought into the hype. The provocation based sale and all that that we thought we had, it turns out, we did stumble on something new because people were using a one size fits all approach, hey, this is how we should always message. Turns out, it’s 180 degrees different. That’s what surprised us was like how opposite. The message needs to be at renewal, that you have to do things to deliberately reinforce the status quo bias, as opposed to defeat it such things as there’s a concept called preference stability when we make a decision. We like to keep our preferences stable. So when you’re trying to defeat status quo bias, you actually have to destabilize their current preferences, make them question their status quo. Now you need to deliberately do some things to reinforce their preferences. And it turns out, the most important thing you can do at renewal and an open with is, here are the results we’ve had to date. Here’s the business impact and outcomes that we’ve done together. And then the thing that surprised me even more is how interested your customer actually is at least subconscious. in sort of a recitation of the investments and effort that you’ve both made together, the idea here is that another concept and status quo bias is anticipated regret and blame. Yeah. And and so people don’t want to change their mind because they’re going to get all kinds of blame and have all kinds of regret. Well, what you want to do with your existing customer is let them know, wow, we’ve come this far together. Here’s the investment we’ve both made in this. Here’s the effort you’ve made the onboarding, the process, change, the systems integration, the nomenclature changed, and all the all the things that went into getting up and running. You want them to view that is how, okay, not only have we made all this progress, we’ve put a lot of wear and tear and stomach lining and time and money into this. And now it’s The Collaborator 7:49 cost. Tim Riesterer 7:50 Yeah, yeah, I mean, and we all think sunk cost fallacy as a fallacy, but the reason it’s an actual thing is because we all suffer from it. sunk cost is a real thing. And they don’t they they subliminally think or subconsciously think, oh, man, I wouldn’t want to have to do all that again. You’re right, I’d have to find more budget, I’d have to go rebuild that consensus. I might have to retool the team who’s really up for that. So a little reminder of that, on top of the results that you’ve had today is a great is the essential way to open. It’s probably there’s just nothing like that when you’re going after a new prospect. Right. So it’s interesting, just so different. The Collaborator 8:28 Yeah. It’s interesting, too. And I, and the messaging piece makes sense. And I apologize because you and I didn’t chat about this in any detail before. But is it? Is it almost at the time that I signed the customer? Do I almost flip a switch and they go in? I don’t want to call it a nurture campaign, but I’m going to for this this conversation, do they almost go into a separate nurture path? Where you start this whole nother funnel of messaging and activity and beyond the messaging? Are there other activities that the team should be be thinking About and working on together. Tim Riesterer 9:02 Yeah, so we’ve thought about this a lot. Actually, if we think about the flow of messaging and story in the customer relationship, we break them down just into, like questions that the customer should be asking themselves. So on the acquisition side, they’re asking themselves, why should I change and why now? Then as you move toward renewal, they’re like, why should I stay and why should I do more with you? And and what’s funny is that handoff in between, I’m going to do what I often do, john, I’m going to, I’m going to pull up a blank screen and I’m going to draw on it. I love it. I love them. So hopefully everybody’s gonna see The Collaborator 9:35 and unlike me, you actually write like an adult. I look like a second grader who hasn’t yet figured out cursive so don’t don’t Tim Riesterer 9:46 don’t get too excited here, buddy. All right. So the this is the moment it all falls apart. So when you think of the why change discussion as you head in towards acquisition. So here’s the acquisition side. Now you know that at some point, there’s going to be a renewal. And so there’s this potential for a messaging gap in between where both the handoff happens when it moves into implementation phase. And then if you will, the ongoing review QB Rs, Eb RS and things like that. So there’s a time in there. So it’s really interesting. And so I’m going to put what we call why stay on the renewal side. There’s a there is a handoff moment where change colors for everybody here so we can follow this, where the people who bought this now are asking a different team to implement it, and they’re trying to get adoption. And they’re trying to get utilization. They’re trying to get everybody on board. So what’s interesting is in the handoff, the why change story is important. Why because now you’re trying to convince The rest of the company after you bought this thing, why you should use it, and what impact it should have. So there’s a moment. So there’s this like interesting bridging moment where you have to get everybody on board with the new decision and you’re trying process change. Well, the good the white chain story, why don’t we be doing something different, actually is helpful there. And and then there’s this, this other opponent where now that you’re sort of working on adoption and utilization, now you have to do business reviews. And it’s important to document your results, like I said, an impact. It’s good to remind them of the investment that they’ve made and the effort that everybody’s putting in. But interestingly, during the the business review, we allow for some a second study that you would see in the book called why evolve. Hmm. The Collaborator 11:50 What people Tim Riesterer 11:51 ask us is if you want to upsell and cross sell an existing customer, so think about upsell, you’re on the existing customer side now. The question is in an upsell or cross sell selling them something additional or upgraded or add on, should we be using the why change story in the upsell was the question and we went out and did a study and what we found is that the upsell moment is its own moment. It’s It’s what we call the why evolve moment. And it is a hybrid between all of the things that solidify your status quo preference and your incumbent advantage and a little bit of the emotion of why change. Here’s the relationship. Here’s the progress. Here’s the goodness, oh, hey, while we’re here working with you, we we work with companies like you and we work with you and we’ve got some ideas. But what we discovered is they they don’t want the big ideas at the moment of renewal. That’s where they don’t want all the newness and like unexpected and surprising, but they’re they’re particularly receptive in side the country. confines of the contract to hear about some new things because there’s no sales pressure, then it’s just sort of consultative. Hey, now you’ve had a look under the covers, and we’re working together. We’re actually interested to hear what you might be seeing and how that might compare to others like us you’re working with. So there’s this is interesting. You asked for it. And now you got it. There’s a moment where why change has to make its way into the adoption utilization process, change management experience after implementation. And then you begin to pivot to what we call the review process or the why evolve, why? Here’s what we’re doing. Here’s how it’s going. Here’s the investment. Here’s the progress. Oh, here’s some other things to consider based on what we’ve been observing. Ideally, when you get to the renewal moment, everything locks in there’s nothing freaky new that happens there, because that’s what starts to upset the applecart. It’s It’s The Collaborator 13:53 so interesting, Tim, because I think about a product like the company, I work out We have a product, we sell it. It’s a SaaS product. And it’s essentially one to three years, you know, you buy a license for a certain period of time. And so I’m almost envisioning, I finally convinced the customer why change? So they join us. We do that pivot, you’re talking about it. And then maybe for the next three months, we’re rolling it out getting adoption, getting results. Is it for the next? There’s no hard and fast rules, I know. But is it almost for the next six months, I have an opportunity to educate them on here some of the other cool things we could do and how it could help you until I get to that last three months where I’m back again to let’s not change anything, life is great. We’ve been invested this much these results, let’s renew, is it Tim Riesterer 14:44 almost that kind of stuff? It is it is and it’s interesting, what you’re hoping for at the moment of why stay is that they’ll say hey, some of that stuff you were talking about in our business reviews. Why don’t you bring that up during renewal? We’d like to hear about that. So you, you hope that they would now Surface some of that or you as you go to the renewal, say, hey, would it be okay if we bring up some of this stuff? The idea is it’s I’ve seen a lot of renewal pitches and left to people’s own desires they lead with all the new stuff at the moment of renewal because they’re like, oh, the customer knows all this other stuff already. They’re bored with us, we gotta, you know, share the sexy stuff. And, and and it’s exactly the opposite or wrong way to do it. In fact, the new the next should be the last thing and sequence in a in a waste a renewal. So yes, you have that timeframe of process change, business change, adoption utilization, where you’re telling the why change story to get the rest of the company on board. And then for the next and there’s no exact timing on this. If you do quarterly reviews or twice yearly reviews or annual reviews, you have an opportunity to use the why evolve process. And then then everybody always asked us to do a lock it down like when do you do the wide stays that 90 days out? Is that how Hundred and 80 days out, I have to ask you, okay, if it’s a three year program, when do you start the renewal conversation because a lot of people try to pull renewals forward and give a reason for that. All I would say is when you know you’re going in to make the renewal pitch, that’s when you lock and load with the why stay story, because we proven time and time again, just how that literally cements their status quo bias. If you’re done pitching the new now, and now it’s time to hold on to what you got. And it’s so cool, because I agree with you. We all want to say, here’s the cool sexy stuff we’ve been building the last 12 months since you came on board. Don’t you want more of this? This is why you stay on board. And what you’re finding out is that’s the exact wrong thing to do, which which continues to blow my mind every time I hear and think about it. Because we’ve all been not all of us. But a lot of us have been doing it wrong for a long time. But we get excited about our stuff and we like our new stuff. And we we think everybody’s gonna like what’s now Yeah, so I guess it is we just have to remind ourselves the discipline of reinforcing status quo bias because it is a real humans real human psychology, and you want it to work in your favor. So don’t skip past it. Because here’s the risk. If you go in leading with the new stuff, guess who else You sound like, your competitors are coming in with their new stuff. And now great, you have an advantage that you just gave up to sound just like everybody else talking to your customer. It just it now is you think about it, it actually just makes no sense to go in sounding like your competitor, you ought to leverage the installed scenario that you own. The Collaborator 17:40 I just had somebody asked me a question off to the side. And I’ll bring it up now because it’s still straight from your book. And it’s right in this this pretty picture. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. You know, what if what if you screw up what if you have some screw ups along the way? So you’re in that one year cycle, you’re trying to talk to them about some cool ideas up somewhere? But your site goes down for three hours at a critical time or at all. And you’re like crap. Tim Riesterer 18:09 Well, we have four frameworks in the book. And I’m glad this person asked that. We have the why stay framework for renewals. We have the why pay more for price increases we have why evolve for upsells? I was at a conference, I kick off for one of our customers talking about all this, those three stories, all good ones, but they all lead with documenting the results and impact and the goodness that you’ve brought. And they said, guess what? Some of our customers really don’t like us. And they ran the telco. They were in the telecom space. So I said, Oh, don’t panic. Nobody likes their telecom provider. I The Collaborator 18:45 thought we just think of that right. Right. Tim Riesterer 18:47 Exactly. But they really Tim Riesterer 18:49 so we ended up doing some more research we call it the why forgive framework. There is a very specific in the book and again, I’ll touch on it lightly here, approach for apologizing. It turns out that it’s called the service recovery paradox. If you get a customer and you serve them over time, let’s make this loyalty up on the x axis and then X and Y loyalty and time. You know, they continue to like you if you don’t have a problem. But if you have a problem, let’s say something goes sideways, and you’re going along, and it has a service problem, you need to recover if you recover well from it. Sorry, if you recover well from it, you can actually increase loyalty and advocacy and confidence levels in you. And it’s called the service recovery paradox. And what we found in all the research, which led us to our research is that the documented apology because the problem happens at a point in time, but let’s say your renewal company happens later or upsell, you want to get them to another level, the thing that they you need something that memorializes that challenge and challenge accepted and how you fixed it. So you had a problem, you dealt with it, here’s how you fixed it. It’s old news and it disappears, like the miss the only thing people kind of remember maybe it’s like, Whoa, we had an acute issue with them. And so they talked about the apology, being the linchpin, a good apology documented memorialized for the service recovery paradox. So it’s you got to tell a great story. We did the research, to find out what the components are, and what order the components should be. And there’s 3637 studies we reviewed over the course of the last 40 years of apology science. And we found all these different variables and we said no one has dialed in and said these are the elements of a good apology. And this is the order it should be in and we were able to determine that like we found a consistent, high performance apology framework for how to document your apology, the thing that circulates around the company on your behalf. So it’s in the book. And depending on the time we have, I can get into more depth there. But there’s enough My point is don’t panic, right? When you start to hit the trough here, there is an opportunity to recover. Not only what might have been, but even better, and we’ve got some tips for how to do that. The Collaborator 21:26 You know, I don’t want to give it all away. I want people to read your book, because it’s really that good. But what I would say, but I would ask you, Tim and follow up is, Well, two things. First off, I’ve been married for nearly 30 years does this apology recipe? We’re outside of business because I gotta go resetting that section if it does. Tim Riesterer 21:48 Well, all of our stuff is based in human science and decision making. And I would tell you that literally every framework is useful for so you know, you and your significant other and maybe you and your kids, too. But it’s it’s a funny question, but it is it’s all based in human science and that most of the research that we this is what’s funny is there wasn’t a ton of b2b research. Most of the research in the area of apology started right around the clinton Lewinsky affair. And, and most of and for some of the people on here, they don’t remember that. But, um, and and most of it was on politicians and celebrities, we didn’t find a lot of b2b apology stuff. So this is an area that I think is ripe for more research, and we are glad to be applying it because all our research then is in a b2b setting when we go out and do these simulations, right. So my point is that the science is rooted in personal apologies. So I’m going to say it should work. The Collaborator 22:48 serious question though, I’m building off of that is I’ve worked for a lot of people over the years who have have had not a lot but I’ve worked with some people over the years that have had they this The perspective that she’s we screwed up let’s just ignore it and maybe it’ll it’ll self correct. You know, we had the site go down, we’ll pretend it didn’t go down. It was on their side. And let’s just not talk about it. Have you seen or, or researched anything that shows the ramifications of the Oh, that wasn’t us? Tim Riesterer 23:26 Well, there’s really like layers of this. Like if the problem it’s called boundary spanning a boundary spanners. If the problem can be contained to let’s say, the the user, like just a person who runs that software in their company, and it glitched and it’s like nothing to see here, and you and them sort of figured it out. There’s no need for an apology. In fact, it’s not in your best interest then to start apologizing all over the company and making expand boundaries because now you Created doubt and fear and uncertainty among people who didn’t know it was it was a small It was a small issue very self contained don’t make it bigger than it needs to be. Yep. So the service recovery paradox and the apology framework has been proven to work best when the problem spans boundaries. And one of the frameworks we tested is what we discovered is you can’t you have to accept responsibility regardless of where the problem was. That if it was a supply chain problem, you don’t blame the supply chain, you’re like, Hey, we own this. And so what we discovered is you have to own it and and and be the authority on it because if you want to restore confidence, and they and they think the problems outside of you they don’t feel as confident they got to believe you’re there to handle the problem. You’ve put one into The Collaborator 24:51 getting it from happening again. Exactly, because Tim Riesterer 24:53 I don’t know those guys, I only know you so I’m blaming it on on some What else is is not even part of the frameworks we tested? Because the research we read was already so clear about how that doesn’t inspire confidence or anything else. But I guess the point you were also making was, and I would agree with is the problem. If if it’s going to span boundaries, so when we tested it, like your boss found out, the executives found out, all the people who use the software in your company knew about it. So frankly, you’re one of the most hated people on the planet when your system went down. It was a boundary spanning thing. There’s something when it spans boundaries, that is another piece of science called justice theory. And so what happens is, people believe they’re losing value. And the reason that this apology framework was so unique, I think is it turned out that you don’t open the apology with an apology and saying you’re sorry, the offer to repair is the opening salvo. And the offering repair is this idea that you say here’s how we plan to restore your perceived lost value. So this is the fix and how we plan to restore the lost value. Right now let’s talk about why it happened. Now let’s talk about why it won’t happen again. And then you close with and here’s how incredibly sorry we are about this. And time and time again when we studied it, if you didn’t open with an offer to repair and somehow demonstrate that you are going to restore the perception of lost value justice theory, they almost couldn’t hear the rest of your apology if you opened with I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. This will never happen again. I gotta tell you that the performance on every level that apology performed like almost dead last of the five test conditions compared to the one that amazing offer to repair. Amazing. The Collaborator 26:47 You know, Tim, you work with some of the biggest companies in the world and and some of the most powerful thinkers and business people out there. What are they telling you are the biggest struggles they have When it comes to let’s go back to renewals for now, you know, when it comes to renewing business, what’s what’s, what’s their challenges? And what are you hearing from people? You know, the big, big folks out there? Tim Riesterer 27:10 Yeah, so is is pre COVID or current? The Collaborator 27:15 Why would have said pre COVID. But actually, who knows what Tim Riesterer 27:18 I mean? So right now what we’re hearing is is definitely that there’s concerned that churn is going to go up, but the churn isn’t necessarily people are going to walk away completely. They’re going to down down select down sales. So because they’re going to need as many seats, they’re not going to you know, they’re really going to scrutinize the capacity that they bought and what they really need going forward. And so is the renewal at greater risk. Yes, but probably the size of the deal moving forward is at the greatest risk. So they’re asking us how do we have a conversation that tries to protect this and and so we’re, we’re having dialogues about how we bring the why evolve conversation and you know, the upsell and add on So, and and the word renewal and like, Hey, you need to be right now like if you have the renewal, it’s far enough off, you need to be preparing for bringing other things into that discussion that they see as inextricably linked to their success that they need. And maybe you can keep that renewal at a rate even though they take out some of the participants or some of the licenses, you can bring some things back in there that make it sort of a value exchange. Fair enough. You want fewer participants, but Tim Riesterer 28:31 what about addressing this issue? What about addressing that issue? Tim Riesterer 28:33 Here’s how that could be critical for you moving forward. And let’s just say we, we shrink the number of participants, but we keep the deal the same size. So it’s really important to understand where you stand in terms of the conversations you’ve had about the upsell in the cross selling where you are in the timing from a renewal standpoint, because you are going you are at risk of greater churn, but primarily from people trying to reduce the size of the purchase or the size of the contract. So The Collaborator 29:03 is it almost is it almost a good time to expand your value in terms of the set of offerings, if you’re talking about cross sell upsell, expand, you know, hey, we can solve this problem for you. Now, this problem as you try to maintain the size of the deal, so that as we come out of COVID, or whatever this economic recession looks like, you come out bigger and stronger, or at least more competitive. Yeah, I maybe. Tim Riesterer 29:29 Yeah, I think the idea is it for for one thing, the reason I think the book The expansion sale is doing as well as it is right now is new logo sales have like slowed to a creeping crawl and like everybody, like before COVID 70 to 80% of company revenues and growth were all pinned to existing customers. So we knew this was an important topic. I would argue that now 90 to 100% of business activity going on is protecting and trying to grow with existing customers, because that’s where you have the relationship And the last thing you want is to lose that right now. But also, it’s probably the that relationships which got going to give you an opportunity to possibly do more people I think are very hard pressed to find new money for new partners right now. So I guess what I would say is that all of these concepts are like full time buttons right now and levers for companies to think about. The Collaborator 30:22 It’s interesting, because I’ve always viewed it that 80% of your money is the existing customer base, 20%, new, whatever, something like that. But it’s always struck me that people almost have their focus inverted, in terms of I’m going to go get new logos, and I’m not going to invest as much time and energy into the existing base. Is that what you see? Or is that just a false impression by john? Tim Riesterer 30:45 No, our research has shown that when you look at marketing and sales budgets, at least a couple years ago, more so because I would say that the explosion of the customer success management category and I would call it that, like the amount of CSM jobs that are are being created, as people go to more Software as a Service models Tim Riesterer 31:05 are recognizing that Tim Riesterer 31:06 Hmm, our renewals and everything are not assured we got to go in and ensure adoption utilization and business impact monitor that, insure it and then report on that and hopefully keep the business. So now we’re putting more dollars into that. But companies, arguably our research showed that 80% of companies were applying 70% of their budget on acquisition, and 30% to expansion. But I believe that is starting to shift. Now as these Customer Success teams are growing, and people are even on the marketing side are starting to see I need to set up a separate funnel. They now especially since we’re coming out and saying you need totally different messaging, you’re like maybe it should be a separate funnel because we should have good timing and understand where they’re at in the process. We should be nurturing with the right message, not disruptive message and we should hit them with the right things at the right time. So really marketing, I think Have an acquisition and a expansion funnel side by side and taking the distinct approaches. And I think naturally, we’re going to start to see more dollars flow to customer expansion as now there’s the realization. And again, I think that some of this was a vestige of the traditional transactional selling past most of these companies had. This is evolving as companies evolve. The Collaborator 32:24 What’s interesting, you know, again, as you’re talking to these big companies, Tim Riesterer 32:29 I’m sure you see it all. But one of the questions I have for you, so I talk a lot about revenue enablement, in terms of the whole customer journey, the buyer and customer journey beginning to end and I’ve really been preaching about the need for enablement teams to arm the customer success teams. Now, I was wasn’t as smart as you guys are in terms of realizing the need for the second funnel. But what are you seeing as companies start to shift towards doing this or handling this separate messaging? What do you see? In terms of best practices for making that happen in terms of enablement and success and so on, right, right, and just organizational structure and who owns what? Yeah, I would tell you, it’s all over the map. It’s one of those things where when we go into talk about this idea that you need one voice across the customer lifecycle, marketing, sales, customer success, and that’s where I think revenue optimization is sort of fitting in. It’s like, okay, there’s leaders of each of these areas, there’s budgets in each of these areas, and there’s no separate tech stacks and each of these areas, and we’re saying, you know, you should really have one voice here, and a common approach. It’s kind of like, Who’s the strongest leader, and who sees that strategic vision. So when we go into a convert a customer, we’re kind of like, Who gives a darn, is the cleanest way I can say, we’re not shopping for Oh, we’ll talk to marketing about this and sales about this and customer success about that. We’re like, here’s the story, who is who owns this, who gives a darn who’s going to step up and say I’m going to work hard. To integrate that as one voice consistently over the customer lifecycle, I’m going to be the person to appreciate the two funnels, I’m going to be the person to appreciate the integration of success in sales. I was giving a keynote back when we were giving speeches in February, at a company where they said our account executives and RCS, customer success, people will will start making sales calls by stage to have every opportunity like they are literally going to be joined at the hip. Yeah, well there you have a sales organization and the leader was on stage and the customer success leader was on stage and they shook hands and said Yay, Tim Riesterer 34:33 and I’m like, oh, we’re missing marketing. But point being is every company is you know, known for Yeah. Tim Riesterer 34:42 Yeah. You know, former marketer. Um, so I Well, I would ironically say that marketing is typically the more long term looking strategic member of that triad that they might be the people who could lead this, if they if they see themselves going that far down the road. I met too many marketers who are like, Oh, I don’t go that far down the funnel. I think the modern marketer goes down the funnel on the sales side and on the success side, and they have an opportunity here, somebody’s got to step up. The Collaborator 35:12 I read the attendee, I agree, you know, just a couple more questions for you. And I so appreciate your time. But I people call it core provisions, because you guys are truly masterful at crafting a message. And do you ever though, run into situations, I’m sure you run into everything, where you walk in, start talking to them about this renewal? The and all of this different messaging that you’re like, crap, you guys need to be thinking this way, and have them say, You’re crazy. This is never gonna work here. Does that happen to you? Or do they mostly say, Can we get a we’re not sure about organization? We’re not sure how we’re going to do it, but it makes sense. Do you ever get somebody that pushes back and if they do, have you had any good arguments against doing this. Tim Riesterer 36:02 Yeah, it’s funny. We get sort of a like, Ha, yeah. Tim Riesterer 36:08 Why didn’t I think of that? This should be a different motion. Yeah. And everybody recognizes, renewals are the lifeline. So we don’t get a lot of pushback on that. But what I would tell you is people are like, but wait. We don’t have enablement budget for CES for customer success or account management, we don’t have really skills training on the mind. And we don’t really have messaging or marketing dedicated to it. So while I get it, they’re like, Tim Riesterer 36:34 where do I go with it? And we got this new Tim Riesterer 36:36 product launch that we’re really excited about, and we’d like you to come to your why change story on it. So sometimes what we do is are like, okay, we’ll do the why change story, and then we’ll, we’ll we’ll Why don’t we just tailor it then for the upsell? Why of all the story of your existing customers? Oh, okay, that makes sense. So, it’s funny, but I would say that on the surface, everybody intuitively instantly gets it. Yes. Oh, my goodness. I’ve been doing it wrong forever, because we’ve been using a one size fits all approach. But then they’re kind of like, but I still got this budget. And so how are we going to do this? Because I need to still get the same number of new logos. I just invested in my CS team, they’re not ready for skills training, we’re, we’re still trying to get them putting a dashboard in place for adoption and utilization. So some of this is just taking a little time to have the. So for example, we just had our one of our largest clients just now bring their CS team into the fold, three years after we started talking about it because they’re like, okay, we’re ready. Now. They we just gave them a number and additional responsibility before that. They were just helpers to the sales and ease in the company. Now they’ve got more responsibility. So really, it’s kind of a maturity model. As I think about it with some of these companies, how long have they had the account management and CS motion as a distinctive motion in their company where they can step back and say we shouldn’t just be begging and borrowing stealing from the acquisition side, we should have our own strategies and our own. The Collaborator 38:03 Yeah, no, that makes sense. somebody that’s paying me and I think I know your wife, I’m guessing what you’re gonna say. But somebody that’s paying me that it should be sales sales should always leave this because they’re the ones out there trying to make the money and having those conversations. Yeah, it doesn’t come back to whoever is the strongest visionary leader in the company. Tim Riesterer 38:20 Right. And who’s got sort of the longer term view? My i don’t disagree, I think this, it really depends, right? Like, I think we’re going to staff sales totally differently with different kinds of leaders as they have to look across this whole revenue optimization thing. But I would say that most current sales leaders are not cut from that sort of cloth where they have that expansive over time long term vision, no offense, because every week you have a pipeline call, you know, and the Badger commits, you got your numbers and who, but I don’t disagree. I think honestly, that Sales has always owned the revenue numbers. So at some point, they naturally get how these things work and roll up to them. They just, they’re just going to have to put a layer of sort of strategic integration on top of something that’s been sort of like, I don’t build bridges. I just take the hill. Tim Riesterer 39:16 I don’t look back and you know, why does right? Or success Just do your thing? Tim Riesterer 39:24 It’s okay, we need them laser focus, sometimes The Collaborator 39:26 cold, not cold. You know, the only other thing that happened to him so you know, what happened? We talked about are there any like one or two tips that you like, Guys, if you could be thinking about these things? These are the things to keep in mind as you consider and let’s just stay with renewals. When you’re thinking about renewals. Are there one or two things that you would just either repeat or add that we haven’t talked about for people to consider? Tim Riesterer 39:53 Yeah, I think that, like I said, Tim Riesterer 39:57 resist the temptation to learn lead with the new in the store, you end with the new and because it should be seen as a continuation of the goodness. So you open with here’s the goodness to date. And then as you move to the new they see it as more of a certainty, as opposed to you want them to see the competitor who’s nibbling and trying to get in there and take your turf, you want them to see see them as risky. And so when you show the progress to date, and the investment and effort and sunk cost, and then you show the new stuff continuing to trajectory. When they come in, they sound very small, and they sound like something that’s interesting, but highly uncertain potential value, not a continuation of existing value. So I want you to plant land mines build a moat, create a firewall against you in the competition. So use all of those things that you have to your advantage. And that story. That story is one that no amount of excitement that a competitor brings. can penetrate. And I would I would also add this other note that the main thing you’re trying to do when you talk about your new stuff, like I said, is show it as a continuation. So what you want to talk about is it’s less about how different you are at that moment. And more like, Hey, we got your back. The thing that causes people to change their mind is when they see a lot of contrast between what they’re doing and what else they could be doing. And clear. Interestingly, when you’re trying to get new business, you want to show big contrast between what they’re doing and what you do. When you have the business. You want to kind of say, there’s really no daylight between us, I got your back, you know, there’s, why would you take the risk of making change to get nothing different? That’s just a lot of risk for more or less the same. So part of what you’re saying whenever you talk about your new stuff, is demonstrating how whatever you’re hearing from the analyst, whatever you’re hearing from the competition, check, check, check, check. We got this. It’s not about huge differentiation. It’s about we got you back.
Living Enablement as a practitioner and as a leader. I’ve seen the confusion and frustration that many practitioners live. From working in other areas of the business, I’ve also seen the genuine need for the capabilities that enablement provides.