SalesTech Star Interview with John Moore, VP of Customer Success at Bigtincan
Could you tell us about your role and journey into technology?
I began my professional career as a Software Quality Engineer at Lotus Development in 1990. It was an exciting time as we were part of the rise of personal computing, productivity tools, product suites, and a variety of collaboration and enablement technologies, including Lotus Notes.
In 2000, I began my involvement in SaaS application and had the opportunity to get involved with technology to enable sellers and other learners across the enterprise. It has been a fun ride, across engineering and business roles, and led me to a fantastic position at Bigtincan.
You’ve had a long track record of successfully working in diverse Marketing and Sales teams. How did you arrive at Bigtincan and what attracted you to the business?
Before joining Bigtincan, my partners and I had a business focused on delivering training and enablement services to businesses. At that time, we were using a customized version of WordPress to create rich content based upon the xAPI learning protocol.
We were looking at various Sales Enablement platform providers, Bigtincan being one, to partner with to deliver our capabilities and were immediately impressed with David Keane (CEO) and Patrick Welch (President) and, as we dug into the capabilities, knew that we had found the right solution to deliver our services. Bigtincan asked me for assistance with one of their largest customers, and I immediately fell in love with the culture and people. So much so, that I agreed to join to build out their customer care program further.
Customer Success Management is a very recent phenomenon. Where exactly do you trace its roots?
According to the Customer Success Association, Customer Success first became a formal function in 1996/1997 at a CRM company named Vantive. That’s right. It’s been a job function for more than twenty years, and I still encounter many organizations that are unaware of its benefits.
Unfortunately, customer success is often a function in a silo, working in isolation from Marketing and Sales. While customer success can create value in this mode in terms of reduced churn, its impact grows when it’s tightly woven into the entire revenue team. It was this realization that led me to begin talking about revenue alignment and revenue enablement.
One Customer Success/ Story that you would like to share with us a lesson for all young Sales professionals
Most customer success professionals have a story about the customer they saved by going above and beyond. The truth is, real wins usually occur as a result of collaboration across the organization, with Sales, Marketing, Customer Support, Finance, and Product teams. A great example – one that again points to my recognition of the importance of revenue alignment – is a story about cross-selling and upselling. We have an existing customer for whom we have been focused for months to ensure they were achieving business-focused KPIs by taking the following approach:
- We have helped them set up their systems.
- We have helped them workaround their internal challenges.
- We have helped them by introducing them to similar customers.
- We have helped them.
- We have advised them.
- We have never tried to sell them
In one of our quarterly review meetings, we began discussing the training challenges that they were encountering. We mentioned that we could help them solve it with their existing systems and tools or we could help them solve it with our Bigtincan Zunos product.
Due to the level of trust and the fact that we were genuinely trying to support them in solving their problems instead of selling, they immediately decided to see a demo and quickly bought our microlearning platform. By focusing on the success of our customers instead of focusing on selling them something new, we did just that. We are all happier as a result.
You recently spoke about Revenue Alignment as an extension of Sales Enablement concept. How do you practice this in your customer interactions?
Revenue Enablement is an extension of Sales Enablement activities, bringing the same discipline and approaches from a sales-only focus to cover all members of the revenue organization. I defined revenue alignment as:
“Revenue alignment places the customer at the center of business success. It puts a premium on creating measurable outcomes, delivering solutions that customers will adopt, and upon a high degree of collaboration between customer-facing teams.”
I also noted, as has SiriusDecisions, that a revenue aligned organization generally has a Chief Revenue Officer who oversees revenue enablement and revenue operations functions. Since the revenue aligned organization looks across the entire buyer/customer journey, it allows us to create a higher impact on our organization and our customers in terms of value creation.
An example of this is Bigtincan’s recent purchased of XINN, a company that automates the delivery of data-enriched content in an easy-to-build and easy-to-deliver method. Before undergoing the acquisition, our revenue teams needed to understand these questions:
- How do we get our overall customer success organization trained and ready to help XINN customers? The existing XINN team is in place and will continue to make sure these customers are successful, but we need to get the current Bigtincan squad up to speed as well. Can these customers also benefit from our Hub product? Zunos? Other solutions we sell?
- How do we educate our overall Sales organization about XINN so they can help identify places where prospects could benefit from these capabilities?
- What about our marketing teams?
- What about the current XINN teams? They also need to understand the other Bigtincan products as those customers may find value in those solutions.
In a Sales Enablement focused world, we would only worry about educating our sellers. We would not be concerned about the rest of the buyer or customer journey. As a result, the buyer/customer experience will be disjointed. Through the lens of revenue enablement, we can work across the entire journey and work to deliver a high level of customer experience while maximizing revenue generation and cost-savings for our whole organization.
What kind of Sales technologies and Automation tools do you really missed having in the early part of your career? How do you work with these tools now?
In the earliest days of my career, I was in Engineering roles.
As a Customer Success leader, what kind of specific training and learning do you undertake regularly? What keeps you sharp in your game?
I do a large amount of reading and training. My primary areas of focus for customer success are:
- Product-specific training. You need to be a product expert.
- Project management. You need to be able to track delivery schedules and execute against them.
- Communication Skills. In this role, you must be able to communicate in writing and in-person, across various levels of the organizations and multiple job functions.
What kind of Sales playbooks and media do you usually refer to?
Your opinion on the way AI makes it easy (or hard!) to forge great customer success relationships —
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is merely supporting technology. If you communicate openly, engage with empathy, and genuinely care about helping your customers be successful, it will help you do a better job.
However, businesses and people that do not seek to help their customers will find little value from AI. AI is simply the fuel in your car, supporting you as you drive towards your destination.
Tag one Customer Success leader from your community whose answers to these questions you would like to see here
I would love to hear from Kevin Scheper who runs Customer Success at Drift.
Thank You, John, for answering all our questions. We hope to see you again, soon.
Bigtincan helps sales and service teams increase win rates and customer satisfaction. The company’s AI-powered sales enablement automation platform leading the sales enablement market, features the industry’s premier user experience that empowers reps to more effectively engage with customers and prospects and encourages team-wide adoption. Leading brands including AT&T, Thermo Fisher, Merck, ANZ Bank and others rely on Bigtincan to enhance sales productivity and fuel customer engagement. With global sales and marketing headquartered in Boston, Bigtincan also has offices across EMEA, Australia and Asia.
John Moore has more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry, most recently serving as Partner and Director of Development at The Enablement Group – a managed sales content services company – where he was responsible for Customer Success and Product Engineering.
Prior to his time at The Enablement Group, John held a number of leadership roles at technology companies, including CTO of The Vault Shift and VP of Solutions Services at Brainshark, Inc.
In his role as Vice President of Customer Success at Bigtincan, John oversees and manages the customer success team, responsible for driving customer adoption and ensuring satisfaction with Bigtincan’s solution offerings. Additionally, he will orchestrates customer onboarding and rollout to deliver a positive and integrated customer experience.