AiThority Interview with Jamie Bertasi, Chief Operations Officer at Totango
Tell us about the benefits you and SAP are offering jointly to your customers?
SAP has always been focused on helping their customers innovate and achieve optimal business results. The company clearly believes in empowering every person across an organization with data so they can do their job better and improve their performance with the customer.
Totango’s relationship with SAP reinforces both companies’ mutual commitment to ensure our customers’ customers are successful by delivering on the value of experience, powered by data. As SAP’s One Customer Success Platform, Totango is helping SAP evolve, deploy and expand its execution of customer success initiatives across more than 20,000 customers and the majority of its lines of business. With the deployment of Totango Spark, SAP is equipping its employees with the right information at the right time, allowing it to focus on turning customer insights into actions that support business outcomes. The solution enables automated customer data and relevant KPIs across SAP’s product suite, driving engagement with customers on the most meaningful and impactful activities. Totango enables SAP’s Customer Success teams to receive prompts for action that create a consistent experience, allowing SAP to stay laser-focused on its customers.
Across every stage of the customer journey – from onboarding to retention, renewals and beyond – Totango helps SAP meet its customers’ changing needs and expectations. With more standardization, visibility and cross-company collaboration throughout the customer journey, Totango is supporting SAP in delivering on its mission to provide the best customer experience in the software industry.
Tell us about the evolution of Enterprise Cloud technologies in the last 12-18 months?
Today there are three clouds that underpin digital transformation—ERP, sales/marketing, employee. At a time when usage-based models of product consumption are increasingly prevalent, large mainstream enterprises are in need of democratized access to customer data and customer success so they can compete in the Customer Centered Economy. 2018 was the year that large enterprises truly began to recognize the value of a company-wide approach to customer centricity.
Enterprises can digitally transform without paying attention to customer success, but they are less successful because customers will leave them for better experiences, and they are flying blind not knowing when they are at risk. Unable to interpret digital signals or customers’ digital clues, they are blindsided by churn and miss upsell opportunities. For complete digital transformation, therefore, enterprises must progress to becoming customer centered organizations, where they learn from the customer data at all levels and deploy that knowledge in every customer interaction, stay current, retaining customers and driving revenue to achieve outsized business results.
There’s no more important problem that needs to be solved operationally in large enterprises today than customer success. Instead of simply creating data visualizations, enterprises need to quickly unlock valuable insights from data to operationalize customer-centricity across their organization. Doing so, enterprises can realize outsized business growth and complete their digital transformation. 2019 and beyond will be marked by enterprises such as SAP who achieve digital transformation and drive business outcomes through the operationalization of customer-centric best practices.
Which markets and titles are you currently selling/ targeting with your latest set of technology/ tools/ products?
Customer success was traditionally a business function limited exclusively to customer success teams. Today, enterprises are beginning to acknowledge that customer success must be an organization-wide initiative that impacts all business teams and functions, spanning beyond customer success teams.
According to our recently released 2019 Customer Success Survey Report, 27% of customer success teams report directly to the CEO, demonstrating that Customer Success is quickly becoming a strategic imperative for businesses, overseen directly by the chief executive. We typically work directly with the C-level, most often the chief customer officer (CCO), who has been tasked with operationalizing the company’s customer centered growth strategy.
Given the importance of democratizing customer success across an enterprise organization (though the core function will continue to stay with the customer success teams), it is imperative that customer success teams continue to collaborate internally with other teams. While the key users of our technology are the CCO, VP of Customer Success, Director of Customer Success and Customer Success managers and operations, more and more so, we are seeing more functions contributing to customer success including sales, product, and support engaged with our Zoe product, Totango’s technology geared to enable company-wide customer-centricity and empower everyone in the company to participate in customer success.
How have recent acquisitions in the Cloud industry from Salesforce, IBM, Oracle, and SAP influenced the adoption and promotion of Cloud platforms?
In recent years, billions of dollars have been spent in strategic acquisitions completed by Salesforce, IBM, Oracle and SAP. These acquisitions are significant milestones, as they are an indication of these companies’ confidence in enterprise SaaS revenue growth. As more and more enterprises move to recurring revenue business models and SaaS adoption, customer lifetime value must be at the heart of their growth strategy, making customer success a strategic competitive advantage for their business. In addition to this industry consolidation, strategic partnerships in the industry, including that of SAP and Totango, are creating a strategic advantage to help enterprise customers achieve their digital transformation. These are the first steps of many in achieving the reality of a Customer Centered Economy.
How have Cloud-based Digital Transformations together influenced the quality of Customer Service, Personalization and Sales Growth?
Recurring revenue models – which have given the customer power to pay per value – have become a central driver for digital transformation and have made customer lifetime value a top business consideration. In addition, customer expectations are always increasing, and this phenomenon is accelerating as customers interact daily with brands that prioritize the customer experience. Given these trends, the industry paradigm shift that is underway places customers at the heart of an enterprise’s business results.
Customers’ expectations for flexibility, value and personalized service have irrevocably changed how enterprises approach customers. Instead of capturing the bulk of customer value at the initial sale, companies now rely on an ongoing process of renewal and upsell that can potentially continue for years. In order to retain customers, businesses need to create a positive customer experience at every stage of the customer journey. As such, the entire enterprise needs to adopt a customer-centered approach.
Siloed approaches to sales, marketing, service and support are outdated. In the same way, customer success should not be conducted in a silo, especially as more customers interact with a multichannel and multi-department engagement model. Instead, every employee in a customer-centric enterprise organization must have access to the latest customer data and insights relevant for their role. There is no value in being a data-driven company unless every employee has an understanding of customers’ previous engagements, along with the context from all previous touch points. As enterprises move to recurring revenue business models, there needs to be a unified and organization-wide focus on the customer.
Empowering every employee with customer data and insights will ensure that customers have the best experiences. However, even armed with this data, businesses still face the challenge of extracting contextual insights and operationalizing this wealth of customer data to build a digital representation of the customer. Enterprises need a customer-centered solution that facilitates the extraction of insights from data across the customer lifecycle, making it actionable so they can accelerate customer lifetime value and drive long-term sales and business growth.
Tell us about the Data Engine driving your Customer Segmentation? How much of it is actually intuitive and predictive in nature? What kind of technology capabilities are we looking at here?
Totango’s customer-centered data platform – the Dynamic No-Schema Active Customer Index, or DNA-CX – is at the core of all of Totango’s product offerings. DNA-CX aggregates all customer data to create a digital representation of the customer. The platform enables data-driven actions so enterprises can engage with customers, reduce customer churn and improve customer renewal and expansion through simplified and expedited data segmentation.
Totango’s customer data segmentation uses faceted search technology to provide real-time results. Our customers see insights immediately with DNA-CX’s incremental approach to data – the platform displays a histogram of the distribution of the customer population based on the segmentation while filtering results. Furthermore, with the flexibility of DNA-CX, enterprises can achieve a truly customer-focused data model, which provides accurate customer context in real-time with the customer as the object.
Customer data is organized by Dimensions – customizable categories within the Totango platform that allow teams to group data in a logical way – and users can now simultaneously view search filters and the results of queries instantly. This delivers improved data visibility, increased search efficiency and reduced time to true customer insights through a newly designed faceted search tool.
Thank you, Jamie! That was fun and hope to see you back on AiThority soon.
Jamie brings extensive experience in leading go-to-market teams. She previously led TellMe to a successful acquisition by Microsoft and continued to grow the business further. In her last position, Jamie was the COO of HomeSuite.
Totango is a customer success platform that helps recurring revenue businesses simplify the complexities of customer success by connecting the dots of customer data, actively monitoring customer health changes, and driving proactive engagements.
Leading companies use Totango to reduce churn, grow predictable revenue, and maximize customer value over time.