This week our host Brandi Starr is joined by Ed Frame founder of Exemplify based in Melbourne, Australia. Ed designed Exemplify to help businesses work with customers that truly appreciate them, with a focus on getting qualified leads that turn into...
This week our host Brandi Starr is joined by Ed Frame founder of Exemplify based in Melbourne, Australia. Ed designed Exemplify to help businesses work with customers that truly appreciate them, with a focus on getting qualified leads that turn into long-term, satisfied customers.
Ed has established a “Customer Longevity Framework”; turning buyers into repeat customers, brand advocates and referral partners without increasing your ad spend. Working with his clients to improve customer experience, Ed uses the power of Hubspot CRM and Email Automation, implementing these through workshops and strategic customer mapping sessions.
In this week’s episode, Journey + Process, tackling issues many CMOs are facing today when it comes to driving revenue, on the couch Brandi and Ed dig deep into mapping out the customer journey and the processes needed to create a world class post-sale customer experience.
Ed stresses the importance of looking at your Sales Incentives and Customer Service handover processes. As an example, he encourages CMOs to work on diminishing ‘Buyer’s Remorse’. He recommends evaluating the existing processes in place to communicate with new customers immediately following a signed contract and then working on improving those communications. CMOs can up their retention game with an email to new customers that specifically reinforces the same sales points used to get that sale.
Buzzword to Banish is theme in marketing rather than a single word. Ed urges us to stop marking what he describes as “irritating national days”. We need to do away with the made-up holidays like “national beer day” or “national badger week”, there are so many they don’t offer any meaningful marketing value.
Get in touch with Ed Frame on:
Welcome to Revenue Rehab, your one stop destination for collective solutions to the biggest challenges faced by marketing leaders today. Now head on over to the couch, make yourself comfortable and get ready to change the way you approach revenue. Leading your recovery is modern marketer, author, speaker and Chief Operating Officer at Tegrita, Brandi Starr.
[0:34] Brandi Starr:
Hello, hello, hello and welcome to another episode of Revenue Rehab. I am your host Brandi Starr. And as always, we have another amazing episode for you today. I am joined by Ed Frame. Ed is the founder of exemplify all the way from Melbourne, Australia. He designed exemplified to help businesses work with customers that truly appreciate them. They focus on getting qualified leads that turn into long term, satisfied customers. Ed talks a lot about marketing strategy, email automation, customer relationship, customer journey, customer acquisition, and business growth. He also has established the customer longevity framework to turn buyers into repeat customers, brand advocates and referral partners without increasing your ad spend. Ed works with his clients to improve customer experience using the power of HubSpot CRM and email automation, and implementing these through workshops and strategic customer mapping sessions. Ed, welcome to Revenue Rehab, your session begins now.
[1:50] Ed Frame:
Hey Brandy, how are you? Thank you so much for having me.
[1:53] Brandi Starr:
Yes, I am excited as I say you are my first guest from across the pond. Or I guess technically I don't know if Australia is considered the pond, but you get the point.
[2:04] Ed Frame:
It's a pretty big one but yes, the other side of the world for sure.
[2:07] Brandi Starr:
Yes. Well, I'm excited to have you. And before we jump in, I like to break the ice with a little woosah moment that I call buzzword banishment, where we get to take a buzzword that you hate and banish it, ideally forever, but at least for this conversation. So tell me Ed, what buzzword would you like to get rid of?
[2:36] Ed Frame:
Certainly, when you when you brought the stuff, I couldn't even think of a buzzword. But one of the things and I think it started with marketers of particular brands, but we have far too many irritating national days. You know, I'll give you the mainstream ones of Mother's Day, Father's Day, International Woman's Day, wonderful. But like National Eagle week or like Polar Bear Day, stop it. It's so unnecessary. Or you've got like these kind of International Beer Day, I'm like oh, is that international beers only or does that include my own nations? So I think I think we need to do away with those. No one's is marking their calendar for national badger week anymore.
[3:26] Brandi Starr:
So I was going to say I'm with you with the exception of two. My calendar is marked for National Taco Day, National Margarita Day, and National Tequila Day. Those are very important holidays for me. So I can do without Shark Week and some of these other things, but if you start messing with my tacos and margaritas, we might have some problems.
[3:55] Ed Frame:
But you can have those things any day. You're an adult, you've got 365 days to have those things, it that sort of -- somebody decided, oh we'll make this day that, and make a lot of money off it.
[4:10] Brandi Starr:
[Overlapping voices 04:08] come from. Like who chose that day and why?
[04:16] Ed Frame:
[04:16] Brandi Starr:
So I am with you. We will ban all of the national made up holidays, at least for this conversation. And so now that we've gotten that off our chest, now I'm also craving tacos, but tell me what brings you to Revenue Rehab today?
[4:37] Ed Frame:
Yeah, brilliant. So here to really talk to your audience about how they can really improve their post-sale customer experience, which allows them to retain a lot more of their customers. Loving the title of Revenue Rehab where getting new customers in the door is great and you get fresh revenue, but you don't necessarily get a lot of profit from those new customers. Your profit really comes from the people who buy consistently from you, or have a longer term contract, or spend an amount with you and then have a relationship with you, that brings you more referral partners as well. So that's why that's what I'm here to really bring to the table.
[5:24] Brandi Starr:
Awesome and I can't wait to dig into that. But I definitely believe in setting intentions. It gives us focus, it gives us purpose, and most important, it gives our audience an understanding of what they should expect for today. So for all of our CMOs and heads of marketing listening, after our conversation, what would you like to be different or better?
[5:50] Ed Frame:
What I want you to really take away from this is that your business success and your marketing success does not stop and end with just running paid ads. That is a wonderful way to grow your business, it is a great way to bring in new customers. But what I want you to really take away from this is how you can extract more revenue and more value from your current customers, by creating an exceptional customer experience for them, which turns them into repeat buyers and brand advocates in the future.
[6:26] Brandi Starr:
And it's interesting you bring that up. I know in Episode 19 we talked with Christina about voice of customer and how that is important in understanding your customer for driving how you market, and how you develop your product or service. And I think this is another flavor of actually focusing on customers, which is to understand that this is a key revenue source. And early in my career I was in customer marketing for a lot of years, that was my focus was developing strategies around cross sell, upsell, and I work with a number of my clients now on how do we support the entire lifecycle, and not just demand generation. And so we're here, we're definitely seeing eye to eye on that. But I think the thing that I see most often that I have always wondered that I want to get your take on is, even though most people that run marketing, whether it's the head of marketing, or those functional managers who have to determine where to spend their time. Everybody knows cross sell, upsell, selling into your existing customers is easier, it's cheaper, it helps with retention, all those sorts of things, yet still the priority and focus and time and budget is always and I mean, I'd venture to say almost 100% of the time is focused on driving net new. Why does that happen?
[8:07] Ed Frame:
I think there's a there's a couple of things. First of all, I think there's that culture of even the way a sales team is structured. You're incentivized on bringing in new revenue. Your pay commissions are based on net new, a commission on a particular sale. So if you're going to get a new contract for example, it tends to be the net new one might be the bigger one, and then you've got somebody else going forward. But if we would have changed that and actually incentivize teams on the actual lifetime value of a client, how different would those sales conversations be? How different with those new clients? How much more different would they be with a sales team to actually focus on all the, like you said, the voice of a customer personas, knowing that, okay well, I might make $10,000 commission here, but if I've got the greater good amount, I could be making hundreds of thousands till the day I die. And so there's almost that culture and like you said it is easier, statistics have shown and there's been research to prove that it's 4-8 times easier to retain a customer rather than getting that new one. If you increase your customer retention rate by 5%, your profitability can increase from anywhere between 25% and 95%. There's all this information out there that we know in the back of our heads, but we don't really trust it and sometimes that also comes from we perhaps undervalue the services that we actually provide to your customers. I said, okay, yeah, they're paying but we had a project, but it wasn't as good as I thought, when actually, the customer actually had a great time and they had a great experience. So there's some times that, maybe we can't ask them for another 15-20 grand on top of what they've already been spending, because we're not as confident in our own service. But for somebody who's never had that experience with us before, it's a blank slate. So I think there's definitely some team culture and some mind-set changes that reference heavily or most.
[10:29] Brandi Starr:
Okay, and so I think there's two places I want to dig in. So we talk about the revenue team, which is largely going to be made up of the marketing and sales functions, not exclusively, but those are two key places. So you hit on something that I think is key on the sales side and so I want to start there. And one of the things you talked about is how sales is incented. And you're right, that they are generally compensated nicely when it comes to net new. And then if I think about the most common structure in sales teams, and I see this changing some now, but I would still say it is the most common, is where you have those hunters and farmers. You've got the hunters that are out there they're beating the pavement trying to drive net new, they close that business, and at some point, that account transitions from being theirs into someone that is more of a farmer who is responsible for selling into those existing customers. And so I do think that that structure is kind of one of the problems, in that not only am I not incented there, it's like I don't even care if this is a good long term customer as long as I can get them to cut me that first check then I win. It's like you're sort of setting the business up for failure to a certain extent with a short term mentality. Why don't you think people have changed the way that they are handling sales and managing accounts, so that there isn't this awkward handoff?
[12:16] Ed Frame:
I think there's always that because this is the way it's always been done and this is the way things have always been done. So that's always hard to change. I would say that as well, people don't necessarily believe that there was a problem. And in the sense of the alignment that you have between sales and service, the kind of the expectation is that we're actually confident enough in our own product or service, that once we get them in the door, the service team will be able to provide a good enough service that that will just lead into more sales and more products and services being sold. So there's, I wouldn't say it's a naivety but I think the expectation is that our service will do the selling for us, when that's just not the case. It's very interesting what you said as well of just that as soon as somebody has got that first check, and they are done. And it's not even a sense of they're done in a couple of months’ time, it's like once that contract is so the most important thing that really a customer needs is that handover between sales and service to be done well, but the incentive is already completely out the door with the sales. I'm not trying to badmouth sales teams here. I don't want to go down that low but I think there is just that, as soon as you've got that check in your account, it's just like why would I want to deal with a sales rep asking me questions, trying to get things set up, when actually I could be trying to close that next sale. And it's just human nature, well, I'm going to go where the money is here. So I got them through the door, it's now under somebody else to keep them there. So I think there's a huge part of that culture that we've focused so much in the last 5 - 10 years on that marketing and sales alignment. I really think that there's that seals the service alignment, that there's just so much untapped growth for so many businesses just in that part alone.
[14:34] Brandi Starr:
Yeah, and I think another thing to add to that is if you think about the natural talents and skills of the people that get hired in a sales role focused on net new versus a customer success or service position, they really are motivated by different things. Someone who is going to go out and hunt for that next sale, they're very money motivated and they're going to go where the dollar is. Someone who's going to be amazing in customer success or in service is generally going to naturally be more nurturing, more customer centric. And I do think that that's where we create a little bit of a disconnect. But I don't want to because my head is going down a rabbit hole in terms of like sales structure, but I want to pull it back to talk more about this post sale customer experience. So start by telling me, what do you think good looks like?
[15:38] Ed Frame:
What does good look like?
[15:39] Brandi Starr:
[15:40] Ed Frame:
Well, so in terms of I would say, good looks like you're constantly communicating with your customers, even in the points where you don't believe that you should be. So an example of that is being able to when you've got that sales and service handover, most of the times that somebody signs a contract for let's say, a service based business and that in two weeks’ time there's a kick-off call. But you've just signed a contract, money has left your account and then you're not hearing anyone from a couple of weeks. So being able to keep in just constant communication of what the next steps happening, what's happening behind the scenes, while you're doing all these things, and just keeping the customer customers updated. I like to sort of put that in the same ballpark as if you order something online, it's a much better experience when you've got your confirmation of dispatch, you've got that tracking numbers, things like that. Just being in constant, hey, this is what we're doing, this is what's coming next, this is what we're preparing for. So I'd say that's really that first part of just getting good and the next part is really understanding your customer’s problems and emotions at different stages throughout the customer journey. So whenever they have made a purchase, there is that likelihood that there's going to be that element of buyer's remorse. So they're starting to think, oh, was this actually a good decision, will this actually help me solve my problem and actually being able to then understand what those emotions are and then being able to help mitigate that buyer's remorse through communication again. So those will be sort of two of the starting blocks and that would be sort of the good, but not great, good.
[17:43] Brandi Starr:
We can start by getting everyone to good. And so you talked a bit about that constant communication. And I do think online shopping is a great example of what that can look like. Because you're right, it keeps the excitement. I ordered it, I got the confirmation, so no nerves about did it go through or any of those things. Now I know, it just shipped, so I'm excited all over again. And nowadays, you can track your shipment step by step to the point where you know when the driver is going to pull up. So thinking about on the B2B side, because most of the Revenue Rehab listeners are in the B2B space, I think the biggest thing that I see, that is a barrier is it's not always so obvious. So when you make an online purchase that goes into a system, like that same system is sending out the emails. In B2B it's not as transactional. So how do companies that are not in a transactional model, how do they get that constant communication in a meaningful way?
[18:56] Ed Frame:
So for a B2B service, there's really still though, that initial, somebody has signed a contract and I feel that there's real milestones that you could really put out activities to. So the first one is, a customer had a problem and then they purchased a service to actually solve that problem. Then there is that waiting point after you've made that purchase before you officially begin, so that might be that gap between signing a contract and having that initial kick-off call. And then really, from there, there's a kind of, okay, we're then working together, we've had that kick-off call, we're now in progress of actually achieving your goals. So if you're a copywriting agency for example, the goal is not to get a Word document with some nice copy, your goal is to get a sales page that converts leads into customers. So essentially, it's looking at what are those steps in between? So the proceed, then the progress, what are you doing to actually implement your service and then what's the point where their problem has solved? Where is the point where their business is at? The reason why they made a purchase with you has vanished, that problem has gone. And it's being able to just think in your process, where are these certain milestones? Essentially, those are really the pillars to them creating your experience. So understanding the needs and the emotions of your customers within those different phases? And then it's a case of thinking, well, actually, if this is a point where we start to see the excitement dip, what can we do to actually lift the excitement back up? Or if this is a part where we start to see people starting to worry about the results, what can we do to actually make them more at ease with the process, and things like that? So it's really sort of taking whatever your process is, and actually breaking it down into those. I have seven different stages that I that I work with most businesses on. We use those different stages put the process within those seven stages.
[21:37] Brandi Starr:
And so I really liked that. Because if you think about it, depending on what you're buying, some people call it time to value, there's different industry terms in different fields. But like that moment where the problem that I was trying to solve is now solved, I think that is a place where we don't always think about that. Because if you think about, you're making an online purchase, like if I go online to buy a dress for my event on Saturday, the moment I put the dress on Saturday, problem solved. It's pretty obvious. But if we think about software, for example, there's some software that the time to value is pretty instant. Yes. We just switched to zoom for our web conferencing, and the benefits over what we were using previously, within two days our team was like, wow, this is so much better. But then there's others, I have a client, now we're implementing one technology, they have another vendor into implementing another technology, and that other technology is an eight month implementation. 6-8 months, just to get it stood up. And that's not even getting value from it, that's just basically getting it on. And so you think about that period of if I'm selling zoom, my window of communicating for time to value is short. If I've got an eight month implementation, and you know, another 3-4 months before the value is realized, I need to have a plan for how I'm going to keep that momentum.
[23:18] Ed Frame:
Correct. And it's a really good example, and one of the differences that I use is the difference between using a personal trainer and getting a haircut. Getting a haircut, from start to finish, of problem to problem solved, for me, it's about 30 minutes. For you, Brandi maybe a very different experience. But if you were to use a personal trainer, and in my experience, it was to try and gain 10 kilos was probably the last time I ever had a gym membership and that was about a 6-8 month. That was a long time and it took a lot of commitment, and the period between problem and problem solved is quite long. But there are also little wins along the way. And I think that's one of the things to really focus on, like for your client for example, a 6-8 month implementation how can they show the value in that implementation? What are the different things that it's when certain things start to happen, you're like, hey, you're not going to be able to use this yet but you can now see that this is how this is going to solve your problem along the way. And so being able to reinstate that excitement and reinstate that you have made a good decision. This is going to help you in the long run. And if there's things to think about during the process, what are those different things that you can give your customers or your clientele to work on and get thinking about or start doing alongside so that the day that piece of software is implemented that it is go time. So every business is completely different on especially that progress because it can really be, as I said, 30 minutes, or it can be 6-8 months, like you said.
[25:18] Brandi Starr:
Okay. And you have sparked a lot of ideas for me. So I want to shift and talk about marketing a little bit. So if I think about just where we are, at least here in the North America. Some people say a recession is coming, you know, there's all sorts of financial predictions, but right now there are a lot of companies who are pulling back on resources. So marketing budgets are being cut, teams are unfortunately being reduced. However, revenue goals are not changing. So assuming I am ahead of marketing, and I'm trying to do more with less, and figure out how to hit this number, and I want to shift and focus more on customer marketing so that we can still drive that revenue number without the large ad spend and booths for events and all these sorts of things. Let's assume for this conversation, I don't have any influence over service, I don't have any influence over sales. If I'm focused on marketing, what direction am I giving my team right now?
[26:32] Ed Frame:
Just to make sure I fully got the scenario, do you have access to a CRM with all your current customers in there?
[26:41] Brandi Starr:
Yes, we're going to assume we've got a comfy revenue stack. Whatever comfy, is, I don't want to make us bare bones, but just kind of putting it in the mind frame of our audience. Because this is a very real problem that people are facing right now. So what's your advice? What do we do here?
[27:02] Ed Frame:
My personal thing is to really look at who've been people who have been your current customers beforehand. Starting to look at whether it's a customer in the past or a client, what are the different things that you can actually provide services and provide offerings to those to those people again, and really look at written nurturing those people to be come back in. Because, like we said at the very start, four times easier to sell to somebody who's been a customer beforehand. And that also means, if somebody has had a bad experience actually, maybe this is an opportunity to try and right that wrong and kind of understand a little bit more about why they left. Difficult conversations to have, but if they're difficult it means no one's doing it. A difficult conversation to have, being able to say, hey we wanted to get a little bit of understanding of why you left our service, eventually what could we have done better. And probably really, through that conversation, you'll start to find actually, the things that they actually need are really, really achievable. So being able to get a few of those low hanging fruit conversations with people who have previously been customers. And then I would say within your, your funnel of marketing of people who haven't been customers, start to really identify who are the cream of the crop in that term, who are the people who look like they could be a very good long term, lifetime value customer and focus on them. Really trying to close them and nurturing them with all kinds of different, I would say in the way that they want to be communicated with. Instead of just using like a monthly newsletter with email tokens, actually start to reach out using something like videos or loom, having a very, very one-to-one personal relationship to, you know, try and build those relationships to start to nurture those people down sooner. I think that's something that we're seeing a lot of. The people who give me the one-to-one attention, create a very personalized approach, are the people I'm more likely going to do business with because if no one's willing to spend more in their world at the moment, it's going to be the people who I have the most trust in are going to be the people that's going to get my money.
[29:45] Brandi Starr:
No I definitely like that because you are definitely right there in that we have to first -- and I talked about episode 19 where we talked about voice of customer, the action item there was also talk to your customers. This is another example of not just talking to the good ones, but talking to the bad ones to figure out. Because sometimes handling a bad situation well can actually create a customer for life. Because it's what you do in the face of adversity that really shows your character.
[30:25] Ed Frame:
It's nowhere near as -- even if you provide a good service, you know in the back your head, oh we could have done this better, we could have done this better. Your customer has no idea about that. So if they've had a couple of negative experiences, it might be something just so small and so easy and be like you know what, you're completely right, we actually changed that within our process, and that's completely gone. This is how we do it now. Does this sounds like a better way? Is this going to solve your problem more than what we what we previously had? So I think there's difficult conversations that no one else is doing so get in there.
[31:06] Brandi Starr:
Awesome! And I am very curious, I know that you do strategic customer mapping sessions. Can you tell me what is that?
[31:16] Ed Frame:
Yeah, great. So essentially, it's looking at the moment somebody makes a purchase all the way through to how do we get them to become a brand advocate. So it's working one-on-one with the business. And as I mentioned, there's really seven phases that somebody goes through. There's that problem, they then make a purchase to solve that problem, they get started. There's that progression stage of trying to solve that problem, they solve the problem, then there's that repurchase and then brand advocacy after that. And so it's really a way of looking at what's happening in those stages. What can you do to improve the experience to actually funnel those customers down really, from that post sale into brand advocacy? Where is the point where he asked you for your testimonials? How do you ask for testimonials? What is the stuff that you do? As soon as somebody makes a purchase, where do you when do you send them a really great gift in the middle of the process? All kinds of different things. It's completely bespoke to every business but it's really a way of creating a better experience so that your client is actually not only are they solving their problems, they're just the joy of working with you is just so great. There's that how am I not going to refer this person? Or how am I not going to want to work with this person again, if I have that similar problem?
[32:40] Brandi Starr:
Okay, so it's like journey mapping, but on the post sales side of creating advocates,
[32:47] Ed Frame:
Correct. When I first started the business, I was kind of doing sales and marketing. I've been a digital marketer for nine years. But I just actually fired which is like the post-sale experience has -- in my mind, there was a lot more untapped value in here. There's a lot of fantastic marketing strategists out there. But when it comes to the customer experience, I think that's where most businesses have the most untapped growth opportunities. And so it's great to be a part of that. So I'm helping businesses improve that part of their business.
[33:24] Brandi Starr:
Awesome. Well, talking about our challenges is just the first step and nothing changes if nothing changes. So in traditional therapy, the therapist gives the client some homework, but at Revenue Rehab, we like to flip that on its head and I want to ask you to give our listeners some homework. So if you could summarize your key takeaways, and give us that one thing. What is the one thing you want our listeners to do after listening to this episode?
[33:55] Ed Frame:
Perfect. So really, my summary is, I'm not going to say completely revamp your sales team. That's going to be a little bit too much but think about what we spoke about with the way sales incentives and customer service handovers happen. That's a really important part. Think about how does where that disconnect is in your business and have a think about what are the different ways that you could potentially solve that. With regards to your customer experience, I would highly recommend thinking about what is the first thing that happens when somebody signs a contract, or money leaves their account and it comes into your business? What are the things that you're currently doing? And essentially, how can you make that better with better communication? The problems that somebody has, how can you immediately try to mitigate that buyer's remorse? So one of the things I actually recommend you do is, the very basic is having an automatic email that goes out and use some of the content that you use in your sales process to reinforce the reason why somebody made a purchase. Your sales team has done a fantastic job of convincing that person to buy from you. As soon as they've made that purchase, make sure that that reaffirmation is there, that they're able to read a testimonial that is very similar to somebody in their position, that if there's a case study of somebody who has gone through the same thing, they're about to embark on a journey with you. They don't know that they're getting a ton of investment. So they need to make sure that this was a good purchase. So I highly recommend using some of the content that you might use in your marketing and sales to convince people to actually reaffirm that they've made a great purchase.
[36:03] Brandi Starr:
I love that. So our one thing is take a look at what you are sending or not, once someone makes a purchase, and figure out either how to create something so that you're adding that value and avoiding buyer's remorse, or make whatever you have in place better. I love that as our action item. Ed, I have enjoyed our discussion but that's our time for today.
[36:29] Ed Frame:
Wonderful. Thank you so much.
[36:31] Brandi Starr:
Thank you. And before we go, tell us how can our audience connect with you?
[36:38] Ed Frame:
Great! So exemplify.com.au. So I am based in Australia so don't forget that .au at the end. Also, I'm very active on LinkedIn. I love connecting with new people. If you connect with me, I'll probably send you a message to strike up a conversation. It's not automated. It's just I like chatting. So connect with me on LinkedIn, Ed Frame. And I really look forward to learning more about your business, more about your customers, why are they buying from you and how you can get them to become repeat buyers and brand advocates of your business.
[37:15] Brandi Starr:
Well, thank you so much for joining me. And thanks, everyone for joining us today. I hope that you have enjoyed my conversation with Ed. I can't believe that we're at the end. See you next time.
You've been listening to Reverend Rehab with your host Brandi Starr. Your session is now over but the learning has just begun. Join our mailing list and catch up on all our shows at revenuerehab.live. We're also on Twitter and Instagram at Revenue Rehab. This concludes this week's session. We'll see you next week.
Ed Frame is the founder of Exemplify in Melbourne, Australia. He designed Exemplify to help businesses work with customers that truly appreciate them. They focus getting qualified leads that turn into long-term, satisfied customers.
Ed talks about marketing strategy, email automation, customer relationship, customer journey, customer acquisition and business growth. He has also established “Customer Longevity Framework” to turn buyers into repeat customers, brand advocates and referral partners without increasing your ad spend. Ed works with his clients to improve customer experience using the power of Hubspot CRM and Email Automation and implementing these through workshops and strategic customer mapping sessions.