PODCAST 69: Structuring Your Organization Around Your Customer w/ Megan Bowen

This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we speak with Megan Bowen, SVP of Business Operations at Managed By Q.

Megan spent over a decade building and managing customer and revenue generation teams for leading technology companies, so when it comes to understanding how companies can structure their organization around the customer, she’s leading the pack.

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If you missed episode 68, check it out here: PODCAST 68: How to Go to Market with an Enterprise Solution w/ Ed Calnan

What You’ll Learn

  • What Managed by Q does
  • Building a Customer Success Strategy
  • The Benefit of Starting Out in Account Management
  • Structuring Your Organization to Grow the Customer Experience

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Show Agenda and Timestamps

  1. Show Introduction [00:09]
  2. About Managed By Q [03:30]
  3. Building a Customer Success Strategy [16:06]
  4. Starting Out in Sales in Account Management [25:49]
  5. Structuring Your Organization to Grow the Customer Experience [27:13]
  6. Sam’s Corner [41:16]

Show Introduction

Sam Jacobs: Hey everybody, it’s Sam Jacobs. Welcome to the Sales Hacker podcast. We are delighted and honored to have on the show Megan Bowen, SVP of Business Operations for Managed by Q. She’s an incredible executive, a great person, a great human, she’s just an all-around great professional. We’re lucky to get to speak with her and we’re happy about it.

First, we want to thank our sponsors. We’ve got Lucidchart Sales Solutions. Lucidchart is the leading account planning platform for modern sales orgs. With Lucidchart, you can visually map out key contacts and crucial account data to uncover critical insights that will allow you to close bigger deals faster.

Our second sponsor is Outreach, the leading sales engagement platform that enables sales reps to humanize their communications at scale, from automating the soul-sucking manual work that eats up selling time to providing action-oriented tips on what communications are working best. Outreach has your back.

About Managed by Q

Sam Jacobs: Hey, everybody. It’s Sam Jacobs. Welcome back to the Sales Hacker podcast. We are so excited today to have a good friend and also one of the top operators in New York City on the show, Megan Bowen.

She spent over a decade building and managing customer and revenue generation teams for leading technology companies. She’s worked with companies across the food, medical, and hospitality industries to create top tier account management and sales functions all focused on building long-term relationships with clients and generating more revenue for the company. Megan, welcome to the show.

Megan Bowen: Hi, Sam. Great to be here.

Sam Jacobs: We want to give you an opportunity to tell us, what is Managed by Q?

Megan Bowen: Managed by Q is the platform for office management. We help companies build, design, and operate and manage their spaces through a combination of our technology that allows them to manage employee requests, workplace team task management, as well as discover, book, and pay for any vendors that need to come into their space to handle anything.

As we’ve continued to build out the product, we’ve realized how useful that was to our customers and that there is another gap in the market that we’ve identified and that there are no tools for office managers to run their workplace. We’re excited to embark on this next evolution and really go from a services company to a software company also offering services, so that’s what’s on the horizon.

Building a Customer Success Strategy

Sam Jacobs: When you think about core elements of delivering the right level of account management or customer success, what goes into it for you, how do you build a strategy?

Megan Bowen: At the beginning, it starts with the sale, so there needs to be really tight alignment between sales and account management. As part of the sales process, the seller needs to make sure that, number one, we’re selling to the right customer, they’re beginning to talk about what implementation and what the post-sale experience is going to look like to begin to set and manage expectations. The larger the deal, if you’re talking an enterprise customer, actually bringing the account management, like the account manager in at the late stage sales cycle before the formal close, can be really impactful. That’s a really important piece that a lot of people completely skip over.

Then, you have onboarding, so once the sale is made, the table is set on what the post-sale experience is going to look like. The onboarding experience is basically the account manager making their first impression and you really need to nail that experience.

Poor onboarding is one of the leading causes of churn, so that must be a very intentional, thoughtful process where it’s very clear that the account manager is adding value to the relationship and clearly articulating how the product or service is driving a particular business outcome for that customer.

Starting Out in Sales and Account Management

Sam Jacobs: You said that sales and account management are the best functions from which to start a career. Walk us through why you think that.

Megan Bowen: Everything that businesses are doing is ultimately in service of a customer. For that customer to see value and for them to pay for that value. Everything in my opinion, comes back to the customer. Even if you’re an engineer or product manager, if you’re not in sync with your customers pain points and how you can fix them, you’re not going to be successful.

It’s that exposure to the customer that is critical and those roles just create an environment where you’re talking to customers every single day.

Then, additionally, being on the front lines and having to change someone’s mind, convince somebody to do something, calm down a really angry customer because something bad happened, being able to be effective in all of those scenarios builds skills that you can use in many different areas, including continuing to grow your career and repurposing those skills as you begin to build and manage teams.

Structuring Your Organization to Grow the Customer Experience

Sam Jacobs: What’s the best way to align the organization around the customer, so that the people that are having the most conversations with the customer can find their voices into the product development of the actual product?

Megan Bowen: One of the things that I’ve observed and have tried to implement is client-facing teams, when they’re communicating with product about customer feedback, they communicate within the context of offering solutions. Like, for example, “I just talked to this customer and they really need this feature. You should build this thing in the product.”

That type of direction or feedback to a product team is typically not well-received. What I try and tell my teams to do is reframe it as “I have discovered a pain point or a point of frustration or a need. My client wasn’t able to do X because our product didn’t make it easy or obvious,” so present your feedback within the context of the problem statement or the pain point. That is when a product team becomes very receptive.

The other thing that we’ve started here at Q, which has been really successful, is the product managers will often schedule customer interviews, but they ensure they invite the account manager along, so that both of them are part of that conversation and we found that those interviews have been more valuable when you have those three stakeholders on that same call.

What’s been most fascinating to me at Q, this is the first time I’ve really managed every team that touches the customer. It gives you a much better perspective on the customer journey. When I was managing account management, I was all about account management. I had tunnel vision, I was just focused on doing what I needed to do to make my function the best and potentially, even at the expense of the sales org.

What we’ve seen is, by bringing us together as part of the same org, we’ve been able to identify problems more quickly, we’ve been able to collaborate on solutions more effectively.

RELATED: How To Structure Your Sales Organization For Maximum Efficiency

Sam’s Corner

Sam Jacobs: Hey, everybody. It’s Sam Jacobs. This is Sam’s Corner. I was so happy to get to interview my friend and Revenue Collective member, but more importantly, somebody who’s just an incredible professional and executive, Megan Bowen, who is leading operations at Managed by Q. I think Megan has managed her career just exceptionally well and she has command of both the hard skills of metrics and key performance indicators, but also the soft skills. I think that one of the things that she’s figured out how to do really well that I really think is a skill that not all of us really can have internalized, which is the skill of how to manage your own narrative at work to fuel your success.

What We Learned

  • What Managed by Q does
  • Building a Customer Success Strategy
  • The Benefit of Starting Out in Account Management
  • Structuring Your Organization to Grow the Customer Experience

Don’t miss episode 70

Once again, let’s thank our sponsors. Outreach, the leading sales engagement platform and Lucidchart Sales Solution, which is the leading account planning platform for modern sales orgs.

If you want to reach out to me with feedback, you can reach me on LinkedIn. If you haven’t rated the show, please give us five stars on the iTunes rating system so that we can remain in business and continue to bring you this show.

Thanks so much for listening, I’ll talk to you next time.

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