In this episode of the Sales Hacker Podcast, we have Haydar Al-Saad, Founder of RevSetter, a customer success platform that helps companies raise their customer retention. Join us for an honest conversation about creating a customer success program to expand your business.
If you missed episode 220, check it out here: How Young Companies Can Sign Major Clients with Alexandra Schrecengost
What You’ll Learn
- Mitigating churn by finding your happy customers and expanding with them
- Profiling your customer success teams
- Customer success investment as revenue generation
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Show Agenda and Timestamps
- About Haydar and RevSetter [02:05]
- Finding the right Customer Success people [15:32]
- Why Execution is more important than Innovation [19:29]
- Paying it forward [23:27]
- Sam’s Corner [26:08]
Show Introduction [0:00]
Sam Jacobs: Welcome to the Sales Hacker Podcast. This week, we’ve got Haydar Al Saad, Founder and CEO of RevSetter, a new entrant into customer success.
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About Haydar and RevSetter [02:05]
Sam Jacobs:Haydar is the founder and CEO of RevSetter, a company that provides a customer success platform built to help SaaS and B2B companies achieve world-class retention. RevSetter helps CS and post-sales teams deliver more renewals and accelerate expansion using powerful, modern, easy-to-use solutions.
Haydar spent a decade in the media intelligence space in various leadership positions and has experience as a co-founder, advisor, and board member.
In your words, tell us about RevSetter, what problem are you solving?
Haydar Al Saad: We help SaaS and B2B tech companies take better care of their clients. We do this in various ways, depending on the size of the company and its current structure, and who its customers are. We make sure that clients are happy and drive renewals and expansion.
We’re still early stage, but we’re setting up for a big 2023 when it comes to driving the revenue side.
Sam Jacobs: Tell me how you’re different from your competitors. How do you think about it?
Haydar Al Saad: My biggest focus has always been customer success in the post-sale side. I’ve obviously used all the different technology that’s out there. Before starting RevSetter, I felt these tools were built for the previous wave of CS. SaaS and B2B companies were struggling with churn fighting and churn prevention. These companies are built on a more defensive approach.
The opportunity going forward will be driving net revenue retention, renewing your customers, but also thinking about how can we expand and grow those customers. A lot of these other products are complicated to set up, take a long time to value, onboarding is difficult.
We think more about maximizing opportunities. If you’re a company that’s struggling with churn, then we are not the best fit, it’s better to use one of the traditional players. That’s the biggest difference in mindset.
Finding the right Customer Success people [15:32]
Sam Jacobs: How do you think about the hiring profile of a person in customer success? It feels like it’s more sales than it used to be.
Haydar Al Saad: The best CS people are people that have done sales before. You combine the hunter mentality, the ability to be outside your comfort zone with the business aspects of it.
Renewal is also a sales process, creating value is also a sales process. You’re trying to sell the value of your product, of how you’re helping the customer. The hiring profile should be very similar. The difference is you’ll need a higher level of business acumen, depending on what you’re selling. You need to understand the problem faster because you’re solving this with the customer.
Many companies are still in that old school thinking of, “CS is a support and call center.” That’s not true anymore. If you’re not growing with customers over time, you’re not going to grow when you get to a certain stage. You need to have the right mindset to start.
Why Execution is more important than Innovation [19:29]
Sam Jacobs: You’ve mentioned execution is way more important than innovation. Walk us through.
Haydar Al Saad: Thinking about your product, how you move the market, how you shift it, is really important. I’m a believer in investing in innovation.
You can have the best product out there, but if you’re not getting in front of the right customers, your go-to-market, your messaging, your sales approach, making sure those customers are seeing the value that you’re bringing, then it doesn’t matter.
If you look at some of the biggest companies out there, what differentiated them from the competition was that they were better at connecting their solution to people.
The execution of go-to-market, messaging, positioning, the people that you’re bringing in, how you’re connecting the value to your customers, their pain points, that’s what sets you apart. Companies do extremely well when entering a market that’s already established, not because they’re doing differently than someone else, but because they’re really good at executing their strategy.
Sam Jacobs: What’s something any leader can do to improve their execution ability?
Haydar Al Saad: There are three things I would highlight. One, you need a well-thought-out strategy to execute.
The second thing is you need to be focused on that strategy, on your vision. What are you really trying to create? What are your core principles?
Third thing is the most important thing, and that’s actually making decisions. A lot of leaders struggle with being decisive. That’s something that you need to make sure you’re doing. Your success as a leader is the sum of all the decisions you make.
Don’t let things linger or fester for too long. Trust your strategy, focus, and your gut feeling as a leader because you can trust it to a high degree.
Paying it forward [23:27]
Sam Jacobs: We like to pay it forward — who are some people, influences, books, or big ideas that you think we should know about?
Haydar Al Saad: One fantastic person is a former CEO of Meltwater, today, an investor. He’s investing in that angel stage and up and is a great resource
Sara Blakely, the CEO of and founder of Spanx. I love to follow her content, and what she’s putting out there. She pays it forward as well and champions women’s leadership, which I think is extremely important as well. One lesser-known person that I think is also fantastic is Niklas de Besche.
Sam Jacobs: If folks want to reach out, try RevSetter, and pick your brain on customer success, what’s the best way to connect?
Haydar Al Saad: Anyone that wants to talk CS, net retention, and strategy, can reach out to me using my email, email@example.com, or through LinkedIn.
Sam’s Corner [26:08]
Sam Jacobs: Hey everybody, Sam’s corner. Love that conversation with Haydar Al Saad. The thing that resonated with me is the company’s focus on expansion, not just churn prevention. We hear so much about mitigating churn, but the best way to mitigate churn is to find your happy customers and then drive massive expansion with them. So what’s the right profile for the customer success team? That’s where Haydar and I are in agreement.
I think we’re a bit too focused on hiring the “different profile.” I think the profile’s probably more similar and relative to sales. I think everything is sales and you need to be expansion-minded, and growth-minded in the same way that an account executive is growth-minded. On the margin, you’re not as focused on hunting as you are on relationship development and management, but it’s all sales.
As Haydar said, you’re selling the value every single day. Even if you’re not actually asking for a dollar, you’re selling engagement, you’re selling belief, you’re selling business transformation.
If you’re uncomfortable having those conversations or pursuing your customers, engaging them, and getting them on the phone, that’s a missed opportunity.
You have to look at your customer success investment as revenue generation, as an expansion investment than just a churn prevention investment.
Wise words from a guy that started the company from nothing, took the road off of the easy path and to the hard way, and he’s building his own company. When you listen on Friday to Kind Folks Finish Fridays, you’ll hear all about the mindset that he takes on building the company which is pretty inspiring.
If you want to reach out to me, Linkedin.com/in/samfjacobs. I’ve got a book coming out this November, Kind Folks Finish First. Go to Amazon to pre-order your copy. If you do want to do a bulk order, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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