The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 7 months ago

Ep 65: Using the Customers Language w/ Claire Carpenter

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Using the Customers Language w/ Claire Carpenter

Part of the "Is This a Good Time?" Series Hosted by Brandon Barton.

Hello, everyone. And welcome back tothe revenue collected podcast. I am your host, Brandon Martin, And you'relistening to Is this a good time? The show where I asked Revenue Collectivemembers some really cool questions their basic, and they have incredibleanswers in a short, 15 minute conversation we're gonna be coming toon Tuesdays and Thursdays each week. So if you hit subscribe, I will make sureto hand the liver each episode to you to your front door. Our guest today isClaire Carpenter. She's the director of enterprise sales for zendesk, and wetalk about why it's important to use your customers language. This episodewas brought to you by Quota Path, a commission tracking software built forsales, operations, finance and accounting teams. If runningcommissions and sit in payroll has you running for the hills, quota path isfor you. Quota path helps organizations track and manage commissions and paytheir teams accurately and on time every time. Keep your team motivatedand on target. Simplify your commissions at quarter past dot comslash robin collective and give your reps the gifts of transparency. Allright, let's do this. Episode 20 is this a good time. Alright, everyone.I'm so excited to have a Claire carpenter with me. Claire Carpenter isthe director of enterprise sales at ZENDESK. This is, as of just a fewmonths ago, so new to the role and super excited to chat with you today.Brandon, I'm so excited that I was invited to do this, so I'm excited toget started. I know you have an interesting story about how you got towhere you are, so let's jump right in all meat. No filler. Tell us about thepath to get to your role today and what you do. So I started at Zendesk. As youmentioned in January of this year. So I'm about seven weeks in at this point.Uh, people here, this may be more, but sure. Yeah. So I I'm managing a team ofenterprise sellers Zendesk. Prior to that, I'm not going to say 20. Did youall say 20 something years? Technology...

...sales started in hardware. I've soldconsulting services. I've been a consultant for a short period of timeand software for the last. I would say probably 10 to 12. The last eight yearsof that, I've been managing sales teams. Very cool, very cool. And obviously, toget to where you are in your career, it takes both luck as well as hard workwould love to hear about. Just I don't know any any kind of stories from eachof those areas, so I'm going to give you one for each. And so I'm going tostart with the Fun one because that's luck, obviously, because like, thatjust happened. So a funny story, by the way. I'm a huge, huge advocate formentoring, so this is going to tie into one of my key themes. So a long timeago I was working at IBM and a colleague of mine I was in Detroit toldme that I should reach out to this woman, Susan Cook, who was a verysenior executive and asked her to be my mentor. And he said, You need to writein the email that Steve Harvey told you that she would recognize the glint inyour eye, and I was like, Really, you think I should just write this woman anemail? And I'd say that she's like, wrote the email. Gone on the flightlanded in Logan and I have this email back from Susan saying Yes, absolutely.I would love to and, you know, put time on my calendar and it has been the mostrewarding. Not just mentoring relationship has turned into a reallyclose friendship, and I would not be where I was today without Susan'sguidance and coaching. So luck that I happened to be with Steve Harvey. Hehappened to mention this like pure serendipity. This is exactly the typesof stories that I want to hear in this, because I think that folks that arelistening should realize that opportunities just are sometimes handedto you and you don't you didn't know what would happen. You don't know ifshe wouldn't respond. But and now it's...

...become a pivotal part of your career.And it was just given to you in a moment where you said, Yes, I'll try it.And it wasn't hard work. Sure, hard work that created a relationship withSteve and so forth. Fine. But I love that. That's a really, really cool one.And I think you touched on something there, that it was scary, right? Likeit wasn't hard for me to write that email, but it was scary because she wasthe senior executive. I've never met her. I thought maybe she'd think I wassilly for, you know, writing this, But yeah, sometimes you just gotta, youknow, give it a shot. And the worst that could happen was she thought I wasan idiot, which she didn't. So it works. It's awesome on the hard work one. So Ilike I said, I've been doing this for a really long time, and I actuallystarted in a technical sales role and I had an economics degree, so I had nobackground in technology. I grew up on a dairy farm. I'm a long way from myroots in terms of getting into technology. Probably just say that. Somy first job, I was selling fiber channel switching, which is connectingservers and storage together. So it was the early days of those technologies. Ididn't know what a server was. My today. So the net is like the hard work. Partof this is I've always made it a point to work really, really hard tounderstand the technology that I'm selling partly from a credibilityperspective, but also partly because I get like a secret satisfaction from thelook on people's faces when they've underestimated you, and then you knocktheir socks off. And so you know, this happened a lot when I was early on inmy career, so I was almost I mean, I was 23 when I started, right, So it wasalmost always the youngest person in the room. But I was 99% of the time. I was the only womanin the room, so I'd be at the...

...conference table and, you know, the menwould all be talking and I would be writing things down. And then, you know,my mentor would say, Hey, you know, clear. What do you think about that?And I remember one meeting we were in on Long Island and I started talking,and I was looking at my notes while I was talking, and I was describing thepros and cons of different architectures, and I looked up and Ithink every single chin was on the table because they're like, Oh, she'snot here just to take notes. I love that. So I do like being underestimated,and I found that hard work has helped me blow people away. And it really hasan impact, I think, especially when people realize that they'veunderestimated you. Like maybe somehow that helps crack the glass ceiling alittle bit. Well, I hate the idea that you are underestimated, probablypartially because you're a woman and the only woman in the room or, you know,in that level, and that part sucks. But screw them. You were smarter than them.I will say, You know, in my own kind of career, I've also found a lot of joy inin understanding the tech for internally the tech people that do thework. So I've always worked essentially software companies, right? And nothingwould make me feel better than getting a pat on the head from the CTO forbeing like, Oh, you actually get it. You're not just some dumb salesperson.We could have a whole other conversation just on the topic of quotethe dumb salesperson that that stereotype that just because you're thesales person doesn't mean you're like that means you're not smart. It'sinteresting, I'm sure. I'm sure that's not the opinion of revenue collectivefolks, but a different, different topic. We'll save that one for clubhouse. Ilove it. Well, look, I always ask everyone to give us. Besides the adviceyou've already given finding a mentor, What about a tactic that you want?Let's say even your enterprise sales...

...reps to use as you, you know that theycan try to implement tomorrow. Yeah, so I'm not going to give you the kind ofBrian Burns you know. Here's how to get the person that's gone dark on you, butyou have something that I've found has been really, really beneficial. Andthat is to use your customers language whenever you can. And I find this whenwriting proposals when writing emails when talking about what they're tryingto do. It goes a really long way when you're using CSR, if that's theterminology that they use for their customer service reps, for example. Sorather than using generic terms or using your own company's terms usingthe customer's language, I think it's everyone who's listening to this. Who'sin sales? Will know people buy based on emotions they buy on based on what theyfelt. And when you use somebody's language back when you're communicatingwith them, people feel heard they feel understood, and I think that issomething. If you think about the worst sales experience you've had, it'sprobably because that person wasn't listening to you. Yes, and so I thinkusing your customers language and terminology is undervalued. I love that.That's a great one. No one's brought that up, and I think it's incrediblystrong, especially for in your in your role now in Zendesk, you're not sellingto a specific industry you're selling to every industry. So in my world it'salmost like a prerequisite to know what restaurant languages. And if you don't,you definitely aren't getting a sale. But in your world, you have to actuallyactively listen the moment you start a meeting to figure out what do they callCSR customer success or or brand ambassador? Or like any one of thesethings. It's a really good insight, love that. So, getting a little bit tosome of the faster pace questions here.

What's the position you're hiring for?So one key lesson I learned from the mentor I mentioned earlier is that I amalways hiring whether I have an open wreck on my team or not. I am alwayshiring so that said, I don't have a wreck on my team. Currently, however,zendesk is hiring across the board, so sales customer success. So if peopleare interested, I'm happy to talk. I'm only seven weeks in, but I absolutelylove this company. I love what we're doing. I love the company values, SoI'm always hiring and well, you you also said that zendesk is, you know,going up market, if you will, towards enterprise. So I imagine your team willbe growing. Maybe folks that are interested in enterprise sells and whatyou do, and probably a lot of them are zendesk. Customers of yours are readywith over 100 and 50 K customers, right? Maybe just reaching out and learningmore right now is a good thing, so that when you're hiring in three months, youknow them Absolutely. And that's always be hiring, right? So the moreconnections I make, the easier it is for me. When a job does open up on myteam, for example, you know we're going to crush our numbers this year andhopefully that means we expand. We get more resources. I can have a shortlistof five people where I can just pick up the phone and say, Hey, I know wetalked before. Are you ready? Is this a good time? And that shortens my spanfor getting people on board. Yeah, I love that. And look, I want to ask this,too, because I feel like you have some good insight. I think many people rightnow are trying to figure out how to do the remote work thing. And so much ofthat has to do with the shared information that your custom, yourlowest line of defense, your customer success people might be sharing. Um,any tidbit there on, Gosh, what is zendesk teaching the world right nowwhen you have people no longer next to each other at deaths, but in differentapartments across different cities? I think probably one thing, and I don'twant to get into a product pitch. Right? So the one thing I think, at least asI've been learning about the product...

...and learning about the marketplace, anobservation would be that nobody wants to talk to anyone on the phone anymore.And I think people assume that that's true of younger generations. They maybedon't assume that that's true for those of us with some silver highlights inher hair, right? But I would rather text message SMS Facebook message thanpick up the phone and have to talk to somebody. And so that's one thing. Ithink that's been an interesting observation, and getting into thisspace and understanding it is just how important it is to meet your customerswhere they are and the channels that they are in. Uh, interesting. I like itall right? Well, not necessarily hiring. We'll get We'll get people to youanyway, because why not? And then give some shadows Who are some people thatyou really appreciate what they do? I mean, you gave the biggest shout out ofall earlier. It sounds like and and But who are some other folks who you reallyvalue their their thoughts and sales and marketing? So I have a couple. SoCarol Mahoney I absolutely love the work that she's doing where she'scombining psychology, behavioral analysis with sales because I justthink the more we understand people, whether we're managers managing salespeople or whether we're sellers working with customers, the better weunderstand people, the easier our jobs are So Carol Mahoney, Brian Burns. Imean, I just think his content is always entertaining. Have had somereally, really good nuggets like he's great segment on the abandoned projectemail for people that have gone dark. Um, we used that, and we had greatsuccess with that. So I always keep an eye on what he's doing and then, um, oninstagram sales humor. There. Memes are there sometimes a little dark, But I dofind them pretty entertaining. And I...

...have shared ones like Yoda, Baby Yodawhen you started updating Salesforce, and by the time you're finished, it'slike old with the King and Yoda. Yeah, that's that's a good kind of like, um,antidote to a long day, I guess. Yeah, I like that. And, uh, and we need thattoday. And then what about any up and comers who is a rock star in the makingrock star in the making? Definitely Megan Mahoney. So she is at M twocoaching. I got to know Megan as a personal friend, Ashley, but I startedto talk with her about work related content, and she's incredibly bright,but I think what's unique about what she's doing is she has experienced insports as an athlete. She has experience in entrepreneurship andleadership development. And she's worked for software startups, right?And so, putting that all together in a coach and being able to bring that tosales and sales leadership. I think it's really unusual because oftentimespeople who are coaches like professional coaches, don't have atechnology background or don't you know, they maybe don't necessarily understandsales or they're not. They don't have that competitive d N A that peopletypically have. So that's why I think Megan is unique. She's competitive,she's driven. And she has a podcast called What Got You Here? That I thinkis really insightful and very entertaining. What what sports did sheplay? She's a hockey player. Oh, gosh, Tuff is now, Yeah, but you know what?Like you know, when people I think think of coaching right. I did acoaching certification. It's been very valuable to me, but I think when peoplethink of coaches, they think of kind of soft, fuzzy conversations, and theydon't think of somebody who's been slamming other people against theboards driving that kind of...

...conversation. I do. I'm a basketballplayer, and I totally think of coaching as the people yelling at me, making medo suicides when we would do well. Last but not least, and perhaps even mostimportant to me, I am a restaurant person. Where should we go eat? Give usa nugget on where we should go eat. I feel like Brandon, you're going to beso disappointed in me because I haven't been eating out a lot because thepandemic. But I'm going to give you a consistent. It's going to deliver everytime. All right, the General SOS Cauliflower Burton's grill is amazing,all right. I know people are going to be like it's cauliflower, but you needto give it a shot because it's kind of like Brussels sprouts. Like I'veconverted a lot of people to the cause on this one. Look, you don't have tosell me on cauliflower, which is California's excellent one. Done right,General South Cauliflower Sounds amazing. And I'm all in. Clara, thankyou so much for joining me. So wonderful to connect with you. And Ijust find your, you know, the path that you've taken being a woman in sales anda woman in leadership of sales. Uh, inspiring. I hope others do to thankyou so much, Brendan. It's been a privilege, and I really enjoyed theconversation. Thank you. That is our show. Thank you so much for listening.If you love the show, tell everyone you know send an email right now to all thepeople in your address book and say, I love the revenue. Collected podcasts orjust going right and review us in the apple. Podcasts or Spotify have andsend it to some friends. A reminder this episode was brought to by quarterpast quarter. Path is the first radically transparent and to endcompensation solution from sales reps to finance. Get started for free atquarterback dot com slash revenue Collective. I had a lot of fun today. Ihope you did too. Now go out and crush your numbers. Say something mhm.

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