The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 1 year 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 to the revenue collected podcast. I am your host, Brandon Martin, And you're listening to Is this a good time? The show where I asked Revenue Collective members some really cool questions their basic, and they have incredible answers in a short, 15 minute conversation we're gonna be coming to on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week. So if you hit subscribe, I will make sure to hand the liver each episode to you to your front door. Our guest today is Claire Carpenter. She's the director of enterprise sales for zendesk, and we talk about why it's important to use your customers language. This episode was brought to you by Quota Path, a commission tracking software built for sales, operations, finance and accounting teams. If running commissions and sit in payroll has you running for the hills, quota path is for you. Quota path helps organizations track and manage commissions and pay their teams accurately and on time every time. Keep your team motivated and on target. Simplify your commissions at quarter past dot com slash robin collective and give your reps the gifts of transparency. All right, 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 is the director of enterprise sales at ZENDESK. This is, as of just a few months 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 to get started. I know you have an interesting story about how you got to where you are, so let's jump right in all meat. No filler. Tell us about the path to get to your role today and what you do. So I started at Zendesk. As you mentioned 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 of enterprise sellers Zendesk. Prior to that, I'm not going to say 20. Did you all say 20 something years? Technology...

...sales started in hardware. I've sold consulting services. I've been a consultant for a short period of time and software for the last. I would say probably 10 to 12. The last eight years of that, I've been managing sales teams. Very cool, very cool. And obviously, to get to where you are in your career, it takes both luck as well as hard work would love to hear about. Just I don't know any any kind of stories from each of those areas, so I'm going to give you one for each. And so I'm going to start with the Fun one because that's luck, obviously, because like, that just happened. So a funny story, by the way. I'm a huge, huge advocate for mentoring, so this is going to tie into one of my key themes. So a long time ago I was working at IBM and a colleague of mine I was in Detroit told me that I should reach out to this woman, Susan Cook, who was a very senior executive and asked her to be my mentor. And he said, You need to write in the email that Steve Harvey told you that she would recognize the glint in your eye, and I was like, Really, you think I should just write this woman an email? And I'd say that she's like, wrote the email. Gone on the flight landed 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 most rewarding. Not just mentoring relationship has turned into a really close friendship, and I would not be where I was today without Susan's guidance and coaching. So luck that I happened to be with Steve Harvey. He happened to mention this like pure serendipity. This is exactly the types of stories that I want to hear in this, because I think that folks that are listening should realize that opportunities just are sometimes handed to you and you don't you didn't know what would happen. You don't know if she 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 with Steve 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? Like it wasn't hard for me to write that email, but it was scary because she was the senior executive. I've never met her. I thought maybe she'd think I was silly for, you know, writing this, But yeah, sometimes you just gotta, you know, give it a shot. And the worst that could happen was she thought I was an idiot, which she didn't. So it works. It's awesome on the hard work one. So I like I said, I've been doing this for a really long time, and I actually started in a technical sales role and I had an economics degree, so I had no background in technology. I grew up on a dairy farm. I'm a long way from my roots in terms of getting into technology. Probably just say that. So my first job, I was selling fiber channel switching, which is connecting servers and storage together. So it was the early days of those technologies. I didn't know what a server was. My today. So the net is like the hard work. Part of this is I've always made it a point to work really, really hard to understand the technology that I'm selling partly from a credibility perspective, but also partly because I get like a secret satisfaction from the look on people's faces when they've underestimated you, and then you knock their socks off. And so you know, this happened a lot when I was early on in my career, so I was almost I mean, I was 23 when I started, right, So it was almost always the youngest person in the room. But I was 99% of the time. I was the only woman in the room, so I'd be at the...

...conference table and, you know, the men would 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 the pros and cons of different architectures, and I looked up and I think every single chin was on the table because they're like, Oh, she's not 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 has an impact, I think, especially when people realize that they've underestimated you. Like maybe somehow that helps crack the glass ceiling a little bit. Well, I hate the idea that you are underestimated, probably partially 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 in in understanding the tech for internally the tech people that do the work. So I've always worked essentially software companies, right? And nothing would make me feel better than getting a pat on the head from the CTO for being 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 quote the dumb salesperson that that stereotype that just because you're the sales person doesn't mean you're like that means you're not smart. It's interesting, I'm sure. I'm sure that's not the opinion of revenue collective folks, but a different, different topic. We'll save that one for clubhouse. I love it. Well, look, I always ask everyone to give us. Besides the advice you'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 they can try to implement tomorrow. Yeah, so I'm not going to give you the kind of Brian Burns you know. Here's how to get the person that's gone dark on you, but you have something that I've found has been really, really beneficial. And that is to use your customers language whenever you can. And I find this when writing proposals when writing emails when talking about what they're trying to do. It goes a really long way when you're using CSR, if that's the terminology that they use for their customer service reps, for example. So rather than using generic terms or using your own company's terms using the customer's language, I think it's everyone who's listening to this. Who's in sales? Will know people buy based on emotions they buy on based on what they felt. And when you use somebody's language back when you're communicating with them, people feel heard they feel understood, and I think that is something. If you think about the worst sales experience you've had, it's probably because that person wasn't listening to you. Yes, and so I think using 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 incredibly strong, especially for in your in your role now in Zendesk, you're not selling to a specific industry you're selling to every industry. So in my world it's almost 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 actually actively listen the moment you start a meeting to figure out what do they call CSR customer success or or brand ambassador? Or like any one of these things. It's a really good insight, love that. So, getting a little bit to some 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 am always hiring whether I have an open wreck on my team or not. I am always hiring 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 people are interested, I'm happy to talk. I'm only seven weeks in, but I absolutely love this company. I love what we're doing. I love the company values, So I'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 will be growing. Maybe folks that are interested in enterprise sells and what you do, and probably a lot of them are zendesk. Customers of yours are ready with over 100 and 50 K customers, right? Maybe just reaching out and learning more right now is a good thing, so that when you're hiring in three months, you know them Absolutely. And that's always be hiring, right? So the more connections I make, the easier it is for me. When a job does open up on my team, for example, you know we're going to crush our numbers this year and hopefully that means we expand. We get more resources. I can have a shortlist of five people where I can just pick up the phone and say, Hey, I know we talked before. Are you ready? Is this a good time? And that shortens my span for 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 right now are trying to figure out how to do the remote work thing. And so much of that has to do with the shared information that your custom, your lowest line of defense, your customer success people might be sharing. Um, any tidbit there on, Gosh, what is zendesk teaching the world right now when you have people no longer next to each other at deaths, but in different apartments across different cities? I think probably one thing, and I don't want to get into a product pitch. Right? So the one thing I think, at least as I've been learning about the product...

...and learning about the marketplace, an observation 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 maybe don't assume that that's true for those of us with some silver highlights in her hair, right? But I would rather text message SMS Facebook message than pick up the phone and have to talk to somebody. And so that's one thing. I think that's been an interesting observation, and getting into this space and understanding it is just how important it is to meet your customers where they are and the channels that they are in. Uh, interesting. I like it all right? Well, not necessarily hiring. We'll get We'll get people to you anyway, because why not? And then give some shadows Who are some people that you really appreciate what they do? I mean, you gave the biggest shout out of all earlier. It sounds like and and But who are some other folks who you really value their their thoughts and sales and marketing? So I have a couple. So Carol Mahoney I absolutely love the work that she's doing where she's combining psychology, behavioral analysis with sales because I just think the more we understand people, whether we're managers managing sales people or whether we're sellers working with customers, the better we understand people, the easier our jobs are So Carol Mahoney, Brian Burns. I mean, I just think his content is always entertaining. Have had some really, really good nuggets like he's great segment on the abandoned project email for people that have gone dark. Um, we used that, and we had great success with that. So I always keep an eye on what he's doing and then, um, on instagram sales humor. There. Memes are there sometimes a little dark, But I do find them pretty entertaining. And I...

...have shared ones like Yoda, Baby Yoda when you started updating Salesforce, and by the time you're finished, it's like 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 that today. And then what about any up and comers who is a rock star in the making rock star in the making? Definitely Megan Mahoney. So she is at M two coaching. I got to know Megan as a personal friend, Ashley, but I started to 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 in sports as an athlete. She has experience in entrepreneurship and leadership development. And she's worked for software startups, right? And so, putting that all together in a coach and being able to bring that to sales and sales leadership. I think it's really unusual because oftentimes people who are coaches like professional coaches, don't have a technology background or don't you know, they maybe don't necessarily understand sales or they're not. They don't have that competitive d N A that people typically 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 think is really insightful and very entertaining. What what sports did she play? 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 a coaching certification. It's been very valuable to me, but I think when people think of coaches, they think of kind of soft, fuzzy conversations, and they don't think of somebody who's been slamming other people against the boards driving that kind of...

...conversation. I do. I'm a basketball player, and I totally think of coaching as the people yelling at me, making me do suicides when we would do well. Last but not least, and perhaps even most important to me, I am a restaurant person. Where should we go eat? Give us a nugget on where we should go eat. I feel like Brandon, you're going to be so disappointed in me because I haven't been eating out a lot because the pandemic. But I'm going to give you a consistent. It's going to deliver every time. 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 need to give it a shot because it's kind of like Brussels sprouts. Like I've converted a lot of people to the cause on this one. Look, you don't have to sell me on cauliflower, which is California's excellent one. Done right, General South Cauliflower Sounds amazing. And I'm all in. Clara, thank you so much for joining me. So wonderful to connect with you. And I just find your, you know, the path that you've taken being a woman in sales and a woman in leadership of sales. Uh, inspiring. I hope others do to thank you so much, Brendan. It's been a privilege, and I really enjoyed the conversation. 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 the people in your address book and say, I love the revenue. Collected podcasts or just going right and review us in the apple. Podcasts or Spotify have and send it to some friends. A reminder this episode was brought to by quarter past quarter. Path is the first radically transparent and to end compensation solution from sales reps to finance. Get started for free at quarterback dot com slash revenue Collective. I had a lot of fun today. I hope you did too. Now go out and crush your numbers. Say something mhm.

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