Home Friday Recording #59 Elyssa Steiner on Revenue Expansion

#59 Elyssa Steiner on Revenue Expansion

by Elyssa Steiner
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Summary

Elyssa’s team focuses on expanding through indirect channels and building a community for their business. They use segmentation and messaging for different products and pain points to target upsell and expansion.

Transcription & Topics

Elyssa’s team adapts tactics for small businesses, mid-market, and enterprise clientele, emphasizing channel partner collaboration, automation, and upselling.

Mary Green 05:12

Hello, everyone. We have Lisa Steiner today, and she is going to share on some of the work that she’s done in. Did we talk about revenue or expansion? Right. Yes, expansion. And she is at Cantaloupe. Don’t know what they do, but she can go ahead and introduce herself. As you all know, we usually have a very open conversation here, so she’s going to share about herself, and then we can start asking questions and digging in and doing a lot of back and forth here.

Elyssa Steiner 06:13

Yeah, that sounds great. Thanks for having me, Mary. And I’m hoping maybe I can learn a little bit from some of you today too. So please feel free to jump in and ask questions. Love this. To be as conversational as possible. I’ll introduce myself and tell you a little bit about what we do that might help give some context as to our business. So, Elisa Steiner, I serve as our chief marketing officer here at Cantaloupe. And what we do is, in simple terms, if you think about anytime you go to put air in your tires at a gas station, drive through a car wash, or go up to a snack vending machine, or a beverage, one that you might see at a hospital, all of those use cases have credit and debit card readers on them. And we provide those credit and debit card readers on anything that’s essentially self service.

So where it’s unmanned and you’re just wanting to get a service accomplished, maybe that is like going through a car wash and washing your car. So that’s the easiest way to explain it. And then we also provide software services that help you manage those assets. So we call them our operators, but those are our customers. And they can have upwards of just five assets in the field, maybe five vending machines, or upwards of 1000 plus of those. So it really just depends on the customer. I think it’s helpful to know that we have about 28,000 customers across the world. Primarily 90 plus percent of those are in the US. And I would say about 27,000 of the 28,000 are small business operators. So anywhere in the way we classify small businesses, they have less than 200 locations, and typically about 22,000 of that 27 sit with less than five locations. So very small entrepreneurial type business side hustles that they’re doing. And then we obviously have a slew of our enterprise customers. And kind of the 80 20 rule applies. About 80% of our revenue is driven through our enterprise customer base. Despite the quantity of small business, enterprise is still a huge part of our revenue stream within our organization. So hopefully that gives a little bit of context and maybe some relatable points is just kind of. We’re primarily b to b, but in the small business sector, whereas we go after other small business entrepreneurs, we tend to leverage b to c tactics. So our approach is very different for small business as it is for our enter prize.

And we also have a mid market that sits in between there and mid market and enterprise. For us tend to be more account based marketing tactics, things that you would find in a b to b space, especially on a SaaS software services model. And then in our small business, we lean into a lot of b to c tactics to try to pull those leads in. So that’s a little bit about kind of who we are. At Cantaloupe, I’ve primarily been in the payments and software space for self service retail for 13 years. Years. So it’s been kind of the place I’ve sort of lived in and I’ve led both sales and marketing teams. So I like to think that’s a lot of why. The way I look at our marketing organization is really around how do we work hand in hand with the entire sales team. And I actually roll up to the revenue side of the organization, which I think makes a ton of sense, partially so that we are always in locking step and going towards the same exact priorities, the same goals. So my focus a lot of times as I think about building out the marketing team itself is really around how are we pulling different levers to either bring in net new customers or upsell across the customer journey? Because that is hugely applicable in our business.

We have a lot of products and a lot of software services and as our customers grow, they can add on more and more of those services. So there is a ton of opportunity for constant upselling for us, which is a huge part of our customer marketing role here at Cantaloupe on our team. So I’ll pause there, of course, Mary, I’m happy to kind of keep going on any specific topics you’d like me to, but that’s kind of a brief intro myself and then a little bit about our business and hopefully some relatable points for some of you.

Mary Green 10:51

Thank you. Okay, did you. Let’s see, does anyone have any questions before I do anything here? I know Shelly Ryder is trying to find a phone number to dial in, and I do not seem to be able to know how to get that number. So if anybody has any suggestions on that, please let me know. Let’s see. She says she’s good for now. Okay. All right. Yeah. I’d love to hear what your goals were maybe this year for doing any expansion in this space, and then we’ll go from there a little bit

Micro-market campaigns, audience segmentation, and the importance of sales and marketing collaboration for effective targeting.

Elyssa Steiner 11:34

and I can talk about kind of maybe three kind of core parts of our customer marketing role here and how we look at it, and then that might help kind of carry some of the conversation. I’m actually midway through our fiscal year, so our fiscal ends June 30. So we’re kind of at our halfway point. And we sort of have actually, as a marketing team nine kind of core. Goals. And they all have various different focuses, whether kind of, like I said, on that top of funnel phase, or when I think about the ones that tie directly to our customer marketing position. We have a lot of goals around as a business, around how we expand through our indirect channels. So yes, we have a sales team internally, but how do we leverage channel partners us to help them grow, which in turn they buy more from us and we grow, so they become a sales arm for us without us having to hire more sales reps. Right. So one of the key core focuses of our customer marketing person is around supporting those kind of channel partners.

And I think that’s important from the marketing side. So you always tend to find there’s an account manager that’s managing or the sales manager that’s managing that channel partner. But from the marketing side, the way we look at it is how do we do joint marketing efforts together to copromot. But then I’ll give you like a perfect example. This quarter, we tend to run pricing promotions on hardware discounts. It’s always obviously holiday promos tend to be actually one of our bigger performing quarters when it comes to a pricing promotion. And so we actually leaned into supporting them, creating assets for them, supporting everything from email creation, social ad creation, because they have an extremely lean marketing team. So we almost looked at ourselves as being an extension of that marketing team and figuring out a way how do we help them drive more sales of a pricing promotion that they could run to their customer base. And then we also looked at how do we leverage kind of our tier two network of, we call them distributors to push them to also buy direct from our tier one distributor, this specific channel partner. So that’s kind of one of our core initiatives and that’s one example of what we did this specific quarter to kind of support them. But we have a number of channel partners and I look at kind of our customer marketing person as really being that extension to ensuring we kind of create all the sales enablement tools so that their sales team can be armed with everything they need. But then also, how are we figuring out ways to drive potentially leads to them? And some people may say, well, wait a minute, why wouldn’t you just want to sell direct? Right? And it works in some cases. In some cases people can come to our website today and buy a credit card reader and go directly to our online store and purchase it and move on. Right? But in other cases, there are some of our customer base that they actually want to buy from, potentially like a local provider. And so our partners have depots in all sorts of regions that obviously we don’t. So you think about some of the perks.

They’re like, they get faster shipping, and our partners actually serve as, like, tier one. Support. So it really helps us as a business scale because now we’re also not creating more dependencies on our customer support team too. So there’s a lot of advantages to some of the growth strategy around channel partners from the revenue side. And so for marketing, we’re really just looking at how do we leverage that partnership to kind of drive business there, because they’re buying in higher volumes. So if they can sell out of depletion of their stock, then they’re going to buy another set, which is really beneficial to us. So that’s one core focus. A second one is really around the customer journey. So I talked about our business has so much upsell opportunity, especially as our customers just add more locations, they may just need more card readers, but as they add more locations, they may need more software services that we can provide them. So upselling for us is, I would say almost 50 50 when you think about the revenue, marketing is focused on and bringing in net new leads and then creating upsell opportunities. So it’s a pretty high significant importance for us. And so we look at how do we simplify some of the implementation process. So one of the things that we were actually focused on very early in this fiscal year that we’re in right now was we’ve done some programs where we’ve done trade up where they could swap competitor units and we called it our trade up program, the elegant way the sales team likes to call it rip and replace. Right. The more like gritty way. But we allowed customers or potential prospects to swap out equipment from a competitor and trade up to our equipment. Well, it created a bottleneck. We had such good success with that that it created a bottleneck on implementation. And the way we look at, we got to get those units out there so they start generating revenue, right? Which is critical to then recognizing that revenue within our organization. So we came in on the marketing side and said, how do we create steps to simplify the implementation process, create less dependency on our people, to have to communicate those emails over and over again, or to have to send specific documentation on how to do this. We basically tried to automate some of that experience where we created videos across the journey. And I say journey because you could send everybody one email and include ten links, most likely they’re never going to read it or click on any of them, right? So the way we looked at it was how do we slice it into each of that specific stages in their kind of ramping up their onboarding and make it really digestible. So videos need to be super short. And then if we are just delivering one video, then we trigger the next email to go a week later and just created a drip campaign, is what we did for that example. But then we looked at it across the board. We said, okay, if. They’re onboarding just buying a card reader. If they’re onboarding, buying a self checkout kiosk from us, what does all those different kinds of ways they can come into our business look like? And how do we automate as much as possible? So that’s been a key second focus for us, and then a third one, and then I’ll kind of pause and open this up here. But a third one for our customer marketing person, which I’m super passionate about, it’s really around our customer events and creating community. So I think especially more and more what we’ve noticed in our business, and I think in a lot of businesses, is social proof becomes so critical, and it makes selling ten times easier, right. If Joe did it, so and so may want to do it right, versus hoping your sales team can kind of sell the whole solution and close the deal. And so what we’ve really leaned into is these higher exclusive customer events.

We did one at a huge industry trade show, so we coupled it with the day before the trade show, we did a hybrid, and we did some top customers who we knew were really good advocates for us. And then we brought in, we did about like 60 40. So 60% were existing customers, and then 40% were prospects that we were actively in conversations with but really needed to get to the closing line. And this is all enterprise based, this type of strategy. And we took them to a baseball game. It was the day before the full trade show started. This is in Atlanta, and it was interesting. You could walk around and you’d hear, and I almost think customers who are your advocates, they’re really proud to promote you, and you don’t even have to ask them sometimes. I had one that came up to me and was like, hey, who do you want me to talk to? I’m happy to help sell anybody that’s sitting in this room right now. So it was a fun social event, but actually it was very effective in the sense that they had their own casual conversations together. They’re all relating to each other because they all run, in this case, they were all vending business operators, they all run a vending company. And so they love to network and talk to each other, gain best practices. But it was also a really great way for them to talk about how they use seed, which is our software platform, and how it’s helped their business. Right. And why they continue to work with cantaloupe. And so they really did the social selling for us. And so I look at how do we extend concepts like that into the digital space. Because I talked about our small business segment is so massive. And that’s why, with community building, I’m really passionate this fiscal year, and one of our objectives is to take a lot. We’ve been building out kind of our influencer program, taking them and how do we amplify them? Into essentially like a community online page for typically our entrepreneur. Small business operators are the ones that are coming into the website anyways. So how do we create resources for them on how to get started in the vending space, how to start with a micro market, whatever it might be like, the really basic content feels basic to us, but is not to them. And do we leverage those influencers that we’ve brought in to also amplify them? Right. They like that and it helps vice versa. I talk about community and customer events, but it can range in different flavors across the enterprise mid market to small business. And that’s the way we’ve kind of looked at it. But I’ll pause. There might be some questions. Those are kind of like initially off top of my head, those are really three core focuses that our customer marketing person is responsible for and is actively engaged in this specific fiscal year for us.

Mary Green 22:07

So you aren’t the customer marketing person, you’re the person above them.

Elyssa Steiner 22:13

So I drive a lot of the marketing strategy. So as CMO, I have kind of three core team members that report under me. And so our customer marketing person actually reports into our growth marketing side of our team. Gotcha. Okay.

Mary Green 22:30

And Gary had a question. How accurate is cantaloupe renewal forecasting?

Elyssa Steiner 22:36

Renewal forecasting. Great question. I would probably say if you’re looking for a data point not totally accurate on giving you a data point around how much we do from a renewal. So our renewals are different than the way you think about maybe other business renewals. Our contracts vary all across the board, five years, and depending on what they buy from us. Like if they’re just buying a card reader, they could actually cancel at any time. But it also depends how they purchase that card reader. If they leased it, then they’re still held to the lease contract. So I would say just from a process perspective, because our contracts have so much complexity around it and there’s so many variables depending on the products or software services that they buy. We’re not, I would say, the most sophisticated in the way we then pull in renewal dates and leverage marketing to drive a lot of that. We’re more focused today around just continuing to upsell. We know what products they use and how big their business is and how can we add them to buy this specific add on software service or just to buy more card readers? So that would be more of our customer marketing focus around that.

Mary Green 23:53

Perfect.

Mary Green 23:58

So my question, which I cannot seem to remember off the top of my head, how do your. Goals change for next year. Like what are you looking at to make some improvements in.

Elyssa Steiner 24:13

It’s a little hard to answer since we’re just at our midpoint on our fiscal

Mary Green 24:17

year.

Elyssa Steiner 24:19

I would be better at that come the end of our fiscal year because I’d be sort of looking at what did we achieve in the performance of this fiscal year and then figure figuring out how are we continue to build off of that. I do know that either way, how do we continue to define what community looks like for us and how do we leverage that as a way to bring in new business is going to continue to be a focus and we’re really just at our infancy stages. And how are we leveraging influencers to support that community like sharing environment? That’ll be a focus that we continue to build on because we’ve seen early success this fiscal year on just building out our, we call it our Cantaloupe Creator program. Essentially it’s like our variations of influencers depending on the business that they do and how do we amplify them and how do we leverage them to. It’s interesting because you think about whether it’s influencers or channel partners, these are all just extensions of sales and they’re people that are doing selling for you without just hiring more sales rep bodies. Right? So you think about how does that tie into the revenue side? These specific initiatives for us are just ways of how do we create and drive more net new business without having to become so people dependent on internal resources. So even our online store as an example is another growth initiative as we look at our small business segment. So how do we just drive people to close the deal and purchase online versus need to talk to a sales rep. So all of these are different levers we look at in how marketing can actually contribute to the revenue number versus it always having to funnel through a sales rep.

Mary Green 26:14

Nice.

Mary Green 26:18

We have a question. How do you approach targeting specifically for EnTmm? Which data points are you using?

Elyssa Steiner 26:29

Let me see that question for. What did you say on the acronyms there?

Shetal Shah 26:34

Sorry, the acronyms enterprise and midmarket.

Elyssa Steiner 26:37

Okay, so can you repeat the question?

Shetal Shah 26:40

I was just curious how you approach targeting for upsell and expansion. So are there data points that you’re using that signal? Okay, this customer is ready to add more or buy more.

Elyssa Steiner 26:54

So depends. I’ll give you an example of like net new products. So we just released about two weeks ago our CD analytics. Which is really only for mid market enterprise customers. It’s essentially like a data dashboarding tool. And so prior to commercially kind of releasing it and starting our marketing campaigns, we looked at existing customers inside of our seed platform. Today, we looked at who’s specifically on two of our core products, pro and office, and segmented down to just kind of the people that could take it. Right. So that’s like the easiest path when we were releasing a net new product, but over time, so if somebody is like our strategy with midden enterprise, we have like weekly calls with the midden enterprise team. So ours is much more like, I would say, I don’t want to say into the weeds, but they know exactly their account list, right? They know who they’re going after. The sales cycle to sell the full stack of software can be anywhere from like six to nine months. So they’ve been actively working these people. So we look at, okay, how do we just help move that sales process along? And so some of our tactics can be more account based marketing where we will do direct mailers. I know, sounds silly sometimes today, but it works in our space on the enterprise side, and we’ll specifically target it to pain points. So we really are like trying to get with the rep and say, hey, out of your top five accounts, what are their core problems that they’re facing today? And then which products specifically solve that for things like another product? I’ll give you one more example.

We have this product called remote price change. And so it allows you to remotely change your prices on vending machines. Seems silly that you couldn’t do that, but because these vending machines are so kind of range and archaic. Right. The software on them can be pretty dated. Our product team smart built a compatibility report. And so on the back end we can see the highest probability of most compatible machines that aren’t using RPC. And then that’s how we looked at segmenting and slicing out. Okay, they have high probability, can take it. If they have a medium probability and a low probability, how do we message to those kind of cores? Because the highs could be the biggest opportunity for the enterprise team. So those are a couple of the different ways we do it. But I would say we tend to get far more into the data on just their whole profile in our system with enterprise and mid market than we would typically do. Kind of casting the wide net with the small business segment because it is so narrow with our enterprise and mid market. Did that help? Kind of answer it?

Shetal Shah 29:49

Yeah, no, that helps a lot. I’m curious, do you create specific messaging? Because that seems like a one to few approach versus like a more one to many. And so are you creating content. Specifically for those 510 accounts that answer or solve those pain points,

Success of informal networking events in driving upselling opportunities and the gradual upsell strategy for expanding customer usage over time.

Elyssa Steiner 30:13

we’ll typically bucket them so there’ll be consistency between some of them. Some of them may have a common challenge around pre picking, and so one of our products solves for that. So we’ll typically find kind of three core themes that could be consistent across the different customers. But a lot of what we do with enterprise and market like, even on our CD analytics launch, we had a marketing HTML type email that we did do within our drip series, but we instantly moved to a text space right after that. If they click on anything to watch the demo video or whatever, we instantly move to a text based strategy. So where we set up in our marketing automation platform a text base that looks like it’s coming from every BDM or every enterprise rep, those are kind of two categories that deal with those two markets, and we make it look like it’s coming from them, but we automate the whole process, right? So it feels one to one, we are repeating the setup process or creating dynamic ways to change out the signatures, but that tends to be very effective for us. And then we like to see it when they reply so that marketing can actually get visibility into, okay, these people are setting up demos so we get that visibility, but then those automatically get forwarded to the reps so the reps can handle it from there. So those are some of the different minor tactics. It definitely is more personalized, I would say, in the approach, but it’s worked well for those types of segments. For us, that

Shetal Shah 31:56

makes sense. Thank you.

Mary Green 31:58

Sounds like you have a very data driven approach and use as much of the technology as you can that will help support making some of these things easier to do, to deliver more personalized messaging and things like that.

Elyssa Steiner 32:16

I would say definitely with our midden enterprise, that is really the only way for us to be effective. And I think because also the sales reps that manage those types of accounts, they get frustrated with us if we do things that are too generic, especially if we leverage a text based email that looks like it’s coming from them, right? And they’re like, why would I have sent that to that customer? I wouldn’t have done that. So that’s why we work so closely with them, make sure that they’re completely in the loop. When are we sending these? How will the customer experience look like and get aligned to making sure that it feels that one to one, and it’s appropriate knowing that Bill might still be talking to that guy the next day. So we don’t want it to feel out of context.

Mary Green 33:05

Yeah, that’s really great. I liked how you talked about the marketing supporting sales. I know that a lot of us have worked with companies where we are supporting sales but we don’t get a lot of recognition for that.

Mary Green 33:28

Is there something that you’ve seen in your data or along that relationship that makes it easier to say marketing is supporting sales? In this way we can see this revenue be impacted or actual revenue goals hit because of our support?

Elyssa Steiner 33:51

Yeah, there’s a few different ways. And your data tells all. Now the challenging part is getting the data to connect all the way back to the revenue side, right. Everybody has that challenge. We even use data raw mata to pull in all of our reporting from our different tools, including Salesforce. And it’s still difficult. There’s still holes, right, that we can’t fully say did marketing generate this entire piece of business or did marketing influence this piece of business, right. And I look at that in two different ways. So I think though at the end of the day it comes down to foundationally having a strong relationship with the sales team. I think in the sales leaders themselves. I was on a senior leadership call yesterday and we go through kind of, everybody goes through their sort of weekly updates and the sales team is always first and then it goes marketing. And so the sales leaders went first. And it’s amazing when you have that great relationship where you’re listening to each other, you’re also aligned to every quarter, making sure you’re understanding what they’re going after. And how is marketing supporting? That is extremely critical because at the end of the day if you’re doing something different, you’re going to have conflicting priorities and then that’s where sales gets frustrated and so there’s this fine balance you have to have. But even on the call yesterday I had like two different salespeople talk about, oh, we just closed ten deals in one week and it was driven off of a marketing campaign. Thank you so much marketing. And then we had the seed analytics product I just talked about that had just launched about a week ago and the next sales rep was saying how we’ve already closed three deals and we have a ton of demos in the pipeline. Thanks, Mark. It’s great when you get to that stage, right? Because then I went next and I was like, well, I don’t need to cover a few of these because the sales team has already highlighted them. I think that’s what’s amazing about where we’ve gotten to and I know a lot of companies. Maybe aren’t there or struggle to get there.

But a lot of that, I think, comes back to just like, you’ve got to listen to what the sales team is focused on. Now, how you get there may be how you determine that as marketing. Right. That doesn’t mean the sales guys tell you what to do, and that can get frustrating if they’re like, well, I’m struggling here. I just need this. Right, but you’re like, well, wait a minute, trying to get to. And how can I actually help you get there? Maybe you don’t need this, but you need why. Right? I think that’s the kind of conversations you want to have. I’m not saying to just go do whatever the sales team is asking for, but if you understand at the end of the day what the goals are that they’re trying to get to, and then where they’re having challenges and talking through that, taking the step back, why are they having that challenge? Okay, well, what if we did this and then marketing figures out the tactical way to get there? That, in my mind, is kind of the best sort of chemistry of how sales and marketing work together, because then they start to get out of your way of saying, I’m not going to tell you how to do it. I’m going to tell you where I’m struggling, and you help me figure out how to get there. And I think that’s where we’ve come to, and it’s worked really well for us.

Mary Green 37:24

Yeah, I like that. I think it makes it sound more like customer marketing can be part of the leverage. Or I’m thinking another word, I cannot think about what it is, but it comes to a point where sales is like, whoa, we need marketing to do these things. It’s absolutely necessary. And when they’re one of the top necessary teams in a company, which most companies are, and they say that, then it can be very helpful and encouraging for what you’re doing. We do have some questions. Shelly had a few things to share, so I’m not sure if Shelly, did you want to pop in and share a few things, ask any questions?

Elyssa Steiner 38:15

Yeah. Feel.

Shelly Ryder 38:18

Hello. Hello. Okay, so one of them was just like, I really love the idea of how you have events where customers are basically upselling or helping upsell to other customers and wondering if you have a strategy or a theme. What kind of event would that be? Where people would be interested to come, but yet have all of those great conversations where there’s those opportunities for them to talk and upsell for you, what’s the agenda? Or what’s the theme or what kind of meeting is that?

Elyssa Steiner 38:50

So I think the more you make it about an informal, casual kind of networking, the more they’re willing to come if they’re on the prospect side, and we did it intentionally the day before a huge industry trade show. So they were already coming for the event, right. So we didn’t need to figure out how to get them there. They were already coming. And a lot of times they come that day before. So we were like, oh, we’ll do an evening event. That night. There’s a Braves game. We’ll go ahead and coordinate to get a suite for them. And then we work with the sales team. So then we say, okay, enterprise reps, because this is for them, we wanted to try to hit somewhere around a 50 60% split. Right, of customers to prospects. And typically, the prospects that they’re picking are those ones that they have had conversations with, but they just can’t get over the finish line to close the deal. And a lot of times those prospects, when they go to this huge industry event, they’re going to also do kind of the final comparisons or the final kind of shopping, right.

And so we also want to kind of surprise and delight them a little bit, make them feel special. So I think if you create, everything, to me, has to be around, like a fun experience. That’s the draw. Like, who doesn’t want to go to a free Braves game, right? The night before? Sure, why not? And so then at that point, now, you just let them conversate. And that, to me, does far more effective selling than any of us. Trying to do some kind of event where we’re giving a presentation, they feel like they’re being sold those kinds of things. That’s why I feel like if you just let them, in a way, network with each other, they will naturally have those conversations about how they use your product, the customer will, to the prospect. And so it worked well for us when we looked at calculating ROI of what the potential ARR was for this specific event, based off of what the upsell or net new customer close opportunity was, it was like 12,000% as far as our hit rate on that one event. And you just need to close the cost of the event. Let’s say it costs you like, 20 grand, 20 to 25 grand. When we close one enterprise deal, that almost pays for it, right? So that’s where it’s like, gosh, we just need to close a couple. And this makes this, like a no brainer. So that’s how we look at those very specific, strategic events. But we always couple them with an industry event that they’re already coming to. It makes it ten times easier to get them to come to your event.

Shelly Ryder 41:43

That’s a great idea.

Elyssa Steiner 41:46

What else, Shelley, I think you had a few things in here. Did you want to mention.

Shelly Ryder 41:50

Well, I do, but I’m hoping. I don’t know if someone else wants to jump in.

Elyssa Steiner 41:52

I don’t want

Shelly Ryder 41:53

to be a hug.

Mary Green 41:54

I know Gary had a question. Let’s see if he wants to jump in and then we can go back to Shelley.

Gary Hoffman 42:03

I was just curious, since there’s, again, so much emphasis on. Success at expansion that in the sales process,

Gary Hoffman 42:17

does cantaloupe tend to be more flexible? You mentioned to take six to nine months off in the close sales. So it sounds like there’s an attempt at a lot of precision there in terms of exactly selling the customer. But if you’re being highly successful in expansion, you could also potentially choose to undersell the customer initially with the intent of upselling them in expansion processes.

Challenges and benefits of personalization in marketing.

Elyssa Steiner 42:46

Yeah, no, I think that’s a fair point. And that six to nine month cycle is if we’re selling them the full seed software suite. So you’re asking them to make a business change, which is why it tends to be a longer sales cycle. But you’re totally right, there’s different ways to entry. And we look at a lot of times, okay, we know we want to get them all in. We always say, let’s get customers all in using everything, hardware, micromarket kiosks from us and us being their software back end platform for all aspects of their business. Right. You’re not going to get all in in one deal. And typically it’s pretty rare if we ever do, right. We are getting them in different ways and then pulling them and upselling them as they become a believer of everything else that they’re doing with us. And the sales team looks at that specifically around. If there’s a way to get them in on just micro markets first for us, which is our kiosk side of the business, that tends to be a far shorter sales cycle. Oftentimes there’s a deadline need that they have an account they need it for. And if we can pull them in that way, that starts to just get them exposed to our team and working with Cantaloupe. And a lot of times what we find is that customers actually do want one partner to work with. It’s just getting to that place takes time as they build trust with you. Right. And you kind of build your credibility with them. So I would definitely say from the marketing side, there may be customers that we’re targeting for the full seed stack with the enterprise team, but then they may also be in micro market campaigns that we’re also running to get them in sooner, like in that example I mentioned. And so when we look at our marketing calendar, where we visualize all of our email campaigns, we are very sensitive to who’s in this campaign. Is it the same audience that’s going to go in this campaign? Right. And how do we make sure the messages, one, don’t kind of conflict each other, but two, how do we also not inundate them and balance that. So we’re very sensitive to those target audiences and how best we can segment leveraging our salesforce. Data. And that’s why we are so adamant about the sales team updating that data, because the only way we can be as effective and targeted in our approaches is if it’s in there and accurately in there. I think you’re absolutely right. Underselling becomes a part of that process if it’s also just easier to get them in. I don’t know if that kind of answered. It sort of gave you our experience with it. Maybe

Gary Hoffman 45:39

just a follow up. Maybe is then how much of that longer game falls to the CS department versus sales?

Elyssa Steiner 45:57

I would still say it continues to stay. So if there’s ever a sales opportunity, the sales team is engaged. If there’s ever an upsell, the sales team comes back in. And that’s especially with our portfolio of products. Almost every customer can take something else, almost because they’re also growing their own business. So as they grow, they need to potentially buy more from us. Hardware on the hardware side. Right. Which then adds additional software fees. So there’s almost always an opportunity for growth. It could be small or big, but because of that, I think for us on the marketing side, we’re always very attentive to. We’re prioritizing very specific business priorities. So if we need to hit a certain number of micro market kiosks that we sell for the year, that’s going to be a top marketing priority. And that’s kind of how we tier our campaigns. Right. So we have like, tier one is top priority. It gets all kind of like the bells and whistles of what we would do across all of our channels. It gets more effort from us as a marketing team and that’s sort of how we look at it and it base it off of how much revenue can it drive, and then does it have a good differentiator in the marketplace. So it presents a really unique opportunity for us to land grab and then aligning to essentially the business goal as well. Right. So what’s the target to hit for the year? So based on those kind of factors, that’s how we’ll kind of tier the specific campaign and then we’ll make the level of effort tied to that. So I’d say both teams, sales and marketing are always involved to some extent. Now we’ll deprioritize if some of those variables don’t align. That’s how we’ll end up managing my team’s effort and time to supporting what the sales team is also doing.

Gary Hoffman 47:54

Thanks.

Elyssa Steiner 47:58

I’d love to hear anybody else’s inputs. If there’s something that I mentioned that maybe you guys are doing that you think would be helpful for the group, too. So feel free. I don’t need to be the only one that talks. Do

Mary Green 48:11

you have a question? I know Chateau. I’m sure I did not say that. Well,

Shetal Shah 48:18

Shethel

Mary Green 48:20

Sheathel.

Shetal Shah 48:20

Sorry. No worries. So

Mary Green 48:22

sorry. Please forgive. Focuses on expansion or sales. I think it’s more in the enterprise, in middle markets, right? Yes.

Shetal Shah 48:33

She

Mary Green 48:33

might be able to answer questions.

Elyssa Steiner 48:38

I’d love to just

Shetal Shah 48:38

hear

Elyssa Steiner 48:39

good experience or a good use case that you guys have done. Would certainly love to. I’m sure the group would love to hear too.

Shetal Shah 48:47

Yeah, I mean, a lot of what you said. So as Mary mentioned, I’m focused on our expansion efforts. We have customers across different segments, small business, mid market, enterprise. But my efforts are mainly focused on our existing customer, mid market and enterprise customers and getting them to add additional products. So some of the tactics that you mentioned around the events. So that’s something that we’ve been actually working with our regional events team on as well of like how do we, we know hosted events is one of our largest pipeline drivers for customers. And so how do we then continue to optimize those channels? Instead of adding more, how can we do more around it? So adding kind of customer specific events, that’s something that we’ve done in the past that’s worked well and we’re continuing to do so. Same strategy is finding some of the larger sponsored events or trade shows that are happening, creating a customer only, or a few prospects that are almost across that finish line, inviting them and having dinners or more experiential type of events. So that seems to be working really well.

We’ve actually been targeting our customers that are showing intent and signals of expansion. So that could be like if they’re searching for specific. We use six sense as an ABM software and so we’re able to leverage the intent kind of keywords and kind of leveraging that to then target customers to join us for like a lunch and learn demo where it’s 15 minutes of us providing them with research and data around that specific product and why it’s important. And then the 15 minutes really just showing them the software. And I think sometimes it’s like seeing as believing versus us trying to talk about our product and emails or content. I think them being able to see how they can leverage that additional product with the existing product that they have. Is just really eye opening. And that’s been doing really well for us. That’s something that we just started in Q three, so we’ve only been doing it for a couple of quarters and we’re already seeing really great signs of that. And then also having quarterly product update webinars. So any kind of feature releases new updates. That’s something that our customers specifically are really interested in as a. And then we’re running ABX. I would say we’re in almost graduating to the walk phase from the crawl phase, which is why I was asking, do you create specific content? Because that’s something that ABX is very much a joint initiative with marketing and sales. And I think where we’re struggling is how to get sales to adopt the program and outreach to customers. So on the marketing side, we’re trying to think creatively of how do we create that content at scale, because we just don’t have the resources to really do that kind of one to few marketing right now.

Elyssa Steiner 52:25

Yeah, I’m curious, have you guys tried any LinkedIn live type kind of hosted events at all?

Shetal Shah 52:36

We haven’t tried LinkedIn live. I know that’s something that someone on my team is really passionate about experimenting with. It’s funny that you said that, but no, I know where she was previously that worked well for her from an ABX perspective. But no, we haven’t tried that.

Elyssa Steiner 52:54

We haven’t either. So I’m in the same campaign, but I’ve thought about it and I’m like, oh, I wonder if we should just try it. I think it’s almost like the fear of like, oh my God, it’s live. What if it doesn’t go well the first time? Because you’re kind of like figuring it out. But I’ve heard other folks say good experience around it, and I think that’s one of the things we wanted to try to figure out. How do we do some lighter lift things? Because when you host webinars, a lot of times they’re not super light lifts, even if you’re rinse and repeating in a way, like, okay, we typically do this kind of email series, just swap out the content,

Shetal Shah 53:31

and

Elyssa Steiner 53:32

there’s always still like a lift to it that we were talking about. What if we were to attempt to do these more informal kind of LinkedIn live ones where there isn’t like a prepared PowerPoint deck, but yeah, there’s an agenda, but there’s a little less informality to it, which creates less dependency of having to build all this stuff. So it’s one of we were also thinking about and enterprise and mid market for us are sitting on LinkedIn. So we thought, well, maybe it’s something we should attempt. That’s why I was curious if you tried it, because I’ve been, like, on the fence. When are we going to try it? It.

Shetal Shah 54:11

Yeah, I know. I think that’s a good idea. I just wrote that down as something to think about for the new year.

Mary Green 54:18

Cool. I love doing live episodes and things like that. I think it makes your people more human and as people make mistakes live or things like that, it shows that one, they’re more approachable as talk to us, things like that. So I’d be all for it. And just listening to you both talk, it really sounds like with enterprise companies selling to enterprise companies, there has to be a bit of an ADX approach, whether or not you’re calling it that.

Mary Green 55:05

Yeah.

Shetal Shah 55:05

The sales cycle is so much longer and you have to really multithread into the accounts, at least in our industry. I know that varies, but as we all know, the buying committees are continuing to get bigger and bigger for enterprise customers. So I do believe that ABX is the way to go.

Mary Green 55:25

Yeah. And I think as I drill down, when I talk to more people in our space that are doing customer marketing and advocacy, when we get down there, most people are really doing that with this one on one approach or even the one to many approach. And yeah, she saw. If you’ve tried any dynamic content on the websites or anything like that.

Shetal Shah 55:55

No, I would love to though. But we use uberflip as our content management system. And so it basically houses, it looks like it’s a part of our website and it houses all of our blogs and guides and all of the downloadable content. And we just learned that they have something called sales stream and so you can customize the content stream for your customers. And so, for instance, I’m in the HR software space and we have our employee engagement product. But if our customers are showing intent for our performance management solution, we can create an entire content stream with all of our performance management content. And then they claim that it will dynamically put their logo on this page. So this is something we’ll be testing. I’m happy to share more if it is successful or not. And so that is kind of how we’re going to approach personalization because we can’t easily do it on our website. So this will be like a stream that personalized for some of our more big rock accounts. That then the sales team can leverage in their outreach and even we could even leverage on the marketing side in our email drip campaigns.

Elyssa Steiner 57:20

I know it’s hard, but the more you can incorporate their own brand onto stuff, the more it grabs their attention. Like one of our mailers, we did when there was like 40 targeted accounts, again, like very high enterprise accounts, and there was like two or three different packages we were sending, and one based on the pain points, and one of them was to reduce your routes by being on seed. Right. So if they had route issues, scheduling issues, they fell into that bucket and we sent them. We got these. I’d say toy because they’re like a truck. They were like a truck and they were like maybe this big. And we put their logos on them. And so we had like a mailer that went with it, but we had shipped them out. And then I saw one of the customers that got it, posted it on Facebook. I was like, oh my. Like they’re loving and they leave it on their desk too, which is great. So it’s tough, though, to execute in any kind of volume. Right? So it was like even just the 40 accounts getting as personal as we could. But of course, again, the benefits oftentimes outweigh. If you can land a couple of those, then shoot. Just paid for the whole thing. Right. Plus some. So that’s where it’s hard to get the time and attention on it. But the more personal you can get with those accounts, and sometimes the more kind of cheeky it is, they tend to pay attention to it. Yeah,

Shetal Shah 58:57

100% agree. I’ve done that in past roles and it works really well. It’s really hard with a lot of customer marketing teams because they’re so much smaller.

Elyssa Steiner 59:07

And

Shetal Shah 59:07

so, to your point, it takes quite a bit of resource and energy, especially when you’re balancing all these other. But if I agree, if that’s something you can pull off, it works really well and pays for itself to your.

Elyssa Steiner 59:25

Mary, we’re about almost up on time.

Mary Green 59:30

Yeah. Thank you for joining today, both of you, for being on and sharing. And this is a great call. I can’t wait to share it out afterwards. And yeah, let me know if I can do anything for either of you. And yeah, I guess we will talk next week about turning advocates into influencers with Rob Maddox and see you all then.

Elyssa Steiner 59:57

Thanks for having me. And if anybody has any thoughts, ideas. I know, Emma, you might send me some thoughts around your restream. I’d love to hear, but feel free to message me on the CMA channel. It was nice to meet you guys today.

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