Speaker 0 00:00 <inaudible>
Speaker 1 00:03 <inaudible>
Speaker 2 00:08 come to the breakout growth podcast where Sean Ellis interviews leaders from the world's fastest growing companies to get to the heart of what's really driving their growth. And now here's your host, Sean Ellis.
Speaker 3 00:23 All right. In this episode we'll look at reveal an AI driven beauty personalization platform that helps cosmetic brands and retailers drive revenue by improving their customer experiences. So I'm speaking with the CEO Samba Parkinson, and he explains how they didn't really hit their growth stride until they realize what the true value was that they were delivering. So since then he's been able to really get the team to align around that value delivery and they've been able to significantly accelerate growth in the last year. So while they largely have a traditional kind of B to B sales process, they are able to work closely with their customer partners to closely track usage data and optimize the experience of their solution over time. So let's get started. Hi Sambo. Welcome to the breakout growth podcast.
Speaker 0 01:18 Hi, Sean has a pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me.
Speaker 3 01:22 Yeah, this was a, you have a really interesting business. One that, that looks a little different than anything else that I've looked at up to up to this date. So I'm excited to dig into it. So, um, it's pronounced reveal, is that right?
Speaker 0 01:34 Yeah. That, that is correct. Yes, yes. Raviv is the way we pronounce the, uh, the name of the company.
Speaker 3 01:40 Okay. And then can, before we kind of dig into how you're growing it, you want to give us a quick introduction to what you guys are doing?
Speaker 0 01:46 Yeah, for sure. Absolutely. So, um, we are a health and beauty tech company and, and what that actually means is that, uh, we help beauty brands and retailers personalize the customer experience, uh, for the beauty consumer. Um, and, and in more sort of layman's terms, you can think of us as, you know, the taking the in store beauty consultant, which is driving a lot of value and a lot of commerce in physical stores. Um, and we're using technology to bring that into the digital world for the benefit of brands and retailers. And ultimately, you know, the end consumer, the beauty customer.
Speaker 3 02:26 Wow. Okay. And so it's, it's B2B. So you're selling then to, to retailers and brands, is that right?
Speaker 0 02:31 Yeah, absolutely. So, so I, I like to think of us as sort of B2B to see in the sense that, you know, our customer definitely is the, the brand or retailer we're selling B2B, but ultimately the solution that we're offering, uh, is being used by the end consumer. So, so we care deeply also about the value that we're actually giving to the end consumer because then then that value translates to value for, for the brands and retailers, our customer.
Speaker 3 02:59 Yeah. And
Speaker 0 03:00 did you always intend to, to do it as a, as a, as a business where you've worked through the retailers and the brands? Or did you in the beginning where you're not sure if you would go direct to consumer or via these other channels? Uh, well, I mean, that's, that's an interesting question. There's a couple of things that we really sort of, um, you know, tried to figure out early when we, when we started and we were starting out 2016 to 2017 um, and really two questions that we had for ourselves. Um, you know, one was if this type of a personalized customer experience for beauty was available to anyone anywhere, um, how would consumers react? Would they trust it? Would the engage with it? Would it provide value to the consumer? Just like the instant beauty consultant provides value to the consumer. So that was one of the things that we really sort of tested early on.
Speaker 0 03:52 Um, and, and um, you know, the second thing it was we had figured out, but yes, there is definitely a lot of value. We can drive to the end consumer. This is a solution to the end consumers looking for, um, we realized that, okay, we had to figure out what is the, what is the correct strategy, what's the correct approach? And as a founding team, we have a background in retail technology. So, so we started sort of talking to brands and retailers and really understanding, do they see this as a pain point? Do they see, uh, the, the lack of this type of personalized customer experience at inhibiting their ability to serve their customers and generate revenue? Um, and, and the answer for us was, was yes, they definitely recognize that there was a problem that they needed to address. Um, some of the brands that we spoke with in the early days, um, they had come up with their own ways of really trying to solve that problem.
Speaker 0 04:46 So it was a really pressing issue, um, which then, you know, informed our decision on, on what our business model should be, what our strategy should be. But, you know, it could very well have ended up differently. Um, you know, if, if brands and retailers wouldn't see a problem or we wouldn't have seen a problem in, in, in, um, in the experience, you know, it could be that we would have gone sort of, you know, direct to consumer, you know, B to C. uh, but I think in hindsight it was definitely the right choice and the correct choice and informed choice of that. And then how did you, at what point did you feel like you had achieved product market fit? Um, so I think things started changing for us really quite recently. I mean, I would say as recently as, as, um, about a year ago. So, so obviously, I mean we were a young company.
Speaker 0 05:34 We started in 2017. Um, and we had early signs of, I wouldn't get say sort of product market fit, but early signs of intrigue, you know, the starter for the very early days. I mean we were doing a lot of cold emailing. We were getting a 20% response rates on cold emails, which is unheard of. Um, so, so we saw that it was a lot of signs that we were on something. Um, but I think really somewhere early last year, uh, there was a bit of an inflection point where we, where we really saw that, you know, now we've really hinted home in terms of the product or the value proposition, the value that we're driving both to the brand as well as the end consumer. Um, and that's what really sorta enabled our growth. And it's been really quite, quite a fascinating as of last 12 months.
Speaker 3 06:22 Right. And so w was there like a major change in the product during that time or was it more about dialing in the positioning?
Speaker 0 06:28 So I think it was a, I think there were two things. So, so I think, um, you know, obviously we had, we had customers at the time, but it was really, you know, only about a year ago when we really started to understand what are the different value drivers, um, you know, for, for brands and retailers as our customers. So, so we, we, you know, we were doing very well in terms of providing value to the end consumer, but we hadn't quite invigorated figured out the business model, you know, a certain features and functionalities that were really driving, uh, you know, value for the decision maker who is a B2B decision maker who ultimately makes the decision on are we going to buy this type of solution and enable our customers to benefit from it. Um, so, so there was, part of it was certainly product, there were some sort of business model changes that we made. Um, you know, positioning changes. Um, so I think you sort of, overall, it wasn't a sort of one single thing that I can pull it out. It was more of a, it's a collection of things where we really, I guess, started listening to the customers that we had, uh, on a much deeper level than we have before.
Speaker 3 07:38 Yeah. It's amazing how just tapping into value that's already there, but being able to truly understand it can a, can be a key ingredient in being able to be better at delivering it, messaging it, and, and doubling down on the functionality that matters for it. So when you look at, so you said over the last 12 months is when growth has really picked up. Uh, what do you, what have been kind of the key drivers of that growth over the last 12 months?
Speaker 0 08:04 Um, so I think, you know, obviously having a product market fit for, for us, um, uh, that's, that's one sort of key driver of growth. Uh, but our loan, I wouldn't say that that's, that's enough. So, so in, in, in general, you know, even if you have product market fit, um, that alone can drives a certain amount of growth. But on top of that, I think one of the things that has really helped us grow is, um, is the type of alignment that, that we've sort of managed to build in, into the, into the team. Um, where, where really, you know, it's, uh, it is, it is almost like a, like we're, we're, you know, we're, we're getting a sort of, we're getting bigger and bigger as a team, but we're very well aligned in terms of, uh, you know, driving towards the, towards the same, um, same goal and same outcome.
Speaker 0 08:57 So I think that alignment has been really key for us in a, it really sort of enabling that, um, that growth. Uh, so ultimately, uh, you know, a product market fit plus then alignment, which is, you know, part of, part of execution. Um, and it obviously helps that, you know, we've been able to attract, um, quite some phenomenal sort of individuals into the team. People who have been the technology entrepreneurs themselves in the past. And the decision for them, you know, was around, did I start my own next thing or do I join an early stage company that is clearly on the move. Um, and we've managed to do a really great job of attracting some sort of great, great talent and, and obviously my job is founder and CEO right now is just to, you know, sit back a bit more and just let you know the, the different teams and the people sort of run with it.
Speaker 3 09:49 <inaudible> and so is it, is that primarily, uh, an outbound effort then to these different brands and retailers or what, how do you, how do you actually get them becoming customers?
Speaker 0 10:01 Yeah, so I would say that, you know, definitely when it comes to sort of ultimately the, the, um, the sales funnel and ultimately, you know, getting these prospects to, to turn into customers that is very much from an outbound effort. Uh, I think we've done a lot in terms of automating, uh, you know, using software to automate certain parts of the top of the funnel. So I think we'd be very efficient, efficient there. Um, it is still very much a sort of B2B sales cycle. So we are talking about a sort of B2B, you know, hands-on sales cycle, which can be anywhere from, you know, six to 18 months. Um, but I would also say that we do get a fair bit of inbound as well. So, so for us, uh, we have been putting more emphasis on, on sort of driving, driving inbound, uh, leads, driving inbound, the inquiries, um, and also using, you know, growth tactics and, and, and all sorts of content, um, to, to really sort of engage these sort of prospects at the, at the top of the funnel. Um, so, so I would say that, you know, yes, it is still very much of an outbound efforts, um, but we are starting to see a lot more, uh, sort of inbound, um, as, as well, which is, which is really a really promising.
Speaker 3 11:21 Yeah, absolutely. So what would you say are some of the biggest challenges that you faced up, up until this point and what have you done to overcome those?
Speaker 0 11:29 Uh, so I think, you know, one of the, one of the biggest challenges, um, that we faced in terms of our, our, our growth, um, uh, was, was I think one is sort of really, um, let's say sort of organizational. Um, because whenever you're sort of pre product market fit, you know, you're, you're sort of scrambling and, and willing and able to do whatever it takes to, to get the job done. Uh, you know, you're, you're building features for individual customers. You are, uh, you know, scrambling over the place. Uh, maybe you don't really have a sort of defined strategy. You're just really focused on figuring out where the value here, you know, how do we get to that as sort of product market fit and, and that stage, you know, what I like to say is that know it's, it's 100% art and, and um, and then one of the sort of, uh, I think sort of biggest challenges for us is, is once you get to sort of product market fit and you hit that type of an inflection point and you really start to grow that 100% art just doesn't work anymore because it doesn't scale very well.
Speaker 0 12:35 So, um, so we did things, for example, like know in customer support. We had a dedicated a Slack channel for each of our customers where our development team could talk to the customer as the customer would talk to me as the CEO, our development team, anyone from, from our team part, frankly. And you know, that's great in the early days, but then when you start to sort of scale up, yeah, you just can't, you just can't maintain that. So, so for us, I think one of the challenges was really figuring out, uh, and we're not doing a perfect job at this either. I'll be, I'll be, I'll be honest. Um, how do we sort of, how do we figure out which parts of that art to, to keep, uh, whilst at the same time, you know, you have to put in some processes, you have to put in some structures, you have to actually figure out how to work as a sort of that, you know, more, more as an, as a real company, as more as a sort of scaling company without going sort of full fledge sort of enterprise.
Speaker 0 13:36 So you want to keep, you know, the good parts of being nimble, being flexible, being agile, being fast, um, and, and, and you have to know where to deploy that type of art that enables you to do that. But at the same time, you have to be more structured. You have to be more thorough. You have to be more clear on communication. Um, you know, you're, you know, you know, you can't just, um, just, you know, be this mishmash of, of, of, of everything. So, so I think that was, and I, and I think steel is one of the, one of the sort of biggest challenges for us. Right. And then from what I understand, you guys are pretty dispersed geographically as a team as well, right? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, absolutely. And I think, you know, there's, there's, there's pros and cons. So we have our, uh, we have our European headquarters in Helsinki, Finland.
Speaker 0 14:26 We've got our American headquarters in Chicago and we have our sort of product development hub down in Valencia, in Spain. Uh, so we do have, um, you know, a geographic, you disperse team, we've got 12 different nationalities, so there are still cultural differences and, and, and, and, and all of that. So, so I would say that, you know, that on one hand, um, it makes it a bit tougher. But at the same time, I think because of the fact that we've been, uh, geographically dispersed, you know, we've had your people in remote locations, maybe we've had to develop some level of, even like elementary processes earlier on, then, you know, some other companies might have to just because we're drawing off, we could disperse. So, so I think that also gives us partially an advantage at this stage because we have some type of framework, some type of, you know, backbone to go on. Uh, because we were really never able to, let's say, just, you know, sit in one room and, you know, shout across the desk. And that would be the way we communicate. So we were never really in that stage. So, so, um, so yeah, it's, it's, um, it's, it's interesting from that perspective as well.
Speaker 3 15:42 Yeah. Well, I think in particular, given that you've got that geographically dispersed team, but one of the things you call that as something that you're doing really well in the business when we talked about the important drivers of growth is that alignment where, where everyone is pulling in the same direction toward the important goals in the business. So, um, that's, that's great that you usually, when companies move from that art phase as you referred to it, to where it becomes more of the science that it, um, it's a pretty big cultural shift in the business. It sounds like you're having that, that cultural shift, but the, one of the biggest challenges is communication during that and, um, the fact that you, as you said, had to, had to deal with communication challenges pretty early on. Hopefully that, that makes it less of a hurdle for you to keep, keep good communication channels open. Yeah, absolutely.
Speaker 0 16:31 And I mean, you know, we're no means sort of perfect at it. Uh, I, I still, you know, I still tell all of the, the people in different offices, I keep on reminding them that look the year and we're still early, so, so let's be, let's be patient with this. Let's, let's be tolerant. Uh, you know, let's, let's, uh, we're, we're still using each other as bit of sort of Guinea pigs when it comes to the sort of communication. Uh, so, so, you know, I, I think a key to that is also sort of transparency. So, so I, I try to encourage everyone in the team, you know, when it comes to communication, particularly at this stage, and we're growing really fast to, to basically, if they, if they have a little sniff of, yeah, I don't understand, I don't have the information, where can I find it? Just, you know, raise up their hand and say, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, this isn't working. We've got to figure out something else to do and then we figure out something else to do. So, so I think that's really, really important when it comes to our communication.
Speaker 3 17:29 Right. And then, um, in terms of kind of everybody being in pulling in the same direction for around around the mission, well, how would you even state what the mission of the business is?
Speaker 0 17:41 So I think one of the things that, uh, you know, our mission is really, um, it's really sort of, you know, two fold. Um, on one hand, uh, we want to enable the brands and retailers to provide this sort of best possible personalized customer experience for their end consumers. Um, and one that drives really tangible results, uh, for the, uh, for the brands and retailers. Um, on the other hand, you know, on the consumer side, uh, I mean these are very much interlinked, but on the consumer side, I would say that, you know, what we are interested in is, is really helping the consumer discover, you know, skin and beauty products, uh, that specifically fits their needs. Um, and, and, and, and it'll help them with that sort of product discovery, uh, process. Uh, so I think that's, you know, fundamentally what we're, what we're sort of all about and, and, and everything that we're sort of building towards.
Speaker 0 18:45 Um, yeah, and all the features, all the functionalities, all the products, all the activities we're doing, you know, should be aimed at sort of reaching that end goal. And, and you're keeping that in mind though, is this thing that we're doing accomplishing, you know, our, our mission into that direction. And then, so do you have a way of being able to track your ability to increase progress on that, on that mission? Um, so, so yes, we do. I mean, to an extent we do. Um, obviously, you know, we are, we're providing an experience that ultimately runs on the digital channel and the brand or retailer. Um, so for us to be able to sort of track our progress, uh, we do have to work quite closely with a lot of our customers, which we, you know, which we do. Um, but, but I think, you know, for us, um, when it comes to really sort of measuring the, the value that we're driving, um, it's, it's funny because, because, um, I know that you, you've mentioned the, the cost of those sort of North star metric.
Speaker 0 19:51 Uh, you know, many times and, and, and I've never really thought of that term in particular, but when I started thinking about it, um, I realized that there's, there's, and I went actually through some of the presentations that I've made, like even internal ones in the early days. And I realized that there's, there's always been a recurring theme which is like driving tangible, uh, sort of business results, uh, through conversion, uh, for, for our brands and retailers. It's funny cause you wouldn't think about conversion as a sort of North star metric, but we're not really talking about our conversion. We are talking about the conversion that we enable or the increasing conversion that we enable our brand and retailer partners to have. Um, and, and we're kind of using that as a proxy of value. Uh, because for us, you know, that increasing conversion shows two things. First of all, it shows that you are the brand retailer as our customer is getting a tangible business benefit from using our solution, you know, very tangible.
Speaker 0 20:53 Um, and at the same time it shows, um, because the consumer is the one who's ultimately, you know, clicking that buy button and buying as a result of going through that customer experience. It also shows that we've been able, through that experience to build a certain amount of trust with the consumer. We've been able to generate value towards the consumer enough so that they're confident and saying, right, okay bill, I'm going to buy these products as a result. Um, so, so it's, it's a very sort of, um, let's say traditional metric of, of conversion, but it's the conversion that we're enabling our brand and retail partners to receive is something that we're rear. We are sort of consistently and constantly measuring as a, as an indicator of are we driving value both for our customer and the end consumer.
Speaker 3 21:48 Right. And so can we maybe dig a little bit more into actually how you work on the, on the, uh, brand or retailer's website? Is it, is it a widget or is it, how, how does it actually integrate in there? How do you know that someone's engaging with it?
Speaker 0 23:08 You know, there's four pounds of products in my inventory of, of, uh, an Alta beauty. Or, or, or Macy's, which ones are, are right for me. Um, and that's really, you know, in a, in a very simple way, um, the experience and obviously it is a Java script. So we're able to track the activity of the consumer inside that experience. Don't identify the consumer. We don't store this, the, the selfie that they provide to us for analysis. Um, but we're able to track what they do and obviously we in and we provide that data back to our, our brand or retail partner. Um, but we get a fair, fairly good understanding ourselves of what's going on, which then obviously enables us to sort of essentially use multiples of let's say, you know, tactics that are, are more, um, uh, let's say, uh, more, uh, more widely spread in B to C in terms of, you know, developing new features and functionalities, figuring out which features people are interacting with the end consumers are interacting with, um, and using that in improving the product.
Speaker 3 24:18 Right. And now is it, um, an optional part of the experience for the consumer? Like if they came to a site and they just want to go straight and buy something, they could, they could skip over that. Right.
Speaker 0 24:27 Of course. I mean this is an optional part and because this is part of our customers, our retail brand customers, customer experience, they're in full control in terms of how the consumer gets presented, what is the flow on their website. But the consumer needs to go to, to access the solution. It can be front and center on the front page. It could be a category page, could be a separate part of the site that's really up to them and how they want to position it. Um, uh, and, and that's something that, you know, they have full control over.
Speaker 3 25:00 And I mean this may be kind of a stretch, but have you been able to AB test like this being provided as part of the experience versus this not being and kind of random sampling the traffic that's coming into a site to be able to validate that it does. Does in fact impact sales or is it more of a correlation this many people engage with it and we're seeing a lot of those people go on to make purchases. You
Speaker 0 25:26 know, we've definitely done a lot of tests together with our customers obviously. Um, you know, we've definitely done a lot of tests in terms of, you know, what does the flow look like, you know, where do people access the solution from what the difference is in, in, um, in, you know, people converting through the experience. If you access it from the front page, from a category page or an individual product page on a website, whether it's a separate parts as separate URL together. So we don't, a lot of these types of tests, um, you know, even even things like, um, you know, what is the, you know, what does the funnel look like? What is the, um, what is the engagement with the solution look like? If you, you know, put the access sort of button on the left side of the page on the right side of the page.
Speaker 0 26:11 If it's, you know, vertical, horizontal, if it has an icon and text or just text. We've done a lot of these types of variants in terms of testing. Um, and, and, and I think, you know, it's, it's really because we do serve customers on four different continents. Um, and, and there's quite a variety. So, so anything from, you know, multiple sort of fortune 500 beauty retailers and brands all the way down to sort of regional, sort of up and coming influenced or led, uh, led brands. Um, that's really enabled us to, to do a lot of like different types of testing, which also of course, sort of in the end, uh, you know, collectively sort of, um, you know, it feeds into our own product development. Um, so, so I think that's been sort of really, really interesting for us is to be able to conduct these types of, uh, as, as a B to B company, conduct these types of like, almost like B to C type tests with, um, you know, across multiple continents. So, so, uh, absolutely.
Speaker 3 27:14 And, and it seems like if you can make the case where, where you've really run it as a scientific test that yeah, these people have not been exposed to it. These people were, and it's a random sample going down that path and here's how it impacts sales that it could, it could make it much easier to sell the product to additional retailers and brands. If you could, if you could make that kind of scientific split tests that you would almost do on like a verifying of a drug works or not.
Speaker 0 27:42 Yeah, no, no, absolutely. Absolutely. And we do have, you know, a lot of that data and I mean, it's not, it's not only, you know, not only does it help in terms of, uh, obviously for us sort of, you know, acquire more customers and, and, you know, speeding up our own growth. Um, but it also helps in, in, uh, in having discussions with, with prospects, existing customers, um, you know, in terms of, you know, they might have their own ideas of vital, how, what they would like this type of experience to look like. Um, and it's always very helpful. You know, if, if we have this sort of ammunition say, well, you know, that's a great idea. Here's some data that we know about what happened when we actually tried that. Uh, so, you know, we'd suggest you guys don't do that. I mean
Speaker 3 28:25 it's, Hey, you can try it again, but it's fantastic. Yeah.
Speaker 0 28:30 Cause that's really, that's really something that, that, that a lot of our, our brand or retail partners really value is also our ability to bringing that type of sort of, uh, expertise and knowledge into the discussion. So we're not just, you know, providing them with a tool or their solution, but we're actually making sure that, look, you know, we're, we're setting them up for success with it from the, from the very beginning.
Speaker 3 28:52 Right. Okay. And so it sounds like you've got, you've got salespeople that are, that are dealing directly with, with prospects and then I know you have a growth function there. Cause uh, he's one who introduced us, someone in a growth lead there. And then so do you have a traditional marketing role as well? So what does that growth sales and marketing organization look like? It's
Speaker 0 29:16 distinctly separate. Right? So, so these are sort of enterprise, you know, B2B, you know, sales, uh, sales professionals, and that's as a sales team. Um, for us, marketing is obviously separate from that. Uh, but marketing and growth for us are really, you know, one of the same, um, because, um, and growth is, you know, also it's much more tighter to product as we have a product team as well. But, but, uh, growth is much more tighter to sort of product then then really sort of sales. So, so we do some sort of traditional marketing, um, you know, activities as well. Um, but I would say that, you know, more and more of our sort of marketing activities are related to growth. So we do a lot of, I know we do a lot of testing, we do a lot of experimentation, a lot of iteration, um, you know, even on, you know, things like, you know, our, our website, our content, um, you know, all those types of things.
Speaker 0 30:17 And, and, um, and that's really driven by the growth team. So, so there, let's say that they're doing this with traditional marketing stuff. Um, which is, you know, part of this sort of growth skill set. But they're, there's, they're, they're doing that almost on the side of, of growth. Um, you know, we, we don't really have a sort of full time role for anyone just to traditional type of marketing stuff. I, we're not doing much of that at all. Um, and then you also, we have a sort of separate, um, you know, customer success team, um, which is then, you know, helping our sort of live customers generate more value from the you from the solution. Um, so, so that's also sort of separate still.
Speaker 3 30:57 Right. Okay. So let's, let's look at that. What is that journey from you? You mentioned that there are some outbound and some inbound in terms of how people are discovering with Eve, but from, from someone discovering Raviv to becoming, you know, your, your brand advocate where they're really excited about it and they're, they're the ones that are keeping the rest of their organization, uh, excited about it. What's, what's that journey look like from, from where they first hear about it, to where they start using it and get excited about it? I think,
Speaker 0 31:26 you know, usually again, still the vast majority of of our prospects, I mean they come from outbound and then like I said, we've done a a, in my mind at least a sort of very good job of sort of automating the, the, the top of the funnel. Uh, so we're sending, you know, personalized content, personalized emails, uh, you know, on a mass. Um, we, we've done a lot of sort of AB testing on what type of content sort of works, what type of sequences, where timing, um, you know, all that sort of stuff. So, so we use a lot of B to C tactics there as well. Um, usually that's how it sort of prospect, you know, really hears about us the, the first time. And that at the same time can be reinforced with, uh, you know, obviously at that point we, we know their email address, we know who they are, their job function, these sort of things.
Speaker 0 32:13 Um, so, so that can be sort of reinforced, uh, through some paid advertising, digital channels. Uh, so, so, so, you know, digital ads across, you know, multiple, multiple channels at the same time. Um, you know, they, they started sort of discussion with our, with our sort of usual, usually I sort of sales team who, you know, goes through the product, the value proposition, the benefits, all the, all the sort of traditional, you know, sales sales cycle. Um, and then, you know, the, the, the customer wants, they sort of sign up with us. Uh, there's two things that happen. They end up in our sort of implementation team, which really makes, you know, takes care of the sort of onboarding, makes sure that okay, the solution gets deployed on the customer's site. Um, you know, usually a sort of few week type of process where we have calls with the customer explaining, Hey, here's exactly what we're going to deliver and here's what we need from you.
Speaker 0 33:05 Um, you know, here's, here are all the things. Here's how you put it, you know, up in live and documented everything. Here's how you sort of get up and running with it. Um, at the same time, uh, our sort of customer success team, um, you know, gets involved. Uh, we still do things like, for example, in the implementation phase, we do still open up a sort of Slack channel between us and the customer. Just so that, you know, you know, they may have a developer who's ultimately responsible for, you know, copying, pasting that piece of Java script code that we provide and making sure that it's live on the website. Um, so, so they can interact directly with us and our implementation team. Uh, and then we also get our customer success team sort of involved. Um, you know, making sure that, you know, the customer, you know, knows what to expect once the tool shows live.
Speaker 0 33:52 Uh, having discussions around the customer, around, you know, initially around, you know, what is the value they're expecting, what is the value that, you know, we're, we're, we're sort of looking to drive, um, you know, really understanding what is the, what is the end goal for them in, in terms of, you know, starting with this type of solution. And then obviously, uh, you know, after the customer's life, we are building a lot of new features. I mean, we're, we're doing, um, you know, production releases for new features and functionalities, new capabilities every two weeks. Um, so, so, you know, the customer success teams also then making sure and having discussions that Hey, you know, our customers know about these, these new features. Um, you know, it's always up to them if they want to activate it because we're still talking about occlusion. That's part of their customer experience.
Speaker 0 34:39 But they know, Hey, there's all this new stuff that's available. So you want to put that live, here's what we think is going to happen. You know, here are the things that you should go sort of, you know, look for. Um, so, so, so that's really the, the sort of process, um, that the, the customer, um, goes through with us. Um, and, and, uh, we've tried to get really better as we sort of scaled up. We've, we really had to get very, very much better at, at, um, making sure just internally that we're aligned on, you know, who does what in this process. So in the early day, they were sort of like a mishmash and we didn't really care if, if the salesperson sort of, you know, touched on the implementation or even did half of it, and then the implementation team that flowed over into customer success. Um, you know, as we're, we're, we're very, just sort of make sure that, okay, we internally know, like, you know, who does what, uh, so we look more organized towards, towards our customers, which is starting to be important.
Speaker 3 35:39 <inaudible> so, and then if someone were to stop using, relieve what, what would generally be the, the main reason or if a, if a brand or a retailer was, were to stop it?
Speaker 0 35:50 I would say that, you know, one of the, one of the, uh, you know, obviously if that happens, we've really failed because, because that means that we haven't delivered on the business value that they, they thought they were getting. Um, so, so, you know, if that does happen, um, you know, usually, uh, I mean it could be a, uh, it could be a function of, uh, you know, us not being clear enough in the process of sort of what is the value they should be expecting. So, so there's some line expectations, uh, you know, from the beginning. Um, other times, you know, it's simply a, and sort of over a, you know, a a, let's say an overestimation from the, from our customer's side that we haven't, we failed to correct around, around, you know, just making sure that they understand that, Hey, yes, you know, we're driving tangible business value.
Speaker 0 36:43 You have some great metrics around it, but this is not a silver bullet. So, so if the, you know, if you're, let's say your, your, your eCommerce or direct to consumer channel as a brand is not working very well at all. In general, uh, you shouldn't expect our solution to be a sort of silver bullet. Yes, we can help. We're not going to fix all your problems. And, and if we haven't been clear with that, uh, you know, in the very beginning, um, you know, that's, that's sometimes sort of, you know, causes customers to, to sort of be disappointed in, in, in, you know, what they're, um, what they're getting. Uh, we do, I mean internally we do, you know, look at these things from a retrospective point of view as well. So, so, um, so I've said sort of alerts for myself, even still today, whenever we have a customer, you know, sort of churning or, or, um, or, or even when we have a, a sort of new prospective deal that gets, you know, to a certain point of the funnel and then, you know, we lose that deal because, you know, still one of the key points for, for myself and, and these are things that, you know, I then, you know, put forward to the relevant department.
Speaker 0 37:48 Um, I still want to be a hands on understanding, you know, where did we go wrong? Like, how do we correct this? How do we, how do we improve on this? I mean, is it the product, is it the sales process where we unclear was the implementation tedious so we have done something better. Um, and, and, uh, and from that perspective, I still, you know, I, there's, there's a couple of things that I've sort of automated for myself. I mean, even before this happens, you know, for example, whenever a customer goes live with us, um, after 30 days, uh, they get an automated, uh, you know, invitation for me to just to have a 20 minute conversation with me about your experience has been so far. Um, because I think, you know, I, I need to, you know, I need to know that. I want to know that.
Speaker 0 38:34 So, so it's an open invitation, you know, some customers take it, some, some don't, but, but, um, you know, that's, that's part of the part of the, um, the way that we try to make sure that, okay, we address issues early on. Um, even before they've sort of uncovered re the business value for themselves. If they have a, you know, if they have had a bad experience during the sales process or the implementation process, then you know, we need to obviously fix something cause then we're, you know, inhibiting our own, uh, our own growth. Um, so, um, so yeah,
Speaker 3 39:07 but so that's great to do it like in the, in after those first 30 days because I, I see a lot of CEOs or other senior executives that try to step in once the businesses lost. And that is, uh, by that point, people have made up their mind. It's, it's pretty hard to save it at that point. So being able to be proactive on the front end of a relationship and show that you care about the success and, and keep that pulse probably gives you a lot more ability to affect the outcome of, of that account long term. So that's, that makes a lot of sense. Um, so one last question before we wrap up. Um, what do you feel like you understand about growth now that maybe you didn't understand as well? A couple of years ago.
Speaker 0 39:47 Yeah. What are the things that I, they probably didn't really understand, um, you know, earlier was, was the importance in terms of, you know, your growth rate. Um, you know, obviously you, you know, there's a prerequisite of, of, especially if you're looking for sustainable growth of having a strong product market fit, but, uh, um, what I didn't really understand is, is the importance of, you know, understanding beyond that product market fit, what are either sort of the inhibitors or the drivers of your growth. So, so they can have a product market fit. Um, you know, your, your actual sort of growth rate, uh, is determined by you being able to, to, uh, you know, proactively limit, uh, the amount of, uh, inhibitors, um, or, or mitigate their impact in, in some way. Um, and really find out, you know, what are the sort of drivers of, of that, uh, of that growth.
Speaker 0 40:48 Um, and, and, and I think really this sort of importance of understanding those, um, I really didn't sort of understand, uh, understand before, before now. So I think that's, uh, that for me has been one of the, uh, one of the things where I've really had to think about, okay, well, you know, how do we, you know, w w what's stopping us? Like what are the, what are the things that are, that are stopping us from, from growing even faster and really sort of consciously sort of thinking about that. Um, instead of them being happy with, you know, once you have product market fit, you're going to get a certain level of, of growth, uh, optimizing your growth. Well that's up to the sort of inhibitors and drivers,
Speaker 3 41:32 right? No, that makes a ton of sense.
Speaker 0 41:34 And I completely agree that at the foundation of sustainable growth is product market fit, but that still leaves a lot of room for poor execution or good execution to make sure that you maximize sustainable growth on that. And one of my big takeaways is what you talked about is just that that upfront expectation building, if you set the right expectations on the value that you can provide and then work really hard to deliver on those expectations, then you should never lose a client. And so being able to, being able to first understand the value and that was a lot of what you said when you dialed in on on growth in the business was that you started to figure out the real value that you provided, but then being able to message that value in a way that is realistic about what you can provide and then, and then making sure that you actually provide it.
Speaker 0 42:21 I think that's the, at at the end of the day. And then that, uh, you know, reducing the growth inhibitors as you talked about, but, but ultimately, ultimately value is going to drive that sustainable growth that starts with product market fit. And it sounds like, um, sounds like you guys are doing a really good job of honing in on that and, and building a machine to make sure that you deliver a lot more of it. Absolutely. And that's, that's what we're, we're, we're trying to do. And, and again, we're, we're by no means perfect, but, uh, but I think we're, we're, you know, we're, we're certainly at, you know, getting much better at that
Speaker 3 42:50 for sure. Well, congrats on all the success today. It's definitely an interesting space. I know that that margins in the, in the cosmetic industry are, are huge. So if you can make any impact on being able to, uh, move the needle on, on digital sales, then, then it should be a great business. So congrats again on all the success today and thanks for, for being so open with us and sharing what's working to grow. <inaudible>
Speaker 0 43:16 thanks a lot, Sean. My pleasure. It was a real pleasure being here.
Speaker 1 43:19 <inaudible>
Speaker 2 43:24 thanks for listening to the breakout growth podcast. Please take a moment to leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform and while you're at it, subscribe. So you never miss a show until next week.
Speaker 5 43:36 <inaudible>.