In this episode of Taking the Lead, host Christina Brady sits down with Sara Strope, the Chief Marketing Officer at Quotapath. Sara unveils her unique journey, transitioning from a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., to a pivotal figure in the tech industry. She emphasizes how her lobbying days laid the foundation for her marketing acumen, teaching her the art of understanding market landscapes and crafting compelling messaging.
As the conversation progresses, Sara introduces the concept of being a “customer-led marketer.” This approach prioritizes understanding the customer’s entire lifecycle, from acquisition to retention. Sara believes in deeply knowing the customer, from their business metrics to their personal motivations and fears.
Christina and Sara also touch upon the challenges and responsibilities of customer success teams. Sara’s perspective on intertwining marketing with customer success offers a fresh take on building and maintaining strong client relationships.
Name: Sara Strope
What she does: CMO and Head of CS
Noteworthy: An avid triathlete with seven Ironman races under her belt, Sara transitioned from lobbying in Washington, D.C., to a leadership role in the tech industry. She views her lobbying days as the foundation of her marketing career, emphasizing the importance of positioning, messaging, and motivating constituents to take action.
The Power of a Customer-Led Approach
Sara Strope emphasizes the importance of adopting a customer-led approach in marketing. This means not just focusing on acquiring customers but also considering their entire lifecycle. A customer-led marketer thinks about what it takes to retain and expand a customer base. Sara shares a mantra: “What it takes to court her is the same to keep her.” This philosophy underscores the idea that the efforts put into acquiring a customer should be mirrored in retaining them. It’s about understanding the customer deeply, from their business metrics to their personal motivations and fears.
Merging Customer Success and Marketing
Sara highlights an innovative approach where customer success and marketing come together. Traditionally, customer success is seen as a one-to-one relationship, but Sara believes it needs to be more scalable. By leveraging marketing’s strengths in communication, education, and one-to-many conversations, companies can enhance customer success. This synergy ensures that customers are educated not just about the product but also about the industry, competitors, and the broader market landscape.
Engaging in Communities for Genuine Interaction
Sara discusses the value of engaging in communities, not for advertising, but for sharing knowledge and expertise. This approach aligns with Quotapath’s core brand value of being approachable and mindful. Instead of pushing a product, the focus is on education and learning. Sara emphasizes the importance of meeting customers where they are, sharing insights, and listening to their struggles. This genuine interaction fosters trust and builds stronger relationships with customers.
The Value of External Communities
Sara Strope dives into the significance of engaging in external communities. Instead of pushing a product, the focus is on education and genuine interaction. Sara believes in meeting customers where they are, sharing insights, and listening to their struggles. The discussion revolves around the challenge of advertising subtly while genuinely participating in these communities.
“We’re not trying to advertise. We’re trying to share our knowledge and our expertise, and that’s really like a core brand value at Quotapath too, is that we want to be approachable and mindful.”
The Shift in Customer Success Approach
Sara discusses the recent changes in Quotapath’s customer success approach. She emphasizes the importance of understanding the customer’s entire lifecycle and the need for a more scalable approach. Sara believes that merging customer success with marketing can enhance the customer experience.
“Increase adoption and usage of your product, and retention. That’s an opportunity that I saw coming into Quotapath.”
The Power of Asking Questions
The conversation touches upon the importance of being curious about the customer. Instead of just presenting data, Sara believes in asking more questions to understand the customer’s needs, challenges, and future plans. This approach fosters a deeper connection and helps in guiding the customer effectively.
“What if we just ask more questions? What if we just were curious about our customer and what they were selling and how they were selling it and where they were gonna go?”
The Challenge of Multi-Threading in Customer Relations
Christina and Sara discuss the complexities of multithreading within existing accounts. They explore the challenges of engaging with customers on multiple platforms and the need for a more personalized approach. The discussion also touches upon the importance of product adoption and risk mitigation.
“If somebody just randomly emails me with a tool that we have. And they’re like, Hey, Christina, your company has this tool and you’re not using it, want to hop on a call? I’d be like, no, I’m going to delete that.”