Guilherme Lopes della Stazione RD

Caffè del Fondatore episodio 012

Guilherme Lopes - Cofondatore di RD Station

Sono Jeroen di Salesflare e questo è il Caffè Fondatore.

Ogni due settimane prendo un caffè con un fondatore diverso. Discutiamo della vita, delle passioni, degli apprendimenti, ... in una chiacchierata intima, conoscendo la persona che sta dietro l'azienda.

For this thirteenth episode, I talked to Guilherme Lopes, Co-Founder of RD Station, South America’s leading marketing automation software.

Guilherme e i suoi 4 co-fondatori costruiscono applicazioni dal 2005, operando da una città nel sud del Brasile. Nel 2011 hanno visto un vuoto nel mercato sudamericano e hanno iniziato a costruire RD Station. Product manager per formazione, Guilherme ha assunto rapidamente il ruolo di customer success all'interno dell'azienda e ora guida un team di oltre 200 persone.

Abbiamo un'interessante chiacchierata sulle personas, su come fare un buon successo del cliente e su come costruire grandi team e strutture.

Benvenuti al Caffè del Fondatore.

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Ciao, Guilherme. È un piacere averti con noi al Founder Coffee.

Guilherme: Come va? È bello essere qui con voi oggi.

Jeroen: You’re the Founder of RD Station. I think RD Station is mostly popular in Brazil and Portugal. Right?

Guilherme: Sì, esattamente.

Jeroen: For those who don’t know what RD Station does, what do you guys focus on?

Guilherme: Well, RD Station is a marketing automation platform. So it’s similar to products like Headstart, Marcato and others. But we focus on SMBs from emerging markets.

So we lead the Latin American market. We’re also getting started in some other countries like Spain and Portugal as well.

Come qualsiasi altra piattaforma di automazione del marketing, aiuta le aziende ad acquisire clienti online e a far crescere la propria attività. Lo fa offrendo ai clienti modi per convertire il loro pubblico in lead, con elementi come una base di pianificazione, forum e pop-up.

Aiuta poi i clienti a iniziare la relazione con questi lead, con flussi di lavoro di email marketing e automazione. Lo strumento aiuta i clienti a qualificare i lead con il lead scoring e altre segmentazioni. Ci sono altri tipi di funzioni che lo collegano all'imbuto di vendita.

Quindi ci colleghiamo al CRM e aiutiamo il commerciale a capire cosa è successo durante il ciclo di marketing di quel particolare lead. E questo, in ultima analisi, è il modo in cui le aziende vendono di più attraverso i loro canali online.

Jeroen: RD Station si occupa di aiutare i marketer a generare lead e a trasmetterli ai venditori. Giusto?

Guilherme: Exactly. Yeah, more or less. It’s about tweaking the sales cycle and automating a part of it to shorten it.

Jeroen: You mentioned that it’s built for specific markets. What makes it better for, for instance, a Latin American market, or Spain? What makes RD Station different there?

Guilherme: That’s a great question. First, we started here. We know the market and its needs better. We know the maturity level of the market here in Latin America and other emerging countries is different from what we see in the west, or Europe.

Ciò di cui hanno bisogno è, innanzitutto, un maggiore servizio. Quindi abbiamo un livello migliore di successo del cliente, un servizio professionale e anche un programma di partnership molto forte con agenzie di marketing che possono offrire un buon servizio a un prezzo ragionevole ai nostri clienti.

Hanno anche bisogno di un prezzo ragionevole. Per questo abbiamo un prezzo molto più basso rispetto ai nostri concorrenti. Hanno anche bisogno di una soluzione più semplice; cerchiamo di offrire tutto ciò che una piattaforma dovrebbe offrire, come tutte le funzionalità di cui ho parlato prima, ma presentandole in un modo più semplice perché il cliente possa capire cosa deve fare.

Quindi, un diverso livello di maturità, diverse esigenze, diverse tasche e noi pensiamo di avere la soluzione perfetta per tutte queste diverse esigenze in modo specifico per i mercati emergenti.

Jeroen: Capisco. Può fare un esempio specifico? Magari su come rendete alcune funzionalità più accessibili rispetto ad altri software di marketing automation?

Guilherme: First of all, we have less features – which is good because there is less complexity, for instance. In a more complex or robust company, you can have multiple funnels for different kind of projects, products, or personas. We only have one.

Per alcune aziende questo è un limite. Si tratta delle aziende più grandi. Ma vediamo che aiuta il nostro software a diventare più semplice per quelle che stanno iniziando con l'inbound marketing e altri aspetti del marketing online.

Jeroen: Come è nata RD Station? Cosa facevate prima di RD Station?

Guilherme: Well, we are five founders actually and we all have worked together before in 2005 in a company that used to build mobile apps. It was at a time when we didn’t have the iPhone yet. So we tried to thrive in this industry, but building mobile apps or using Java program language for those feature phones probably wasn’t the right timing and we failed because of that. It didn’t work.

Ma siamo riusciti ad attirare l'attenzione del mercato brasiliano e di quello latinoamericano utilizzando le tecniche di inbound marketing.

We are from south of Brazil. It’s not a big city. It’s a small capital in the south of Brazil and most of the bigger brands and companies are concentrated in south Sao Paulo. We basically got their attention by writing content. Having a blog, we had a way to manage a relationship with the leads we were generating. Later, the five of us were working together in that company, but we started different ventures because it didn’t work and again, every one of us failed in our new ventures. I for instance, tried to launch a company to build television apps, that also didn’t work quite well.

Jeroen: What does that mean – television apps?

Guilherme: You don’t even know, that’s why it didn’t work. When you turn on your TV, there are some apps like – the simplest one being the channel guide. But you can build apps on those platforms and even connect to the internet or social networks and things like that. But that didn’t work because now everybody uses Netflix and they use that on their app, which is packed with a lot of different apps too.

Quindi, ancora una volta il momento sbagliato.

But again, I managed to get some attention from bigger brands and big companies at the time – like Sony and some different broadcasters. Again, all by doing some inbound marketing. Then we got together again.

I mean we had worked previously in that mobile apps company, and decided that we were starting our own ventures. We tried to create successful startups but it didn’t work quite well because of different reasons – maybe the timing or maybe the quality of the work we were selling.

Ma in tutte queste diverse startup, una cosa che aveva funzionato abbastanza bene era il tipo di marketing che stavamo facendo. Abbiamo sempre avuto la mentalità di creare un imbuto unico che integrasse marketing e vendite, utilizzando tecniche di inbound marketing. Creavamo flussi di lavoro segmentati e poi facevamo campagne di marketing. E questo funzionava!

At the time, HubSpot wasn’t the number one platform because Marketo was bigger and I think Eloqua was bigger as well at the time. But they were growing pretty fast and had a more innovative way of thinking. We actually thought of reselling HubSpot and becoming a partner. Our CEO, Eric, actually approached them and they told him they weren’t looking at the Brazilian market yet so they weren’t interested. That’s when he decided to build our own product, get our own version of an inbound marketing platform which would be better than Marketo, Eloqua, HubSpot and is especially more adapted to the market we were in here.

He told us the idea and we all ultimately left the jobs we were at to work on it. I am an engineer or used to be, I don’t know. I had a well paying job; I was a product manager trying to run the television apps division and we literally left our paychecks or salary behind to start living on our savings. We did this to fully commit to the company since day one. And that was really the most important differentiator in making this company very successful. We have a very good team that had worked together in the past successfully without fighting each – that’s also a common reason why startups fail. We were fully committed to the bones to have no salary, to work 24/7 on that new venture. That was really important in the beginning.

Jeroen: Per quanto tempo ha lavorato senza stipendio?

Guilherme: Quasi due anni, credo.

Jeroen: Due anni?

Guilherme: Yeah. Almost. One year and a half actually. We actually started paying ourselves symbolic money that wouldn’t really pay for the rent or half of the rent. So we spent our savings for one and a half years, and almost all our personal savings too. When we got the first round of investment, which was actually an angel investment one year and a half later, I think we decided to start paying us some money to help with the bills.

Jeroen: Quando ha ricominciato? Quanti anni fa?

Guilherme: Abbiamo iniziato all'inizio del 2011. Quindi sette anni fa.

Jeroen: Okay. So, you’re in it now for about seven years.

Guilherme: Sì, per circa sette anni.

Mi piace pensare che finora abbiamo avuto successo. Siamo passati da non avere dipendenti a 600 dipendenti.

Jeroen: Wow.

Guilherme: Da zero clienti a circa 1.000 clienti paganti.

Jeroen: Come termine di paragone, quanto è grande HubSpot?

Guilherme: I think they have about 30,000 customers and 1,200 employees or maybe 2,000 employees, something like that. I haven’t checked the numbers lately but I think they are double in size. Now they have a much bigger revenue.

Di recente abbiamo superato i 30 milioni di ARR. Di solito, quando si pensa a un'azienda con 600 dipendenti, si pensa che il fatturato sia molto più alto. Ma è così perché siamo un'azienda brasiliana e uno dei nostri principali elementi di differenziazione è il punto di prezzo e vendiamo nella nostra valuta o nella valuta che abbiamo in America Latina. Queste valute sono molto più deboli e meno costose del dollaro americano. Abbiamo meno ricavi se pensiamo ai dollari. Tuttavia, abbiamo meno costi perché tutto costa meno e paghiamo anche i nostri dipendenti e tutto il resto in quella valuta, quindi i conti tornano e funziona davvero bene.

Jeroen: Let’s say if you were to go to the US and start competing with HubSpot head on, then your cost structure would allow for much lower prices still?

Guilherme: Yeah but also we would have to increase our cost of acquisition. I don’t know, by 10 times maybe. They probably have a cost of acquisition that is 10 times more than ours and that’s our differentiator. We do not plan to go into the US. We are not planning to compete with those established inbound marketing platforms you have there because that’s our differentiator. We have a much lower cost of acquisition here because of the kind of market we are addressing and because of the maturity level we found in these countries. So the whole company is optimized to work on emerging markets.

On the other hand, HubSpot or others, don’t work really well here. For instance, if you look at Salesforce, they have got a really big chunk of the market here in Brazil. We still have more than 90 percent of the companies that don’t use ads to promote for instance. Among the 10 percent that use ads, you see a huge competition among Salesforce dynamics and other smaller CRM products like Pipedrive.

The problem is for those big brands, they optimize their machines, their acquisition machines, their retention machines for the US market – for bigger brands, for bigger companies. Those things don’t work in the emerging markets. So when you get here with the cost of acquisition of 5,000 or 10,000 dollars, even more sometimes, you have to have a really high price point and really high retention rate and definitely really high profitability. And all of that doesn’t work well when you have a market, where usually companies have much less maturity and depend more on service. So the whole model has to change. That’s why I think we would fail competing with them at least in the bigger markets. And those big markets, they will also fail competing with us in these emerging markets.

Jeroen: Capito. Quindi la vostra ambizione è di rimanere forti nei mercati emergenti e di crescere da lì?

Guilherme: Yeah, exactly. Our ambition is to solve the needs for SMB’s in Latin America first and foremost. I mean we’re focused on those companies and we want to make them really successful with our solution.

Jeroen: Bene. Di cosa si occupa personalmente RD Station?

Guilherme: I run the customer success department. As I said in the beginning, I used to be an engineer. I think that every other young engineer that starts a company that you will write the code, publish your software and get rich. I too thought that it would work like that, but it didn’t. When we launched our software, we were really successful from a sales perspective. We sold like 20 accounts in one month and that was like a big win for us. We celebrated that. But even though we are selling like 600-700 or more accounts right now, that was a bigger win for us.

Poi abbiamo scoperto che i clienti, soprattutto nel mondo SaaS, potevano pagare per un mese abbastanza per l'altro. È stato difficile e abbiamo scoperto che questa cosa si chiama "churn". Inoltre all'epoca, credo fosse il 2012, cercavamo sempre di guardare alla Silicon Valley. Studiavamo le ultime tecnologie e abbiamo visto che parlavano di questa nuova cosa chiamata successo del cliente.

And customer success is not really much of a new thing. It is basically post sales reinvented in a new discipline – of course there are new concepts over that.

My first impression was that they’re trying to come up with a better name for support and I was skeptical at first, especially when my partner and CEO asked me to think about starting this customer support department here at RD and help our customers be successful. I was skeptical. I was an engineer, I used to build products! But then I started studying it. It has already been six years and I started as a customer success manager, who does all sort of things for our customers at the beginning. So I was this big team of one person in the building and now the customer success team has more than 200 people.

Jeroen: Yeah. It’s one third of the company then.

Guilherme: One third of the company, yes. So as I said in the beginning that’s part of the way we work with our customers. We want to be close to them, we want to serve them, even though we are not charging for the service sometimes. But we decided that we want to help them overcome their problems with knowledge, maturity and resources.

In questo momento, il dipartimento di successo del cliente comprende l'intera operazione di vendita e include i servizi professionali, che sono principalmente l'implementazione di servizi come l'onboarding. Abbiamo poi un team dedicato all'assistenza, che è un'assistenza rapida e reattiva, che supporta i clienti, le interruzioni e le correzioni, e che utilizza pensieri e cose che si possono risolvere rapidamente, ad esempio con un'e-mail. Poi abbiamo il team di gestione del successo del cliente, che assiste i clienti durante tutto il loro ciclo di vita dopo il periodo di onboarding e li aiuta a gestire i loro piani verso il successo, evitando che si distraggano. Aiutiamo a superare tutti gli ostacoli. Il team è il punto di contatto più importante all'interno dell'azienda per il cliente.

Abbiamo tre diverse discipline nell'ambito del successo del cliente. Diversi dipartimenti che fanno capo al dipartimento di successo del cliente qui a RD.

Jeroen: Capisco. I cinque co-fondatori sono tutti ingegneri?

Guilherme: No. Four. It’s a company of engineers. One guy worked with business administration. He started the marketing department awhile back and he still leads the main agenda for the marketing team. From the four engineers, one, Bruno, became the CTO of the company. So he runs all the engineering. Eric, also an engineer, is the CEO. I’m customer success, marketing for Andre and Pedro, the fifth founder, works as an engineer with Bruno’s team.

Jeroen: E tra tutti gli ingegneri, perché pensa di essere stato scelto o di aver deciso di guidare il reparto di successo dei clienti?

Guilherme: That’s a good question. I used to do product management – building the requirements, the specs and design of what our product will be. At the beginning, we had to pay for our bills, so we started selling services as a consultant but we were afraid of becoming a service company. We had walked that path previously and it didn’t work well. We tried to build products and we were tagged as a software house or a service company. And those kind of companies don’t scale very well.

We desperately wanted to create a product that would scale. So our approach or way to sell service and produce service and still connect up with building a strong product was, to sell marketing services to companies and try to understand their needs. We would translate their needs into a product. So we would, for instance, create a landing page for them – coding the landing page. We would send email marketing campaigns, showing the exact results on an excel and anything like that. If the customers saw some value on that, it would be a green signal for us to build that feature inside of our software.

Dopo averla costruita, la distribuivamo gratuitamente a quei clienti e chiedevamo loro di provarla, di vedere se era di loro gradimento e di darci un feedback. Quindi usavamo questi servizi per capire i clienti, per fare effettivamente lo sviluppo dei clienti. E io sono stato coinvolto in questo perché non avevo problemi a creare i requisiti e a definire il nostro software. Così ho iniziato a occuparmi di servizi e clienti e quando è arrivato il momento di aiutare i clienti a superare le loro sfide e ad avere successo con la nostra piattaforma, sono stato quello più preparato e con maggiori conoscenze in materia.

Jeroen: Il successo dei clienti e la gestione dei prodotti sono ancora un unico reparto alla RD Station? O si sono divisi? Come lavorano insieme se si sono divisi?

Guilherme: No, ci siamo divisi molto tempo fa. In realtà, all'epoca ci siamo trasferiti nel settore del successo del cliente e abbiamo creato un comitato per proporre idee e specifiche per il prodotto, ma in seguito è diventato parte del prodotto di ingegneria e ora è stato diviso di nuovo tra ingegneria e prodotto.

Jeroen: E questo comitato di cui parla, chi ne fa parte?

Guilherme: All'inizio l'ingegnere era Bruno, io il responsabile del successo del cliente e il marketing perché vendevamo un prodotto di marketing.

Jeroen: Capito. Quindi coinvolgete il team di marketing nelle decisioni sui prodotti di RD Station?

Guilherme: Certo. In realtà, per un lungo periodo, siamo stati il nostro cliente più avanzato.

As people like to say, we eat our own dog food. Nowadays, we can’t use ourselves anymore in a customer model because in some ways we have outgrown what our ideal customer looks like; they have different needs. We already are a big company and that doesn’t necessarily translate to what our customers need.

But at the beginning, we were exactly that – a SMB for an emerging market trying to be successful using an inbound marketing platform. So yes, marketing has always had a big say in the product.

Jeroen: Quindi, se siete passati dall'essere il vostro personaggio a non esserlo più, è cambiato il vostro modo di lavorare?

Guilherme: Questo ha cambiato il modo di lavorare del team di prodotto. Quando pensavano di lavorare su una nuova funzionalità o di migliorarne una, per prima cosa andavano dal team di marketing e chiedevano loro i punti dolenti, chi utilizzava quelle funzionalità, il loro feedback e tutto il resto. Lo fanno ancora, ma è più simile a una raccomandazione. Ora invece intervistano una serie di clienti che rappresentano meglio le persone più comuni che abbiamo.

Jeroen: That’s cool. What is your focus exactly right now in the customer success department? How do you spend your typical day? How do you go about growing things?

Guilherme: Well, our company has a big big challenge – my department particularly. It is to grow our retention rates and expansion rates for a product that is relatively complex and you’re selling to SMBs. When you think of that equation, you think of churn. You wouldn’t sell a complex software for SMB and expect a very good adoption and retention rate. But still we want to overcome the challenge with a very well instrumented customer life cycle that we try to map, to go along with what we call ‘educational methodology’.

I nostri clienti hanno quindi bisogno di maggiori conoscenze. Più ne sanno, più useranno il nostro software.

We created this methodology, called the ‘growth machine methodology’ and we have all these different success milestones. Like, the success milestone one is trying your first generation campaign. Success milestone two, is starting to build a relationship with your leads, and three is create accountant plan and so on. So we defined it into different steps based on the maturity level of the customer. And we tried to tie that together into the customer life cycle.

Per esempio, la prima pietra del successo è ciò che cerchiamo di ottenere durante il periodo di onboarding. Per questo vendiamo un pacchetto di onboarding che si lega a questo. Dopodiché, DCSM aiuterà i clienti a seguire il percorso e a superare ognuna di queste diverse pietre miliari.

We also create a lot of content organized around that methodology. We think that with a very strong methodology, you need good educational content. That’s why we created a university called “RD University” and we are not only producing content for our customers, but also for our market leads and potential future customers. With that well orchestrated life cycle, we offer implementation specialists, customer success managers, support, and different specialist for different needs, different stages of life cycles.

We still need to instrument this better so that we are having only one conversation with one customer, to avoid being repetitive or confusing the customer. Orchestrating all of that together, we can create a success machine that will accelerate the potential growth, the potential success for the kind of companies we are selling to – SMBs from emerging markets. That per say, is an enormous challenge but we’ve had some success so far and we’re still improving.

Jeroen: Quali sono le cose a cui ha dedicato gradualmente più tempo?

Guilherme: I spend a lot of my time helping the implementation team to fine tune the tasks of the implementation so that they don’t end up delivering a project that does not tie to the overall goal, to the long term plan. We need to tie those things together.

Poi, trascorro del tempo con il team di gestione del successo del cliente per aiutarli a ricevere i risultati del cliente, a implementarli e a creare una metodologia operativa molto rigorosa per accelerare la crescita del cliente e il successo del cliente, attraverso punti di contatto orchestrati e proattivi.

We work with SMBs, so it’s a high volume operation. We can’t rely on the customer success manager talent itself to understand the customer’s needs, problems and then translate them into a plan and help customers stick to the plan. So, I need to instrument a system to show warnings and alerts to those CSN’s so that are able to quickly understand what is going on in a couple of minutes, call the customers, and be well trained using our methodology to help the customer understand what is the next best logical step for them to take and come up with some tactic for them to do that.

E devono farlo su scala. Quindi devono fare quella telefonata di un'ora per tutti i clienti. Costruire questa operazione è davvero difficile. È necessario disporre di ottimi sistemi e di ottimi cruscotti di processo, cruscotti individuali, revisione delle prestazioni, in vista del bracconaggio e di tutto il resto. Quindi passo la maggior parte del tempo a pensare a come tradurre questa strategia in qualcosa di tattico e a lavorare con i leader di ogni team per personalizzare o orchestrare tutto questo.

Jeroen: Sembra una sfida enorme.

Guilherme: Yeah it is. It’s a good thing I’m engineer. I think of customer success with an engineering mind.

Jeroen: Sì, con una mentalità di processo. Quante ore lavorate ogni giorno su RD Station?

Guilherme: Hours? Well I’m a big fan of routines. I don’t see myself as a disciplined guy, but that’s why I’m big fan of routines because when I put in place a straight crew team it helps me be more focused, stay energized, put out today and deliver more in the same amount of time. And that means not only being disciplined about how many hours you work on, but also what you will work and your free time – your reading time, praying or meditation time, about the time you spend with your family. Because without those things, you will become an imbalanced professional and an imbalanced professional, cannot deliver results.

So, in terms of hours, I usually wake up at six, shower and meditate. I get some eggs, a nice couple of coffee, and I start working from home. I try to not step into the office until noon because I am much more productive in the mornings. I try to spare the time for ‘makers time’, where I work on projects – the most important objective there is for the day. I try to finish the most important object of the day by 10 at most or 11. And then I go to the office. My afternoons are full; usually fully booked with meetings, so I have like five meetings in a row in the afternoons.

When you have a 600 employees company and you are the founder, you know a lot how often things work, you don’t necessarily have everything well documented and instrumented. So people tend to come up to you to ask some things and I try to not have quick chats with everyone that steps into your office every 15 minutes. I try to schedule, even if it’s a 20 minute meeting. For every meeting, I try to have an agenda and objective and with that in mind, I will do things usually with the leaders of my team, so I have right now eight direct reports.

I do the same with my peers, other executives of the company and any other person on the inside. We often do these skip level meetings, we do talks, provided that they have an agenda or an objective – I schedule a meeting with anyone. It keeps the proximity with the whole team. So that’s why I come in to the office for a lot of meetings. So there is a lot of talking during the afternoon and by the end of the day, exactly 6:30, I go to the gym.

And as I said, that is also a part of getting balance in your life to become more productive. Everyone needs to exercise and my latest hack for doing exercise every day or at least three times a week, is hiring a personal trainer. Not because I need it, but because I am paying and I am committed because I’m paying. And second because he’s waiting for me 6:30 three times a week and I have to go and so I won’t let him keep waiting for me. That forces me to get back to the gym and home and that forces me to deliver whatever I needed to deliver within the hours I have in the office. So I go, I exercise, I dine, I chill out and on a perfect day, I will sleep.

Dormire presto, tipo alle 10 di sera, in modo da avere almeno sette-otto ore di buon sonno. E naturalmente, a volte c'è un terzo tempo di gioco, che è quello notturno. Se c'è qualcosa da fare per il giorno dopo, lavoro una o due ore in più durante la notte.

I try to avoid that because that prevents me from having a good sleep not only because of the number of hours I’m sleeping but also because I go to bed thinking of that thing that we’re doing because didn’t have time to chill out and everyone needs at least six hour of good sleep so they can be more productive during the day. That means that you can work 9-10 hours in a day, but it will still produce the same amount of work that a person might take 16 hours for.

Fantastico. Sembra una routine incredibile.

Guilherme: It’s quite simple actually. But you have to be disciplined.

Jeroen: Yeah. If you have this kind of routine, it provides some kind of stability I suppose. Like I read once, it’s a writer but I forgot the name, he said something like that you need to have some routine so that you can be more creative in your work because you create some stability through your routine which then makes it that you don’t have to focus on these things. So that when you’re actually creating things, you have the energy and the time to do it. I think I would try it once.

Guilherme: I’m a big believer in having a routine for things not related to work. If you are not disciplined about the quality time with your family, if you’re not disciplined about having quality time for praying or for exercising, then you just think that you need spare time and those things will naturally fit on that in the spare time. But it just won’t happen and you need all those things to refresh, rebuild, become more creative, do better with the stress and the pressure.

Jeroen: Yeah, definitely. Talking about writing and slowly wrapping up as well, what’s the latest good book you’ve read and why did you choose to read it?

Guilherme: The latest book was the Jocko Willink, the discipline playbook I think or field play book of discipline. It is actually a quite simple book but it’s related to some of those things we were talking about and how discipline means freedom. We can only be free if you’re disciplined with things you try for.

Jeroen: I found the title of the book. It’s Discipline Equals Freedom a Field Manual by Jocko Willink, right?

Guilherme: That is the one. It’s a good book to understand this concept.

Jeroen: Forte. Ultima domanda: se dovessi ricominciare da capo con RD Station, cosa avresti fatto di diverso? Questa è la domanda più difficile.

Guilherme: Yeah, it is difficult because of course I would have done a lot of things differently because you learn along the way. Still those learnings are important because of that cliché that ‘the journey matters the most’ is actually true. I wouldn’t learn the things I learned if I hadn’t made those mistakes. But since I already have the knowledge, some of the things I would have done differently, I would since day one try to create this success machine in a more scalable way, thinking of either a replicable operation and thinking more of a funnel. I would not do whatever is needed to make a customer successful, I need a very good machine that will turn that customer successful at a very good conversion rate. And that needs to work in a well oiled fashion. That’s one thing.

Quindi penserei al successo non come arte, ma come scienza e in scala.

The other important thing is thinking of our persona. In the beginning, you want to sell to someone who has a cost and a wallet. You still don’t know exactly what your product will become, who will be more successful with your product. It takes you some time to say no to certain kind of requests and certain kind of customers. So right now, we have a better understanding of what our persona is and know more of what is the kind of customers that won’t be able to achieve success with our product; we call them the bad fits. In the beginning we didn’t know that, but now we do and we could have gone or grown much faster if we had that knowledge in the beginning and if we had built a software thinking of that persona and if we had also not tried to pursue or sell or make those kinds of customers successful.

Quindi queste sono ovviamente le cose che avrei fatto in modo diverso. Pensare dal punto di vista del successo del cliente.

Jeroen: Sì. Più processi, più attenzione e più sistema.

Guilherme: Exactly. You can’t have success unless there is more science to a scalable machine and thinking of your persona segments.

Jeroen: Bene. Grazie per i tuoi consigli e grazie a Guilherme per la sua presenza a Founder Coffee.

Guilherme: Grazie anche a voi. È stato bello parlare con voi ed essere qui.

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Jeroen Corthout