🥳 Anita Toth, Chief Churn Crusher
Play • 21 min

Convert for the endgame, retention. Marketing is a lot like dating. Sales is where you're getting a little more serious. The wedding is where they convert to be a customer. You got your onboarding, which is your honeymoon. Woo-hoo! This is going to be awesome! But guess what? The bulk of that whole relationship is the marriage, which is retention, and it is not tactical, and it is challenging. Which is why for your post-sale team, they're really relying on you to choose those right dates and attract the right people to get into these long-term relationships with.

Here’s what Ryan Paul Gibson said about Anita:

Anita Toth. The first guest I would think of is Anita Toth. Anita is interesting. She's on the customer success side and she has a great name. She calls herself The Churn Crusher. We've talked a couple of times and what I like about her is she is, like me, hyper-focused on a part of a business that is very important for long-term success. Churn is going to be such a big metric for SaaS companies going forward. How do you keep customers around for longer, and why? How do you succeed in that? And she just lots of fun. So I think she's the first one.
—Ryan Paul Gibson, Founder of Content Lift → Listen

What are 3 ways that your team converts your market into revenue?

1) Establishing partnerships with key companies that also serve our ICP. So what we look for in an ideal partner is that they're complimentary to what we do, and this allows us then to combine our marketing efforts. And the one thing we do is, each quarter we identify and look to develop one type of a partnership with, like I said, a company that is doing something complimentary and already working with our ideal customer. So that's the first one. 

2) Creating content that really speaks to the pain points of our ICP. What we've chosen to do is just focus on four pillars for all our content. So for us, it's customer feedback, churn, customer relationships, and voice of the customer. And that's been really helpful because it's really easy to start creeping outside of that. Those four pillars really keep us focused then on our ideal customers. 

3) We use storytelling everywhere we can. So this might be from personal founders stories. So I'm the founder. So my personal stories to client stories. We're an agency that collects customer feedback. Not such a sexy topic for a lot of people. We love it, but what we do is we use techniques like customer interviews to help bring the hard data we collect to life. So this way, potential clients can better see themselves in the story than they can just looking at the numbers. So those are the three ways that we do that.

What are 3 hard problems that you recently overcame?

Ooh, this was, this was fun. 

1) Going up-market to now sell voice of the customer programs to Chief Customer Officers who are employed in much larger companies than we've served up to this point. So it meant doing a lot of research to understand how they see their issues, how it manifests for them, and what's at stake for them if they don't solve the problem. We're in the process of finding out how we can leverage some of our content and just adapt it to this new ideal customer profile. 

2) This seems so trivial, but putting in a new system to start culling old content that doesn't serve us well, or finding new ways to refresh it. We use it for our two main ideal customer profiles. So this is for Chief Customer Officers and Customer Success Leaders, and we do have a small third ICP, Customer Success Managers, but it's been harder than anticipated because it's really difficult to throw away, discard, stuff that you've put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into, and if you can't adapt it, it means it's got to go. So that was actually harder than I thought. Sitting down and deciding what we're going to keep and, and what needs to go.

3) Saying no to opportunities that don't align with our vision of making happier customers across the world. So as a company grows, there's some tempting opportunities that we've had to turn down because they pull us from our vision. But I wouldn't say we've overcome this yet. We've been kind of pulled to the side a couple of times. It's a continuous issue that we have to deal with, but we know that if we stray, then it could potentially ruin us. So that's been really challenging to stick to our guns when we see shiny new opportunities and just say no to them. Nope. We're not going that route.

What are 3 roadblocks that you’re working on now?

1) Well, we're hiring our first CMO. I'm just starting to chat with potential CMOs, so this is a huge step for us. We're going to start with a fractional CMO first. I want to see what it's like to work with a CMO, and then eventually we will hire someone out of that experience full-time. Gut rather than just like jumping right in and hiring someone full-time, we've decided to go the fractional route. It will just help us also better understand, what does the CMO need from us and how that relationship works? So that's one roadblock. 

2) Finding new ways to market to CCOs. So like I mentioned, we're going upmarket now and our other two ICPs, so Customer Success Leaders, and our very small group of Customer Success Managers, are very active on LinkedIn. So we've devoted like 80% of our marketing efforts there. It makes sense. They're congregating there, as well as in some Slack groups. But, Chief Customer Officers are different. They're on LinkedIn, but they're not necessarily active like our other two ICPs. So our challenge has been, now we have to come up with a whole new marketing strategy for this new group. It's been a bit challenging. I think we're going to go the old school road of cold email. I think that's where we're headed. 

3) Creating new content, of course, for those Chief Customer Officers and creating new funnels. They definitely buy differently than our other ICPs, who may or may not have budget, but Chief Customer Officers do hold budgets. So, we have to figure out what is that buyer's journey like and how are we going to facilitate that through our marketing?

What are 3 mental models that you use to do your best work?

Okay, Chris. So like full disclosure, I had to look up what mental models are. I know what they are, but I was like, “but really what are they?” So this gets a bit esoteric, but I think it's worth talking about, because I did look them up and these are things I use. I just didn't know those are the terms. 

1) Create routines for my success. So my morning routines look boringly similar every day. But, what this helps me do is conserve energy so that I'm not wasting a lot of time and I can really get in my work and focus. 

2) Here's one of the esoteric ones: it's called Bayesian Thinking. We should continuously update our probability estimates as we come across new information. So, essentially when you come across new data, you shouldn't blow it out all out of proportion. Like, “Email marketing has tanked! Zero response rates!” Just crazy stuff like that. We hear stuff like this and then we don't update our thinking. Is this accurate? Is it not? So, the thing is that you should use it to update confidence in your existing beliefs, and if you do, what ...

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