On this episode, I was joined by Zoe Meyer, Customer Engagement & Operations Lead for the Global Customer Advocacy Program at Commvault. She also started the blog, customer-360, which is focused on best practices and insights on B2B customer advocacy. Previously, she was the Senior Director of the Global Customer Reference Program at CA Technologies, and has also worked in field and partner marketing. We chatted about her experience of paying it forward to build trust with sales, why creating relevance is so important for career progression, and how she made sure her team’s efforts were visible at the executive level. Without further ado, here’s my conversation with Zoe.
Margot Leong: Hey, Zoe. Welcome to Beating The Drum.
Zoe Meyer: Hello, Margot. Thank you for having me on the podcast, I’m really excited to be here.
Margot Leong: Well, I think it would be fantastic if you could start off with a quick introduction, give us sort of the 30,000-foot view of your background.
Zoe Meyer: Well, just starting educationally. I have a background in both international marketing and finance and some economics and some German. The majority of my professional career has been in a variety of marketing roles. So I’ve done events, channel marketing, demand generation, field marketing, and all of this was before discovering my passion for the customer advocacy and customer marketing space.
My second passion when I’m not working is learning all about wine. So not just trying wine, but literally learning about wine, and this took me on a journey into the wine and spirits educational track. And I have achieved my level three award in wine through that organization. And it has led my husband and me to several parts of the world to explore wine, and I’m always amazed at the conversations that arise between two or more people sharing a glass of wine.
Margot Leong: I always like to think about what are the connections between other parts of your life and what you enjoy doing, even from a work context. I think you have such a passion for connecting with people, having good conversations. And I’m sure that that actually extends very well into your passion for advocacy, right.
Zoe Meyer: It certainly does. Connecting people to share something about themselves just attracts more people.
Margot Leong: You also had kind of an unconventional way into customer advocacy. I’d love if you could speak about how you found your passion for this space specifically.
Zoe Meyer: My passion for customer advocacy was unknown at the time that I entered into customer advocacy. So this was back in 2010, and a vice president had come to a handful of us in the field marketing organization at my previous company and said, we need to resurrect the customer reference program here in North America. We already had one person on the team in North America. There were two people in EMEA and two people in Asia Pacific, Japan.
I had never done anything in the customer advocacy space because I’d spent so many years in different roles and field marketing, and I thought, well, what do I have to lose? Right? It’s something new, it’s something different. And you know, it didn’t take me long to really understand that this could really bridge several groups within sales and marketing together, was through a happy customer.
What I find with customer advocacy is that you start to develop more of a bridge between the two organizations. If you’re talking about attracting new customers, when you get to customer advocacy, empowering a happy customer to share their story really helps in a retention strategy.
And then, if you look at it a little bit bigger, you look at, I’m attracting new customers via marketing initiatives, the salespeople sell, and then customer success, if you have that organization within your company, they help identify these happy customers. And then it comes back full circle to somebody in a customer reference, customer marketing, customer advocacy role is helping to empower that voice, which then can be used to connect to other customers and prospects. And as long as you can bring together the infrastructure to continue that process, I see where it just forms a bridge between sales and marketing.
Margot Leong: What was that journey like moving from field marketing into customer advocacy?
Zoe Meyer: I think the most challenging was going into something I had never done before. I understood from a field marketing perspective, if we needed a customer to speak at an event or participate in a campaign that we were running, I understood that, and that’s pretty much looking at it from a presales perspective. What I found was interesting was it seems natural. It was almost like an evolution to go from that pre-sales piece to understanding more about advocacy and what drives our customers to want to talk about your products and services. It’s really not just about asking them to do it. It’s about empowering them to do it, even when you’re not asking.
You know, what surprised me most was how much I enjoyed that kind of customer engagement, which seems to be much more on the post-sales side of the house. So I went from being on a pre-sale side of the house to now a post-sales side of the house, but I am still part of the cycle that’s putting a happy customer back into that field marketing funnel. I’m still assisting through customer advocacy of being a part of that field marketing funnel of attracting new customers, because I’m also now working on the retention side of those customers. It’s just a different problem to solve, right? Customers are yours to lose. And that’s in this situation of being on the advocacy side of the house, versus being on the field marketing side of the house where you’re continually learning different ways to attract new customers.
Margot Leong: Yeah, absolutely. If you were ever to go back into pre-sales, were there things that you’ve learned from a post-sales context that you would apply?
Zoe Meyer: First thing that comes to mind would be: how to make that human connection more with my customers on the pre-sale side of it. It’s not just marketing a positioning of a product or a service, but you’re marketing your company. So you’re marketing more of the human side of your customers back to potentially new customers. So I think it’s adding that human element and it’s not just a transaction, but a relationship.
Margot Leong: The human relationship piece can have such an impact on how your brand is seen, and you from a presales standpoint, you’re also touching the customer. You can also get that chance to build that relationship and help to shape that experience. And then when there’s that “handoff” to post-sales, that experience is seamless, because the care for the customer is throughout.
Zoe Meyer: You touched on something really important. So, let’s say 10 years ago in 2010, when I started in this space, we spoke mostly in terms of customer reference, that one-off, that transactional approach. It’s evolved into customer advocacy, amplifying the voice of your customer. Now we’re talking more general and broader into customer marketing, so your advocate marketing and more of your reference/ sales request-type of marketing. Now, you touched on experience. I can see in the next couple years, we’ll be talking not necessarily about customer advocacy just as a term, we’ll be talking a lot more broader about the customer experience. At the end of the day, it’s how your customers are seeing you.
Margot Leong: Exactly. And I hope for a future in which customer centricity is not even talked about as a term, because it’s just a given.
Zoe Meyer: Well, and think about it too, even if you took it a step further, when we talked about building trust, and leveraging that human side of a customer back into, field marketing activities or initiatives, is that you can also look at how you’re helping to build the individual customer contact’s brand, their team’s brand or their organization’s brand in working with you. So there’s a lot more that you can give back to your customers that will help in retention, that will help them when you approach these customers and give them an opportunity to do different activities within amplifying their voice, that then field marketing may leverage in campaigns going forward, or thought leadership pieces, or what have you that can help elevate the customer themselves.
Margot Leong: Another area that you’re passionate about from a work context is sales enablement, and I think that has massively influenced your approach to customer advocacy. Where does that sort of passion for sales enablement come from?
Zoe Meyer: It came from my many years in just field marketing, but also the approach I take is wanting to be more collaborative. Sales is not just going to give you access to their customers. You have to put in your dues and be seen as a trusted member, even if it’s an extended member, of the account team. When you start with seeing how your actions in a marketing role can attribute to moving an opportunity along the sales cycle, and then being a part of an extended sales team in that regard and account team, you start to build relevance. And once you can build that relevance, it’s an organic, natural procession after that to be thinking in that way. How can I enable? What is my ingredient to enable sales? My ingredient would be working with a happy customer, helping them tell their story about why they’re a happy customer.
I think anytime you are a marketing person working with a salesperson, there is skepticism, right? So if you’re looking at it from that standpoint, you know, at some point you you’re taking a risk. Who’s going to go first? Is sales going to take a risk on you? They don’t really know you. Are you going to take a risk on them and just continue to pay it forward?
And one thing I did find very successful in my first couple years in the field, in a reference program director role, was that I did something, what I called, pay it forward. There was 18 months worth of paying it forward that I did before I got my first major win, and after that, it was that first major win led to 20 more successes right after that. And I exceeded my goal for that year. So it was 18 months of paying it forward with different skeptical salespeople and leveraging the few wins I had had with other salespeople where we had more quickly developed that trusted relationship. After that, it was just like a raging river. Because if you could win over the skeptical ones, the rest are like, Oh, you got Joe to work with you on this. Well, that’s pretty awesome.
And so once you could start proving that, that you were able to put in the time, you demonstrated you have a common goal, sometimes it takes time, sometimes it’s more organic, but I think you have to be patient enough to know that it’s a give and take. And sometimes you have to just put yourself out there first, and just continue the repeated behavior, the predictable behavior that builds the trust. And then from there, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Margot Leong: What were some examples of how you were paying it forward? Was it that you were just sort of offering to help with sort of no strings attached kind of thing?
Zoe Meyer: Yes. When I first started in the role, my strength was much more business development than it was more of PR side of the house of, okay, I gotta get this customer to do a press release or to do this and that. My natural tendency was much more on building the relationship with the customer. And so I leveraged building the relationship with the customer with the salespeople I already had good relationships with, as a result of my field marketing role. And I did pay it forward to the more skeptical salespeople who had the customers with the brand that I knew was on my target list of customers I wanted to be able to engage if they were a happy customer.
To get to those customers, I had to work with the account teams and if they were more skeptical, for 18 months, I paid it forward with those account teams, no strings attached. You have a sales request? You need a reference? I’m on it. And so I was going to be just short of my goal that year for my, you know, we were very metrics driven at the company I was at. And I had 20 customers nominated to come forward, and it put me over my goal for the year. 18 months of paying it forward. I exceeded my goal with one.
Margot Leong: I love how strategic that approach is. I’m sure that in that intervening 18 months, you had various stakeholders coming to you and saying, Oh my gosh, wouldn’t it be amazing if we got XYZ brand? And you’re like, well, I’m trying to pay it forward with the account team. So, you know, we’ll see. How did you think about that?
Zoe Meyer: So you kind of have your list of, these are the customers I know I’m going to be asked about, right? These are the brands. You have to make a secondary list and you have to make a tertiary list. And then I looked at it from the standpoint of, what do I know will eventually be asked of me. So again, I came into customer advocacy position with much more of a business development mindset and ability. And what I had to grow in was the PR and amplifying the customer’s voice through the different media of the video testimonials and how do I approach them? So I knew I came in with a strength, but I had a weakness.
So what I did for that first year is I shadowed some of our folks in corporate communications and PR, and my colleagues in EMEA and APJ who were doing very well in getting customers to do case studies and video testimonials and stuff like that. So I took that time to learn very quickly, how to develop a weakness into what now I consider a strength, and go back and leverage the accounts that I already had good relationships with, and salespeople I had good relationships with. So if I wasn’t necessarily bringing that top brand for my first or secondary list forward, I was maybe bringing that collateral, that customer marketing piece forward from a tertiary list that I already had a relationship.
So whether it was bringing the brand and you know, with some customers, if it’s a big brand, they may not want to do a lot with you. They may only say, yeah, you can use my name drop in this circumstance, or maybe my logo on your website. And that’s it. Or some that you don’t even get that far, it might be a peer to peer call. So I had to come up with my mixed bag of what I knew was going to be presentable, and it wasn’t just going to be one thing. It wasn’t just going to be: get these top five brands. It was going to be working on getting these top five brands, but it was also, what can you get out of the customers? How can you get the customers moved along in their advocacy for those customers you already have in your program?
Margot Leong: I think you have a very strategic approach to pretty much everything that you do, right. I think it can be easy to get overwhelmed with the tactical nature of the requests, but you’re living proof that if you take a few steps back, actually, you don’t just go to the first instinct, which is gotta get these requests filled. If you are thinking about that long-term and really it’s thinking holistically, what is best for the business, I think that you will be able to get more visibility. I think that you will eventually start to think your way out of the trap of only being very tactical.
Zoe Meyer: Yeah. If you stay in the tactical, you will just always be in the tactical and probably burn out quite quickly. But being seen as relevant, right? It’s not just showing up. It’s what are you bringing to the table with the other party with whom you’re working? Because once you establish your relevance, that’s half the battle. So I encourage people to think a little bit more about two steps ahead instead of just one. And I’ve been there. When I first got into customer advocacy and I was fulfilling my first sales request, I was like, wow. Oh. How is this going to maintain itself? I had to take a step back, because I’m not a reactionary person by nature. And so it was causing more stress and frustration. So I took a step back to take two steps forward, and then from there, I always kept planning two steps ahead.
Margot Leong: Yep. And I would say like the future Zoe or the future Margot will thank you for thinking in that way. So, another topic that we really had a good conversation about during our pre-call was around career progression. So there’s a lot of people who are in customer advocacy, many of whom are also in senior manager positions. Everyone is interested in understanding, okay, what is needed to get that promotion and get to the next level and it would be great to get your advice here.
Zoe Meyer: This is a really interesting topic, Margot, for a few reasons, but one of them we touched on earlier when we talked about marketing having relevance. Whether it’s talking about bridging a gap between two groups within an organization, or when you’re looking at any type of career progression, is you’re looking for what relevance are you bringing to the role or the role you’re in now. And have you raised your hand for stretch opportunities to try something outside of the box or outside of your comfort zone? It’s that type of relevance that brings attention to you as a potential person who can be promoted within the organization.
But one of the other things I thought about, there was a book I read a few years ago and it was entitled, What Got You Here Will Not Get You There, by Marshall Goldsmith. And this book really touches on, you can get to a certain point, whether it’s in your career or in your life, going through the same motions. And it’s when you learn to take a step back. You become more self-aware. Having that courage to take that journey to start self-awareness and then secondly, to have the courage to reinvent yourself at that self-awareness. It’s stepping outside of yourself, it’s stepping outside of the box. It’s trying something that might not be necessarily comfortable.
You know, when you talk about progression, you have to do something different to get a different result. So what are you doing differently? And if your career is at a plateau, is it because you are just comfortable and you’re okay with that? You know, there’s nothing wrong with being a senior manager for however long you’re a senior manager. It’s how you feel about being that senior manager, right? Are you maybe at a point where you could look at trying something, a position maybe to gain, even if it’s a lateral position, right? To gain new skills so that you can have a different perspective, whether it’s customer advocacy or any other space. And then with those new skills, will that help you do an upward trajectory?
Even with career progression, a lot of companies these days have mentor programs. I would just advise to take advantage of those. I did for five years, I had a mentor and it did help me get to a promotional position within the organization I was at. If your company doesn’t have a formal mentor program, consider a professional coach. Also, it doesn’t have to be somebody at work, look within your network and see if there’s any type of informal mentorship you can establish with somebody else that might help you see where you’re at differently. Bring that different perspective to your role that might change your behavior, and therefore create a different type of relevance and therefore enable you to be seen in a different light. Or maybe give you a little bit more confidence or courage to try something completely different, which is maybe even asking for the promotion.
Margot Leong: You mentioned that you were working with a mentor internally. Was their specific advice that they gave you that helped you sort of make the move to the next level. If you could almost frame, like what title you were at, and where you were trying to go, and then maybe what advice you were given that helped you sort of get there, or was instrumental in that? I think that would be interesting as well.
Zoe Meyer: So at the time when I engaged with the formal mentor program at my company, I was an individual contributor at a Director level. And I managed a territory within North America for our global customer reference program. One thing that was very helpful is the 360 review, and that was one of the first things we did. And that way you can have your manager be part of it, colleagues be part of it, peers and other groups be part of it, and it helps you benchmark where you are at today. I could see some of the things that were really effective and where I had relevance, and I saw other behaviors that could use improvement or were not effective at all. Or only distracted from my relevance that I gained with positive behaviors.
You know, a lot of it is just having the courage to raise your hand and say, I would like to talk to you, manager, or if you do skip level reviews, or however it works within your organization, talk about, I’m interested in this. How can I get there? A lot of people don’t even ask, and people don’t just automatically promote you.
But for me, when I went from a director and then was eventually promoted to a senior director, I went from managing a territory within a global program to managing a global program and a global team. And it was a mental shift for me because I was promoted and I had peers before that I was now their manager. You don’t need to manage your peers, right? You need to lead them. If you’re leading a program, there’s another level of expectation upon you. You have other responsibilities that you are now tasked with. You’re in a role where you need to now motivate and empower others to be their best in their role, which then contributes you to being the best in your role. So it’s much bigger than yourself at that point.
Margot Leong: Some of the advice I hear a lot in this regard is, for example, want to become a VP, and you’re a senior director, you basically already need to play the part of the VP maybe for a year, right before you even get promoted. Were there other ways that you were already embodying what was needed at a senior director level, even while you were still a director?
Zoe Meyer: So I think we talked earlier about being tactical versus strategic. And when you’re strategic, you’re already anticipating potential roadblocks. It’s not like you dress the part or you pretend to act the part, it’s are you already demonstrating some skillsets that would be expected in that level? And a lot of that understanding can be just looking at your employers job description, what’s expected from your employers perspective of a certain level within a job.
But I think a lot of it as you go to a more responsible level where you’re leading a team is going from that tactical to strategic. That skillset of already anticipating things that could happen. Other things you’re going to plan a plan B for, even if you never have to use it. I think there’s a lot more strategic thinking that goes into the higher level positions that are within an organization.
Margot Leong: Yeah, absolutely. You know, a piece of advice that I’ve heard and also resonates with the fact that you were in a formal mentorship program is that there’s a lot of value in building connections, within the company not only sort of at your level, but also upwards.
Zoe Meyer: So that’s one thing to look at and it does come down to relationships. Not just if somebody likes you or not. It’s not about being liked. Are you respected for what you bring to the table? Companies don’t hire you just because they like you, you are hired in a position to deliver X. If you’re likable, it always helps, right? But it’s not about, I’m doing something just to be liked. Don’t just do something so somebody is going to think favorably of you, it’s taking that courage to do the right thing for the business.
That’s the one thing that came back in my 360 review whether it’s from somebody higher up, or a peer I had the respect that I did the right thing by our customers, and so there was a trust level there. So I think part of it is you’re building your own brand within the organization. And if you can leverage 360 reviews, if you could leverage skip level reviews, you get yourself out there. And if you’re just a performer or somebody who on a team, let’s say you have, whether it’s a little extra time on your hands or you become a little bit more efficient in how you manage your day or your metrics and your goals that you’re trying to achieve, it’s raising your hand or letting your manager know that if there’s any special projects that come up, I’d like to participate. It’s putting yourself out there.
Margot Leong: Yeah, advice that I’ve heard in that vein is to be known as someone that’s a problem solver that likes to take on the problems that nobody else has the company is interested in taking. You’re not going to fail because nobody wanted to do it anyway, right. And there’s not a way that you could probably make it worse than it is, but it’s almost sort of like an upward trajectory from there because you’ve done your best and you’re demonstrating that you are the type of person that is going to take that on. And I think that really can pay dividends in terms of how people perceive you after that.
Zoe Meyer: Well, and you’re doing it with a smile on your face. People want to work with people who like their jobs. People want to work around other positive people. And so I think that’s part of it too, is as you’re building those relationships, you’re building your brand for yourself. You’re troubleshooting. You’re the problem solver. You’re maybe taking on something that most people don’t really want to take on, and you’re known as that person who stepped up. You’re relevant.
Margot Leong: When we talk about this relevancy piece, you know, a lot of people ask around visibility, because everybody’s vying for attention. Everybody of course wants to be visible. How did you make sure that your efforts with your team were visible at, say, the CMO level?
Zoe Meyer: When managing a global team, you’re not just thinking about your manager, right? You think about teams and other geographies, or your people on your team in other geographies, right? So they impact regional management. And so you look at your team as a unit, and you’re part of that unit. You just might be leading them, but you’re part of the unit.
When I first took on leading the global team, we started off by saying, well, nobody’s really asking us. We were extremely metric and reporting-driven culture , but nobody really said, this team needs to produce X. And so I said, well, team, how are we going to show up? How are we going to be relevant? So each member of the team and their geographies, I said, what are we going to produce? What are we going to have for our benchmark, so that we can do reporting at the end of the six months or a year or a quarter, whatever it was.
And then shortly thereafter, I had a new manager who was also very metrics-driven . And so I started rolling up bi-weekly reports but our team had already established our goals for the year without anybody asking us. And we rolled those up to my manager and said, this is what we’re aiming for. We led our team calls like a sales call. Everyone had their little leaderboard, their goals and how they were trending toward it and how we could help each other out with that.
At the end of the year, we created what we called a “Year in Review,” and we pushed that out to sales and marketing. And all of a sudden it was like, Oh, this team has their own goals and they’ve met or exceeded those goals or what have you?
Well, by the second year, we were being given goals from management down and all of a sudden we were a metric, a line item on the CMOs dashboard for our program. After that, and we did the same year in review, but we had also during that time, developed a quarterly newsletter, we were participating in quarterly sales business reviews. We had already identified that our customer success team was crucial in growing our program participation. So around the globe, we’re participating in regular customer success team calls. We had worked with field and product marketing to develop an advocate hosted marketing campaign that also carried over into sales. So we helped the demand generation team develop a lead to turn it into an opportunity through these advocate-hosted marketing campaigns.
Again, our culture was very metric and reporting-driven . From a content perspective, we were annually audited by the Office of the CEO. Anything reproduced with the customer had to be vetted, and we had to demonstrate we had approval from the organization. So we already had that level of visibility, but then doing that year in review report was crucial. I was also providing monthly reports to the global GM of sales, and so that was crucial in bridging the gap and creating even more relevance cross-functionally.
And then by year three, we did a hybrid. So we had some metrics coming from management and the team rolled up their metrics, what they wanted to achieve, based on certain variables that we were looking at to grow and expand our program to a world-class level. And so that’s how we did it, but my last year that I was leading that team, one thing we developed with an agency is a year in review infographic. And because we wanted to make sure anybody could access this, right? Not just, if you were at your desktop, we made it desktop and mobile friendly. So you received our infographic of what took place and we invited you to look back at what our customers in our team achieved for the year. That went over very, very well. So we made even what we reported on accessible to everybody.
I think what was unique about our team was everyone had had a different role before they came into their customer advocacy role. So we brought something with us from a different role. Like in my case, it was field marketing or more on that business development mindset. With a couple other folks, it was very, very marketing oriented. And so we organized our team according to our skillset. So we were unique in how we operated as a team, I feel, but not necessarily how the company operated, because that was very metrics driven and we fell in line, but it was being able to pivot.
Margot Leong: You mentioned, for example, in managing the program budget, you were providing an ROI to securing the next year’s budget, which had metrics and goals. What was your approach there in terms of proving out the ROI for what your team was doing with customer advocacy?
Zoe Meyer: So, each group would get a budget. So I received a budget for our program and our team. And within that, I qualified, okay, so this is our budget for the year. No more, no less, hopefully. And hopefully no less, maybe more, but usually it was a static number you received. It was based on the business. It was based on a budget, and it’s based on priorities that went up all the way to the CMO, right? The CMOs sets the priorities down.
And I kept saying to myself, well, okay, when you’re relevant, when you can prove alignment to the business, when you can demonstrate an impact, whether qualitatively or quantitatively on revenue, then that would help us at least secure our same budget for the following year, unless the business had changed significantly one way or another, and/or maybe increase it. So I looked at it longer term, not just what we could do today and Oh, I need more money for this because I want to do this one thing. I definitely went from tactical to strategic.
So I even took part of our budget and pivoted and created a global reference help desk, so we could focus our reference managers more on creating more content with our customers, focusing more on our advocate marketing campaigns with field and product marketing. And then we had a few contractors who came in and did recruiting customers for the program and working with customer success. They handled sales requests, and we also created a program as part of new hire training.
And so our new hire training for our global customer reference program was not to be in with all of the other systems, you have to learn as a new employee in sales or marketing, or what have you. We waited because our main focus was sales. We waited 30 days and said, and we had qualified this with several salespeople and said, when you come on as a sales person, how long is it before you should have your first appointment? And they said on average, 30 days, you’re starting to schedule your appointments after you do all your other training.
And so we worked it out with HR, that we would get the list of new hires in sales and marketing, especially sales, because that was our biggest focus. And 30 days after, they were a part of the company, we would reach out to them with this help desk contracted team. And we would set up one-on-ones or have no more than three on a call, and we would train them on our program: who we were, what we did, what were the processes, what were the tools?
And we understood from them, what’s your philosophy around reference selling or anything like that, and so we could help set the stage and behavior that way. So I was able to take a budget and not just look at it as, we’re only going to do the basics that people expect, how are we going to be most efficient with those dollars to ensure that we’re assisting with sales requests for references, for live opportunities and creating customer marketing content, helping customers amplify their voice that could be leveraged back in to field marketing campaigns and events, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
And you know, even with the buyer’s journey, the more social media took off, by 2016, 2017 customers were already finding and down selecting their vendors long before they accepted an appointment with a sales person. And how do you do that is by having that content out and available. And so we also developed a social media strategy around our content, and I had a part time social media person on our team who liaisoned with the social media group at the company, so we could help facilitate that in a much more effective and efficient manner. So all of these things came back together.
You know, what was the big goal? How could we be relevant, and how can we do it in the most efficient and effective way, given our budget? I would include our budget person and operations team in my reporting. So they knew how conscientious I was of the dollars allocated to our team and our program. So it was even building relationships with the people who gave you the money to begin with.
Margot Leong: What were some examples of the metrics that you were measuring when it came to the ROI piece that you think had the biggest impact to the company?
Zoe Meyer: One that stands out is when we began working with field and product marketing on our advocate hosted marketing campaigns. So we would work with customers who wanted to have a speaking opportunity, right? Whether it was a user of the solution, manager or higher level, we wanted to start creating these types of campaigns, where we could put an advocate of our solutions, services, and company on a call. We had it moderated by an agency, so they did a real professional journalistic Q&A, and then we had it open for live Q&A from our prospects.
So what we did was, we looked at all prospects around this use case or this solution or this product or service. We lined up a customer advocate in that vein. We worked with field marketing to create this invite, and develop everything we needed to do. We worked with product marketing to have them work with the agency and the customer around that questionnaire that they would use during the conversation. So that everyone was in alignment among the groups, and then once we had the advocate call, we knew who was attending, where they a prospect, where they a customer, where they renewing. And we followed their sales cycle from a reporting standpoint, all the way to close won or close loss from one call.
So you could follow it through to the end. Did they participate in that call? And there were all these types of things right within the Salesforce opportunity record to track that, and that created a lot of relevance. And so we were able to help demand generation convert maybe a lead to an opportunity as a result. Or an opportunity that was at 20%, maybe now moved to 30%. And so then we just started tracking the effectiveness of certain types of initiatives we did with our best advocates.
Margot Leong: This is great. Thank you so much for going so in depth into your thinking there, I think this is going to be very valuable for the audiences so, I really appreciated the conversation today, Zoe. My last question for you is where can our listeners find you if they would like to connect and chat more?
Zoe Meyer: So I am active on LinkedIn, and I also have a B2B customer advocacy blog. And you can find me at http://www.customer-360.com.
Margot Leong: I will include all that information in the show notes and on the website as well, so that people can find you, but it was such a pleasure chatting with you, Zoe. Really appreciate having you on the show.
Zoe Meyer: Pleasure was all mine, Margot. Thank you.
Thanks for tuning into this episode of Beating The Drum. For more interviews with advocacy leaders and tips on creating customers that will sing your praises, head on over to our website, beatingthedrum.com. If you enjoyed today’s show, please subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts and don’t forget to rate and review us. If you know someone that would be a great fit for the show, I would love to hear about it. You can reach out at beatingthedrum.com. Take care, everybody.