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In which I pretend to be a PM for apps like Sentroid, which I tried and thought was pretty nifty. Sentroid uses an AI voice assistant to help account executives or sales reps or just "reps" get reps (ie, repetitions) with a wide variety of "AI prospects" so when they talk to a real human prospect, they're ready. In this episode, I talk to my friend Skye who's currently Tern's founder and previously led Signifyd's growth alongside it's CEO from Seed stage to Series D stage, from <10 employees to hundreds. 

As a PM my objective is to help build products that provide value to high-frequency use- cases so it can acquire newer users at lower cost and retain existing ones at higher value. 

  • Use-cases: How often and how severe is the use-case. Is there a higher frequency, higher severity adjacent use-case. 

  • Acquisition: What are barriers to try and switch. 

  • Retention: Can value be delivered sooner to avoid risk of churn. 

Takeaways:​​

  • Training reps is a high frequency, high severity job for Skye. Reps talk to prospects daily and without daily practice, the risk of losing a deal, slowing growth and ultimately sinking the company is high. 

  • Quantity and quality of practice is important. Of the two, quantity is easier to solve for. 

  • Wrt quality, designing role play to be random and injecting objections heard by more senior reps is one technique. But without an ongoing, objective measure of quality of practice, a manager might only discover it too late. 

  • "What happened next" as a conversation hack to get detailed and reliable user feedback worked

Next steps with Skye and others:

  • Mockups/ prototypes: Skye mentions a sales mgr needing to stand behind the team's performance. Without objective data other than sales $, that could be hard. I might want to put some mockups in front of him to show how a sales mgr could show a CEO how s/he has the most well trained sales team. 

  • Asks: See if Skye would be open to sharing how he tracked role play efforts. Follow up on how he's tried out new tools in the past, and barriers to try. 

  • Probe: Show sales mgrs who feel they're improving relative to their previous month or quarter that in absolute terms, or relative to peers, they actually aren't doing that well

  • Talk: to more potential users and buyers: Sales Reps/ Mgrs/ Dirs/ VPs/ CROs. 

  • Test: Is the problem more acute for a sales rep or their mgr. 

Big thanks to Skye for his time and knowledge! 

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