How revisiting your target market can help accelerate growth

Srikrishnan Ganesan


Co-Founder & CEO


Srikrishnan Ganesan
Srikrishnan Ganesan

Episode Summary

Today on the show we have Srikrishnan Ganesan, co-founder and CEO of Rocketlane.

In this episode, Sri shares his experience navigating through a couple of acquisitions and how trust is the main component that ensures a smooth integration between the companies, Sri also shared what Konotor (his first startup) did prior to being acquired by FreshWorks and what their growth looked like leading to the acquisition. 

We then discussed how Freshchat changed their target customer by taking a step back and taking a look at the overall market, how that decision accelerated its growth, which then inspired Sri to take the leap once again and build a new product, Rocketlane.

Mentioned Resources



Company acquisitions: How to ensure a smooth integration. 00:02:28
Konotor: The idea, and what their growth looked like. 00:04:05
Why Shri decided to go with an acquisition offer rather than growing the company 3 years in. 00:09:30
How Freshchat took a step back and took a look at the overall market accelerated their growth. 00:14:30
How FreshWork’s growth inspired Shri to leave and start Rocket Lane. 00:18:54
What is Rocketlane 00:24:19


Andrew Michael: Hey, Sri. Welcome to the show. 

Srikrishnan Ganesan: [00:01:37] Yeah, Andrew. Thanks for having me on today. 

Andrew Michael: [00:01:40] Pleasure for the listeners. Sri is the co-founder of Rocket Lane, a purpose built customer onboarding platform that shortens your time to value and eliminate hit-or-miss experiences for your customers.

Prior to rocket lane, Sri started his career as a business analyst and product manager at Verizon. He then went on to foreign contour, a mobile first user engagement platform [00:02:00] that was later acquired by FreshWorks. SRI then worked on their hotline and fresh chat product. So my first question for you is three years having experienced a couple of acquisitions.

Now, what would you say are the most important components to completing an acquisition? Ensuring a smooth integration.

Srikrishnan Ganesan: [00:02:17] Though I myself have been part of one acquisition of conductor by FreshWorks. I've also witnessed that position. Probably seven other companies as part of FreshWorks. So I think the most important element I think is that once you establish trust between the principles on both sides, right?

And this is probably more true. Smaller companies acquiring even smaller companies, not like large corporates where, the principal maybe hard to find, but if you have that trust established, I think the rest of it falls in place easily. And you need to there's obviously the legalities that you want to work with and ensure that you bring all your concerns to the table and [00:03:00] those are addressed in your, documentaries.

And so on the way I handled that with between me and the founder of the acquiring company, there was complete trust and we didn't negotiate with each other. We lent liars do the negotiation. And that sort of helped us speed in our relationship through the ups and downs that you go through to arrive at what's the right what's the right details of the acquisition that is happening. What's the items that you negotiated. 

Andrew Michael: [00:03:26] Yeah, that's interesting. You said also when you said worries me a little bit, because I think sometimes lawyers like to be lawyers and sometimes they can end up complicating things more than necessary. But it's interesting from the perspective of just saying like maintaining the relationship is really important to make sure things get, go through smoothly.

And it's interesting that you just let them get on with it as well. From that side. Let's talk about that a little bit in the initial, the company monitor, what were you doing at the time? What was the idea like how did that take off? 

Srikrishnan Ganesan: [00:03:57] I had actually worked as head of [00:04:00] product at a B2C video app that was taking on the deal for, in India and emerging markets.

And from that experience, I felt it was easy enough to build an app and take it to a wider audience. So we built a wise messaging app to take on WhatsApp. This was back in 2012. And we soon realized that it wasn't as easy to get people to try out your name. What I experienced with the video world did not apply to the messaging world.

The network effects were far too strong and be pivoted from the B2C business into B2B STK, because we saw that people who were using our app were messaging back and forth with us to give us like feedback on our product, or we were messaging them to ask them for, to nudge them, to the next step in their journey.

Andrew Michael: [00:04:48] Funny and so on. So we fed a WhatsApp, like inbox for other people's apps could be a great idea as an engagement mechanism for mobile apps. And so that's what we built. That's what connector was, it [00:05:00] was essentially about providing an SDK. That vented to other people's apps, like a plugin inside their apps that enabled a messaging inbox for that apps.

And then the tools for the business to proactively reach out to the customers, engage back and forth on feedback or customer support through this messaging channel. 

Andrew Michael: [00:05:20] Very interesting. I liked sort of the realization in terms of the network effects and are difficult and the pivot then to focus more towards B2B.

How did the business then take off. You realize that the initial direction wasn't working, you decided to make a pivot and focus on B2B. What was it, some of the earliest sort of wins that you had what does growth look like? And maybe give us some sort of timeframe.

Srikrishnan Ganesan: [00:05:42] Thanks. This is back in 2013, I think the birth, the first version of our SDK I had been a product manager in my previous job, so I could connect well with other product managers and different companies speaking their language, pitching to them, why they should use our SDK gods, some of [00:06:00] them to try it.

And I think a lot of product managers got excited to put it in that apps, but then there was some resistance from the technical team and then from the customer support team, because they now had a new channel to deal with. We still managed to push through with a few smaller companies. And then, the interesting thing that happened was once we would live with a company that had 5,000 monthly active users, we could go to someone who had 10,000 users and say, Hey, you know what?

These guys with 5,000 are using. We are sure that we can help you use our product as well. And it should be a breeze for you to do this. Once we got the 10,000, then we went to someone who had 20,000 then do someone who had 50,000 users that doesn't want to have a hundred thousand and then 250,000 and so on.

So it became an interesting journey for us to take. Step functions function sort of growth to bigger and bigger apps. And it also so happened that some of our early customers grew rapidly and one of them had. At some point in time, 2 million active users a month and [00:07:00] overall our platform because I didn't have 8 million users using our SDK and it was just three of us, three founders building and supporting the product.

Andrew Michael: [00:07:09] Oh, wow. Very cool. So you hit this point then what happened next? So you and I like as well, like how you started off just getting smaller customers, getting some validation, using those as proof points to win bigger customers and then like pretty much using social proof all throughout your, the sales cycle, but then what happened next?

You have now 2 million users using the platform, what's next. Things started to break. It was just the three of us stretched, very hard doing the sales marketing, and building the product, supporting the scale that we were eating every month. And that's when we decided we need to hire people for the team.

Srikrishnan Ganesan: [00:07:44] We had incidentally some success with larger customers as well. We had sort of enterprise contract. Yeah. A US-based fortune 50 retailer. And we had won some money from contest organized by two big VCs. So we had the money and we were looking for like the best talent [00:08:00] and finally started hiring people for our team.

And after two years into the journey, And at that point started onboarding our team members. Things looked set for growth. We had we had a lot of success in India, Southeast Asia. It's not SDK, not so much in a us and Europe till that point in time, other than like a handful of customers, we have somehow gotten into the.

So we were about to scale. We had put together a documents to raise money and that's when there was inbound interest in acquiring the company. And we went that route, so it was an exciting enough offer. And we had known FreshWorks that quite company pretty well knew that they were like really successful and growing fast.

So just thought it makes sense to align. 

Andrew Michael: [00:08:48] Yeah very fast turnaround. Then what is this like two, three years. And you had your offer for acquisition? 

Srikrishnan Ganesan: [00:08:53] Yeah. Yeah, it was close to two years that we had been operating and yeah, it was interesting. It was a [00:09:00] fast journey, but I think because for a long part of the time, it was just the three of us doing everything.

It also felt like a long time. 

Andrew Michael: [00:09:07] Absolutely. Yeah. You working like two, two lifetimes trying to build the company, the  and then you mentioned as well, you got acquired by Freshdesk. I think. One of my favorites episodes that I've watched before was actually with Gaurish the CEO of fresh work.

Sorry. I think it's been unbelievable to watch how they've built that business. And like you say, like you, through your time, you were there seeing several acquisitions, like they've managed to Bold like such an amazing company. And the, one of the things that I loved so much about FreshWorks was how they started out with a single product with focusing on like a specific audience target persona.

So I can't remember exactly if it was support, they started with supports and doing the fresh desk and then realize the same product could be used for internal, like backtracking. Launched a new product. It was focused towards [00:10:00] developers, correct me if I'm wrong here or whatever, but it was designed to support it support.

Yeah. And what I found was really interesting was I almost identical product, but just selling into a different audience within, inside the organization, they were able to increase expansion revenue quite drastically and with very minimal changes needing to be made, like where you at the company.

Srikrishnan Ganesan: [00:10:20] Not when the decisions were made, but I was very much witness to the growth of fresh service, which was the second product, right? Like the it help desk as you said, it was a flavor on top of the original help desk product. But then once you say, Hey, this is for it. Developing its own personality as a product, a bunch of, capabilities focused on that persona and so on.

And I think that was a great move at that time. And not too many people encourage you to shift focus while your first product is. Not yet a certain revenue numbers, et cetera. So I think a good age baggy for what he believed in and paid or the sort of [00:11:00] does whatever you want to see. Yeah.

Andrew Michael: [00:11:01] Yeah, absolutely. So then you were at the company for quite a while as well, building out they rebranded the company Konotor to hotline. Was it. 

Srikrishnan Ganesan: [00:11:11] Yeah. So FreshWorks had been working on their own mobile SDK as well. So when we got acquired the team that was already building this at FreshWorks got attached to our team so now we had a bigger team and we could go after the same mission.

We not just rebranded. But often some of the capabilities that FreshWorks had already burned also into RSD SDK. So it was not only conversations anymore with also mobile-friendly FAQ's. So it became more of a help and support focused experience. And we took this to market still focused on mobile.

So I was there for a total of four and a half years. And for the first two years, almost we focused on Mobile first customer support software. And what we, the LA store was, we continued to have good success in India and Southeast Asia, but I would say when [00:12:00] compared to the rest of the FreshWorks business, it was clear that this was a different kind of business.

This was more outbound. Evangelism heavy in terms of how we needed to sell the product versus the rest of the company had leads, dropping on their labs and they just had to fulfill that demand. We had to go and create the demand as well for our product and what we realized, year and a half into all of this was that mobile customers.

Was not as big a wave yet, especially in the developed markets because people are still figuring out what they should do with their mobile app. They're launched an app. If you look at any retailer, back in 20 15, 20 16, they probably launched their app. They were hydrating on the design of it.

They wanted to make the app successful, but they didn't know how they didn't know who they were building the app for. Is it for the loyal audience? Is it for bringing in a new customer and while they were figuring that out, honestly, probably support wasn't a priority for them. So we could see that why.

Other players in the space, but also growing slowly [00:13:00] there was a separate space, which was a motto. Conversation platform for SAS products, which was growing fast. So someone like Intercom had grown from one to 50 million in three years, while at the same time, I think the leader in the mobile support space had grown from let's say five to 12 million.

So we saw that realize that you would probably think playing in a very hard market where the growth was slow. And decided to rebrand and relaunch with web and mobile. And that's what fresh chat was all about. So it took the same product said, Hey, you're going to add a web component to it. And the focus is going to be on not just mobile.

And that sort of changed everything for us in terms of the moment of visa. 

Andrew Michael: [00:13:41] For me, I think this is super interesting and it's like big crude as well to realizing this and taking a step back and looking at the markets. I think a lot of times as well, when we think about building companies and we look at our go to market strategy and who our ideal customer persona is one thing I think we forget as well, is that.

[00:14:00] If you're doing your ideal customer persona, and you're looking at your existing customer base, your existing customer base as a direct result of your marketing and the product that you've built today, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it's always going to be the biggest and best opportunity for the company.

So what led you to take a look at the market then, and that. Just realize, obviously somebody like into comment come in the soft space and exploded. Like what prompted this discussion? What prompted you to take that step back and look at the overall market in Syria was going.

Srikrishnan Ganesan: [00:14:28] So then a few things our sales person the first sales hire for Carter had been pushing me to say, Hey, why don't you? But this will be our best value. I know I can sell it to more people. But then I said, Hey, there are a hundred others doing this from web. Why would I do it for web as well?

USB is mobile. On the other hand, We also had customers telling us, Hey, can you also give this for mobile? And we can use it for our website as well. And then the last thing was I was attending startup event fad an investor investor friend of . In fact, part of the person that sort of FreshWorks he was [00:15:00] giving this talk about.

How about rising tide lifts all boats. And, that's the sort of market you want to play in when you're doing a startup, because honestly everything's stacked against you and the market is also stacked against you. Then your chances of success are lower. And when I was listening to that, it felt like it really rang true, that, if no one else in your market is also doing. Extremely well growing, super fast, doubling every year tripling of the year that maybe it's not all of your products that had a problem. But it's the market itself. Maybe it's premature for the market. It need not mean the market will never exist, but definitely right now, the moment wasn't with us

Andrew Michael: [00:15:40] Yeah, I liked that point as on terms of timing. And there's been many cases of this, like where you have some great products that just came out too early and then maybe a sub-par product came out a few years later and own the markets. And also the point of the rising tide. Startups are incredibly difficult.

And if there's like just having others around you, [00:16:00] seeing their success, it's it helps validate the work that you're doing. If you're, there's a lot of unknowns still, and you don't really have a big player in the market, that's leading the way. It also use struggle. I think with perception and people understanding your product, understanding the use cases, like there's a whole bunch of things that need to go into making.

Product takeoff. And I think one of them is timing. Like you say, it's a very interesting perspective. The, so then, alright. Made the shift, fresh chat, started seeing a bit of success, talk us through what's next. What made you decide then to leave FreshWorks now want to go ahead and start rocket lane?

Andrew Michael: [00:16:38] What was the motivation?

Srikrishnan Ganesan: [00:16:41] I think every time I start something, it comes on the back of it. Some sort of delusion that we know now know a new formula to succeed, right? The last time was from a video app this time. It was from our fresh chat journey itself where in the two and a half years that we spent at Frisch was after the pre-launch [00:17:00] aspect chat.

This became the fastest product in fish words, to each various revenue milestones the beam experienced great growth in, obviously it became a bigger team, but also personally I think every person on the team had great challenges in front of them. And I could see they were all leveling up.

Every passing quarter, they were, taking on bigger challenges and handling those. So the grow up to the moment of was pushing everyone to level up. And we felt as the founding team that was still in charge of the product, we felt, we had learned a lot in those two and a half years.

And I almost felt if he don't go out and start one more to try to put, to use what we have learned in this journey, then they're not doing justice to, what's been given to us. So it felt like, we were truly inspired by the growth of fresh books, to be honest. And that's what made us think, why not do one more like this way?

Chase something with, great moment of this time and have a new Dean come on the journey with us where, all of our new team members can also experience the growth and, it's in a way [00:18:00] it's good for the ecosystem as well, to see more startups coming through and replicating the success.

Andrew Michael: [00:18:06] For sure. For sure. I like you mentioned it as well at the beginning of the show before we started recording, like how your ambition levels had changed since joining FreshWorks and how having a new perspective. Now, I really liked that. Talk us through that a little bit, because I think this is one thing I think for me, You speak to a lot of people and depending where you come from and your backgrounds, like your ambition and your levels, and like what you're aiming to achieve can be wildly different.

I remember like having a conversation with my parents, like about a year ago and looking at their backgrounds, the way that they were brought up and their parents were both like working class and like their ambition levels, they had a good ambition level, I think to some degree. But they both then ended up becoming entrepreneurs and that set my levels at a totally different level to this.

And I tried to have this [00:19:00] conversation with them saying I think we have different levels of ambition. And I think this is probably one of the reasons, obviously there's a multitude of impacts, like the nurture versus nature and sort of thing. But yeah. How did that influence you? What are some of the things that really opened your eyes?

What was it that changed that shift in ambition? 

Srikrishnan Ganesan: [00:19:20] Yeah, I think it's just understanding what's possible, right? Like when you see a company just also started in Janae in India, like probably just a couple of years before we started our journey on Canada. And the level of success they had accomplished and how it was taking over the world.

He owns a company in which which was flying a blimp over the Salesforce tower during Dreamforce. And that obviously the revenues have kept growing. The company has become so big. It was 300 people when we joined, when I left, it was 2000 and now it's probably much more it, it really opened our eyes to what success can, yeah.

What momentum can be, what it can do for you and for the team. And [00:20:00] that sort of made us feel, Hey, this is something that we could do as well, right? Not necessarily the same outcomes at the same time we did, but we felt, Hey, why not take this on as a challenge and try to get something new and big this time, because we had a good outcome last time, but that was more a function of.

Like good negotiation and so on. And being lucky, being acquired by Fishworks at a time when Freshfields was a lot smaller. But I think this time we have our sets eyes said towards much bigger dreams as well because we have that first success. Pockets already.

Which means we can offer to aim big. Now it's go big or go home. It's not do survive. It's small. Do really do something big. 

Andrew Michael: [00:20:45] Yeah. And knowing what you know today does it influence like your decision that you made to sell to FreshWorks if they need regrets,

Srikrishnan Ganesan: [00:20:57] Not really. I think there's so much we learned from the [00:21:00] journey that I, if I were to make that decision again, I would do it the same way.

I'd probably pivot into fresh chat, the webinar part of it faster.

Andrew Michael: [00:21:11] Yeah. Nice. And yeah I like the point as well. Like I just find it very interesting. When you mentioned the beating of the shows, like at other times you don't know what you don't know, like just being surrounded, being in an environment where people show you what's actually possible.

Sometimes we're our own worst enemies with our own limiting beliefs and just being shown the way and showing like what's actually possible allows you to set your targets higher and push for bigger and better things. So I really wish you best of luck with that naturally. Tell us a little bit what you're doing now.

Why what do you do at rocket lane? How do you help your customers? What's different. 

Srikrishnan Ganesan: [00:21:45] Sure. That comes from our experiences at fish worlds, where we got pulled into like mid-market and enterprise deals pretty fast with fresh chat. And what happened was, most of these need a lot of project [00:22:00] management.

Collaboration with the customer communication with the customer when you are onboarding large customers, right? And this happens in siloed tools, right? You have spreadsheets, documents, emails, Trello boards, and whatnot, which make it hard. You're just scrambling with all of these to get across the finish line, usually needs heroics from someone and that's not scalable.

And we felt, Hey, there must be a better way to do that. Which, also keeps in mind what the customer experience should be, because as a result of using all of these different tools what key, but also doing was we were putting customer experience. In the back burner, it was like an after dock. We said if we approach this whole problem of working hand in hand with the customer on a project, on like documents, et cetera, through a journey where, you know the piece of the journey already, then how would we build this different experience differently?

And that's what rocket lane is all about. It's about helping [00:23:00] B2B companies accelerate their time to value and streamline their onboarding and implementation journey with their customer. 

Andrew Michael: [00:23:08] Nice. And just for clarity as all, when we talk about onboarding, we're talking about the high touch one-to-one one to many like onboarding experience.

We're not talking about like automated onboarding with emails. This is more like when you said like mid-market enterprise clients where you have level of handholding educating them on the product onboarding. Is that correct? 

Srikrishnan Ganesan: [00:23:29] That's right. So this is about like everything that happens after the scene from your kickoff to scoping project plans, integrations, migrations, testing, training.

Value delivery go live. Do you have all of these pieces coming together? And you're saying, Hey, I have a implementation team. I have a customer success person. They need to work hand in hand with my customer through this journey. And they need a way to track what work is on their plate. They need to make it transparent and delightful for their customer.

So [00:24:00] that every customer is having a good start of the journey that the, because this is really where the partnership with your customer starts and giving a great experience. There is going to set you on for success with the customer. 

Andrew Michael: [00:24:12] Yeah. I think we talked about this a little bit before the show, but in my opinion, after all these episodes on the podcast and the past experience that.

Onboarding is by far one of the biggest and most impactful things you can do when it comes to combating churn. And also it's a compounding impact. So if you get people set up right from the beginning that sets you up for success allows you to keep customers around for longer. And I think it's important.

It's actually funny that this is probably one of the first. Companies that are, when we talk about onboarding, pretty much everyone I've ever interviewed on the show has been around this high touch, automated onboarding model through emails and in-app sort of thing where this is taking it a different approach for different target segments.

That's interesting. What are some of the things you're seeing in the space that customers are doing really well when it [00:25:00] comes to this high touch onboarding and what are some of the areas where you think things aren't going so well, that your solutions really helped. 

Srikrishnan Ganesan: [00:25:09] Yeah, I think different people have cracked different parts of the puzzle really relevant.

I know companies that do a great job with training and, activation of team members to start using that product. On the other hand, there's some, someone else was really cracked how to. Do a great kickoff meeting and how to set expectations, right? From that point, total, hold the customer accountable through the journey because often there's work to be done on both sides.

You need to do some things. The customer needs to do some things in order to, go live with your product. So what we found is there are these great nuggets of wisdom that, people have in different parts of the journey. I don't think, I think there's a lot that all of them can learn from each other.

And so we are learning from all of them putting together like playbooks that customers can use. Which would give them ideas about how to think about best practices around [00:26:00] kickoff, how to think about incorporating best practices around implementing. At our own estimations at our own training and on testing, scoping all of them.

That's part of what we are helping with this time. How to believe is it's not only about providing a product. It's also about thinking about the problem in general and enabling our customers to find value from us as a company, not just from the software we provide. Of course I think Vanta software really shines.

Yeah. When you use a generic project tools or spreadsheets to collaborate with the customer, once you invite the customer into, let's say a Trello board or a sign-on project that space becomes a shared experience with them, which means your internal conversations, your internal collaboration needs to find a different space.

So we end up with either copies of projects, copies of documents, audio you end up with, DME. People on slack for part of the conversation, which you don't want to have in front of the customer. And that sort of creates its own siloed buckets of [00:27:00] knowledge about that customer. So you don't have a true system of record around your implementation anymore.

That's one of the problems we believe our software is able to solve by enabling external and internal collaboration to happen at the same time. The second thing we have really focused on is how do you deliver like a consistent experience for every customer? So we really focused on the lab. Creation of playbooks, which can include your document collaboration and your project plan, including internal and external documents, internal like private tasks visible only to your team versus visible to the customer, et cetera, so that your entire playbook is set up and you can make sure the team is adhering to it while still maintaining the right level of complexity in terms of what is shared with the customer.

And I think . We have created a separate experience for the customer. Think of it like a customer portal, which, you can brand, let's say it's a fresh box is a customer. Then it would be a success start, would be the portal that they invite their customers into, where they get [00:28:00] the customer can see where they are in the journey, what needs to be done next?

What are all the documents that have been shared with them that they need to work on together. All of that in that, one portal and

Andrew Michael: [00:28:13] . In your opinion, what would you say is your biggest risk that you have today as a company?

Srikrishnan Ganesan: [00:28:16] I would say that's probably, it feels like we built a great product now and we need to educate the market about the importance of this onboarding phase. And we are working on that already. But I think getting the attention towards this onboarding and the fact that people need to focus on a streamlined experience doing that hydrogen voting percent set themselves up for success for symptoms of that fall back, faster expansion into those accounts.

And that customer experience makes a difference. Yeah, but I mean that the forest is the marketing is where this lies today is what I feel.

Andrew Michael: [00:28:53] Yeah. I think there's definitely like momentum in the right direction. When it comes to you mentioned some things like the [00:29:00] understanding of customer success, overall, the ROI of customer success in companies is still something that's.

Needs more clarity on, there's definitely a lot of companies moving the right direction. Obviously like pretty much everybody listens to this podcast, I think believes in the value of customer success, but there is still a long way too, I think for like the general population to really get in and buy and understand it.

And then, like you said, I think. The next step then just becomes a natural step though. If everybody understands the value of CS, understands the need to have effective onboarding and to have these programs set up, then having a good solution to manage and maintain that process becomes a no brainer.

But yeah, I would agree the other one, I would say those potentially as well as your own onboarding itself, because I think the other issue potentially with this product or solution is like the time to value. It's not super straightforward because there's a lot of work that needs to be done. So I'm assuming you're doing a lot of work on your end around putting together, like you said, these playbooks, these templates to try and automate that as fast as possible to get people to value [00:30:00] as quickly as possible as well.

Okay. Correct. 

Srikrishnan Ganesan: [00:30:02] Absolutely. I think that's definitely another point. The majority of our customers, if they are at zero, we need to bridge the gap and help them come to one and then two level three, right? Yeah. Versus and that's definitely another risk that, a lot of them maybe at level zero or level one, while we are trying like the features of the product probably help you get to level two and level three, but there's some work we need to help them with to get to them.

Andrew Michael: [00:30:30] Absolutely. I can't remember, like we've had this discussion of levels on the show, like two or three times around customer success and the different phases that teams go through. It definitely is an interesting concept and it sounds like there's more and more agreement on the different stages, like from interviews that I've had, like people coming to some sort of a common understanding of what the phases are w if I remember what they are, we'll drop them in the show notes.

So you can check out the other persona who was listening now, but. I see we're running up on time. So I want to save the question that I always [00:31:00] ask every guest let's imagine a hypothetical scenario. Now you joined a new company. General attention is not doing great. And this year comes to you and says, Hey, Sri we really need to turn things around.

It's on you. You've got 90 days. What do you do, but here's the catch. You're not going to tell me that you're going to go speak to customers, understand the biggest pain points, and then you're going to work on that. You're going to pick something from your past experience, something tactical that you've implemented, that you've seen, had an improvement on churn and retention, and you're gonna run with that.

Srikrishnan Ganesan: [00:31:33] Okay. I'm going to rely on not just my experience, but also what I've heard from others, which really resonated with me. I would say, for all new customers signing up, I'm gonna, have someone from their team, also responsible for them. Success metrics, right? So if the head of marketing is signing up for a marketing product that you're selling them, that I'm going to say, Hey, who from your team is going to [00:32:00] be our partner in ensuring success of this so that you can set their chaotic is based on what we are supposed to accomplish with that product.

And that way our goals and their goals are really well aligned. They're looking at us as a vendor and saying, Hey, you could accomplish your goals. But instead there's someone in their company who is equally motivated to showcase our success. Because that's what they are signing up for as well.

I think this is probably more mid-market into place. But I think it was a tactic that I would definitely try out to see if. 

Andrew Michael: [00:32:36] Yeah. So I definitely, I think what you're saying is taking sort of the idea of having a customer champion a step further. Yeah. Making both parties accountable for the metrics and achieving the goals.

So it's not just on one end where this is a service if you don't deliver, but it's more like who's the person who's putting their neck out in the line to say that this is going to work and who's going to be most vested and interested to make it work. So you have a good partner in crime as you [00:33:00] onboard and as you try and help them get to value as fast as possible.

That's right. That's right. Nice. Last question. And then what's one thing that, you know today about churn and retention that you wish you knew when you got started with your career?

I would say probably. This is like a big mistake that we did in the past, in the previous startup, which, we didn't connect the form of one of our customers. And we just had that emails or we would never know why they left us or why they're not trying it out. On what it would I, so I would say if you have a beam, you have a customer customer facing team, whether it's sales or customer success or whatever you want to call it and building them with the ability to call your customer is like one of the basic things which can really help you solve problems in, in your retention.

Andrew Michael: [00:33:43] It's so interesting that you say that because literally today I was thinking about this, like I've had to fill in my telephone number and a couple of companies now I was thinking it's for me, it's a little bit foreign that people still call to do sales deals. But obviously it happens all the time.

And it's There's this notion where it's [00:34:00] you're interrupting the customer in their moments of time without understanding like when they would book an appointment or like when's a good time. But also I do obviously from the customers, from like the company's perspective, understand it's a big opportunity to be able to reach somebody and actually have that call in their discussion by having the telephone number.

So I'm on the fence on this one. I'm not sure which is a thing, but your argument should makes as well. A bit of sense. I don't know, like how you feel about. The user experience when it comes to providing a telephone number, as opposed to just booking a call with them and having a schedule on that.

Srikrishnan Ganesan: [00:34:33] Yeah that's pretty much why we didn't do it the last time, because we felt it would be interrupting, but having seen the benefit, I just feel, and we also figured that a lot of people expect recall. So it works both ways. You make it optional for the customer to provide the number, but if they're provided by all means, Cool then.

Andrew Michael: [00:34:53] Yeah, no, absolutely. I, and there's obviously a large amount of value in sort of that immediacy, like you say, the [00:35:00] customers expect the call. We also had that previous episode with Mark Roberge where we're talking about like how the time to, or like the time of the call. So the faster you called your customers, the luckily the higher likelihood of closing.

And I think it was like anything over a minutes. Domestically decreased like 50% chance of closing the deal versus 90% to begin with. So speed and expectations, I think has also one thing is just maybe personal preference of mine is not to receive calls. Cool. Sri, it's been a pleasure chatting today.

Thanks. It's been an exceptional learning from you is any final thoughts you want to leave the listeners with anything that they should be aware of up to speed. We'll obviously in the show notes, provide links to Rocky lane. For them to check it out. But anything else you wanna leave us with? I think the only thing I would probably, end with this I think the last year has been a crazy time for all of us given the pandemic.

And I think how we build, how we sell, how we engage has all changed quite a bit. And we [00:36:00] believe that there's obviously a lot more. Online collaboration that's, happening both from our they've and customer success perspective and that a modern collaborative experience is going to do a world of good for your team's ability to impress your customers through that onboarding journey.

And that's. What we are building giving them tools to equip them to look better for different customer, all the customer account to go through the journey on while still having that asynchronous experience. That'd be all now preferred. 

Andrew Michael: [00:36:38] Yeah, absolutely. Things are changing. Remote's definitely to stay at least two big degree and we need to start adapting and Getting to it.

I think for me, I come in having worked remotely for the last five years or so. I think there's not much of a change, but definitely seeing a change in behavior in the markets. And we all need to start slowly adapting to it. [00:37:00] But Sri, it's been a pleasure having you on the show today. Thank you so much for joining and wish you best of luck now and much success going forward with Rocklin.

Thank you so much, Andrew. 


Andrew Michael: [00:37:12] And that's a wrap for the show today with me, Andrew, Michael, I really hope you enjoyed it. And you're able to pull out something valuable for your business to keep up to date with and be notified about new episodes. Blog posts and more subscribe to our mailing list by visiting Also, don't forget to subscribe to our show on iTunes, Google play, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

If you have any feedback, good or bad, I would love to hear from you and you can provide your blend direct feedback by sending it to, lastly, but most importantly, if you enjoyed this episode, please share it and [00:38:00] leave a review. As it really helps get the word out and grow the community.

Thanks again for listening. See you again next week.


Srikrishnan Ganesan
Srikrishnan Ganesan

The show

My name is Andrew Michael and I started CHURN.FM, as I was tired of hearing stories about some magical silver bullet that solved churn for company X.

In this podcast, you will hear from founders and subscription economy pros working in product, marketing, customer success, support, and operations roles across different stages of company growth, who are taking a systematic approach to increase retention and engagement within their organizations.


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