Tackling churn in a downturn

Eleanor Dorfman


Sales Leader


Eleanor Dorfman
Eleanor Dorfman

Episode Summary

Today on the show we have Eleanor Dorfman, Sales Leader at Retool.

In this episode, Eleanor shares her experience in balancing priorities in her roles sitting at the intersection of sales and success.

We then ran through how Segment and Retool approach tackling churn in a downturn along with the 5 questions sales and success teams should always be able to answer about their customers at any point in their lifecycle and we wrapped up by discussing how adding friction to onboarding can be a great way to increase activation and retention.

As usual, I'm excited to hear what you think of this episode, and if you have any feedback, I would love to hear from you. You can email me directly on Andrew@churn.fm. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter.

Mentioned Resources




The importance of seeing the entire customer lifecycle and thinking about it as one giant go-to-market organization.00:01:32
The need to balance the priorities of sales and customer success, with a focus on net dollar retention (NDR) as the guiding principle.00:02:05
The importance of communicating the value of the product to the CFO and other decision-makers in the organization.00:07:46
The need for multiple champions within an organization to mitigate the risk of churn.00:13:31
The importance of ruthless prioritization and scrutiny in the current economic climate.00:14:26
The challenges of making organizational and operational adjustments during a period of uncertainty.00:16:37
The importance of focusing on the right things and balancing analysis with decisiveness.00:20:28
The need to constantly ask what problem the product is solving for the business and why it is important.00:26:08
The focus on activation as a key tactic to improve churn and retention.00:27:27
The anticipation of innovation and best practices in churn and retention during the next year.00:29:04


[00:00:00] Andrew Michael: Hey Elena, welcome to the show.  
[00:00:07] Eleanor Dorfman: Hi, Andrew. Thanks for having me.  
[00:00:09] Andrew Michael: It's great to have you back. Uh, for the listeners, Eleena is the sales leader at Retool the fastest way to build your own customer internal tools. Eleena was a previous guest of the show when she was at Segment serving as the global head of Commercial Attention and regional Director of Commercial Sales. Uh, so my first question for you, Elena, is like, your roles have revolved around the intersection of customer success and sales, and first of all, like, is that correct? And then second, how do you balance the priorities of each? If yes,  
[00:00:40] Eleanor Dorfman: Yes. Uh, I would say that's definitely correct. I actually started my career in customer success as a C S M and then moved into sales and then back to customer success and then into sales. And I think the common thread is just building new teams, trying to figure out where I can have the highest impact at an organization and then solving interesting problems. Uh, and so when I joined Retool, it was pretty early stage and the opportunity where I could have the biggest impact was on the sales side and, and building out, uh, sales teams there. So, so that's what I've been doing. But I think the way I think about it is when you can see the entire customer lifecycle, I, I just think about myself more as a company builder because I, I like thinking about it all as one giant lifecycle and one giant go-to-market organization versus just sales or success or renewals or account management. Yeah. Um,  
[00:01:32] Andrew Michael: And so that, so yeah, no, that was the main, uh, question. Cause I think like one of the things is there's sometimes competing priorities between sales and success, uh, in the best companies when you're aligned, like everybody's working nicely together and the motivations are there, but how do you sort of, uh, balance the priorities of each, uh, team? So on one end, like really closing new deals on the other end, like customer success, probably thinking about retaining existing deals, like when you're in these roles that sit in between, like how do you balance those priorities?  
[00:02:05] Eleanor Dorfman: Yeah. And right now I focus on new business expansion and renewals. Uh, our sales team is the point on all three. And our customer success team is laser focused on activation and adoption. And it's interesting sales leader, Eleanor has definitely, I've found myself in some positions where I'm like, customer success, Eleanor would really resent this decision you're thinking of making right now. So there's, there's definitely a healthy intention, uh, which I, I do believe is healthy in terms of thinking about how to optimize for top line revenue while still keeping your North star as N D R. And I think that's what's very helpful. And that's my guiding principle is from, for a B2B SaaS company, I think net dollar retention, net revenue retention, N D R N R R is the most important metric because it's a sign that you have a healthy business, a sticky product, and one that customers want to continue using. And it is ultimately so much cheaper and easier. And frankly, I think very rewarding to expand customers and have them see success with your product and use it more. And so the way I navigate that tension is optimizing always for N D R and thinking about that as my North Star.  
[00:03:15] Andrew Michael: Yeah, it's, it's very interesting. I think this is something we've previously heard as well is like often a contention point between sales and success is when they're, the goals are misaligned and it's really like sales are just closing anything and everything, and then they're passing them over the fence and expecting customer success to retain on the other end. But having like the sales lens and some of the, the companies that I've heard as well in the past where they actually tie compensation and sales to the renewal event, so it becomes more of a team effort, I dunno. Uh, but having that in the back of your mind from either a sales leader or a CS leader, I think is really, really important. How do you, how do your teams work together then on this? So I think it, today it's just predominantly reliant in sales, but is there any sort of, um, joint, uh, efforts together between CS and sales at Rito?  
[00:04:01] Eleanor Dorfman: Oh, very much. The, the account teams work very closely together. So the, the sales team is very focused. If you think about the customer life cycle from acquisition to activation to adoption, and then retention and growth, the sales, the AEs, the sales engineers are very focused on acquisition. And then we have a technical compo, uh, counterpart and post sales that comes in. They're laser focused on activation. Our CSMs are laser focused on adoption while the AEs stay involved and maintain relationships with the buyers. And then the AEs take the lead on the renewal side in partnership with the C S M. And so it really is this virtuous cycle because we are such a land and expand product, uh, we're very horizontal. You can buy retool for an initial handful of use cases and then expand beyond that as new operational needs, uh, inevitably come up in your business.  
[00:04:54] Andrew Michael: Yeah.  
[00:04:55] Eleanor Dorfman: Different product lines. And so that's the other natural point of expansion where the account teams work together.  
[00:05:02] Andrew Michael: Yeah, I think that's a beautiful thing about retool itself is that you can always be expanding use cases for the product to service and then growing within the org and yeah. So going on this line as well, like you've been at this intersection as well now, I would say probably like two really significant, uh, events in our economy. So like one was previously covid, I think at that stage, at Segment and now at Retool. Um, where, where you're in this balance and how did you think about like churn retention when you were going into these like major economic events and, uh, thinking about the business as a whole, like from a sales leader's perspective, but then also like from the customer success side and, uh, what acquisition and retention would look like.  
[00:05:43] Eleanor Dorfman: Yeah, I mean, I think the, the biggest thing that I've realized going through being in new business acquisition as well as having a retention lens through two major economic events definitely is the right buyer is always finance. Uh, before buy finance could have been a rubber stamp, they could have been a consulting party, but previously your buyer was usually the functional lead, A C M o, A C T o, A V P E, ccio O but that was almost always the C F O. And no matter what the deal is, you're going through the C F O. And so that means when you're going into a new deal, you need to have a raw, solid business case and an incredibly powerful R o I story that doesn't just happen at that moment in time.  
[00:06:32] Eleanor Dorfman: And I think that's the biggest shift. It isn't just when you close the deal, it has to be top of mind at the end of every month, at the end of every quarter when you're doing quarterly business reviews, when you're preparing for a renewal. And anyone who worked with the excitement will laugh. But we had these, we put together these five golden questions, uh, that the sales team would use that the renewals team would use, that the C S M team would use. And we've started thinking about these again, uh, at retool. Um, but it was basically what is the value that segment retool insert company name is delivering to the customer? What major positive business outcome does this value attach to? How does Segment deliver this value? Is segment successfully delivering this value today? And who would the customer understands and cares about the specific value delivered? And we used those questions as, okay, if we're signing a new deal, are we gonna be able to answer these questions? Okay, at the three month mark, can we answer these questions and can we answer them at all levels of an organization from the practi practitioner up to the C F O, who's ultimately now going to be making that decision and isn't going to care about how cool your tool is and isn't going to care about anything that isn't fundamentally driving revenue or reducing costs for their business. Mm-hmm.  
[00:07:46] Andrew Michael: <affirmative>, so is being, spending a lot more time and really being deliberate about communicating the value that the tool was delivering on like a regular basis. Um,  
[00:07:55] Eleanor Dorfman: Just communication. It, you cannot, nothing can happen in the shadows anymore. And I think one thing I, I call it from a, it's almost from a, from a person perspective, from a product perspective, from a process perspective, when you're in an economic downturn like this, you can't hide anymore. Like you can't expect the rising tide to just carry you through or everyone being in hyper-growth mode or your customers being really busy. There's just no hiding. Your product has to deliver and every single person needs to know how your product is delivering and why it matters. And it just has to be, there's redundancy is not a advice in this situation. It has to be an almost constant refrain and it needs to be in your customer's words and it needs to be at all levels of the organization. It's, it's, it's just something that you could did away without doing before and now you can't cuz everyone is looking at every license and every line item and every dollar going out the door.  
[00:08:52] Andrew Michael: Yeah, it's definitely like one quote is, well that stuck in the back of my mind was from David, uh, domino when I was working with him. At some point we were talking a little bit about like different business ideas and like how you would evaluate like what business to go into next. And one of the things he mentioned as well was like this idea of, um, where do you sit like on, uh, the list of tools in terms of value that you deliver for the customer and like when she hits the fan, are you the first on the top of that list to go or you gonna be the last and the things that people can't live without? And really like, use that as a lens to question like, okay, what value do we deliver that this company can absolutely not like they can't operate without? Or like, are we just the nice to haves? Uh, and I think that's like a, a tough question to ask yourself as a company is like, are we really like this cannot live without service or product, or are we one of those ones that can easily be replaced or, or shipped or uh, cut. Uh, so I definitely see that, yeah. One  
[00:09:48] Eleanor Dorfman: To that is not only do you have to be something they can't live without, you need to make sure the right people know that they can't live without you and why they can't live without you. Because if your infrastructure, if you're something that's happening in the background segment is very much a tool that can operate in the background. You're not logging into it every day. It's, it's processing your data and powering your customer journeys in the background. Reto, you might not even know you're using a retool application every day. And a C F O might not know that the entire engineering or sales or support team is logging into Reto every day. So it's actually both. You one have to be, it's the reality and the optics. So you have to actually be business critical and then the right people have to know that you're a business critical. And why,  
[00:10:31] Andrew Michael: How do you go about doing that? Uh, so like CFOs probably not the easiest people to reach within organizations. You're typically working with the, the end user, the buyer, uh, reaching the products. Uh, how do you make sure that you're getting the message across?  
[00:10:44] Eleanor Dorfman: A lot of it is just arming them with the business case and making sure that your, your buyer, the one who is partnering, like your executive sponsor, your buyer, the person who will be going to the C F O and defending and baning, like you want them to be banning the table and say, I cannot live without retool. I can't do my job without reto, my org can't do their job without retool. So it's arming that person typically to have those conversations and helping them with the decks and helping them with the collateral and providing the metrics. And you as an AE or C S M or any customer facing role, being able to deliver that story in the customer's language in a way that will resonate to the decision makers. Mm.  
[00:11:24] Andrew Michael: So providing, uh, like collateral itself and really like, uh, aim like as, you mean like arming them with the tools they need to convince, uh, whoever it is within the organization. One of the things, well I think we previously discussed this on episode if I recall correctly, but was this idea of the, the customer champion and being a big, uh, cause for concern churn, you invest. So like you've described our scenario, when you invest this time educating this individual or this team to be able to go to cfo, um, what are some of the ways like you can mitigate the, the challenges of like the customer champion actually end up leaving at the end of the day and then, um, not having that communication path to the CFO to really understand the value?  
[00:12:03] Eleanor Dorfman: Yeah, I think there's still no replacement for an amazing champion. I think it's the most important thing, but we're in a world where there are a lot of layoffs happening, there's still a decent amount of turnover happening. So you can't just have one champion with segment with retool. Both our developer tooling companies, first and foremost, and the primary users are developers, but you're, they're still solving business problems. They're very much technical products that solve business problems. And so you can have a technical champion and you can have a business champion and you can have promoters at all levels of the organization. So while you might have one champion that's core to your deal, to your expansion, you can still have more than one person that sees the value and understands. And that's the importance of having those regular QBR as and ensuring there's multiple people at an organization that can say, here's the problem, tool solves, here's why it matters for our business and here's the benefits that it's delivered. And so I think, I mean, multithreading is always going to be extremely important and it is even more important right now because you need multiple people banging on the table right now to say, we need to keep this product and maybe we even need more.  
[00:13:09] Andrew Michael: Yeah. And I, as you said, I think especially now with all the layoffs that are going off, like I don't even think people know like where half their customers are at any given point now over the last few weeks, just how crazy things have been. Um, so having that like additional threading in the organization and having champions like spread out, uh, would've definitely been saving a lot of companies today. I think, uh, from going off the list, yeah,  
[00:13:31] Eleanor Dorfman: There's been a lot and you wake up and and it's horrible and you're like, my champion was laid off and your first concern is them and then you have to go in and find another champion and make sure that you still are in good footing, uh, in the organization.  
[00:13:43] Andrew Michael: Yeah. Uh, and then so one aspect obviously then, like in downturns now, um, there's definitely a lot of scrutiny that happens, uh, on the bottom line and trying to understand what tools go out and what, uh, end up sticking around with. And that a lot of it, as you mentioned, like tied to just communicating the value, making sure that um, you're delivering on that. Another aspect I think as well then is like perhaps there's certain industries and we're chatting a little bit about this previously that will be a little bit stickier than others. And um, is this something that companies should be thinking about a little bit when they think about their retention play, like which companies to be spending time with or is just pretty much making sure we can communicate across the board and and d deliver value there?  
[00:14:26] Eleanor Dorfman: I think it's, it's pretty consistent. I think it's understanding where the risk is, cuz I do think people need to be really intentional about this right now because also not every, most companies aren't in a place where they're reevaluating headcount and what does growth look like, and you can no longer be in a position where you can just rapidly hire your way through a problem. And so pri ruthless prioritization, scrutiny, scrutiny is definitely the word. I actually was running a training recently and searched scrutiny and gong and came from budget scrutiny and just a sea of calls came up of sales calls where the, uh, prospect was like, oh, well our budgets are being scrutinized. Well, there's additional scrutiny right now on our budget. And so scrutiny is sort of the, the word for the moment for sure. Um, but it's scrutiny and it's ruthless prioritization and it's happening across the board.  
[00:15:14] Eleanor Dorfman: So I do think it's important to take a look at your customer base and say, all right, where do we see the biggest opportunity? Where do we know we need to double down on retention right now? Because we know those companies are going through it and figuring out, okay, that's, those are gonna be our saves. Let's go shore those up. These are our maintains. They're relatively solid, they're steady state and this is where we think there's gonna be expansion because these are the verticals that are still growing. These are industries that are doing well right now. And so I think it is being very ruthless about where do we need to go save, where can we confidently maintain and where can we go invest, uh, because we still see some expansion opportunities.  
[00:15:49] Andrew Michael: Ok. Yeah, that, that's interesting. And then through these changes, like have you made any organizational operational, uh, adjustments, sort like, uh, the way the teams are structured, the areas of focus in this downturn? Or have you pretty much kept the playbook that you've had, uh, previously?  
[00:16:05] Eleanor Dorfman: I mean, I think we'll likely make some organizational shifts heading into the new year, but the risk is also thrashing your teams too much because the earth, I mean since 2020 has not stopped moving under our feet and you can't do a reward every three months and expect to see changes. So we're actually just keeping our normal cadence of reevaluating at the end of the year. What are the priorities for next year? What are the key problems we're trying to solve and the key opportunities we're going after rather than thrashing the team right now. Um, so we're definitely  
[00:16:37] Andrew Michael: Things up again. Yeah.  
[00:16:39] Eleanor Dorfman: So it's a big, big part of our planning, but I do think that the burnout implications, uh, the inability to really understand what factors and variables are influencing things is really real and you have to be careful about over thrashing your team.  
[00:17:16] Andrew Michael: Yeah, I think like it's been a, a rough few years and I think there's been a lot of changes within organizations quite rapidly, like just trying to adapt to the different markets in different circumstances. So keeping things a little bit normal, uh, for a period as well can definitely aid the team as well and having a bit of clearer picture and understanding of like where to go next or what's happening. Yeah.  
[00:17:16] Eleanor Dorfman: Yeah. I mean, just nine months ago we were in the world where valuations were through the roof and you couldn't hire and like offers had to keep getting higher and higher and you couldn't hire recruiters and you couldn't hire salespeople. And, and now we wake up to layoffs news every day and it's so if, if you just have, we can't just do so many changes because it, we need to reach some sort of steady state before we know we're setting up our teams to be successful. Organizational changes are extremely cost, high cost to a, to a company and to a team. And so yeah, I think it's just a one day at a time approach right now.  
[00:17:50] Andrew Michael: Yeah. And th that is a good point as well. I think like sales specifically, like really, really good sales, uh, members like are traditionally quite difficult to find and to hire and there is a lot of competition in the market. How are you viewing like this economic downturn then in terms of that? Is like it an opportunity or is it something like we should just like stay away from and like, uh, stand on the sidelines for now until we see what's gonna be happening?  
[00:18:12] Eleanor Dorfman: No, I mean, I think on my perspective on that changes pretty much every week, um, <laugh> depending on the news cycle. So I think both very much depending on the circumstance, we're still hiring amazing, amazing people are always going to be important to hire. Like if, if you find someone who's an incredible salesperson, you're still gonna wanna hire them no matter what and, and create space for them in your organization and they're gonna be just as hard to hire during a downturn as they are during a bull market, um, because they're so good at their job. And so I think that's always going to be my north star there is if you find someone really incredible, you create space for them in, in your organization cuz people are what's gonna help every company weather this storm and, and come out stronger on the other side, having the right people in seat. So I think that's always going to be a constant.  
[00:18:57] Andrew Michael: Yeah. Then what would you say is like one of the things that's keeping you up the most at nights now? Uh, when it comes to, to the business going forward?  
[00:19:08] Eleanor Dorfman: Everything. Um, <laugh>, the, uh, trying to think what the number one would be. I mean, I obviously, I, I go to, I wake up and go to sleep thinking about our Q4 numbers and the goals for next year and how we're going to get there. But I care a lot about the people side. So I would say the thing that keeps me up the most is I think I'm personally someone who's very used to being like, okay, here's a problem, here's how we're gonna solve it. But we're sort of an, I haven't used the word unprecedented in a while, so unprecedented number of things are outside of our control. I think the thing that's keeping me with the most is being able to look at the landscape right now and identify what is in our control. How can I best set up the team to be successful and ensure that as a leadership team and as a company, we're doing everything we can to make the team successful, but doing so in a way where we, I know that control is theoretically an illusion, but yeah, doing so in a way really recognize what is in our control.  
[00:20:10] Andrew Michael: Yeah. And I think like now more than ever, like it's super, super critical to be criticizing every decision we are making and making sure that like, if you're gonna do something like this is the absolutely most important, like nothing else matters in the world, uh, this time.  
[00:20:10] Eleanor Dorfman: I think if it's interrogating the business almost and are we interrogating the right parts of the business and are we focusing on the right things? And I think those decisions, things that previously never felt high stakes feel a lot more high stakes right now. Yeah. And, and balancing the right level of analysis with the right level of decisiveness feels like a tougher needle to thread than it used to  
[00:20:46] Andrew Michael: For sure. Now I think like there's already companies that, uh, worked in the past where like, you would have this, this is urgent, this needs to be done, this is urgent, this is urgent. But then if everything is urgent, then nothing is urgent. And like having that critical view to be able to step back and say, okay, like nothing else matters except for this one individual thing is like, where I've always seen like the biggest results come from Teams is when everybody's like hyper focused and working together.  
[00:20:46] Eleanor Dorfman: Um, but it's, it's harder to focus now because everything feels so urgent and it feels like, so it's, so, it's just those decisions feel a little harder and they, and they feel higher states, but they're, they are higher stakes now <laugh>.  
[00:21:21] Andrew Michael: Exactly. It's,  
[00:21:21] Eleanor Dorfman: And it's cause those things are, are true <laugh>.  
[00:21:25] Andrew Michael: So one of my favorite, uh, episodes actually today was the episode we previously did, um, because it, it's a story that I keep leaning back on, uh, in different episodes when we talk about activation and onboarding. And you touched on it earlier, uh, where at Segment at the time what you realized was actually adding friction to the onboarding experience enabled you to like increase retention and ensure like people actually use the service correctly, which made a lot of sense for Segment, I think, because the whole value prop was having good clean data and if you just left people to go do their own thing. Um, is this something that you've seen now, uh, like Transcended, retool? Is there like, because I think I would imagine the complexities are fairly similar and getting set up to a point where you have something that's really valuable. I might be misunderstanding this a bit, but do you have a similar case at Retool now or  
[00:22:35] Eleanor Dorfman: Yeah, we do and it, it's not as, what's interesting about Retool is it's the double-edged sword of having an open-ended platform. The use cases you can build on retool are endless. They're, they're limitless. And any organization can use retool. You could, we have a dairy farming consortium as a customer as well as startups, as well as government agencies as well as traditional tech companies. It's, it's pretty crazy. So onboarding is very much a, a moving target. And so for some they might start with a relatively simple use case where they can just get going on their own. And for some it could be a really complex migration where you need to zoom out and say, let's actually put together an entire project plan upfront before we start building. And so for those where it's sort of a medium to large grain size initial use case, absolutely. For the others, speed is the entire value proposition and speed is the core thing and you're just like, let's go hit the ground running and go. Um, so I would say it's less, less consistently do we need that with Segment, but where we need it, it's almost even more important because we're building something that touches so many different teams. So like touch is part of their code base, production level databases and things like that. And so it varies, but yes, in many instances it's still very critical.  
[00:23:59] Andrew Michael: It's still critical. Yeah. I, I see that as well. Like the, there's that opportunity with retool just to get up running immediately and have something valuable for the team, uh, within like a very, very short space of time. But then now, yeah, but if you are like trying to migrate more of an existing like admin platform that has a little bit more complexities that could take, uh, it's time and uh, making sure you're helping the team on that thing so they don't just like give up after the first couple of weeks and say, okay, it's not for us. Uh,  
[00:24:26] Eleanor Dorfman: Exactly. And where accuracy matters more than speed where you wanna, you're taking something that they've been running their business on for a very long time and shifting it over and minimizing disruption is incredibly important. Minimizing mistakes is incredibly important. And so for there, it is actually very critical to say, okay, what's the right plan? How do we wanna do this? What do we need from each side? Okay, now let's go.  
[00:24:50] Andrew Michael: Yeah, I, I'm not sure if I asked this in uh, episode, but you can uh, maybe give the same answer and nuance if it's changed cuz I ask every guest now, uh, recently is that what's one thing that you know today about channel retention that you wish you knew when you got started with your career?  
[00:25:07] Eleanor Dorfman: I mean, I would, I would definitely say that it's actually what we touched on earlier where when I got started I was, my first role was A C S M. I thought all that mattered was, was doing the thing was making sure the product got adopted and that it got used. And, and I thought that was sufficient. And what I've learned since is that is actually insufficient. It is far more important that it gets it, well it is, it is necessary but not sufficient that it is necessary that the product gets adopt, activated and used. But it is also a requirement to then go and say, why did this matter? What problems did this solve for your business? And making sure the right people hear about it because it didn't adopted and used, but ultimately not solve a very important problem. And if you don't know that you've spent a ton of time and then still are in a retention risk situation. And so it is very important to always be asking yourself, what problem am I solving for the business? What value am I delivering? Why is this important to them? And that that's the mindset you need to have at all times.  
[00:26:08] Andrew Michael: Yeah. Uh, and then last question, uh, imagine a hypothetical scenario. You joining a new company, general retention is not doing well at all at this company. Uh, CO comes to you and says, Hey Lena, you have 90 days to turn things around for us. What do you do? The trick, you're not gonna go and tell me, I'm gonna speak to customers, figure out their pain points and then start there. You're gonna just take something, a tactic that you've seen work previously at an a previous organization and run with that blindly hoping it works at this new organization.  
[00:26:38] Eleanor Dorfman: Okay. Um, well I'd like to think I'm not joining that company and I  
[00:26:42] Andrew Michael: Is always, the good answer is like, runaway is not an option. Like,  
[00:26:47] Eleanor Dorfman: But everyone's like, well what I do is I would turn back time and do better diligence upfront. Yeah. Uh, I would say the, the biggest tactic and, and let me know if this is also not allowed, but look at the funnel and just actually really understand where the drop off is happening. Nine times out of 10 it's going to be that they never got activated. And so I think the tough thing is to say, okay, if we're gonna only have to tactically laser focus on one or two things right now, it might not be, we might not be able to go and save every existing customer because that's very time consuming, but we can plug the whole moving forward. So then as we're increasing top line, we're able to retain it and grow that revenue. So I would actually probably turn in laser focus on activation.  
[00:27:25] Andrew Michael: Activation,  
[00:27:27] Eleanor Dorfman: Yeah. On every new customer that comes in, predictably gets activated and adopted and reorient the machine moving forward.  
[00:27:35] Andrew Michael: Yeah, it's interesting that you gravitate towards activation. Uh, I think cuz like most people to this answer, they'll give like the quick fix. Uh, but the, they're focusing on like activation, retention, like the long-term play that has compounding impact over time as well. So it might take a little bit longer though to see the immediate results, but ultimately I think that's where like you're gonna see the biggest impact over time. Uh,  
[00:27:58] Eleanor Dorfman: Yeah and I think the key thing there is setting expectations and saying, look, here's what's gonna happen. We're gonna see this much churn in the next six to nine months, but then moving forward we're gonna be able to move this G R R number up and that's ultimately going to be the right fix for the long term.  
[00:28:14] Andrew Michael: Thanks. Awesome. Is there any final thoughts you wanna leave the listeners with? Uh, anything they should be aware of to you up to speed with your work?  
[00:28:23] Eleanor Dorfman: No checkout retool. I just launched a lot of exciting new products, <laugh>, but uh, workflows, mobile, very exciting stuff. Uh, no, but I think just, it's a really challenging environment, uh, but I think a lot of really good innovation, a lot of really good best practices, a lot of really good thought leadership and and new leaders will emerge And so I'm actually, there is a, a at least medium-sized piece of me that's really excited to see what teams and companies and the folks that reads are able to sort of produce during this next year. Um, because I think we're gonna see a lot of innovation particularly, particularly around churn and retention best practices.  
[00:29:04] Andrew Michael: Yeah, absolutely. I think a lot of people are focused energies and efforts on the problem now, so it'll definitely be a lot of great content and great learnings that will come out of this. Um, well, and it's been a pleasure hosting you today. Thank you so much for joining and, uh, wish you best of luck now going into the new year.  
[00:29:19] Eleanor Dorfman: Amazing. Thank you so much. Thanks.


Eleanor Dorfman
Eleanor Dorfman

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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