Podcast

Creating Abundance in Business – Faiza Hughell

Working hard and smart is the only time that greed is acceptable in Faiza Hughell’s eyes. Faiza is the SVP of Small Business at RingCentral and has an abundance of knowledge when it comes to sales and building a strong sales team.

She has invested greatly in her staff at RingCentral and has a plethora of wisdom to share about how investing in your employees can create a world of abundance for your business.

Tune into this week’s episode to learn more about sales strategy and creating a culture of learning and evolving within your business!

Watch or listen to this episode:

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Transcript:

Thu, 3/25 7:22AM • 37:03 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS 
ringcentral, crm, sales, people, sellers, track, important, chris, learning, selling, leaders, business, customers, team, day, smb, company, leadership, thought, superpower 

SPEAKERS 
Christopher Smith, Faiza Hughell 

Intro 
Welcome to the Sales Lead Dog Podcast hosted by CRM technology and sales process expert Christopher Smith, talking with sales leaders that have separated themselves from the rest of the pack. Listen to find out how the best of the best achieve success with their team and CRM technology. And remember, unless you are the lead dog, the view never changes. 

Christopher Smith   
Welcome to Sales Lead Dog. Today we have joining us Faiza Hughell. Faiza, welcome to Sales Lead Dog. 

Faiza Hughell   
Thanks so much for having me, Chris. Faiza, I’m really excited to have you here. Tell us a little bit about your current role and your company, RingCentral. Absolutely. My current role is Senior Vice President of Sales for small and medium businesses here at RingCentral. I’ve had the privilege of working with an amazing team, helping revolutionize business communications over the past 10 years. RingCentral is a provider of message, video, and phone applications for businesses, unifying all forms of communication into one easy-to-use app. 

Christopher Smith   
RingCentral I think is a tremendous company. And from my personal, we have clients that are using RingCentral and I absolutely love the app you guys have for integration into CRM. I think it’s a it’s a great tool. So big thumbs up to RingCentral. And thank you for coming on the show. I always start off the podcast with this question. It’s one of my favorite questions. What are the three things that have really contributed to your success? 

Faiza Hughell   
Absolutely. Thanks, Chris. That’s a great question to ask. You know, the three things that have contributed to our success as a company are really our people, our customers, and our technology. You know, we’re consistently innovating, but innovation doesn’t happen without the brain trust of having a decorated team behind you. We believe fully that every employee plays a part in our success and every customer plays a part in our success. Most importantly, the learnings that we glean from our customers and our customer interactions are really a force multiplier for us here at RingCentral. 

Christopher Smith   
That’s awesome. What about your personal success? Are there three things that you can do for your personal success? 

Faiza Hughell   
Absolutely from a personal success standpoint, it’s, it’s really the team, right? Surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you that have that heart, that have that hustle, they have the passion and they bring that every day. They wake up hungrier today than they did yesterday and that continues. As you look across my, my team here at RingCentral, it’s a very tenured team. AE’s all the way through leadership, we have an incredibly tenured team, I, and I’m so proud of that. To me, that just speaks volumes for who we are as a company and who we are as an SMB unit within RingCentral. 

Christopher Smith   
That’s awesome. How did you get your start in sales? 

Faiza Hughell   
It’s actually a really funny story. I grew up in the heart of the Silicon Valley, I was raised by a single mom, we didn’t have much. We all worked and we all contributed to our household. That was myself, my mom and my older sister. And I went to an independent studies high school. I went to high school one day a week, and I have worked full time from the age of 15 until now, no breaks. I, you know, growing up in Silicon Valley, why would you flip burgers for minimum wage, and I’ll date myself at the time minimum wage was like $3 and some change. Why would you flip burgers and do something like that when you’re in the valley, so I had found a company by the name of Anne Wells Personnel Services, a lot of my my friends had leveraged Anne Wells for job placement, similar to like a manpower, a temp agency, if you will. And I was getting these great assignments for for a student, doing receptionist work, data entry work, you know, things of that nature. I worked at Rational Software for, for almost a year, just stuffing envelopes for the stock administration department. And those jobs Chris paid like 10 to 12 bucks an hour, which is really big money when wage was three and some change, right? So I, you know, I would take the bus and the train, I didn’t drive as a teenager, I did couldn’t afford a car, but I had grit and grit mattered. But one day, I get this call for, for a new role at Mitsubishi, the technology company to do some data entry. And I walked into the interview, Chris, and the gentleman at the other end of the very long conference table just chuckled and I was you know, 16 years old, maybe four, four and a half feet tall if I’m being generous. And I just looked around, you know, all ego, all confidence. And I said, “Excuse me, gentlemen, did I miss something?” And there’s these two men at the end of the table laughing. And their director of marketing, John Harrell said, I’m sorry, I think you might be in the wrong place. We’re waiting for an interview candidate. And I said, well, gentlemen, I believe I am your candidate. And so we sat down and you know, he asked, Have you sold anything in your life? And I said, “Who doesn’t sell? Everybody sells at some point in their life every day, you’re selling something, whether you’re selling your parents on permission to go out or you’re selling your teacher why this is actually a passable paper, you know, you’re selling something.” And he laughed, and I think they just really liked the personality and, and they said, “You know, I tell you what, kid,” were the exact words, “Why don’t you sit down and we’ll give you, we’ll give you will give you a couple of minutes. Let’s talk about this.” And I said, “I think there might be some confusion, I was told this as a data entry position.” And he said, “You know, it’s not, it’s an inside sales position.” And we sat and we had a great interview and I took the job. They said they’d give me a chance, they were going to give me two to three weeks to prove myself and you know, within a few weeks, I was getting asked to can you bring on more people like you to help smile and dial and I did I ended up building a full team. I stayed at Mitsubishi under that arm, the Information Technology Americas group, doing SDR type work, we didn’t know but SDR wasn’t a thing back then we call the telemarketing, if you remember. And we were selling an application that now comes standard in every Windows operating system. Concordia was the name of the software, it allows you to remotely access files from your PC.  

Christopher Smith   
That’s crazy. What a crazy story. I would have killed, I remember when minimum wage was like three bucks, I would’ve killed for a job that paid 10 bucks an hour. 

Faiza Hughell   
I’ll tell you what, that’s when I learned that there was money in sales. They paid me 15 an hour. And I thought, oh man, I’m a big dog now. 

Christopher Smith   
Oh, yeah. I remember when I got a job making six bucks an hour and I’m like, yeah, I’m crushing it. 

Faiza Hughell   
At the time, I was a receptionist at Schroeder’s which is a haircut place like a Supercuts type of a place. And I did make commission on selling hair products. And that was my big pitch about why I knew how to sell. You know, it all worked out, I stayed at Mitsubishi for two and a half years. I stayed in that ITA Information Technology America sector and then I moved on to the business internet division. And it was, it was a really great, you know, kind of foray into the fields arena, and I learned very quickly maybe I don’t want to be aware when I grow up, maybe sales is for me, and I’ve been selling Chris ever since. 

Christopher Smith   
That’s awesome. What were the big things you learned in that first job? 

Faiza Hughell   
Well, you know, um, self initiation, you have to be an initiator in sales. You have to be willing to roll up your sleeves. I used to sit and I would buy out of pocket these things called cranes book of lists. I don’t know if you remember these things, but they were essentially these giant print articles. And inside of them were CTO contacts, CIO contacts, Director of IT contacts. And I would literally just sit and highlight all the ones that I was going to hit. And that was how I formed my, my target account list. I would go to Kinko’s and I would make these great kind of introduction like flyers. And then I would fax them to these purchasing organizations and try to get in through the purchasing, try to cold call the CTO. It was all about initiation. And I learned that the more I put into it, the more I was going to get out of it. But the biggest lesson Chris was learning how to handle rejection time and time again. And when you’re 16 years old, that is hurtful. I remember days where I was in tears on that bus on the way home, just getting beat down, doors shut on you. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t easy easy, but it was sure rewarding. 

Christopher Smith   
Oh, yeah. I don’t think I could have handled that looking back at Chris Smith, 16 year old, that that had to take a lot of inner strength and fortitude to do that day in day out at that age. 

Faiza Hughell   
You know, it did. I hired some people that I knew that had sales experience. And while I was technically their manager, I was learning from them. And I learned a couple of things. Hire people who have the experience that you can learn from. I to this day surround myself with leaders who report into me that know more than I do. I love learning from my people. So you have to be willing to just accept that you don’t know at all. I also, I also learned that it’s okay, you learn from failure. Right? First attempt in learning I think is what people say about failure. You learn from it. I’m addicted to winning as a salesperson, though and just in life, I’m addicted to winning, and I don’t take failure well. I’m not a sore loser, but I don’t take failure well. I do however take it as a lesson and I learn from those failures. 

Christopher Smith   
Yeah, I love that. You know, and normally at this point, I would ask you well, how did you transition from salesperson to sales manager, but use you started out in sales leadership, which, that’s crazy. Let’s talk about rejection, because I think you know, anyone who’s in sales, that’s just a common part of life. And, you know, learning to deal with that, have strategies around that, you know, so you’re falling forward and learning from that are so important. How do you create a culture of learning in your organization around failure? 

Faiza Hughell   
Well you know, I think it’s important to make sure that your reps, your leaders aren’t beating themselves up around failure. I just ask them to take away three simple things, share with me three simple things you’ll do different. And by the way, this applies even when you’re winning, even when you have that 125% quarter, what are three things you’re going to carry with you next quarter to repeat success? So I think the methodology applies to both winning and failure both. And there’s learnings to be had whether you’re winning or losing. And and it’s really important to take that time to just reflect, I do ask my leaders for reflection, I ask my new employees for reflection. You know, when I’ve got someone back when I was a frontline sales manager, and I managed AE’s directly when I was onboarding them, they ended every day with a summary and they included three things that they learned and three things they struggled with. And we reflected on it before they went home for the day. And when they came in in the morning, I would have three tips sitting on their desk, so they have a better next day. And it’s so important. If you can create that muscle for yourself, by the way I do this as a parent, I do this as a parent too. This applies to very many aspects of life, not just selling. I think reflection is you know, it’s an important thing. You can’t live in the past, you have to always focus forward. But you do have to pause and think back about what you’re going to take with you as you move forward. 

Christopher Smith   
Right. It’s so common, we’re so busy dealing with the day to day just trying to get through it that we don’t take that time to stop and reflect. That’s really important advice for people. Thinking back to when you got your start in sales, you know those early days in sales leadership. What did you think then that you just thought was rock solid, you were spot on, but now after you’ve been doing this for a while that you know was just flat out wrong? 

Faiza Hughell   
You know, and I spent more time thinking that the power of a cold call and sales generated activity was more valuable than the Marketing Leads. I didn’t understand cost of acquisition, lifetime value of a customer. 16, I thought man, I’m cool. I sold this, we sold this deal because I made a cold call. But here’s the thing, Chris, you got to have your cake and eat it too in life, and that’s one of the times that that rule applies, right? You’ve got to work hard, and you’ve got to work smart. And I tell my team this all the time, when you’re working hard and you’re working smart, that is the only time in life that greed is a good thing. Because it creates this world of abundance. So that that’s, that’s one big important thing I wish I knew then that I know now. You know, the more effective you can be as a seller, the more marketing investments your company gets to make and the more fun you get to have and the more you win. For a girl who’s addicted to winning, I wish I knew that then, but I know that now. And you better believe that we track every conversion ratio, everything too, which is why CRM is so critically important for me as a leader. The level of data and reporting and analytics that I pull from tracking, and by the way, my win loss reporting, all done through my CRM. All of these things are so, so essential. I also by the way, I didn’t, I didn’t mention this, CRM wasn’t really a big thing back then, Chris. You know, we were running off Excel spreadsheets. And I didn’t know what an Excel thing was, I said, I got to learn how to use this thing. You know, I got to write stuff in it all day. But you know, you just, you have to create a world for your team where everything’s kind of living in this dashboard, in this ecosystem. I thank you for bringing up the integration to CRM with RingCentral. It definitely is a big part of what fuels our success and keeps us built for speed. And we all know each lead matters when you’re in sales. 

Christopher Smith   
Oh, it’s so true. So true. For someone who’s listening that may be considering a transition to sales leadership or they’re in their first sales leadership role, what’s the first thing they should be doing or focusing on? 

Faiza Hughell   
I love that question. So one of the things that I find aspiring sales leaders to share with me as they’re talking through their aspiration, when I asked them, “Why do you want to go into sales leadership?” and you may have heard this response too, they say, “Well, I’ve been a top rep here, and I want to have a team of 12 top reps just like me.” You can’t do that life, leadership, it’s all situational. Each individual person on the team brings a unique set of experiences to the table. You don’t want to force replication. However, you want to hone in on what their unique superpower is. I say this to my son too even on his soccer team, he’s always asking, “Am I as fast as Gunner?” “Nope, Gunner is faster, and that’s Gunner’s superpower.” You know, my son’s superpower is actually different on the soccer field. He thinks a little bit more strategically, he’s a little bit more calculated, which makes every move he makes, you know, it just carries a different value. However, Gunner’s ability to run the ball across the field is his superpower. So I try, and the same applies to sales teams, right? Each individual has a superpower, I’ve got AE’s on my team who are amazing at converting, I’ve got AE’s and they do high volume selling and they get there. And that’s okay. I have AE’s on my team that are just amazing at executing large deals, and they get there too, and that’s okay. But again, if you can hone in on a balance of both, you’ll be wildly successful. And you have to treat each situation differently. Your top AE who closes the largest deals has an opportunity to make more money if you can also teach them velocity, right, you’re just you’re being additive, you’re not being distractive, you’re being additive. And that’s super critical in leadership. So it’s an, a piece of advice I give every rookie leader, don’t think you’re going to make a bunch of you’s. Instead, plan on what’s uniquely different about every AE on your team and help them to really highlight their strengths to find success. 

Christopher Smith   
That’s awesome. When you’re building a team, and you’ve got two candidates that are on paper very comparable, what’s that deciding factor for you to go one, you know, one option over the other? 

Faiza Hughell   
Well, in SMB, grit is super important. So one of the deciding factors for me is the good old fashioned fire in the belly. You know, I think if you’ve got on paper equally decorated candidates, and one’s coming to you with a ton of passion and energy around the topic, and the other just a little bit more passive, I’m probably going to lean towards the person who has the passion and the energy. Acumen-wise, on paper they’re equal, but I can’t teach action and energy. I can teach sales acumen. 

Christopher Smith   
That’s right. That’s right. What’s it, what are the signs you look for that it’s time for someone to consider a sales leadership role? 

Faiza Hughell   
You know, we have a handful of people at RingCentral here. I have a team of what I call sales champions. There’s about 25 of them in my organization, they are my trusted advisors. There’s, they’re the people I go to, “Hey, we’re thinking about making this change. I want you to live in the sandbox environment for a few days. Give me some feedback. Tell me what works. Tell me if it’s awesome. Tell me if it stinks. It’s okay to be transparent with me. I’m not always right.” Those sales champions, a) there’s a level of trust there. They’re not running around saying, “Hey, Faiza is thinking about making these changes,” they’re just nose down doing their thing, I can trust them. That, the people who are willing you know to do that, to do that innovation and exploration, I think innovation is so key in sales, in marketing and any, any job you’re in in a company, any role you play, innovation is super critical. So that’s one thing, their innovation is one thing I look for. Another thing I look for, selflessness. I hear so many times young, young sales reps that want to get into sales leadership, because they think it’s more money. Hey, if you’re leading right, your branch should be making more money than you if you’re doing your job right and you should be celebrating that fact. And you should take pride in that fact. So I look for selflessness, I look for that fire in the belly and the passion. I look for that innovation, the risk taker. I also love a good challenger Chris, someone who will tell me why I’m wrong when I’m wrong, because I’m not always right, and I recognize that. I might see something from up here that just makes so much sense. But I need that challenger to tell me why it wouldn’t make sense down here. And that’s why I have these sales champions. That is their job. They are my challenger sellers. 

Christopher Smith   
That’s awesome. How do you create that level of trust to where people are comfortable giving you that feedback that says, hey, you know, to challenge you, how do you create that level of trust? 

Faiza Hughell   
It’s all in your reaction, right? When a when a seller or an employee, I don’t care who it is, it could even be the receptionist to be honest Chris, but when an employee brings a leader, a challenge, a problem, brings something to your attention, maybe it’s a mistake that they personally made, how you react is super critical, right? I believe they say life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. By having that solid reaction, you’re going to get the most out of it. I have two children, I have a 24 year old daughter, I have a five year old son, I got the spread. And when my daughter was in high school, you know, she was exploring, what high school student doesn’t, there were things that were happening. And I always told her if you find yourself in a bad situation, Jodi, call me and I will come get you no questions asked. I’ll never forget the first time she did. She was at a party at a girlfriend’s house, what she thought was going to be an innocent sleep over, turned into parents out of town, all kinds of shenanigans taking place. And she called me, I was out of town, and she said, “Mom, I have a problem. I haven’t done anything. One of my friends did, I need your permission to bring her home. Number one, it’s past 11pm. I’m not supposed to be on the road, curfew. Is it okay, if I drive home? Number two, is it okay if I bring my friend with me? I don’t want her to get in trouble.” And I thought in that moment, I could have reacted two ways. One, I could have been upset, right. Any parent’s natural reaction is to be upset. Or two, I could have paused and told her, “Jodi, I’m so proud of you. And yes, you can. I’m out of town, your dad is out of town. I will call him, he’s closer to you. He’ll be home before you wake up in the morning.” And we left it there. And she thanked me the next day when I came home from my business trip. And she said, “Thanks so much, I felt so comfortable calling you, and all my friends said, ‘Wow, you just called your mom and told her transparently what was going on and she didn’t get mad at you?'” And I took that lesson from my daughter. She’s taught me a lot about leadership. She doesn’t know it, but she has. I took that lesson from my daughter and I thought, Man, I got to really apply that at work. So that’s a great way to establish trust is through your reactions.  

Christopher Smith   
Oh, yeah, yeah. But actually that story gave me goosebumps thinking about your daughter, you know, that there had to be a certain level of fear that I think my mom is going to react this way, but, you know, because I think my parents would’ve reacted the same way. But that, it shows a lot of character in your daughter as well. That’s impressive. 

Faiza Hughell   
Thank you. Thank you. She’s an impressive young lady. 

Christopher Smith   
Do you guys have a strategy in your organization for cultivating sales leaders? 

Faiza Hughell   
I do. I have a fun stat for you. 98% of my LT, my leadership team, are internal employees. Here’s a couple of stories I’m super proud of, my two vice presidents: the one who leads upselling retention, Jenny, and the one who leads acquisition, Iyuu, have both been with me for nine years and they both started their journeys as inside sellers answering the hotline, taking those small office, home office calls. And fast forward today, they’re VPS of a company who jointly lead half of our revenue, and it’s amazing. I love to track progression. Progression is one of my favorite things as a leader. I love making an impact in people’s lives, right? And as I look across the organization you know these these leaders, we have a great leadership development program. I have a super decorated head of enablement. We invest greatly in people, we have a succession slate across every vector of SMB, you know, we’re about 500ish, 550ish, strong right now in SMB. And it’s important that we’re cultivating talent. It’s a big part of my recruitment strategy and story. It’s a big part of why we’re successful and a big part of why the team is so tenured, because there’s longevity. Now, leadership isn’t for everyone, Chris. I have a lot of individuals who don’t want to go into leadership, they want to keep making money. And guess what else I track, I track how many people I moved from SMB to the next segment, and so on, and so forth. And I track them all the way through their career at RingCentral. And it’s fun to share that these reps who maybe started in Soho or small business fast forward to enterprise sellers, making a killing, having fun, winning the market, learning lots of great stuff. And it’s okay, leadership should not always be the next step for a seller. So we’ve got two tracks. We actually start with college recruitment at RingCentral with our rising stars program, I love this program, we’re we are out there recruiting from colleges, we’re bringing them in, giving them sales development jobs, coaching them to become closers. From there, they either move up segment or they move into leadership. And it’s a, it’s a great track, we’ve got a ton of leaders on the team who started as SDRs or inside salespeople. And fast forward today, they’re building and scaling large sales organizations, and it’s just a ton of fun to be a part of and to watch. 

Christopher Smith   
That, that’s incredible. I love that. Not enough companies take that approach within their, you know that they treat their people more like they’re the commodity. And I love the approach RingCentral’s taking. That, that’s tremendous. Because I think if you really invest, you show people look, we’re gonna invest in you. We’re giving you a path to success. You do your part, we’re gonna do ours. That’s incredible.  

Faiza Hughell   
Absolutely. It’s just fun. It’s really good fun for us too. 

Christopher Smith   
Yeah, I bet, I bet. At this point, I’d like to talk about one of my favorite topics, we touched on it a little bit, which is CRM. When it comes to CRM, do you love it, or do you hate it? 

Faiza Hughell   
I love it. I hate tracking things on spreadsheet. I love real time analysis, I love having a good dashboard. I love the ability to integrate the technologies and the platform I offer to end users for business communications through CRM, allowing them to live in one environment. And that’s not just for sellers, Chris, you know, I have a lot of companies who leverage this integration of RingCentral message, video, and phone with CRM and their customer service agents, their, I mean, you name it. Department doesn’t really matter, this applies to many. But more than anything, you know, in high velocity selling, you have to be very data-driven. And a lot of even pipeline management is Runway. And I don’t have access to that level of intelligence unless I have a really great CRM. I’m a little hard on my team, I’ll admit, I don’t even track lead to opportunity like most sales leaders, because we all know garbage in garbage out, pipelines get a little muddied in the water, I track lead to close. And so being able to track when a prospective customer kind of comes in through the website or whatever channel into the CRM, track how many days they sit in each pipeline stage before they go to close, that, that level of intelligence is just really I think a key part and component of any high velocity selling engine.  

Christopher Smith   
Yep. You know, it amazes me when I talk to companies about CRM how many companies are not doing that, that they’re not collecting that detailed metrics around how much, how long they’re sitting in each stage, or, you know, really collecting that data that’s going to help make them better. What advice do you have for someone who’s listening that might be in that category, but really wants to get where you’re at? How should they go about that? 

Faiza Hughell   
Don’t dump it on your reps all at once. Ease into it. Think of the vital fuel mentality as you’re going into it? What are the three things you wish you had knowledge of as as a sales leader? And implement those. For me, it was capturing win-loss data, right? Why did I win a deal so I can replicate normal wins? Why did I lose a deal so I can never lose? Again, that was a huge thing for me. Earlier in my career, it was all about activity. I needed to get really scientific earlier in my career on how many voicemails did an AE leave? How many emails did they take? And I needed to take that data to kind of come up with a mathematical formula for a new AE and say, “Hey, new account executive, guess what my studies show? If you make 50 calls per day, you connect with 25 people, and you do X amount, you know, you’re gonna have a conversion rate of Y, which is going to help you get to 110%.” By the way, if you didn’t get to 110% of quota, you haven’t hit your number in my mind, because who does the bare minimum? It doesn’t pay well, you know, in sales, you get to write your own check. It’s kind of a fun thing. And I want to encourage especially the sellers on my team to make sure they’re flourishing in their personal lives. We don’t come to work for work, we come to work to flourish in our personal lives. So having that level of data and starting there was really important for me. I’ve evolved and I have new things I’m focused on, I still track the other stuff, of course I have to. I track how many seconds does it take to answer an inbound call? I track, you know, whole, the stuff is just everything, everything matters. I get to gleam through through phone reports. How long are they on a call? Are they taking too much time? How much is their wrap up time? You know, how long does it take till we get to the next call? My favorite thing to track though, Chris, number of touches on the sales lead. And I need my CRM to do that.  

Christopher Smith   
Oh, yeah.  

Faiza Hughell   
You know, back in the day, I remember sharing with people in a podcast similar to this that it took five to seven touches to get to a decision maker. Can you guess how many touches we do at RingCentral? 

Christopher Smith   
I’m gonna guess three. 

Faiza Hughell   
Twelve is the answer.  

Christopher Smith   
Wow.  

Faiza Hughell   
12 touches, we have to give leads and people more time, especially in today’s environment. People are inundated, this new work from anywhere. You know, people are not getting breaks between life and home, the workload on people to keep their business surviving or accelerate share of growth in whatever market they’re in, it’s a heightened level of pressure for our end users out there, you have to allow more time for touches, you can’t be in a customer’s face, calling them every five seconds. Our methodology is call, follow-up email, give them some time. Call, follow-up email, give them some time. We leverage a full suite of texting. I have a full tech stack, all integrating with my CRM, of course, because I have to track everything. I have certain types of leads where speed to touch is more important than others. You just, you don’t know that unless you have great intel coming from your CRM, so how you set your CRM up really matters. I remember, gosh when I was at WebEx, we had a very I don’t even think it’s a thing anymore, it was a CRM called Pivotal. And do you remember? 

Christopher Smith   
I am aware of Pivotal, yeah. Oh yeah. 

Faiza Hughell   
Then we go to transition to salesforce.com. You know, it’s it’s the shiny thing, it’s the new thing. Man, I lost some tracking ability in that transition. I fast forward, you know, we’ve made a lot of custom instances within our own CRM. But you know, CRM is actually a really powerful tool. I mean, I go, you know, even to the hair salon and my question like, how do you not have a CRM? How do you not know when it’s your customer’s birthday and you’re going to send them the $25 off your haircut coupon or, how do you not track these things? You’d be amazed how many SMBs do not use CRM, and it’s mind blowing. 

Christopher Smith   
It is. I just talked to a company this morning and they have a CRM, and I said, “Are you using it?” :No, we’re not using it.” And I said, “Why?” And he’s, his response was, “Our data sucks.” And, which is a common thing that I hear when I talk to companies like we have bad data so no one will use CRM. But it, it you know, for me, it that is such it’s like, okay, data, if you don’t have good data, that’s your foundation that you’re building your house on. And if you don’t have good data, it you know, you you’re not going to succeed, you’re going to struggle. What, what is your biggest struggle? Is there a big struggle for you with CRM? 

Faiza Hughell   
You know, I don’t have a current large struggle right now. I think we’ve got our CRM really well dialed at this point. It’s, it’s a good it’s a good engine and machine for me. In the past, however, I’m also, who doesn’t struggle with bad data? I mean duplicate records, you know, you know, I can go on. Do you know how many times Donald Duck has filled out a lead form on my website, right, Donald Duck, he’s a new fan favorite at RingCentral. You know, people are out there trying to test things, download things, they’re going to put in whatever. Um, but fast forward, we’ve gotten our CRM to, and this is where those companies who say that to you, Chris, like, I wish I could talk to those people myself, because unless you start, you’ll never get there. That’s the thing about starting, you got to start somewhere. And the ability to merge records and clean things up, and now it’s all automated. Oh, gosh, back in the day, you had to click and manually merge every record. You didn’t have, you can build like instances and do all of this in an automated fashion. It is mind blowing how we’ve evolved from, you know, that 16-year-old girl on spreadsheets and Crane’s book of lists to having robust CRMs where I can go purchase lists and run the list purchases against what’s existing, peel out the duplications, end careless purchasing, find real information. Like oh, you know, [email protected], not [email protected], you know, or ASDF, I have a lot of ASDF in my CRM. I’m sure you’ve seen that before, too. But you know, I think we’re in this world of tech, the technical advancements that makes CRM easier, more robust, and really can become the lifeblood of analytics for any organization. And without analytics, you don’t scale, you just. 

Christopher Smith   
No, no, you can’t do it, you can’t do it. You can automate, automate so much more. And there’s just so, it’s such a powerful tool. 

Faiza Hughell   
And the integrations, right, the marchettos, the CRMs, and the autodialers with the CRMs, and then even RingCentral with the CRM, it’s like, the level of ease you can give a seller can increase their productivity exponentially. You know, anybody who’s selling anything and every business sells something, right, you’re selling a service, you’re selling a product, you’re selling technology, I don’t care what it is, legal counseling. You need to be able to track your customer records. If you don’t, if you don’t track it, you’ve just killed your lifeblood, and what business doesn’t thrive on repeat business and upsell. If you’re not tracking your customer’s journey, you’re gonna, you’re gonna inevitably give them a really poor customer experience, and customer experience matters. 

Christopher Smith   
It does. It’s so important. So important. Faiza, we’re coming up on our time here on Sales Lead Dog, I really appreciate you coming on. I loved sitting here listening to you today. If people want to reach out and connect with you, or if they want to learn more about RingCentral, what’s the best way for them to do that? 

Faiza Hughell   
Thanks so much for having me, Chris. I’ve enjoyed our time as well. The best way to reach me is just to connect with me via LinkedIn. I do check it frequently. I, you know, I love making new connections with people. I love learning from other people around us. We’ve got a great quorum of customers and what I consider allies and partners out there, businesses of all varieties that RingCentral leans on for knowledge, and it’s, knowledge is power. So I think it’s really important that we stay connected. So if anybody does have any questions about RingCentral, or any questions for me personally, I’d be happy to connect with you on LinkedIn. 

Christopher Smith   
That’s awesome. Thank you again for coming on Sales Lead Dog. 

Faiza Hughell   
Thanks so much, Chris. I appreciate it. 

Outro 
As we end this discussion on Sales Lead Dog, be sure to subscribe to catch all our episodes on social media. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Watch the videos on YouTube, and you can also find our episodes on our website at Empellorcrm.com/salesleaddog. Sales Lead Dog is supported by Empellor CRM, delivering objectively better CRM for business guaranteed. 

Quotes

  • “You’ve got to work hard, and you’ve got to work smart. And I tell my team this all the time, when you’re working hard, and you’re working smart, that is the only time in life that greed is a good thing. Because it creates this world of abundance.” (15:03-15:13)
  • “A piece of advice, I give every rookie leader don’t think you’re going to make a bunch of yous. Instead, plan on what’s uniquely different about everyone your team, and help them to really highlight their strengths to find success.”  (18:23-18:36) 
  • “I’m super proud of my two vice presidents, the one who leads upselling retention Jenny, and the one who leads acquisition. They have both been with me for nine years and they both started their journeys as insight sellers answering the hotline, taking those small office home office calls. Fast forward today. They’re VPS of a company who jointly lead half of our revenue and it’s amazing. I love to track progression progression is one of my favorite things as a leader.”(24:14-24:44) 

Links

Faiza Hughell: LinkedIn
RingCentral: LinkedIn
RingCentral: Website

Empellor CRM Website
[email protected]
Empellor CRM LinkedIn