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A Passion for Psychographics, Innovation for 2025, and Culture at Scale | Craig Handy @ Shopify

 

Episode Description

On today's episode, I was joined by the pepper connoisseur himself, Craig Handy. Craig is currently the Head of Post Sales / Evolution – Global Revenue Technology & Operations at Shopify. We recognize his title is intriguing so we cover the ins and outs of his responsibilities, and how that plays into the merchant first mentality, innovating for the future, and maintaining a critically important culture at scale.

Show Notes

Follow Craig: https://www.linkedin.com/in/craigjhandy/

Follow Kaylee: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kaylee-edmondson/

Learn more about Chili Piper: https://www.chilipiper.com/

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About Demand Gen Chat

Demand Gen Chat is a Chili Piper podcast hosted by Kaylee Edmondson. Join us as we sit down with leaders in marketing to discover the key to driving B2B revenue. If you want benchmarks or insights on trends in the market, this podcast is for you!

Episode Transcript

Hey everyone. And welcome back to another episode of demand gen chat. I'm your host Kaylee Edmondson, And today we are joined with Craig Handy, who has a very long title, that is the head of Post-Sales/Evolution/Robots, over at Shopify. So thanks for joining us. 

I'm glad to be here. Thanks for having me.

Yeah, absolutely. So I feel like you have to start with your title and 

Yeah.

...kind of set the stage. for How thing are positioned or org'd over at Shopify and kind of what your layer of ownership oversees. 

So, so yeah, so Shopify, um, went through a reorganization in I would say December of 2020, and the intention of this was, you know, we had a bunch of different products, a bunch of different approaches to go about, uh, selling it and then kind of each product had their own go-to-market teams.

And their, their own full functions. and The thought was, was that that's not serving our merchants, our customers in the best way that we could, because it was very, it was it was disjointed in the way that we interacted with that. So the decision was made to 

Mm-hmm [affirmative].

...let's rethink this altogether in a way that actually fits better than we can, you know, put crafts together, put, uh, you know, solutions together and put the way we communicate better.

So what that. ended up Forming was what we call a global [inaudible 00:01:17] tech and ops, uh, division. And it's the focus that is all the technology, all the tooling, many of the processes and how we align that with the people with data to achieve the objectives. And I kind of see that as you know, Shopify has this thing of being kind of merchant-obsessed, and we can talk over that, but that's, they, they, we live by that and I love that.

But, uh, one of the things too was, well, how do we be merchant-obsessed and how do we help the team be merchant-obsessed?" Well, that was, we need to provide every single person that interacts with the merchants or systems that the merchants interact with, to community with us has to be smooth. has to be clean.

so that's really what the team that that my team focuses on is, is, is building that out. When we first did this, we formed uh, two groups, foundations, and evolutions foundation. was supposed to be like the main roadmap of work we were going to do the day-to-day kind of medium-term focus. And I had the evolutions team and this was focused on either like immediate short-term, as in we need something it's going to take a couple months to do, but like we still need it right now.

So what crazy thing can we come up to, to, to just bridge that gap overnight? But the main part was we were looking at extreme long-term. We were trying to see one, two, three, four years. out. Were we doing things that were going to be like, we don't, I don't want to be an early adopter. I want to be an innovator. I don't wanna wait for technology to [inaudible 00:02:35], I want to go out to businesses, out to companies, work with them to, to craft better solutions and, we can give kind of the same way we, you know, [inaudible 00:02:43] is arming the rebels well, why not? Let's arm the rebels in the rev tech space and, and kind of go out there and get that. So that was the passion. Um, but we changed a little bit again recently and we changed because.

Uh, it was, it was very separate. It was a lot to kind of put our two different groups, especially in the groups we're building. So we then now broke into a more traditional system, which is pre-sales and post-sales. So we're still running the evolutions. I'm still doing that as, a group, but now we're responsible for, post-sale rev tech.

which is An awesome space now where we watched that bridge between, uh, I think someone referred to it as cross-sell/up-sell... I like to call it coverage, but it's like, how do we take the merchants that we've acquired and connect them with the next best thing for them to advance through business and invest in their business and, and grow.

So, That's, uh, that's how we get that 100-year company and, and what we focused on. 

Yeah. You said so many interesting things just in your definition of what you're owning or what your area of responsibility is. But one of the things I think that stands out most is, Looking not, only six months or a year ahead, but four years down the road at such a massive company.

What are some of the things that go into your day-to-day, or even your quarterly planning where you're thinking okay, what does 2025 look like? 

Yeah. so, so it's, it's funny. because it's like, you know, you're trying to predict the future in a way, but ultimately, uh, so someone early on in my career was was telling me about You know, open as many doors as you can. Not because you need to go through every single one of them, but open every door and kind of see what's out there. So for us, what I tell my team is, you know, take every phone call. Um, which, I mean, I, maybe I shouldn't say that out in a in a public space, but you know, if someone's pitching a software, like go and go and see it, see, see why they're doing there.

Why do they exist? Why do they feel that there's a need for this, What other companies are are engaging in, in this type of thing? Now, In the Shopify perspective, though, for us planning for our future, you know, we have pretty solid goals leading up to the next few years, and then Shopify's been very good at kind of setting those really strong north stars and lofty objectives.

So we kind of aligned where the fact is, we realized to hit those objectives. Well, we need more people hit those objectives. We need to identify more opportunities to hit those objectives. We need. to, You know, make the merchant base that we have feel like Shopify is, is there for them, have their back. And so when I look at that, I I try and find ways to get us closer to the merchants. I try and find ways for us to speed up or remove redundancies. I try and find ways to say also is it the way that humans are choosing to interact. Is that evolving? Is that changing? So. of course, Global pandemic changes the way that some people want to interact.

And then we look at well, for coming out of this, uh, and, and when we come out of this, what is that going to change? Are we going to have a roaring 20s where people want those in-person events, and and would actually send you know, more of those human interactions? or have we, have we shifted to, you know, kind of radical digitization of how we interact? So they're kind of thinking about that. So, but, but a lot of it, you know, we, we never lose sight of. The merchant or in this case, from my regard, is the, is the human? Because without them, like, I mean, what are we doing, Right. 

Mm-hmm [affirmative]. 

So that's always, how do the humans feel and act and change in different and how does society change?

And we just reflect the technology to, to fit. that. 

Yeah. No, and I think that's interesting too. And even your concept around leaving, um, Leaving doors open or at least opening them in the first place is interesting because it's like, especially for us right now from a demand gen standpoint, um, we are also trying to predict the market.

And this is also my first time in my career where I'm trying to predict the market against. you know, the pandemic, I uh, never been up against anything like this. And so we're even just trying to make decisions around in-person events, um, and things of that nature. And it's like, do you know, how do you plan for both outcomes?

And so this is even, you know, our first scenario where we as a team are trying to come together to have a true formalized plan, a and a plan B in conjunction. so that, You know, if the, you know, things changed very quickly or whatever. We would have a good backup plan in place. I think people always talk about it, but executing two plans at once that are polar opposite from one another is quite different from at least the way that in startup world, like we are used to operating.

So, um, it's an interesting muscle to flex and, um, interesting to flex it four years. in advance, too. 

indeed. indeed. No, it is. And actually like, on that route, too, about the events, I I joke around, Like, one of my business partners, he, he, uh, he and I could be complete polar opposites in that same regard where I'm kind of like, "No, I don't really want to travel.

anywhere right now, like, actually, I'm totally cool with virtual events, He's, like, lick the floor of the airport comfortable. And so I'm kind of like, all right, you have a very different, [Laughing] but in the case for him, it's, so he's itching to go to in-person events immediate, he wants to get there. And so, In that essence is both of us are [inaudible 00:07:40]. Both of us are engaged in in that market. So you kind of have to say like, are you gonna do two things so-so, or are you gonna do things really well? But does that exclude those communities? And I know Chili Piper's obviously huge on community building, which is again, one of the reasons I love you guys, but that scenario is, is you now have people.

that are Going to go there. that can create that experience virtually for the ones that are not ready to do that? So it's a tough, uh, a tough job. So 

Yeah, yeah, 

I don't envy you on that one.

[Laughing] Yeah, it's uh, It's tough. But it's also really exciting. I think it's like a huge challenge and at, not just us, but obviously every marketer. um, All around the globe right now is kind of facing the same thing, which I think is also very unique.

'cause normally we, aren't all facing a very similar challenge at the same time. 

Mm-hmm [affirmative]. 

and so it's very interesting to see how companies are reacting. And I think for us, yeah, inclusion, um, because even us as a company, right. Um, we're trying to plan a company, uh, offsite right now. We normally do that once a year.

Obviously last year we did not get together. That was the first time in chili Pepper's existence that we didn't get together. Um, so we were trying to do something for this October and. It's like, "Oh, okay, well now the Delta variant is a thing. Things are kind of changing. We're trying to gauge the perception internally of like how people feel and their comfortability level.

I don't know that we have anybody that's quite ready to lick the floor at the airport. However, we do have a lot of differing comfort levels internally. And so we're trying to, um, you know, Provide good experiences for even ourselves and then trying to figure out ways that we can also emote that in our go-to-market activities, um, to the public as well.

Mm-hmm [affirmative]. 

So I think it's just super interesting and, you know, we're still figuring it out. So when we do we'll share it with everybody, but, um, yeah, it's super interesting. And I, yeah, especially at scale, right. Somebody that's working for a company as large as Shopify. It's just interesting to hear how you guys are kind of adapting that mentality as well.

Um, So let's talk about culture for a second at a company. Like I don't even understand how large is Shopify today, And how large was it, I guess when you joined, like, what does [inaudible 00:09:38] look like?

I, I... Oh, geez, I I don't even know what, what I'm allowed to say or not, but it, but it, let's get-

Oh, skip over it if you don't.

... let's say a lot. There's a lot of people there, so, um-

Okay.

...yeah, it's, uh, it's doubled since I joined uh, and I joined in 2019 

and with that evolving door, how do you all maintain.

This culture and this mindset of like merchant-obsessed at such magnitude and such scale. 

Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Yeah. that, that, that is the question. Um, because you kind of wonder too, when you you, you bring people in from different perspectives, is that like, what is that due to the existing culture? 

Mm-hmm [affirmative].

...And I would say like from when I joined Shopify, it feels a little different.

Um, and that granted it constantly will. But what I think is if if you take it in two different levels, like Shopify, has a, A bunch of rules and well, like, rules that are really related to our principles, let's say. Um, and like for example, one of them is don't be an asshole. Right, And one of those-

I love that. You should make a t-shirt.

we'll inscribe on [inaudible 00:10:32]. 

So you don't have a t-shirt. 

Yeah. Honestly, print a T-shirt. Yeah. yeah. one of them's thrive on change. And so things like that at, at that base level, it's like, we're not telling you what the culture is or anything, but like, if you follow these basic concepts of what we're going to do, then, then the feel will stay the same.

Despite the fact that people are coming from different perspectives. But as far as culture-building, I think Shopify has really started to, to grasp this. And it's something that when I build a team. I do the same thing is the obsession of, intersectionality with, you know, not only race, creed, beliefs, but also experience and skillset and, uh, network and location.

And that create the scenario where, yeah, I, I might not think the same way as you, where I'm I may not even like you, to be honest the depending on, like we may just butt heads, but I love that because It's it's challenging ideas, it's challenging thoughts, it's giving a different spin on something. And so when you look at the career and the experience in the background of a lot of, of shop folk, as they, the company starts to grow is you get, It's like, whoa, you came from where and oh, oh, you used to do what And, And it's all comes back together. and, Uh, to, to create, I think, a very diverse and very widely-experienced team that, uh, you know, the, that is the culture in a sense, so.

Exactly. and as you're building. this, Um, this team and, you know, evolving your culture, but also like keeping your key principles like intact, obviously that plays well into this notion of part of your area of responsibility around innovation, right?

Mm-hmm [affirmative]. 

Because you're d-, you know, hiring people from different walks of life, different backgrounds, different careers, skillsets, etc., And all, all that does is fill your playbook for innovation within all of these pockets that you're now covering. 

Yeah, absolutely. Actually, that... so, During during the interview process, specifically with my team that that we run.

Um, what I try and do is I create a, a feeling of mostly what you would expect, but, but what you could do and a gauge that I have, and, you know, not right or wrong. but There are some people that kind of get the open road or the vastness, and they get excited around that. And others are like, whoa, whoa. Like there's no, there's no structure.

Like there's no, like, you know, when you ask, like, what what does it look like in three months? And I'm like, I don't know. You tell me, uh, you, you get a, "Oh, well I don't know if that's that's for me, but I love talking to people who come from banks because banks are very slow to innovate, very slow to change.

And, you know, we interview people coming from banks and you talk about like what the role they're going to be in, they're like, I can change that. I can come. If I have an idea, we can, we can actually do something. And like, yeah. And they're like, okay, sign me up. Like "I want to be there. But that evolutions piece, that innovation piece is trying to bring people in with the case of, we trust them.

We trust that, you you know, we didn't hire you to press a button. We hired you to bring your ideas, bring your motivation, bring your ambition and drive and go out and build something. And I see my job as removing anything that tries to get in your way so that you can go out and do that. Right. it's not, it's not... And, and that I think creates a high-performance team, that team where they feel emotionally invested, which is incredibly important for me to see that where it's like, you know, it's it's not your life.

Maybe it's your job. some sometimes that identity blurs a little bit, but an emotionally invested employee is one that is. You know, excited to be there, excited to support their, their peers. They look amongst the group and they, they say not like, what can we do today as a team to, to do something new or something innovative?

Not what's on my to-do list today. So, That's uh, that's what we're trying to build, and uh, I think we're doing, doing quite well so far with it 

Yeah, and I think, too, it definitely starts with the interview process. I love that you flip the script back on them and say like, I don't know. what does three months look like? Um, especially in startup world, I feel like that should be a very common, like response from the interviewer.

Um, I feel like even myself, people always ask me like, what is, you know, 30, 60, 90 days out. and I'm like, 90 days out, like you're... This, this is a net new role. I, you tell. Yeah. You know, I've never been bold enough to say you tell me, but I think I'm gonna steal that and start using it. Um, because it's super true. It's like, well, look, nobody knew what I was going to be doing 90 days after I got hired.

Right. [

inaudible 00:14:44]. 

Like they'd never had a director of demand gen before. So like every role that I've hired has been net new. And so it's like, you're paving your own. path.

Mm-hmm [affirmative]. 

Um, and I think it's also like a good like disqualification, right? If you like, see people's reaction on the interview and they are like, terrified of what you're saying, then, you know, this is like not the best fit for them.

Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Yeah, no, exactly, exactly that. And actually, also, one of the other questions I asked too, and this comes back to that emotional uh, connection is I ask, I ask a question. I'm told it's a hard question to ask in any way, no matter what, and it's, what is success for you? In one year, five years and 10 years.

So what would have to be true at those landmarks to look back and say, "You know, I'm proud of myself, I'm successful. Uh, and some people can't answer that and that's that's fine, but the intention is, is that I wanna know. You know, is this and obviously, is this the right fit for you, but are you gonna come here?

like, what is it that you're trying to do? And can we align those different things? Can we say, you know, that, that y- this is what you value Then, okay. This role, this company, this business is gonna help you to get to that point. Cause otherwise your one-year goal doesn't align with this role What, what are you, what are you doing?

Right. Like why, why are you here? Or the five-year goal? Like, what is... You know, what's going to happen here. How are we going to get you to that? So it's, it's very important to, I think, you know, have people start to think about that. And sometimes it's as simple as, you know, I want to make sure I'm doing something that I'm creating value." maybe a cop-out, but you know, you get that.

A lot other people, are like I want to start a family. I'm like, awesome. this is a great place to do it. Um, some of them are, I want to start my own business. I love those ones too. Uh, but the best answer I got ever was, uh, someone we hired fairly recently and she said, uh, her ten-year was to be retired and I was.

like, "Absol-" I'm like you're hired right now. Absolutely love this. It's just like, so this ambition is just, so your plan between now and the next 10 years to be sitting on enough of a enough of a base to be like, all right, I'm I'm checking in." She's not very old either. So, uh, that was the kind of spirit where I was like, I love that.

I absolutely love that. 

I love that and that's super bold, um, and unexpected. Right? I feel like it catches you on your toes a little bit. If somebody told me that I'd be like, oh, intriguing. Like, can you start. tomorrow?" Um, no, I love that. And so as you're hiring this team and understanding like how pivotal and important rev ops is for a company of such magnitude, what would your like, recommendation be for people who maybe aren't the size of Shopify, um, and don't have a rev ops team or think they need one, but are unsure.

Like, what are some of those like critical paths to success for you? And when would you recommend to others that they build and stand up a formalized rev ops structure within their business? [

Laughing] Yeah. So, I love that you ask that, uh, and this is something I can talk for, uh, talk for days about, so I'll, I'll answer it um, in two ways.

Um, the, the first one is that actually, I wrote, I was thinking about this and I wrote down something, it was like four points, um, where the first one is, is that when your go-to-market team starts to scale. And so that change is if, you know, if you have three, or four sales reps, maybe a couple BDRs or SDRs, you know, maybe a marketer.

or whatnot, In a perspective where it's like, Hey, you know, we think we can, we can scale this. Or, or we know if we add give more sales reps, we're gonna, you know, do X," at that point is when you know, your growth is accelerating. Rev ops makes sense because eventually that's gonna get to a point where the site's unmanageable, but your scale will be more efficient with a rev ops function.

that's, That's really walking.

Uh, another one is where if folks are spending over 30% of their time doing rev ops and that's not their job, then my belief is that an employee can stretch at least like let's say an additional 30% of what they are expected to do, because they naturally wanna explore and grow and try new things.

But at 30% someone who's, who's not supposed to be doing that. Then there's 60% of a job that will eventually be grown into. So that's one way to think about that. Um, Stagnation. I think we think about sometimes where, oh, you know, the business is not growing well, what do we do? We need to fix our product.

Or maybe we need to, you know, try and hire sales reps or, or whatnot. I would say six-eight months of stagnation where, you know, growth is not happening quickly, or you're kind of doing the same thing over again, and it's not working out. or You're missing opportunities. You're missing leads. You're not getting it right to your, your base your customer.

base, Throw rev ops into that. That's going to put it all on its head-

Mm-hmm [affirmative].

... and think about it differently. Um, and the last part is, obviously uh, upon a, a moment of, of grand [inaudible 00:19:06], or investment or funding rounds. That is obviously a great point because of course you're probably going to scale at that point. So that makes sense.

Um, But I generally say ASAP is when you want rev ops, which leads into my second point, 

Yeah.

...which is actually a company that I started, uh, and it's called Jameson strategies. And the intention of that business is actually to give small businesses, medium businesses that have not invested in rev ops, or are not willing to you know fork out a full-time equivalent for that to get access to that as kind of like, you know, rev ops as a, as a SaaS product, let's say.

Uh, and so that's something that we've found is. that The, the premise has been, you've actually acquired the technology. You can actually start to adopt the processes way before you have the people to, to run it and to facilitate it. That's normal. 

Mm-hmm [affirmative].

...That's natural. That's of course going to happen. The difference though, is that if you can get access to that for an hour, a couple hours a week, then you can turn around and say, okay, well, I don't need that until I get to maybe 10 million. But what I can do I'm setting the right things in place, setting the right things in motion. To to grow effectively. 

Exactly. and At least building a scalable foundation, because I feel like more often than not, um, people don't invest in rev ops marketing ops ops in general, um, until it's too late. And then you join somebody, you know, you bring somebody into this spiderweb, is almost always what I refer to it as where it is just like a tangled disaster. 

Mm-hmm [affirmative].

...Right. Because it's been like half-owned by somebody in marketing, half-owned, maybe by somebody in sales who was just like tired of dealing with the weird handoff or like total lack thereof. Um, and then maybe even sometimes like a random executive where they're just trying to like fill this Gap between the two functions and even between like sales and CS. And there's no one sitting in the middle of that you know, Venn diagram, that I just drew. uh, and All the processes are different, right? It's like marketing went their direction. Sales went their direction, CS and support went their direction and nothing's talking and then you have like a major, major issue.

Mm-hmm [affirmative]. 

Um, and, and I feel like more often than not, that's how it gets too, Right. Which I get-

Absolutely.

...is what you're finding, which is why you started this business on the side. Um, 

Yeah, it's... See, we call it the, the Frankenstein system, Um, 

Oh, that's good.

...because what ends up happening? And I've seen so many Salesforce instances, for example, where you go into that and it's, just, straight-up, it's a Frankenstein.

And so, what am I looking at here? like what what's actually happened. Uh, but you said a great point, um, about foundation. And that I, I wanna touch on that because when, when I first started doing this, I started talking about "We want something that is scalable. We wanna build a scalable foundation and I've stopped using the term.

scalable, And I don't know... I don't know where I've read that. I don't know if it's a book or something. I, I saw it not too long ago, but the sense is, like stop trying to be scalable from the beginning. And the perspective had been 

Mm-hmm [affirmative].

...is that if you do things that are scalable you won't often do the right thing at the right time.

And so in this case it's actually scalable. Is yeah, this solution we're gonna outgrow me, or this thing we're doing, it's, it's gonna, you know, we're gonna get rid of it with the intention to do something different so that doesn't happen from scale. The foundation though, a strong foundation.

Allows you to dump things and toss things out and add new thing, And that foundation is often on a data perspective, if you're on a you know an overarching approach perspective. And so that that's one of the new things to do when when we build Salesforce. or we build uh, you know, revenue systems for businesses, The perspective is, is that we're going to set you up with everything that you need to not have to go back and completely rethink everything from, from, from the ground up and that what we then say.

is, Footnotes kill followup", And every time we have to change, the way that you think about a lead, the way that you report, the way that we do everything you've created a footnote. where, Well, we've only been doing this for about six months, so we've only been doing this for about five months. Well, show me, the year-over-year growth. well that data back there's a little, So, like that's all, it's it's like investor 101 in this case where you're like, okay, like I've probably seen this a million times, but imagine you go into a place where the business.

is like, "Yes, We've kept consistency across the board. Despite the fact we've changed how we do. it. But the data and the, and the foundation is the same and it's designed for. growth." 

Yeah, no, I love that. Um, I'll take uh, scalable foundation out of my vocabulary because I, I mean, I agree. I think it's like scalable for that moment in time.

Right. 

Mm-hmm [affirmative]. 

And I feel like I say like phase of growth a lot in my day-to-day, because I'm like in this phase of growth, this is what's gonna be like, really important for us. However, this next phase of growth, we should think like this, or do like this? And if we could keep some type of that foundation again, But That but notes thing as well, I think is a great point because even us, like in our Google analytics account, it's like footnotes, right?

This thing happened on this day. Oh, we changed, you know, we shifted strategies on this day and we have just like annotations for like everything so that we can try and validate or dismiss like dips or inflations in traffic. Um, and that same sentiment like dissolves to your entire business. 

Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Um, It's just not maybe as trackable as GA annotation.

No, no, no. 

Um, [laughing] but no, it's, a great... it's all, it's all good points. And I think these are good things for like the audience to take away and think about how this affects their org, or how they could change some of these things that are maybe already happening for their business. Um, with the few minutes that we have left, I want to dive into this and I don't know if you're going to have enough time to cover it in as much depth as you want, but I, it's interesting enough, you, when we were chatting before this, um, interview and, you know, discussing general topics to talk about, you talked about having a deep passion for psychographics and measuring the right metrics.

Mm-hmm [affirmative]. 

I feel like we just touched on data a little bit, um, but I've never heard anybody say that they have a passion for psychographics. So I feel like maybe you should elaborate just a little bit. 

All right. You know, yeah, yeah. So, So I think it, it it stems back to, um, a conversation that I'm having almost every day that irritates me to no end, but it's about conversion rates and, uh, the, the industry, the businesses, everything are very focused on, well, how do I optimize my conversion rate from, you know, MQL to, to Sal or SAL SQL or, you know, how do I You know, fix my win rate and the difficulty that I have about those things?

is That it, it's There are two principles I would then dive into specific but the better solution. The first one is Goodhart's Law, And the concept is, is that you, if, if a measure becomes the goal, it ceases to be a good measure. Um, and so in this case it's that you, you Yeah, I can make the win rate better.

if I just put less things in the pipe or I just, I, I drop my, initial conversion rate on some super qualified leads. But what ends up happening 

Mm-hmm [affirmative].

...is you start missing things. there. That leads to the second point, which is the multi-arm bandit. the multi-arm bandit concept is that you have to time this balance between exploitation and exploration.

And what I mean by that is you say you optimize, optimize, optimize. where we're like, yeah, we know if we talk to this particular customer, uh, they're a great fit and we're going to close. So we're just going to target that really great customer. But What ends up happening is is that. If you don't target the customer that you're not sure about or if the customer is not a perfect fit, you don't find out why they're not a perfect fit.

You don't see there's a value there. You don't innovate your business for that. And then you don't actually grow And so that multi-armed bandit concept is the actual optimal path is not through exploiting what we know, but it's balancing, exploring what you Don't and then from the learnings of that, continuing to exploit what you, what you now learned.

Uh, And so to do that, fixing conversion rates, or being like "Yeah, this piece converts at a higher rate, which is gonna produce more [inaudible 00:26:37]," Sure. if you look at the numbers great, that's fine. But what it doesn't tell you is why is the person there? What, what is, what is their, what is their path to interacting?

What do they feel when they get on the phone, and, and what... You know, how should we communicate with them? And so on the ph-, a psychographics perspective is is like, Because, and I think in CMS's, now you're staring to see this a little bit more, but you know, oh, this they've converted on this particular piece of content and therefore they must care about this.

But I want to know is like, how long, how long did they spend there and and what was their path and what type of questions Can we assume that they were asking, them? can we get our chat bot to just ask a random question that pops up they're on this page? Hey, are you like for, for us with, the, the Shopify Fulfillment network, for example, you know, they may be on there, they're looking at a piece that says when to switch from, uh, self-fulfilling to third-party logistics, we could make an assumption that at that point, they're, maybe they're growing.

Right. But then the pop, the chat popup that says like, um, how much growth have you had over the, over the. year..." And then he's like, oh, like a 10%, 50%, 100%." from there you start to understand, oh, the person is getting hammered. Maybe they've gone viral, they're getting hammered with product requests. or, or [inaudible 00:27:42] requests and there's, they're drowning.

Or maybe it's like, oh, they're having steady growth. So this will be a slower buying process. Um, you know, all those things. so psychographics for me is, is that. fir-... like, forget everything. Let's focus on the human, the, the actual human that is there. because businesses they don't actually buy it's it's, it's the person, the person buys, how to get inside their hearts and minds?

Mm-hmm [affirmative].

...How to get inside that feeling? And then you have to put in measures to actually measure those psychographics Capture it from your sales team. What are, What are the sales people carrying? They write a text note, But what about like does this, is this person very aggressive in the negotiation is this person, someone who's a low risk taker is this grabbing those things allow you to build better marketing content, allow you to do more compelling sales, and then the best part after is Once you've closed the deal, you have a profile on this person. you can reduce churn from that because you can then understand how should I communicate with this? person." Uh, and open text Box is from sales teams and not capturing in... marketing doesn't do that. 

Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Uh, So I think it happens throughout the entire process.

and, And that is that, that major focus. So I haven't quite cracked the cracked the co-, the secret on that yet, but it's, it's a passion of mine now to to do that. 

Yeah, absolutely. No. And I think too, like getting stuck in, um, exploitation. is m-maybe more common than not. Um, because I feel like even us to a certain degree, as we were scaling and ramping very quickly, we were like, these are our target accounts because they sit XYZ.

However, in that we noticed exactly what you're saying. So, um, something that's tactical that we've started doing that maybe others listening could implement for themselves as well is we have a a team of trailblazers internally where it's like, that is their comp, that's what they're measured on. It's Anything other than what we've been doing.

Right. 

Mm-hmm [affirmative]. 

So they like go out and do their own like quick analysis market, understanding, etc., um, and stand it up. Right. And just like do the polar opposite of what it is that we've always been doing. And just try new markets or um, new verticals, new under like new understandings of people, titles, like anything that we can get in front.

of that's The polar opposite of what we've been doing and it's actually starting to work really well. Um, we've stood that up, I guess, a quarter or so ago. So we're still fairly in the infancy stages as far as like scaling it. Um, But it was like a passion project from our sales leader where he just, you know, Hey, we've been going after the same types of people, the same accounts, the same companies, etc. We need to try something different. Um, and it's working really well. So now we're s-, we're standing up in marketing armed like help. Cause it's been purely outbound to this point. Um, so now we're gonna start to try and generate some inbound interest as well on, um, the trailblazing accounts. that Those teams have been going after.

Mm-hmm [affirmative]. 

So that's something maybe similar and tactical then what this nurse could stand up or consider, um, implementing something like that in their org. But I think it's a great point. that-

That, that's, that, Yeah. And that's absolutely, that's so true. Like you, you... I love that you guys are doing that, but I I think the, the kind of thinking here is that, you know what, doesn't kill you makes you stronger, like go close a bad deal, just go close a bad deal. It's what happens.

And and from that perspective, 

Exactly.

... of it is, you know, you, you, you don't know what you don't know, so go out and learn and and you'll be better. for it. 

Exactly even better for it. Last question, before we hop off this call is, um, what is someone, something that you've read listened to their podcast? you've followed them on LinkedIn, etc., that others you think would find value from doing the same?

Um, oh, put, put me on the spot on this one. Um, 

Sorry. [Laughing] I like to ask ad-hoc and not warn people because then you get like a good genuine response. 

Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, I would say, um, You know, [inaudible 00:31:14]... I mean, if you're not following uh, Adam Grant, for example, you you should, um, I'm a little biased. I come from a psychology background and I always wanted to be an organizational psychologist.

So I kind of... I'm infatuated with that whole the whole career line, but there's a lot of really good things there. And I I think, uh, for me, an objective that I've had here is to see the human in in the people around us. It's very easy. to get, You know, oh, they're they're in my way. Or, or, you know, they're, they're not very smart they're not doing everything, but you stop and realize, you know, they have parents, they have children, they have loved ones.

They've, are in this crazy world, uh, on their own. And the best thing that you can do then is show up and see that human and interact with that human. And I find a lot of the stuff that Adam Grant, uh, pops out is exceptionally, really good about again, maybe not being an asshole and, and trying to get the most out of, out of, uh, not just yourself, but the team around you.

So, uh, that... Yeah. That's, that's probably what I would say for that one. 

Yeah. Not a cop-out at all. Adam Grant is brilliant and none of my guests have mentioned him yet, so that's good. 

There you go. All right [laughing].

Not, new. Well-taken. Awesome. well, thank you again so much for coming on. If anybody needs to keep up with you or wants to know more about what you're doing.

at Shopify, LinkedIn, 

LinkedIn, LinkedIn's the way to go. 

Beautiful. Find Craig on LinkedIn, We'll link it in the show notes as well. Um, thanks so much and we'll see you on the next episode. 

Thank you