CRM Talks is a video and blog series where we sit down with big brains from all corners of the business world. We want to get to the bottom of why they use CRM, how it helps them, any tips or advice they might have about specific feature implementation, and where they think the world of CRM is heading in the future. Watch it. Read it.

You might know Anastasia Tatsenko from one of the many webinars she’s held, How to structure CRM data, how to accelerate revenue with CRM automation… and the rest.

As a NetHunt CRM customer, you might know her as our Customer Success queen, proactively solving problems before they even occur, hosting demos with prospective new clients, and generally being a good person to talk to.

She talks a lot, and she talks about CRM. This makes her the perfect guest for our third episode of CRM Talks. She sat down with Anna Pozniak to talk us through her day-to-day usage of our own CRM platform, NetHunt CRM, and how it helps do her job.

  • How NetHunt’s Customer Success team uses CRM
  • How automation makes teams more productive
  • What a day without CRM looks like

If you’ve got time, watch the full video version of our chat with Anastasia.

If you’re on the move, listen to the podcast version of our chat. If you’re from an older school , stick the kettle on, make a cup of your preferred hot drink, and take in our chat in all its glorious, written form.👇

🗣️ Anna's speech is in bold and Anastasia's speech is in italics.

Welcome back to CRM Talks. Today I’ve got a very special guest with me: Anastasia, Head of Customer Success at NetHunt CRM!

Thanks for having me, it’s a massive pleasure to be on CRM talks and this is the topic that I talk about the most. So thanks for having me.

Thanks for coming! Let me describe why we decided to shoot this episode. Customer Success was the first department to start using NetHunt CRM within the company itself. It helps us to achieve a high level of retention and low churn rate. Secondly, there’s a myth that CRM is only for salespeople. We’re here to break this myth. CRM isn’t just for salespeople.

Anastasia, please could you tell us a few words about yourself and a bit of background on the role of Customer Success manager and the purpose of your team.

I’ve been with NetHunt CRM for 5 years, actually celebrating my anniversary in April! You’re right, we’re the first department to start using our own product.

So, Customer Success responsibilities can be vague. We handle so much, without a CRM it would have been impossible to make sure clients are completely satisfied with our product. Customer Success’s main concern is to make sure clients achieve growth. We’re Sales, Support, and Success; we care about the clients, we’re the ears of the market, and we help our Product team to shape the roadmap. Customer Success is making our customers achieve success, and that’s the best way to describe what we do.

I want you to imagine life with CRM. Please describe what life would be like without a CRM.

Oof! I think I had a few times when I was without it. I remember I totally killed my laptop, it was an expensive coffee spill.

That one day I was without my laptop. I ordered a new one, but I had to wait for it to come! Obviously, we have the NetHunt CRM mobile app and we have the web application, but I love the desktop version. I like to have the big dashboard on full screen. I like it when I receive an email which is labelled to understand who’s speaking to me.Without a CRM you don’t understand there is so much more stuff the CRM takes care of, but you don’t realise because you take it for granted.

Right now I'm not just handling clients and people, even though I’m preaching Customer Success, but then you understand there’s Marketing, Product, and Management, who also need to see what’s going on with their business. They need the data, and business data is located in CRM.

If you took my CRM away from me, I’d quit my job! It’s impossible.

In Customer Success, you have to be fast because people expect you to be. You value your customers, you don’t want them to wait. Without a CRM that would be difficult to achieve. What do you think?

True, true. I always onboard the newbies with this in mind.

The main value of our department is to provide an answer, we don’t make them wait. Everybody who reaches out to us is responded to. They’re followed up with any feedback and that’s really important. Everybody expects to be cared about as customers but things are easy to forget without CRM. Can you imagine trying to remember how many customer requests, bugs issues or desires.

CRM helps you to remember people, you can write notes and read email conversations. People contact me to check something. They remember me - okay, so I look at the email and I can remember our previous conversations. I look at their conversations and remember little details, and they’re like “how do you know?” and I’m like “well, you know, the CRM”.

Further read: How to effectively onboard your new sales hire

So my next question is how does CRM help you build relationships? What features help you the most?

Basically, I love the full customisation potential of NetHunt CRM. We have our own structure and have had for years but we can always improve it. For us it’s important to know how many people are using the system, what their system usage is, what kind of features they’re using. These bits of info are always in the record for me and we can change views and quickly scan different data points.

Views are amazing.

Next, I have 50 or 60 tasks every day and this feature makes sure that I'm always on top with my priorities.

Then, automation. We automate different processes, not just drip campaigns, but lead delegation amongst the team. Everybody has their own leads and are processing hundreds of leads every day. We distribute different web forms, we send internal notifications in Google Chat, or we also used to do it in Slack. NetHunt integrations support both chat applications.

With time you always need to improve your workflows. It sometimes helps with clients, even they can teach us something about our system to enrich our workflows.

You mentioned sales automation. I wanted to ask you whether you have a favourite automation that saves a lot of time.

Yeah. Delegation of leads and nurturing of leads. When people say “oh we are just a small team”, we did it 5 years ago; we actually did it before Workflows was a thing. We were developing our own inner-team automation tool that saved a lot of time. Even with just five clients you don’t want to do the manual job. So we can focus on outreach or being creative in other ways. Right now the modern world dictates that you need to be fast and furious.

Yeah because the competition is fierce in every market in every industry. I get it.

You always talk to customers and see how they use NetHunt. Do their use cases inspire you to set up new automations or to use the system differently?

Yeah, but it’s not always mutual. There are some cases that just don’t agree with ours.

Like the AMA session, we showed monstrous workflows that our clients made. It was huge, but it wouldn’t work for us. He made it happen, he made it work. But yeah, nothing super crazy - you shouldn’t automate everything. Make something safe that can’t be messed up. You can’t forget the human touch. We all need to calculate our time and make sure we spend the right amount of time on each task.

Basically, I think I’m still waiting for some more craziness to come from our clients. We’re going to make different webinars based on these use cases. I tell people to write down all the processes that they’re doing in their company and then we can discuss and come up with a solution - take it out of your mind and onto paper. Then, Customer Success can show you how to make it.

So how does a CRM a team leader, like yourself, manage their team?

As a Customer Success manager, it takes a lot of time to oversee different formats of your team and coach them. CRM data helps you identify bottlenecks in the process. Since everything is transparent.

Like, we have an active pipeline of those that are trialling the system. There’s no chance for my team to forget something because we always discuss everything; we always talk about all of the demos together. During the pipeline meetings, we go through all our active leads and users. I say - “so tell me about their case” - they leave their comments for us to discuss. My team explains when they have a problem; maybe they’re moving from a different system to ours, why are they doing so. We need to get to the bottom of what is so alluring for our system and identify any bottlenecks for them to make the switch.

This is a team-coaching process. Other managers also offer their solution. We think about what else we can offer. We have ideas; we talk to Marketing. My team isn’t super big, so if I don’t find a comment after the meeting I can easily ask where it is. I use mentions a lot in the timeline in the record and it’s easy to talk to each other across the system.

Your work with the CRM is amazing, you utilise it a lot. Is there room for improvement and deeper integration with your team’s processes?

Yeah by all means. I'm never happy with myself. I want to add more functionality to Workflows and to integrations we already have. When we have more free time maybe we can integrate with external tools. It would be helpful for us to integrate with VoIP systems for salespeople. It's important to have, with every phone call recorded and logged and everything will be easy to track the calls.

Also, devs are improving the design all the time. They’re working on a new CRM interface. But! This shouldn’t scare people, but our CRM will look better.

Yeah, I’m basically satisfied! The CRM does all the work that I need and it helps me track and remember stuff. Let’s see what the new year brings.

Anastasia, thanks for joining us. I’m sure we’ll be in touch. 😉

Ha! Yep, thanks for having me!

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