Episode 26: Anne Raimondi, Chief Customer Officer at Guru, on the Power of People in the SMB Tech Space

Anne Raimondi speaking with Glenn Solomon at the first annual SMB Tech Summit

Anne Raimondi is an industry veteran with over 20 years of experience driving growth for B2B and B2C companies – taking them from startups to nationally recognized brands. Currently, she is the Chief Customer Officer for Guru, a leading AI knowledge management platform. Prior to Guru, Raimondi served as the SVP of Operations for Zendesk. Prior to Zendesk, Raimondi served as a product leader and executive for technology innovators – including Survey Monkey, TaskRabbit, Blue Nile and eBay. Anne holds an M.B.A. from Stanford University and currently lives in the Bay Area.

In this episode, we learn from Anne why face-to-face engagement with customers and prospects is critical and why we should stay in cross-functional pods for as long as possible. Anne encourages founders to hire inherently curious “evangelists” who are already passionate about your product. Pro tip from Anne: The quickest way to end internal debates about what should or shouldn’t be built is to listen to customers talk about their pain points. Listen to the full episode for more pro tips.

This episode was recorded live at the first annual SMB Tech Summit , co-hosted by GGV Capital, NFX and Fenwick & West.

Episode Highlights:

1:41 If you’re building a company that’s going after the SMB, your functions need to be tightly aligned within the organization. What are tricks of the trade to make sure that happens?
3:41 How do you build a management team that can manage cross-functionally, particularly with sales?
5:14 What can go wrong and what can go right when hiring more traditional enterprise folks into a company focused on the SMB space?
7:33 As a Chief Customer Officer now and you’ve seen a lot of great companies this world, what are the hacks to make sure your customers are happy, but that you’re not spending a lot of time and resource making that so?
10:39 What have you seen work well related to renewal rates?
13:25 What have you seen work well is you’re attempting to grow accounts?
15:45 For renewal and for expansion who should own those within a company that’s going after SMB?
17:12 What benefits do you get from segmenting your customers?
19:55 What about Net Promoter Score NPS. Is it a useful tool, how is it used well, and when it goes awry, what problems do you need to avoid?
20:47 Is the move up market deliberate and when do you know you’re ready? If it’s not deliberate, how do you make sure you don’t mess it up
22:27 [question from the audience] How do you maintain connection and understanding of customers as humans as the companies you’ve been with have grown?

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GGV Capital is a global venture capital firm that invests in local founders. As a multi-stage, sector-focused firm, GGV focuses on seed-to-growth stage investments across Consumer/New Retail, Social/Digital & Internet, Enterprise/Cloud and Frontier Tech sectors. The firm was founded in 2000 and manages $6.2 billion in capital across 13 funds. Past and present portfolio companies include Affirm, Airbnb, Alibaba, Bitsight, ByteDance (Toutiao), Ctrip, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Gladly, Hello Chuxing, HashiCorp, Houzz, Keep, LingoChamp, Namely, Niu, Nozomi Networks, Opendoor, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Square, Wish, Xauto, Xiaohongshu, Yellow, YY, Zhaoyou and more. The firm has offices in Beijing, San Francisco, Shanghai and Silicon Valley.

Learn more at ggvc.com and @GGVCapital.