Hello Inside Sales subscribers,
As part of a regular feature for Inside Sales, we'll be conducting interviews with industry sales leaders. Our latest installment is a Q&A with Navin Jagannath, VP of Revenue at EZ Texting. The Austin-based company offers an SMS-driven platform for marketing campaigns, real-time alerts, event promotion and customer service.
Hit reply to this email and let us know what you think, or if you have a suggestion for a future installment for this feature.
Q: You've transitioned from roles involving customer success (CS) to sales. What brought about this transition?
I view sales very similarly to the way I view CS: It’s all about making sure we’re setting up our customers in a manner that’s going to help them meet their goals. Transitioning from CS to sales was simply another part of that process, one which allowed me to work with customers from before their product onboarding, all the way throughout their lifetime with us.
Q: How does a background in CS help you in being a sales leader?
I’m a bit biased here, but I’m a big believer that having a background in customer-facing roles makes you a better leader. In customer success, your job is to ensure that you know your customers’ businesses, pain and goals, and you can help them come up with a strategy to solve those. Being a sales leader is very similar in that way.
Q: What does EZ Texting do exactly and how does it help a company's sales team?
EZ Texting helps businesses communicate more effectively. We provide businesses with a platform to easily and consistently send text messages to a recipient list of 1 to 1 million+. Text messages have a 90 percent open rate within the first few minutes of being sent, which is key for anyone in sales or customer success.
Q; There seems to be a lot of competition in this market. What sets EZ Texting apart?
Our technology, and our people. When you use EZ Texting, you know you’re using the easiest platform in the business, with the highest deliverability rates out there. Our users have rated us the #1 SMS marketing platform on G2 Crowd and we’ve also earned a TrustRadius outstanding marketing tool award. Time and again, our user reviews mention how hands-on our Sales and CS teams are. Our most loyal users know they can just pick up the phone, send us an email, or chat with us directly. Our CSMs, support team and account executives are available 18 hours a day to make sure our customers are never in the dark when it comes to how to use EZ Texting to meet their goals.
Q: Who are your target customers/verticals?
We’ve found that anyone with a business who is looking to communicate better has found success using EZ Texting. To get very specific, we know that marketing agencies, retail businesses, and businesses using us for appointment reminders have found the most success, but we have a wide variety of industries and use cases.
Q: What would you say is your sales management style?
I’m a big believer in giving people the tools they need to be successful, and getting out of their way! We look for people who are driven, coachable and have a high degree of emotional intelligence. My job is to articulate how our customers’ success results in their success, give them guidance and coaching along the way, and then let them take care of our customers.
Q: What do you look for in a successful sales rep?
Drive, coachability, and IQ/EQ. The most successful reps come in every morning with the desire to do better than they did the day before, seeking out feedback (which they implement immediately), and know how to engage with a customer/prospect in a manner most relatable to them.
Q: Austin has a red-hot startup scene. How do you get the attention of and retain sales talent?
By simply explaining our mission, and highlighting our team’s culture. We’re passionate about building a team that works hard for our customers and is rewarded for doing so.
Q: Have you read any good sales-driven books lately?
While I’m an avid reader, the last few books I’ve read have actually been more focused around different styles of leadership. Our COO TJ Thinakaran gifted me “Scaling Up Excellence” by Huggy Rao and Bob Sutton, and I just finished “Let My People Go Surfing” by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard. Next on the list is “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson.
Q: What does the future look like for you, your sales team and the EZ Texting product?
Growth! The fact that we’ve got more and more customers signing up every month is a clear indicator that customers are loving our service, and our focus is to make sure that everything we build and do is in service of their needs.
For me, personally, keep supporting my team. I’m incredibly fortunate to be working with smart, dedicated individuals, and my goal is to make sure I’m doing everything possible to put them in a position to succeed.
William Wallace is a sales veteran and journalist with years of experience in such diverse realms as High-Performance Computing, Big Data, education software and SaaS products. When not hunting for the next sales/business opportunity, he is a self-professed foodie and published writer with an abiding passion for all forms of expression.
Editor: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside).