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Episode #165: Why Good Decisions Can Lead To Bad Outcomes

Grad Conn

October 15, 2021  •  5 min read

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The average marketing department has 91 martech point solutions. And I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t think that number is too high? So, how did we get here? It’s not because we’re making bad decisions. But it might be that we’re approaching the decision-making process all wrong. 

In today’s episode we look at employee empowerment, the challenges of disjointed departmental solutions, and how to make better decisions that benefit the entire organization.


I had that turned up in the headphones! Good morning, I am awake now. Wow, Jimi Hendrix, early morning. Kind of cool. I’m Grad Conn. I’m the chief experience officer at Sprinklr. And I’m going to do a shorter show today. I want to specifically focus on how people are making decisions that are counterproductive to the health of the company but are actually logically not necessarily terrible decisions on their own. And we see this all the time.

You know, we’re the unified CXM platform. It’s a new category of enterprise software. CXM is of course, what comes after CRM. CRM is what the person or the customer looks like to the company. CXM is what the company looks like to the customer. Right? So, CRM, the view of the customer from the company perspective, and CXM is the company view, from the customer perspective. They go together, they work really, really well together. In between them as often DXP or digital experience platforms which modify and measure the behavior of customers on owned properties. Obviously, they look at rage clicks and you look at abandoned carts and other things like that. You work to make it more effective and more efficient.

But today we’re going to talk about CXM — the difference between CXM, the way we’ve been trying to do it, and the way CXM, the way we’re going to be doing it… CXM to date, because we’ve been sort of cobbling it together, we’re learning about it, it’s a new category. It’s the responsibility of different departments, the customer part being often the responsibility of the marketing department. And the experience part being the responsibility of pretty much the product department in many cases, or shipping et cetera. And then the management Part, CXM, is often the responsibility of the customer care, the customer service department. And it’s those three different departments operating independently, usually on different technology platforms that makes it looks so fractured to the consumer. That’s why for the consumer it feels so disjointed and siloed. Because it is disjointed, and it is siloed.

And so the idea is how can I pull all these together, and as categories mature, they tend to unify, they tend to go to single platforms. Epic healthcare being a great example of this. Workday is a great example of this in the HR space, SAP a great example of this in the back office space, your iPhone, a great example of a unified platform, many other many other great examples of that you can throw them in the comments if you’ve got other ones.

So why did we end up here? Right? Why is it that we have so many different points solutions? The average marketing department has 91. That seems like… I haven’t met anybody, and I’ve been doing this job for, say, four years, and I’ve been talking about this issue in marketing for at least a decade, at least a decade. And I don’t think I’ve run into a single person who thinks it’s a really good idea to have a lot of disjointed point solutions. Maybe one or two people, but really not many. How did it happen? Why does it continue to happen? So, I’m going to talk to a VP now, talking to VP or someone even more senior. And I’m going to start from the standpoint of it’s not that you’re a bad decision maker, or that you’re a fool for building a point solution stack. In fact, that’s not true at all. These people are all very, very smart and intelligent people and well intentioned. What you are, in fact is you are a great manager. And you’re empowering your people. And what you’ve done is you said to your teams, you can get the tool that helps you get your job done. And here’s the $100,000 budget, and you make that decision, I’m not going to make that decision for you. You make that. You’re an empowering manager. That’s great. I mean, being an empowering manager is awesome. I wish there were more of them, right? The world could use a lot more empowering managers, these empowering managers are empowering people to make these decisions. It’s fantastic.

But the result is that each team makes different decisions. Instead of having one solution to solve three problems, you end up with three solutions, creating a new problem. And the new problem is they don’t talk. They’re inefficient.

So how do you get your people to make a different decision? Because these disjointed solutions don’t help the company. It’s not for the good of the company. I’ve got a thought. Right now as you empower your people to make these $100,000 decisions, you’re essentially training them to become directors. What if you took a slightly different perspective? Still empowering them. But why don’t you train them to become VPs. Train them to understand the cross functional value of having different teams work together and empower them to work across the different functions in the organization to make a better decision for the organization in total. And that way, you can have one solution to solve your problems. Instead of a bunch of solutions, creating problems. Kind of a cool way of thinking about it. Essentially frame it for the standpoint of: I want to train VPs and VPs need to be able to work cross functionally. Stay empowering, bring it up a level. For the CXM Experience, I’m Grad Conn, CXO at Sprinklr, and I’ll see you next time.

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Grad Conn

Chief Experience Officer, Sprinklr

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