Ask a QSA: Focusing on the bigger pipeline picture

Learn how our Qualified Success Architect, Kevin, empowers his customers to level-up their Admin skills so they can work together to focus on the bigger pipeline picture.

Ask a QSA: Focusing on the bigger pipeline picture
Shelly Weaver
Shelly Weaver
December 16, 2022
min read
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Beyond being experts in all things implementation and configuration within the Qualified platform, our Qualified Success Architects (QSAs) are dedicated to helping customers integrate Qualified into their bigger-picture pipeline generation strategies. In order to get to that point, it's important to empower and educate newly-minted Qualified Admins to have a thorough understanding of the tools at their fingertips.

Learn more about how our team helps new Qualified Admins ramp up their knowledge and partner with their QSAs to focus on high-impact strategy with Kevin👇

Tell us a little bit about how you became a QSA and what you love about the role

Kevin: I have been in some form of implementation solutions and professional services for the better part of the decade–both at nonprofits and private companies. Most recently, that took me to Salesforce, where I was on their professional services team implementing CRM solutions for enterprise companies and divisions of the US federal government, so huge scale projects, 18 to 20 months in scope. 

I was doing that and I loved it and wound up hearing about Qualified from recruiting. I loved every step of the interview process and I started here in April of 2022. That feels like yesterday and also 15 years ago.

I really love working at Qualified and the QSA role. What I love so much about it is that it’s about so many different things and lets me focus on so many different areas. I love the customer-facing role, I love getting to sit with Marketing and Demand Gen and RevOps leaders and talk to them about their business, their challenges and the ways Qualified can solve them. 

I do still get to wear my architect hat and come up with solutions and creative problem solving and all of those things that got me into this line of work in the first place. I’m sure that everyone you interview says this but Qualified is just a group of really smart, fun people, all of whom care about what they’re doing, do it well, intelligently and innovatively, and being in that environment, even virtually, is supercharging to my energy, motivation, and output. 

What do you think is the biggest challenge when becoming a Qualified Admin, and why do you think it’s important to continue leveling up Admins’ skillsets? 

Kevin: The biggest challenge by far is that you’ve now got access to this massive amount of insights and massive control over the ways you’re sending out your messaging and the things you want to make sure people are engaged with.

That’s a really powerful tool, but it’s easy to over-engineer. 

The benefit that Qualified brings to your website is that it lets your sales team focus on the people that are most important and have real-time sales conversations with them. Everything you want to be doing is driving them toward that purpose and I think that making sure the Qualified admin has that mindset is really, really important. 

Qualified is also a tool that is powerful from day one, but only gets better the more you use it and the more it becomes an integrated part of your strategy. That’s something I really focus on when I’m implementing with new customers and talking through the tech stack. 

Qualified is great as a tool on its own to help your BDRs and SDRs close more deals, book more meetings, and all of these things. But, if you can start thinking about it as one arm of your org’s marketing strategy and your website as your digital storefront and have that mindset continually evolving so that when you plan a new campaign you’re not only thinking about what paid ads are you going to put out there, what’s the messaging going to be like, maybe you’re creating a new landing page–one of those questions right along that should be what’s the Qualified experience when they land on your site? 

The more that you have a maturity and understanding of the tool and the ways you can utilize it as part of your org and strategy, the more success you’re going to see. 

That’s one of the reasons I find it’s important to have Admins that are empowered within the company. As QSAs, we’re going to continue to provide white glove, Whatever It Takes service, but we’re not in your strategy meetings either. A really engaged, proactive qualified admin who thinks about Qualified as a tool in your toolbox will be able to come up with some really great out-of-the-box ideas to leverage the platform and make the most of it. 

What does your strategy for implementation and ramp-up look like for new customers?

Kevin: We have a couple of different strategies and a lot of it comes down to what’s the timeline, what’s the situation, and what are we working with. If we think about somebody who has used some conversational marketing tools before or somebody who has had experience in this space, we’re going to have a very different conversation than with somebody who bought it and we’re starting from scratch. 

When we think about implementing a new customer, the first thing we’re going to do is make sure they’re successful. We’re going to go through the Qualified implementation process and I as your QSA am going to build everything that goes into your Day One Go Live operation. 

Something I’ve found that is really valuable is to show what I’m doing–you’ll be on the Zoom call as I share my screen and I’m clicking through. I talk through why I made the decisions that I made, why I set things up the way I did, and what Phase Two steps are doing to look like so the admin is already thinking about this as a tool that they can use, they see the clicks I’m going through, and they’re understanding the strategy that goes into configuring Qualified experiences and configuring the way that the bot appears on the site, etc. 

Once it’s live on the site and we’ve got people chatting, creating leads, booking meetings, all those things, we start talking about iteration. Rapid iteration is a core part of our ongoing relationship with our customers. We’re going to start slowly having that admin take the driver’s seat and share their screen so I can talk them through the clicks they’re going to make, share things like our University content, make sure they’re fully prepared and have all the resources they need to make those changes. 

The thing that’s important to me as a QSA is to get the admin making those clicks as soon as possible with the tool, and take ownership of the tool. “Ownership” is a word you’ll hear a lot from me, it’s important to make sure that they feel like this is their tool, they bought it to supercharge their marketing and sales operations on their website, and we want to make sure that they feel like it’s their tool and they don’t need to come to me to change copy that a bot says during a question or update the routing to add a new SDR or BDR on their team or things like that. 

The sooner we can get that paradigm shift of “I’m your QSA and I’m here to build all of your experiences” moving over into “I’m here to help support, discuss strategy, share best practices for this tool you’re using yourself on your website” is what we’re aiming at right after that Go Live phase. 

What are some go-to resources that you find yourself frequently directing customers to?

Kevin: Number one is Qualified University. I send an average of five University links a day to different customers for best practice guides, refreshers, or how-tos on some of the different plays we recommend. Qualified University was great the day I started and it has only gotten better every day since then. Huge props to the University team! 

Right alongside that are the courses on the University website. We’ve got them for Sales Managers, Sales Reps, and Admin training courses. They’re pretty quick, there are just a couple of courses and you can do them in about 30 minutes each give-or-take and they are a really great walkthrough of everything you need to know. 

I’ve found that the customers that take those courses and engage with them are much more successful at really being able to take the product and run with it. That’s true for Sales Reps that take the Sales Rep Course and it’s true for Admins that take the Admins course. 

We have a ton of content for new Qualified Admins, where do you recommend they start as far as leveling up their skills go?

Kevin: We did just launch our Admin Trail Maps and that really ties into University. If you haven’t had a chance to see those yet, the Admin Trail Map is basically a guided tour of what you should be looking at on University right after Go Live and you’re working on taking ownership of that responsibility. 

We’re going to start elevating those in terms of visibility. The University can be a little overwhelming, so what we wanted to do with these Trail Maps was give people a guided tour of the things that they would most likely want to see when they first become a Qualified Admin and they want to start learning terms that we use frequently, what to think about, what good strategies are, presented in an ordered list that makes sense so you can level up as you read along. 

What does a successful relationship between a Qualified Admin and their QSA look like? 

Kevin: When we’re talking about admins and where we want them to be it’s really important for us to stress that a good Qualified Admin is not somebody who just takes the product away from us and says, “Goodbye I’ll see ya in a year,” and we never engage with them again. That’s not the goal of a leveled-up Admin and it’s not the way the QSA white glove service works. 

We’re always here as a resource, and we’re always doing Whatever It Takes to make sure you’re successful with the platform, but when we think about the way that a good Qualified Admin works with their QSA, we want to spend that time talking about their account, reviewing KPIs, looking at conversation rate, meeting booked rate, which experiences are performing well, what marketing initiatives do you have coming up that we’re going to enable Qualified to help make the most of. 

We get to have that strategy conversation because the conversation doesn’t have to be used talking through the basic mechanics of building an experience out or tweaking a routing rule. That’s really the goal of all of this–getting that Admin ownership to a point where the service that you get from your QSA is strategic. It’s about building pipeline, it’s about making the most of this tool, rather than the mechanics of tweaking a config setting. 

We’ve put a lot of thought and effort into making great content to help with the basics. This is not to say I don’t make routing changes for my customers every week, I’m happy to as part of my role, but the customers I see having the most success and the places where I think we’re able to build the strongest relationship and build strong pipeline, is where those customers feel enabled and empowered to own the tool and I’m there really almost as a consultant to provide the pipeline vision for them. 

Kevin, thanks so much for sharing your strategies for getting our Qualified Admins ramped up and ready to crush their pipeline generation goals. Learn more over at Qualified University.

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