TalkingHeadz with CMO Janelle Raney

by Dave Michels

Yet another company featured in the Innovation Showcase at Enterprise Connect 22.

Janelle shares with us her thoughts on startups and high growth companies. Something she learned about about by joining a small company called Zoom in 2015. “We transformed it into something really special. This past year, it has been incredibly rewarding to help so many people use Zoom to stay connected and accomplish more at work…But, I found myself longing for the challenges and fun of the start-up life again.”



Dave Michels 0:00
Hi it’s me, Evan. And I will be talking with Janelle Rainey of Pathlight. But before that, regulations on your new home and your move, how’s that going,

Evan Kirstel 0:22
it’s going exceedingly slowly, I feel like one box a day is getting emptied and put away. So by this time about 2024, I should be unpacked.

Dave Michels 0:31
And it’ll be time to start packing for whatever reason. I’ve got a move coming up myself. And I’ve been wondering about this other year, a little ahead of me on this curve, the last time I moved, which was around 2007, I put in a ton of home automation. It’s been great. I had a really good experience with it. All of that stuff is totally obsolete now. And then wondering what to do the future? Have you been looking into home automation at all,

Evan Kirstel 0:58
not only looking but dabbling? It’s a new house, it’s bigger house. So you kind of have to look at, okay, who’s your network provider? Because they have all kinds of bells and whistles and options. You know, I have basically two choices here, Verizon, and Comcast. And then they all sell their home security and all bells and whistles, and then you got to look okay, is it you’re gonna get with the Apple ecosystem, the Google ecosystem or the you know, the 800 pound gorilla seems to be Amazon. And then how do you get all this shit working together? Honestly, if you have a lot of gadgets,

Dave Michels 1:30
and Samsung, I know that Samsung was a bit

Evan Kirstel 1:33
maybe in Korea, but yeah, actually, no, I had Samsung TVs. So yeah, they are smart hubs now. So the problem is having one of everything presents kind of a mess. So I’m kind of looking at Amazon, you know, that from the doorbell to the Alexa as to whether lighting and smart plugs, they seem to have the biggest, let’s say, ecosystem, or portfolio. And of course, it’s Prime Day, so you can get everything half price. But yeah, it’s not easy to kind of design like you would think it would be,

Dave Michels 2:04
you know, I think some of the features in my current setup, which is all a fleet, but uh, some of the stuff that I liked the best about it, I put in a motion sensor in the master bath, so that it circulates the hot water. So you never have to wait for hot water when you turn on the faucet or

Evan Kirstel 2:20
shower. Well, that’s a real 1% problem there.

Dave Michels 2:24
Well, you know, that was a great little feature, right? Because you’d never walked in the bathroom, you don’t have a lot of false positives. Put it that way. The bathroom doesn’t get a lot of traffic. But I don’t even know how I would do that today. I don’t even know if anyone I don’t even know how I would build that today where you know, I’ve had a lot of automated lighting. Here’s a good one. I’m not sure how you would do this. I guess you could do this with the Amazon stuff that by my barbecue in my deck. I have a really bright light on the porch, like 150 watt light bulb was like that. But it goes on at night automatically on a 30% dim. So unless you’re barbecuing you don’t turn it on all the way. You know, I’ve seen a lot of things that have you know, light sensor or mostly in cylinder. It gets dark it goes on, but I’m not sure how I would recreate that worth. It just turned on with Doom position. Have you live that kind of stuff?

Evan Kirstel 3:07
Now you’re way ahead of me. I’m just trying to get the lights to work so well.

Dave Michels 3:11
Ahead of you. 10 years ago, that’s pretty embarrassing, but I have no idea how to do this today. I have no idea how to set this kind of stuff up. Maybe Janelle knows.

Evan Kirstel 3:20
Yeah. Let’s ask her. Let’s do that.

Dave Michels 3:22
She’s okay. Well, let’s get to our interview.

god 3:25
Talking. It’s a semi monthly podcast with interviews of the top movers and shakers and enterprise communications and collaboration. Your host Dave Michaels and Evan Kirkstall, both of which offer extraordinary services including research, analysis and social media marketing. You can find them on Twitter, LinkedIn, or at talking That’s points with a Z and Devon That’s Kr s t e l.

Dave Michels 3:53
Today we have with us Janelle Rainey, the CMO of Pathlight. Welcome, Janelle.

Janelle Raney 3:59
Hey, Dave, thanks for having me.

Dave Michels 4:01
It’s great to have you here. Pathlight to introduce it to our audience. Pathlight helps context center leaders manage people, not spreadsheets, does that sound like something you wrote?

Janelle Raney 4:13
I think that is something that we’ve had it Yes. In our toolbox. Yes.

Dave Michels 4:18
All right. Well, let’s see here. So what we start off with, we want to explore both you and pathway but we start off with a higher level question. Is pathway a context center tool? Or is it a work from home tool?

Janelle Raney 4:31
That is a great question. And I think it works for both we primarily sell into contact centers, and as you know, most of those workers are working from home right now. And that’s the reality of the situation. Right? It’s everybody is at home and certainly what we’re solving is that, how do you manage people and how do you manage your own career and how do you know what your goals are and expectations are? And that was hard to do when you were in the office altogether, but now we’ll remote and that is certainly accelerated. The need for this and you’re seeing that that people need better employee engagements you’re seeing it with, you know, I think we’re through it. But the great resignation was certainly painful last year. But now you’re seeing I guess I really need to retain the good people that I have. Right. So how do you engage them? How do you make sure that they understand what the expectations are? And that they can go in and just crush it every week? Every day? Crush it? Crush it? Yes.

Evan Kirstel 5:23
Well, that was a really silly question from Dave Michaels. Because context center or work from home, of course, it’s and or both, so. So let’s explore his pathway best for supervisors and or teams or individuals. What say you?

Dave Michels 5:40
And my question was silly. Okay, go ahead.

Janelle Raney 5:43
No question is silly. Yeah. So Evan, it’s great for both we do sell primarily into that director level or above, because they’re really seeing those pain points, right? There managers are spending four or five hours a day on spreadsheets, pulling together data from all these different systems that they have. And then maybe that employee is getting the updates once a week of what they’re doing, and it’s rearview mirror, right. And we all know, data is perishable. Like if you can tell me in real time, how I’m performing how I’m doing, or when I need to be doing, I can adjust my behaviors in real time. So instead of wasting a whole week, waiting for my one on one for the manager, I know in real time what’s going on. So at least certainly see it as a benefit to both the manager and the employee. Ultimately, it’s really about how do I get better customer experiences? Right? So how do I improve that employee engagement, understanding their motivation to really provide those better customer experiences?

Dave Michels 6:37
All right, so enough of the softballs, let’s get to the real question that’s on everyone’s mind. Why are you there? One of the most accomplished marketing execs in our space coming out of zoom during its incredible, we’ll call it a breakout years, you could have gone anywhere. Why are you apart? What?

Janelle Raney 6:54
Yeah, I mean, certainly the run exam was fantastic. It was great team of people. And as we all know, a great product that we all love. Even after nearly six years there, I decided I wanted to go to a startup, I really love being at this early point in a company, figuring out product market fit, kind of the messiness of process. And you know, everybody just working hard and all towards that same goal. So that was my impetus to go find what was next in my career, finding Pathlight you know, it was a combination of great people great product, and something I could get excited about every morning, and feel good about going out and marketing, anything that’s helping people in their careers, helping people perform better, you know, that’s right up my alley, everything I’ve done last 20 plus years of my career have been products around productivity, and improving that for people. So I think this is certainly in my wheelhouse and something I’m excited about.

Evan Kirstel 7:49
And it’s interesting, you came out of zoom, and got into the contact center space. And now zoom is doing the same thing. Just a coincidence.

Janelle Raney 7:57
Just a coincidence. Absolutely. I think, zoom, it’s a natural migration right? There, we entered UCaaS, it’s natural that we’re going to see cast as well. This is a very, of course, very different angle than what they are doing. And although I do think it complements very well,

Dave Michels 8:13
well, clearly, Zoom was following you. So let’s get back a little bit about what you’re doing. Because halfway, and it’s kind of a confusing company. And we’re gonna keep on asking you about this, because if it doesn’t fit any category, so one of the categories, of course, is AI. And of course you kind of are in AI, but you’re not really an AI. When we think about AI in the context center, you know, the immediate conversations around chatbots, or assistant agent, you’re doing some coaching, you’re doing some predictive goal setting. How does Pathlight actually do these things? Yeah, there

Janelle Raney 8:45
is AI involved? Absolutely. We’re pulling in the data. We’re using past performance here performance, to predict what the future performance should be. Awesome. When you look at our new quality management tool that is using AI to auto assign tickets to look at what is phrase detection rate, do they say the right words? What’s the sentiment, suggesting score, even going into spelling and grammar? So certainly we do leverage that AI. But we’re not in the moment predicting what you should be saying to somebody and said, we’re more about how do you coach somebody into improving that?

Evan Kirstel 9:22
Very cool. And I want to know what predictive goal setting it sounds like Dave could use some of that.

Janelle Raney 9:28
We can all use some of that. Right? Yeah. So it’s using algorithms that what and again, it looks at your past performance. It looks at historical performance of people who are similar tenure as you. So if you’re in a ramping situation, it’s going to give you a different set of goals, and somebody has been there for a year. And it also just rolls up into the entire org. So you can see overall, how should the team be performing all the way down to the individual so it’s very easy to navigate and to see. And that’s really I think, where we differ than like a BI tool, right? A lot of people may be trying to do this, the spreadsheets on Tableau. Looker, and those are great tools. They give the dashboards but they’re essentially for managers and executives and above the frontline doesn’t really see. They’re complicated. They’re difficult to understand. And you need the data scientist. So it takes away kind of that real time capability of seeing what should I be doing? And you think about even this younger generation, right? I mean, well, deep enough, right? It is, we’re a little addicted to our phones, right? You know how many steps you’re doing? You know, where your exercise rings are? Like, why should work be the same way? I should still get that same like little dopamine rush of, Hey, am I closing my rings? Am I doing my goal? And I get in there or not? So that’s really a kind of more modern take on how do you manage yourself?

Dave Michels 10:42
So pathway provides a dopamine rush for contact center agents, if I got that, right. But so Pathlight is not a contact center, or seek as itself. It’s an add on as a tool. Which context centers do you work with? And more importantly, which is your favorite?

Janelle Raney 10:58
Oh, they’re all my favorites day. Yeah, yeah, we just put out a new case study yesterday with clear, great use case they are using with all of their agents and all the airports so use it for their contact center on people calling on the phone. So you know, Dave, I know you travel a lot, and Evan through those airports. So all those clear employees, they are using Pathlight. And they’re using it not only for the great customer service, but they’re tracking like, hey, how many upsells? Are you doing? How many things are you selling? Right? So and then they’re they’re seeing their commissions, and what they’re getting from that as well. So we can really customize this for a lot of different use cases.

Dave Michels 11:35
Yeah, actually, I saw clear your website, you actually have a lot of customers on your website. But what I was asking you about was which context of the companies you work with contact center providers? Or do you just replace them? Can you clarify that?

Janelle Raney 11:46
Oh, absolutely. We partner with them. So we’re partnering with your top desk by nine Genesis, we integrate any of their data into our system, which is your favorite either Zendesk for Salesforce for their CRM, they’re using something for their si Cas, they may be using something like lessonly, or something for the LMS. Most of bringing in two or three different systems, you know, up to 10. Somebody’s gonna bringing in their own data warehouse and information.

Dave Michels 12:12
You’re the glue, where the glue, yeah,

Janelle Raney 12:16
we are the glue, we become just kind of that this is the source of truth, right that you have from all your different systems. And it really saves everybody a ton of time. They just put everything, all the information just through API’s pulling it all together.

Evan Kirstel 12:29
Awesome. So Pathlight as a source of truth. But you also seem to be more than an AI coaching platform, I looked at some of the case studies. And it sounds like you’re consolidating data as well as the coaching aspect, right?

Janelle Raney 12:42
Yeah. So you can consolidate data, say on a Tableau or something, right, but it’s missing that coaching element. So what we do is we have things such as many goals, we have one on ones, you can set up contest taking game up by your contact center. And you really kind of drive that motivation in there. And we keep it really fun, right? Because giffy is there’s emojis, you can do a video coaching session, like really making that interactive. And one thing that’s kind of cool, it’s a little feature, but it’s actually really important. He can request acknowledgement, and you can understand if somebody actually read your message. Or if you send something on Slack or email, you don’t really know if anybody saw it or not. So if you’re sending out an important update, like this product is out of stock, this is what you need to do you want to make sure all your agents saw that right. So you can see immediately who saw that message and who didn’t.

Dave Michels 13:32
Well, how do you go to market to companies like clear, are you going through the purchasing director they’re purchasing through partners, or they’re funding it through their contact center provider? How do you get to your customers?

Janelle Raney 13:43
Yeah, we’re available in a lot of different app stores, but most is through direct with our sales team.

Evan Kirstel 13:48
Got it? Are you deployed outside of the contact center or a contact center? As a sort of independent platform? Are you always tied to the contact center provider?

Janelle Raney 13:58
Yeah, independent platform that stands alone, right. And even we do outside the contact center sometimes as well. We work with a lot of SDR BDR teams as well. So if you think about any, any job that’s very activity driven and activity based, and we work

Dave Michels 14:14
really well, though, so is there anybody who’s smarter Pathlight tell us who you work with.

Janelle Raney 14:19
Yeah. So Alex, Kwame and Trey doing they started the company. They clearly one of the top reasons I joined I think they’re really smart. They started a company pretty much right out of college called seat me, which was acquired by Yelp. And so if you’re making reservations on Yelp, that is their product in the background there. You know, overall, just a great team of people that we have, when did they get formed? They started the company I would say five or six years ago, we really went to market about 18 months ago was the product.

Evan Kirstel 14:50
Wow, you guys are ancient. So which came first the path or the light? So tell us where pathway came from?

Janelle Raney 14:57
Yeah, that’d be a great question for Alex. But As I understand it, it really is just about kind of like that path to your success that you have in life. Come first because then you can find your path.

Evan Kirstel 15:08
Oh, awesome.

Dave Michels 15:10
So when I saw pathway to CCW, and they were giving you a little T winnings that had the little lanterns and lights on it, I thought

Evan Kirstel 15:17
I need one of those. Yeah. And speaking of the company, you have some pretty well known investors inside partners, Kleiner Perkins other firms. But what’s the deal Michael Ovitz of CAA of Hollywood fame? What’s up with that?

Janelle Raney 15:32
Yeah. So we do have some great partners, including, you know, the Insight partners and Kleiner Perkins, they’ve been really good partners with us and helping us navigate, you know, kind of what’s next, and how to really grow and accelerate in this hyper growth market that we’re in but also dealing with the quite frankly, I’m faced with a recession as well, right. And I think being in that pool of other great companies within their portfolio gives you a lot of good contacts and people to talk to

Dave Michels 16:00
Jamil you have no idea how to make up stories like given an idea. So the way you answer that question is Hollywood’s shut down during the pandemic, everybody was working at home opens, realizes a huge opportunity here and went out and tried to find a good work of home investment to harvest to work with. That’s a much better story. Okay, that’s good. Yeah, yeah. So I want to get back to the user experience on Pathlight. You know, you talk about the agents and the talk about the dopamine. And you’ve talked about good fees, you talked about all kinds of stuff. So are you giving them a client that they work with? Are you working with their agent desktop? In a different way? Are you popping up in Slack? Is it reports as a graph is in real time as give us a better idea of what’s actually in front of the agent?

Janelle Raney 16:42
Yeah, so we have our own site, both desktop and mobile, it does send out messages through slack or any integration with that. But it is a separate client, we are talking about possibly putting that into Zendesk or Salesforce as well. Some of our customers have asked to have, you know, embedded in that. So that is something we’re investigating. But right now it is a standalone client. But what is amazing to me is the frequency that people check this. So you know, again, we just put out our clear case study today, and 90% of their agents are in it every single day. Again, I think it is that I wake up in the morning, I check how I’m doing, right, I know what I need to do to be successful to make that next commission check right to understand what I need for my promotion. They’re in it before their one on ones, which completely changes the dynamic of a one on one when your employee comes in already knowing what the manager seeing. And they can come in and say hey, let me tell you about this call that didn’t go so great, right, they can go ahead and address that straight on and be prepared rather than feeling kind of attacked and a one on one and feeling defensive. They’re coming in and powered and having that conversation or really managing their own career with that

Dave Michels 17:51
nuclear boys club in the application with their fingerprints or their eyes.

Janelle Raney 17:57
Well, probably facial recognition because it’s on their phone. Yes.

Evan Kirstel 18:01
Yeah. David Michaels asked me for a one on one ones, but I refused. Tell us a little more about pathways internally. Are you number of employees? Or if you can share revenue, number of partners, customers, anything like that?

Janelle Raney 18:14
Yeah, we’re about 50 employees. And like I said, we’re growing really fast as any company at this stage, you know, you’ve got to do the triple, triple, double, double, double and continue to grow. It’s been exciting. While you

Dave Michels 18:25
weren’t growing fast, but then you were recognized in the innovation showcase and enterprise today. I’m sure that opened up a lot of opportunities for you. A lot

Janelle Raney 18:33
more leads coming in. Yes.

Dave Michels 18:36
So what about your customers? What are some common demographics that your customers might share? Are they big or they small? They will will? Are they in certain industries?

Janelle Raney 18:45
Yeah, I mean, we definitely have a sweet spot on E commerce. And I think if you look at right now, they are really gearing up for that peak season, right, which this year, Chris, you know, they’re worried it’s gonna be a little difficult. They don’t really know how to plan for it. They don’t have good historical level, the past two years, they’re looking at the recession, and people having less discretionary spend, they’re looking at still some pipeline issues within their own manufacturing, and it is difficult for them. So they are looking for flexibility and being able to ramp up and ramp down and being able to do that quickly. And to do that communications. So ecommerce is a great space for us. But we go beyond that. Right? Like, clearly, we have clear, but we have companies that do like foundation work for their buildings and houses, right. So they have just any place that has like a lot of agents. We have health care, we have insurance, quite a few different verticals. Fintech is very popular as well. Just any place is really focused on those customer demands and needing that high touch.

Evan Kirstel 19:46
So you know, we talked a lot about the state of business and your current customer go to market, what is the future look like? Where will you be in one to five years,

Janelle Raney 19:55
so powerful. It really is the foundational platform that you use to help them manage your employees in the sea Help Center. So we’ve recently introduced a new quality management tool, as we talked about that includes the AI capabilities to auto assign, it has great side by side view. So really being able to go through a lot more tickets more quickly, but still keeping the human involved in that element. And we’ve often just introduced workforce optimization. So what’s interesting about putting all of these together, when you think about how am I going to do staffing and scheduling? I also have all that information on who does what really well? And who do I need on a certain schedule in a certain times. So really having that information is a unique part of being able to forecast Who do I need to be scheduled in certain time. So I think really looking at that entire performance intelligence platform, and everything that we put together was a really interesting roadmap that we have had.

Evan Kirstel 20:51
Awesome. Now I’m checking out your LinkedIn by Janelle, and you were a math major in college. So how does that work going from a math major to a CMO? That’s an unusual introductory.

Janelle Raney 21:02
Yeah, it was I got my MBA in finance to at NYU, so easily go to Wall Street after that, but I love marketing, something I’ve always been passionate about when I moved out to San Francisco joined a tech company, it was in product management and product marketing. And I’ve always loved that kind of a career product marketer. And I think that is really my strength is strategy I like, like solving puzzles and playing games, right? So it is like winning. How do you really look at all the competition? Look at the market? How do you differentiate? And how do you set that into place? But a lot of marketing is math. Right? It is, you know, understanding what are your leads? What do you need for your pipeline? Where are you going to need to close? And then of course, I think the math kind of played into my passion for this company as well. You’re looking at the data. And it’s something I’ve seen multiple times in other companies, people who really don’t understand data very well. Really done. I think Accenture has a stat that it’s like one in five employees actually understand your data. So how do you take that and really simplify it and make it usable for every employee, and understandable?

Dave Michels 22:09
So the math the marketing is a journey, but so is Vanderbilt and NYU which are on the east. In San Francisco being a journey. How did you end up with the West Coast?

Janelle Raney 22:18
I thought I would move here for like a year or two. I mean, San Francisco’s beautiful. And then I met my husband and we’ve been here for 20 years. So

Dave Michels 22:27
do you have children?

Janelle Raney 22:29
I do. I do have two boys. One is in college and one will be a senior in high school.

Dave Michels 22:33
One of them makes you a football.

Janelle Raney 22:35
I am that has been my summer has been off to kicking camps. He has hopes and dreams of playing in T one and he is a kicker punter.

Dave Michels 22:45
If he needs any help, you know, I’d be happy to give you some tips on how to be competitive college.

Evan Kirstel 22:49
San Francisco, you’re at zoom from 2015 to 21. So you saw quite a bit to say the least, you know, where the bodies buried give us some some insight into that time at zoom. We’ve actually had Eric on on the podcast, and he’s, you know, quite the, the person to chat with.

Janelle Raney 23:07
Yeah, Eric’s he’s absolutely brilliant. He’s, you know, the key reason I joined there, I was around employee 100. Interestingly, I was at go to for that. And zoom was just a little blip. It wasn’t like, Who are these guys doing? But I remember interviewing with Eric and sitting in the conference room. And he’s showing me that’s what they call it. Zoom presents, Zoom rooms. And he showed me his iPad. And I was like, That’s really cute. But it was in a copy of that. And like three months, like, Are you kidding? But then you start talking about the architecture, zoom, and just how it can scale inside 1000 people and all on video, and nobody else could do that. And so you knew pretty quickly there was something really special and that engineering team, you know, had been around since the 90s. They built lebackes. They took all their lessons learned and made a better, a better tool. Right? And, yeah, so I was actually living in Sonoma at the time. We moved our family down to San Jose to work there. And it was just an incredible ride. I mean, just a lot of synergies happened. Right product right time, right place. Really great team. And, you know, I can’t really say there’s too many bodies buried there. It was a fun ride. I think we’re all very fortunate to be a part of that. Yeah,

Dave Michels 24:17
probably not to the bodies very for those kind of in a perpetual growth. Which brings us back to Pathlight. You’re probably in a growth mode. Are you hiring?

Janelle Raney 24:25
We are hiring but I would say being very selective about the hiring right now.

Dave Michels 24:29
Well, that’s actually my question here as a career marketing person and a product medical person. What do you look for when you hire marketing people?

Janelle Raney 24:39
Yeah, it’s interesting. I have a saying, especially in a startup mode, but I set it at zoom to I don’t hire swim teams. I hire water polo players. I want somebody who is a team player. They’re willing to get outside their comfort zone, try some different things and really work together as a team. You know, a lot of times I take people who they’ve been really success So one partner marketing, but they want to try something else out. And I think that it’s just a great thing to do, because we’re all trying to grow in our careers and move forward on that. But mainly I look for, you know, you’ve got to be honest and hardworking, of course, but I want somebody who’s a team player and fun to work with as well.

Evan Kirstel 25:17
Awesome. Now, CMO at Pathlight, you must have an interesting perspective on, you know, in office versus hybrid versus work from home question, what’s, uh, you,

Janelle Raney 25:27
you know, I think you need to offer the flexibility. I love that we have an office and we’re able to go in when we need to, or when we want to and, and have our teams together. But I think you’re going in with more purpose, you’re not going to go in and nobody else’s they are. Right. So we typically are going in like Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, you know, there’s always a crew that’s in there, but we don’t all go in every day on. And I think it’s, we have to offer that flexibility to people to do that. Right now. I have one product marketing person. She’s working from India for three weeks.

Dave Michels 26:00
You know, you described when I asked you about how you hired, I asked them to work from home saying you you describe yourself and Pathlight is fairly flexible. But I bet there’s some boundaries around that. What are the hard lines? Or what’s a fatal mistake? someone on your staff should never make? Whoa, tough

Janelle Raney 26:17
question. They don’t mistake again, I think it gets back to teamwork. So it is holding on too tightly to something and not asking for help when you need it.

Dave Michels 26:28
There’s no I am Pathlight Oh, wait, wait, there is? Oh, well.

Evan Kirstel 26:32
Yeah, Dave Michaels doesn’t really share open up either. So I completely understand the question. That way.

Dave Michels 26:39
The Janelle I hate to call you a liar. But today is Wednesday. And I don’t believe you’re in the office. So would you like to revise your statement for the record?

Janelle Raney 26:50
Again, it matters who’s in office today. So they are mainly up in San Francisco. I was in the Palo Alto office yesterday and had a great meeting. But everybody is in the city today. And I have a doctor’s appointment this afternoon. So I can’t drive up to the city. So again, allowing that flexibility is really key.

Dave Michels 27:08
Yeah, I think that’s an interesting perspective. Because Because not only are you dealing with work at home in the Pathlight community and your customers dealing with us, but coming from zoom, it’s pretty hard for you to say work from home doesn’t work. You can’t say that because your customers in your background. But I think it’s an interesting question. I have a good job.

Evan Kirstel 27:26
Thank you very much. Well, when you live zoom, speaking of that, I mean, you could have gone to any company with your track record. You could have had a bazillion dollar marketing, budget, Superbowl ad, all that fun stuff. Why go to Pathlight? Such a small startup?

Janelle Raney 27:40
Yeah, get them passionate about the startups. I think it’s a lot of fun, right? When you start to get to companies that are really big and have a ton of process. And it’s just, you know, you’re fighting for budgets and trying to get things done. And that, to me is a little frustrating. That’s not what I get excited about. I really do like the smaller period, right getting people up to IPO. How do you 10 times your revenue? Right? So how do you do that and be really hyper growth company? That’s what excites me.

Dave Michels 28:08
What’s this thing on your LinkedIn profile called? Chief? I mean, is that just the CMO club

Janelle Raney 28:14
that chief is it’s a great organization I’ve been involved in it for about two years is one of the San Francisco founding members, they look at women who are VP level and above. And we have a meeting when the different groups were randomly assigned, but they do have some logic to it. And we meet once a month for two hours and just talk about our careers where we are, we have a coach who works with us on that. And they also have clubhouses for five different cities. So you can use that for meetings, you can go in there and meet people, we have some networking, and it’s just a really great supportive company.

Evan Kirstel 28:54
That is fantastic. What if you need a token male? I’m happy to volunteer my time. But

Janelle Raney 29:00
we always love a male allies. Yes, thank you.

Dave Michels 29:04
I want to highlight for our listeners here that will be first approached you about this podcast that you immediately wanted to deflect it to your CEO and or other leaders in the company. You’re not one that goes after the spotlight. But we wanted to get you on specifically because of course, I’ve known you for quite some time at zoom. But also because Evan and I are actually trying to get more women in tech on our podcast. And it’s it’s not an easy thing to do. But there’s just people like yourself highly capable, highly qualified immediately want to, oh, we should have somebody else, or just finding women in leadership positions in technology can be tricky as well. But I think this is Chief group talk about giving more visibility or is it is more about getting the roles or helping them supporting each other.

Janelle Raney 29:46
We do you know, certainly my point my career my group is mainly women who were, you know, 30 plus years experience. So, actually our last session was about personal branding. And there is somebody who’s in my chief group who will soon be on our call Test see experts, because she is very passionate about CX and E x. So that works perfectly with that. So we certainly look at ways to promote each other. We also talked a lot about being on boards, right? That is kind of a typical next step in the career of how do you take all of your experience and apply that to other companies and to be involved with that. So that is something that we do talk a lot about how to improve your personal brand, and whether that’s the next company and next job in a C suite, or whether it’s a position on the board?

Dave Michels 30:29
Well, I think we need to wrap up this conversation. It’s been great to catch up with you, I want to close with a question about, you know, you’re providing customers all kinds of information so that they can be more effective. How would you summarize that? How do your customers know if Pathlight is helping them? What is their metric to evaluate pathway?

Janelle Raney 30:48
Yeah, so they’re looking at a few different metrics. First and foremost, again, it’s the customer experience. So it’s CSAT. Right? They’re also looking at is my team more efficient. So they may be looking at average handle time, as well as the number of tickets closed and interactions first call resolution, right. But you’re being able to look at that as well with quality in that equation as well. So ultimately, it is about how are they improving the productivity of their team. And then you’re seeing a lot of linkage besides Stitch Fix, who just spoke to Jonathan hall there. And, you know, they’ve seen over a third improvement in their attrition. So being able to retain your employees longer, because they’re happier, and they’re more driven in their career. That’s a great outcome as well.

Dave Michels 31:31
Excellent. Well, thank you so much for joining us and wish you the best of luck about life. It’s so great to see you and your element. We’re so happy for you, and keep us updated.

Janelle Raney 31:40
Great. Thank you, Dave. Thank you, Evan. Good to see you guys.

Evan Kirstel 31:45
Well, great speaking with Janelle from Pathlight. You know, I always think we’ve come at the end of the innovation road and contact center and then yet another new and exciting company,

Dave Michels 31:55
you come to the end of innovation.

Evan Kirstel 31:58
And this was a company that was discovered by you at the innovation showcase and enterprise cannot write well

Dave Michels 32:04
you know, they applied on our team of heavyweight judges selected them into that showcase. But yeah, I think that you know, we’ve actually had most of the innovation showcase nobody’s on at this point. I think we’re missing one or two still, you know, we just had Balto on recently. And but yeah, that’s certainly a it’s a nice process to be able to judge these companies civil effectively and then we invite them on. But you know, it’s just so great. I mean, I’ve known her for so long and it’s so great to see her back in her element that I was really surprised when she left. But I get it this is exciting opportunity. Another great guest well, we’ll keep that tradition up with somebody great in our next podcast. Thank you conversation with a man never got to get out of the phone don’t found on your phone. No man knows me.

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