SalesTechStar Interview with Ryan Johnson, Chief Product Officer at CallRail

The stakes are high in customer service, so what should customer-facing teams do better to capitalize on this? Ryan Johnson, Chief Product Officer at CallRail has a few thoughts:


Hi Ryan, welcome to this SalesTechStar chat. Tell us more about your journey through the years and more about your role at CallRail. Take us through a day at work….

I am the Senior Vice President of Product Development at CallRail, a comprehensive marketing analytics and business communications platform, where I oversee product development. With 15 years of product development leadership experience in early-stage startups and Fortune 100 companies, I’ve been able to leverage my passion for developing best-in-class products to solve real-world problems. I joined CallRail in 2017, where I’ve had the opportunity to build a great product team to expand the platform’s marketing analytics solutions to include Call Tracking, Form Tracking, and Conversation Intelligence, and to bring our business communications solution, Lead Center, to market. My daily activities are centered around developing strategic direction and empowering a high performing product development team to better help small-to-medium-sized businesses drive more quality leads and turn them into customers.

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What are some of the greatest benefits of unified business communications platforms, especially for sales and marketing teams that you don’t see teams understand enough about?

According to 75% of customers responding to a customer service study by SuperOffice, the most important attribute of a good customer experience is a fast response time. Next-generation communications software takes real-time communication up a notch, enabling teams to respond anytime, anywhere.  Say goodbye to chaining yourself to your desk to answer every inbound call–solutions like CallRail’s Lead Center allow business leaders to better manage communications while on the go, from a single mobile app.

You read that right: modern business communications platforms can organize communications in

one centralized location, easily accessible via desktop or mobile. Today’s customer has access to an endless array of communication channels to get in touch with businesses—phone calls, texting, live chat, social media, and more—making it all the more difficult to offer the seamlessly integrated experience customers expect. With CallRail, customers can centralize all of their calls, texts, live chats, and form submissions into a single, unified inbox, helping to improve customer service and support.

Most importantly, CallRail offers smart, actionable analytics and performance data. Analytics tools like call recording, transcripts, and monitoring help marketing and sales teams make intelligent business decisions. Whether it’s about where to spend marketing dollars or how to uplevel the customer experience, it’s critical to understand what’s working well–and what’s not. With the help of a comprehensive business communications and marketing analytics platform like CallRail, these insights are readily available, enabling businesses to make more cost and time-efficient business decisions.

In your view, why should sales leaders and marketing teams be focusing more on how well they respond to customer facing calls or queries: what are some lags they should be actively avoiding in this process?

The data speaks for itself: According to recent research from InsideSales, prospective customers were far more likely to convert to paying clients if they received a response within five minutes of their initial outreach. With 39% of businesses admitting that they’ve struggled to respond to inquiries quickly, it’s evident that something needs to change. By prioritizing customer communications–and investing in tools that streamline workflows–businesses can maintain a competitive edge and ensure a stellar customer experience.

Remember: customers want a pleasant, frictionless experience in doing business with a company–and a business’ responsiveness is often the first indication of whether they’ll have a good experience. Sales teams need to focus on how promptly they respond to customer calls and queries because, at the end of the day, their bottom line–and reputation–depend on it.

Why do B2B teams still find it difficult to create and sustain a long term calling/customer communication experience that can meet customers/prospects across their various touch points?

Fragmented communications are a major roadblock for successfully creating and sustaining a positive long-term customer relationship. With so many communication channels–a lot can get lost in the shuffle, so it’s important to have complete visibility into all communications across channels in one place so that no leads are missed.

The stakes are high: customer service that lacks consistency can result in lower customer retention rates, leading to lost revenue. Having a singular space to aggregate all conversations with the marketing analytics to provide context is not only the key to remaining organized but also a solution that substantially improves the customer experience, resulting in shorter sales cycles and more converted sales in the long run.

As B2B sales and marketing trends evolve, what kind of technologies and features do you think they need to be paying more attention to, in order to improve internal policies?

The marketing tools available today are more sophisticated than ever. Most businesses will leverage several different tools to drive leads and manage conversations–but how do they know which of them are worth the investment?

The answer is simple: turn toward data-driven solutions that give you clear insights that are actionable. A comprehensive marketing analytics and business communications platform like CallRail can provide visibility into the customer journey so businesses understand what marketing worked to get a lead to contact them and how their team handled conversations with them to turn them into a customer. This level of granular data is the key to accurately measuring the ROI of businesses’ marketing efforts, and ensuring that their teams are equipped to get the most out of those revenue opportunities.

We will see more and more marketers investing in call tracking and technologies like CallRail’s Lead Center, a critical ingredient for turning good leads into happy customers who return to buy again.

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Some last thoughts and takeaways before we wrap up?

Now more than ever, marketers, sales teams, and business owners want to capitalize on each and every lead.  Focusing on meeting potential customers where they want to communicate–whether through a phone call, text, or another channel–is key for turning leads into the best customers.

Personally, I love when a business is willing to communicate with me on my preferred channel.  I especially appreciate it when they are flexible. One day, they might try me on the phone, and the next day, they might try me over email or text while I’m on the go.

Working with a business that can talk to you in multiple places–and switch communication channels in real-time–is a magical experience. With platforms like CallRail, any business can create these premium experiences to stand out from their competition – and turn more leads into happy customers.

Founded in 2011, CallRail is a marketing analytics and business communications platform that helps businesses improve marketing performance and customer experience. Serving more than 180,000 businesses, CallRail’s platform fits into existing workflows, integrates with several major marketing and sales solutions including HubSpot, Facebook, Salesforce, and Google Ads and Analytics, and scales with each customer’s needs as they grow.

The Atlanta-based company is powered by a community of 300 passionate and hardworking employees. CallRail has been featured on the Inc. 5000 fastest growing companies and Deloitte Tech Fast 500 lists for multiple consecutive years. The company also earned a spot on The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Top Workplaces list from 2017-2021, and the Forbes Best Startup Employers list in 2020.

Ryan Johnson is the Chief Product Officer at CallRail

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