SurveyMonkey CMO Leela Srinivasan wants to answer questions across the entire enterprise

SurveyMonkey Srinivasan
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The best thing for SurveyMonkey CMO Leela Srinivasan to focus on is:

  1. Strengthening awareness and perception of the firm’s brand
  2. Educating the market about its enterprise capabilities
  3. Demonstrating traction with key customers

As you might have guessed, the correct answer to that question would be “all of the above,” according to Srinivasan, who joined the SaaS-based provider of global survey software in April of last year. With a background that includes stints at LinkedIn and OpenTable, Srinivasan’s most recent experience was with Lever, a San Francisco-based recruiting software company where she specialized in areas such as employer branding.

Like many people, Srinivasan had been one of SurveyMonkey’s 60 million users around the world, and admitted that its tools had helped her better understand customer viewpoints and with things like market research. This meant she had a deep familiarity with the brand going into the job.

“What I didn’t have visibility into before joining was how much was going on behind the scenes,” she told B2B News Network. “Having a self-serve product, that’s powerful, and easy to use is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Over the past few years, for instance, SurveyMonkey has been trying to drive more sales of its SurveyMonkey Enterprise product, which is designed to not only gather feedback but help organizations better analyze the results and provide a secure experience with policy enforcement controls. That means Srinivasan is particularly focused on surfacing customer stories who talk about how SurveyMonkey serves as the backbone of capturing the voice of the customer, driving employee engagement and more.

Srinivasan said she has also ramped up SurveyMonkey’s participation in conferences and events, including those focusing on specific roles such as HR, or broad-based technology shows such as Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce.

“At the booth, folks would see the logo and say, ‘Oh, I know them.’ But then when we would append ‘SurveyMonkey for HR and the enterprise,’ that was enough for people to lean in and ask what we offer,” she said. “Just the act of being at Dreamforce — a lot of people already got the value of what we do, but they wanted to know, ‘How should I be integrating that into GTM and the way I work with customers?’ We have the benefit of a strong brand. The wrinkle is most people don’t fully understand the power behind it.”

Then there is the challenge of being lost in a sea of other metech products and services, many of which CMOs are now trying to prune out of their stack in order to operate more efficiently. Srinivasan said her mission is not to displace the likes of HubSpot and Marketo but to make organizations aware of its many integrations into those tools, as well as other important SaaS applications.

Beyond the metrics you might expect — such as MQLs, pipeline generation and NPS score — Srinivasan said she evaluates her performance by looking at the health of her team, which she can assess using her firm’s own tools. She said she also thinks a lot about how to ensure ongoing collaboration between teams like engineering and, of course, sales. While alignment with the latter has long been a challenge for marketers, Srinivasan described SurveyMonkey’s chief sales officer as one of her favorite people in the organization, and suggested it’s important to voluntarily assist with things further down the purchase cycle than leads.

“It’s important for marketers to feel skin in the game,” she said. “If you’re continuing to point fingers across the aisles, I think you’re completely missing the point. We’re in this together.”

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Shane Schick
Shane Schick is the Editor-in-Chief of B2B News Network. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and was the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.