The Revenue Engine

Powering the Revenue Engine with a Maniacal Focus on the Customer with Jennifer Brannigan, Chief Revenue Officer at Pendo

May 13, 2022

The Revenue Engine

Each week, Revenue Operations expert Rosalyn Santa Elena shines the spotlight on founders, CEOs, and Revenue Leaders from hyper-growth companies and dives deep into the strategies they implement to drive growth and share their learnings. Rosalyn brings you inspirational stories from revenue generators, innovators and disruptors, as well as Revenue Leaders in sales, marketing, and operations.

“Maniacal focus on the customer” is one of the values that Jennifer Brannigan, the Chief Revenue Officer at Pendo, shares in this episode of the Revenue Engine podcast. Pendo is on a mission to elevate the world’s experiences with software through their product adoption platform and as the CRO, Jennifer shares how this customer focus helps her and her team manage the user experience, provide better customer value, and ultimately, drive better revenue outcomes.

Jennifer is a long time leader where she has held a number of roles at NBC Universal and at LinkedIn before joining Pendo as the Chief Revenue Officer. Grab your headphones and take a listen to the incredible insights and learnings from this powerhouse revenue leader.


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The opinions expressed in this episode are the speaker's own and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Sales IQ or any sponsors.

Rosalyn Santa Elena
Host @ Revenue Engine Podcast + Founder & Chief Revenue Operations Officer @ The RevOps Collective.
Jennifer Brannigan

[00:00:00] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Welcome to the Revenue Engine podcast. I'm your host, Rosalyn Santa Elena, and I am thrilled to bring you the most inspirational stories from revenue generators, innovators, and disruptors, revenue leaders in sales, in marketing, and of course in operations. Together, we will unpack everything that optimizes and powers the revenue engine. Are you ready? Let's get to it.

Maniacal focus on the customer is one of Pendo's core values. In this episode of the Revenue Engine podcast, Jennifer Brannigan, this chief revenue officer at Pendo. And I talk about the importance of being maniacally focused on your customer and thinking about your customer first in, everything that you do Pendo is on a mission to elevate the world's experiences with.

Through their product adoption platform. And as the CRO, Jen discusses how this customer focus helps her and her team manage the user experience. Drive better customer value and ultimately better revenue outcomes.

[00:01:13] Sponsor: Today's podcast is sponsored by Outreach is the first and only engagement and intelligence platform built by revenue innovators, for revenue innovators. Outreach allows you to commit to an accurate sales forecast, replace manual processes with real-time guidance, and unlock actionable customer intelligence that guides you and your team to win more often. Traditional tools don't work in a hybrid sales world. Find out why Outreach is the right solution at

[00:01:52] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Jen and I also talk about her journey from HR to sales, what it's like to be a female CRO at a high growth technology company, how CROs should be leveraging revenue, operations, and so much more. So please take a listen to the incredible insights and learnings from this powerhouse revenue leader, who is also just an amazing human being.

So excited to be here today with Jennifer Brannigan, the CRO at For anyone not familiar with Pendo, Pendo helps organizations deliver better product experiences for happier and more productive users. They are on a mission to elevate the world's experiences with software through their product adoption platform.

So what comes in and thank you so much for joining me. I know we met after being introduced by our mutual contact, Jess, Jessica Kleck to talk about my favorite topic, revenue operations. So I'm super excited just to have you here, share your story and learn more about your journey.

[00:02:55] Jennifer Brannigan: Awesome. Awesome. Well, thanks so much for having me. I've been looking forward to the conversation.

[00:02:58] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Awesome. So, well, let's talk a little bit about the journey that led you to Pendo. I think you've been there a little over a year now. You've held a number of different roles at NBC Universal, actually starting out in HR and I think moving into sales, and I know you spent some time at LinkedIn, I think over 10 years where you've led many, many different teams.

Can you share more maybe about your journey and some of those key milestones that have led you to where you are today?

[00:03:22] Jennifer Brannigan: Yeah, sure. I'm happy to. So. I suppose I consider myself to have a bit of a non-traditional kind of non-linear career path to get to the place where I am today, which is as you mentioned, CRO of Pendo.

So I did actually start my career in HR and that was really generated out of my psychology degree. I always loved in university, the study of how people in. I think how groups operate, what motivates people. But I always knew that I wanted to have a career in, in business, in commerce. And so because I wanted to forgo the path of clinical psychology.

I was speaking with my career department. At my university and they suggested HR. So I did go on to do a master's degree with a focus on HR. I worked in consulting with price Waterhouse Coopers briefly. Then I did GEs HR leadership program. So at the time GD GE was really in their heyday. They had these incredible leadership development programs.

So I was fortunate enough to be selected for one of those. And I rotated around GE businesses and I learned a ton in the two years that I was on that program. After program, you graduate to become an HR business partner or in some sort of HR role at businesses. So after doing that for probably about four or five years, and I had a great career path got to work on some really, really interesting really interesting growth opportunities.

I started to realize that HR was. The long-term path for me. You know, I, I see successful HR people bringing a ton of really amazing skills to the table, but also certain styles. And when I thought about the kind of work that I wanted to do the term. I really learned about it most when I was supporting our sales organization at NBC universal, which was a GE business at the time I saw how externally facing and how motivating that team was.

And I was frankly inspired to be able to do work that impacted an external customer versus just an internal customer. I also believe in HR. You know, you, you need to be very, very, you know, black and white and, and be crystal clear around how you handle emotions. And I found the role of being an HR business partner to be emotionally draining as I, I tend to be an emotional person and I often have a lot of gray in situations and, and you know, I don't know, it kind of suits me more in a sales role than it suited me in an HR role.

And so I did have to make that hard decision. You know, kind of you know, mid careers, probably a bit of a stretch, but I have a path and I really had to push that, that reset button to make the move into a more commercially oriented role. So that was kind of my big transition point. Thankfully, I had the support of a lot of people internally at NBC universal to make that move.

I developed great relationships with our sales organization and as one female sales. He said to me, should I don't hire for experience. I hire for passion, motivation drive and intelligence. And she said, you've got all of those. And so come over here, help me build this new business. I'll train you. You produce great work for me.

And that was kind of the end of it. That was, that was my move. So I moved over into advertising sales at NBC universal, did that for a couple of years, built a really cool brand around bringing NBC Universal's female. Skewing assets together in a package for advertisers. So it was all underpinned by some really cool research around how the.

Traditional or I guess historical male purchasing demographic, actually wasn't the most powerful purchasing demographic. It was actually women who sat behind them who made all the household purchasing decisions. So we have this great research backed by some really amazing assets like Bravo and oxygen and Ivan and the today show.

And a lot of our news entities that had a female audience. And so we would build these advertising packages and sell into fell big, huge packages. Purchasers, we want it to reach women. So it was great. I was very passionate about it. And so I always say I kind of got my, my MBA in, in the time that I was, I got to learn a little bit about all aspects of go to market.

So fast forward to LinkedIn LinkedIn called me up when they were trying to build a new business within the talent solutions, vertical around marketing and advertising, and they needed somebody who had built businesses, led teams, and to. Judd media and selling kind of marketing assets. And so I went over there in 2011, which was pre IPO.

The organization was under a thousand people. I was in New York city at the time, kind of running the east coast and all of Canada. And it was just the most amazing experience we were scrappy. We were in build mode. We got to try things. It was just amazing. And we took a business from $11 million to $40 million the next year.

And ultimately in my time in that team grew it to an over $500 million business. So we learned a lot along that journey as well in the 10 years that I was at at LinkedIn. And what I loved about that time at LinkedIn is, is my. Changed and evolved because the business was changing and evolving so much.

We took new products to market. We had tough times. We had great times. We IPO, we got acquired by Microsoft. We acquired companies, we launched new products. And so it felt that every year I was there, I was doing a new job building up my skillset and learning. So my ultimate job at LinkedIn is I moved over to Glint, which was a company that we had acquired a couple of years back and employee engagement platform.

And I was running sales and success there. And going over to Glint, I got a. I guess a retest, if you will, what you, smaller organization felt like, especially leadership over a smaller organization that was kind of really driving toward that hundred million dollar mark where everybody was so aligned on a common purpose, a common set of values.

And I was having a lot of fun leading that team in that organization. So that was the first time that. Started to be a little bit kind of I guess seduced by the idea of building external from LinkedIn and going to an organization that was in hyper-growth mode and build mode again. And so that's when I took the conversation with Pendo and I met some really incredible people along the journey, as I was learning about the business and interviewing and, you know, category leading product is, as you said Just phenomenal leadership team, really inspiring leadership team and an organization where I felt I can make an impact.

So, so yeah, I made the move may of last year. So it's actually just coming on the 11th month mark now. And it's just such an incredible learning experience. I do always say now, I think I probably learned more in the last 11 months and I learned in my. Yeah. And so I think that's, you know, a good, a good lesson for me coming out is really, really be mindful of where you are in your learning journey.

And when you start to feel that you kind of got this you know, just that time to make a change, I think it was the exact right time for me to make a change. And yeah. It's been a roller coaster, but I've been loving it.

[00:10:21] Rosalyn Santa Elena: That's awesome. Well, thank you so much for sharing that your background. It's just amazing how sort of you grow and you evolve and opportunity happens and you take the opportunity, right?

I think that's one of the lessons learned. I think for a lot of folks, is that. Sometimes when there is an opportunity and maybe you're not, you know, you feel like you're not quite ready for it, but kind of making that jump. But having somebody there that really encourages you to do that and support you,

[00:10:47] Jennifer Brannigan: it was scary. It was definitely scary. But now looking back in hindsight, it's, I'm, I'm proud of myself for making the jump. I had a lot of established brands equity at LinkedIn. I had a great role in front of me. You know, I could have great friends that I've made there over the years. But, you know, when I think about all of the benefits that have come from from the change, it's, it's not only all of the learnings and new experience sets, it's also the expansion of your network and really understanding what you can do.

You know, I, I like everyone who moves to a new job, it's like part excitement and a lot of nerves, like, okay I'm glad that I conquered those and was like, I, I can do this. And I know that there are things that I don't know. I'll just focus on learning them every day.

[00:11:30] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Yeah. I love that. I love that. So let's talk a little bit about Pendo cause you touched on sort of what brought you to the company, but I mean, Penn has experienced just some incredible growth, right?

It's really remarkable to see the company, you know, recognized by G2 as the leader, right. In so many areas, but especially as the leading digital adoption platform software, right. And the leader for product analytics software as well. Mean you think about Pendo, you know, being the leader in the space, you know, what have you seen, I guess, in terms, I guess, in the market, in terms of trends, you know, how are you seeing it sort of evolving and where do you see it going?

[00:12:07] Jennifer Brannigan: Yeah, it's a great question. And this was one of the things that did get me excited about Pendo is it's really aligned with kind of secular trends that, that we're seeing where, you know, Today, you can almost say that every company is a software company. It's no longer just your traditional ISV, that our software companies, retail banking, you name it, financial institutions.

They are all software companies because everyone is driving towards digital transformation. So that's kind of trending. Number one. And with that comes a bunch of different data points, like the proliferation of software with any enterprise organization. I think there's something like the average organization is 288 software applications, 288 and growing it over 10% year over year.

And I'm sure everyone who's listening right now. I feel that the number of tools you have to use both internal tools and third-party procured tools that you use to do your job every day. Right? And then in every interaction that you have, even outside of business, whether it's your banking, whether it's shopping, whether it's dating, whether it's ordering, whether it's hailing a taxi, right?

Like everything is driven by software. Now, every experience and with the software experience. Kind of almost replacing or maybe replacing isn't the right word, but enhancing or complementing human experiences. The actual end-users experience with that software is so critical. And you know, our, our bar has risen in terms of how we want to interact with software and how we want our software to look and feel and flow when we're in there.

And I think a lot of that's been driven by, you know, really high quality. Consumer applications that we use, you know, like they've become very easy and seamless. You use Instagram and it's, it's, you know, targeted to you or Netflix and it's, it's highly personalized and relevant and a smooth experience.

You don't want to go in then to a business application and be completely confounded as to how you operate within that application. And so I think that's where Pendo really just does an incredible job. Not only does it help product builders create beautiful experiences, targeted, personalized experiences by having the data and analytics as to how your users are interacting, but then you can communicate with them within the application to way, not only can you help guide them to the best features into the ideal workflows, but then you can also get.

Feedbacks that you can continue to improve upon your product. So it becomes a virtuous cycle. And then on the internal application side, which is our digital adoption product it's same value proposition, but for internal use cases, it's so someone like me or my head of rev ops can manage our sales tech stack and say, You're all the tools that we have.

What's being used successfully. What's not being used successfully. Where do we need our teams to be more productive or where do we need them to adopt certain features and really be able to, again, create that seamless, beautiful experience with your internal software tech stack. And so you can imagine the value prop there for someone in a role like yours Rosalyn or in mine, or yeah, yo looking across the entire enterprise at all the software applications.

[00:15:12] Rosalyn Santa Elena: That's amazing. That's amazing. Yeah, definitely. The tech stack, just the number that you quoted the 200 and what it was the 88. I feel that right. I think we all feel that I definitely, when we log in, it's like, oh, there's just so many apps to manage in personal life as well as.

[00:15:28] Jennifer Brannigan: And you can imagine, you know, coming into Pendo. I look at my tech stack and I'm like, holy moly, we have so much because even using this stuff, how do I simplify? Right. There's also a real beauty in simplification and just making it very easy. Like these are the six tools that you need to do your job every day, but you know, there's so much out there right now and you want to try different things. And so yeah, it, it, sometimes it can become very overwhelming and difficult to manage and Pendo really helps you to harness that.

[00:15:54] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Great. I love that. You know, when we talk about G2 kind of being that leader, you know, I think the really great thing about G2 is, is it's actually ratings from, you know, actual customers, actual users.

And I love that. And I think, you know, Pendo has some incredible customers, right? And so you have Okta and Cisco and Kupa, you know, Salesforce and just so many, so many more. Yeah. What are you seeing, I guess, in organizations, you know, what are they doing right when it comes to that product experience and engagement and what are you seeing companies doing wrong?

[00:16:25] Jennifer Brannigan: Yeah. Well thank you for calling that out. First of all, we do have great, great customers, lots of advocates and champions. And we have a really fun, like how do I Pendo a site on our micro-site on, on our website because everyone can use the application in so many different ways and different things that folks have hacked using Pendo is that.

Pretty cool. But when we talk about, you know, what we see that organizations are doing well, and what they're doing poorly at is, is, is, you know, focusing on feature launch, first of all, rather than actually delivering value. And so it's a, you know, I got to get this feature out. I gotta get this feature out.

We've got a deadline, but you know, focusing on launches versus on the actual value delivery, I think is. Is something that can be a big miss and not managing toward user experience in everything that you do. And then, you know, where an organization I think can do really well. Is. Really embracing the whole movement of being product led and being product led is not just about your product.

It's not just about having a great product like being product led is, is a mentality or it's a philosophy. And it's, it's allowing your product to lead through every function in your organization. It's it's your product leads your customer success. It's your product leads, sales. And, and I think all of that, when you are focusing on value delivery, it actually starts to come very naturally because you are meeting your users where they are, which is in your application.

[00:17:52] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yep. I love that. I love that. I think we're seeing a lot more of that. And I think we're seeing a lot of this, you know, product led or product led growth as sort of almost like a buzzword in some cases where folks, maybe aren't really using it, you know, in the true way of delivering value, right. For those users as high-level.

That's great feedback. I guess along maybe the same lines about customer now, what is your philosophy around driving customer success, driving that value that you mentioned, and then how has that contributed to revenue acceleration?

[00:18:22] Jennifer Brannigan: Yeah. Yeah. So we've a core value at Pendo which is called maniacal focus on the customer.

And we really try to embrace that in everything that we do, you know, like any organization. You know, truly lives by their values. Anything that you do should be looked at through the lens of those values and, you know, having maniacal focus on customer they're looking at us every day is, is incredibly critical.

And it's, it's kind of become a north star for business decisions that we make. How will this impact the customer? We do a lot of talking to our customers. It's actually become a very big priority for our C-suite you know, to be spending 20% of our time with customers, just talking, listening, learning is that in fact should really be driving our product roadmap.

We should be listening to our customers, both in our application and outside of our application and deeply understanding what they care about, where they see value and where. See value. And so we do a lot of customer advocacy programs, customer communities as well. Our CS team is, is diligent about using Pendo to deeply understand how our customers and, you know, married with their kind of metadata at what different levels and functions, how they're using our products so that we are continuously having the right conversations with them.

And, you know, ensuring that in every interaction they feel. You know, we are one listening to them and then to delivering value. And, you know, we've, we've seen a lot of success. We've, we've strong retention among our customers. And I think it is because a, you know, we care so much and B our product is designed to do that itself.

And so when you have a product around delivering value for end users and customers, you better be using it yourself and drinking your own champagne.

[00:20:05] Rosalyn Santa Elena: I love that. Good. You know, everyone is looking to drive more revenue, right? You touched on sort of that customer experience and retention, which is really important.

Obviously net new customer acquisition, you know, is also critical expansion within that install base with your happy customers. And then as you mentioned, retention, right. Of those existing customers and keeping them happy and successful. So from, I guess from your perspective, What do you think, you know, what should other CROs really be thinking about today to really drive more revenue? You know, are there maybe, you know, top two or three things that you would recommend?

[00:20:38] Jennifer Brannigan: Yeah. So, so I will first start back where we just were around customer value. Like you need to be living and breathing customer value. Am I delivering value to my customers every day? Because that gets to kind of the second two things, which you mentioned, which are one retention, right?

It all does have to start with retention. As you can't expand customers that you're not retaining. Right. And then thinking about how you actually earn the right to have that expansion conversation, how customers do fall in love with the value that you're delivering and want you to be able to do more with them.

And that's super important with Pendo because oftentimes we start on one application or in one product line within an organization, and we do need that. Customer to become a champion for us across the rest of their enterprise, to help us have conversations with other application owners that we can talk through where how Pendo can deliver value beyond just your business line or beyond this kind of beyond your business into another business.

And so you know, we, we really do need to be continuously focusing on value. Secondly, from, you know, a revenue leadership perspective, I think it's really understanding your. Your key inputs, like what do your reps need to do? What are the inputs that lead to the outputs that you need? So, as an example, thinking through your kind of activity and pipeline metrics, and just knowing that inside and out, and being able to provide visibility to your sales team on what it's almost caudifying and creating a playbook, like, what do you need to do to be able to successfully hit your number?

Because. When I think about hitting my number and driving growth, it's about making my team successful and creating a winning locker room culture, and the more people that are hitting their number and are successful, the faster growth we're going to see. And it's really just about being able to be super prescriptive and ensure that we are generating the right pipeline and giving them the right kind of activity, metrics, and tools to be successful.

And then I guess finally kind of thinking a little bit more. Longterm it's, it's really always having a focus on what are your next frontiers? Like, how do you continue to feed, you know, whatever percentage it is, growth in eight, he had count year over year. Like if you want to continue to grow your business at a certain percentage, you're going to need to continue to add a head count.

And what do you need to be able to create the right size territories in the right. Kind of tools in the bag for them to sell. And so whether that's a new product that we're launching or whether it's a new market that we're going to enter roadmap that we're building to, it's consistently having your eyes on what your longer term growth levers are going to be.

So maybe, maybe you're expanding to a different market. Maybe you're opening up a. A new kind of partner channel, but really thinking through your long-term growth levers and ensuring you're not so focused on the near term, which was kind of my number two that you haven't, you're not sacrificing number three for number two.

[00:23:21] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Got it. Got it. Yeah, those are great tips. I love that. I think it's really good insights. I think from a sales leadership or revenue leadership, I should say perspective around always kind of helping your team be successful and always being very intentional and prescriptive. As you said, really helping them be successful. That's what. I love that.

So let's pivot a bit to operations. So as you know, you know, I've been sort of on my soap box for the last couple of years, talking about and promoting revenue operations. Right. I'd always talk about the people and the function and you know, how, you know, selfishly, I was thinking of rev ops as sort of that You know, powerful sort of secret weapon.

And maybe it's not that secret anymore because everybody is talking about it, but you know, that sort of secret weapon for the revenue team, right? Especially for you, you know, in your role as the CRO, I, you know, we've talked about this before. I think, you know, that rev ops leader and the CRO that partnership and that collaboration and just being sort of that chief of staff person that really, you know, helps helps the CRO be successful and helps the team be successful.

So what are your thoughts, I guess, on how. And, you know, another CRO, you know, a CRO can really best leverage that operations function to help enable and optimize the revenue team.

[00:24:35] Jennifer Brannigan: Yeah. I love that. It's no longer really a secret. I keep laughing. It's one of the things that my kids would say, what does it like? IYKYK like if you know the value that. As can deliver for you, you know, you have it and you know, when you don't have it. And, you know, I had the pleasure of coming from an organization. I mean, LinkedIn as a whole, that just really believes in the power and the leverage that a super strong rev ops organization can deliver for a commercial leader.

And so I had the luxury of working with some incredibly strong. Ops folks. In my past to not only helped with the things that I think people would consider more traditional ops stuff like systems and territory planning and quota setting, but could be strategic business partners. And, you know, back to that, like what are the next frontiers like, help me plan for that and think about that and generate hypotheses and use data to either kind of refute or to corroborate that hypothesis.

You know, I really love thinking about, you know, my rough ops partner being the yin to my yang, you know, like it should be a partnership where, you know, I can generate all the, like, what if we did this? And what if we did this? And, and my grandpa could be like, actually, that's a terrible idea. And this is a great idea.

And, and in a healthy tension, I always kind of quantify it or qualify it as a healthy tension in the sense that, you know, there's. There's the business ideas and then there's the data and the, and the reality that supports it. And I really kind of think of the rev ops partner ship as the partnership that really helps ground ideas and data, and then helps operationalize those ideas.

And so, you know, I think it's probably still a little bit of one of the most underappreciated functions in a technology company, but I'm, I'm really thrilled that the profile of. Continuing to be on the rise. And I think a lot of that Rosalind is thanks to the work that you're doing and creating content like this and helping people be inspired and really understand the value that that robots can deliver.

And I think it's not just for the CRO. I think it's up and down the stack. You know, my, my, if I could paint my dreams and, and we're getting there, we didn't have this when I started at Pendo, but we're getting there is, you know, aligning a sales ops business partner or a rev ops business partner to every.

VP for every segment so that they have someone who was their kind of COO their operational business partner, who understands their business in and out. Who's, you know, consistently looking at all the key performance metrics who's participating on the forecast call and bringing that, that science to the art of forecasting.

But who's also identifying strategic growth levers or pointing out potentially impending risks, like looking around corners to see what could be coming and really partnering at the VP level. As to, you know, what should we be thinking about to continue to grow this business over the next six weeks?

[00:27:27] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yup. Yup. I love that. I love that. So let's switch gears one more time. I love, I could probably talk about ops for the next 30 minutes with you or longer, but let's shift gears just a little bit and let's talk about something that, you know, I think this topic, hopefully, maybe sometime in the future, won't even be a topic to talk about.

You know, You know, in today's world, I think sales, you know, it's still a primarily male dominated field, right? Especially as you look at sales, leadership roles, and as you sort of move up the ranks, you see less female leaders, you know, and as a rev ops leader, you know, there's been many times where I'm the only lonely woman in the room, right.

As well. So as a woman, you know, in a CRO role at a, you know, high growth technology company, you know, what advice do you have, I guess, for other women who are really looking to elevate their career and sort of continue to move up that ladder?

[00:28:19] Jennifer Brannigan: Yeah. I've been there in that room with you. It's hard, you know, th the good news is I love your point around. Hopefully this is a conversation that we don't have to have in the future. And I think slowly but surely we're getting there, but there's still a lot of work to be done. I can really feel it acutely when I'm recruiting for leadership roles and how difficult it is still today to get.

Balanced slate from a gender perspective to fill an open role. And, and it's just going to take some time because there's lots of years of, of work that, you know, we, we have to build toward I won't say we have to undo. It's just, you know, we're, we're still, we're still thinking about a catch-up you know, hopefully we can start to accelerate that over the coming years with more and more women kind of elevating to senior leadership roles with support from women in senior leadership roles.

And so you know, when I would give advice as to, you know, Should women continue to do, it's take a risk, put yourself out there, get uncomfortable. There are many, many folks who are looking to continue to elevate women into more senior leadership roles. And I think women tend to, I'm sure you've heard this old adage before.

Like if a, if a man has, you know, 60% of the qualifications for a job, he's like gung ho going forward. It's where a woman could have like 89% and be like, Ooh, I probably shouldn't go for that job. I just haven't taken that one box and you just have to get over that. We all have to get over that we have to lose our inhibitions a little bit.

We have to just be brave and put ourselves out there. And maybe it's not that exact role that you get, but you've, you've established that you're out there and that you're ready and that you want to kind of climb and grow in your career. And so I think that. There's a few instances in my career that I can look back and out of fear of not being perfect.

I didn't go for something that I probably should have gone for, or I just assumed that other people were more qualified or better. And we just need to shed that. We need to shed that armor, shed that skin, and we just need to, to be brave. And then finally, like find, find another strong female lead.

Reach out to them, even if you don't know them. I did this when I was moving over to Pendo. I heard a podcast, I was inspired by a woman. I reached out to her and I said, can I use you as a mentor? Can you help me? I'm moving into my first ever kind of startup tech CRO role. You've done this before we, you mentor me and this person.

You know, I'm grateful. They said absolutely no problem. It's amazing how many people are out there who are willing to invest the time to help other women grow in their career, climb the ladder, you know, build their confidence and succeed in roles. And so don't be afraid to reach out to other females.

[00:30:54] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yep. I love that. And that's actually, that's really great advice. I actually give that piece of advice quite a bit too, about just being brave, you know, and get comfortable with being uncomfortable and exactly that point around asking, you know, looking at somebody who's kind of in that role where you want to be, or has done what you're looking to do.

And reach out because I think people will really be surprised how often another person will say, sure, I can take, you know, 30 minutes a month or, you know, 20 minutes every two months or whatever it is to just be that mentor and be that sounding board for support and be a champion. Right.

[00:31:27] Jennifer Brannigan: And if you don't ask, you'll never know. Right. And if you don't go for a job, you'll never know if you weren't qualified for it. And so it's really just about, yeah. Just putting yourself out there and making sure.

[00:31:37] Rosalyn Santa Elena: I love that. All right. So, well, as I think about, you know, the revenue engine in this podcast, I'm always hoping others will be able to really learn how to accelerate revenue growth right.

In power, that revenue engine. And I feel like you've given so many good insights. I can't wait until I kind of go back and listen to all of the different things that you shared, because I think a lot of the things, especially around customers is super important. And I think. Tend to kind of get busy in their day and they forget about that.

But you know, if there was maybe one piece of advice that you would give, you know, to another revenue leader or another CRO, you know, sort of that one thing that really makes all the difference. What would that be?

[00:32:14] Jennifer Brannigan: Yeah. And it's interesting because this is kind of the, the one thing that's the most important to me.

And I don't think we've touched on it yet, which is you've got to create a culture that inspires, motivates, attracts and retains talent. You create a great culture where people feel set up for success and they want to succeed for the business, for the mission, for the purpose of the company, then you'll win every.

Over a great strategy. And so it's really about understanding what kind of culture you want to build and leaning in hard to that and thinking about it, breathing it, living it every day and reinforcing it every day. That was super important to me coming over to Pendo. And it's been important to me in every role that I've had from a sales leadership perspective.

And I was lucky to learn from at LinkedIn, which. Phase, arguably one of the best kind of cultures in technology, but it, it, it's incredible how powerful and how important it is for people's happiness, wellbeing and ability to succeed and to drive results.

[00:33:18] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Yeah. That's great. I love that. Well, is there anything that you maybe wish you knew earlier, or maybe you might do differently than if you could go back and do it all over again?

[00:33:28] Jennifer Brannigan: I've had a couple of learnings along the way, which, which I'll share. It's, you know, number one, I do. I loved every minute that I was at LinkedIn, my 10 years were so powerful, but you know, I, in hindsight and it got me to where I am today and, you know, I was hired by Pendo because of that experience.

But I also kind of, I, I really believe in diversifying your experiences. I'm, I'm a believer in a, a broad base allows you to grow high or grow tall. I guess that's a better way to phrase it. And when I think about. You know, my experience at LinkedIn, I was very lucky to be able to have a broad range of experiences there and to feel challenged every day.

But, you know, I just would encourage everyone kind of. Don't get comfortable. Don't get complacent, the broader the base you have, the more you bring to the next role that you enter, the more diversified your experience are. The more perspectives you have to bring different ways of doing things that you know, you may not have if you keep a very strict linear career path.

And I know everybody wants to grow and get up the ladder, but there is value in broadening and diversifying your, your experience that yeah. Secondly, I would say with the right people on the bus, you can do anything. And so if like two things there, one, if you're questioning whether someone's the right person, then they're probably not the right person.

And you kind of owe it to yourself, the team and the business to act quickly. And then secondly, if you find the right person for the bus, and even if you don't have the perfect seat for them, They probably can do a lot of other things. And so really continuing to invest in them and put them in different roles that are going to stretch and grow them.

I think that, that, you know, is it's just another key learning for me. And I think something that can drive a tremendous amount of value for a leader. And then thirdly and this kinda gets back to the conversation that we had before Rosslyn about, you know, the number of women in kind of, you know, senior level executive tech sales roles, or revenue roles.

It really is. You don't have to know everything you don't, you can learn on the job and everybody learns on the job and you hire great people where you have experience gaps. As long as you have the fundamentals, like you can do a job, but don't hold yourself to that high bar of like, you need to know everything, be able to do everything, have experienced everything on day one.

Otherwise you will never put yourself out there.

[00:35:44] Rosalyn Santa Elena: That's that is really, really great advice. And I think also, you know, just another point on that when you join a new company, you also want to learn and grow, right? So you don't want a role where you already know everything about,

[00:35:55] Jennifer Brannigan: I think for that role, if you already know how to do it. All right. If you've been there done that. That's great. Yeah.

[00:36:01] Rosalyn Santa Elena: You're just going to be bored and be looking for the next adventure. Well, great. Well, thank you so much for joining me. I am Jen, but as we wrap up and before I let you go I was asked two things of all the guests. One, what is that one thing about Jen Brannigan that others would be surprised to learn and to what is the one thing you want everyone to know about you?

[00:36:22] Jennifer Brannigan: All right. What's the one thing that we're surprised to learn?

[00:36:27] Rosalyn Santa Elena: I said the same thing, I think, as I was sharing with you earlier sometimes.

[00:36:31] Jennifer Brannigan: Well, I guess this is just one quirky thing about me is like, I'm just in constant motion, so I'm not particularly good at relaxing.

I haven't watched when people always need a water cooler. Talk about like, not. I'm like, oh my God, I haven't seen a Netflix series. And I don't know, maybe like, I mean, whenever I get a downtime by moving, I'm an avid runner. I try to run every day. I try to squeeze in as much tennis as possible. I try to do walking one-on-ones, but I just have a lot of pent-up energy.

But I really, I love to run. It's like my, my therapy, it's my meditation. It's how I organize my. And so so that's, that's something about me. And then what's one thing I want everyone to know about me. I guess maybe two things like one I'm hiring, so hiring, and so please don't hesitate to reach out.

And then secondly, along a similar thing, Don't hesitate to reach out if you are, if you're looking for advice or mentorship, you know, I love to, so many people invested in me and I love to invest in others. And so I'm always happy to do that.

[00:37:33] Rosalyn Santa Elena: So thank you. Thank you so much. I'm sure you're going to be getting a lot of folks interested in either working with you on your team or at least being part of your, sort of your, be a mentee or being somebody who can learn from you.

There's just so much to learn from you. So thank you so much for being here. Jen, I just, I really, really appreciate you sharing just your journey, your incredible insights and just so much expertise. Like I said, I cannot wait to go back and just listen to a lot of it cause it's very inspiring. And really just appreciate your time. So thank you

[00:38:04] Jennifer Brannigan: Of course, I loved it, thanks so much.

This episode was digitally transcribed.

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