[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.
The last few years have been a true whirlwind for everyone. The global pandemic has had such a significant impact on people, but also businesses of all sizes and industries. One of the hardest hit industries is wellness. The downturn of businesses, juggling the ever-changing restrictions, moving from physical to virtual and trying to just stay afloat has been overwhelming. But then this shift with things opening up and an increased focus on wellness and health, not just physical, but also mental wellness, has made this industry a rollercoaster.
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In this episode of the Revenue Engine podcast, Josh McCarter, the CEO at Mindbody shares how as an organization, they not only adjusted their business to ensure their own revenue success, but how they went all in really above and beyond to support and enable their customers to be successful as.
So please take a listen to this long time leader who knows a whole lot about revenue and wellness, but also about leadership and winning as a team. So super excited to be here today with Josh McCarter the CEO at my body. For those of you who aren't familiar with mind, body, mind, body is the leading technology platform for the.
Wellness and beauty industries and has built the world's largest wellness marketplace, where millions of consumers find and book classes and appointments every month. So welcome Josh. And thank you so much for joining me. I'm super excited to just unpack your story and learn from you.
[00:02:55] Josh McCarter: Great. Well, thanks for having me. I'm excited.
[00:02:58] Rosalyn Santa Elena: That's great. So let's, let's talk if any, before mind, body, I mean, you've held a number of roles you've been in business development leadership. You've been a COO, which I love the operations side of it. You've been a president board member and even a founder. So maybe, you know, can you share some of your background and some of that story of your journey, you know, prior to my body?
[00:03:19] Josh McCarter: Absolutely. Well, I have been in the broader technology industry. Since the early days of the internet. And I started at Autobytel as one of the original members there, right before we got our series a and that was at a time when nobody had any idea how to buy anything online. And we were helping dealers, car dealers sell cars online.
And I remember calls back in the day. Trying to explain to dealers that no, you don't actually push a car for your theater and have it show up at somebody's house. It's very different than that, but that was literally the mindset back then. And really what we set out to do at Autobytel was creating the first online automotive marketplace.
And so it was a, you know, a combination of tools for dealerships to help them manage their inventory and be able to put that up on. And then also all of the research components for consumers to be able to find and purchase a car and financial services and so forth. And that was all the way back in 1996.
So when you see, you know, now where we are with companies like Carvana or even buying a Tesla, and one of my buddies was telling me about the fact that he bought a Tesla on his mobile phone. It was just unbelievable that that's how far the industry has come. So I, I moved from Autobytel to a business that was called spa finer, and that was really my first foray into the, into the wellness industry.
And at the time spot finder was an offline travel agency and publisher. So if you think again, kind of pre-internet you wanted to go to a canyon, ranch, or a golden door or a mirror of all, you didn't really know the difference between those businesses. And so what spot finder did was they. Travel agency service to help people think through what was the best property for them to go to.
And then they ultimately turned some of that content into a magazine that they published. And our goal was to turn that into an online marketplace where people could just go online and they could search and they could find these wellness properties and then they could book those services. And so that was in the, in the early two thousands.
And again, this was, you know, kind of a transformation for an industry where we were taking an industry that was largely off. And then moving that online. And so I was a spot finder for several years. I ended up going on the board for, I think I just calculated last night. It was 16 years. Then I was on board it as Paul finder.
So very much plugged into that business and the broader wellness industry. During that time, we started the global wellness summit and several other initiatives, but I joined some friends from a business school that had just started a company called. And this was a, an independent distributor of what we'd call computer commodities, but it was effectively all of the products that would go into data center equipment.
So you'd have a server and you'd need hard drives and memory and controllers and so forth. And so we sold that and we achieved a billion dollars of sales under my leadership there when I was, when I was president and we got rated the fastest growing company in the U S and entrepreneurial. We play several times in the Inc 500 and this was just a rocket ship of a business.
No outside capital for partners and really an exciting place to be for for many years. And then as a, as, as I, you know, kind of was concluding my tenure at at architech after about six years. I was asked by the CEO and primary shareholder of spot finder to take a look at a product that had been built over the prior years that was enabling the booking of spa services online.
And the product was called spa. And, and so we were looking at it and said, man, there, there might be a bigger opportunity for this. Product to not just service, you know, spas that are part of spot finder, but maybe the broader wellness industry. And so ultimately in in 2010, we spun that product out, set up a separate business.
And at the time I thought I was just doing this as a board member. Help position the business for a capital raise or for a sale. And ultimately that culminated in, in us raising a $15 million series a round, but then the investors came back and said, Hey, we really want you to be the CEO going forward, you know, to help build this business.
And so I did that and built that. Over eight years and culminated in a sale to Mindbody and in 2018. And so that's my history pre Mindbody.
[00:07:17] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Wow. Wow. That's amazing. I think it's just, it's so much it's interesting to just kind of follow your journey and kind of understand, you know, the combination of, you know, technology and wellness and just kind of it's really.
It's really not surprising, I guess, in terms of kind of where you're at today and just some of the the expertise that you have.
[00:07:36] Josh McCarter: Yeah. It's been a journey for sure. And, and the industry itself has changed a lot. And then also how both businesses and consumers use technology in the industry and to access wellness, that's also changed pretty radically in the last, you know, call it 15.
[00:07:50] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah, absolutely. And I, I love the comment about, you know, just kind of pushing the car through the computer type of thing, actually, that would be really technology, right. That would be probably, you know, probably not in our lifetime, but, you know, I know, I remember growing up and thinking, you know, watching, you know, being able to actually see somebody when you're talking to them, what's going with something that was like way out in the future.
Now we're both dating ourselves, but yes, definitely. So you've been at Mindbody now for about four years you know, after this acquisition and you've had quite a journey there as well, you know, as you alluded to just the changes in the industry, I mean, think about the changes in the environment the last couple of years, the industry, you know, what is that journey been like?
You know, from first coming in and leading, you know, strategy, right? As the chief strategy officer, then moving on to president and now obviously being the CEO of the entire company.
[00:08:41] Josh McCarter: It's definitely been a journey and. Then very different. I would say, starting off, just coming into Mindbody, there was a huge difference in the size and scale of a Booker and Mindbody Booker.
We were about 250 people. When we sold my body was about 2000. And so I made a difference in, in terms of overall. It was also a public company. We were a private company. And so I think at the beginning, there was a lot of just adjustment for, for me and for my team understanding all of the different processes.
And why do we have to have certain trainings and why do we have so, you know, certain reporting requirements and so forth, because it was fundamentally different being in a public company versus being in a private company. And when I had the role as chief strategy officer, my number one, Area of focus was on integrating Booker.
And so that was really the very near term focus. And then I started taking on additional activities within the business, mostly around our partnerships, business development, our payments partnerships, which was about a third of. Of our revenue and really, you know, focused on how do we continue to innovate and drive that forward.
And within about eight months of selling Booker to mind, body, we wound up in a process to take mind, body private. And that was a result of various conversations that started emerging with you know, different private equity investors and so forth. And so before we even knew it, we know when. Selling Booker to mind, body to then taking mind, body private in a transaction with Vista.
And that closed in early, early 2019. And at that point, Vista asked me to stay on and move into a role of president where my job was really focused on developing what they call a value creation plan. So when they acquire a business, What are the areas that they believe we can invest in, we can get on their best practices and I call it kind of the Vista chassis.
So it's a variety of best practices. Some are systems, some are processes, someone's training. And how do you roll that out across the entire company? And then what are the different inflection points that you will see in the business as you implement that value creation plan? And so I was tasked. With doing that.
And so that was most of 2019 was really you know, getting on the Vista chassis retraining our teams starting on a new system implementations. And so there was a lot of work that we weren't doing. And and then as we started going into 2020, and we started. You know, our businesses in Asia shutting down and then, you know, February, 2020, it was Europe that started shutting down.
And so we realized at that point, Hey, this, you know, this COVID thing is really going to be a material impact to the broader wellness industry. As we start just seeing, you know, storefronts, closing people can't get into access to their classes or access their appointments. I remember back in those days, everybody was doing their hair cuts at home or just growing their hair really.
And so we knew that there was going to be a material impact to our business, but we just didn't know how, how big the impact was going to be or how long it was going to last. And so. Vista in consultation with Vista, we work with them to think through various scenarios and what we might need to do to restructure the business.
And, and in my role, I was tasked with leading that restructuring of the business, which you know, to say the least was, was very challenging. We, we ended up. Having to say goodbye to about a third of our company, about 600 people got, let go in April of 2020. And and we had to go through really repositioning the business, what, you know, one to be there for our customers and make sure that they got through the pandemic and that we also have.
Able to get to the other side and, and service them and then also be there for for our team. And so there were, there was a lot of work that we did, and ultimately, as we were going through 2020 I moved into the CEO role. Rick Stollmeyer who is a good friend of mine is the founder of Mindbody.
And, and was the CEO pretty much for the entirety of, of my body's existence before I moved into that role he moved into an executive chairman role. You know, together with Rick and the executive team and Vista, you know, we, we worked on ensuring that we had a great plan for, you know, supporting the businesses and, and going through kind of an indeterminate amount of time where the industry was going to be impacted by COVID.
I think, you know, 2020 revenues for the broader fitness industry were down almost 60% and 20% of storefronts closed. So it was a really challenging time for the industry. I'm very proud to say that our business was not nearly impacted that much. But we weren't, we were certainly impacted as well as, as other businesses that we, that we partnered with.
And part of that you know, seeing kind of where the businesses were impacted and where we saw the future opportunity. Led us to start conversations with one of our largest partners ClassPass. And throughout 2021, we negotiated a transaction to acquire class pass and bring them into the mind-body family.
And so that was really, you know, an exciting culmination of literally years of conversations that we had with classes. But also, you know, really getting strategic about thinking about where's the industry going, how can we have the best offering for both businesses and for consumers and by bringing the two businesses together that that certainly has enabled us to, to achieve at least getting that foundation in place so that as we exit COVID and as more consumers are going back into the.
Then we're going to be the platform of choice to be able to you know, to do that. And so for me, that, that transition, you know, all the way from going back to the question from, you know, being chief strategy officer, to being president and being CEO it's been just a fantastic experience at Mindbody.
And, you know, I really like. Leading from the front. And, you know, COVID certainly gave the opportunity to, to be there and to do that and to support my team and to support the broader industry and the, in a pretty serious time of uncertainty for for the overall industry. And now it's exciting to see us being able to move from this kind of defensive position that we've been in for the last two years.
And really moving into an offense as we start getting deeper into a, into 2022.
[00:14:52] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Yeah. Wow. That's quite a journey. A lot, lots of change. Lots has changed right over the last couple of years. And I think the last, you know, two or three years now has been just. In some ways it's been a bit of a blur, like so much has happened.
And in some ways it's just like so much has happened. You know, when you think about the impact of global, you know, the global pandemic on wellness, you know, both as you mentioned, sort of that downturn of businesses, right? Not only shutting down, but trying to move from being physical and sort of storefront to virtual.
Right. And then. Then there's this, this sort of shift to more of an upturn because there's a lot more focus right. On wellness and health. And it sounds like you and your team have really, you know, probably been on quite a bit of a roller coaster over the last couple of years. So, you know, as you look back maybe at the last two years or so, you know, what are some of the things that you think.
You know, that the organization did really right, right. To drive and retain revenue. And are there any things that you might have done differently? And I think you touched on some of the things in terms of, you know, working with our customers and really partnering with them, you talked about the, you know, looking at class pass and such, but are there other things that.
You know, might be willing to share
[00:16:03] Josh McCarter: Yeah so I, the first part in terms of, of what we did. Right. I think that I would focus first on really being there for our customers and supporting them through just a horrible time. And you've got to realize that most of the customers that we serve are small and medium businesses.
So these are people. I had a dream and had an ambition to be their own boss and to be entrepreneurial and go out and open up a business. And in many cases, they're using their life savings to go and open up these businesses. Right. And when you have government restrictions and you're told you can't have.
Anybody into a class where you can only have 10% occupancy in a class, you used to have 20 people in a class. Now you can have two. They were really staring at the prospect of going bankrupt and draining their cash reserves. So the first thing that we did was we stepped in and we provided almost $15 million of, of fee relief to our customers.
And so that was, you know, one of the very first things that that would be. We also negotiated with the credit card companies to make sure that they would give the businesses access to their funds, because that was something that was really concerning for the credit card industry was somebody paying a monthly membership, but they can't come into your physical location.
So are we going to get, you know, literally hundreds of millions of dollars of chargebacks based on that. And so there, there was. Role that we played behind the scenes with the broader credit card industry, as well as, as various financing sources to ensure that our businesses could get access to you know, to, to their revenue.
So that was, that was a pretty important part. The other thing, again, going back to the analogy of a small, medium business. These are companies many times that don't have a lot of experience in renegotiating a lease, how do they negotiate things with their, with their credit lines and so forth? And so we stepped in as a voice of authority and as a partner to really provide a steady stream of content that enabled our customers to navigate some of these really tricky things that you know, that kind of independently would have been very challenging.
We also stepped in and partnered with other industry leaders on the, on the gyms act. And that was an attempt to drive more targeted funding and relief for our industry. And so through that, we got connected with a variety of other leaders in the industry. And why. That act did not end up getting successfully passed.
It really, you know, put mind, body and ClassPass as well, really at the forefront of the legislative efforts and some of the lobbying that were happening on, on behalf of the of the industry, then specifically for our customers from a product standpoint, you mentioned virtual we launched within about four weeks of the pandemic.
Our first version of our virtual wellness platform. And so that was a product that enabled businesses to do live streaming or on demand virtual classes. And so for the fitness industry, that was, you know, a huge boon and it enabled them to compete with virtual only offerings or with the Peloton, so the world and so forth.
And so that was another area where I feel really good. About what we, what we did in the past. We, we also saw going back again to this point about people having trained their life savings over the last two years, we also saw. A real opportunity to lean in with additional financial services. And so we've recently launched mind, body capital and, and that's basically a way that wellness businesses can tap into funding for their short-term cashflow needs.
And this is done based on the volume of credit cards that they're processing. And revenue that they're generating in their business. And so as we talk with businesses, some of them are saying, Hey, I need that just to be able to help open my studio or my spar salon, because I've gone through so much cash and I need to do a refresh.
I need to employ people before I start really seeing you know, a return to normal. In other cases, some business. I've gotten back up to their pre pandemic level and they're ready to expand, but they've already tapped all of their credit lines. And so this is a way that we can work with those partners and really help them grab some tailwinds from COBIT and and grow their businesses as they head forward.
Going to the topic about what might we've done differently. One of the things that we did was a pretty hard pitch. To moving our tier one customer support offshore. And that had been a plan pre COVID, but as we started getting deeper into COVID, we really accelerated that move and what we hadn't foreseen at that point, frankly, we have a partner in the Philippines that we're working with was the impact that COVID was going to have.
Yeah, in that region and the impact that weather such as typhoons, we're going to have a in the Philippines. And so we, we had some headwinds on making what I would have considered, you know, an opportunity for a smooth transition. That was something that I, I think just really hit us harder than we, than we expected in some of those.
Our service levels are got impacted as a as a result.
[00:21:01] Rosalyn Santa Elena: I see. I see you. Wow. That's just an amazing, you know, amazing. Some of the things that you were doing, I may love the focus just on partnering really in creative ways to help your customers be successful. And as you said, a lot of these are small, you know, it could be small companies, right.
Very small businesses. So I love that. I think that's amazing to hear that. I guess along the similar topic, you know, mind, body, just really in an interesting space, right? Because you have both a B2B focus, but also really a B to C focus, right? You serve tens of thousands of businesses, but millions of cust consumers, you know, and I think as buyers and customers continue to be, you know, more informed or we're more demanding.
Affectations, you know, what is your, I guess, your approach and philosophy towards driving that customer value? I think you've talked a lot about it already, but I think there's probably more. And, and how has that, you know, really helped retain and expand your customer base?
[00:21:58] Josh McCarter: I think both on the B2B and B2C side, it's all about staying close to your customers right.
And hearing, wow. Experiences, they're looking for what's working well and what's not working well. And and so when you go to the, on the B2B. We have a product that's been built over, call it 20 years. And it's a very complex product because we serve a single location, SMB all the way up to an orange theory, fitness at 45 dry bar.
And what have you. And so the needs of those businesses. Are very different. And so what what's happened is, is that our product over time has just become harder to use because there's so many features and functions. And so we took a, you know, really kind of a SWAT team approach to looking at holistically our product, the feature function, what are the things that people are using?
80 90% of the time. And let's just make sure that those workflows and those processes are absolutely as, as smooth as possible. And there's also a blurring of the lines when you, when you get into the SMB world with SMB users and kind of their, also their experience as consumers. So if you think about. You know, as a, as a business operator, you're probably using an iPhone to be able to do other things in your personal life.
And so you want your business systems to be as easy to use as your iPhone. Right? And so that's something that we'd really have to take a hard look at it and say, okay, let's just simplify things as much as we can. Let's also use AIML on the backend to automate different workflows or to surface insights that previously you'd have to go down and dig deep into report.
Now, let me actually pull those insights up into a summary page, maybe your own as, as a think of a membership based business that has members that haven't been in in three months. Well, those members are likely to change. Last year, you'd have to go dig into a report to find where those customers are. Now it's brought up into a dashboard where you can actually action something to reach out to those consumers, offer them something to come in and have a service or participate in a class.
And so pulling up a lot more of the data is really how I think and driving insights that we're going to drive more value to our, to our businesses. And that comes from again, kind of re-engineering the process from the customer backwards. And then on, on the consumer side, a lot of it's very similar in terms of thinking about what is it that consumers are looking for.
And you, you mentioned that there has been an expansion in terms of how people think about wellness. We've always talked about the seven dimensions of wellness and it's not just, you know, physical wellness and wellbeing, but it's, it's your emotional wellbeing. It's your mental, it's your occupational and, and, and so forth.
And so. There's now kind of a very different lens on, on what wellbeing and what wellness is. And then frankly, where we can intersect with that in a class pass is a great story in terms of how they've pivoted over time, where, you know, just the name ClassPass used to historically be focused a hundred percent just on classes.
And so think yoga and spin and Pilates and so forth. But in 2020, As a lot of those businesses were closed. Wellness businesses like spas and salons and integrative health places were not closed. And so they started opening up and selling to. Businesses that catered to more, what I would call like appointment, you know, beauty and wellness.
And so now, you know, about a quarter of, of class pass credits are used on those type of services. And so that's something we're, again, talking with consumers, Hey, I can't get in for a class, but I'm, you know, I really could go get a massage and have something to help me. De-stress because of everything that's going on in my life.
With COVID and we were able to meet them there through, through the class pass product. And so those are just some examples of, you know, how, how we've been able to pivot to meet both, you know, business demands as well as demands of, of consumers.
[00:25:54] Rosalyn Santa Elena: I love that. I love that. So let's switch gears a little bit and talk about leadership.
As I know that this is something that's incredibly important, I think near, near, and dear to your heart. You know, I think when you and I first met, we had a discussion about leadership and you shared some of your thoughts around. Which I think are really valuable and would love to hear more. So can you share maybe how you think about leadership for yourself and for your team and maybe how that has come into play in terms of driving those better business results?
[00:26:22] Josh McCarter: My, my, I used to describe my leadership style as servant leadership. But I I've heard a better term in the, in the last six months called empowerment leadership. And, and really it's a philosophy that my job as, as CEO. Is to empower my teams to be successful and to clear the path for them. If there's an obstacle in the way, maybe it's a, maybe it's access to capital.
Maybe it is a process that's not working right for their teams. My job is to kind of clear the path for them to be to be successful. And so that's usually how I oriented. Myself now, the other one that people ask me a lot of time. What's my, what's my favorite leadership book. And I talk about Stephen.
Covey's seven habits of highly effective people. Because I think that no matter what level you're at in an organization, we always tell them, you know, mind, body team members, as they're joining that, we expect everybody to be a leader in the company. This isn't, you know, you're a leader because you have a particular title.
There's an opportunity for everybody know. In their own function. And I referenced the seven habits frequently because I say, you know, if you go through those seven habits, it first starts off with be proactive, right? Like actually engage and do something because that's, that's how leadership starts. Like if you're just sitting back waiting for the world to hit you, that is not being a leader.
Right. So there's this notion of being proactive, I think is just critical. And then, you know, a couple other ones that I call out from the seven habits is, you know, starting with the end in mind, where are you trying to get to? Right. And so then how do you organize yourself to get there? And so there, he calls it putting first things first.
So you start with the end in mind, you put first things first and then you think win-win like, how is it. We can build a scenario where both sides of whatever initiative win, right mind, body can win and our customers can win or MINDBODY can win and our consumers can win, or the businesses can land on the consumers win and really stringing that together and being thoughtful and intentional about that.
And so those are just some of the things from, you know, from the seven habits that I referenced frequently with our, with our teams at every. Just to make sure that we're all kind of coming at it from a, from a similar mindset. I've also been a big believer in you know, hiring people that are smarter than you.
In a particular field. So don't be the person that says, Hey, I know everything. And so therefore I'm just going to go hire somebody who is going to execute what I'm telling them to do. I completely put that on the head and go, I want to go find the person that is going to you know, help me iterate on this business.
Hiring people that have been down the path before. Especially when you're growing fast, because if you just hire somebody, that's good for the point in time that you're at and you're growing fast within six months, you're going to outgrow them. So find those people that have been, you know, down the path that you're going on a year or two years ahead of where you are so that they can that they can help pull the, the businesses.
And then getting into a really strong and rigorous planning cycle so that you're driving alignment, that you're really being ruthless on your prioritization, you're questioning your initiatives. And then you, you get to a point where you have alignment with your leadership team about what you're going to execute on.
And there, there's a saying that, that we're adopting from class pass that I love, which is debate, decide. And. And so that's something that we've really been doing. We just had a three-day offsite here in Scottsdale. I have had our broader leadership team together and it was really great to see this happening where, you know, you're getting ideas out.
You're challenging those ideas. You're driving, you know, alignment on what are the key priorities to focus on. And then once you've aligned at that, at the leadership level, how do you communicate that? You know, to your team so that they understand what their day-to-day activities are and how that ladders up to the key priorities for the company.
And so I think that that's kind of the finality on the leadership is, is that, you know, if you're not communicating with your team and they don't understand how they fit in and they don't understand where you're going together and why you're driving in a certain direction. Then you're not going to be leading anybody.
They're all going to be sitting back how to say, Hey, what am I supposed to do? Right. And so I think that that's the key part of leadership is making sure that you're bringing your team along with you in the direction that you're going. Yup.
[00:30:45] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yup. I love that. I love that. I love that debate. Decide and commit.
I think that's, that's amazing. You talked about alignment a little bit, which is one of my, probably most overused. I talked a lot about alignment and rigor and, you know, objectives and strategy. Right. All the time, because you know, obviously revenue operations, one of my favorite topics. So, you know, I always think of.
You know, rev ops is sort of that secret weapon, or maybe it's not so secret these days as everybody's talking about it, but it's really right. It's really that strategic differentiator, right. In an organization, really their ability to scale, you know, drive that predictable repeatable processes and, and scale, but also help to retain customers right.
And help customers be successful. So what are your thoughts on this on revenue operations and how can organizations really best leverage this part of the business for better revenue outcomes?
[00:31:40] Josh McCarter: As you said, I think revenue operations is just critical for any SAAS business and arguably probably many other businesses.
My, my lens with rev ops since it's kind of become a thing is, is really, you know, through the lens of vertical SAAS. But when, when you take, when you break it down into the individual, You know, processes it's, you know, kind of starting from the systems and the, and the go-to-market market processes or onboarding and training teams to, you know, the, the reporting that's coming out and the targeting of, you know, customer experiences and, and where there may be some challenges.
It's really the foundation. And I think the glue that holds the teams together. And so to your point, it, it helps drive predictability and this end to end alignment. That I think is just critical in in businesses. And so you know, w ours has iterated over time, frankly, I think like many companies, you know, we started out with sales operations, and we probably, we had customer operations in a, in a different area.
We had, you know, data and insights in a different area. We even had training and onboarding in a, in a different area. And so. You know, for us, our, our journey over the last couple of years, and some of this was really an install, a partnership with, with Vista was building out a true revenue, operations function.
And, you know, at a point in time right now, I think that I would say that we'd got a very well-oiled machine. We have the processes in place to make sure that as people are coming on board, That they're getting up to speed with the right training. As we're launching new products that the products are getting into Salesforce, they're getting into REO.
We can bill for them. We can collect, we can do the training of the sales teams and the, and the CX teams. And, and the more that we brought those functions together from the different silos that. Existed in historically the better it has performed, the better the company has performed, the better retention than we've had on on our, you know, key key employees.
And to your point, also being able to surface the insights about. About customers, our retention, our customer retention. When you, when you take a look at kind of a normalized retention rate, when you, when you back out all the businesses that have, have closed as a result of COVID for the businesses that are still functioning, our retention rates have improved massively over the last three years.
And so that's kind of counterintuitive to what you think because of, of COVID, but it really. You know, has to do with, I think a lot of the processes that we put in place, the reporting that we put in place and you know, on the growth of, of our revenue, operations function.
[00:34:10] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Love that. Thank you.
You know, as I think about the revenue engine in this podcast, I always hope that others will be able to learn something about, you know, how to accelerate revenue growth and power, that revenue engine. And I think you've shared a lot of great insights. I can't wait to go back and listen to all of this again, but I mean, I think.
From your perspective, you know, what are the top couple of things, maybe the top two or three things that you think, you know, all CEOs should really be thinking about today to accelerate revenue growth?
[00:34:40] Josh McCarter: I think it, it starts with what I mentioned earlier, which was just staying really close to your customers and learning.
What is it that they need, maybe what other systems or tools that they're using, what are the trends that they're seeing? What are their competitors doing? A lot of times we'll hear some new trend that's happening from, you know, one of our customers says, oh, this guy down the street just opened up a shop and they're doing X.
And so really being plugged into your customers, what they're seeing, what they're hearing, what technologies they're using, they might even tell you about competitors that are calling them, that you might not have heard of, or some new tool that they're, they're starting to see people use in the industry.
So I think. Really staying close to the, to the customer is, is, is critical. The other part is, is, is don't get into an echo chamber of just of your leadership team, you know, where you're all kind of just together and talking. You need to push down into the front lines, doing, you know, multiple skip levels doing you know, team meetings where, where you're dropping in and, and hearing what your front lines are saying.
Cause this can help you both improve. The product or service that that you're offering. And that obviously drives, you know, better retention in LTV. But but it also helps you understand like what what's happening competitively in the market. And so that's something that I think is pretty critical.
Another thing that we do frequently is ask ourselves, you know, if we were competitor X, what would they be doing to disintermediate us or. Business away from us and then assess, well, does it make sense for us to do that or not? And so that sometimes we found some pretty cool revenue generating ideas by, by going through that exercise.
[00:36:17] Rosalyn Santa Elena: I like that. I like that. That's some, those are really good tips and really good advice. You know, if you think about, you know, if you look back at your career and even, especially the time at Mindbody, but even prior to that are there things that, you know, maybe you wish you knew earlier, or maybe.
You know, you might do differently if you could sort of hit that reset button and do it all over again?
[00:36:36] Josh McCarter: I, you know, I, I go all the way back to the beginning of my career and I share this with a lot of our new hires, especially, you know, the college grads and the, and it goes back to. The seven habits. And one of those is, is seek first to understand and then be understood.
And I think what happens with a lot of people early in their career is they, they get going and they just, they want to impress people with how smart they are. Right. And do everything. And so. And a lot of times, like you're not as smart as you think you are afraid that you need to learn at the beginning.
And so this idea, and this has got a great saying, they say, be a, learn it all versus being a know it all. And I like to think of myself as a constant learner and it's frankly, You know, I'm still with mind, body is I learned something new every day and that is just so cool to wake up and know that every day you have an opportunity to be a little bit better and to learn a little bit and then decide what it is that you've learned that you want to share with other people.
And so I think that, you know, for you know, for, for just anybody that is looking to grow their career, It's really having that growth mindset. And it's all sort of knowing like when is the right time to listen versus speak? When is the right time to lead versus following and learning that cadence is not easy and it doesn't happen overnight.
But I, I think it's one of those that has. You know, jumped out to me as, as something that's important. The, the other thing that I, I would say, especially for folks that are in vertical SAAS, like vertical SAAS is called vertical for a reason. And one of the mistakes that we made at, at. Was we tried to go too wide in terms of the verticals that we were, that we were serving.
We, you know, viewed the platform more broadly as kind of a service commerce platform. So if you're selling a service man, and you can sell it on Booker, and what we found is we started working with Comcast to sell tee times for golf now, or PetSmart to, to build out functionality for pet services. Each of these verticals requires a significant amount of customization to work in their workflows and their, and their processes.
And so frankly, we would have been much better off and probably driven a better outcome. Had we not ever entered into any of these vertical expansion deals and just really focused on the, on the areas that we were good at.
[00:39:01] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Well, so thank you so much for joining me today, Josh. But as we wrap up and before I let you go, I was asked two things.
One, you know, what is the one thing about Josh McCarter that others would be surprised to learn? And two, what is the one thing you want everyone to know about?
[00:39:23] Josh McCarter: Okay. Yeah, I think on the first one is that I'm truly a sales guy at heart. I, I started off in high school writing and selling bikes and then I sold cars in college. And so I love sales. My first job out of college was in. And, and so I'm super passionate just about sales. And I think sometimes people that get in sales are always looking for, okay, well, what's next.
And maybe I get into sales management or something. And I think that the fundamental thing to understand is, is that sales helps you at every level, in any kind of role that you have. So if you're in an entry-level sales role right now you know, fast forward to me as CEO now, my job every day is I'm selling our company and our vision to our employees.
I'm recruiting top-notch executives, and I've got to sell our vision for the future of the business. When I'm raising capital, I have to sell the dream. And so all of those tools that I learned about value selling, for instance, those are tools that I tap into all the time. And and I, I never lose sight of that.
So. That's what I would share about something that folks might be surprised to learn. And then, you know, some of them to know about me, I would say just more, more broadly is that I am just super passionate about my body in the, in the wellness industry. I just, I think that we are in a very unique space and, and it's one of those spaces, I think, more so than any others that has the potential to positively impact the world, especially as we're coming out of COVID and especially.
Wellness is more top of mind. And so I just love the fact that you know, we're, I'm at an industry leading company. I have an opportunity to lead an incredible team. And I'm super excited about where the industry is headed as we get out of out of COVID and have really the opportunity to power this, this newer wellness.
[00:41:12] Rosalyn Santa Elena: I love that. I love that. Thank you so much, Josh, for being, being a guest today and just for sharing your story. So many incredible, I think, insights and just tips that people can really take and learn from, you know, not, not just about revenue, but on so many other topics. So thank you so much for joining us.
[00:41:30] Josh McCarter: Well, thanks for having me. I really enjoyed our time together Rosalyn, I'll look forward to catching up soon.
This episode was digitally transcribed.