x.ai Pros And How They Do It: Mike Bell of Persosa

Name: Mike Bell
 CMO, co-founder
Company: Persosa
Location: Chicago, IL
Twitter handle: @michaelrsbell
x.ai boss since: December 2016
Describe yourself in one word: Tenacious


Tell us one fun fact about you!
At one point, I had three different passports: US, Canadian, and British.

Describe what your company does.
Persosa is a web personalization platform that allows brands to provide truly customized experiences for all of their visitors, dramatically improving their customer journey and web performance.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Probably when we help clients through the initial implementation. Not only is it rewarding to see Persosa deliver incremental sales, but I also love working with them to understand their particular business and uncover new ways to use our platform.

What type of meetings are you having? How many?
Because my clients are all over the country, I’m primarily using Amy to help setup conference calls. It’s great—I just setup my bridge info in my account preferences and she does the rest. I occasionally check the status of calls being worked by her in the dashboard, but she really does it all from there. I just look at my calendar at the beginning of each day to see what she’s scheduled and get ready for that day. She even schedules a break in between calls so that I’m not back-to-back and I can show up to each call prepped and ready to jump right in.

How do you introduce Amy/Andrew to new people?  
Honestly, I don’t do anything special. I just add her to CC when I’m at the point of the conversation that’s appropriate, and I ask her to work with everyone to coordinate a call. That seems to generate the most impressive experiences and the most compliments. I’ve had several people compliment me on how prompt and professional she was—I even had one guy ask me if she was single.

Any Pro-Tips you’d recommend to Amy’s other bosses?
Yes! Three pro-tips (that I’ve learned over time and from the x.ai team):

  1. Check your dashboard every so often to see how your meetings are progressing. Sometimes you can have one slow person who can hold up the show for everyone.
  2. Use the “optional” functionality whenever you can. If someone—usually from your team—isn’t required to be there or you know has the same availability as you, you can ask Amy to make them optional. This makes the process go much more quickly and makes for the optimal experience on the client side.
  3. This is a life saver! There have been several times—especially when I’m traveling—where my day has been getting away from me and I’ve been running behind. When I’m in those cases, I’ll reply directly (and privately) to Amy and ask her to reschedule a meeting that it looks like I might be late to or miss altogether. She then works with the client to move it in a professional and courteous manner. This is huge—Amy has snatched victory from the jaws of defeat for me several times in this area.

What are some things (books, blogs, newsletters) you like to read?
Just finished reading Stealing Fire by Jamie Wheal and Steven Kotler. Amazing book on how organizations like Google and the Navy SEALs are revolutionizing team performance by hacking the human brain.

What’s your favorite quote?
“Brand is a lagging indicator of culture.” – Tony Hsieh

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
One of my first bosses told me to pay just as much attention to bad leaders as good ones—you can learn as much, if not more, about leadership from them.

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