We sat down with David Hariri, Co-founder and Head of R&D at Ada, to learn more about his experience and expertise
Q&A with Daniel Code-McNeil: Ada's Chief Revenue Officer
We’ve done a lot of reflecting lately. What do customers expect from brands in the digital age? How can brands deliver on these expectations? What do brands need from an automated brand interaction platform to achieve and exceed their goals?
As we drill down on the issues that matter most to our clients and their customers, we’ve come to some important conclusions.
First, every time someone interacts with your brand, it’s an opportunity to build trust, deliver value, and, ultimately, drive growth. Your brand is the sum of every interaction you have, across every channel, with employees, prospects, and especially, your customers. This is what makes or breaks modern enterprises — not product or service, pricing, logo, or viral ad campaigns.
Second, in a time where people expect their needs to be met with a quick chat or button click, delivering valuable interactions at scale is nearly impossible — without a brand interaction platform.
Last, brands need to purposefully automate conversations with each customer and employee. And you need to be able to do this while saving costs and growing revenue without betraying the brand you promised to be.
All this is to say: we’re pretty confident about the future of automated brand interactions. But in order to accomplish our goals — to help brands provide VIP experiences to every customer and employee — we rely on a rockstar revenue team for strategic growth.
Speaking of rockstars, Ada’s first Chief Revenue Officer, Daniel Code-McNeil, once worked as a music producer. Now, he leads the revenue team, helping us build on five consecutive years of 100%+ year-over-year revenue growth.
Dan joined Ada in 2016 as one of the company’s first employees. He brings unique revenue, customer, and product experience to the table. Dan specializes in leading early to mid-stage, fast-growing startups, with a focus on enterprise and midmarket sales, operations and process optimization, customer success, building partnerships, and strategic planning.
We sat down with Dan to learn more about what makes someone a great leader, and how he incorporates this into his day-to-day work.
What are some qualities that you think makes someone a great leader?
Empowerment, prioritization, and empathy.
Leaders are only as great as the teams they lead. Empowering your team members to have ownership over their success and failures is a recipe for growth. When teams feel their input is valued they will go the extra mile to deliver results.
Leaders also need to be relentlessly curious about what is and isn’t working. Taking the time to understand your respective teams and prioritizing focus areas is critical to long term success. You have to resist the urge to try and improve each part the business all at once — in a fast growing business everything feels urgent. A great leader takes the time to priority rank their top areas of focus.
You can never be too approachable as the leader of a team. Being empathetic through the highs and lows of a business is really important — it creates the space for others to feel safe in expressing their opinions and feelings. The more you can relate with your team, the better you will be at communicating.
How do you incorporate these qualities in your day-to-day work to lead by example?
I try my best to incorporate these qualities into my day-to-day. From a recruiting and execution standpoint, I am very upfront about the amount of ownership you will have in your role. Since Ada has grown so quickly, it is important that we create space for new team members to bring their past perspectives into the company. If you think about it, because of our growth every 6-8 months, we are revisiting how we operate as a business. Without these new perspectives we would be much slower to get to our goals.
One of my favorite parts about working with Mike Murchison — CEO and Co-founder — is that he always challenges me to think about ideal states versus focusing on incremental change. I find that this forces me to revisit what I’ve prioritized and consider if there’s a better ranking of initiatives to get me there.
Empathy is a big part of Ada and our day-to-day life. The company does a wonderful job at inclusion and ensuring all voices are heard. This is reflective in my team — we are supportive of one another, we challenge one another, and we encourage one another to grow.
Why do you think the customer experience should be a crucial KPI for brands today?
As a brand, your real competition is the last great brand experience your customer had. Great customer experiences increase lifetime customer value. Automation is exciting in that it enables consistent and measurable CX at scale, something that simply isn’t possible with a human-first approach. As the adoption of automation in CX becomes commonplace, brands will need to better measure CX in order to stay competitive.
Sarah Fox is a scuba-diving, animal-loving journalist turned content marketer. In her career, she’s covered stories on development, written profiles on notable philanthropists, and interviewed celebrities with a passion for giving back. When she’s not producing content for Ada, Sarah’s likely fawning over her dog somewhere in the woods.