Emilia D’Anzica has developed a passion for SaaS products, women in tech, and customer success starting her career in Silicon Valley. She has cultivated rich experience and knowledge after leading teams at global companies, including Jobvite, WalkMe, and BrightEdge.
Emilia has also obtained an MBA from Saint Mary’s College of California focusing on Global Competition and Strategy. She founded Growth Molecules, an emerging management consulting firm, helping companies simplify customer success and become more profitable. She is globally recognized as a top 25 leader in Customer Success, having received numerous accolades for her work, and is well-known as a customer success speaker. Emilia has also been featured in countless media, including Forbes.com, at SaaStr Annual Conference, B2B Rocks, RD Summit LATAM, and more.
Originally from Naples, Italy, Emilia is an immigrant and one of six children who grew up in Kelowna, British Columbia. She has lived and worked in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Rome, Italy, early in her career. When she isn’t working or traveling the world, Emilia spends time with her partner, three children, and multiple animals exploring Sonoma County, where she now resides. Pressing ON as a Tech Mom: How Tech Industry Mothers Set Goals, Define Boundaries & Raise the Bar for Success is Emilia’s first book.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Emilia D’Anzica: Growth Molecules™ is a management consulting firm focused on helping companies retain and expand customers. We focus on business-to-business software as a service (SaaS) companies that are seeking to build and optimize how they ensure product adoption. We offer diagnostics, recommendations, coaching, playbooks, training, and workshops to help you and your company grow. We also have a CSA Accredited Academy that enables customer success professionals to develop essential business skills.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Emilia D’Anzica: Focus Your Business. If you try to be too many things at once, offering too many different services, soon you will not be serving your target market. Staying focused on the pain point your personas seek to alleviate is how you will grow faster. You can diversify your offerings once you have a steady stream of customers.
Don’t try to do everything on your own. Get help, and grow your business faster by outsourcing anything that isn’t a focus or can be done by others. The greatest leaders surround themselves with talent and understand the value of building a great team to run faster.
Know your unique differentiator: You will have competitors and it is good to have them as they keep you sharp. However, when someone asks, why should we select your partnership over someone else? Make sure you know your answer and provide data to support your answer.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Emilia D’Anzica: Building a good CS Strategy/Team: Investing in training and education for your CS Teams, that help increase your customer rate.
Customer Marketing: It’s not just about Sales teams coming together, it’s about including your go-to-market teams when planning 2022.
Bring in outside perspectives to discuss trends: Your customers! Consultants who have been in your shoes before. So often companies forget to look at what best-in-class looks like and fresh ideas will invigorate your team’s thinking.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Emilia D’Anzica: It changed because we went from meeting face to face to meeting over Zoom, and in most businesses, we were used to meeting live. We have adapted by having our meetings via Zoom with respect to our clients who are still adapting to COVID/pandemic aftermath.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Emilia D’Anzica: Investing in a Zoom paid account would have been good advice back then since now it has become one of the number 1 tools for meetings.
Putting together a group of people/team that wants to see the industry scale.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Emilia D’Anzica: Ideally, that business could go back to the experiences of doing live meetings but would be good that all the companies that emerge because of the pandemic focus on expanding their customer base and rate, strategy, and plan a path forward for the marketing expansion side.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Emilia D’Anzica: 10 – 12 hours a day, and sometimes more. As work from home mom, I spend more hours in front of a computer with kids’ homework and managing my own company that requires a day full of meetings. As well, it seems there is always another school form to sign and I find myself scrambling to finish the overdue forms late at night.
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Emilia D’Anzica: We teach a course on the power of storytelling to build relationships with customers and show the impact of a product or service. We have numerous case studies on our website and 44 G2 reviews that show the impact of our services offered to clients. If you can show the impact through data and stories, it is more challenging to expand your business. People relate to people and stories, not name or logo dropping.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Emilia D’Anzica: The war and the fluctuating economy aren’t helping companies that want to partner with management consulting firms right now. Tech companies are laying off employees, and until a company has a customer retention challenge, they don’t seek support from a firm like ours unless they have a churn problem or their leadership is proactive in creating a best-in-class customer experience from the beginning.
Seeq, a software with advanced analytics capabilities for the industrial process manufacturing sector, is a good example of a company which we collaborated with from the beginning of its customer success program development. Having more of these success stories to share will help us develop more relationships with companies who are afraid to invest in their customer programs a company like Growth Molecules™ has a team of experienced customer success leaders with proven success rates.
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Emilia D’Anzica: Marketing Strategies: Doubling down on marketing strategies to grow the registration numbers for our customer success academy for customer success managers and leaders.
Adult Education Partnership Development: Developing more partnerships with higher education institutes like Devry Institute, Saint Mary’s College of California, and the San Francisco University to offer custom courses and technology services to help mutual clients excel in customer success manager and leadership training that is needed in today’s Software-as-service businesses. Too many people are coming out of university without skills needed in the tech space – essential skills such as applying emotional intelligence to client conversations.
Technology Certifications: We are also investing in our team to gain Gainsight and other customer success platform certifications so that we can help customers select the best technology for their customer and team needs and then help them implement it in a way to enable better relationships, intelligence, and revenue growth.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Emilia D’Anzica: I have had those terrible bosses and they are the reason I have left the majority of my jobs. I had the courage to tell some of them how they negatively impacted their team and why I was leaving. One thanked me years later for opening their eyes. Not all leaders have high Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and yet they continue to climb the corporate ladder. They are the ones who don’t realize they are poor leaders. If more companies invested in EQ training, we would better and more compassionate leaders.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Emilia D’Anzica: I would like to build financial models and marketing programs to achieve financial goals for forecasting faster in spreadsheets and in HubSpot which is a customer relationship platform we use.
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Emilia D’Anzica: On a personal level: Confusion, agony, disbelief. 220 Shootings have occurred in 2022 so far, on day 144. Innocent children, my children’s age are being murdered. I can’t help but be fearful for our families. To combat these feelings, I am going to make this a year of speaking up and standing up for what I believe in.
On a business level: We applied and invested to Bolster Prime. It is for start-up CEOs who are ready to scale. Investing in weekly coaching by a serial entrepreneur and joining a community of founders to help our company grow is important to me. Both Sabina Pons, Operating Partner at Growth Molecules, and my co-author of Pressing ON as a Tech Mom, engaged in this 15-month program for first-time CEOs. We believe that by investing in ourselves, we will be better leaders and better service providers.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Emilia D’Anzica for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Emilia D’Anzica or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.