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August 6, 2019

Why I’m Stoked for Commenting in Lexio

By: Stef Caldwell

 Live in a notification-free world

Narrative Science recently afforded the entire customer success team the opportunity to go to Pulse, the Gainsight Customer Success conference in San Francisco. A four-day event where we were able to hear from executives, thought leaders, and operational workers in the new and rapidly growing SaaS software customer success space. 

During the keynote on the first morning of the conference, I distinctly remember seeing Allison Pickens, the chief operating officer of Gainsight, taking the stage. An audio track played—buzzing, beeping, ringing, honking, all the sounds of the world—and just as she hit center stage, Pickens screamed: “STOP!” On her command, the entire auditorium powered down, leaving the stunned crowd in complete darkness and Pickens lit by bright white spotlights.

The essence of her message that morning was that the world is moving extremely fast, and we are all more connected than we’ve ever been before. While this connection is to our benefit, since the pace of innovation is growing more rapidly than ever before, it is also to our demise. People like Pickens, hell, people like you and me, are all burning out at a pace more rapid than ever before.

So what’s Pickens’ solution? Disconnect.

Power down. Go for a walk in nature. Turn your notifications off and choose when you log in. Choose boundaries. Choose to disconnect entirely. Refresh completely so that when you do power on, your batteries are 100 percent.

My thoughts on this? Hell yes! 

I have been living a notification-free life since August 2018, and it has completely changed my life. With the exception of text messages and phone calls, it is my choice when to turn on to my work life, social life, and home life.  

One issue with this approach is missing the latest and greatest. Being late to the “party” is uncomfortable, and not being able to trace the lineage on a certain issue back to its original source is challenging and, in some cases, impossible. 

  • How many times does someone at work send you a screenshot of a dashboard and ask you a question about the data they see in the company pipeline? You’re out for a three-day weekend, so by the time you’ve had a chance to log in, the data has changed.
  • How many times does someone tag you in a Slack channel midday but due to all day meetings that afternoon, you don’t get around to checking it until the following morning? By then, there are more than 100 messages exchanged. So you get overwhelmed, clear messages, and never actually get an update on what happened.
  • How many times do you get an email from your manager asking for a status update and have to scramble to pull together a cohesive response? 

Our data is changing constantly. In sales and customer success alone, the pace at which we are able to generate new pipeline and book deals is faster than it’s ever been. This is great, but our ability to communicate with one another doesn’t keep up with the pace of change. Our existing tools don’t let us easily capture moments in time to revisit them. So we get lost, become ineffective, communication breaks down, momentum slows, and growth is not possible.

It’s not a feature, it’s a lifestyle

As you hopefully know by now, Lexio is a data storytelling tool. It allows anyone, from anywhere, to log into the system and answer their questions about company revenue performance and future revenue performance in real time, in plain English stories. This tool is already giving analysts and sales directors their weekends back. Chief risk officers, chief executive officers, and chief marketing officers can log in any time of day, any day of the week, and understand the company’s latest performance. This gives them the confidence they need to go into the week without disrupting their team’s weekend, again. But before commenting, they had to wait until Monday to ask the team about the stories. Not today! Not anymore! 

With commenting in Lexio, we are empowering all Lexio users to collaborate directly in the tool and to freeze moments in time that need further discussion. It allows users to ask questions right alongside the stories, freezing the data in its existing state at the time of the comment so any user can return to the root source of the question at their leisure. 

This new feature in Lexio enables people like me, and Pickens, to live a notification-free lifestyle—to disconnect to refresh and not miss a beat. 

  • It enables people like Ryan, our vice president of sales, to go on his annual trip with his dad and brother to the Boundary Waters without worrying what he will miss when he gets home from his 10-day hiatus.  
  • It allows people like Heather, my customer success colleague, to take maternity leave and come back after 12 weeks and understand the status of our company when she left and when she returned.  
  • It empowers people like Stuart, the chief executive officer of Narrative Science, to do exactly what he wants on his Sundays. This sometimes consists of checking in on company performance and commenting in line to the team to see what’s going on with a deal that was projected to close and slipped.  

Commenting let’s us co-exist more productively. It enables bi-directional communication with your team in a way that the analytics world has never before seen, and it’s available in Lexio right now.

We have released the commenting feature, inspired by the Allison Pickens of the world and many of our early Lexio adopters. This includes Marty at FreightVerify and many others who came before them.

Comment away, folks! Comment away!

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