How Evolving From Customer To Tech Insider Helps Customers Win
Patrick Meyer is the Senior Manager of Solution Engineering at DocuSign, a platform that helps organizations connect and automate how they prepare, sign, act on, and manage agreements. As part of the DocuSign Agreement Cloud, DocuSign offers eSignature: the world's #1 way to sign electronically on practically any device.
Patrick is also a practitioner in wealth management as an executive director of a New York-based RIA. He has an extensive background in wealth management, having spent seven years in institutional client solutions at Northern Trust Asset Management and working with some of the US' largest pensions.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
Why Patrick Meyer pivoted from finance to join a tech solution company
How DocuSign helps its customers win
The evolution of DocuSign’s business model
Problems that companies in wealth management face during growth
How AI is improving customer experience
Patrick’s advice for business success
In this episode…
Are you spending a lot of time and money managing your paperwork? Have you considered automating your processes?
The business world runs on agreements, and manually handling them takes time and money. Leveraging technology to simplify, connect, and automate agreement processes helps accelerate business growth. Learn how companies can digitally prepare, sign, and manage agreements through DocuSign.
In this episode of The Customer Wins, Richard Walker sits down with Patrick Meyer, Senior Manager and Solution Engineering at DocuSign, to discuss how DocuSign accelerates business and simplifies the life of their customers. Patrick explains why he pivoted from finance to join a tech solution company, problems companies in wealth management face when growing, and how AI is improving customer experience.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Patrick Meyer’s Email: email@example.com
Sponsor for this episode...
This is brought to you by Quik!
At Quik!, we provide forms automation and management solutions for companies seeking to maximize their potential productivity.
Our vision is to become the leading forms automation company by making paperwork the easiest part of every transaction.
Meanwhile, our mission is to help the top firms in the financial industry raise their bottom line by streamlining the customer experience with automated, convenient solutions.
Go to www.quickforms.com to learn more, or contact us with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to The Customer Wins podcast where business leaders discuss their secrets and techniques for helping their customers succeed and in turn grow their business.
Richard Walker 0:16
Hi, I'm Rich Walker, the host of The Customer Wins where I talk to business leaders about how they help their customers win and how their focus on customer experience leads to growth. Some of our past guests include Randy Cass, the CEO of NestWealth, and Adrian Johnstone, the president of Practifi. Today I'm speaking with Patrick Meyer, Senior Manager, solution engineer at DocuSign. Today's episode is brought to you by Quik! the leader in enterprise forms automation. If your sales process depends on filling out forms, especially if you want them electronically signed with DocuSign, then you should be using Quik!. We make filling out forms the easiest part of your transaction, visit quikforms.com to get started. Before introducing today's guests, I want to give a big thank you to Miles Burns, who is the Senior Partner Manager financial services at DocuSign for introducing me to Patrick and being an excellent partner manager, be sure to check out their website at docusign.com. Now I'd like to introduce our guests Patrick Meyer. Patrick runs the Financial Services solution engineering organization at DocuSign. While also directing DocuSigns Wealth Management, go to market strategy. What's most interesting to me is that Patrick is also a practitioner in wealth management as an executive director of a New York-based RIA, or registered investment advisor. In other words, he is his own customer. This is possible because of Patrick's extensive background in wealth management, first spending seven years and Institutional Client Solutions at Northern Trust Asset Management. Working with the US is largest pensions, 401 K's foundations and family offices. And then Patrick joined a boutique hedge fund where he implemented new systems and started working closely with DocuSign. Patrick, welcome to The Customer Wins.
Patrick Meyer 1:55
Thanks, Richard, thanks for having me. I'm excited for this since you started talking about it.
Richard Walker 2:00
Oh, man, I'm so excited to talk to you too. Now, if you haven't heard this podcast before I talk with business leaders about what they're doing to help their customers win, how they build and deliver a great customer experience and the challenges to growing their own company. Patrick, I want to understand your business a little better. Now, look, I know, everybody knows DocuSign it makes it easy to sign documents. But from your perspective, especially in wealth management, how does your company help people?
Patrick Meyer 2:24
Yeah, I think one of the things that we're trying to look at DocuSign is what happens before and after the signature. So, the longtime question that we started thinking about was, you can't really automate much of the agreement process unless you automate or at least allow for an electronic signature. And so once you make it available, that you can sign something electronically, now you've opened this door to okay, what can we do before and after that? And so, part of what we've been working on lately, especially within the wealth management space, we've opened the door, how then can we help people, sort of prepare these agreements, obviously didn't undo the signature, but then the things that happened afterwards, move data, some sort of downstream workflow more than likely takes place. And so we're trying to open up that catalog of process automation, because we felt there was an opportunity in the market to go after that. And they've been a big focus of ours for the past couple of years.
Richard Walker 3:31
Yeah, I often joke with people that if you are invested in a sales process, especially as the buyer like buying a house or something, and you go through all this work to come to that agreement, you're going to do it. And then the last step is you do all this paperwork. But people don't even realize what happens to that paperwork. And you guys are enabling that.
Patrick Meyer 3:50
I never heard that term before I came to DocuSign. But we don't even really call the signature part, the signature, we call it the signing ceremony. If you've ever been on a demo with us, you hear us call it the ceremony, because really, it's a step in the bigger event. And so, it's us trying to put that concept in a place that, hey, this is a step of the process. Once we've got that we can get bigger.
Richard Walker 4:16
Yeah, I know, clients want to be able to push data through the system, get it back to their systems. I know you guys have strong integration with Salesforce to pull data back and forth. Yeah, you guys are really enabling a big, big part of the workflow and the process that people go through. Now, let me go back. Why did you even get started on this path? I mean, think about it. You were in financial services, why didn't you just stay a practitioner, what made you want to go join a tech solution company?
Patrick Meyer 4:40
Richard Walker 7:58
I swear next time, you're at a social function, and you will get introduced, somebody says, Patrick, what do you do? You should say, I help people not go to jail.
Patrick Meyer 8:07
Yeah, and I use that story quite a bit. Because I think it resonates with the world of wealth managers, and I'll try honestly, it was a very eye-opening experience for me.
Richard Walker 8:20
Yeah. Okay. So then you go join DocuSign. And when you first joined, who did you consider to be your customer?
Patrick Meyer 8:27
I went to DocuSign with the intention of DocuSign being my customer, really, you sort of look at it and say, what's the one thing that if I'm explaining to them, so as I was going through the audit, and I was explaining to the sales team, what my intentions were, and they had no idea why I was doing this, I sort of had to walk them through the solution that I came up with. And so my epiphany moment was, oh, maybe they don't know enough about this industry. And maybe that's my opportunity to come and educate them. Because if I can educate them on this industry and help them think about it the way that I did, then we can probably drive better solutions throughout the industry. If you've got, I forget what the number is, but a couple million incumbent customers, if you can start having better ideas, then you can start affecting more people. So rather than affect just myself, I can affect a bigger population. So they were my original customer coming into this whole scenario.
Richard Walker 8:27
Yeah, I personally have seen the impact you've had, because I've been working with DocuSign since 2007. And I think originally the strategy was just get people to sign documents. And that's mainly contracts, right? And I looked at it from a form standpoint, said you're signing a lot of forms. You're looking at it from compliance from the workflow from the business reasons that wealth managers have to and you're right, I don't think they understood that back then. So what is one of your favorite customer success stories, then, like how did you help DocuSign help those customers win and what was their outcome?
Patrick Meyer 9:57
I think one of the things that was going on at DocuSign, and it became such a high pattern recognition is people want to work with forms, but they don't want to be in the forms management business. And so the Achilles heel that we always had to deal with was someone would say, like, hey, can you get the custodians forms into the DocuSign package, and help us with that, and the most up to date and everything. And so that was a pattern that was going on. But then the forms piece is one component of the onboarding package. And so I know this from having to do it for a long time. And so DocuSign bought this technology called CLM. And it opened up the ability for us to do document generation. And so there was this pattern where customers would say, hey, we want to be able to do our own agreement, and then we want to pull these forms. And it wasn't until actually, we met that I started to figure out how to do that. But then all of a sudden, once we were able to layer those two products together, we were able to offer, like the full package to customers, and some of them knew that they wanted it others didn't necessarily know that the doc Gen component was possible. And so, quickly, it was very quickly after you and I started talking that we did find a customer that brought that problem to us, and they said, hey, we got this internal document that we're trying to put together. And we also need to get the forms right in a way that we're not going to be managing them. And so, the intersection of that in providing a solution to the customer that never existed before. And it wasn't like, we had a solution fishing for a problem, it was like, this was a problem that we had to find a solution to, and a customer came to arise to ask for that, that was probably one of the more proud solutions or things that we've done for a customer within Wealth Management here to date, or actual product to date. And, you know, it's something that has then been repeated a couple of times over. So it wasn't just a one-and-done, but it's actually something that was addressing a hole in the market, we thought.
Richard Walker 12:10
yeah, and I think one of the fundamental things that's almost funny about this is that you think about, okay, the advisor doesn't want to have this problem. But it's actually the investor who doesn't want to have this problem. We're serving an advisor, you're helping them do better to win their clients, but their investor is a human who just doesn't want to work that hard. They don't want to receive two emails to sign two different sets of documents for one transaction. I mean, that's just a fundamental little thing.
Patrick Meyer 12:38
We hear that from, like, who's the customer in this scenario? Is it the adviser? Is it the end investor? Or is it the custodian? Because I've heard the problem from all three, right? We've heard customers say, you know, we just want one envelope, give us a quote, unquote, super envelope. And then as we talked, you were like, yeah, it's also a problem for the advisors. Because that's the demand from the customer. But most recently, I was talking with some custodians, and they brought this up to us and said, like, hey, did you know that this intermediary exists? And we're hearing from RAAs that they want to put our forms inside of an envelope along with some other things, and they want to help automate that. And so, now you've got three different stakeholders in the industry sort of saying the same thing. Hard to avoid that and hard not to do something about that.
Richard Walker 13:34
Yeah, watch, like a duck looks like a duck. Sounds like a duck. Right?
Patrick Meyer 13:37
Yeah. Monty Python.
Richard Walker 13:40
One of the things that I really admire about DocuSign, watching them grow for so many years, is how DocuSign is willing to evolve. So I have to imagine I want to ask you, as you've helped your customers win, how have you changed or how has your product or your team changed as a result of what you've learned?
Patrick Meyer 13:57
We're actually going through a transition at the moment within the org that I work in, we've forever called ourselves, quote, unquote, engineers. We pride ourselves on saying, We've got this toolbox full of tools. And when a customer brings us an issue, we can look through our toolbox and understand what's going on. We think that there's more value, though. And the value becomes, can we consult them on what's going on within the industry and not necessarily be the recipient of a problem, but also the broader thought of, here's what's going on? Can we make suggestions? Can we be more consultative. Some people call that solution selling. I think that we're not trying to necessarily sell we're trying to consult. And so I sort of, like get away with the idea of the solution selling and think more, we need to consult customers, we need to sit down with them evaluate what they're doing all together. It's sort of becomes more of a management consulting than anything. And so we're sort of transitioning an entire org to think differently and say, we are engineers by nature. But really, in a new environment here that maybe the whole SaaS industry is looking at is that we need to be more consultative and less engineering focused, because the customer is going to have to bring us the things that they're focused on. And we're going to have to understand holistically what they're doing not necessarily like, what's this sniper shot solution that you need. It's what's going on with the company altogether. And maybe we can help you think about things that are going on within the company, and how they relate to a document process that maybe you didn't understand before. So yeah, I would say that's sort of the biggest mind paradigm shift that I'm sort of going through right now.
Richard Walker 15:44
That's great to hear. I often think about how you grow a business, you either acquire new customers, or you sell to current customers, right. But no matter what path you choose, or all of them, it's about the customer, still, you have to help those customers. And when you get into their shoes, like you're talking about and understand them better. I mean, that's why you're successful. So let me ask you another perspective, as you've been working with companies and wealth management more and more, especially at DocuSign with this new perspective, what do you think is the number one problem they face and growing their business? And do you think there's a way to overcome that problem?
Patrick Meyer 16:16
Yeah, I think I'll say two things. There's like a risk component to it to growing their business. And then I think there's, like advisor acquisition. So at the RAA that I work at, we're constantly trying to bring new advisors over, that's how we're going to grow the business. I think, when you ask an advisor to transition from the RAA, or the broker-dealer that they're at right now and come to your business as big as the value prop you could offer in terms of a; we have more sophisticated investment strategies, we have people that have higher pedigree and experience, their concern is the leakage, it's, as soon as I tried to shift from one company to another, I should expect that a significant amount of the AUM that I have at the current company is not going to follow me. And then that's the revenue I'm not going to bring over. And so that's why the onboarding and the streamlining of that and how quickly we can help an advisor, sort of repaper their book of business, if you will, is going to make it easier for them to, I always have this like thought in my head of someone running out of a big wirehouse and hopping in a cab and telling the cabbie go, go, go, and get to the new RAA, and it's like, that cab is like sort of what we're trying to recreate. And it's like the vehicle of which you can speed away from your current RAA and get to the new one. I think that's ultimately, like a big problem for RAAs is they got to get new advisors in and they got to convince him to come over, and they got to have the technology that allow them to bring as much over as they possibly can, the technological component as it relates to risk is are you going to be able to use data that exists in all these agreements, and use it accordingly to help enrich the systems. And I've seen a lot of times where people can get in trouble at the at the RAAs or at the small end, the big level, where if you've got, say like a risk-restricted stock that you're not allowed to buy, because the person that you're managing money for is an executive, and they can't own their own security or own stock within a portfolio. If that fails to make its way from the agreement down to the system, you can blow out a whole year's of revenue on a simple key error. And so I think that's going to be a significant thing for RAAs going forward too, is that as people get more particular of what they're invested, and that's put in a contract, you have to make sure that that makes its way into a system. Because if it doesn't, then you could go through a year working for a customer and not make a penny off of them, because you had to back out of a security and how much it costs you to do that, depending on which way the market move will mean you don't make any money on them.
Richard Walker 16:17
Yeah, that's a good point. And I think a lot of systems are getting smarter. So that actually shifts me to a topic that I'm totally enamored with right now. And I wonder if you are as well being in the tech space, and that is artificial intelligence. Because when I think about the customer experience, I'm always thinking there's got to be better ways to make it work. So how do you see artificial intelligence or AI improving your customers experiences or impacting the ability of practitioners like yourself to even serve wealth management clients better?
Patrick Meyer 19:40
I think it ties well into this idea of being more consultative, I think between the AI and buyers being more educated. I would expect the buying process of SaaS as this stuff sort of like becomes more prevalent to change significantly. I think when I saw Chat GPT first come out, my initial thought was like, wow, chatbots? And what can you do with a chatbot? And how can I have a chatbot, be on a portal where people can self-surface or self-service, purchase something and be able to do like the surfacing of a contract the price negotiation and things like that, or any kind of questions, they might have handled a significant amount of the sales process. And so, then what then trickles out that the AI maybe can't handle and maybe in the future, it will, but at the moment, maybe not, is the every customer has a consideration that they're trying to make it through, and you need somebody to take that spill over that the AI isn't handling. And that there's a spectrum of complexity of a solution that a customer might need, when you need someone that's consultative, to hear the complexity, and go along that spectrum to find like, what's the proper solution? And so, chat AI sort of allows for that, because you can take more resources and stack it on that complexity-solving spectrum, and not so much habit beyond the how many widgets do you need? And at what price? Because it seems like that sort of can get handled through the AI component. I think like big companies will start to see that sort of happen, and there's going to be different levels of impact for where you work in the company, and how that's going to impact you. On the other side of the coin, there, I guess is, what can that do for a small business, and business partner that I work with, I showed him ChatGPT. And his original reaction was, oh, my God, I don't have to hire a salesperson now. Because I'm going to have this thing write my marketing campaign for me, and sort of like, do that that whole workflow for me, which is, evident by if you go on LinkedIn, you see a lot of sales people posting, oh, look at look at ChatGPT wrote for me in terms of like a prospecting message. So I think small businesses, they get to do more with less and, you know, big businesses get to re-shift resources to be on the harder things to tackle than the easier.
Richard Walker 19:43
Yeah, I think it's a really interesting time right now. Hey, as we get close to the end here, I want to help other customers or other business leaders who are watching this or listening to this, learn something. You've been doing this for a while, is there a key lesson or a secret that you could share with everybody?
Patrick Meyer 22:17
Yeah, I think it's the sort of the theme of who I am. And what I do. It's, put yourself in the customers shoes first, Jamie Dimon said it, and it's something like, the best way to look at a business is from the customer's perspective. And someone at DocuSign once told me, never have a solution fishing for a product, but come up with, or sorry, never have a solution fishing for a problem, but have a problem, and then fish for the solution. One of the things that I've always tried to do, and that's where the practitioner and technologist comes in, as every time something happens, it's not my immediate perspective to think there isn't, oh, how can DocuSign sell that? My perspective is, why would a customer want to use this? How would I use this if I was still in the business? And so, as I go through these things, like, audits, my immediate reaction is going to be like, all right, well, what am I going to do to solve this, and then I find my way to like, maybe something that DocuSign might have. And so that way, I'm not trying to force the idea. I'm naturally coming to the same conclusion. And so if you can naturally come to the same conclusion that your customers will, then it's sort of easy to align with their problem, because you came to the same problem, I would say so. Thinking from their shoes before anything else.
Richard Walker 23:59
Be your own customer first. In other words, that's great. Hey, as we wrap this up, I have another question to ask you. But before I even asked that, how do people connect with you? What's the best way for people to find you?