Meet the Centercode Account Executive Team

Working on the frontlines of the Customer Validation industry, Centercode’s account executive team members are experts on the challenges facing today’s CV professionals. They regularly interface with people across industries, departments, companies, and levels of experience to help them discover solutions for building more effective CV test processes that lead to better products.

With the 2020 Customer Validation Industry Report drawing focus to how test managers are spending their time and where they’re encountering obstacles, we asked our account executive team to share a little bit about themselves and what they’ve learned from working in the field.

Meet the Centercode Account Executives | Tim

Tim Savant

VP of Sales

How long have you worked at Centercode?

I’ve been with Centercode for just over a year.

What’s a piece of outdated technology that you miss from back in the day?

My old Panasonic boombox (with dual cassette and CD player!). I saved up for months to buy that thing and I loved it.

What’s your favorite album to listen to while you’re working?

I’m usually tuned into a channel on Pandora or Spotify. Recently, I’ve been listening to the Avett Brothers. I’m also a big Audible guy. I’m currently halfway through Malcolm Gladwell’s Talking to Strangers.

What’s the best HBO series, current or past?

The first season of True Detective was stellar — suspense, drama, excellent acting, taut writing, and a fantastic ending.

What’s something you learned from speaking to CV professionals that surprised you about the industry?

While there are many folks who run Customer Validation tests, I learned that the ones who love performing that work are generally the most successful. For some people, the products they’re bringing to market are like their children. Those are also the people who are the most passionate about pre-release customer feedback. Ensuring the success of their products in the open market fuels their daily fire.

What do you think would surprise people to hear is a common challenge for people trying to start or run a CV program?

Getting buy-in to centralize the Customer Validation process within their company. Consistent and repeatable processes are key to getting customers to provide fantastic, ongoing feedback. But it’s not uncommon for companies to decentralize their CV efforts, letting those programs live with individual stakeholders or product managers. This makes it challenging to truly maximize the value a high-quality customer testing program brings to a company.

Many of our most successful customers have been able to carve out a dedicated team within their organization to handle these processes. Because of this, they’ve been able to truly streamline their efforts and become experts in the field.

Tell me something you heard on the job that’s changed the way you think.

More than once, customers have told us that Centercode was the first call they made when they started a position at a new company — after they set up their work computer but before they filled out their HR profile. Seeing repeat customers come back as they grow in their careers has definitely impacted how I speak to new potential customers. It feels good to know that we’ve become so integral to the daily work that people perform.

Meet the Centercode Account Executives | Connor

Connor Mills

Account Executive

How long have you worked at Centercode?

6 months

What’s a piece of outdated technology that you miss from back in the day?

My Nokia brick phone. Specifically for playing Snake.

What’s your favorite album to listen to while you’re working?

Nightsky by Tracey Chattaway. I can only listen to instrumental music while I’m working.

What’s the best HBO series, current or past?

I loved Entourage, but Game of Thrones united people around the world. It was great having something to bond over with strangers. Also, dragons.

Tell me something you heard on the job that’s changed the way you think.

I recently spoke to a CV professional about Centercode’s ability to create your own community of test candidates. They saw a lot of value in recruiting testers within their own implementation, rather than their current method of sending out disorganized invites to individuals through siloed emails or Facebook groups. Since then, I always make it a point to drive home Centercode’s community functions.

What do you think would surprise people to hear is a common challenge for people trying to start or run a CV program?

Deriving high-priority feedback is a struggle I often hear about from CV professionals. Many test managers are operating their CV programs out of their inboxes without realizing how it sabotages their efficiency. At a certain point, organizing and triaging feedback via email makes it hard for even seasoned test managers to form actionable recommendations.

What’s something you learned from speaking to CV professionals that surprised you about the industry?

One customer opened my eyes to how comfortable companies are with the status quo. It made me realize that I need to help professionals become agents of change in order to show their stakeholders there are more effective and fruitful ways to approach Customer Validation.

Meet the Centercode Account Executives | Andrew

Andrew Parker

Account Executive

How long have you worked at Centercode?

1 year

What’s a piece of outdated technology that you miss from back in the day?

T-Mobile Sidekick II

What’s your favorite album to listen to while you’re working?

Rolling Stones Radio on Spotify

What’s the best HBO series, current or past?

The Sopranos. It really stresses the importance of a healthy work-life balance.

What’s something you learned from speaking to CV professionals that surprised you about the industry?

A lot of Customer Validation programs spring up in response to something like negative product reviews. I’m always looking for ways to help shift the narrative from reactive to proactive so that the conversation is less about reviews and more about long-lasting benefits, like ensuring quality and satisfaction.

What do you think would surprise people to hear is a common challenge for people trying to start or run a CV program?

Company-wide support and the funding that comes with it. I see a lot of programs pulling budget from other departments just to get their CV program off the ground — even when the product is the face of their organization.

Tell me something you heard on the job that’s changed the way you think.

Someone on a call told me, “I am the product of my product’s success or failure.” Successful products aren’t just important to the company — they’re a milestone in a product manager’s career. Recognizing the effect a product has on someone’s personal success or failure motivates me to explore every way that Centercode can positively impact what they do.

Meet the Centercode Account Executives | Brandon

Brandon Rego

Account Executive

How long have you worked at Centercode?

4 years and 4 months.

What’s a piece of outdated technology that you miss from back in the day?

I miss handheld analog tape recorders.

What’s your favorite album to listen to while you’re working?

Gustav Holst’s The Planets. Butters and I listen to it on a regular basis.

Meet the Centercode Account Executives | Brandon & Honeybutter

Brandon and his 6-month-old lab, Honeybutter (“Butters”)

What’s the best HBO series, current or past?

Game of Thrones, but only seasons one through four. It really changed how people watched and talked about TV, and what they thought was possible for twists and turns in a show.

What’s something you learned from speaking to CV professionals that surprised you about the industry?

One thing that’s always stuck with me is how most people realize the importance of Customer Validation, yet have little understanding of any proven process for achieving success in this field. Of course, that’s why Centercode exists. Our team here is always developing and testing best-practice methodologies for collecting useful feedback. We just need to spread the word!

Tell me something you heard on the job that’s changed the way you think.

I hear over and over again how difficult it is to set aside time for testing in a world so focused on hitting go-to-market deadlines. As a result, I’ve changed the way I help companies strategize and plan for CV by offering a more proactive approach based on their end-goals. Instead of simply working backward from a release date, I focus on building a step-by-step plan based on how ready the product is for launch.

What do you think would surprise people to hear is a common challenge for people trying to start or run a CV program?

Understanding and properly addressing how important their testers’ experiences are inside of their overall CV program. I think it’s easy for some companies to forget that a targeted group of testers are also customers (or prospective customers) and that their experiences within the beta community are an important part of nurturing that relationship.

Get Up-Close and Personal with the Industry

Centercode’s account executive team is up-close and personal with the industry. You can deepen your understanding of the challenges facing CV programs with a thorough exploration of the field, straight from the words of the professionals shaping it. See how tools and processes affect time management and get insights for driving program improvement by reading the full 2020 Customer Validation Industry Report.

Read the 2020 Customer Validation Industry Report

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