Rachel Francoeur is a woman of action. As an Implementation Consultant at Upland, she truly listens to customers so she can help them make the best use of our products. She has also been a tremendous force in her own career growth by building strong relationships within her teams and advocating for herself.
Hear more about her passion for customer success and “asking for the ball” in her own words below.
Q: Who are you and what do you do?
A: My name is Rachel Francoeur and I currently hold the Implementation Consultant role here at Upland for InGenius. My day-to-day work is to be the liaison between our customers, their requests, and our Professional Services development team. Basically, I’m here to work with clients to be able to understand the problem they’re looking to solve, provide some solutions and recommendations, and then coordinate with our development team to be able to deliver on those solutions.
Q: How did you start working here?
A: I was folded into the Upland family through the InGenius acquisition in October of 2019. I had been working with InGenius for about two years before the acquisition. I then became an Uplander, and it’s been such a great journey.
Q: How did you adjust to Upland after being acquired?
A: As one would probably expect with any merger and acquisition, there was a lot of work to be done. But I really felt that the acquisition went as smoothly as it possibly could; the people are really what made it work. It was very collaborative and there was a lot of discussion. What I found refreshing about it is that the people that I would report into through Upland were very open and receptive to understanding how InGenius had been operating as a business and collaborating with our customers. They wanted to hear from us on how that all worked. We had to make some big shifts, but I think it went as well as I think it possibly could have.
Q: You’ve been client-facing in your five years with InGenius and Upland. What do you like about working with customers?
A: I like having things shaken up a bit! You never know from one day to the next what you’re going to come across as a success manager. You’re dealing with a specific book of business and individual customers that you work with very closely. I get to deal with the legal side, the financial side, and closing deals with orders; that was really interesting and kept things moving. Now that I’ve moved into the consultation role, it’s even more varied because I have a wider group of customers that I get to work with. They make it fun and interesting! I will probably always stay customer-facing, as much as I can.
Q: How have you grown your career?
A: My growth story, I have to say, has been pretty tremendous. I started as business development representative at InGenius; I was working with our incoming prospects, setting them up for demos and discoveries with our account executives. Then, I swiftly moved into the customer success role. We were building the customer success program at InGenius and got to collaborate in that space when Upland acquired InGenius. That’s really where it began to escalate. The skills that I was acquiring working for Upland were super helpful in helping me not just build on soft skills, but skills within the organization and understanding how it worked. I got to work with some amazing people that I reported into within the Customer Success department, and now within Professional Services. They’ve all been very open and honest with me.
Q: Wow, that’s amazing. Can you say more about what you’ve learned, and what your next steps are?
A: I have always believed that I should stay as honest as I can with my direct reports, making sure that they understand where I’m at and what am I looking to accomplish. The next phase in my professional career with Upland is to start moving into a leadership role. I’m leveraging my one-on-one meetings with my director. We’re talking a lot about not just making sure that I’m doing the role that I’m meant to do efficiently and well, but also continuing to look forward in the future. I think leadership is on the horizon for me, and I am taking as many steps with my director as I can, such as asking for projects to be placed on my plate. I really respond well to those. I’m looking forward to expanding and becoming more of a contributor to Upland within a leadership capacity.
Q: It’s so impressive that you’ve had so much success in growing your career, and you still want to develop and grow more. Can you say more about what fuels that?
A: I’m part of the Women in Tech Employee Resource Group here at Upland, and it’s been such a tremendous experience. I’m so thankful that my teammates brought me in. There was a podcast that we listened to that I really used in my own career. At one point they said you need to “ask for the ball.” You need to ask for the responsibilities to assume those responsibilities and learn. I was in a position where someone had exited the company, and I was asking for the largest InGenius client. I wanted to be their success manager. So, I went to our Vice President of Success, and I asked her straight out. I said “I want this account; I want the ball. Give me the ball.” And I got that account!
Q: How did it feel to “ask for the ball” in that situation? What was going through your head?
A: It was nerve- wracking because there was, of course, the chance that they could have said “No, we have someone else in mind.” Was it a large chance? I don’t know. But advocating for myself has always been something that I have struggled with. I am learning to find my voice and say I can do this, even if I don’t feel like I can do it inside. I just need to assume that role, do it, and then prove myself wrong. It was nerve-wracking, but I believe I came to the table with some good data. I stated the reasons why I believed I would be the great Customer Success Manager that this account needed. It worked out, and I was granted the account. I was super happy, but I was nervous to ask for that.
Q: What do you want people to know about your Upland experience?
A: Honestly, working for Upland has been great. My growth has far exceeded any expectations I had when we were first acquired. I am so thankful to have the opportunities that I’ve been given and granted throughout my time; I know I’ve earned them.