Critical Capabilties of Customer Success Solutions


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Featuring Stephanie Stapleton, Gild's Director of Customer Success, and Jason Lemkin, Managing Director at Storm Ventures and former CEO of Adobe Echosign

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  • Hi everyone and welcome to today’s discussion The Critical Capabilities of Customer Success Solutions. We have some great content and even better speakers. Before we dive in, a few quick items of housekeeping.Before we dive in, a few quick items of housekeeping.
  • With that, please welcome our panelists. With me is Gainsight’s CEO Nick Mehta.Jason Lemkin is a Managing Director at Storm Ventures. Storm has been the first or very early investor in many leading enterprise/SaaS start-ups, including his own EchoSign (acquired by Adobe), Marketo, & MobileIron. Most recently, he served as CEO and co-founder of EchoSign, the web’s most popular electronic signature service, from inception through its acquisition by Adobe Systems Inc.Stephanie Stapleton is Gild’s Director of Customer Success. Her responsibilities include: engaging clients, facilitatingcustomer feedback and ensuring customer satisfaction. Stephanie’s background includes positions in hospitality, corporate event planning and project management.
  • Lots of great content today. Jason will kick off our discussion with Why customer success matters and how you should start thinking about it.Nick will jump in with the key criteria Gainsight’s customers considered, how they brought made Customer Success a priority for their companies, and how they justified the investment.Then Stephanie will share her experiences and when Gild saw value.
  • Tech buying and delivery model changeEasier to try softwareAlso easier to drop if no value
  • Massive implications for your company growth
  • Second order revenue has a lower CAC  More profitable
  • Client success teams put the work in up front so that as to not have to re-sell customers on the value of our service at the 11th hour.Create true attitudinal loyalty by building deep, long-term relationships => make customers love you, your brand, and your product. Those customers are the ones that upgrade and buy moreWorth 50 to 100 percent more than other customers who are “behaviorally loyal” (i.e., renewing out of habit because they’re already committed to using the product in their enterprise). That customer group only buys more when they absolutely have to.Awesome overview Jason, thanks. Now for Nick to share the tactical observations of how Gainsight’s customers considered a solution.
  • Hire One Customer Success Manager for every $2m in ARR.Different approaches based on your ACV size:For $100k+ deals, it’s so few customers per CSM, you need to get on a jet to visit those customers, at least twice a year. Even if you closed them on the phone. The CSM should know everything there it is possible to know about these customers. For $20k+ deals, the dedicated CSM should know most of them reasonably well and their business processes cold. Visit all of them if they are local, some if they are remote (if practical on roadtrips to). Map out the org and who owns and is responsible for what at the end customer at a very granular level. For $5k+ deals, you need to bond in the onboard process or first interaction, and then follow up in an automated but informed fashion. You can’t know everything about 400 customers. But you can try to learn the key facts, and at say 200 work days a year, you can afford to talk to all of them proactively, 3-5 per day. You can. Even this segment doesn’t need to be reactive. There are enough hours in the day to talk to all of them, check in when them, and solve their problems and address their needs before they ever have to create a ticket. Or get angry. Or leave. For $1k+ deals, you need strong systems and automation. But you should still identify issues and proactively reach out when you see them. Some will say you can’t be proactive here. But much as we discussed that you can use salespeople at a $99 price point … if you can sell at $99 … you can manage that $99 customer to success, one way or another.
  • RevenueThe great VPs of Sales mostly want to sell. Not deal with post-sales customer issues and drama.Great VPs of Customer Success put customers first, revenue second. Because they understand implicitly second-order revenue, and that all good things in SaaS stem from happy customers.The VP Sales grows sales. The VP Customer Success maximizes customer success. But neither of those goals are 100% aligned with the sole goal of growing the topline, the MRR. 90% aligned yes, but not 100%. Because of that, sales hates churn … but obsesses over it less than a lost sale. Because of that, customer success usually cares more about churn … and cares, but less, about the extra dollar here and there from the installed base. If you want to maximize the revenue from your entire revenue process — sales to new customers to renewals to upsells — someone senior’s #1 job has to be not just sales, and not just retention, and not just upgrades — but maximizing MRR.Success StrategyAdoption: When companies are just getting started, they often don’t have a lot of renewals coming up, especially if they are on annual or multi-year contracts. As such, Customer Success isn’t about retention or up-sell – it’s simply about getting customers to use and get value from your solution. CSM technology in this phase can help identify which customers are successfully adopting the service and prioritizing Customer Success Mangers’ time to the customers that need help.Retention: Once you have a sizable base of customers coming up for renewal, you’ll start focusing on reducing churn and maximizing the probability of customers staying with you for a long time. Here CSM technologies help you identify renewal and retention risk early and take the right action at the right time.Expansion: As companies move toward the growth stage and get ready IPOs or other exit events, they often start introducing multiple product lines or taking a “land and expand” strategy. Customer Success teams are charged with identifying expansion opportunities and CSM technology can help flag the right time to engage a customer in an up-sell / cross-sell conversation – and what message to deliver.Optimization: Mature Customer Success organizations can get large. Some companies have hundreds of Customer Success Managers or Account Managers. In these stages, businesses often want to scale cost-effectively, by automating processes and increasing the “leverage” of Customer Success teams, in terms of the number of accounts a given Customer Success Manager can address. In addition, some companies want to use technology to push Customer Success activities to Customer Support or to the Marketing Automation system.Transformation: While most SaaS companies aren’t here yet, the long-term opportunity is for Customer Success to be strategic to your business – and to your clients. Mature organizations like have CSM teams that are regarded by customers as true strategic partners. At this stage, CSM technology can help the Customer Success Manager always add value in every interaction through data and best practices.
  • Hi, my name is Stephanie Stapleton, and I’m the Director of Customer Success for Gild. At Gild, we believe the hiring process is broken, and we’re changing the way companies find and hire talent. To fuel our growth and mission, we’re investing in Customer Success to grow with our customers to the next level.
  • Our flagship product is Gild Source, which is a living database of over 6Million software engineers that recruiters and developers can access to find and hire the right technical talent. The core of what Gild Source does is deliver intelligence. We have a science team and proprietary algorithms that evaluate developers based on their actual code and experience, so companies can target the right people based on their merit. Our customers are tech recruiters or engineering hiring managers across all industries - from start-ups like Stitchfix to large companies like Rackspace and Microsoft.I was originally brought into Gild when Gild Source was in beta in Spring of 2012 to take our product to market and build out the Customer Success Team. For the first six months, my role was almost entirely focused on getting feedback from beta customers and then our early adopters to take back to the product team. We ended up hiring our earliest adopter, Brad Warga – who was heading recruiting at Salesforce, as our SVP of Customer Success. We’ve been lucky and in a unique position from day one because our CEO has been invested in Customer Success, and we’ve always had an independent CS department.
  • We went from a 2 person CS team where we knew everything about our 10 customers and had a really relationship driven approach to having hundreds of customers in the year. Good problem to have!It quickly became impossible to have those kinds of relationships where we spent equal time with every customer. So we needed to do a couple of things. When Brad and I sat down to scope out the department, we didn’t have traditional Customer Success backgrounds, so we started building things from scratch based on his knowledge of our customer base which is recruiters. We ended up thinking about what every CSM thinks about – demonstrating value to the customer, retention, customer segmentation, executive business reviews, tools we wanted to implement.  We realized pretty quickly in this building process that we needed to implement some things.
  • First, reporting. We were behind sales and marketing from the get go on the reporting front. They quickly had these pretty dashboards, they always knew exactly what was happening with leads and their numbers. Every time we needed to put together board slides or even answer simple questions, we were either running reports in Salesforce or doing long manual calculations. We were doing NPS surveys through Survey Monkey and then manually assessing the results in a GoogleDoc. We needed a system that was simple, accurate and accessible to the CSMs as well as the leadership team. We also clearly needed to automate a ton of these processes because we were spending so much time putting reports together internally and for customers where valuable time could have been spent with Customers. Our CTO wants to make data driven decisions, and it became increasingly impossible for us to manually do that.  
  •  Second, we needed a way for our CSMs to prioritize their time. The CS team was trying to manually look up every user’s actions in the system on a weekly basis to determine who was engaged and who needed help. We couldn’t be strategic because we were just trying to touch everyone. On top of that, we couldn’t put together a clear upsell strategy because we didn’t know who was truly engaged or who was an evangelist.  
  •  Third, we knew usage wasn’t the only thing affecting customer health and the likelihood of churn. We’d had customers with low usage that had renewed and customers with high usage that churned. We wanted to be more predictive and proactive (doesn’t every CSM).  As a company, we were also trying to figure out things like if renewals should be with Customer Success or Sales and how we were going to implement ticketing support. In our quest for knowledge, I signed up for a Customer Success conference called Pulse. I didn’t know who Gainsight was and hadn’t done any research in to CS technology solutions.
  • The conference was really useful in helping us answer a lot of our questions, and it also brought up a lot of things we hadn’t even thought about. I thought what the team at Gainsight was doing was really cool and innovative, so the world of Customer Success technologies piqued our interest. We decided we wanted to buy, so I did some research in the space and worked with my team to come up with criteria. Our overall goal is to maintain our super high touch customer focus and to be strategic and data driven at the same time. Many of the criteria we came up with, I’ve already mentioned: Reporting and Automation (for everything, usage, NPS, financials, churn, customer info)Prioritization Tools for our CS TeamUnderstanding of our Customer Base at any given point in timeTools to predict churn AND upsell As we started meeting vendors, one of the things that stood out to us was how much we needed and wanted a partner that was expert in the world of Customer Success and that was willing to engage on a deeper level.  Beyond the tool - a vendor that would engage with us to do science projects. We needed to do regression analysis to identify those predictors of churn and upsell. Someone that could share best practices with us, help us organize our department, template things like QBRS. We ended up going with Gainsight as a Customer Success solution, and it’s been a great experience so far. We have a Customer Analytics Manager that’s heading up the implementation on our side and has been on the project for 4 months.
  • We started seeing ROI in the first month.-Working with the Gainsight implementation team, we were able to quickly get usage, financials and the relevant Salesforce Data into the system. Providing more reporting options beyond Salesforce - Having a 360 view of our customers quickly has saved us time going into every customer meeting and internal team meeting. -Our CEO also uses the dashboards on a weekly basis to understand our customer base and historical renewal data. -Gainsight also helped us with our Executive Business Review strategy, and based on the data in the system, we’ve been able to prepare comprehensive Executive Business review decks for about 15% of our customer base in the last 2 months and continuing. ANECDOTE TBD-We’ve implemented a milestones system that allows our CSMs to schedule and track all milestones in timely manner. For us, this is things like training and onboarding, 2-week check-in calls and Quarterly Business Reviews. -We’ve also gotten key alerts up and running which allow us to intervene if a customer has not engaged and if a customer has engaged but isn’t using the tool to it’s maximum value.   We’re really glad invested early in this technology, because it will help our business scale and it will be scalable across the company and ingrained in our team.
  • Thanks Stephanie! What a great story. You mentioned Pulse – just a quick reminder that we’re hosting an even bigger event this year filled with best practices, awesome keynotes including Malcolm Gladwell, and a lot of fun. Check out for all the details.With that, let’s answer your questions.Seed Questions1) Jason – what’s the risk of not investing in customer success now?2) Nick – How does Gainsight help Customer Success not only convince but expand across the enterprise?3) Stephanie – What’s next for Gild’s Customer Success team?
  • Thanks for spending time with us today!
  • Critical Capabilties of Customer Success Solutions

    1. 1. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. The Critical Capabilities of Customer Success Solutions April 2014
    2. 2. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. Housekeeping • Q&A panel on your right • Recording for colleagues who can’t make it • All attendees will receive slides • Twitter hashtag #customersuccess
    3. 3. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. Today’s Panelists Jason Lemkin Managing Director @jasonlk Stephanie Stapleton Director – Customer Success Nick Mehta CEO @nrmehta
    4. 4. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. What We’ll Cover • Why should I consider a CSM solution? • What are my requirements? • How should I select a solution? • Who do I need to convince internally? • Where can I find budget? • When will I see value?
    5. 5. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. WHY SHOULD I CARE?
    6. 6. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved.
    7. 7. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. It’s About Growth Compounding: 80% vs 90% retention YoY 80% retention 90% retention Time Revenue
    8. 8. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. Today's Customers Produce Most of Tomorrow's Revenue
    9. 9. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. Net Net, Don’t Underinvest Attitudinal loyalty, vs. mere behavioral loyalty, is critical for SaaS revenue Identifying “almost churn" is some of highest ROI You can save far, far more customers than you might think
    10. 10. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. WHAT ARE MY REQUIREMENTS?
    11. 11. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. Success by Customer Segment
    12. 12. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. Success for Every Stage of Life
    13. 13. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. HOW DO I EVALUATE?
    14. 14. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. Platform Capabilities Extensibility IntegrationUsability Security Analytics & Data Science
    15. 15. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. Usability Criteria How do users want to access the system? Do they want another app? Do they want it embedded in an existing system? What kind of reports or data will help most? Do they need a workflow system to manage activities?
    16. 16. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. Integration Criteria What existing systems will you need to connect? What methods of integration will you need? Where will you get relationship data? What external and public data would be useful? How do you plan to capture usage data?
    17. 17. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. Analytics & Data Science Criteria What type of analyses will you need to run? Is usage and adoption key? How will you segment your customers? Do you want to predict future outcomes? How do you attribute causes of success or churn?
    18. 18. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. Security Criteria How do you think about storage for your data? What will happen if there is a disaster? Who has access to your data? Do you want different levels of permission? What SLAs does your business require?
    19. 19. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. Extensibility Criteria How will you scale this solution to different groups? Can the data model handle more data sources? Are their APIs or tools to get data in and out? How future-proof are integration bridges? Will this data need to be shared with your customers?
    20. 20. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. Should I Build? Scalability Considerations Storing time series data, like usage trends, in Salesforce is complicated. Storing large volumes of data (e.g. user-level application activities) in Salesforce is costly due to storage and Apex governor limits. Filtering data to drive Alerts and Playbooks without hitting Apex governor limits. Integration Considerations Capturing and blending granular usage data often drain engineering resources. Customer Success teams will need more information, from more data sources, over time to drive customer health. Custom integrations to external data sources are often brittle and hard to maintain. Usability Considerations Customer Success and Sales teams already have too many tools, making adoption of new systems challenging. Business Intelligence (BI) and reporting systems often get limited usage internally. Management teams don’t have an easy way to validate adoption of internal tools beside anecdotes. Maintenance Considerations Internal Salesforce teams are often stretched for resources and prioritize the needs of the Sales team. Companies find it difficult to stay current with upgrades to underlying systems, like Salesforce, Marketo, or Netsuite. Reports and workflow often fall out of date with the current state of the business. Innovation Considerations Customer Success is a evolving discipline with constantly evolving best practices. Data Science is a powerful, but complex area when applied to customer retention. New Customer Success product innovations are numerous to keep up with.
    21. 21. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. Template to Start
    22. 22. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. WHO DO I CONVINCE?
    23. 23. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. Enterprise Customer Success Spectrum
    24. 24. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. WHERE DO I FIND BUDGET?
    25. 25. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. What Are The Benefits? $3MM+ Revenue from retention $1MM+ Higher Cross-sell, Upsell $2MM+ Lower OpEx Costs
    26. 26. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. Calculate Your ROI Reduce Churn Scale Team Drive Upsell
    27. 27. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. WHEN WILL I SEE VALUE?
    28. 28. Gild Customer Success for Growth
    29. 29. What is Gild
    30. 30. Gild’s Challenge 10X
    31. 31. Our Criteria Reporting
    32. 32. Our Criteria Reporting Prioritization
    33. 33. Our Criteria Reporting Prioritization Proactive Prediction
    34. 34. Best Practices
    35. 35. Our Timeframe
    36. 36. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. QUESTIONS?SALES@GAINSIGHT.COM
    37. 37. 2014 Gainsight, Inc. All rights reserved. Thanks For Joining!