How Enterprise SaaS Companies Justify Investment in Customer Success


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The most successful Enterprise SaaS companies know that growing revenue only through new customer acquisition is the less efficient way to scale. Rather, they understand that growing revenue within your existing customer base - through up-sells, cross-sells, and expanded use - is the most profitable way to scale.

In fact, Enterprise SaaS companies that grow revenue - and company valuation - by expanding revenue within their existing customer base also know the key to making this work is to focus on - and operationalize - Customer Success.

This presentation - How Enterprise SaaS Companies Justify Investment in Customer Success - is from Pulse 2014, the biggest Customer Success industry event ever and included panelists from Bazaarvoice, ToutApp, Enviance, LinkedIn

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  • We also provide the tools that allow you to translate this user-generated content into actionable insights that drive improvements in marketing, sales, customer service, and product development. We then syndicate that content across the web and through the channel to reach shoppers
  • We also provide the tools that allow you to translate this user-generated content into actionable insights that drive improvements in marketing, sales, customer service, and product development. We then syndicate that content across the web and through the channel to reach shoppers
  • How Enterprise SaaS Companies Justify Investment in Customer Success

    1. 1. How to Justify Investment in Customer Success Cliff Cate, ToutApp Nathan Williams, LinkedInAudrey Warren, Bazaarvoice Nigel Nugent, Enviance
    2. 2. Audrey Warren Bazaarvoice Bazaarvoice is the leading provider of solutions that allow retailers and brands to obtain and use shopper- generated content in their businesses to increase sales, build customer loyalty and increase profits. Director, Client Programs
    3. 3. time maturity Sell, sell, sell Oh my, we need to hire someone to “look after our customers” Hmmm…this is not sustainable Hiring frenzy Mad rush for technology solutions Client segmentation 100% client retention. Return of the 40 hour work week
    4. 4. Confidential and Proprietary. © 2012 Bazaarvoice, Inc. 4 Activities Outputs Outcomes Impact Measurement Easy Easy Challenging Essentially impossible
    5. 5. Confidential and Proprietary. © 2012 Bazaarvoice, Inc. 5 Create self-service onboarding materials Clients engage with onboarding materials Clients are able to quickly understand what they need to be successful Key client contacts are more likely to become advocates for the program because they understand the value of the product and perceive the company as “easy to work with” Account Managers spend less time on "the basics" and more time on strategic consulting. Less client churn Happier customers Lower service costs Measurement: Number of module completes Qualitative surveys & interviews Churn, NPS, service spend* Activities Outputs Outcomes Impact
    6. 6. Cliff Cate • Post signature - customer onboarding, support, training and renewals. • Previously worked at GoodData, CaseCentral, Oracle, Stellent, Viant and Andersen Consulting. VP, Customer Happiness & Success ToutApp
    7. 7. ToutApp ToutApp empowers sales and customer success teams by streamlining email with powerful tracking, templates and real- time scoring. - 70,000 users - Free trial to self service and traditional sales models
    8. 8. ToutApp Customer Happiness & Success Team • 4 Happiness Officers today, +3 immediately • Everyone is currently a generalist and loosely mapped to Sales AEs • Break down of activities • 30% On-boarding and training • 60% Inbound customer tickets • 10% Proactive outreach • Continue to build an amazing team • Renewal strategy and execution • Scalable sales transition process • Repeatable onboarding process The Team Today Future Priorities
    9. 9. Justifying investment in customer success • What metrics should you track? • How can you plan or forecast the investment in customer success? • How does company stage or product complexity affect the investment? Questions to ask
    10. 10. Nigel Nugent VP, Worldwide Sales & Customer Success • Leading SaaS-based Environmental Compliance System • Founded in 1999 – SaaS from the get-go • Fortune 500 client base – Utilities, Mining, Oil & Gas, Railroads • 30,000+ users in 40 countries • Personally responsible for all client-facing activities: • Direct Sales • Existing Accounts • Inside Sales • Customer Success • Services • Sales Operations
    11. 11. Current Model • 2 Managers with 5 reps • 3 reactive – Phone • Help desk • Log cases • Liaise with Dev and Sales • 2 proactive – On the road • Training • Renewals and Upsell ‘To-be’ Model • Accounts segmented into 3 divisions 1. Safe, low upsell opportunity (CS) 2. Identified upsell or @risk (EA) 3. Enterprise (DS) • Focus on user adoption, pre and post sale • All sales groups play a part • Success snap-shots • Client dashboards Customer Success Team and Strategy Transform from reactive to proactive
    12. 12. When should customer success activities start?  During presales with ISD and always as part of the introductory pitch - competitive advantage SaaS / Cloud “old school” vs. Traditional Perpetual Licensing  We rely on your subscription, therefore we have to care more!  It’s a flexible model; you can decrease use if needed  Small initial capital outlay  Cancel if you are unhappy with our performance….and other “uninspiring” reasons SaaS / Cloud “old school” vs. SaaS / Cloud “new order”  Focus on user adoption  Real-time analytics  Deep connection with client implementation team  Set adoption targets  Quarterly success review  Usage dashboards  Executive interaction vs.
    13. 13. Lessons learned? Be active in the SaaS community and take time to seek out new technologies, ideas and approaches I should have done this three years ago!
    14. 14. Nate Williams Global Head, Customer Success Operations
    15. 15. Connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful Our mission
    16. 16. For our members The professional profile of record Connect all of the world's professionals Identity Networks Knowledge The definitive professional publishing platform
    17. 17. For our customers Hire Power half of all hires Market The most effective way for marketers to engage professionals Sell The start of every sales opportunity
    18. 18. Customer Success Team Expert Consultants Worldwide 40+Countries 8+Avg. Years of Talent Acquisition Experience per Consultant 150+ 10,000+Consulting Customers Where do our talent acquisition experts come from? Places like…
    19. 19. Customer Success Be successful Feel successful • Product Usage • Product Success • Add-on/Upsell • ROI • Net Promoter Score • Customer Satisfaction • SLA Delivery Retention
    20. 20. Unhappy Achievers (Re-confirm customer objectives, evaluate non- product sentiment, affirm performance through objective benchmarking) Model Customers They are successful and they know it. Frustrated (Evaluate Product Mix, Initiate Discovery to re-define Customer goals) Starry-Eyed (Motivate higher performance through objective benchmarking) Are Successful? Feel Successful? No No Yes Yes
    21. 21. Justifying Investment in Customer Success • Define the role of the Customer Success Team v. Sales • Connect all the dots from usage/sentiment  retention • Understand how leverage ratios change with growth • Invest in technology for productivity gains • Don’t confuse access to data with technology *Bessemer Venture Partners “Ten Laws of Cloud Computing” The most important part of Software-as-a-Service isn’t “Software” it’s “Service” #8 The single biggest driver of long term profitability for your cloud business is the renewal rate of your customers. #5 LNKD Learning
    22. 22. Q & A