Acme’s current core competency appears to be serving the 1-3 year customer. Does the Acme support team tenure match that of the customer and therefore they are evolving at the same (or slower pace)?
Additional Comments:We hear a lot (from Acme) that ‘we can’t do that’ with our version (i.e. conducting surveys). It’s frustrating b/c they then want to get sales involved, which is a whole new process, quotes, etc. Our Acme contact referred us to a 3rd party survey company last week so we can work with them to get some survey work done. My new account manager just introduced himself as my “new account manager.” I don’t even know what he does. In the future, getting strategic guidance from someone who knows our account and checks in with us regularly. We don’t hear from them unless we reach out. Would like to have customer success mgr reach out a little more to check in on us. Maybe once a quarter to make sure we are using all the functionality. We need someone strategicwho understands our business and can help us execute.
Sales Management - Capturing Voice of the Customer
Website Email Phonewww.salesbenchmarkindex.com firstname.lastname@example.org 1-888-556-7338 Sales Management Leveraging Voice of the Customer
The Situation • $75M SAAS Software Company: – ~1000 customers – 75%+ renewal rates @ 80%+ of revenue – Renewal-based models get higher price/share if renewal rates are 90%+ • Sales Leader wants to: – Understand challenges regarding retention • Get Customer, Investor, and Employee views on why renewals happen or don’t happen – Know how to increase to 90% renewal rates2
What Did Not Work • Relying on Sales Force to understand retention challenges • Using surveys from customer service interactions to glean defection reasons • Marketing reaching out to select customers for feedback3
What Did Work • Online Surveys (12 to 15 questions): • Large (10,000+) survey audience • Targeted user base, not just company base • Customer Interviews (8 to 10 questions): • In-depth and interactive interviews with the main users of the software at a customer • Found out the delighters and detractors of the software and customer experience • Sales Rep Interviews (12 to 15 questions): • Determined trends among customers4
VOC Survey Question SampleWhat information or support do you feel the Acme team PROVIDES TODAY that hasthe most value? (please choose all that apply) Response ResponseAnswer Options Percent CountTechnical support 54.9% 145Best practices 53.8% 142Continued training 41.3% 109Benchmark data 29.2% 77Industry trends 20.5% 54Other 9.5% 25A plan to follow 9.1% 245
Customer Interview Questions 1. How long have you been using Acme? a. Were you the decision maker in bringing Acme on board? 2. Do you feel you are a power user of Acme today? a. How long did it take to get there? b. What would you say was the tipping point? c. If you were starting over from scratch, what would you do differently to ramp your capabilities faster? d. Is this something you would have paid a premium for? 3. What is the relationship b/t sales and marketing for your organization (separate or single leader)? a. How involved was sales in making the decision to purchase Acme? b. How was the decision to use Acme communicated to the sales team when you purchased? What visibility does the sales organization have today regarding the impact of demand generation and Acme? 4. When you think about the results Acme provides, what are your expectations? a. Are you getting the results you initially set out to achieve? b. How do you measure the value of Acme and the results? 5. How would you like Acme to assist in helping improve your business results? a. In your opinion, are there additional support functions they can provide? b. When you interact with Acme, what type of interaction do you look for (support, strategic, best practices, enablement, etc.)? c. Who do you prefer to interact with (customer service, account manager, etc.)? d. How would you like Acme see improve your interactions with Acme’s Account Mgr, CSM, ProServe, Training, Tech Support, etc. or provide a better customer experience? e. How would you rate Acme’s services and the customer experience they provide? What are you NOT getting from these mentioned Acme roles that you would like to see more of?6
Customer Interview Comments Comments Summary: Many of the users werent around for implementation, so dont know the reasons. Many newer customers noted that they know the impact hasnt been seen yet due to time since implementation. Some remark that the learning curve is long. No competitor significantly stood out that wasnt available in selection. Competitor products were mentioned multiple times. Customers see they must select high cost in one of two places: training or resource use. Cost of training every new user is high, but so is the cost of having employees learn on the fly (which is hard on work forces that are stretched thin). Customer service is cited as an issue by several customers, though there appear to be some stars. Many implementation experience comments focused on bad partner relationships, though many mentioned that their interaction with Acme was good. Many customers have very high ease of use expectations due to overselling, but then find the product UI to not be intuitive. The learning curve is long for users who dont have significant software use experience. Many users seem to know there is capability being left on the table, but they dont know where to look or what it is they havent found yet. They find things gradually as time progresses.7
Resulting Action • Client had a better appreciation of their customers’ needs and desires • Understood the range of buyers • Gained insight into what was currently working and what needed improvement • Client was able to put together a multi- phased program to address this newfound information8
VOC Finding: Customer Evolution Infancy Adolescence Adulthood New to Acme (<12 mo.) 12-36 months with Acme 36+ months Traits 1st time user Running email campaigns Campaigns implemented Highly Tactical Acme supports ICP Some lead scoring/nurturing Content Lead scoring Strategic execution Campaign success (opens, Nurture campaigns Revenue lift Next Steps CTAs, > leads) Improved lead quality Reporting-business objectives Campaign consistency Reporting-usage metrics Sales/Marketing alignment Emotion Confusion Enthusiasm Frustration Help DeskRelation-ship Customer Success Manager Strategic Consultant Implementation team Success Blocking & Tackling New Skill Acquisition Marketing generates revenue Acme for Dummies Strategic insight Tactical Leveraging value of Acme Acme University Results-based best practices Approach Tactical >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Strategic Longer tenure of Acme user = Higher perceived attainment of business objectives.9 9
Proactive Account Management • Tiered/Segmentation approach? • Customer success and account management piece is a huge component that Competitor doesn’t have. – Best people on best accounts • We hired one of their best practice consultants to come – Role clarity in. It felt canned like something they would do at a trade show. Not customized to us. Talking at us as opposed to – Over resource the top understanding our situation and how to build an aligned sales/marketing structure using Acme. We would like – Customer tenure consultants to come in and understand how – Account/Opp Size sales/marketing have become aligned in other firms and help us get there. • Continuing education • I’ve only talked with one person one time. He expects me – Beyond Acme University to reach out to him and I would like him to be more proactive. I would like him to share best practices of – Advanced reporting skills issues he’s solved so I don’t always have to search around – Best practice discussions for things. • Feels like we are bringing them along as opposed to them – Peer group interaction leading us with best practices. We provide our roadmap and he looks at it and doesn’t add much value. It’s not a • Consultative account managers strategic partnership at this point. – Monthly/Quarterly cadence • We want a consultative account executive. Someone who has line of sight into what different customers are doing – Strategic expertise with Acme. Leverage best practices to help us get more – Customer intimacy out of the system. • A single point of contact who has intimacy with my account, our objectives, and who checked in with us regularly.11
Learn More Contact us to hear the rest of the story... Contact us if you would like to understand better how to learn from your customers’ voices to focus your Sales Force Effectiveness efforts for a higher return. Email - email@example.com Phone - 1-888-556-7338 Web: http://www.salesbenchmarkindex.com Subscribe your email to receive our Sales Force Effectiveness blog articles by email free: http://www.salesbenchmarkindex.com/Read-the-Sales-Force-Effectiveness-Blog/12