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June 30, 2022

As a customer success manager, one of my main goals is to help our customers grow and succeed. To do this effectively, I need to prioritize accounts based on their potential for expansion or upsell. There are a few different ways to go about this, but in this definitive guide, I’ll share the methods that have worked best for me. By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly how to prioritize accounts in customer success so that you can drive growth and success for your company.

How to Prioritize Accounts in Customer Success

Some tips on how to prioritize accounts in customer success include basing priorities on factors such as customer lifetime value, customer engagement levels, and account health.

Additionally, it can be helpful to create a scoring system for accounts so that you can more easily compare and contrast different customers.

Segment Your Customers for More Effective Customer Success

It might seem like a strange idea, but putting customers into specific categories can help you target them more effectively.

CSMs are masters at providing one-to-one help. Why would they be concerned with segmentation?

One of the biggest reasons is to save time, even when you’re reaching out to individuals.

We’ll discuss today how using segments can help you be a more effective CSM. Then, we’ll see how you can use the best methods to segment your customer base.

Start With the Basics and Build From There

When it comes to segmenting your customer base, age or industry are easy places to start. These segments can help you run your CS team more smoothly, and save you time.

Start with the basics and build from there. You can begin by segmenting your customers based on health scores and other relevant metrics, such as churn likelihood. As you become more familiar with your customer base, you can add more complex segments to your analysis.

You’ll need software that can support customer success segments to get the most out of them. Many CRMs can’t calculate churn likelihood, which is one of the reasons why customer success software is so important.

No matter where you start, you will quickly see the benefits that customer success segments can bring. This will help you to run a much more efficient operation overall.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your customer success program, our guide to customer success best practices is a great place to start. By following the best practices outlined in the guide, you can build a strong CS operation that will serve your customers well.

How to Use Customer Success Segmentation

When it comes to customer success, segmentation is key to crafting the right message and saving time. By understanding your customers better, you can more easily target them with communications that will resonate and lead to success.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say your Customer Success Manager, who sends weekly emails with blog posts and industry-specific updates, is reaching out to a potential customer in the transportation Industry.

It would be great if you could send an email to everyone involved in transportation, no matter which customer success manager is assigned to them.

With proper customer segmenting, you can. You can store these customers in a customer database, select them based on a particular criterion, and send them the same emails.

That’ll save you some time.

Let’s examine another scenario:

You know that not all customers are the same. Some bring more money to the table, and your CS team should focus their efforts on these types of clients.

Wouldn’t it be great if each agent could start their day by looking at a list of the most valuable clients? This would save them time from having to search through your database.

Customer segmentation can help you prioritize your customer base in a variety of ways. You can use different criteria to slice and dice your customer database, which can provide valuable insights into how best to serve your customers.

Here are three segments you should consider prioritizing.

1. ARR

Why: It’s usually pretty obvious that you’ll make more money by spending your time on customers who generate the most sales. For this reason, this is often the only (or first) factor businesses consider when segmenting their customers. The $2 million ARR metric is the most commonly cited benchmark for determining how many Customer Success Managers (CSMs) should be assigned to an account.

Shortcomings: What sort of customers are you targeting to hit that $2 million ARR? Do you have one big client at the $500,000 level, a couple at $250,000, some at $100,000, and the rest at $50,000? If your ACV is around the $25,000 mark, each of your Customer Success Managers will need to manage 80 clients to hit that $2 million ARR target. If they spoke to each of their 80 clients once every three months, they’d need to speak with 1.25 of their clients every single day. That’s a whole lot of phone calls.

Since your sales team is doing a great job, your customer success team has more clients to serve. However, without more investments, your CS teams won’t be able to handle the influx of new clients. This will result in the revenue growth for each of your tiers, which will likely lead to some of your higher-paying customers being ignored.

2. Expansion or Upsell Potential

Why: Focusing solely on your current ARR doesn’t take into account that some customers are more valuable to your business than others.

If your company is using a bottom-up sales process, then there should be a lot of potential to expand your client base.

Shortcomings: Customer Success Managers (CSM) are not usually trained in selling. This can cause them to get distracted from helping their customers in the short term.

The best way to upsell more to current customers is to ensure that their users have a successful experience.

Operating with an ulterior motive can jeopardize the potential success of an initially limited roll-out.

3. Customers at Risk for Churn

Why: Your customer success team should be dedicated to preventing churn, which can have a drastic impact on your revenue.

Shortcomings: It can be difficult to identify which customers are on the verge of churning without speaking to them regularly. Even then, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll catch warning signs in time. A customer health score allows CS teams to keep tabs on their customers’ needs and concerns and gives them the ability to flag customers who may be at risk.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for ways how to prioritize accounts in customer success, then this guide is for you. By following the methods outlined here, you’ll be able to drive growth and success for your company. So don’t wait any longer, put these tips into practice today and see how they can help you achieve your goals.

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