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April 15, 2022

Are you looking for ways to ensure enterprise Customer Success? Look no further! Here are the top 11 tips for enterprise Customer Success.

10 tips for enterprise customer success management pilot

B2B companies are adapting their business models to include more innovative delivery options, such as subscription-based, cloud-based, pay-as-you-go, and outcomes-based pricing. They understand that their clients are becoming increasingly powerful and that investing in customer retention can result in a higher ROI.

The B2B companies have implemented a variety of systems over the past decade to gain greater insight into their client base, from CRM to marketing automation to online assistance to billing. This has allowed them to improve their customer relationships and better understand their needs.

B2B innovators are combining data availability and business need to create new Customer Success Management (CSM) teams that focus on proactive driving client outcomes through data.

this Customer Success concept is a must-have for mature companies. What should the role of the Customer Success team be? What are its responsibilities How does it relate to other functions (e.g., Sales/Marketing/Support)? How should it be measured Where is the budget coming from?

Gainsight has extensive experience helping large companies improve their Customer Success journey, and we have seen what does and doesn’t work when it comes to launching “pilot” experiments.

1. Define the core business driver for customer success

Customer Success has become a popular topic in recent years because it can be used to increase your clients bottom line and drive greater results. However, it is important to think about your specific business goals when you are piloting a Customer Success strategy.

Churn can be caused by a lack of Customer support in some businesses, while the impact on other, more sticky businesses, is slower expansion. The table below provides examples of pilot goals for different types of businesses.

2. Define the starting point organization

Innovation, like most large-scale initiatives, comes from a combination between situation (where you are in the group) and motivation \(your desire for change). We have identified some patterns that can be used as a starting point for CSM teams. The “ideal” CSM is almost a unicorn. It’s hard to find in real-life because the job requires a mix of:

  • Product knowledge
  • Domain knowledge
  • Strategic thinking
  • Skills for building relationships.
  • Project orientation
  • Task orientation

Most often, we see organizations that have technical offerings beginning with the TAM and PS groups. organizations with transactional offerings beginning with the AM group are more common.

3. To begin, define the product

Many large companies have a vision for Customer Success that spans the entire product line. But where do we start? Pilots that are successful involve one or two product lines and provide proof points for scaling.

there is no one right answer. But, here are some suggestions:

  • It is likely that the company has a large source of revenue, so any impact would be significant.
  • Clients with high profile status.
  • This requires significant organizational alignment throughout the company.
  • It is sometimes unclear, in light of other participants, what the differential impact of CSM teams will be.
  • “Burning platform” to promote change.
  • IT and other stakeholders are likely to pay attention.
  • Management of change is a key component.
  • Can you “do it right” starting from the beginning?
  • Similar pricing models (e.g. subscription) that require CSM.
  • It is easier to determine impact when there are fewer people involved.
  • Clients with lower profile and less dollar impact.
  • It is easier to drive change with a team that is likely to be a standalone unit.
  • Take one step towards integration.
  • May be able to rationalize existing CSM approaches.

CSM pilots are generally found with newly acquired or transitioning product lines.

4. Define customer segments

You will likely have multiple customers within a product line.

Gainsight has three canonical models of Customer Success for these tiers.

  • High Touch Customer Support Management: Strong coordination about a client’s Success Plan and client journey across CSM (Customer Service Management), Sales, Services, Support and Product.
  • Mid-Touch Customer Success Management: Trigger driven, “just in Time” Customer Success based on data (e.g. client is six months away from renewal and only uses one of the three modules).
  • Tech Touch Customer Support Management: Fully automated, personalized Customer Success using email.
  • It is harder to determine the differential impact of CSM teams.
  • Sometimes, territorial issues can arise with other groups.

We are aware of the pros and cons of most CSM pilots starting with the mid-touch segment.

5. Define pilot clients

To cut the world further, it may be necessary to start with a small number of clients in your product segment. You might be limited by the size of your initial team If you choose a high touch model or mid touch model.

As a general rule, high touch CSMs manage between one and 25 customers, while mid touch CSMs manage between 25 and a few hundred enterprise customers.

What are the best ways to select clients to work with? Some CSM pilots choose a group of clients that have great potential for expansion.

Others focus on AB testing, which involves taking a uniform group of clients and splitting it into two groups: one that receives a CSM, and one that doesn’t. It’s important to be thoughtful when making your selection.

5. Define the data your team needs

large companies face both the greatest opportunity as well as the greatest challenge when it comes to data. Companies have a lot of data, but many companies struggle to use it. You will need to create a practical and manageable list For the CSM pilot.

  • CRM
  • Customer Name : This can sometimes be complicated with customer “hierarchies”, e.g. parent and subsidiary businesses.
  • CSM – Where can you track the CSM assigned to each customer? Is this a field in your CRM?
  • Spend – Where can you track the client spend for the product? Is it accurate? Is it 100% accurate or just directional?
  • Renewal date: Where is the information about contracts with businesses?
  • Tier – How can you filter the data to target a particular client segment?
  • Entitlements: Products/services under contract.
  • Support: Clients may need access to their support ticket history.
  • Community Can you track the activity of a client in an online community?
  • Surveys: Client satisfaction survey are often vital for CSMs.
  • Professional Services: What can you do to see which client projects are on-time and overdue?
  • Learning: What can you do to track which clients have been trained and which not?
  • Marketing: How can you see which clients are participating in events, webinars and emails?
  • Billing To determine early satisfaction issues, you can view Accounts Receivable of a client.
  • Telemetry What can you see about the client usage of your online product or service?

Our experience has shown that CRM data is essential and that organizations should choose between 2-3 other data sources \(most often support and survey data).

6. Define the systems that your team will use

Depending on the scope and complexity of the pilot, a formal system may be required or you can use a spreadsheet to start. If you are interested, Consider a formal system.

  • Collaboration with other stakeholders and within the team.
  • Historical trending and trackability.
  • Implementation of the process and consistency.
  • Automation

7. Define IT involvement

You might need IT support depending on your data and system needs. IT is a valuable resource in most companies. Make sure you make your case early. You can also consider third-party managed service providers who can manage your CSM platforms or data architectures.

8. Define what’s out of scope

Pilots are by definition only a starting point. It is important to be clear about what you do not intend to accomplish in the pilot. We’ve already discussed focusing on product lines and tiers as well as enterprise customers. However, you need to decide what “punt” is for later.

If you don’t have a lot of client data, machine learning and predictive analytics should be considered secondary phases once you are familiar with your processes. You might also define the Minimum Viable Product \(MVP) to allow the pilot to be focused only on the actions of CSM staff and not visible to the rest. You might also want to limit the pilot’s geographic area.

9. Define how you will communicate

CSM pilots who are successful will communicate well with the rest of the organization. Define a communication plan for each stakeholder.

  • Team: How frequently will you meet with your pilot CSM Team members? To ensure rapid progress, many pilots hold daily “scrum” meetings. How will you coach each  Customer Success team member one-on-one? How directive will you be about processes? a weekly forum may be necessary to share your successes and learn from others.
  • Cross-functional How will the rest of your org be updated on the pilot’s progress? We suggest a weekly newsletter with information on the pilot’s progress, including highs and lows, as well as a few formal reviews.
  • Clients What expectations are you setting for your clients? How do you introduce CSM? What’s in it? Even in the MVP, it is important to have polished materials for clients on the CSM program.

10. Define success criteria

To return to your business goals, set expectations for feasible metrics that will be used to measure success of the pilot. Gainsight tries to differentiate Lagging Indicators, which are the financial outcomes of Customer Success such as renewals, retention and upsell, from Leading Indicators that can move more quickly. These are some examples of Leading Indicators.

  • Score that measures client adoption volume (e.g. Daily Active Users).
  • A score that measures client sophistication \(how well they use your products or services).
  • A customer satisfaction metric such as C-SAT or Net Promor Score.
  • Referable clients: The percentage of clients who are satisfied with your product or service.
  • The number of upsell leads that were sent to enterprise sales.
  • The number of accounts “at-risk” that were returned to health.

These data can be compiled into a “scorecard”, which will help you assess the health of your CSM pilot.

Conclusion

It is important to understand what an appropriate experience is for various customer segments. Creating a blend of human and technology can sometimes be less than ideal.

Over-delivering is not always the best option. Instead, focus on delivering an experience that is just appropriate.  Enterprise Customer Success should not be based solely on technology. It is important to understand what Customer Success is and how CSM can help.

There are also certain things to avoid in order to achieve enterprise-level Customer Success. By following these tips, you will be well on your way to providing an excellent experience for your enterprise customers.

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