Customer Success has been growing in importance across the B2B SaaS landscape for over 10 years.
Guy Nirpaz recognized this trend early on and founded Totango in 2010 to deliver a SaaS platform to empower Customer Success (CS) professionals to focus the company around the customer.
Guy stated our conversation with his belief that Customer Success is a company strategy - not just a department. If you want a customer to renew and expand their relationship, every interaction with the customer needs to deliver value and deliver upon the promise the relationship began upon.
Business outcomes should be the #1 focus of the CS organization. But how to ensure the executive/economic buyer(s) understand the value you are delivering?
First, track all of the users in your account by role and engage as required to ensure all stakeholders are using your product and receiving value.
How does Net Promoter Score (NPS) help to understand customer satisfaction? NPS is only one tactic to measure customer satisfaction. But with only 10% - 20% of target participants completing the NPS survey, ensure you are using other tactics, such as user activity and other metrics that impact customer satisfaction.
A key variable that leads to customer retention or churn, is to ensure you are tracking the satisfaction of executive buyers and also track customer executive movement from and to your customers which can directly lead to customer retention challenges.
Next we discussed how Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) should be used to manage customer satisfaction and increase customer retention. First, establish a regular cadence. Second, include executives for the appropriate portions of the QBR. Thirdly, ensure an agenda is approved by the customer prior to the QBR to ensure you cover topics critical to the customer. The pre-approved agenda is an example of having clear communications to increase the quality of every in-person interaction.
Value delivery was discussed in context of QBRs to confirm the business value being delivered is part of the QBR. The first requirement is to KNOW why the customer invested in your product. This requires the vendor to capture the business value the customer had used to justify the investment. This requires a well defined process that identifies, captures and then uses that business objective in every QBR.
Value Engineering is one organizational approach to capture and highlight business outcomes. By having this function ( capability) in place, a company materially increases the ability to engage executive in the sales process, and the QBR process.
If an executive buyer was involved in confirming and owning the business outcomes of an investment, they are more vested in attending a QBR that includes the progress being made against the "outcomes" that justified the investment.
QBRs are one approach to highlighting value. Executive Business Reviews (EBR) is another approach to engage economic buyers in a QBR. One approach is to automate and share the "usage" data prior to the QBR and focus the majority of the customer briefing on the value and outcomes.
A common mistake in QBRs is not using the session to review each page in the QBR report/presentation. Provide the report in advance, and focus the QBR on discussing business value and focus on how incremental value can be delivered.
To increase the value of QBRs, delivery should be viewed as a high value event that is measured by the value the customer receives as measured by retention and expansion. One approach is to run a Customer Satisfaction survey to receive customer feedback on the value of the QBR.
This conversation is a great listen for anyone involved in Customer Success and using QBRs.