The Very First Question a Customer Success Team Needs to Ask
The Very First Question a Customer Success Team Needs to Ask

If you are like many customer success managers, you are probably extremely focused on the question:

“Will our customers be successful with OUR software.”

You and your team probably ask yourselves what you, as a customer success professional, need to do to ensure the customer is successful using your product.

But there is a more critical, more fundamental question you need to ask first.

You need to ask, “Can our customer be successful with ANY software?”

Shifting focus is critical

By asking if the customer can be successful with any software, you are identifying if the customer has within its internal organization the knowledge…

Customer Success Metrics to Increase Executive Support
Customer Success Metrics to Increase Executive Support

You need to have clear executive support if your customer success program is going to survive. What metrics and measures do you need to prove the short-term and long-term value of their customer success investment?

I have had many discussions with customer success (CS) leaders about the challenges they face setting up a growing customer success team in an organization that has never had a customer success program.

Executive support for customer success is essential

There are numerous examples where SaaS vendors invested in hiring a customer success leader to build a customer success practice, and then soon after that, they cut the entire customer success program.

Most organizations use the wrong metrics to measure customer success in the short-term

Most organizations are surprised by how difficult it is to get people to adopt new technology.

The worst mistake people make

The biggest mistake many organizations make is believing that people will have no choice but to adopt a new IT system because it will be mandatory.

Do people assume this in your organization?

You can’t mandate system use

Mandating system use is a common approach that is guaranteed to block the potential value and success of an IT system. The assumption is that if the boss tells them they must do it, then people will do it. Ha!

The truth is that people always have a choice in:

  • How…

4 Steps to Develop a Proactive, Confident Customer Success Team
4 Steps to Develop a Proactive, Confident Customer Success Team

Confident Customer Success Managers

When we ask clients what they most want to have as an outcome from Customer Success (CS) training, they often indicate that they wish their Customer Success Managers (CSMs) will become more confident when working with customers.

They want customer success staff to be more proactive, deliver a great experience, and make sure the client achieves their goals.

What is interesting is that when we ask them about what their staff is like now, they are often far from this mark.

They tend to be reactive.

They tend to be “pleasers” — that is, they want to deliver everything a…

User Adoption and the 20-Year Renewal
User Adoption and the 20-Year Renewal

Who wouldn’t like to secure 20 years’ worth of renewals with each of their customers?

Well, it is possible.

If you sell on a subscription basis, this should be your goal from the very beginning.

But how do you get there?

Ask yourself, “How would I need to approach and manage a new client relationship from the very start?

Achieving the 20-year renewal requires a shift in thinking and action. It requires that you change:

You need to create an environment in which a client is delighted to renew year, over year.

Selling for Logos (and Churn)

When we talk with SaaS vendors, we…

Big Bold Secret to SaaS Growth in 2020 (and beyond)
Big Bold Secret to SaaS Growth in 2020 (and beyond)

*This is an updated version of the article, “The Big Bold Future Of SaaS Growth Is Customer Success” that I originally published on Software Executive Magazine in May 2019.

The Fundamental Shift You Need To Make

Do you want to boldly grow your SaaS company in 2020 — and beyond? If so, it is time to move beyond the features and functions of your software, beyond the freemium price models, beyond the quick installations and beyond offering unlimited integrations and partnerships.

Instead, you need to understand why your customers are not getting value from their investment in your software and then take bold action to help them…

Developing equivalent metrics is essential for getting people to adopt your software!

People and organizations are obsessed with data and metrics to “prove” results. Countless hours and dollars are wasted identifying and collecting data. Yet this potentially powerful information is typically ignored, misinterpreted, or worse yet, only used to justify previous (bad) decisions!

What is the point of having data and metrics if you don’t use them to make better decisions and take action?

Metrics Need to Change Behavior

The goal of data and metrics is to gather evidence, develop insights, and then take meaningful action that delivers a better result.

Quite simply, there should…

You just spent a pile of money on a great new piece of software. It promises to streamline your operations, save money, grow revenues, improve quality or increase customer satisfaction.

But only if you can get your people to use it!

How do you motivate people to use your software?

You need a user adoption strategy

We have found that the best way for organizations to “boost” and then “sustain” high software user adoption is to develop and implement a comprehensive user adoption strategy. Most software failures occur when organizations take a Go-Live centric approach (on-time & on-budget delivery of technology) without taking the necessary actions to drive and sustain user adoption over the life of the system.

It is essential to recognize that user adoption is all about changing user behaviors; it is not about technology.

The skills and methods you use to change behavior are very different from those required to build and deliver…

The old rules don’t apply!

Back in the days before SaaS, organizations implementing software treated their software acquisitions as a simple purchasing transaction. They were very focused on the costs of the software product. They focused just on the initial purchasing transaction, with little thought to the future.

When the SaaS business model first came on the scene, buyers continued to treat software acquisitions as primarily a purchasing exercise. They remained very focused on the overall costs, just now with the added benefit of shifting their cash outflows over several years. …

Jason Whitehead

I help people and organizations embrace technology and improve work experiences. Blogger, podcaster, trainer, consultant. Learn more at:

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