The dirty little secret about Revenue Growth is how much it depends on fixing the “leaky bucket” with our existing customers. You know that putting more customers on the company platform without plugging the holes feels no different than Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. To put life back into your company’s revenue growth, help your team take a closer look at your Customer Lifecycle, and get back on the path to success.

Customer Success has become one of the hottest trends and sources of growth in Revenue Management.  In fact, if you are managing Customer Support, Renewals, and/or Upsell you are keenly aware how much impact a Customer Success Strategy can have on helping your Company “make the number”. You also know that if you aren’t already planning to embrace best practices in 2019, you are falling behind.

 

 

Why Customer Success Is Your CEO’s New Secret Weapon

 

But why does Customer Success matter to your CEO and Leadership team, and why does it matter now?

 

Three reasons:

 

  1. Protect the base. It’s more important to prevent a “leaky bucket” of lost Revenue from renewals than to chase new logo deals that are more expensive to source.  So please the ones you have already, because a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.  Or as Stephen Stills said, “Love the one you’re with”.

     

  2. Walk on fertile ground.  Most companies have more than one product to sell, or more volume to drive.  Whether for cross-sell or upsell, identifying that whitespace offers a cheaper path to revenue than chasing New Logos.  When faced with OpEx constraints, your CEO needs to know that Customer Success can save the operating plan.  And your team can serve customers and deliver more value.

     

  3. Create an Anti-gravity FlywheelCustomer Lifecycle Management exposes the cross-functional team to all the touchpoints to delight the customer.  It helps ensure the cross-functional team is aligned to drive value creation and outcomes for customers.  And it builds organizational empathy for the problems we are solving.

     

As the Customer Success leader, you know that protecting and growing the revenue base through Retention and Upsell brings the business justification and the metrics. But best practice CS teams have learned that Customer Lifecycle Management is the discipline that powers it all.  By knowing and acting on what matters most to the customer at each stage, we can institutionalize success as a business process and not just an ambition.

 

How to Harvest Value from Customer Lifecycle

 

Let’s explore the three actions that help turn this opportunity into reality:

 

  1. Size your Customer Lifetime Value

     

    Start with what your team sold, and then consider the additional volume or BUs (upsell) and the additional products and services (cross-sell) that fit their needs.  With proper segmentation, we can often identify 3-7x more revenue potential that drives up the Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV).

     

  1. Build out your coverage model to capture that CLTV

     

    Segmenting which customers are ideal is an important early step, but the rubber meets the road when we get our teams focused on serving specific accounts.  Make sure your coverage is focused on the customers with the highest CLTV based on their a) Propensity to Buy and their b) Potential to Spend.

     

  1. Manage your team KPIs

     

    Your team knows that saying is one thing, and doing is another.  But nothing gets done that isn’t measured.  To manage customer satisfaction across the lifecycle, be sure to consider your leading KPIs, operating cadence, job design and incentives to drive performance.

     

A clear view of your customers and their lifecycle is vital to developing the right processes to deliver the outcomes they seek with an experience that will differentiate you in the market.

 

Knowing Your Customer Lifecyle is Strategic

 

A world class customer experience can overcome deficiencies in the product, or other aspects of your company.

 

To see where you and your organization are in the journey toward best practices, answer the following questions:

 

  1. Do you understand your customer’s business problems?

     

  2. Are the outcomes your customers wish to influence known?

     

  3. Do you understand the experience your customers want when interacting with vendors?

     

  4. Do you know the customer’s buying process.?

     

  5. Do you know the observable criteria that indicate where the customer is in the journey?

     

  6. Are the individuals that purchase your solution known?

     

  7. Do you know the influencer personas and their needs?

     

  8. Do you understand the user personas and their needs?

     

  9. Do you have mapped your lifecycle touchpoints per customer segment?

     

  10. Do you have defined processes to prepare for each customer touchpoint?

     

Download our Customer Success KPIs Tool to determine your Customer Success, and to leverage different KPIs in 3 areas: Satisfaction, Utilization, and Value.

 

 

Additional Resources

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Piening

Marrying business and technology strategy to help you make your number.

Mark is an experienced global marketing and technology executive that has led cross-functional teams in both entrepreneurial and Fortune 500 companies. As a Principal at SBI, Mark’s job is to help CxO teams and their investors “Make their Number”.

Mark is a consultant and speaker on topics related to leadership, sales and marketing strategy, alliances and channels, social media and multi-channel commerce, open source software, network effects in technology and people, and marrying business and technology strategy.

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