During this unprecedented crisis, it will be more important than ever for B2B companies to maintain their client relationships. During a time of rapid change for their customers, Customer Success professionals won’t have traditional face to face contact with their clients. How are Market Leading companies responding to the crisis?

CoVid-19 is creating an unprecedented situation.   In the short history of Customer Success, we have not seen a crisis of this magnitude.   Even those of us that are tenured, and have the gray hair to prove it, don’t have another work experience in our career that we can draw from and run the playbook.  Please see this message from our CEO, Matt Sharrers, explaining how we, as a community, can come together to get through this crisis.   Let’s examine three key changes that are happening concurrently.

 

  • All B2B commerce has effectively shifted to 100% virtual. For some customers, this will be a permanent change, but at the very least, it will be more challenging to build and maintain the relationships that occur when we are together.
  • Most of your clients will experience demand pressure, as the global economy shrinks. This will vary by industry, in-depth, breadth, and duration.    How we respond, as a result, will be unique for each client, and their own circumstances.
  • Many clients have experienced and will continue to experience significant disruptions to their workflows. They will need to adapt and will need your guidance and support as they adjust to their new normal.

     

Clearly, this leads to a lot of uncertainty, anxiety, and tension.  Our clients have already received an email from anyone they have ever bought anything from spelling out their CoVid-19 response.   They don’t need another one.   What they want from their Trusted Advisors is well…advice.   They need clarity and certainty for what they should be doing.   They need insights from your CSMs on how to adjust their plans and workflows.   We have established the Revenue Growth Help Desk, where you can get a response from a Revenue Growth Expert within 24 hours.

 

How are Market-Leading Customer Success teams cementing their Trusted Advisor status?

 

  • Protect the Base – For your largest accounts, they need to hear from your people directly. This can’t be an email. It needs to be a phone call or a video call.   These clients expect more than a “check-in.”   Customer Success Professionals need to have a compelling message that will help the individuals and the companies get through the crisis.   These individuals feel personally vulnerable.   Customer Success professionals need to help their buyers, influencers, and users demonstrate value to their organizations and protect their standing inside their companies.
  • Reduce Friction – During these conversations, you may become aware of items that make it difficult for them to do business with you. This will be great evidence to mobilize the organization on ways to make it easier for clients to do business.  The companies that make it easiest for their clients are the ones that will ultimately succeed.
  • Get Close – In the current environment, it’s unlikely that immediate cross-sell and up-sell capabilities will come up. Still, Customer Success teams can make brand impressions that will serve their company in the long-run. This will be a long-term challenge, and you will want your team to maintain a cadence with your customers.

     

Conclusion

 

It is still too early in this crisis to have all the answers. Not all methods of protecting the base, reducing friction, and getting close will work.    In order to learn the emerging best practices, please join our community “Inspire Others” where Revenue Growth leaders can safely collaborate.  We look forward to the ongoing discussion. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if I can be of service.   I can be reached at fred.penteado@salesbenchmarkindex.com

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Fred Penteado

Guides private equity portfolio companies in a variety of industries on how to make their number.

Prior to joining SBI, Fred held a variety of leadership positions with multinational Fortune 50 companies. He has worked in product/program/channel management, sales operations, and served as a Chief of Staff.

 

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