podcast | August 7, 2017
How to Grow Revenues with Customer Success
Joining us for today’s show is Natalie Fedie, a Vice President of Customer Success who knows how to grow and retain customers. Today’s topic is dedicated to the topic of Customer Success. Natalie and I leverage the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook to access emerging best practices as a guide for our questions. Access SBI’s How to Make Your Number in 2018 to review the Customer Success phase starting on page 411 of the Sales Strategy section.
Natalie Fedie is the Vice President of Customer Success for Granicus, a digital engagement software company focused on the government sector. Granicus serves over 3,000 government agencies at all levels of government, federal, state, local, and city government. Natalie will demonstrate how to grow revenues by retaining customers and growing their customer base by proactively managing the customer life cycle.
Why this topic? Business models are changing from transaction-based revenue models to subscription-based revenue models. Companies dependent on recurring revenue must pay special attention to customer renewal rates, revenue retention, and customer lifetime value. As a result, reactive customer service approaches, built to lower the cost to serve, are being replaced with proactive customer success approaches, built to increase the revenue per customer. When your customer becomes more successful as a result of using your product, they buy more of it. And when your customer is unaware of how you have contributed to their success, they attrite.
Natalie is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic having been involved in setting up customer success teams, and leading them to reach their goals of growing customer revenue. The first segment of the program is focused on providing an overview of a highly productive Customer Success team. Natalie speaks about the customer renewal rate and what to expect for your company.
“We are a subscription model. We have annual contracts. Some are multi-year contracts. Our renewal rate is typically in the high 90% on average. Over half of our revenue comes from our existing customer base and that was through expansions of contracts and up-sells and cross-sells.”
Listen as Natalie describes where the customer success team resides in her company’s organization, who Natalie reports to in the corporate structure, and the number of reps. Many members of the audience are weighing decisions on where customer support should reside, and listening to Natalie describe the pros and cons of different parts of the organization she’s reported will help you think through factors to inform your decision.
The second segment of the show is focused on how a customer success team gains early adoption of your products, and how to gain expanded adoption. Natalie provides guidance for how to sell additional products to successful customers.
Our final segment of the show explains how a veteran customer success team with a proven record of accomplishment recognizes the signs of churn before it happens. Natalie explains the early warning signs and how her team acts. In addition, we explore the early signs of a customer who is ready to buy more. Just asking for more business isn’t going to do more than just capture active demand. Listen as Natalie describes how a customer success team proactively develops latent demand and then spots trigger events to help customers solve problems.
We wrap up the show discussing the profile of a customer success manager. What do you look for in candidates, and how should you compensate a CSM. We dive into the major question of whether a customer success manager should carry a quota and how to structure their compensation plan.
Have expectations gone up and left you wondering if you can make your number? Here is an interactive tool that will help you understand if you have a chance at success. Take the test to rate yourself against SBI’s sales and marketing strategy to find out if: