ArticleBest PracticesSeptember 22, 2017
Digital Marketing Platform Company Drives 20% Increase in Retention Using Gainsight for Channel Partner Success Image

Digital Marketing Platform Company Drives 20% Increase in Retention Using Gainsight for Channel Partner Success

“Partners can do a much better job at retaining customers if they have 360-degree view of their clients and know what to focus on. Gainsight has helped us to organize and share all that data with our partners.”

A leading digital marketing automation platform is experiencing rapid growth through a robust network of over 1,000 partners. To serve their customers and partners, their Customer Success function is divided into CSMs who serve direct customers and Partner Success Managers (PSMs) who help partners manage their portfolio. While this market leader uses Gainsight to drive outcomes for both segments, this study will focus on PSMs. The customer base managed through PSMs represents about half of their total customer base.

As a digital marketing solution, their partners are mostly digital marketing agencies and consultants who will sell the platform as part of a marketing strategy.

Challenge

Selling through partners was a key way for Gainsight’s client to scale, but it presented a new set of challenges for their customers acquired through the channel. Those customers did not have the same access to best practices, information, structured implementation, and a defined journey that was provided to direct customers. The disparity in the customer experience led to a retention rate significantly lower in the channel customer portfolio than in the direct customer portfolio.

It was also paramount that Gainsight’s client be thoughtful in how it empowered customers served through the channel. Direct involvement with end-customers could be viewed by partners as a threat, but Gainsight’s client needed visibility into end-customer progress to help empower the partner to drive success for the end-customer. This approach strengthens the relationship between the partner and end-customer and builds trust between the partners and Gainsight’s client.

Solution

Gainsight’s client has both partner-centric and customer-centric lifecycles, Dashboards, Success Plans, and C360s to manage the unique needs and objectives of partners and end-customers.

Using Gainsight, they built a robust lifecycle for partners. When a new partner joins, their onboarding journey is mapped and tracked using Success Plans. They’re surveyed through Gainsight to understand their implementation satisfaction and ongoing sentiment. As they begin to sell the marketing automation solution, the end-customers, their cumulative revenue, their progress, and any churns can be viewed. All the data is centralized in C360, making it easy for a PSM to see a holistic view of the partner.

The end-customers managed by partners have a lifecycle and C360 of their own. End-customers that are buying from a new partner have their implementation tracked using a Success Plan to ensure the new partner is delivering a quality experience. Their usage data (email campaigns, leads, etc) are easily viewed in the C360 to ensure that adoption is trending in a positive direction and is on track to meet established benchmarks.

Gainsight’s client conducts Quarterly Business Reviews with each partner to share key information on the health and trajectory of their shared end-customers and review any particular opportunities or risks. The information behind these presentations is collected from Gainsight Dashboards and C360. From this, the partner and PSM can collaborate on the best next steps to continue to improve end-customer health and adoption with the ultimate goal of securing renewals.

Partner Success Managers are evaluated on Retention Rates, Health Scores, and Time-to-Value for the end-customers served by the partners they manage.

Impact

Through a steady sharing of end-customer data to their partners, regular Quarterly Business Reviews, and ongoing collaboration between vendor and partner, Gainsight’s client achieved a 20% increase in retention over two years for customers managed through partners. This translates to a very large revenue savings in the near term, but translates to massive impact as the organization continues to scale its channel partner presence over the coming years.

By using Gainsight to survey new partners on the satisfaction of their onboarding experience, Gainsight’s client is ensuring a consistent and high level of partner training and enablement. It also provides a CSAT benchmark to gauge the efficacy of changes to their onboarding program. For example, a recent pilot where several hours of hands-on training was replaced with videos resulted in an increase in onboarding CSAT. This fueled further investment into scalable training assets which helped increase the account load on Implementation Specialists by 28%.

Picture of Will Robins
Will Robins Business Operations Lead

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