3 Things CROs Do to Double Down on Expansion During a Downturn Image

3 Things CROs Do to Double Down on Expansion During a Downturn

If you’re like every sales team right now, COVID-19 has done a number on your new logo pipeline and blown up your forecast. Uncertainty has caused prospects to tighten their budgets for new investments or indefinitely delay sales meetings and purchase decisions.  And, with the uncertainty set to continue, sales teams are strapping in for the long-haul.

That’s why many CROs we’ve spoken to recently have quickly shifted their strategy towards doubling down on selling to their installed base of customers. That is, they’re focused on selling additional products and services to those already seeing value from their product. 

It’s no secret that your existing customers are one of your greatest potential sources of growth, but for the next several quarters, they are likely to be your sales lifeline. Here are some things we’re seeing the most creative Sales leaders in our customer base do to find and close every opportunity for expansion:

1. Using their customers’ usage and deployment data to surface upsell opportunities

Whether you operate a consumption-based business (e.g., you sell a certain number of tokens) or you sell licenses that get deployed over time, you likely have customers that are at capacity (are approaching usage or license limits) and would be great candidates for upsell. Similarly, customers with a set of users who are active in many different parts of your product are much more likely to be open to an expansion conversation. Do you know who these customers are?

If you’re not exposing this kind of usage and health data to your Reps, you’re leaving money on the table. Many of our customers use Gainsight to track customer usage of their product down to the user level and automatically trigger alerts to reps when a customer is approaching license deployment or usage limits. That way, Reps have total visibility into the health of their book of business — and no potential upsell opportunity is left uncovered.

2. Cashing in on their relationship currency to close expansion

The most strategic and successful  Account Managers and Sales reps are constantly building relationships at their customers. They’re also meticulous about keeping track of the details: how much decision making decision-making power a contact has, how they influence others in the organization, how engaged they’ve been, whether they’re long-time college friends with someone in your network or at your company.

At a time like this, CROs are digging deep into these relationships to accelerate expansion. Our customers use our People Maps functionality to visualize relationships, sentiment, engagement, and influence within a customer to help them strategize and find people both inside the customer and out who can help them close a deal.

3. Sending the right (sales) message to the right customers – at scale

If you’re like us, you have customers that are acutely impacted by COVID-19: those in the travel and hospitality vertical, for example. Of course you want to help these customers in every way possible and ensure they continue to see value from your product. But they are not likely to expand with you in the coming months, and you want to be sensitive to that.

At the same time, you need to massively scale your expansion efforts, so sending the right expansion message to the right customer has never been more important. Our Journey Orchestrator functionality enables our customers’ Sales leaders to engage with their expandable book of business in a highly personalized way at scale. You can, for example, trigger an automated email to all of your customers with a specific usage profile with an offer for new licenses, or target only your healthcare customers with messaging that is right for them.

Switching your business to focusing on expansion is a major mindshift change, but it’s good for your organization both now and in the long run. And with the right set of tools, best practices, and attitude, it can be done quickly as well. To learn more, get in touch with us or feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn. To hear our CEO, Nick Mehta and I discuss this live with revenue leaders from Dropbox and Flexera, register for our webinar here.

Priyanka Srinivasan is a Director of Product Marketing at Gainsight and leads go-to-market for Gainsight’s Revenue Optimization product. She has spent her entire career advising and operating both consumer and enterprise technology companies, including as a consultant at Bain & Company.

Picture of Priyanka Srinivasan
Priyanka Srinivasan Director, Product Marketing

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