The state of the SaaS market right now is stress-testing the growth strategies of all kinds of SaaS companies.
But the companies that are prepared to weather any market conditions are the ones poised to become unstoppable. To help you do that, we created the SaaS Durable Growth Kit for Customer Success, a collection of insights and proven strategies from Gainsight executives that shifts the conversation from “what now” to “what’s possible.”
Here are five ways to leverage the kit to prepare your business for durable growth.
1. Reflect on past downturns
In a recent article, Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight, reflects on downturns of the past and outlines advice for every member of the C-suite:
- Chief financial officers should consider moving from an annual budget to monthly forecasting
- Chief customer officers should consider ways to efficiently scale
- Chief revenue officers should consider reinvesting in account management
- Chief marketing officers should consider investing in customer marketing
- Chief product officers should consider leaning into product-led growth
- Chief people officers should consider increasing transparency
Mehta reflects, “The one thing I’ve learned after witnessing so many downturns is that companies with durable growth will not only surf these wild waves but will also be better prepared for future success when a wave dies down.”
2. CS, it’s time to own NRR
For customer success (CS) leaders, now is the time to level up your efforts and drive long-term growth through Net Revenue Retention (NRR).
Kellie Capote, Chief Customer Officer (CCO) of Gainsight believes that CS has become the primary driver of NRR and has the data to back it up. According to recent Gainsight research, The Customer Success Index, 2022, companies that invested 10% of revenue in customer success saw the highest NRR.
Capote shares five key points of advice for SaaS customer success leaders:
- Demonstrate the ROI of CS to increase corporate spend in CS and CS Ops team
- If your customer success organization isn’t owning NRR yet, it’s time
- Focus on having more direct revenue responsibility, in particular with the renewal motion
- Invest in digital-led customer success to scale your CS efforts and drive better business outcomes
- Align your organization around a common value framework to drive end-to-end outcomes
If CS leaders can accomplish these five points, they will be setting their organizations up for long-term, durable growth. Capote says, “it’s clear that NRR is the key metric for SaaS companies that want to succeed in a hyper-competitive modern economy. Most companies realize that customer success is their number one growth engine—for growing client value, growing revenue, and growing shareholder value.”
3. Get ready to grow efficiently
Is your company prepared to grow efficiently?
If not, it’s time to get ready for a shift in the market. In an interview originally published in the Wall Street Journal, Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight says, “A change in market multiples shows that the ‘efficient growth’ mindset has displaced the ‘growth at all costs’ mindset.”
This means SaaS companies need to deliver consistent results over the long-term. They need to ask themselves what value their customers are really getting from their product, and how they can expand that value and drive outstanding customer outcomes efficiently.
Mehta continues, “Many of the companies we all admire today were forged during the downturns of the past. The companies that are going to dominate the next decade will be the ones that have efficient businesses today.”
4. Listen to your users
It’s easy to zero in on the perspective of the buyer—but what if your end users aren’t being heard in that equation?
Scott Salkin, SVP and GM of Gainsight Essentials argues that true “customer success” simply isn’t possible without “user success” and that SaaS companies must bridge the gap between the interests of their buyers and their users.
Salkin walks readers through data-driven approaches to parsing out the customer stakeholder dichotomy and boosting NPS scores. Ultimately, he concludes, “Understanding the patterns that cause customer stickiness is a huge factor for durable growth.”
5. Invest in digital CS
Digital customer success has become the essential strategy to efficiently scale a CS operation. Customer Success Managers (CSMs) require digital channels and tools to guide a growing customer base throughout their experience with your product and your company.
In an article originally published in Forbes, Kellie Capote, CCO of Gainsight, discusses how CSMs benefit from digital-led customer success. Capote says, “far from replacing human-led CS, digital CS is simply a more efficient and effective means of supporting, supplementing, and scaling everything you’re already doing.”
To learn more about the tools and tactics CS leaders should focus on to build durable growth, read the full ebook: The SaaS Durable Growth Kit for Customer Success.