It was a chilly day in San Francisco, but it was hot and happening on day two of Pulse Everywhere. With the amazing content from day one, our presenters had a lot to live up to.
But they brought their best game with some incredible moves, tips, and tricks. It was informative instruction, both live and virtual, to help up attendee’s plays and performance. So, as Elizabeth “Beth” Harmon said on “The Queen’s Gambit,” “Let’s play.”
The daily tracks Gainsight presented are filled with some of the best that CS has to offer. From major players in the field such as Delphix and ADP to Okta, Lumen, and Glint, get ready to hear about Customer Success Operations, CS at Scale, CS Strategy, Human First Customer Success, and Product Experience. There were more twists and turns than a “Stranger Things” episode.
Chart-Topping Customer Success Operations
Building Programs That Drive Adoption at Scale: KC Duggan, Director of Revenue Systems at MINDBODY, JT Eborn MBA of PMP Instructure, Melissa Allen the Sr. Manager of Customer Success Operations at Okta, Valery Skvirskaya Manager of Customer Success Operations Glint, Thuy Koo Manager, Customer Success Operations, of Glint joined together to create an amazing ensemble cast discussing the importance of adoption to your customer’s journey.
- Major Takeaways: A must-see if you run CS Ops. Our speakers confirmed that the more targeted the onboarding and adoption programs, the better. To create this targeted experience, it’s important to put together a bespoke program that involves multiple channels like email, webinar, and office hours in a way that’s best suited to your users. Don’t spread yourself too thin—focus on perfecting an area to drive momentum and then apply those learnings to other adoption paths.
Win Fast by Hiring CS Operations Early with Will Rahim SVP of Global CS at Delphix, Todd Massey a Senior CS Ops Manager at Delphix, Scott Klimek who is the Vice President of Customer Operations at Delphix. This was a great session that in order to succeed in CS, you have to start early in the process.
- Major Takeaways: Always be proactive and not reactive. Try to get your CS org from proactive to predictive and prescriptive. Giving your CS team is dependent on your company values and needs. Complex and fast? How clean is your data? All need to be taken into consideration. Next, is the backbone of your CS operations: access to accurate data, consistent processes, the right tech stack, and a feedback loop.
To All the Jobs I’ve Loved Before: Navigating a Career in CS Operations There is nothing like a varied ensemble cast. This one had such stars as Edgar Ramirez Vilchez, Director of CS Ops at ADP, Renee House the Senior Manager of Global Customer Success Operations at Genesys, Gunjan Marwah Nichani, Customer Success Operations Manager at Granular, and Gainsight’s CS Evangelist, Elaine Cleary. As Customer Success Operations becomes central to most companies, the growth of the CS team and professional role is leading to an opening of the profession.
- Major Takeaways: Our panel speakers exemplified how having a variety of background experiences can benefit your CS ops career path. But overall, having an interest in data and technology is key, after all, understanding data is fundamental to the job! Panelists suggest doing as many hands-on practices as possible, being confident as you establish new solutions, and not being afraid to fail.
Enablement: The Key to CS Success starring Jen Bruno, Gainsight’s Senior. CS Ops Business Partner focused on Transformation and Enablement. Jen gave critical insight on how to provide training, coaching, assets, and tools through Gainsight’s CS Enablement.
- Major Takeaways: To empower the CSM in a role that is increasingly cross-functional, we built programs around communications, especially forums for more information. There is more training for tenured CSMs to drive and outcomes throughout the customer journey by aligning the training to the customer lifecycle. We also created a better onboarding program including a month-long CSM boot camp to help new hires with a holistic approach and strong foundation so CSMs understand how to perceive their role and the expectations from the business. Their role is geared to a real-world understanding with opportunities to practice. Lastly, access progress and give feedback.
Familiar Favorites: Customer Success at Scale
Glint Guided Experience (GGE): Creating WOW Customer Moments at Scale Mary Poppen the CCO of Glint, Stephanie Gerpe, Head of NA Customer Success Glint, Valery Skvirskaya Manager of Customer Success Operations at Glint, Thuy Koo Manager, Customer Success Operations, of Glint. It was an all Glint gathering in this session to share how they created a tech touch model that delights their customers with a balance of scale and personalization.
- Major Takeaways: To make the customer’s self-guided journey possible there are four key focus categories: product, resources, success measurement, and delivery channels. Wow Moments that Matter: Onboarding and implementation with a focus on “nudging” communication. A six-step survey journey over a two to four-week period that includes platform setup, data prep, survey strategy, setup, test and launch, and results roll out. Then, success plans with clearly defined objectives and tasks in Gainsight.
The Joy of Digital Success: Lane Holt Director, Director of CS at Gainsight overseeing digital-led customers showcased how Gainsght views and does digital success.
- Major Takeaways: Start with the customer lifecycle. Start simple. In Gainsight, use Journey Orchestrator and use templates where you can iterate and improve. Effective strategies begin with three thoughts: will this have a net negative, a net neutral, or a net positive impact on your customers. And what does your CSM have to offer your customers in the best engagement model.
Hypergrowth Through Customer Success. This panel…cast includes Justin Greenberger VP of AMER GTM at UIPath, Teresa Anania VP of Global Customer Success at Zendesk, Allison Carroll, SVP Customer Success at Avalara, Tim Van Lew, Senior Client Outcomes Manager at Gainsight gather together to discuss how CS is no longer a way to keep customers. It is a way to impact growth revenue by delivering customer outcomes.
- Major Takeaways: Org structure and segmentation are key! Allow yourself room to pivot as you grow your team and use customer signals and data to direct how you segment and structure your strategies. Gainsight can help surface leading indicators on customer health and readiness to buy more. Giving your post-sales teams access to this data and enabling them correctly allows them to quickly identify areas of opportunity.
PayPal: Our Road to World-Class Customer Success starring Maeve Dorman. Maeve is PayPal’s Senior Vice President of Customer Success Management, Revenue Operations, and Enablement. PayPal is at the forefront of the digital payment Revolution. Their road was not easy, but it is filled with well-learned lessons. Maeve enlightened the audience with the fact that during the Covid-19 pandemic, consumers had to make purchases online. As we go into a post-pandemic time, most consumers believe they will stay with this type of purchasing. That leaves PayPal in a transformative place powering world commerce as both consumers and vendors are highly digitized and more complex.
- Major Takeaways: PayPal discovered through communications with teams and stakeholders a new experience for vendors and consumers with customer success at the center of their processes. Despite the size and global complexity of the company, they developed a vision and roadmap to success with four KPI: revenue growth, lead pass to Sales, retention, and merchant satisfaction NPS. They unified their technology under Gainsight which allowed their teams to prioritize and bring portfolios together while being proactive with merchants. They learned to accomplish this type of scale the whole organization needed to be involved. They carefully chose the talent on their teams to suit their needs. Flexibility was required to change while executing their strategies. Lastly, change was a part of their process, so adapt to every environment.
Watch Next: CS Strategy
From On-Prem to the Cloud: How Customer Success has Been Adapted and Adopted Maria Funkhouser VP CS Lumen, Erika Cowen VP CS F5, Meenu Agarwal SVP CS VMware, Joshua Weber Client Outcomes Director Gainsight
- Major Takeaways: Digital transformation isn’t an option, it’s an expectation. Fundamentally shifting your company mindset to being experience-led will enable you to cultivate long-term customers. The keyword here is company mindset. It’ll require cross-functional buy-in across teams to drive digital transformation that puts the customer in the forefront.
You’re on Mute: Making CS Work In a Remote-first Model GitLab’s David Sakamoto Vice President of Customer Success and Sherrod Patching Head of Global Technical Account Managers discuss what values, engagement styles and strategies, that translate to a remote environment while creating velocity, efficiency and balance all in a remote environment.
- Major Takeaways: Gitlab uses the acronym CREDIT: Collaboration, Results, Efficiency, Diversity-Inclusion-Belonging, Iteration, Transparency. Of all the Values, Transparency is one that they find the most critical from customer engagement. Transparency on everything that is going on with the customer, what progress they are making, and via other tools helps build trust in the customer relationship. Part of the relationship is building rapport in the remote setting through engagement before sharing content. Document everything in a single source of truth. Create live doc meetings where notes can be shared and added along with reference links. It’s okay to have asynchronous work. It allows flexibility for all involved.
NDR: Key Benchmarks at $50M, $200M, $1B ARR. Net Dollar Retention (NDR) is the buzzword of the moment. Why? Because it is the true metric by which you measure CS and the value of your business. In order to measure NDR you must have clearly defined benchmarks to compare it to. Who would know this? A true NDR sensei, Dave Kellog.
- Major Takeaways: “For those who want to cut to the chase, the answer is 104%.” That was the beginning to an incredible session. When you think about Net Dollar Retention, the median between zero and $250M is 104. An additional number is 111, which is the median for public companies and those about $200M ARR. NDR became the metric of choice over churn and LTV. With the issues and flaws with the “old school model” because ARR is a fact, but LTV is an opinion. NDR is a better way to measure the install base of a SaaS company because it’s less ambiguous and simple to calculate. NDR matters to a company because it is a driver to its valuation, Lastly, NDR must be measured
The Power of CS from an Investor POV Nello Franco Managing Director Vista Consulting Group, Christina Kosmowski President of LogicMonitor, and Kevin Meeks CCO Apptio share their perspective on the power of Customer Success from an Investor Point of View. What a show this will be!
- Major Takeaways: Investors are looking for growth potential of a company and customer success is viewed as an integral part of improving NDR and GRR and driving overall growth. Time to Value, adoption metrics, and risk management metrics/processes are all under the microscope as well as they are indicators of growth potential. Having Gainsight can also play a role as it shows a level of CS maturity and also allows for quicker access to these types of metrics. Outside of the metrics, people matter too. Focus on the people behind your product. What are some things you can do to educate customers and get them excited about using your product to be better at their jobs?
Product Adoption and Experience
Closing the “Say Do Gap”: Using Your Product to Deeply Understand Customer Need Joanna Cook Camacho, the Vice President of Experience Design, at DCP Autodesk gave an insight talk about the “Say Do Gap.” For those of you who don’t know, the “Say Do Gap” is the difference between what we do and what we say we do. It is a continuous problem that we deal with innovation and understanding our customers. This leads to incomplete information that we use to solve problems. That means we are not likely to solve it.
- Major Takeaways: By bridging the gap we can identify the core opportunities we have to provide products and experiences that solve our customers’ problems. That must include knowing who your users are. That takes research that can be done through created communities that enables you to be human to your customers. Those insights lead to actions, such as micro engagements, that are developed in partnership with Gainsight PX.
PX, I Still Love You: Nurturing Customer Success Using Your Product Harshi Banka Regional Director of CS, Gainsight P and Mickey Alon CTO and Founder, Gainsight PX star in the session “PX, I Still Love You.” In this episode Harshi and Mickey discuss product-led growth and how to leverage it in customer success. But more importantly, how Gainsight orchestrates custom success using product-led strategies.
- Major Takeaways: Putting the product at front of the customer journey with the Product, Sales, and the Marketing team need to collaborate with CS to make this possible. Think about PLG helps with putting the customer at the center by using engagement, metrics, and feedback in the adoption process. It’s the CSM who drives by establishing a strategic relationship. However, there are six big challenges (lack of visibility, poor adoption, unexpected churn, inability to scale, disconnected experience, and missed expansion). By using contextual guides based on where they are in the life cycle, Gainsight has empowered their customers to get value out of the product quickly. The best way to accomplish this is to map the customer journey to capture the user role and objectives to onboard successfully.
Trial With Benefits: How to Use Your Free Trial to Drive Quicker Time to Value starring Manish Devgan Senior VP of Product Management and Georgi Donev, Product Manager both at Software AG. This was the epitome of the hybrid event with Manish in Virginia and Georgi in Bulgarie. Manish and Georgi understand that the customer journey is largely centered on the product and the experience it creates. In their case, Software AG utilizes an IoT platform to keep users on their journey of adoption and use. They have to have visibility to understand the customer while providing incredible service and experience.
- Major Takeaways: Their objective is to optimize the lifecycle cost while still delivering operational experience. They use Gainsight PC for their product vision to help democratize IoT and enable domain experts to gain the benefits of the data and connectivity. They also give visibility and the ability to companies across broad geographic regions to connect to the masses of customers while analyzing IoT data. They help make IoT simple and fast, especially during onboarding with the use of a knowledge bot. In-app engagements help both customers, drive engagements, and provide user health data, creating a one-stop-shop for content.
Netflix’s Customer Obsession Right now it seems like everyone is obsessed with Netflix and other streaming services. Did you ever think that maybe Netflix was obsessed with you? In an interactive talk, Gibson Biddle
Former VP of Product at Netflix explores how they developed personalized technology that is built for the consumer.
Gibson shared the trial and error process that it took to create an experience that users wanted, not what Netflix thought they wanted. Throughout the interactive session, Gibson showed the influence of predictive power as he polled the audience to demonstrate how personal preferences shape the Netflix algorithm.
He wrapped up with a scenario about free trials. Most of us are familiar with the process of putting in a credit card that gets charged once your trial period runs out. They discovered that having consistent reminders throughout that period, while impacting month one retention, impacted customer loyalty in the long run.
Stay Tuned for More Pulse Everywhere
But wait, there’s more! Join us for Day Three to soak up the last day of insights from our sessions and panels. We’ll see you there!
Special thanks to Michael Pegram Photography for the photos from the event.