In the ever-evolving landscape of SaaS, Customer Success (CS) teams are facing a paradigm shift. Once primarily focused on customer satisfaction and retention, CS teams are now being called upon to think more commercially and demonstrate their direct impact on business revenue. As the SaaS industry matures and competition intensifies, the role of CS has expanded beyond mere support functions to become a critical driver of revenue growth and profitability.
At The Customer Conference, Gainsight spoke about Commercialising Customer Success: A Fundamental Problem. Check out the full video below.
Want the highlights? In this blog post, we delve into the transformative changes reshaping the CS landscape and explore how CS teams can adapt to this new reality. From embracing a new approach to revenue alignment to navigating industry shifts with optimism, we uncover key insights and practical strategies for CS leaders to actively participate in revenue generation.
But let’s first discuss some of the changes that are moving CS orgs in this commercial direction.
Customer Success Is No Longer Just a Trusted Advisor
Tale as old as time, SaaS companies are tasking teams to do more with less and CS teams are no exception. CS teams are crucial for companies focused on growing through their existing customer base and now, organizations are looking to put a number to that growth.
But before you panic, there is good news. First of all, owning a number like retention or revenue does not mean you are responsible for negotiating or closing a deal to deliver that number. Second, this creates an opportunity for your team to be seen as a fundamental driver of revenue and not just a nice-to-have.
Company-Wide Alignment on Maximizing Customer Experience and Revenue
Another shift in the tide comes from revenue alignment not only needing to take place between Marketing and Sales. The best way to maximize revenue is looking at each touchpoint of the customer from Support, Community, Education, Product, Customer Success, in addition to, Marketing and Sales. Think about the customer and how these teams support their overall experience and that results in revenue.
So how do you get there? Take note, CS leaders.
Practical Strategies for Revenue Alignment
Here are five strategies to start implementing now:
- Own a Number: Encourage CS teams to take ownership of revenue targets, fostering a culture of accountability and results-driven performance. Consider tracking Customer Success Qualified Leads (CSQLs).
- Pair CSMs with AEs: Foster collaboration between customer success and sales teams, leveraging their combined expertise to drive expansion and upsell opportunities.
- Speak the Language of Revenue: Equip CS leaders with business acumen and financial literacy to effectively communicate with stakeholders across the organization.
- Incentivize Performance: Implement leverage compensation plans for CSMs, aligning incentives with revenue goals to drive desired outcomes.
- Continuous Training and Enablement: Invest in ongoing training and development programs to equip CSMs with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in a revenue-aligned CS model.
“Revenue-aligned Customer Success is the cornerstone of sustainable growth in the SaaS industry,” says Remco de Vries, VP of Revenue Marketing at Gainsight and a Customer Success thought leader.
By embracing revenue alignment and adopting proactive strategies, CS teams can position themselves as key drivers of growth and profitability within their organizations.
Want to learn more strategies for CS teams in 2024? Check out Five Opportunities for CS in a World Full of AI-Driven Change.