What were you watching a year ago from today? Maybe you were watching Parasite after it won the first non-English Oscar for Best Picture. Or perhaps you were reliving Michael Jordan’s glory days through The Last Dance. Now when you look back on this day next year, you’ll remember the first time you experienced the new immersive Pulse Everywhere experience. Content, connections, and even some corny jokes brought to your screens live from August Hall in San Francisco.
We’ve put together a synopsis of today’s content so you can get an easy download of what folks were streaming today. There are many more incredible keynotes, sessions, Unplugged experiences, and more to come so tune in tomorrow at 8 a.m. (PT) to continue binge-ing the best customer-focused content!
Pulse Unplugged: The Interactive Experience That Puts You on the Pulse Stage
Did you get a chance to check out the Pulse Unplugged sessions today? If not, we highly recommend you do. Pulse Unplugged is an entirely new format of content that gives you the remote, so to speak. Flip through any and all conversations that pique your interest—maybe it’s work-related, maybe it’s not. Once you find one you like, you can either sit back and listen or raise your hand to be part of the conversation! Here are some of the convos happening on Thursday from 12:00 – 12:45 p.m. (PT):
- Binge-worthy Series to Add to Your Watch List
- Break Through the Noise with Gain Grow Retain
- Career-flix After Party: Tips, Tricks, and Hacks to Fast Track Success
- Chairside Yoga
- And much more!
What Others Are Watching: Day One Session Synopses
Like the binge-worthy shows we literally can’t stop watching, Pulse Everywhere had a great selection of thought leaders and speakers to choose from. Whether you wanted to hear about Customer Success (CS) and Sales alignment, scaling through hypergrowth, or health score iterations, we had a little something for everyone. Here are the track highlights:
Chart-Topping Customer Success Operations
Aligning Stakeholders on a Shared Vision & Key Milestones starring Kari Ardalan, Regional Vice-President of Scaled Success at Zendesk. Her diverse CS experience across various segments makes her insights highly valuable.
- Major Takeaways: Knowing your company’s strategic initiatives can help you collaborate across organizations, share resources, and prevent silos. Look at compensation models to see how stakeholders are motivated. Understanding the depth and breadth of priorities while building a vision for stakeholders is the key enabler for organizational change.
Drive to Thrive: How CS Ops Enables a High-Performance Strategy with Jean Nairon Vice President, Customer Success Operations at PTC and Johannes Loeffler Senior Vice President, Head of Customer Success at PTC.
- Major Takeaways: As PTC transformed their model to SaaS, they had to balance current and new customers while dealing with disruptive technologies that required varying levels of support. The answer? They envisioned themselves as a CS Pit Crew for a racing team with the CSM as the driver. Utilizing data analysis, they can adjust the needs of their customers and the growth engine. Fine-tuning through efficiency? That’s a race that can be won!
The Customer Health Bake Off: Creating Great Health Models Through Iteration with Gainsight’s own Manager of CS Operations, Kendra McClanahan! Kendra used the evolution of Gainsight’s health score model as an example of best practices along with technical challenges.
- Major Takeaways: The use of the DEAR—Deployment, Engagement, Adoption (Depth and Breadth), Return on Investment (ROI)—Model is a great framework that works for Gainsight especially when attached to leading metrics. Comparing the health scorecard with retention rates revealed that when key personas were engaged meaningfully, they saw a 32% higher retention rate than those key personas who were not engaged. The better the engagement, the higher retention. That’s the perfect recipe for success!
New Releases: Aligning Sales and CS
Fast and Furious SaaS Drift with Gainsight’s Kellie DeHart, SVP of Sales and Account Management, and Mike Maday, Director of Client Outcomes. In this episode, Kellie and Mike explore NDR with a growth focus.
- Major Takeaways: Companies need to organize and set up teams properly to accomplish growth. They also have to realize that customer success is a team sport that requires a coordinated effort between CS and Sales. There are definite plays, segmentation strategies with a growth mindset, and value frameworks that are the keys to expansion and NDR.
Delphix: How Value Engineering leads to Customer Success starring Alex Hesterberg Chief Customer Officer, Delphix. Different lines of business value different outcomes in different ways. In order to maintain the health of your accounts and understand the customer position, you have to create a plan to capture their health and action on it.
- Major Takeaways: There are three value trends: Presales as we have known it for 30 years is dead, CS has the highest pipeline conversion rate of any GTM function, and there is CS shift from the Indoor Cat to the Alley Cat.
Start with a Plan and Execute: How to Establish CS with Sales with Amanda Reynolds, Senior Director of CS at Workday and Chris Conant, SVP of CS North America for Salesforce. They discussed the importance of the CS and Sales relationship and how integral it is in delivering true customer value.
- Major Takeaways: When it comes to CS involvement in the sales process, the earlier the better. This allows the teams to more easily identify the key customer outcomes in the sales cycle and ensure that they are carried out after the close. Establish alignment across these teams to ensure that CS has advocates within the sales team and to deepen the understanding of the value of that CS and Sales relationship.
Pulse Originals: End-to-End Value
Real-World Outcomes: How Uber Eats Leverages Technology to Power Outcomes Across the Customer Lifecycle with Michel Bardawil, Global Head of Merchant Growth Systems at Uber Eats. Michael is known as “the man with the plan!” Why? Food is important to everyone and he was responsible for growing his organization during the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a technological acceleration of adoption they prepared for that took into account changing regulations, more merchants to serve, limited resources and the economic crisis.
- Major Takeaways: Leverage technology and adapt your system to better serve customers with increased agility and decision making. They utilized Gainsight, especially 360 degree view. Understand the value of your system. Adapt and challenge the status quo.
Building O2: Lessons Learned Creating Gainsight’s Value Realization Program with Gainsight’s own Tyler McNally, VP of CX. This was a Gainsight on Gainsight session where we gave an inside look at how we think about delivering end-to-end value.
- Major Takeaways: Value realization by the customer is critical to the Net Retention Rate. Value realization is not just about your product but your company too. You need a framework to connect customer priorities, ROI metrics, and best practices with how to use your product. The framework we developed creates value realization for your program. It comes from how you define outcomes, the best practices recommendations you make, how you measure progress, and how you verify those outcomes.
End-To-End Outcomes: Strategies for Delivering Value Throughout the Entire Customer Journey This session was an ensemble cast with Manjula Talreja the CCO of Pager Duty, Paul Brook Global Head of CS-HashiCorp, Jeremy Evans, Global Vice President of CS- Zuora, and Ross Fulton, CEO of Valuize.
- Major Takeaways: Delivering values across different stages in a customer journey is a team effort. You need a defined playbook in order to carry these out in a consistent and scalable manner. When it comes to measuring results, hone in on the impact on retention and growth of the customer base to really capture the value.
Top Picks: Simplifying Customer Success
New Company, New Team: Creating Customer Success as a New Function Emily Gates VP Global Customer Success Dataminr, Jennifer Lovette SVP Customer Success, Invoca, Easton Taylor, Vice President, Customer Success Gainsight).
- Major Take Away: Your first days will be (and should be) different at every new CS organization you enter. Get to know the gaps, priorities, and weaknesses of your new environment and work cross-functionally to get support and buy-in. Most of all, be confident in your decision-making!
First Comes Success Then Comes Hypergrowth! An IBM Story of Scaling Customer Success When Janine Sneed WW VP, Customer Success, IBM Technology, shares the techniques to not only scale but thrive in hyper-growth, people listen!
- Major Takeaways: CSMs are the most important members of the hyper-growth team. Give the tools, the skills, the resources, the mentoring, and the platforms to do their job and succeed. Simplify your processes, including a systematic formulaic way of hiring. And finally, have a consistent practice methodology, at scale, across the organization.
Launch Customer Success Fast and Deliver the Value your Customers Expect Kelly Hall, VP CS Malwarebytes, Lorna Henri VP of Customer Success Modern Health, Emilia D’Anzica Managing Partner & CEO Growth Molecules.
- Major Take Away: When you’re trying to launch a CS function quickly, first understand the ‘Why.’ This will help you create an action plan suited to your environment. Prioritize getting cross-functional buy-in, technology to drive your customer outcomes, and hiring a team of well-rounded CSMs.
If you’re feeling a flood of emotions, like Jennifer Aniston walking back onto the Friends set for the reunion, you’re not alone. Pulse got its name because we always set out to make it the heartbeat of the customer-focused community. Every year we set out to deliver the content you want to hear and provide ways for you to connect with what we hope will be close members of your personal network for years to come. 2020 threw us some curveballs. We experienced much of the world through our screens. But at Pulse Everywhere 2021, we set out to use these screens to bring us all closer together.
Join us for Day Two and Day Three for even more experiences that will leave you feeling inspired and connected.
Special thanks to Michael Pegram Photography for the photos from the event.