Pulse Everywhere: Themes And Takeaways From Day 1
Today we wrapped the first day of Pulse Everywhere, our reimagined Pulse. We could have never imagined that when we started Pulse in 2013 with 300 attendees that it would grow to the size of our virtual conference today with over 21,000 registered attendees. This year we watched Pulse come full circle. Last year, at Moscone Center, we hung ‘Welcome Home’ signs to greet all of you. Today, thousands of you welcomed us into your home and we are so excited to learn and grow with our Pulse community.
So much happened on day 1! Nick Mehta, our CEO, kicked off with the key themes you will hear across all the tracks from leaders at Splunk, Adobe, IBM, and more! We want to ensure you leave Pulse Everywhere with three feelings: 1) inspired 2) informed and 3) invigorated. The 6 key messages that you will hear weaved throughout Pulse Everywhere are the main questions we know to be top of mind for Customer Success and Product Leaders everywhere.
- Churn is top of mind, especially in these uncertain times
- Efficiency and how to do more with less
- Visibility to gain a common view of the customer
- How to find pockets of expansion in your customer base
- Reducing silos to create the ultimate customer experience
- Using your product to drive adoption
Now let’s get into the top 10 takeaways from Day 1. We closed the day with some amazing product announcements which were so big, they deserved their own post here.
- Ashvin Vaidyanathan, Gainsight CCO, and Ruben Rabago, Gainsight Chief Strategist, presented on how existential Customer Success is during a downturn. Given that new sales will likely decrease, there has never been a more crucial time to support your existing customer base. Those existing customers will be scrutinizing outcomes to ensure your software is delivering results and if you can’t deliver value to them, they will likely churn. Ashvin dived in on how he is using Gainsight to identify the best swarm strategy including applying our COVID-19 workflows to segment customers based on their level of impact to drive better predictability to prevent churn. We wrote about our process here and we are hosting a follow-up webinar dedicated to our Risk Management approach with Gainsight customer FinancialForce.
- Kevin Meeks, VP, Global CSM, and Renewals alongside Emily Ryan, Director of Success Management Strategy and Operations at Splunk used a great wheel analogy for Customer Success driving home the point that the customer acts as the outside of the wheel with every department internally having inputs to that customer. If one of those spokes is not in line, the customer cannot propel forward. Enter the Prescriptive Value Path Splunk has created to help prospects envision success. Using Gainsight, they are able to map use cases and urgency into a roadmap which is translated into a Customer Success Plan that both the CSM and the customer have alignment around. This has allowed Splunk to see 57% improvements in time to value and created a seamless handoff between the pre and post-sales teams which ensures a great customer experience.
- Melissa Perri, Founder, and CEO of Produx Labs shared some insightful ways her client Ring-A-Doc, a high growth telemedicine platform, uses data and insights to escape “The Build Trap” and grow product adoption. What is ‘The Build Trap’? It can happen to the best of companies— once they have budget and resources, they start to build everything on the backlog instead of actually determining the best roadmap to increase ARR. Perri shares the best way to combat that is with a focus on outcomes over output. By ensuring everyone in the company is focused on the same strategic goals, that focus allows product teams to thrive even in a crisis. For Ring-A-Doc, they identified that reducing cancellations to keep doctor schedules full and investment in the workflow to improve efficiency allowed them to add substantial ARR back into the business.
- Jenny Beazley, Sr. Director, WW Customer Solutions Programs, and Lisa Flotlin, Customer Solutions Program Manager at Tableau walked us through the maturity model they developed to drive client outcomes called The Tableau Blueprint. The blueprint focuses on three pillars—agility, proficiency, and community. These benchmarks are integrated into their Customer Success Playbooks in Gainsight to ensure consistency across like accounts within the segment. Tableau has seen success from its customers including Chipotle and Lenovo using Gainsight powered dashboards to unlock data that help them make key decisions in their respective businesses.
- Bobby Cooper, Sr. Director of Customer Success at Weave, spoke to us live from their vacant offices in Silicon Slopes. Customer Success teams are likely dealing with large amounts of unpredictability and Cooper took us through one key way he is using Gainsight to stabilize how he views his client base. Earlier at Weave, he identified that usage of automated appointments correlated highest with customer loyalty however, he noticed the adoption rate for this feature was only at 63%. This became one of the inputs for his health score model. With the recent impact of COVID-19, customers who were green in February were suddenly in the red months later. As a result, they quickly looked at which features and functions were seeing growth which included their mobile applications and email marketing while desktop applications and VOIP were rapidly declining in use. CS and Product teams worked together to pivot the roadmap and new inputs were used to calculate the post-COVID-19 health score resulting in a 1% decrease in churn and an increase of 20 points in NPS scores.
- We’ve all heard the saying “Everyone is in Sales.” Sabina Pons (VP of Client Success & Support), Harris Eilenberg (Manager of Client Success and Ops), and Jared Haleck (SVP of Product) of Mavenlink taught us a lesson on a variation of that quote, “Everyone is in Product.” We love a CS + PX story because we truly believe that the two belong together so it was great to see CS and PM leaders present together during the last track of day one. As they put it “most enterprise software sucks because product teams design it based on feedback from buyers. They need feedback from the users too but that’s hard to get. Gainsight is the tool that lets you bridge that gap”. Everyone knows that retention is a measure of product-market fit BUT retention is a lagging indicator. The Mavenlink team shared with us how they combine CS and PX insights to look at leading and operational indicators including conversion, win rate, growth rate, sentiment analysis, and NPS to paint a broader picture of the customer. They combine these insights with the Gainsight PX retention report to truly measure if customers are addicted. This full picture analysis has allowed them to see an 86% accuracy rate in predicting client retention to effectively plan their roadmap for continued adoption. PMs and CSMs at Mavenlink are now partnering on client outreach to probe into client needs and understand their outcomes to ensure they can continue to shrink the 24.3% number below and maximize product-market fit for their book of business.
- Julie Johnson, Senior Manager of Product Adoption at Adobe is also a former chef and gave us a glimpse of her past life by comparing PMs to bakery franchisees. Julie’s goals around product adoption stem from one place—to develop once and deploy broadly. Similarly to a bakery franchise, PMs can learn and scale efficiently if they share best practices around in-app engagements, especially valuable in a multi-product enterprise such as Adobe. Adobe used Gainsight PX to combat extensive engineering resources, redundant messaging, inconsistent branding, and limited learning by driving consistency and efficiency across their in-app engagement function. By forming a central governance team to support in-app engagement consisting of an operations PM, a tech PM, and Customer Marketing they were able to deliver a center of excellence across Adobe for in-app engagements.
- Laura Salonga, Senior Manager of CSM Operations at athenahealth also took us through a food analogy using soup to drive Gainsight adoption! With ingredients and utensils such as executive alignment, product management, analytics, and testing she was able to lead athenahealth to amazing ROI results using Gainsight. Laura really took the time to walk us through how she became a strategic partner with the PM organization learning their agile terminologies such as kanban, scrum, and backlogs. We at Gainsight know how critical that relationship is for both CS leaders and PMs, its why we consistently remind our user base that CS + PX work better together. ROI results include customer retention AND CSM retention, referenceable customer growth, efficiency using JO, and of course positive revenue impact.
- Renewals are top of mind these days to stabilize your existing book of business. Ben Michael, Director of Customer Success at Jamf, drilled down into how they manage renewals internally which have led to nearly 40% of their April renewals being closed-won one month early in March and a 17% year over year increase in new ACV on renewals. The Jamf process focuses on using Gainsight to automate messaging as early as 140 days before renewal, auto-creating quotes, and providing visibility across the organization to track renewals. Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and their results speak for themselves.
- Lastly, we heard from former Gainster and current Director of Customer Success Operations at Gong, Sonam Dabholkar who took us on their internal maturity path from being reactive to being prescriptive with customers. With the speed of how fast our world is changing recently, everyone wants to move past being reactive and actually get a better sense of what lies ahead to meet customers where they are in real-time. After setting up the right people across teams and the right process for customer segmentation based on size and ARR, they needed a tool that would allow them to scale communication across these segments, improve visibility among teams and iterate as they grew. The natural answer for this ‘Gainster for life’ was Gainsight! If you are early in your selection for a CS tool, I highly recommend viewing this session to understand how Sonam Dabholkar came to the decision to choose Gainsight.
We are so thankful for the Pulse community for showing us how fired up you all are despite being sheltered-in-place in many locations. If you missed it, be sure to register for day 2 here so you can watch all the sessions on demand right after they go live.