Companies have continued to brace for the worst during these difficult times. At Gainsight and other SaaS companies, with the challenge of new sales, the emphasis has been on showing value and growing with your existing book of business.
We all know that customer success is imperative in that regard, but this becomes even more important when looking at the reseller market. After all, according to Gartner, 42% of organizations categorize their software reseller as a service provider. A category that rose to prominence in the 90s expects to be a $260B market by 2022. A large part of that growth is a result of vendor resellers shifting business models towards MSPs. The entire vendor → reseller → MSP → customer relationship is hinged upon the end customer deriving value from the vendor. The best way to measure customer value is through customer success software.
The rise in remote work and the rush to the cloud for many has made the technology infrastructure of most companies increasingly important. It’s no longer adequate just to be ok—customers will be demanding more as end-users’ reliance grows. To that end, more companies will continue to rely on the expertise of resellers, and we have found that many of our technology giants are providing attractive pricing for those resellers that manage their relationships with Customer Success technology such as Gainsight. Why? They know that technology is the best way to visualize adoption and health to measure outcomes, and the best resellers will have their finger on this data. MSPs are ahead of this shift, with “nearly 70% of managed service providers surveyed recently by The Channel Company say they have already or plan to establish dedicated customer success teams within their organizations.” This is where the clear delineation between an MSP and a reseller lies. The shift to transform an exchange from transactional to relational lies in the ability to truly deliver customer success.
For Gainsight, this trend has led to more and more discussions with Resellers and MSPs and there are three areas of Customer Success technology that deliver the most value for resellers— customer visibility, health scores, and playbooks. Let’s dive into how these unlock value in the channel environment.
1. Gainsight 360
The shift to the cloud, exacerbated by this current pandemic, has meant that more than half of organizations are securing cloud services through a software reseller. With many resellers using multiple systems to manage a variety of products and vendors, truly knowing what their customers have and predicting what they may need in the future is challenging. Anticipating client needs is made much easier with accurate customer visibility. Gainsight 360 allows you to bring all of your customer data together to capture a single source of truth across an entire reseller organization. This data can be designed with a flexible structure in mind depending on the complexity of your relationships, pulling in data from your CRM, financial systems, or custom database. Even more important for the channel partner, you can also integrate the various systems and data sources that are required to work with your vendors, even when they not only vary by vendor but by product line or platform.
With Gainsight 360, upsells, expansion, and renewals become clearer to predict because you have the complete view of what your customer is doing with you, allowing your relationship with the end customer to be proactive versus reactive. In a time when many companies are also doing more with fewer resources and potentially headcount, this single pane view is advantageous as opposed to numerous spreadsheets and databases that periodically need to be created and/or updated manually.
2. Gainsight Health scores
Having all the information together is the first step, but then what? Health scores are another critical value you can unlock using Gainsight. Understanding your customer health across products, segments, business units, and end-users allows you to monitor the right signals to determine the likelihood of expansion, new product adoption, or other offerings. With an increased reliance on resellers, it may be challenging to know which accounts to provide which level of service and health scores can give you a quick read on how to prioritize your efforts. All of this is unlocked without the need for difficult-to-obtain advanced telemetry data from your vendor. However, should that be available to you, you can dig even deeper to marry product data with health data to unlock an even clearer customer picture.
With the complexity of product offerings that many resellers have, the real value in health scores comes not just from a holistic picture of your customer’s health, but judging the health of your customers by the appropriate way they do business with you. It could be health scores by vendor relationship, customer geography, product line, vertical, etc. Step one is to handle the complexity of your data, then take the relationship to a new level by leveraging that data.
Regardless of which recovery type you predict—U, V, or W—customers are now carefully reviewing software expenditures. Your ability to get a clear picture of what is not working and why can help you stay steps ahead to change course quickly.
3. Gainsight Playbooks and Success Plans
The last most valuable aspect of Gainsight for you as a reseller is playbooks. You’re likely managing several accounts across various industries and sizes. Imagine being able to create custom segments relevant to your book of business and then have a standard playbook for each of those segments. Now sales teams, regardless of tenure, will have the perfect recipe for success every single time. When working with the customer, they will know when in the relationship to reach out, what the best channels for communication are, how to deliver a successful EBR for that segment, and how to strategize for renewal. Playbooks will also help sales teams navigate the various process requirements of your vendors, by adding their requirements to the system, the team can get proactive reminders on what needs to be done without having to keep track of all the different rules across products and vendors.
Finally, while Resellers and MSPs are contemplating Customer Success as a new company strategy, there is fear around executing that change at the individual team member level. And realistically, your teams have been working with customers for years and there are already some Customer Success motions going on. Playbooks allow you to codify the best practices that already exist and action the new ones you want to try by getting them to your team in a clear, digestible, and consistent way. With less time spent on trying to remember the process, your team can be more focused on outcomes to ensure ‘customer success’ every time.
Gainsight understands how rapidly the reseller landscape is changing. With the increased use of online marketplaces, resellers will have to continue to deliver values and outcomes to see lasting results. As resellers shift to a customer-centric approach with some going so far as to offer additional services to meet customer needs, Gainsight allows you to stay ahead of expectations with the data you need at your fingertips to meet customers where they are. There are several reasons technology companies like Cisco and Palo Alto Networks who rely on resellers, rely on Gainsight. Take a tour today to see how they deliver on customer success in the cloud economy of today.