Pulse Europe 2022 is here! The event theme “Together, We’re Unstoppable” came to life at the opening keynote by Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight. Along with other Customer Success, Product, and Community leaders, it underscored the need to build durable growth — now, more than ever before.
With the recent economic downturn, the one question top of mind for most Pulse attendees is: How can the Pulse community make sure our businesses are resilient and set up for long-term success?
In his epic opening keynote, Mehta provided the answers. Business strategies and tools that drive durable growth.
Net Revenue Retention: The One True Metric
“We talked to investors and CEOs who said Net Revenue Retention is the most important metric for them this year. They also said customer success is the organization least likely to see cuts in spending over the next year.” Mehta explained.
We’ve said for a while that investing in Customer Success is the key to increased NRR, but Mehta encouraged everyone at Pulse to think about their investment in their customers as more than just their customer success manager headcount. It’s an investment in your toolkit for efficient, durable growth.
The Durable Growth Playbook
Mehta brought out Karl Rumelhart, Chief Product Officer and Executive Vice President at Gainsight, and Easton Taylor, VP of Customer Success at Gainsight, to unveil a plan to not just survive this economic downturn but thrive during it: the six-step Durable Growth Playbook.
The six plays to building durable businesses are:
- No surprises: Develop a risk management program centered around a customer health-scoring framework that provides early-warning signals.
- Keep the Customer in CS: Develop organization-wide strategies for acquiring customers, managing them, and driving them to verifiable success again and again.
- Go on offense: Promote greater collaboration between your sales and success teams to unlock the expansion potential of your install base.
- Scale through digital: Digital-led CS should no longer be viewed as a segmentation strategy but instead to target your entire customer base with a digital-led program.
- Grow through your product: Everyone on your GTM team should collaborate to put the customer at the center of the universe.
- Be human-first: Show empathy to customers in tough times— it could be the key differentiator between you and your competitors.
Building Durable Growth with an Unstoppable Community
Community is one of your biggest levers in this toolkit. Robin van Lieshout, founder of inSided by Gainsight, and Remco de Vries, VP of Marketing at Gainsight, talked about how community management has evolved to become a key durable growth play. They pointed out the value of a community and shared the top three laws of community-building.
Let’s take a look.
Three Laws of Community Building
1. You Can Start Anytime
You can start to build a community at any time—there’s little barrier to entry. In fact, you may even already have a community and not know it.
A great example is the Office Hours sessions offered by Gainsight’s CS Ops team. “We get professionals together to connect people without the need to travel—it’s a great way to start your community,” said van Lieshout.
It’s an opportunity for small groups of people to share experiences, trade solutions, and gain a sense of belonging. It’s also an efficient, low-cost method to connect people across the world, no matter where they’re located.
2. A Community Is Only As Good as Its Content
The truth is: a community is only as valuable as its content.
Community members need a reason to return again and again. That reason will always be your content. In the broadest sense of the word meaning: articles, data, product roadmap updates, knowledge base, and professional discussions. If the content isn’t valuable, chances are they won’t come back.
“Content is the most important thing. After the first engagement, it’s hard to get people to come back and stay engaged. That’s all content.” de Vries said.
A great example of a company that successfully draws in its members is Gong’s Customer Hub, a great community built around Sales Data and Strategy.
3. Community Should Drive Real Business Outcomes
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Community should drive real business outcomes. Being data-driven is old news, and the industry has had the means to measure everything for the last few years. Yet, most community initiatives haven’t cracked the code on tying Community initiatives to top-line business goals, like Adoption, NRR, and Expansion. The good news is that the data is there, and companies must invest in making these data accessible and actionable.
Community & CS Panel with Personio
Still, there’s no one right way to start Community.
Personio is a great example of a community project that was born out of high-touch customer engagement and grew into the broader CX team. With their hyper growth, they struggled to serve their many customers —especially in this economic environment.
This all fits in with their digital strategy, one of the biggest pieces for digital-led CS and self-service, their community drove their overall company efficiency.
From building engagement groups to a strong product feedback loop, Personio highlghts the value of Community in driving durable growth through digital-led strategy.
Gainsight Underscores the Importance of Human-First
Finally, it’s important to remember the most important play of all is to be human-first.
Mehta reminded everyone that being human-first is critical to building a durable business. He shared his belief that “the best part of being unstoppable together is how much good we can do when we all come together.” Whether we are collaborating on product roadmaps, helping our customers reach their goals, or supporting our communities, we are always more successful when we work together and help each other.
Although we may not be able to predict what comes next, one thing we know for sure is that we are unstoppable together.