A year ago, I found myself in a conundrum that might be familiar. My lease was almost up, and I needed to find a new place to live. Fast. Unlike every other time I’ve been in this situation, it was time to ask the question: “Should I buy?”
It can seem daunting to make a significant investment when you know you need to move quickly. Deep down, I knew it was time for something that was the right fit for me – more permanent, with space to grow. It turns out, with planning, pacing, and expert assistance (in my case, from a realtor and movers), you can have it all, and quickly.
Buying technology for your CS team can feel very similar. You know you need to think long-term – there’s nothing worse than unpacking all your boxes, getting settled, and realizing you now need an office to work from home (welcome to 2020!). Still, it can seem easier to pick a short term solution or make lasting trade-offs on what you need because you need fast value.
Do you really need to compromise? It turns out, no. I caught up with several Gainsight customers who’ve launched in less than a month and Gainsight’s services team, who led over 50,000 hours of implementation in 2019.
Here’s are five steps from the experts to go live faster:
Where to start? With your CRM! For many organizations, a hurdle to getting started with a CS Platform boils down to customer data, but there’s no need to get stuck. When mapping data sources, many CS organizations find that merely connecting to their CRM can be enough to launch and start seeing value with plenty of room to grow. If you’re looking to launch fast, look for a great partner with plenty of experience with your CRM of choice, whether it’s Salesforce, Dynamics, Hubspot, or another.
Start with the basics in a 360 view. Another pro tip? Have a conversation about what you want to see in your Customer 360, but don’t plan to do it all from the start. If you need value quickly, you can launch with an informative initial view. Ensure you turn on CSMs and other users’ ability to begin capturing more from their customer interactions. The sooner you can capture activity, the richer your customer records become.
Next, a quick and easy health score – and room to grow. Yes! It’s possible to have a health score deployed in just a couple of weeks if you’ve set up a connection to CRM and track ongoing customer interaction. The trick is to define your initial scorecard and measures, beginning with a manual set of rules.
A side note: with some solutions, this is more or less where the buck stops on health scores. And compromises here are a significant limitation in the long term. If you’ve chosen a robust platform, there’s plenty of capacity to do more over time without the disruption of packing up your boxes and moving again. You’ll likely want to be able to tweak scorecards to become more precise over time and have different scorecards for different segments or types of customers. Experts say do your homework on the factors like weighting, data science, and feature adoption that you want to have in your health scores. You can create a streamlined, incremental plan to achieve those goals and still have a quick value path in the first month.
Guide your CSMs on day 1! One big takeaway from every conversation on quick value? Help your CSMs see that value on launch day, and you’re golden. Setting up the right CTAs and playbooks with expert guidance is the key. If you’re in the market for quick implementation with no compromises, get a sense of the vendor’s best practices. Will they help you pinpoint high impact CTAs or playbooks? How many customers like you have they implemented to inform those recommendations? Is there a community to draw more ideas from?
Another aside: I can’t help but celebrate our GameChanger community on that last point. If you want some killer guidance on CTAs and Playbooks for quick value and a lasting efficiency boost, check out the recent webinar on Secrets to CS Scale with Kristi Faltorusso, VP of Customer Success at IntelliShift. Talk about expertise!
Reporting made easy, not rigid. Reporting is critical to a fast launch and it should be one of the most straightforward components to short cut with the aid of out of the box components. Building on the previous point around expertise, be sure you know what you can borrow from the vendor and the community to get your reporting up and running fast. But beware! If you want to stay put for the long haul, ask lots of questions about pre-built dashboards. The difference between convenient out of the box reporting with plenty of flexibility and simplistic fixed dashboards may be a whole lot of missing information and time in spreadsheets you’d hoped to avoid.
Now that we’ve covered expert tips to move fast, I get to share the best part.
Gainsight recently packaged all of the above up in a new, guided Configuration Wizard that makes it easier than ever to call the GameChanger neighborhood home with support from our amazing services team. We’re thrilled to say that 75% of new customers who take this route see value in under 3 weeks.
You can learn more here and explore more about Gainsight’s investments Sightline Vault and Integrations, and our new Horizon Experience. Because if you launch fast, the next steps are ramping your team quickly and getting the most from an industry-leading platform!