ArticleBest PracticesAugust 15, 2019
Why Implementing Enterprise Software is Hard Image

Why Implementing Enterprise Software is Hard

By Denise Stokowski
I joined Gainsight over a year ago (wow, time flies). From the get-go, I was super impressed with what the product was able to, especially when the “old way” of doing things was all too familiar. In every company that I’ve ever been a part of, account management teams had to manually track down updates from anyone who touched the customer before every call. With Gainsight, a quick 5-minute glance at a single view of always-current data, and you’re done. Magic. I wasn’t the only one impressed by the wizardry -- scores of new customers joined the Gainsight journey every quarter. Each had a unique backpack of supplies - data sources, product/service hierarchies, workflow processes, and more. And while Gainsight has always been about empowering teams to take action and drive business results, like many others in enterprise software, we also approached implementation as a data integration challenge that needed to be unlocked. However despite our robust data model, unique ability to handle hierarchy, and extensible architecture, we weren’t proud of the time-to-value or the completeness of every implementation. We soon saw that roadblocks could emerge not only from unique, complex data requirements, but also processes, people, and strategies still being developed. We learned that implementing enterprise software (the right way) is hard. To do it well, you need to address business process change, people change and the technology change - and it’s not easy. Any vendor who says they can get you live in a matter of hours is either lying to you or not selling enterprise technology. We know we had to do something about it… so we did. We brought together a cross-functional coalition to determine the path forward. Representatives from every department - Product, Services, CSMs, Sales, Marketing and board members from Bessemer Venture Partners - all put customer interactions under the microscope to identify the roadblocks and processes that stood in the way of rapid time-to-value. What started as a two-day offsite, turned into hours of interviews and research, standing meetings (almost) every day, and the definition of a powerful framework that delivers to the customer immediate value in Gainsight at every step of their journey with us. We’ve formalized this methodology and are excited today to put the past behind us and announce Gainsight Cadence, the first prescriptive 11-step implementation methodology to ensure immediate value from an investment in Gainsight. Refined from learnings with hundreds of clients - Cadence outlines the steps for both a technology and organizational transformation. The three learnings that underpin our framework are: 1. Take a Prescriptive Approach Other companies with similar goals, data structures, and business models have started this journey and their trail will make your journey even faster. From your peers that have expanded programs enterprise-wise, we’ll share with you what worked and what didn’t. Cadence is built on this knowledge. 2. Value / Time is the Metric to Pay Attention To To earn the most buy-in and adoption from your users - CSMs, execs, other departments - it is critical to start doing high-value, low-effort capabilities first. Getting that first NPS survey out, sending the first mass survey, or identifying sponsor changes will pave the way for the higher-effort items that will bring even more value. 3. Value Must Be Continuous (and there will be a lot of it) Rather than a big bang implementation and a one-time lift in a metric like retention, our customers continue to expand their Customer Success capabilities. Different departments, use cases, and best practice emerges with every “transformation” of the old, transactional business model to a subscription relationship. Your customers demand continuous value so Cadence will deliver continuous value to you every week in order to serve them. I’m excited to share the map of our Cadence Customer Journey next Thursday 12/11 at 10 AM PST in a 30 minute live discussion. But for those who will say that 11-steps is still too many, we also introduced today Success Express, the industry’s first on-site, go-live workshop. You give us 4 days in (usually) sunny California, and we’ll have your Gainsight implementation up and ready for action. Plus, since we have you out here, the curriculum will include Customer Success best practices from industry veterans, incredibly valuable networking and process benchmarks from peer companies, and a little bit of fun along the way. If you’ve been to our Pulse Conference, you’ve got an idea of where we’re going with this. We are very proud of the progress we’ve made on our implementation process and eagerly look forward to getting more customer realizing immediate value from Gainsight, faster.  Check out what some of our customers are saying about us today: "I've known the people at Gainsight now for a number of years, and I don't just go to them for advice in terms of how to use the product. I go to them for advice on how to run my customer success team. What are those things that I should be doing? If I need advice in terms of a business review and how to do those things for our customers, I'll actually turn to Gainsight and ask them for that advice. If they can't help me, which they usually can, they will put me in touch with other customers that will provide that advice. I find that as a huge, huge benefit of being a customer and a partner working with Gainsight." -Chad Horenfeldt, Vice President Customer Success, Influitive "Gainsight is the #1 tool for Client/Customer Success professionals. The tool has allowed my Client Success team to be proactive -- not reactive -- with the Clients in their books of business by leveraging reporting, analytics and "Calls to Action" within their "Cockpit" view. Gainsight has revolutionized the way that we conduct our business for our Clients. The tool has also allowed non-CS teams (Executive, Sales, Marketing, Product, etc.) to get a full "360-degree" view of our Clients' health. In addition to the tool being extremely valuable, the service provided by the Gainsight team has been exemplary from the initial implementation through ongoing support, enough so that I have served as a reference for numerous Gainsight prospects. I highly recommend Gainsight to all." -Zach Boisi, VP of Client Success, Lotame "The support that I’ve received from Gainsight has been amazing and I am able to say to my CSMs, 'Listen, you see something that you don’t like or you wish would work differently, just let me know what it is, show me the screenshot, and I can send that to Gainsight, and we talk through how we can implement that.'" -Dave Freiberg, Director, CS Programs and Technology, Adobe EchoSign "I just wanted to quickly let everyone know how much I appreciate working with the implementation team at Gainsight. Steve, Kelly, Jan, Yashika, Sarah and Denise Stokowski are such a pleasure to work with. I know I have chosen the right software to help me with my customer Success team as I know the team cares deeply about my success and are open to listen to me and my feedback. Just wanted to voice my delight in working with such an amazing team." -Sven Gerhardt, VP Customer Success, Allocadia Software denise Denise Stokowski, VP Client Solutions
Picture of Denise Stokowski
Denise Stokowski VP of Technical Success at Gainsight Denise Stokowski is VP of Technical Success at Gainsight

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