6 Terms to Know Before You Start Product Planning Image

6 Terms to Know Before You Start Product Planning

Planning your product roadmap? You should know these six key terms before putting pencil to paper. What is Product Planning? Product planning is the process of mapping out a product from idea to launch. It encompasses all of the steps and tasks that product managers take to make sure that a product is successful once it’s on the market. Product planning isn’t just a one-and-done type of activity. For product managers, product planning is part of their day-to-day and should be thought of as an ongoing strategy. From deciding on what kind of features your product will have, to setting achievable target revenue goals, product planning takes into account all internal decisions that go into making a product that will keep your customers satisfied. In order to make sure the process goes smoothly, it’s important to have an understanding of certain common product planning terms your peers in the SaaS industry are using. What is a Product Management Roadmap? Product management roadmaps provide PM teams with a visual guide that clearly demonstrates the vision and direction of a product from start to finish. A product roadmap will help you define what makes your product “successful.” Product management roadmaps help to keep […]

6 min readApril 19, 2019
How I Use Gainsight PX as a SaaS CEO Image

How I Use Gainsight PX as a SaaS CEO

It turns out that where you got your MBA isn’t a predictor of your success as a CEO. Actually, neither is your past performance! At least, that’s if you use stock prices as a yardstick for success. You can read all about the lack of correlation in this fascinating data analysis from Institutional Investor—I recommend it. I can imagine a CEO potentially feeling threatened by results like this, but I was super encouraged. Business is a team game; it’s not about one person. But it does leave you with an interesting conundrum if you happen to be a CEO: What does it mean to be a good CEO? I think that’s changing too. I’ll get to that, but I think we need to understand why it’s changing first. Business has changed. CEOs need to change too. The move to the cloud and to software-as-a-service (SaaS) models changed a lot of things about business. Companies had to rethink product development to embrace Agile and DevOps. Organizations had to restructure to support higher velocity and more streamlined sales and marketing models. And leaders reimagined service and support in the era of customer success. But for CEOs, one of the most fundamental changes about the job […]

6 min readApril 17, 2019

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The In-App Engagement Starter Kit

Helping customers is good. Pestering them is bad. How do you strike a balance when talking to them inside your product? In-app engagements can significantly boost user retention, but overuse them and they’ll hurt your product experience more than they help. In this starter kit for product professionals, we’ll share our rules of engagement for in-app messages and how we create them. What exactly is an in-app engagement? In-app engagements are customer outreaches that happen within a product. They can give instructions, inform users of support issues, capture sentiment, and so much more. Examples of in-app engagements include product status messages, tutorials and guides, new feature announcements, and surveys. A complete in-app engagement strategy requires two things: technology and structure. Technology is necessary to deploy the in-app engagements and a framework, like the one below, will help you map out when, where, and how often your engagements should occur. We use Gainsight PX to drive in-app engagements inside our customer success platform. But like we said above, tech is just half of it. Before you do anything, you need to create a charter to ensure your efforts add to the user experience not detract from it. The TRUSt Framework: Gainsight’s in-app promise […]

7 min readApril 17, 2019
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How to Get Hired as a Customer Success Director

In January, as a result of a merger, I started to search for a customer success leadership position. Over the course of a few months, I met with many CS leaders and got to hear about their challenges and also learned many lessons about the search process. The easiest way to move into leadership is by being promoted at your current company. However, that may not be an option, and this post focuses on how to be hired into a new company. Title confusion There seems to be some grade inflation going on. Some companies are calling their CSMs Customer Success Directors (CSD) instead. A closer look indicates that they are looking for an individual contributor. To me, a CSM manages accounts and a CSD manages people. Just to add to the confusion, you will sometimes see “Manager, Customer Success,” which is a people manager. As you move up a level, there are VPs of Customer Success. This can either be someone who manages CSMs or all post-sales tasks (support, onboarding, etc.). It’s important to read the job description to determine what the employer is looking for. It’s difficult for a CSM to make the leap to managing people and it’s […]

9 min readApril 17, 2019
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Why Pulse 2019 Will Be Even Better Than Last Year

So this is crazy. Click here to read last year’s Pulse recap blog and scroll down to the bottom. I’ll wait! Welcome back! So we’re weeks away from Pulse 2019, and guess where I’m drafting this blog post? That’s right! The hospital. It turns out my yearly Pulse season calamity was another knee surgery. By the way, in case you didn’t feel like clicking on last year’s recap blog, this was a picture of me from the time I was writing it—from the hospital: I won’t tempt the fates by speculating about my health around Pulse 2020. Speaking of 2020, that’s the theme of Pulse 2019: 20/20. Whether you take 20/20 as a sign of your increasingly strong vision about your customers (you might say you’re “gaining sight”… I’ll be here all night!) or as a car model year-style prognostication of the future, 20/20 is all about looking ahead. This year our sights are set to the future of not just customer success as a function, but also the bigger customer success strategy across your companies. And in our 20/20 strategy, we introduce a particular focus on the most important partner in driving enterprise-wide CS—Product teams. At Pulse, we’re going to explore many […]

9 min readApril 16, 2019
9 In-App Messaging Examples That Boost User Engagement Image

9 In-App Messaging Examples That Boost User Engagement

In-app messages are popping up everywhere and SaaS products are no exception. In-app engagements is a highly effective way to increase user retention and engagement. In fact, products that use in-app engagements see a 3x boost in engagement and a 4x increase in conversions. An in-app engagement can take many forms such as a guide, survey, or notification. Effective user engagement is an art and a science. People expect a highly personalized product experience and can easily switch to one of your competitors if they don’t feel their needs are being met. Timing, placement, tone, and volume all need to be taken into consideration. Here are nine ways SaaS products are using in-app messages to drive user engagement. Salesforce Engagement Type: Product Update A new interface can really throw off your user’s groove. Getting acquainted with a new workflow can make users feel like they’re losing productivity, but providing in-app messaging and guides can make the process way less frustrating. Salesforce used this in-app message to notify users of their improved setup. It also gives them three different call-to-actions (CTAs): No Thanks, Show Me Later, and Start Tour. It’s important to note that the messaging speaks to both old and new users and […]

7 min readApril 9, 2019
Exclusive: Behind the Scenes Live Demo with Travis Kaufman Image

Exclusive: Behind the Scenes Live Demo with Travis Kaufman

Thursday, April 25 | 11:00 a.m. PT (2:00 p.m. ET) Join us for a webinar featuring an exclusive demo by Gainsight PX expert (dare we say, PX-pert), Travis Kaufman. He’s our VP of Growth at Gainsight and formerly, Aptrinsic, so not only is he a power user of Gainsight PX, but he’s had a key part of shaping the product into what it is today. This is a must-see opportunity to get up close and personal with the Gainsight PX platform. In this webinar, you’ll see how Gainsight PX can help you: Make timely, data-driven product decisions Accelerate user onboarding and adoption Demonstrate the business impact of product investments And much more!

744 registered
3 Customer Success Strategies You Can’t Do Without Powerful Technology Image

3 Customer Success Strategies You Can’t Do Without Powerful Technology

Customer success has become the cornerstone of many companies’ strategy to reduce churn, drive upsell and expansion opportunities, and increase advocacy. And customer success solutions are helping them do this effectively and at scale. But what enables a CS solution to do this effectively? In addition to all of the individual features and apps, you need a solution that offers the underlying technology with the core capabilities needed to provide a solid foundation for all CS functionality. When you think deeper than just feature functionality, you need a customer success strategy—and the technology you use to power it—to do three things: Unify customer data from many different sources and of many different types and formats. Model unique and complex customer structures to reflect the real-world commercial relationships you have with your customers. Design and execute customer-oriented business processes. But why do you need these three technology edges? Let’s imagine a world where you don’t have each one. Unify Customer Data: If your data sources aren’t unified, you may be able to pull them into a summary view, but you don’t have a true 360-degree view and all of the other features and functionality of your CS solution won’t be able to […]

9 min readApril 9, 2019
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Can You Solve These Pulse Emoji Puzzles?

Match the emoji clues with the right Pulse 2019 Track! If you can answer #5, you’re an emoji MASTER. Want to learn more about Pulse 2019 tracks, sessions, and speakers? Visit the official Pulse 2019 event page.

1 min readApril 4, 2019
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How to Deliver a Powerful Product Story for Every Audience

Smart product managers know a great product starts with great communication. You hold hundreds of conversations every day with customers, executives, investors, and teammates. If you’re speaking the same message to each of them, it will never fully resonate. Join us for a webinar on Friday, April 19 at 11 a.m. (PT) featuring Connie Kwan, chief storyteller and product executive with 15 years in the industry. Her company Product Maestro leverages theatre techniques to help growth stage company leaders craft and deliver powerful stories about their products. In this webinar, you’ll learn: Tips to overcome speaking weaknesses Your personal speaking style How to tune your delivery for different audiences And much more!

745 registered
The World’s Top CS Leaders Are Doing These Four Things Image

The World’s Top CS Leaders Are Doing These Four Things

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” That’s a pretty humble statement from the man who invented calculus. But Sir Isaac Newton had a point when he wrote that famous quote in 1675. Individuals have made incredible contributions to the store of human knowledge—but did they really do it alone? Like, let’s say Newton had become a farmer instead of a scientist and mathematician. Would our species have ever devised a methodology for calculating integrals? We already know the answer to that question, because modern calculus was independently created around the same time (if not earlier) by Gottfried Leibniz. And neither developed their systems out of whole cloth either! As Newton wrote, they “stood on the shoulders of Giants.” In the U.S. especially, we tend not to give due credit to the incredible mathematical advances made by Islamic scholars during the medieval period, or even earlier in China—all of which (and many more!) became the basis for Newton and Leibniz’s discoveries. Okay, so why are we talking about this? I don’t claim that the techniques we’re inventing and honing in the Customer Success Movement are on the same scale of significance as calculus […]

6 min readMarch 29, 2019