Dell EMC Manages Complex Multi-Product Customers Using Gainsight "Relationships"

"Gainsight is imperative to our business. We finally have the tools to manage the success of multiple products at the same customer. This wasn’t possible before Gainsight"
- Ian Turner, Senior Manager - Customer Success Organization

Dell EMC is a company with over 100,000 employees worldwide. It’s one of the largest providers of information infrastructure, content management, data analytics, and cloud computing on the planet. Like many on-premise infrastructure companies, the Dell EMC Enterprise Content Division (ECD) has been working on cloud delivery options, including their new SaaS solutions. Dell EMC ECD owns the brands such as Documentum, Captiva and InfoArchive.

The company recently rolled out a SaaS content management platform called LEAP. Currently, there are four distinct apps on LEAP and there are plans to implement many more, including some developed by partners.

"A single customer could be healthily adopting one product, showing low usage on a second, upselling a third, and starting implementation with a fourth. Typical CRMs can’t handle this.”
–Leslie Diephuis, Gainsight Admin and Customer Success Manager

CHALLENGE: Scale Customer Success by consolidating systems and creating visibility into multi-product customers

Since the LEAP platform and applications were only released in early 2016, the primary use case of Dell EMC ECD’s Customer Success Team has been to increase trial conversions of LEAP products. Because customers are often using multiple products at once, the team required visibility into health and adoption by product in order to track the lifecycle, capitalize on opportunities, and resolve risks.

Before Gainsight, the Customer Success Team was using a system of spreadsheets and tools to get a complete view of a customer. For a new customer, the CSM would use a slow internal tool to review all financial and account aspects to gain foundational knowledge. They would then execute a series of tasks managed in MS Word and another tool to update subjective health scores. Altogether, this was cumbersome and didn’t work well for multi-product customers.

To build a promising future for LEAP and to scale their Customer Success Team, Dell EMC ECD needed a solution that could centralize information and handle these complex engagements.

"Gainsight is so helpful. Before, we were managing customers by spreadsheet. You had to go to multiple different places to do anything. With Gainsight, we have standard CTAs with Playbooks that are repeatable and consistent across all customers."
–Leslie Diephuis, Gainsight Admin and Customer Success Manager

SOLUTION: Gainsight "Relationships"

The Gainsight "Relationships" feature gave Dell EMC ECD the ability to cleanly manage these multi-product customers. They deployed the feature about two months after their initial Gainsight launch, and purchased a services package to help implement it fast and effectively.

With the support of Gainsight Professional Services, Dell EMC ECD was able to successfully implement and roll out Relationships in under two weeks as well as achieve full adoption by the CSM Team. This quickly made product-level health scores, account information and usage data through Google Analytics visible for individual customers and across their install base.

"In a single meeting, we were able to go through and build the initial foundation for our Relationships."
–Leslie Diephuis, Gainsight Admin and Customer Success Manager

The Relationship type they created is called “LEAP Products,” and it was first rolled out for two LEAP applications called Snap and Courier. Since the initial implementation, Dell EMC ECD has added two more products. Making these additions took less than a day for their Gainsight Admin.

Dell EMC ECD started with licenses for their CSM & CS Ops Teams, before expanding to the Product Managers. Since Relationships allowed Dell EMC ECD to pivot its customer data around particular products, it was appealing to Product Managers who wanted to understand the adoption and challenges of their software.

RESULTS: Driving Efficiency, Visibility into Customer Health and Collaboration with Product

Dell EMC ECD laid out the impact they’ve seen from Gainsight in three areas:

  1. Driving team efficiency and repeatability
  2. Improving visibility into customer health and product adoption
  3. Enabling cross-functional collaboration with the Product Team

When asked about the overall importance of "Relationships" to their business, Dell EMC ECD gave a 5 out of 5 ("Extremely Important").


1) Improving team efficiency
The ability to assign different CSMs to different products within a customer opened the door for optimization. CSMs can be more specialist than generalist, reducing response times to questions and paving the way to scale account loads.

In addition, using CTAs and Playbooks as explicit and repeatable steps has reduced the ramping time for new CSMs.

"Now, we can bring in junior-level Customer Success Managers and they have a script for how to work with customers. They may not know Customer Success yet, but they can come and begin day one with helping customers with onboarding."
–Leslie Diephuis, Gainsight Admin and Customer Success Manager

2) Creating Visibility into Customer Health and Product Adoption

"The reports we're creating give us a granular view of product adoption success. That's been really important to see. It's giving us the truth of what's going on."
–Leslie Diephuis, Gainsight Admin and Customer Success Manager

Understanding customer health and adoption at the product level is critical for driving trial conversions. CSMs at Dell EMC ECD spend 70% of their time in Gainsight at the Relationship level.

The CSM Team uses a combination of Account-level and Relationship-level Scorecards to track health, product usage and risk. Their Account-Level Scorecards include a Customer Relationship Summary score, a Support score based on open cases and a roll-up of the scores from the customer’s LEAP Products.

dell emc relationships

The Relationship Scorecards for the LEAP application called Courier track Adoption, Engagement and the volume of risk CTAs related to Courier at each customer.

3) Enabling Cross-functional Collaboration with Product

The clear visibility into LEAP product adoption and risks provided an opportunity for Product Managers. Shortly after the Relationships launch, Dell EMC ECD acquired extra licenses to get their Product Team involved in Gainsight.

"Product managers see the potential of what Gainsight can give them. They want to learn about their product and see the usage data at the Relationship level."
–Leslie Diephuis, Gainsight Admin and Customer Success Manager

When Product rolls out a new version or feature, both Customer Success and Product can now look at the same usage data set. A CTA can be triggered based on that usage data to reach out if there isn’t adoption. From this, Product Managers are gaining an understanding about the common challenges of their customer base and the particular challenges of specific customers.

"If a product isn’t being adopted, is it because of design, user experience, need for more documentation or something else? That's insight we're getting."
–Ian Turner, Senior Manager - Customer Success Organization