Influitive Sees 500% Increase in CSM Coverage through Operationalizing Customer Success Functions in Gainsight

“From an efficiency perspective, we have been able to manage significantly more customers as the team automated functions in Gainsight and used Cockpit to prioritize the right customers.”
- Chad Horenfeldt, VP of Customer Success, Influitive

Company Overview

Influitive, the advocate marketing experts, helps marketers gain direct support for their sales and marketing programs by capturing the enthusiasm of their best customers, followers, and evangelists. From social media reviews and customer referrals to case studies and references, passionate advocates help all stages of the buying cycle. Hundreds of innovative companies are using Influitive’s powerful advocate marketing software, AdvocateHub, and mobile app, Maven, to build advocate communities where they can engage with their customers, partners, and employees.

Influitive’s Customer Success team has taken on more responsibility as it has had to scale with the company’s incredible growth. The Customer Success team at Influitive has doubled since 2013, and the number of customers that they are responsible for has grown 10x. Influitive’s VP of Customer Success, Chad Horenfeldt, manages the Customer Success team and believes that customer success at Influitive goes much deeper than his team.

“Here customer success is not a department. It's not a function. I'd say it's the philosophy of the company. So it's how we look at our customers and how we work with our customers.”

Influitive’s Challenge

When Chad Horenfeldt joined the company in 2013 he knew that he needed to put a customer success solution in place in order to be able to scale operations. One of his top priorities as the new VP of Customer Success was to put the right infrastructure in place to maximize efficiency and keep retention high. Influitive set out to find the right customer success solution that would allow the team to coordinate their efforts across the customer base; as an early-stage startup that focuses on Customer Advocacy, Influitive puts customers at the center of the company.

The Solution

The leadership team at Influitive was aware of the work Gainsight was doing in the Customer Success space and the company’s new VP of Customer Success had experience implementing Gainsight at his previous company. Horenfeldt shared that his last team “had some initial successes right away that helped demonstrate Gainsight’s value within a couple weeks of rolling it out.” As a result, Gainsight was the natural choice for Influitive as it evaluated the available solutions in the market.


Operationalizing Customer Success Processes through Cockpit

Gainsight has helped Influitive’s VP of Customer Success accomplish his goal of scaling the Customer Success team by operationalizing the customer success function, which allows the CSMs to be more efficient.

Influitive mapped out the customer journey to figure out what touch points were necessary and when to engage with customers. The team then put the customer journey into Gainsight’s Cockpit feature in the form of calls to action (CTAs) that alert CSMs about what they need to focus on and when they need to do it, rather than simply focusing on their inboxes.

“We set up a regular schedule so that on Monday mornings CSMs go into their Cockpit and look at their call to actions; they look at those customers that are struggling, as well as those customers with potential upsell opportunities.”

The CSMs at Influitive plan their days and weeks around the calls to action that are automatically triggered and assigned to them in their Cockpit. For example, automated CTAs are triggered when it is time for an executive business review or when it is time to reach out to a customer for a renewal as part of their customer journey.

In addition to the scheduled CTAs for customer journey events, automated CTAs also let a CSM know when there are meaningful changes in usage or number of advocates that allow the CSM to focus on the highest priority customers.

Increasing Retention and Upsell through Automated Calls to Action

At Influitive, the team has seen a significant impact to their customers’ success from tracking logins of customers during the onboarding phase. Usage and logins are a part of the customer health score, and by setting rules that trigger a CTA to the CSM when a customer hasn’t logged in for a certain length of time, Influitive is able to proactively reach out to that customer before there is a meaningful drop in its health.

In one such case, Influitive discovered that it had lost its champion at the customer after a Gainsight CTA urged the CSM to reach out. Horenfeldt explained: “We identified the issue through Gainsight, we proactively reached out, we were able to provide them with some additional services, and now we've got a particular plan in place to turn them into a successful customer.”

“The quiet, under the radar, customers are the potential risks and potential successes that just need that personal outreach to figure things out – you need to make sure that you are proactive and you set up the right plan for them.”

Gainsight allows Influitive CSMs to focus on the customers that need them the most through health scores and automated CTAs in order to reduce churn risks. Prior to Gainsight, that customer most likely would have gone unnoticed until it was too late to fix the situation. By tracking customer trends and receiving alerts, the CSM team at Influitive is able to fight through the noise to find the real risks.

These calls to action not only help the team at Influitive continue to keep retention rates up but also increase upsell by identifying potential opportunities. Gainsight CTAs are alerting CSMs when customers are approaching usage limits, which allow them to reach out to customers quickly.

Influitive’s VP of Customer Success acknowledges the advantage of proactive outreach to a customer that is approaching contract limits: “By contacting the customer before they exceed usage limits, we are able to have a really great conversation in terms of what their overall goals are, how we can help them with those goals, and what solutions we can recommend.”

“We can actually attribute upsells that have closed to the calls to action that Gainsight is firing – we have seen direct revenue come from those alerts.”

Evaluating CSM Performance with Increased Visibility

Gainsight helps managers at Influitive evaluate their CSM team with its ability to break down customer health and other metrics by team member, rather than simply using churn metrics, which do not tell the whole story. Moreover, health scores are highly influenced by adoption, which is a leading indicator of success for the customer and CSM.

“There are a lot of different factors involved when it comes to churn, so it is not a great indicator for measuring CSM success,” Chad Horenfeldt shared, “but if you look at customer health by CSM, you can see if anyone is performing below par and can dig into their customers’ scores a little bit deeper to find out why.”

In addition to adoption, Influitive also measures CSM success through the number of advocates they are able to develop. Influitive has targets for CSMs to convert a certain percentage of their customers into advocates, which it tracks through its own Advocacy Marketing solution and pushes into Gainsight. With the data for customer advocates in Gainsight from Influitive, it is added as a component of a customer’s health profile.

“One of the things I really like about Gainsight is that it really does give you more visibility into the black hole of customer health; the entire clarity that Gainsight provides is extremely important.”