SailPoint Evolves to a Strategic, Proactive Customer Success Approach Supported by Gainsight

Founded in 2005, SailPoint is the leading provider of enterprise identity governance solutions and is led by a team of tenured identity veterans. The company helps customers to efficiently and securely govern the digital identities of employees, contractors, business partners, and other users, managing their constantly changing access rights to enterprise applications and data. SailPoint give customers the critical visibility they need into who currently has access to which resources, who should have access to those resources, and how that access is being used.

From the start, SailPoint’s founding team understood the importance of helping its customers succeed. Customer success is a core component of the company’s culture, from CEO Mark McClain down to the rest of the organization. In his view, “our customers’ success breeds our success.” SailPoint’s Customer Success team, which includes a Customer Success Manager (CSM) for every SailPoint customer, is measured not by how much activity it generates, but by the impact of that activity on the company’s success.

As Director of Customer Success for SailPoint’s on-premises software business unit, Loma Miller oversees 24 CSMs and a few administrators dispersed around the world.

“We want to make sure our software is solving our customers’ problems and that we are continually evolving our software to meet their changing needs. Our team – and company – defines success as customers seeing value and ROI from our software”
Loma Miller, Director of Customer Success for SailPoint

Challenge: Effectively Supporting Different Customer Needs

To deliver on their team’s mandate, SailPoint’s CSMs focus on three core activities: mitigating risk, increasing adoption of features and functionality, and ensuring happy customers who become advocates in the marketplace.

When Miller assumed the role of Director of Customer Success, the company wanted its CSMs (formerly account managers) to take on a more strategic, advisory role with customers. “As our software and partner community matured, we needed to move from being tactical and reactive to being strategic and proactive,” explains Miller.

While this seems straightforward enough, it’s complicated in light of the typical SailPoint deployment experience. Implementing identity management is a far-reaching project, as it can take some time to build a mature Identity Governance Program. Many companies handle it in phases and, as a result, there could be periods of expansion and development along with times of running in “maintenance mode.”

To best align with its customers’ identity management journeys and what they need at the various stages, SailPoint needed a way to know if a customer was in Expansion or Maintenance Mode. Without the right tools, CSMs were maintaining individual views of their managed books of accounts using a variety of methods and resorting to calendar reminders as alerts to check in with customers, depending on what they required. Lacking an official health scorecard, CSMs subjectively determined customer health and manually entered an account status in Salesforce.

This made it challenging for Miller to confidently communicate overall customer health to the executive team and other key stakeholders, such as product management and support, so they could take appropriate action to better the customer experience. It also made it difficult to determine account risk and prioritize customer outreach and product features.

“Not wanting to miss an opportunity to help, we reached out monthly to all our customers. This was appreciated by customers needing something from us, but not all customers fit into this category”
Loma Miller, Director of Customer Success for SailPoint

SailPoint needed to ensure it was meeting the needs of all customers at any given time, while taking a more proactive, strategic approach.

Solution: Tapping into the Full-Featured Gainsight Platform

After evaluating a few customer success platform options, Miller and her boss decided Gainsight was the best option. They appreciated that the platform provides all necessary tools and applications, such as a health scorecard, Calls-to-Action (CTAs), a journey orchestrator and support for automated email campaigns. Moreover, the integration with Salesforce was essential to ensure an accurate, comprehensive view of customers when reporting health. Plus, as Miller describes, the look and feel of Gainsight was more appealing. “I was a CSM at the time of evaluation, and Gainsight was easier to use,” Miller adds.

Miller also appreciated Gainsight’s thought leadership. “The articles, events, and networking help us stay on top of the quickly changing customer success topic. They also helped us map out a roadmap for our CSM team,” continues Miller.

SailPoint aggregated data from different areas of Salesforce, along with support tickets from Zendesk, in Gainsight. Pulling in just the information needed by the Customer Success team makes it easier for CSMs to quickly make sense of each account and focus their efforts.

The company also developed dashboards covering its three product lines so Customer Success and company leaders can see a correlation between product lines and customer health and risk, and renewal and retention rates.

“This view helps our company make faster decisions about our products and Customer Success program. It has also proven instrumental in quickly getting our arms around the customer base of the company we acquired”
Loma Miller, Director of Customer Success for SailPoint

Impact: Enabling Its Customer-Focused Vision at Scale

According to Andrew Kahl, SailPoint’s CCO, Gainsight enables SailPoint to even further live up to its commitment of being a customer-focused company.

“Gainsight allows us to consistently live up to that promise. We can aggregate data so we know where to focus and can anticipate customer needs. And we can do this more efficiently without wasting our customers’ time and allowing our team to be highly efficient”
Andrew Kahl, CCO for SailPoint

To guide their strategic interactions with customers, CSMs conduct executive business reviews and enter the output of these into Success Plans within Gainsight. These plans become the touchpoint for customer interactions throughout the year.

With CTAs, the CSM team is alerted so it can stay on top of events and respond proactively. Plus, the scorecard provides an accurate view of overall health at any given time.

“The scorecard helps us tell the story of customer health to our executive team based on data rather than gut instinct. It also allows us to look ahead and see risk coming. If we see customer health scores starting to decline, we can proactively take steps to reverse them”
Loma Miller, Director of Customer Success for SailPoint

Gainsight also makes it easier for CSMs to prepare for calls and meetings with customers. “Salesforce is a great tool for salespeople but isn’t designed for CSMs. With easy access to notes and customer-related information, my team can prepare for meetings in minutes,” says Miller.

Since Miller is responsible for all customer communications, she used Journey Orchestrator to align her email campaigns with customer types and their typical journey. Whether sending out a monthly newsletter, messages to user groups, or other relevant communications about support, events, or programs, Miller can do so in an automated manner with Gainsight.

Sending relevant messages at the right time to the right customers without inundating them needlessly has helped Miller achieve an enviable 35-45% readership rate. Moreover, through Gainsight, CSMs can see which customers are opening emails. CSMs are notified with a CTA to follow up with customers who are not opening these messages.

Miller and CSMs use Gainsight dashboards regularly. “Seeing each CSM’s goals and how they’re tracking helps us focus during our one-on-ones, making these discussions more productive.”

Already, other departments have requested more access to Gainsight.

“Our sales and product management teams plan to use Gainsight regularly to better take advantage of all the gold nuggets about our customers. As we get more mature – adding more product lines – Gainsight will provide the insights our teams need to deliver the most compelling products and sell more of them”
Loma Miller, Director of Customer Success for SailPoint