The New Frontier

10 Years of
Customer Success

Explore this detailed exhibition of the
evolution and maturity of customer
success across businesses and industries.

Where we are now

NRR, The Industry’s
New North Star

Customer success has evolved from a nice-to-have function in a single department to a company-wide activity, delivering value to customers at every stage of their journey by bringing operational excellence and a focus on data into their strategy.

Forward-thinking organizations know that as the functions of CS evolve, the performance metrics also need to change. These organizations are shifting their CS strategy to focus on driving the growth and future success of their business with Net Revenue Retention (NRR) as their North Star metric.

NRR indicates company momentum, so investment in NRR requires that the entire company works synchronously and cross-functionally.

For a $1B revenue SaaS company, a mere 1% increase in NRR could translate into more than $700M in enterprise value.

1% increase in NRR
could translate to


in enterprise value.
The Evangelists


169% at IPO.

Gainsight has evolved alongside market shifts, driving the CS market forward with innovative technology and proven expertise for growing the impact of your Customer Success strategy.

Let’s look at some examples of Gainsight customers and their NRR. (Hint: NRR should be over 100% with world-class NRR reaching 125%+).

169% at IPO.
116% at $1B ARR
155% at IPO
137% at $2B+ in ARR

with an

Gainsight customers on
the Bessemer Venture
Partners’ Cloud Index
have an average NRR of

We examined Bessemer Venture Partners’ Cloud Index and found that Gainsight customers grow faster and have higher net retention than their peers.

      Compare Gainsight customers → 20 Gainsight customers grew revenue at 40% after adopting Gainsight, and increased share price at ~45%.
      To Non-Gainsight customers → 21 companies that did not use Gainsight and had at least three years of publicly available financial data. They grew revenue at 32% and share price at 30% in the last twelve months.
      How value-based selling impacts NRR → Gainsight usage explains 13% of the variation in their NRR, which is 10% higher than non-Gainsight customers’ average of 107%.

With the broadest scope of functionality in the market, Gainsight is the vendor of choice for organizations looking to tap into the power of their customer base to drive the growth of their business.

How We Got Here

Take a journey through the evolving maturity of Customer Success teams and technology, and discover how they became must-haves in the age of value.


The experimental
stage of customer

green planet

The business challenge in focus is reducing churn, presenting both a reactive and unsustainable approach. Companies rely on periodic check-ins resulting in sending the fire trucks to save accounts.

The unreliable results of this approach breeds frustration and, thus, the seed of customer success is planted.

Milestone Event

      Forrester publishes the book “Outside In: The Power Of Putting Customers At The Center Of Your Business.”

Billboard’s #1 song is

"Somebody That I Used to Know"
by Gotye


A broader influence
and impact.

A more sophisticated approach to managing customer relationships unfolds, particularly with the CSM role. The private SaaS market grows exponentially and Customer Success scales along with it.

SaaS organizations monitor usage as a component of their customer retention strategy.

Milestone Events

The role of CSM
has seen a


increase from
2015 to 2019.


SaaS Kick-starts
the movement.

Traditional companies with both on-prem and cloud products increase their customer success efforts.

Leadership roles within CS become more prominent and the focus on metrics comes front and center with Gross Retention Rate and Net Retention Rates.

As the benefits of CS gain more attention, so does the need for scalability across the customer base.

Milestone Events

      LinkedIn’s Most Promising Jobs of 2019 Report ranked Customer Success Manager as one of the fastest growing roles of today.
      G2 creates the first customer success grid in Spring 2018

Organizations with a CXO or CCO


In 2017, only 65% of organizations had a chief experience officer (CXO) or chief customer officer (CCO). In 2019, that number grew to 90% and 89%, respectively.

2020 and

A new playbook.

In April 2020, the economic downtown hits hard. Unemployment reaches 14.8%, and those who previously doubted the importance of customer success are forced to come to terms with the facts – customer success is paramount to business success.

Customer success is a growth engine, and as a result, career opportunities in CS soar with more CCOs than ever before.

Organizations increasingly rely on net dollar retention (NDR) to assess enterprise value, growth, and stability. A proactive framework for customer success serves as the causation for higher net retention rates (NRR), and across industries, boardrooms increasingly take notice of customer success as NRR directly correlates to shareholder value.

Milestone Event

      Gartner publishes the first-ever Customer Success Market Guide

Ready for take off?

Revolutionize your business metrics and make history as a customer success champion.


Why is NRR Your Most Important Growth Metric? Learn what is NRR and why should it be your most important growth metric.
Look Back At The Evolution of Customer Success - Explore the evolution of CS with a downloadable pdf.
Why is NRR Your Most Important Growth Metric? Dive deep with NRR and why it’s essential.

Revolutionize your business metrics and make history as a customer success champion.