Gainsight Pulse is the largest annual gathering of Customer Success and Product Management professionals in the world. The recent Gainsight Pulse Everywhere 2020 virtual conference (May 13 – 14, 2020) brought together over 22,000 Customer Success and product professionals from over 50 states and countries. Following are the 3 key takeaways from a few of the valuable sessions.
Gainsight’s Ashvin Vaidyanathan, Chief Customer Officer, & Kellie Capote, Vice President of Customer Success, in the first of the GameChangers keynote speeches:
“We started the year with a lot of planning about what we wanted to do with the Customer Success team this year here at Gainsight. Obviously, with COVID-19 and everything else around us there have been a ton of changes.”
Gainsight implemented 4 Teams:
Takeaway Number 1: Focus on your customer’s business goals and align around achieving these goals thoroughly, completely and as quickly as possible.
Ashvin Vaidyanathan, Gainsight’s Chief Customer Officer, and Ruben Rabago, its Chief Strategist, co-authors of The Customer Success Professional’s Handbook, presented this track session on ways to reduce churn, better engage with your customers and surface expansion opportunities in the current downturn economy.
There is no doubt that in these times corporations are looking for reasons to reduce overhead, and vendors who are seen as generating a less than stellar experience will get cut. There are 5 reasons why Customer Success is existential, and imperative to your company’s near-term profitability.
Gainsight conducted a recent survey of SaaS leaders and found that retention is their top priority. These leaders expect that churn will increase, especially within SMB. Higher annual contract value heightens the possibility of anticipated churn and there will be “downselling” to maintain relationships. Also, there is a direct correlation between renewal and proactive customer success management, which decreases the likelihood of churn. 85% expect that their CSM resources will remain stable or grow during this period.
Takeaway #2: Your investment in and commitment to Customer Success is the most powerful lever in maintaining or increasing customer retention, which is vital to near-term SaaS profitability and longevity.
In this track session, Phil Pergola, Vice President, Customer Success, CloudHealth (by VMWare), walked us through how and why CloudHealth developed and used Partner Success to drive positive business outcomes for the channel partners by driving CloudHealth adoption within their channel customer base.
Partners, as well as SaaS companies are struggling in how they think about and deploy Customer Success:
Partner Success and channel Customer Success are critical to CloudHealth’s profitability as they realize over 30% of their revenue through channel partners. Partners have the responsibility for driving adoption and value within channel customers, which created risk because CloudHealth had no visibility into whether or not partners were successful creating adoption. They theorized that it would make good business sense to treat these partners as if they are direct customers.
However, the persona for Partners is very different than direct customers. CloudHealth organized an entire team to focus solely on Partner Success which included helping them to build their own CS teams and systems to drive channel customer success.
CloudHealth’s Partner Success journey began in 2017, with a Channel Account Manager whose focus was on working with the partners to drive new channel customers. Investments then progressed to a Partner Technical Account Manager to onboard partners and support customer onboarding. Soon after, the Partner Health Score and a Channel Health Score, as well as a robust partner enablement methodology were implemented to leverage and provide visibility into channel customers’ adoption of the platform
They learned three important lessons:
CloudHealth has realized the following results Investing in Partner Success
Takeaway #3: Partner Success is a key lever in increasing adoption, revenue and renewal from the channel.
Gainsight Pulse is a yearly event that provides Customer Success and Product Management professionals with the opportunity to share best practices, explore new ideas and network with peers and industry leaders. Here is the link to free access to the recordings of keynote addresses and sessions from the 2020 event.
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