Contents of an Awesome Customer Success Playbook

Customer Success has been clearly defined and what goes into Customer Success Management has been fully documented. But when it comes to certain aspects of Customer Success Management, there are still a few things that remain a bit mysterious to some. A great example of that is the concept of the Customer Success Playbook, the sports analogy-based workflows, processes, interventions, etc. – called “plays” – to run with the customers when something happens. I haven’t talked about Customer Success Playbooks much, and here’s why. While there are high-level Customer Success frameworks like those I use with my clients, the way we orchestrate and operationalize a Customer Success-driven Growth strategy is different enough across companies, products, and customer segments, that trying to create a one-size-fits-all Customer Success Playbook that works for all companies is never going to – or should never – happen. But my lack of coverage of this subject doesn’t mean
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Customer Success: The Definitive Guide 2017

Customer Success is transformative. Whether you have a Software-as-a-Service, subscription or membership business or you sell one-off products or services and simply want to do business with your customer more than once, Customer Success should be your driving purpose. Customer Success has its roots in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) world and my original definition was very much SaaS-centric. But since then, companies that are not SaaS, or even technology companies at all, have recognized the transformative power of Customer Success and embraced it as their new operating model. If you aren’t familiar with exactly how Customer Success is transformative, I’ll lay that out for you below in great detail in this guide. I don’t know what will happen with Customer Success in the next couple of years, but I wouldn’t be surprised if sometime down the road we’re no longer talking about “Customer Success” as a separate function within a business,
Customer Success Book Lincoln Murphy
lincoln-murphy-tsia
SaaS business model customer success
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SaaStr’s Top 6 Posts of 2016

2016 is finally coming to an end, and what a year it was. We’re taking a look back at the top six SaaStr posts from 2016. What were the biggest lessons learned? Best SaaS tips and advice? Find out below. 6. I Was Wrong. NPS is A Great Core Metric. Track NPS as a core, monthly metric.  Share it with everyone.  And importantly — use it for a cross-functional discussion across Sales, Support, Customer Success, Marketing, Engineering, and Product.  It’s the one metric all of them directly impact, and all of them are equally responsible for.” 5. The Difference Between Very, Very Good Founders. And Truly Great Founders. These are the founders I try to invest in. The ones that can see the future. For real. Much better than I ever could.” 4. At $50k in MRR, Running Out of Money Is No Longer an Continue reading "SaaStr’s Top 6 Posts of 2016"

Our Best Business Tips of 2016

This has been a huge year of growth and milestones for Groove. Here are the most popular lessons we’ve shared. In 2016, more than three million people visited this blog. Many of them read our posts, joined in on discussions in the comments, and shared our content with their networks all over the web. As we share our journey, we try to make every single post interesting, valuable and actionable for anyone who reads it. And we’ve published every single week since we launched this blog. But as you can expect, some posts don’t do that well. Many will get an “average” level of traffic. And some will hit all the right chords and be interesting and useful enough that they rise well above the rest of our content in traffic, engagement and shares. Those posts are below. If you haven’t been following along all year, I hope that this
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Our Best Business Tips of 2016

This has been a huge year of growth and milestones for Groove. Here are the most popular lessons we’ve shared. In 2016, more than three million people visited this blog. Many of them read our posts, joined in on discussions in the comments, and shared our content with their networks all over the web. As we share our journey, we try to make every single post interesting, valuable and actionable for anyone who reads it. And we’ve published every single week since we launched this blog. But as you can expect, some posts don’t do that well. Many will get an “average” level of traffic. And some will hit all the right chords and be interesting and useful enough that they rise well above the rest of our content in traffic, engagement and shares. Those posts are below. If you haven’t been following along all year, I hope that this
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Understanding Customer Success Management Compensation Models

Understanding Customer Success Management Compensation ModelsWhat’s the best Comp Model for Customer Success Managers (CSM)? How can I create a compensation model that drives the type of behavior we need? What percentage of CSM comp should be variable, and what impact should individual vs. org-level performance have on the variable piece of compensation? The more this comes up, the more I realize – especially when you’re first operationalizing Customer Success Management in your company, but very likely eventually – that when it comes to Customer Success, variable compensation is a red herring. You’re going to spend a lot of time on it even when you don’t need to. You – and your CSMs – have better things to do than worry about this… like actually making your customers successful. Let’s dig into this… This post assumes you have a clear understanding of Customer Success. If you have time, I’d suggest reading The 8 Elements of
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Determining the Number of Accounts per Customer Success Manager

This is otherwise known as, “How to Determine Customer Success Practitioner Coverage Ratios.” Initially, the question was “how many accounts should a Customer Success Manager (CSM) handle?” But people quickly realized that answers like “37 on the low end; 200 on the high end” weren’t actually helpful. Then, an ex-CEO-turned-VC with a strong content marketing machine, said a different thing that has, unfortunately, stuck: “1 CSM per $2M/ARR.” That’s not accurate, it never was, and it needs to stop being propagated. Here’s what to do instead… By the way, this post assumes you have a clear understanding of Customer Success. If you have time, I’d suggest that you read The 8 Elements of Customer Success Management or, if you’re quite busy, read Customer Success Management: An Executive Overview. Okay, so one of the main things that made that well-known-but-totally-wrong CSM coverage ratio obsolete is that…

Customer Success
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Customer Success-driven Growth: Rapid, Exponential, and Efficient

Doing whatever you can, spending whatever you can spend, to acquire any and all customers – whether they’re a good fit long-term or not – is played out. That’s not a valid growth strategy anymore (it never really was). Today, Investors, Boards, Executives, and Startup Founders are all looking for rapid, exponential, and efficient growth. And yes, you can actually have all three of those. In fact, there’s no more efficient – and done correctly, rapid and exponential – growth than growth within and from your existing customer base. And the key to unleashing the power of this growth engine is Customer Success. I even wrote a post that illustrates just how much of an impact Customer Success-driven Growth can have not just on Revenue expansion, but literally on the value of your company! Let’s dig into what Customer Success-driven Growth is…

Customer Success as a Growth Engine

Customer Success-driven Growth –
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SaaStr Podcast #085: David Hassell, Founder & CEO @ 15Five On How SaaS Startup Founders Should View Competition

podcast-featured-85-david-hassell2x Welcome to Episode 85! David Hassell is the founder and CEO of 15Five, the leading web-based employee feedback and alignment solution that is transforming the way employees and managers communicate. They have backing from the likes of Matrix Partners, Point Nine Capital with Christoph Janz and many more leading investors. As for David, he was named “The Most Connected Man You Don’t Know in Silicon Valley” by Forbes Magazine, David has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Inc., Entrepreneur, Wired, Fast Company, and the Financial Post. Huge thanks to Josh Hannah for the intro to David today! david-hassellIn today’s episode you will learn:
How David made his way into the world of SaaS and came to found 15Five?
How does David view competition? How should founders view additional competition to their space? What is the right response? Why did David choose such a public Continue reading "SaaStr Podcast #085: David Hassell, Founder & CEO @ 15Five On How SaaS Startup Founders Should View Competition"

What is the ideal size of a SaaS marketing team?

The ideal size of a SaaS marketing team until you are at $10m+ ARR is the size that is accretive. The last thing you want is a bunch of “marketers” whose ROI you don’t understand. But:
  • At even $20k in MRR, you’re ready for a head of demand gen and maybe even a true VP of Marketing (as long as she’s hands-on). You’re ready to cost-effectively pay for more leads, and more effectively managing the ones you do have. I Hired My VP of Marketing at $20k MRR. It Wasn’t a Week Too Early.
  • As soon as you know how to do events and make them ROI positive, you’re ready to hire someone to manage events for you and do “field marketing”.
  • As soon as you have enough marketing-generated leads to justify a marketing led lead qual team — hire them.
Later, you’ll end up with more “soft” marketers whose Continue reading "What is the ideal size of a SaaS marketing team?"