5 Keys to Unlocking Negative Churn in B2B SaaS

Retention, retained revenue, gross churn, negative churn, expansion…in 2018 the SaaS gods will surely create at least 5 more terms for the concepts of keeping and growing recurring revenue from an existing customer base. Whatever you may call it, as a B2B SaaS leader how to achieve negative churn is what should be keeping you up at night. Here are some ideas to help you get back to sleep:

1. Make Customer Adoption a Top 3 Strategic Priority for the Entire Company

A quick one to start: Establishing and maintaining customer adoption of your product is THE core-prerequisite to retaining customer revenue and expanding that revenue i.e. creating negative churn. That being agreed, we need to define what ‘adoption’ is and isn’t so we can measure its achievement and status.

2. Recognize that Usage Does Not Equal Adoption

Adoption is NOT a customer achieving utility of your SaaS product.
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SaaStr Podcast #159: Fred Shilmover, Founder & CEO @ InsightSquared Discusses Why CAC/LTV Is Not The Guiding Metric In SaaS

Welcome to Episode 159! Fred Shilmover is the CEO and co-founder of InsightSquared, one of Boston’s premiere tech startups paving the way in the sales intelligence space. Throughout the InsightSquared journey, Fred has raised over $25m in VC funding from the likes of DFJ, Bessemer, Salesforce, and Atlas Venture. Prior to founding InsightSquared, Fred was a corporate development associate with Salesforce Ventures, and before that he held several key roles at Bessemer Venture Partners, including associate and Director of IT. He is also a board member of TUGG, an organization that brings together tech entrepreneurs with social enterprises that support at-risk youth.   In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

Your Customer Success Leader Needs to Able to Run Through Walls

Strong. Determined. Brave…and covered in brick dust and plasterboard. All the above are common traits of a top Customer Success leader in today’s B2B subscription economy. As Customer Success leaders, we need to be able to run through walls in our companies. These high, and hard walls are made up of legacy cultures, processes, data, and roles. They were constructed in the era of ‘acquire the customer at all costs’, ‘sell-implement-walkaway’ and ‘feature-function bake offs’. Even in the new, fresh and shiny startups of today, these walls can still exist. These startups are hiring employees and leaders who have lived within the walls for their entire career. These leaders have, often unknowingly integrated the walls into their new company’s architecture. Your company will reap the benefits of a subscription revenue model by hiring and training Customer Success leaders to run through these walls. Having broken through, these leaders can establish new cultures,
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10 Ways to Stop B2B Churn

Customer loyalty is critical for any business. Loyal B2B customers are made; they don’t just happen. Yet, between vendors and customers there is a disconnect around what drives loyalty. To many vendors it comes from using the product, it remains installed and renewals paid. To the customer, it means products perform as advertised, additional value in the form of information, expected experiences and access is received over the lifecycle. Just because a product isn’t tossed out doesn’t mean a customer is loyal. The size of the investment, extent of process changes made to integrate the product, and/or the hassle factor in switching out are hurdles that deter customers from hastily churning. They refer to it as being “stuck” or “hostage”. Value is in the eye of the beholder. It is multi-dimensional and contextual. Customers perceive value as realized over time and cumulative. It’s the summation of the pluses and minuses
customer success webinar
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How to Get More Out of Your Existing Customers [Infographic]

Historically, the sales funnel has been considered linear. Prospects turned into leads, leads turned into customers, and customers became repeat buyers. But, processes evolve and so has the sales funnel, especially in the SaaS world. Prospects don’t just come from cold calls anymore. More than ever, prospects are referred from existing, loyal customers. Loyal customers are created through a multitude of ways – one of which is a customer success program. Beyond simply managing a customer’s account and checking in, customer success is an operational approach through which the customer is guided in adoption and engagement with your software. With a solid customer success strategy, customer success managers aren’t just reacting to customer issues, they have proactive measures in place to ensure a customer’s success, identify potential upsell opportunities and reduce churn. When a customer is guided through SaaS adoption with a proactive customer success strategy, it’s likely they’ll
Total ARR comparison
customer success webinar
sales versus success
Customer Success Infographic
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Top Two Reasons for Churn

In working with a number of SaaS portfolio companies, I have found that there are two causes of churn that occur more frequently than any others. They are: Failure to successfully onboard the customer Loss of the champion who drove the purchase Looking at these in order: Failure to successfully onboard It’s easy to understand...

Top Two Reasons for Churn

In working with a number of SaaS portfolio companies, I have found that there are two causes of churn that occur more frequently than any others. They are: Failure to successfully onboard the customer Loss of the champion who drove the purchase Looking at these in order: Failure to successfully onboard It’s easy to understand...

Sales is Part of Customer Success

Sales is part of Customer Success. Like it or not. No, I don’t mean the Sales organization should report to the Customer Success Management org. I mean that Customer Success as an Operating Philosophy, as a way of doing business, includes sales. It includes marketing, product, support, etc, too. It’s critical to understand that Customer Success is not just about “post-sale.” Customer Success is when your customers achieve their Desired Outcome through their interactions with your company. Those interactions start early – from the first marketing touchpoint, at the start of the sales cycle, on the first cold outreach email by your SDR – and they continue throughout the entire lifecycle of the customer. Which means we need to be thinking about Customer Success when creating marketing campaigns, determining Ideal Customers, optimizing the sales cycle, etc. In fact, let’s talk about Sales. Sales is important. Sales is critical.
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Appropriate Experience is Required for Customer Success

Customer Success is when your customers achieve their Desired Outcome through their interactions with your company. As I’ve said before, Customer Success as a concept is very simple. Don’t overthink it. But I always have to unpack one piece of that definition and that’s Desired Outcome, or what your customers need to achieve (their Required Outcome) and the way they need to achieve it (their Appropriate Experience). Required Outcome + Appropriate Experience = Desired Outcome Desired Outcome is also a relatively simple concept. Unlike Customer Success, however, Desired Outcome isn’t something people tend to overthink… … it’s something they just tend to ignore. Well, if they don’t ignore the entire thing, they only focus on one part… the Required Outcome. Appropriate Experience either doesn’t matter to them or is just too hard to figure out (which makes them give up and say “it doesn’t matter”). I can’t help you if
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What Are The Best Customer Success KPIs?

As you can probably imagine, I’m asked all the time what the best Customer Success KPIs are. What metrics should you use to know if your Customer Success initiative is working. Here’s the deal. I’m not an analyst… I’m a consultant. Companies hire me to help them rapidly acquire good-fit customers, keep those customers longer, get them to buy more over that extended lifetime, and get those customers to advocate for them, too. That’s called Customer Success-driven Growth. The reality is, though, that every company is at a different stage as a company, with their Customer Success initiative, etc. so wha the “best” metric for one company at one point may not be the best metric for another company (or even the same company) at a different time. Let’s dig into this, but first I have to address something serious…

Customer Success is NOT a Metric

Recently I saw an
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