Mary Poppen, Chief Customer Officer at Glint (now part of Linkedin) joined Helping Sells Radio to talk about how she implemented a low-touch, self-service customer success model and increased NPS at the same time. It seems counter intuitive that a company can do this. Most of us might think customers would want more service, more hands-on service, and more personalized service. But guess what? Mary listened to customers and guess what they said. Just guess. They said, "We want you to help us be more self-sufficient." Mary listened. Mary delivered.
Mary also talked about this during her talk at Gainsight Pulse Conference. But we got to the detail.
Irit Eizips of CSM Practice helped and co-delivered the Gainsight Pulse Conference talk with Mary. We talked to Irit about it at Pulse. Here is a link to her episode (#120): https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/120-gainsight-pulse-2019-irit-eizips-says-customer/id1080713333?i=1000439320196
Learn more about Mary:
It's easy to say that we care about customer adoption, that our priority is to help customers adopt our products. The problem is that customer/product adoption is meaningless. Or at least it's too vague to be useful. It's not like we can run a report on adoption, can we? Megan Macaluso, VP of Strategic Development at ESG joins the show to talk about how we can measure adoption...more precisely. Not only does she lay out specific measurable customer adoption metrics, but she explains that the best way to learn what customers value (and therefore what to measure) is for customer success teams to pay attention to what customers are saying, look for patterns, and turn those patterns into hypotheses that the product teams (or data science team) can test. This is how we turn anecdotal data into objective data.
Too often we get dismissed when we bring up anecdotal stories like, "Customers hate the new green button." Product teams scoff and think to themselves, "You had two whole conversations about the green button? Wow. It must be a real problem." The right way to handle this problem is for the customer success team to say, "We have a hypothesis: This green button is causing customers to not perform that action. Could we test that?" A good product team should respond positively to that. But, advises Macaluso, we have to "pay attention to those indicators."
In short, pay attention. Be a hypothesis machine.
Learn more about Megan:
Win/Loss reason is a simplistic way to report in wins and losses, according to Alan Armstrong, founder and CEO of Eigenworks. What we really need to do is understand what was the decision, how was it made, what was the quest, how stable was that decision, were we at risk of losing, and in future deals like this, how secure can we be in our positioning? These questions help Alan get to the non-obvious surprising findings in both win/loss and churn/retention analysis. Let's face it, win/loss reasons never say you were outsold and win/loss reports from your CRM rarely tell the real story. In this episode of Helping Sells Radio, Armstrong explain how he digs deeper, talks to customers in the context of their story, to find out the real reasons they come to you or leave you. It is almost never the reason you think it is.
Learn more about Alan:
User adoption is not easy. We all know this, and yet we are doing ourselves any favors when we treat the customer go live date as the main goal of brining on new customers. Even if we are not doing it intentionally, we get so wrapped up in getting the customer up and running, we get to the go live date and allow ourselves to be relieved. "Whew! Now that that's over, we can move on to the next customer." We should be treating the go live date as the beginning, not the end. We talked to Jason Whitehead, CEO of Tri Tuns, specializing in customer success management and IT user adoption. He helps us understand how to break the mindset of "go live and go home."
Learn more about Jason:
We'd love it if you'd:
Thank you for listening to the show.
"Innovative, new products are difficult to understand and we have only seconds to help customers understand why they should care." According to April Dunford, author of the new book, Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It, position is the way to do that. The way we look at this at Helping Sells Radio, positioning is a way to help customers discover that our product can uniquely help them solve a problem and/or achieve some outcome. Of course April says it much better that we can, and we had her on the show just to make sure.
Positioning has been around for as long as marketing has...which is to say, it is not hip and cool, like conversational marketing or customer success marketing. But. It is one of the most important things a company can do to help prospective customers find you. Here is the big time problem that April is on a mission to solve: almost no one deliberately positions their product, and that turns out to be a huge mistake because when companies do not deliberately position themselves, customers do that for you and lump you in to what they already know. Every time you are in a battle with a competitor. Customer customer keeps saying, "You're like [ insert competitor ] but you don't have this (or that) feature." And you keep saying, "But we're not like [ insert competitor ]. Really. We're not." Then, it's too late. The customer has positioned you. April's book is a call to action for anyone who wants to tell customers who they really are.
Position yourself or be positioned.
Learn more about April: