Understanding Customer Success Management Compensation Models

What'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 … [Continue reading]

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 … [Continue reading]

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, … [Continue reading]

Why You Can’t Offset Churn with Upsells

If you lose $1 in revenue through churn - either because a customer cancels their subscription or decides to stay but pays you less because of discounts or downsells - you first need to replace that $1 before you can start to grow.Now, you can … [Continue reading]

9 Things Customer Success is Not

The definition of Customer Success has been clearly laid out.What goes into Customer Success Management has been fully documented.But there's still a chance that you have a misconception or misunderstanding about Customer Success that could … [Continue reading]

Customer Success Management: An Executive Overview

Customer Success is when your customers achieve their Desired Outcome through their Interactions with your company.The actual process of moving customers toward their ever-evolving Desired Outcome is called Customer Success Management.It's … [Continue reading]

The 8 Elements of Customer Success Management

Customer Success is when your customers achieve their Desired Outcome through their Interactions with your Company.To actually ensure your customers achieve their Desired Outcome - or what they need to achieve, the way they need to achieve it - … [Continue reading]

Logical Customer Segmentation: The Key to Scaling Customer Success

Customers that pay more need more human interaction, right?Customers that pay less don't deserve as much human interaction, right?Customers that we give more human interaction should pay more, right?Segmenting customers based on how much … [Continue reading]

Orchestrating Sales and Customer Success Alignment

If you aren't familiar with the concept of Customer Success yet, it's when your customers achieve their Desired Outcome (what they need to achieve, the way they need to achieve it) through their interactions with your company.Customer Success … [Continue reading]

Success Potential: The Foundation of Customer Success

Também disponível em Português por Exact SalesCustomer Success starts with acquiring customers that have Success Potential.Customers that have Success Potential are said to be good fit customers. This is the opposite of bad-fit customers that … [Continue reading]

Excuses and the Myth of Near-Zero Churn

Churn is a drag on growth. Churn hurts company valuation. There is no good reason to have churn in your business.I did an "Ask Me Anything" on Slack as part of the build-up for my “Building an Engine of Growth” Workshop and Keynote at SaaStock … [Continue reading]

Success Vector – the KPI for Customer Success-driven Growth

Customer Success is a Growth Engine. Investing in Customer Success-driven Growth is an efficient way to drive revenue and company valuation, and we need a metric that is designed to measure that growth. Introducing, Success Vector.Customer Health … [Continue reading]

Don’t Mix SaaS Free Trial and Churn Metrics

Any metric that's not acted on is a vanity metric, right? Sure, but that doesn't cover every situation.Sometimes we measure things because we're "supposed to" but honestly don't know what to do once we have the result (add that to the list of … [Continue reading]

SaaS Free Trial Conversion Rate Benchmarks

I'm frequently asked about SaaS Free Trial Conversion Rate Benchmarks; after being asked for the 97th time - this week - I decided to publish this post.First, a bit of a disclaimer. Benchmarks are neat... it's cool to see how you stack up against … [Continue reading]

Churn is a Symptom, Not a Disease

Também disponível em Português por Mathias LuzChurn is when customers cancel their account, don't renew their contract, or remain your customer but pay you less; the latter is referred to as "revenue churn" and includes discounts, down sells, … [Continue reading]

7 Ways Customer Success drives Company Valuation

I've been saying for years that Customer Success is transformative; driving exponential value for both the vendor, as well as the customer. In fact, it's that value growth for the customer that truly drives the value growth for the vendor. What goes … [Continue reading]

Stretch vs. Bad-Fit Customers

What are the characteristics of a Bad-Fit Customer for your business?It's great to know who your Ideal Customer is (my Ideal Customer Profile Framework is constantly updated), but it's much easier - and I say required - to first identify the … [Continue reading]

Two Ways to Reduce SaaS Cancellations

Fairy Tales have happy endings.That's why they're so popular; even if they include scary moments with monsters and evil blended family members, everything is pulled together nicely at the end when the naive protagonist is magically okay.In … [Continue reading]

The Only Two Reasons Customers Churn

Churn is the antithesis of growth.When you lose a customer, in order to grow by one customer, you have to first replace that customer you lost, and then add a new customer.And when a customer leaves, they take the revenue they were paying you … [Continue reading]

You Have to Know why Your Customers Churn

When customers churn, that’s a problem.Even if their churn was “unavoidable” it still hurts.Churn hurts on several levels: from lowering revenue to hurting employee morale.And churn means something happened to the customer (out of … [Continue reading]

Pricing Strategy Framework for SaaS Startups

Pricing doesn't exist in a vacuum and is therefore not something you can tackle on its own.Pricing is a function of marketing and determines, among other things, your market position. It also indicates - or is ideally derived from - the type of … [Continue reading]

Qualifying Leads in a SaaS Free Trial

I got this set of questions on Twitter: "Is there a certain level of activity during the free trial that is likely to predict conversion from free to paid? Also, how do other companies handle Sales vs. Marketing Qualified Leads (SQL vs. MQL) when it … [Continue reading]

Customer Success and Logical Account Expansion

Customer Success is a powerful growth driver.Sure, in the early days when you're putting out the fires of churn, Customer Success seems less like a growth driver and more like a stop shrinking driver.But once you move past churn busting - or … [Continue reading]

Reasonable SaaS Free Trial Conversion Rate

What's a reasonable conversion rate from free trial to a paid customer?I get some form of this question from time to time and I've answered it several times over the years.Well, I got it again so it's time to revisit this very simple … [Continue reading]

Acceptable Churn Rate for Small Accounts

What drives a company to focus on Customer Success is changing. In the past, churn (or retention, depending upon how you look at things) was generally the catalyst.Once churn is under control, the catalyst changes to expansion; driving use, … [Continue reading]

Success is Uncomfortable

I've talked before about holding customers accountable and how customer success isn't about making customers happy.Sometimes you have to push customers out of their comfort zone and - if you'll allow me to channel my inner Tony Robbins -progress … [Continue reading]

The Risk (and Opportunity) in Stealing Customers

Picture it, São Paulo, Brazil, October 2015.After one of the sales and customer success workshops I did, a few of us went out for a snack - fried polenta sticks - and to talk shop... and the idea of Success Gaps came up.In particular, we … [Continue reading]

A Foolproof Way to Get Testimonials Without Asking for Them

Personally, I've always found it difficult to ask for testimonials. It just doesn't come naturally to me.In fact, one of the reasons I like doing calls on Clarity is that the platform closes the loop with the client for me, asking for a star … [Continue reading]

Success Milestones and the Path to Desired Outcome

I talk about Success Milestones all the time, not just in the context of Customer Success, but in the context of the overall success of my SaaS clients and the companies I work with.The concept of Success Milestones is a relatively simple one to … [Continue reading]

Customer Accountability: Pushing Back to Drive Them Forward

A little while ago I introduced the concept of the Success Gap and how customers can use your product to the fullest and still not achieve their Desired Outcome.And as the vendor you can either ignore the phenomenon and let customers fend for … [Continue reading]

This Customer Acquisition Mistake Can Kill your Growth

Também disponível em Português por Mathias LuzCan the customers you're actively going after actually achieve success with your product or through their interactions with your company as things are today? If not, that's a problem.The reasons … [Continue reading]

Stop Using these Anti-Customer Terms

Ugh... isn't dealing with customers that don't get it and having to hold their hand along the way or check-in with them to make sure they're okay, annoying? It's so nice when you can hand 'em off to someone else, right?I hear that all the time … [Continue reading]

7 Reasons to Optimize your SaaS Free Trial

For SaaS vendors, the Purpose of a Free Trial is to create a customer. Period.If you don't agree with that statement then you really won't like pretty much everything else I'm going to say in this article.Free Trials are not for tire-kicking … [Continue reading]

Desired Outcome is a Transformative Concept

Também disponível em Português por Mathias LuzOne of the most powerful concepts I've ever come across in business is the idea of the customer's Desired Outcome.And if you're thinking "one of the most powerful concepts in business" seems like … [Continue reading]

The Seeds of Churn are Planted Early

"The Seeds of Churn are Planted Early" is a phrase I came up with in early 2013, published shortly thereafter, and have said and used many times since.I wanted to go on record with that - BTW, if you see the term’s use outside of my work or that … [Continue reading]

5 Situations When Massive Churn is Just Fine

The mantra of "grow at all costs" - that seems to include acquiring wrong-fit customers (those who aren't your Ideal Customers), churn be damned - has popped up several times lately and my reaction to it is two-fold.First, I immediately thought … [Continue reading]

5 Lesser-Known Ways Churn Hurts your Company

The common refrain by SaaS experts that think business is just a math problem is that if a customer stays long enough to pay back the cost to acquire them (the metric is called Customer Acquisition Cost or CAC), they became a "profitable" customer … [Continue reading]

Podcast: Getting Inside the Minds of Your SaaS Customers

How do you define success for your SaaS customers?While it sounds simple, it’s not.Success is only achieved when your customers reach their Desired Outcome by their interactions with your company.But first, you have to understand what it … [Continue reading]