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 if you … [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 question. As … [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 is … [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 talked … [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 rating … [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 Luz Can 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 they … [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 from … [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 Luz One 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 a … [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 of … [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 how … [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 is that … [Continue reading]

The Fiction that Friction Improves Customer Onboarding

A few months back an article was published that talked about how this popular brain training game (I can't remember what it's called) made their onboarding process MORE complex - not less - and increased their active users by 10%. While the article … [Continue reading]

Customer Psychology and the Unexpected Power of Surveys

Surveys can be dangerous if used wrong, but can be super-powerful if used correctly! Whether it's the Net Promoter System to gauge customer satisfaction, doing pre-launch customer development work for your startup, or one of the myriad methods we use … [Continue reading]

How Social Proof Actually Works in Marketing

I'm not a psychologist, but I play one every day as I try to figure out why people (users, customers, visitors, etc.) do what they do... and how to get them to do more of what I want them to do. I spend a lot more time reading books about - and … [Continue reading]

Customer Success Starts at Sales Done Right

After getting a demo of their new product from their Chief Data Officer (Luke Deka) while I was in Poland, I was excited to catch-up with Greg Pietruszynski, CEO of Growbots, when I got back to San Francisco. We talked about lots of different topics, … [Continue reading]

Achieve Network Effect on a Smaller Scale

I was talking to my friend Piotr Zaniewicz the other day about the importance of network effects on SaaS businesses. I mentioned how the common misconception around network effects is that, in order to achieve a real network effect (this is the … [Continue reading]

Podcast: Customer Success is the Foundation of Your Success

Micky from Kahuna Accounting sent me an email to share that they grew their B2B business from 0 customers/0 revenue to 180 customers and $40k/month ($480k Annually) in just over a year, and a major part of that was their use of the Ideal Customer … [Continue reading]

3 Secrets of High-Converting SaaS Free Trials

While just about every B2B SaaS company offers a Free Trial - especially those with self-service sales models - in my experience, the percentage of SaaS companies that feel their Free Trial is "successful" is fairly low. Disappointingly low, … [Continue reading]

How To Get Sales To Help Test your Ideal Customer Profile

I was talking to the CEO of a SaaS startup on Clarity about a dilemma many companies go through. They've decided it's time to get deliberate about their progress and start testing their Ideal Customer Profile... but there's a problem. They already … [Continue reading]

Stick Point: When Your SaaS Customer is Truly a Customer

In my recent article on accurately calculating your SaaS metrics, I mentioned how some customers shouldn't be considered customers yet. I referred to the fact that there's a "stick point" or that point in time in the early part of the customer … [Continue reading]

Free Trials Do Not Devalue Your Enterprise SaaS

The CEO of a SaaS company reached out to me the other day and he had a very dangerous misconception that could seriously impact their potential as a company. I hope by talking about it here I can save more SaaS companies from falling into this … [Continue reading]

4 Undercover Ways to Hack Social for More Sales

How often do you hear the term "Social Selling" and either can't figure out what it actually means or just want to call shenanigans on it? You know you're not going to close a six-figure deal on Twitter, right? That's not reality. But that doesn't … [Continue reading]

The Success Gap: A HUGE Opportunity You Haven’t Considered

There is often a gap between the functional completion of your product and the customer's Desired Outcome. I call this the Success Gap. And this Success Gap that stands between what your product does and your customer's Desired Outcome is a huge risk … [Continue reading]

Your SaaS Metrics Are Wrong if You Include These Customers

A user is someone that uses your SaaS product, right? Or is it someone that signed-up? Or someone that's active? Or someone that logged in a few times? Hmm. Okay, so maybe defining a user is hard, but defining a customer is easy, right? A customer is … [Continue reading]

Active Users are a Vanity Metric

Active customers churn. And when they do we're shocked and confused. How can this happen? Your customer was very active, logging-in several times in the last month. I think it's fair to say that if Active customers churn, then "active" - as a … [Continue reading]

CAC Strategy is the Key to Scaling your SaaS Company

Starting a SaaS company and scaling a SaaS company are two very different things. The same is true for "scaling" a SaaS company in the very early days vs. scaling a SaaS company through the growth phase. And since every company is different and … [Continue reading]

Let Your Customers Write Your Marketing Copy

I spend a lot of time talking to SaaS companies about how they should identify their Ideal Customers, understand how they operate, know what their Desired Outcome is, listen to what they say, etc. etc. Whether it's a focus on acquiring new customers, … [Continue reading]

Exposed! A Top-Secret “Enterprise Pricing” Growth Hack

When it comes to SaaS, you basically have two sales models: high-touch and self-service. Small, bootstrapped SaaS companies often like to go the low-touch, self-service way. Large, venture-backed startups often like to take the high-touch, Enterprise … [Continue reading]

The Only 3 Acceptable Pricing Page Discount Tactics

I get this question from time to time: "Lincoln, is it okay to offer discounts right on your pricing page?" Short answer: No. The longer answer, with some nuanced yesses thrown in,  along with some tactics that you can employ, is below... … [Continue reading]

Engaging at Scale: The Secret to Automating Personal Emails

About a year ago I shared my super top-secret way to automate personal emails more effectively - called the "Customer Success bot" method - with the awesome folks on my mailing list. Since then, I've come up with several new uses for this framework … [Continue reading]

5 Growth Hacks to Supercharge your Invite or Referral System

When was the last time you referred your friends or invited co-workers into an app after you just signed-up for the free trial? When was the last time you imported your address book right after you opened an app for the first time? Right. So why do … [Continue reading]

The Myth of Unavoidable Churn

When it comes to customer churn, there are two kinds: avoidable and unavoidable. But I guarantee that the amount you label as "unavoidable" is actually much smaller than you think. I know, but... "Most of our churn is out of our control, so it's … [Continue reading]

Understanding Your Customer’s Desired Outcome

So... what does Success look like for your customer? That's the question that's at the base of my wildly popular "The Secret to Successful Customer Onboarding" article. BTW, this article is good... but I have another one that goes into more detail on … [Continue reading]

The Secret to Successful Customer Onboarding

Também disponível em Português por Mathias Luz Customer onboarding has come up a lot lately, which is great since having a poor onboarding experience for your customers can pretty much kill your growth... if not your business. The first in-app … [Continue reading]