How to Survive the “SaaS-TEROID” According to #Pulse2024

🧠✨ “Babies born today will never be smarter than AI.” ✨🧠

Yikes, that hits hard, huh? At the Gainsight #Pulse2024 conference in St. Louis, it became clear that the rise of #AI and the increasing average break-even point for #SaaS companies (now 38 months!) are like the asteroid that hit the dinosaurs—only those who adapt will survive.

Here’s what I learned needs to be in our #CustomerSuccess toolbox to navigate this new era:

🛟Consistently Deliver and Demonstrate #ROI and #Value:🛟

Delivering value at every level of your clients’ organizations is crucial. But it doesn’t all need to be done via 1-on-1 correspondence. Leverage AI and technology to deliver a delightful #customerexperience via:
✅Customer Hubs and Knowledge Bases
✅Customer Academies and Communities
✅Video or Blog Messages and Office Hours
✅Unified Search through All of Those Areas

🛟Collaboratively Develop Success Plans:🛟

Work with your customers to create mutual success plans. Especially if you don’t have all the data internally to demonstrate impact, get your clients involved to track ROI progress together.

🛟Every Touchpoint Should Have a Clear Purpose and Deliver Value🛟

Gather client feedback to determine the ideal communication cadence for them and you. Factor in your clients’ busy times. Consider “Re-Kickoffs” with longstanding customers—like a renewal of vows. Adjust meeting frequencies based on customer maturity, needs, ACV, and growth potential.

🛟Be a Revenue Driver:🛟

Surviving CS teams must own and exceed revenue numbers. But we need new models beyond MEDDIC that speak to the art of post-sales revenue. Check out Rod Cherkas‘s new REACH framework and Elizabeth Italiano‘s What Not To Do resources for help.

🛟Understand How You Impact Unit Economics🛟

✅Increase Revenue per Customer: Aim to increase contract values
✅Improve Gross Margin: Reduce costs in any way you can. Be efficient with onboarding.
✅Boost Gross Revenue Retention: Improve engagement, drive adoption, and excel at renewals.
✅Lower CAC: Enhance customer advocacy and track referrals.
✅Check out Jay Nathan‘s Cover Your #SaaS course to learn more!

🛟Use Robust Playbooks:🛟

Shift from scattered meeting notes and vague check-ins to structured playbooks. Even without a CS platform like Gainsight, you can create detailed guides in Excel for different scenarios, like stakeholder changes. Kudos to Justin Chappell for this one!

🛟Use Curiosity to Generate Useful Data:🛟

Remember, “Garbage In, Garbage Out.” Even the fanciest #AI won’t help if we don’t dig in, ask the right questions, and truly listen to our clients. Check out Bob London’s #discovery course to learn more!

🛟Don’t Work in Isolation – Lean on the #CustomerSuccess Community!🛟

I am so grateful for all of you who continue to support my journey from #HigherEducation to becoming the best #CSM I can be.

With your help, I know I’ll adapt to this changing #SaaS environment, and I’ve also got your back. Together, we thrive! 🙏💖💪

Kimberly Renee Knowles

Certified Customer Success Manager and RecastSuccess Graduate with 15+ years client-facing experience retaining caseload of 625 higher education students as strategic advisor, program director, and multi-functional collaborator. Ex-Procter & Gamble market researcher and innovator in digital, scaled, and tech-touch customer success, leveraging artificial intelligence, Salesforce CRM, and consumer insights to deliver a highly personalized customer journey. Mom, dancer, and online karaoke singer in my spare time!

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