Customer Success for Your Business Success “Review”

Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash

It has become more expensive for businesses to acquire new customers. That’s why you need to focus on keeping existing customers happy — happy customers become your biggest promoters and advocates.

If you’re not convinced that retaining customers is so valuable, consider research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company (the inventor of the net promoter score) that shows increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.

And for customer happiness and loyalty to happen, companies have to take a proactive approach in helping customers achieve their goals. After all, customer success redounds to your business success.

Although customer success is tied to the bottom line as it helps keep the number of customers leaving your products or services low, improves renewal and satisfaction, and boosts revenue, not many companies are focused on this.

Results from retention campaigns take much longer than from lead generation or customer acquisition, that’s why.

For instance, when you publish a lead gen form or launch an ad campaign, you can easily see and measure the results.

But it’s different in customer retention because it deals more with loyalty, relationships, and engagement, which produces results that are not immediately seen and/or nuanced to measure.

Some very successful emerging and growing companies, however, are already investing in customer success. They recognize that the most cost-efficient way to run a business today is to make sure customers are happy and successful, which are hallmarks of customer success.

Retention activities are the secret to increasing your customer lifetime value (CLTV).

In a study, it was found that those proactively servicing customers can manage customer turnover when companies always ensure that products or services add value and benefits to their customers.

The situation with customer churn is becoming increasingly important as businesses shift to digital- and subscription-based service offerings, which greatly reduces switching costs.

In models, which depend on recurring revenue demonstrate that traditional customer service and support efforts are not sufficient in keeping customers.

According to this study, many businesses are unable to proactively connect with customers as they increase their service efforts.

To address this problem, customer success management is becoming a common industry practice.

ABM is Driving Greater Customer Success

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is fast becoming business as usual for B2B marketing organizations.

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Today companies use ABM as the main strategy to win new accounts and expand existing clients.

Many B2B continue to invest in ABM, in which their programs now account for 28% of the entire marketing budget. Driving that investment is the value companies get from their programs, including greater ROI and higher levels of customer success, advocacy, and innovation.

Based on 2018 ABM Benchmark Study, ABM leaders consider these eight specific initiatives to raise their game:

  • Increasing impact within each of the three types of ABM
  • Moving to a blended strategy with more than one type of ABM
  • Balancing coverage of new and existing accounts
  • Getting the metrics right
  • Investing in teams
  • Mastering storytelling
  • Leveraging technology
  • Orchestrating across the organization

But Steve Watt, Chief Revenue Officer at Rattlehub and ABM Consultant gives this caveat: You can’t just stop doing all your demand generation and all your existing marketing and suddenly just flip a switch and become an ABM-centered organization. It’s not going to work.

You can avoid shortcuts, wasted time, and money by learning the fundamentals of Account-Based Marketing at CXL. Know how to plan, build, test, measure, optimize, and scale this impactful growth strategy that can be applied in any B2B company, and in any industry.

The emergence of Account-Based Everything

Account-Based Everything (ABE) refers to synchronous efforts of personalized marketing, sales development, sales, and customer success resulting in engagement and conversion of, a targeted set of accounts.

The principal focus is on driving the full life-cycle revenue chain from marketing through sales and customer success/account management.

This alignment extends across the whole organization, like finance, product development, engineering, and the executive team.

Account-Based Everything Framework

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TOPO’s Account-Based Everything framework gives practitioners a detailed review of winning strategies and tactics in the development of account-based marketing, sales development, sales and customer success programs.

In the opening keynote speech, The State of Sales in 2016, TOPO’s CEO Scott Albro confronted the push for Account-based Marketing. Albro believes that ABM is too limiting when companies should invest in a more comprehensive and effective strategy: Account-Based Everything.

As Albro reminds us, interdepartmental alignment is crucial to the success of an account-based strategy, so there is a case to be made for changing the name of the game.

Cut from the same cloth

TOPO has proposed a new name, but “Account-based Everything” and Account-based Marketing are the same.

What’s different is the structured approach TOPO takes to the strategic and collaborative aspects of ABM, executed by Marketing and Sales (and Customer Success).

How to Develop an Effective Account-based Strategy

Five tenets that TOPO sees as important for ABE.

  1. Target high-value accounts. Establish your ideal customer profile (ICP) to know which other accounts are both likely to convert and likely to have a high lifetime customer value (LCV).
  2. Be data and intelligence-driven. The use of high-quality data, that is accurate and complete for at least 80–90% of your accounts, makes for a good ICP and effective targeting for new prospect accounts.
  3. Organize around account strategy. In order for ABE to make the biggest revenue impact, leaders need to coordinate account strategy across departments and throughout the customer lifecycle.
  4. Make interactions that matter for the buyer. Deliver highly relevant and personal emails, phone messages, and other content to the account and the individual (by role, for instance). Messaging should be focused on the benefits that the buyer can get the most value from your products and services are the most valuable.
  5. Use the appropriate number of touches. Touches should be high effort and high frequency, “especially for very narrow target markets,” according to Albro. The exact right number, frequency, and mix of interactions should be tested. It will vary depending on your product, your existing relationship with the prospect, and the size of the account.

Conclusion

Whether or not you adopt TOPO’s new terminology, their framework around ABE is helpful. It provides a practical lens on considerations for an account-based Marketing and Sales strategy.

The goal is to establish priorities for leaders who are allocating resources and designing account-based workflows to drive results across the entire customer lifecycle leading to customer retention and growth.