Feb 16, 2018

3 min

Customer Success Takeaways from SaaStr Annual 2018


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Last week we attended and exhibited as a gold sponsor at SaaStr Annual in San Francisco. It was great to see the growing community of B2B SaaS unite for this 3-day event packed with amazing content.

In the world of SaaS there’s the underlying truth that Customer Success plays a key role in the recurring business model. Given that, we wanted to share with you some Customer Success takeaways we picked up while at the conference.

Don’t Overlook Pricing

In a session on Mastering SaaS Pricing, Blake Bartlett, Partner at OpenView, explained the importance of pricing and packaging, and how it’s a powerful lever to drive growth in a SaaS business. The truth is pricing can make or break your business model and it shouldn’t be overlooked, especially in the expansion stage.

It’s Not Just About Retaining Customers

Kathy Lord, Sr. VP of Sales & Customer Success at Sage Intacct talked about the importance of setting a company culture early on. Often times we focus on retaining our customers as a KPI, but we should put just as much effort into retaining our employees. If you are able to find and hang on to stellar employees, you’ll then be able to build out high functioning teams which you can use as a key differentiator against your competitors.

CSMs are a Conduit of Information

In Antoine Valentone’s session – Customer Success in 2020 and Beyond with Teamable – he explored how the CS function has rapidly evolved since its inception (which was not long ago). One of the key takeaways from the session was the idea that Customer Success is a conduit of information between external customers as well as internal customers (i.e. sales, marketing, product, and engineering). If you are able to properly align your internal teams to transfer this information your organization will always win, renew and grow accounts.

You Need to Care

Stephanie Schatz, SVP of Sales and Customer Success at Xamarin broke it down in her session – that it’s all about caring. She explained that we need to show that we are authentic, curious and helpful. As you know this rings true not just in new sales but as a Customer Success Manager. Our jobs shouldn’t just be to sell them on our products and it’s features but to help them realize that value the product can provide.

Increase Product Usage and Good Things Will Come

Former CEO of Marketo, Phillip Fernandez, gave a fascinating opening keynote presentation on 10 things he’d do differently if he were to start another SaaS company (which he plans to do). Number six on the list was that he would measure product usage to assist with cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. If you don’t have a real-time dashboard on how your customers are using your product right now, then you are going to miss expansion opportunities. Lucky for you this real-time product usage insight is just one feature of the ChurnZero platform. Take this advance from software veteran Phil, and see how ChurnZero can help.

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