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Scaling your team. Increasing efficiency without increasing budget. Balancing automation and human touch. Maximizing revenue. These are all good problems to experience as organizations are faced with these challenges as they grow. Customer Success is a dynamic field and companies have different approaches to these same questions.
In May, EverAfter hosted a panel discussion with Customer Success leaders on this topic. Speaking with EverAfter’s Noam Hayman, was Luke Ferrel (Director of Customer Success at Outreach), Tom Ronen (Head of Customer Success at Monday.com), and Shahar Zaguri (Customer Success Operations - Enablement Lead at AppsFlyer).
Metrics to measure success
Before we dive into the success stories of our panelists and their organizations, I want to explore the metrics that they as leaders prioritize and are measured on. This is fundamental as it encapsulates the overarching vision as their companies and teams grew tremendously in recent years. Want to manage more accounts efficiently? Read the best practices on self-service onboarding.
Luke began bluntly: Churn rate is “probably 70% of our metrics” with the rest made up of their expansion of current customers. Things have changed recently, in that his team has begun to track customer lifecycle events, allowing them to “measure adherence to that operating rhythm and plan.”
Tom and the Monday.com team have a different focus. Instead of focusing on the upsell, they look at gross revenue retention. Another metric is, of course, ARR per CSM. “We want to make sure that we are meeting with the right customers at the right time.
Shahar and Appsflyer separate leadership and the individual CSMs. The leadership has revenue targets, “but for the CSMs and the individual contributors, we're focusing more on the processes” which are defined on a quarterly basis. That being said, the enterprise and growth CSM teams will have different KPIs and measurements based on their goals.
How did the panelists grow their teams and increase revenue without increasing expenses?
Shahar summarizes what they did at Appsflyer. Appsflyer divided its CSMs into two teams: Enterprise and Growth. “The portfolio of each CSM changed.” The Enterprise CSMs went from managing 20 customers to 10-12 customers, “and then the Growth CSMs instead of 20 accounts… manage up to 60 or 100 accounts.” EverAfter’s customer-facing portals came into play because of this. Appsflyer wanted one system for each CSM to track all of their accounts, and EverAfter has one-to-many functionalities to allow for this, balancing automation, personalization, and human touch.
Tom recounts the Monday.com experience. At the start of Covid, churn was through the roof, and “customer service was flooded with cancellation requests. Monday is a tool that can be
applied across all industries. And so we had a ton of event planners, cruising, industry, airlines, hospitality, you name it, [all canceling]… it was a scary time.” They had to reframe the role of the CSM, and which service is provided to each customer. Different tiers of customers would receive different levels of service, enabling the CSMs to manage their accounts more efficiently without expanding the team.
Luke and Outreach evaluated the customers they prioritize. Their 100k+ accounts were “renewing at 90%... so there wasn't really a lot of juice left to squeeze.” In contrast, their sub 40k accounts were renewing below 70%, and these “customers add up.” They pooled those smaller accounts into a Customer Success environment, leading to $50 million in revenue with about 5,000 customers.
As your organization grows, define your priorities, don’t be scared of evaluating your internal systems, and look for ways to balance automation and human touch. We recommend listening to the full recording of the panel, as here are some snippets from just two of the questions explored. Enjoyed the summary? Check out our previous panel, What I wish I knew when I just started as CSM.