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A Proven Customer Success Framework
Over the past 15 years of serving customers, one theme has emerged.
The highest performing teams have a clear definition around the new 4 P’s...
The foundation for a high performing team starts with your people.
Individual Development: People are at the heart of any team and the highest performing teams have their people in roles that maximize their strengths. Glide uses a proprietary strengths based coaching process to bring awareness to an individual’s strengths and assist them in using their strengths as a foundation to achieve goals.
Team Development: Building a high performing team starts with a solid foundation. This foundation is constructed with a shared set of values and identity that all team members contribute to defining. Glide uses a proven process to align individuals with the team and create an incredibly strong bond among the team members.
Is your team driving revenue or satisfaction?
At the highest level in Customer Success, you are either driving satisfaction or revenue. The processes you put in place and the interactions your team has with your customers should all be designed to support your purpose. Getting clear about your purpose and ensuring alignment with other executives and your Customer Success team is critical.
Glide works with Customer Success teams to define their purpose. After we define it, we ensure there is understanding and alignment across the organization on the purpose of Customer Success.
The Processes you put in place should be designed to support your purpose.
Once the purpose is defined and clearly communicated, the processes to support the purpose can be put in place (or revised). The specific processes put in place will be different for each company but here are some general areas that are common across most enterprise SaaS businesses. Glide Consulting has created, implemented and iterated on processes in the areas below.
- New sale transition
- New customer on-boarding
- New Customer Success Manager training
- Quarterly Business Reviews
- Account penetration
- Ongoing partnership with Sales
- Up sell / cross sell
- Ongoing training
- Career paths
- Performance reviews
The tools and products you use to track your processes.
The platform represents the tools and products you will use to measure the processes that were put in place to support the purpose which is all executed by your people. The platform may be a spreadsheet, Salesforce / other CRM, a Customer Success specific solution or a combination of the three.
The right platform for each business will vary but the the platform is only going to be as good as the data you put into it and what you do with the information that comes out. Having clear definition around the People, Purpose and Processes first will ensure that the Platform can be leveraged in the most effective and efficient way.
Glide Consulting has hands on experience with a number of different platforms and works closely with clients to select the right one for their needs.
"I feel like I spend most of my time putting out fires for customers and internal departments."
Does that sound familiar? If so, you're not alone. We've worked with hundreds of Customer Success professionals over the past five years, and "firefighting" comes up in every conversation.
Your business runs on recurring revenue, not fire. Every renewal counts, and expansion is critical for long-term, sustainable growth. When the Customer Success team spends most of their time reacting to crisis after crisis, there's no time left over to be proactive about renewals and expansion.
Here are some of the things we've heard from other CS professionals about what it feels like to be trapped in this vicious cycle:
- "I woke up every day to a panic attack."
- "I felt overwhelmed knowing my day would be nothing but triage."
- "I sacrificed personal relationships to spend time trying to get ahead at work."
- "I started to resent our customers - it seemed like nothing we did helped."
- "I felt like my career was going nowhere, with no end in sight."
- "I started drinking too much to cope with the stress."
- "I felt completely ineffective at my job."
That's not a pretty picture, and it raises a difficult question for leadership:
How can our teams do excellent work if their daily routines start with hyperventilation, and end with three Manhattans?
The answer is simple: they can't, and the results are obvious.
- Accounts slip through the cracks at renewal time.
- Customer Support is always underwater.
- Internal departments have constant friction.
- Everybody seems really busy, but nothing gets done quickly.
- The rate of Customer Success employee turnover is worrisome.
CS professionals are proactive, strategic thinkers. We're known by friends and peers to have the innate ability to empathize with almost anybody. Our inclination to push through difficult situations sets us apart, and we don't shy away from challenges.
We put far more pressure on ourselves than our managers/execs ever could. Since we tend to prioritize the needs of others, critical self-care routines break down when stress is high. Morning Yoga plans quickly turn into two bagels and a barrage of placating emails to upset customers.
"Sometimes, I feel like my entire job is to email 'sorry for the delayed response' to customers."
Again, another real quote from one of our clients.
A lot of companies resort to hiring more CS people in hopes the renewal/expansion problem will magically disappear. Others throw meaningless bonuses at managers, hoping they'll get more work per hour out of them, and improve morale. Worse yet, stressed managers will resort to micromanaging their people in an attempt to make quarterly numbers.
Unfortunately, hiring more people hasn't solved the problem, nor has pressuring managers to make numbers. If any of this rings true for you, the interests of the employees, business, and customers are misaligned.
Luckily, it doesn't have to be this way.
What if you could make renewals and expansion inevitable without raking your CS team over the coals, or trying to hire yourself out the problem?
CS people are built to serve - it's the way we're wired! Imagine a situation where all the energy behind our anxieties and frustrations could be channeled towards building deep, meaningful relationships with our customers.
Think of what your next quarter could look like if:
- You have the time and resources to prevent fires before they start.
- You have so much extra time on your hands you can take on more accounts.
- You go home feeling lucky to get paid for what you do.
- Managers value what you did get done, instead of resenting you for the things you failed to get done.
- The work you do no longer feels trivial, but important.
- Your next medical checkup isn't overshadowed by heart disease risk factors or a budding alcohol dependency.
- Instead of responding to angry emails at 10:30pm, you're in bed getting rest after spending the evening with people you love.
"GLIDE has the unique ability to align the interests of the employee, business, and customer. The result is no conflict of interest between departments, and increased productivity."
- Al Rey, SVP at Leanplum
Here are some of the business results we've seen healthy Customer Success organizations achieve:
- "I didn't know we could land these kinds of customers without spending a fortune on marketing, or getting some celebrity endorsement."
- "Usually, preventing an account from cancelling was considered a win. Now, they reach out trying to negotiate longer contracts."
- "We stopped dreading renewal conversations. Their tone changed from the usual 'hmm...we're exploring other options...' to 'of course!'."
- "Referrals are prolific. It's like our customers can't wait to put their friends in touch with us."
- "Customers started reaching out to us for upgrades - Account Managers are running out of things to sell!"
- "Other managers ask me for advice on how to get their teams to perform as well as mine."
- "We only lost one team member this quarter, but it's for maternity leave. She'll be back in the fall."
How would you feel if those kinds of conversations happened at your company? You could be hearing similar things by the end of the quarter.
"The strengths-based approach GLIDE took with our team dramatically improved our customers' experiences, and helped us skip some common mistakes along the way."
- Jake Peterson, Product Success at Segment
In our cumulative 15+ years working with Customer Success teams, we've seen CS organizations transform from wasteful, inefficient cost centers into radiant, economical value-drivers.
The difference between the two is closer than you might think.
We've been in the hot seat; from CSM to VP, we had to make it up as we went. That's why we created GLIDE to provide you with the tools, education, training, and consultation to revitalize your relationship with your customers.
We believe the path to eliminating inefficiency and improving the long-term health of your entire business starts with a strong, empowered Customer Success team.
We believe in this so much, we've spent tens of thousands of dollars developing free resources for CS professionals, and hundreds of hours sharing what we learned from our failures and triumphs with others.
"After working with GLIDE, our team now has a properly defined purpose, and a process that’s not only effective, but scalable as we continue our rapid growth."
- Joshua Saunders, Customer Success at Segment
If you're still reading, and any of this resonated with you, we have a quick question:
Are you ready to ask for help?
If so, we'd love for you to join your 1,000+ colleagues who decided they were ready, too. The first step is super easy.
Just type your first name and your best email address into the boxes below, and we'll get you started with some insights we got from conversations with CS leaders at Intercom Atlassian, and more...
Does this sound like you?
- I'm building a Customer Success department and don’t know WHAT to focus on
- I read a lot of Customer Success content, but it doesn’t SOLVE my problems
- My Customer Success Managers spend all day FIGHTING fires
If so, you’ve come to the right place.
Hi, we’re Alex and Nils and we’re partners at Glide Consulting.
We’re here to help you; the busy leader, rapidly build, authentically lead and energetically inspire your Customer Success team.
During his time at hyper-growth SaaS startups, Nils Vinje worked in every Customer Success role. From CSM to VP, he quickly established a track record of orchestrating record-breaking renewals and up-sells by aligning Sales and Customer Success. Nils now runs Glide Consulting, and works with fast-growing SaaS businesses to help them build high performing CS teams.
Alex McClafferty co-founded a 7 figure company with 35 team members, worldwide. He also cracked the code of the standard ’12 hour a day startup grind’ … to spending less than 30 minutes a day joking around with his team.
We’ve learned EXACTLY what it takes for a leader to build and manage a world-class Customer Success team - and we can help you do the same.
- Never having to second guess what you should FOCUS on again
- Walking into a meeting with your CEO, knowing your numbers COLD and setting your OWN targets
- Having complete CONTROL of your day… your team executing flawlessly… and switching OFF when you leave the office
We’re here to help you take control. When you're in control, you make smart decisions. And when you make smart decisions, you’ll build a world-class Customer Success team.
Are you ready to make it happen?
Here’s what to do next:
First, take a look at the services we offer and let's start a conversation.
Then, join our newsletter to start getting exclusive material and expert Customer Success advice we don’t share anywhere else.