5 Customer success premonitions for 2016

What does the future have in store for customer success?

Glass balls get cloudy, but the vision for the future of customer success is steadily getting clearer. Customer success is still an emerging role, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it will undergo some changes in 2016. As of right now there are still a number of different ways business are addressing scope, reporting, and the activities that fall under customer success.  But in 2016, the activities that customer success plays a part in will become more solidified.

So what are the details of how customer success’s organizational alignment and activities will change in 2016? These four predictions will lay it out.

5 Changes customer success will undergo 

  1. Customer success will closely work with marketing to manage the customer journey – In 2016, customer success will redefine the scope of their functionality. Since customer success’s focus is on the continued customer journey after the sale, it makes sense that they start to align with marketing to strategically manage the customer journey during the buying process as well. As of now, customer success ensures a customer’s continued happiness to promote a greater LTV which means they have access to the information on what makes a customer happy and what a customer would like to see improved. That information can give marketing valuable insight when deciding how to provide a consistent, engaging customer journey.
  2. The department will be managed as a profit center – Customer success is responsible for retaining and growing the business. This makes it logical then to run the department like you would run a profit center. And in 2016, that’s what will likely happen. Like a profit center, customer success will be crucial to determining which clients are most and least profitable so as not to spend time on customers that have little to no chance of cross-sell and upsell with the worst case scenario being that you break even. Understanding which customers are in the business to cross-sell and upsell will reduce the allocation of resources to less profitable customers. This will make customer success seek out technology that can provide increase cross-sell and upsell opportunities. Advocacy methods and referral programs are one avenue that will be more sought out to accomplish this.
  3. Customer success will take more ownership of digital properties that customers touch – Customer success understands what customers want, like, and dislike. As a result, in 2016, customer success will take on more responsibility that aligns with the current customers they come in contact with. User communities will be managed by customer success to further nurture and interact with current customers. In addition, customer success will direct marketing on the best forms and styles of customer communication. This insight will lead to better and more successful communication between marketers and customers.
  4. Customer success will take an increased marketing role – Customer success has the know it all that marketing needs to market successfully. That’s why in 2016, customer success will take on more of a marketing role. If there are no customer marketers to start, customer success will hire marketers internally. Marketing and customer success are tightly tied together. This will cause customer success to seek out new technology that can help customer success and marketing better align.
  5. Adoption of technology to track the health of a customer relationship will increase – Two metrics that are extremely important to customer success are the rate of client retention and churn. Minimizing churn and maximizing client retention are key to the success of customer success. That’s why in 2016, the adoption of technology that can improve and monitor the health of the customer relationship will become a high priority. This will include the research and adoption of automated advocacy and referral program.

Care to further the discussion? Email me at JVanhaaften@amplifinity.com

Best referral program

 

 

Selling is hard! Tracking referrals in Salesforce is easy

I have a confession to make: I don’t always like sales people.  But over time, I have come to realize that being successful in sales is hard.  I’ve seen it firsthand, through all the times that I have curtly ended a phone conversation (while wishing I hadn’t picked up in the first place).  And all the times I’ve chosen to ignore a prospecting email that arrived in my inbox.   These poor sales reps were doing their job – digging and searching for leads anywhere they could, trying to grow their business. There are stats and benchmarks out there about how many contacts you need to make on average to get a single qualified lead.  I don’t know those numbers by heart, but I can tell you one thing – it’s enough to make sales prospecting a very tough job.

Help your salespeople out

That’s why organizations are always looking for the best possible tools and resources for lead generation.  At Amplifinity we have built our success on the proven value of referral leads, which are cost effective to acquire, close at a higher rate than other leads, and turn into clients that have a higher lifetime value.

But while referral automation programs are often thought of as the purview of the marketing department, the most effective referral programs also leverage the strong relationships that individual sales reps have with their customers.  The most effective programs enable reps to directly ask for referrals in the field, while ensuring that these referrals are a part of the company-wide referral program so that advocates will be rewarded properly and quickly for their successful referrals.

Tracking referrals in Salesforce

Amplifinity’s platform offers a range of useful tools for sales reps.  For Salesforce.com users, tracking referrals in Salesforce is easy! Our platform enables reps to invite their contacts to participate in the referral program with just a single click  In other cases, we’ve configured our system to enable reps with tools such as emails, printed materials, and social media posts to recruit new advocates.  And most importantly, reps can register someone for the referral program and enter a lead on their behalf on the fly, as they are talking to a customer.

While I might not always want to admit it, achieving success as a sales rep is hard work.  Amplifinity’s referral automation software can make it so much easier, and we can all dream of the day that sales reps can spend their time following up on high value referral leads, rather than cold calling the rest of us.

Want to further the discussion? Email me at jvanhaaften@amplifinity.com

What is brand advocacy?