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Emily Garza - Head of Customer Engagement, Unit21


  •  In building out a Customer Success team, having a person or role focused on leveraging your data to drive insightful value stories for customers is critical. 
  •  You can’t just give CSMs revenue ownership without equipping them. This requires change management, training, process updates and compensation acknowledgement in order to be successful. 
  •  Start small to try new things. You don’t need a new 20 slide perfected business review deck before launching it with customers. Try one new slide with different insights/format and see the response you get. You can always extrapolate from there.

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Leveraging Data for Customer Success: In today’s data-driven landscape, the role of data in driving customer success cannot be overstated. It’s imperative to have individuals or dedicated roles within the Customer Success team focused on harnessing data to craft compelling value narratives for customers.

Let’s consider an example. Imagine you’re a SaaS company providing marketing automation solutions. By leveraging data analytics, you discover that a significant portion of your customers are underutilizing a specific feature designed to optimize email campaigns. A Customer Success Manager (CSM) analyzes this data and develops tailored success plans, demonstrating how proper utilization of this feature can lead to a significant increase in email open rates and conversion rates. This proactive approach not only enhances customer satisfaction but also drives tangible business results.

Equipping CSMs for Revenue Ownership:While empowering CSMs with revenue ownership is crucial, it’s equally vital to provide them with the necessary tools and support to succeed in this role. This includes change management initiatives, comprehensive training programs, updating existing processes, and acknowledging their contribution through appropriate compensation structures.

 Suppose your SaaS company transitions to a revenue-sharing model, where CSMs are incentivized based on the expansion and retention of customer accounts. To ensure the success of this initiative, the company invests in specialized training programs focused on sales techniques, negotiation skills, and financial acumen tailored to the needs of CSMs. Additionally, they revamp internal processes to streamline cross-functional collaboration between Customer Success and Sales teams, fostering a culture of mutual support and accountability.

Starting Small and Iterating: When implementing new strategies or initiatives within the Customer Success framework, it’s essential to adopt an agile approach and start small. Instead of waiting to perfect a comprehensive business review deck, it’s more effective to experiment with smaller iterations and gauge customer responses iteratively.
Consider a scenario where your SaaS company decides to revamp its quarterly business review process to provide more actionable insights to customers. Rather than spending weeks crafting a lengthy and exhaustive presentation, the team decides to introduce a single new slide highlighting key performance metrics and actionable recommendations. They roll out this simplified version to a select group of customers and closely monitor their feedback and engagement levels. Based on the response, they iterate and refine the presentation format, gradually incorporating additional insights and functionalities to meet evolving customer needs.

By embracing these principles and leveraging practical examples, organizations can enhance the effectiveness of their Customer Success initiatives, driving greater customer satisfaction, retention, and revenue growth.

About Emily

Emily Garza is a customer success professional with over 15 years of experience. She is a Top 100 Customer Success Strategist and has won awards for her work. Garza has built and led high performing customer success teams at a number of companies, including her most recent role as Head of Customer Engagement at Unit21.

About Unit21

Unit21 is a company that provides cloud-based customer service software. The company was founded in 2010 and has since raised over $100 million in funding. Unit21’s software is used by companies of all sizes to improve their customer service operations.

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