In chatting with Mary, we uncovered that she began her career in SaaS with SuccessFactors and realized quickly that customer outcomes are directly related to business outcomes. She pioneered various customer delivery models to drive increased adoption and success. Over time, Mary and others growing the Customer Success space collaborated to derive best practices and impact measures (both for the customer and for the business). After SAP acquired SuccessFactors, Mary was asked to lead the SAP Cloud business as the Chief Customer Officer.
She shared the following viewpoints:
- Define who owns the renewal (Sales or Customer Success) and ensure clear responsibilities and compensation aligned to desired revenue, growth and referenceability.
- Understand that not all customers are alike; you must work with them thoroughly and understand their unique business aspirations to bring about a tailored solution aligned with their goals.
- You must understand and adapt to the culture of your customer.
- Identify the KPI’s you’re going to measure (or monitor closely).
- Invest enough in CS resources including headcount, processes and systems to foster an amazing customer experience.
- Ensure that customers are fully engaged and involved throughout the journey and that they understand the value of the partnership.
- Document customer success stories to share with other customers and to learn from.