I was onsite with another amazing customer this past week.
My customer sells business intelligence software that helps its customers drive improved sales performance through data analytics.
The software is powerful and can transform how companies grow revenue through the use of data.
The challenge with adopting business intelligence software however is that changing to a data driven organization is not typically comfortable or easy.
Helping customers through this challenge is the struggle my client is tackling.
The amount of effort expended with their customers to drive adoption, as well as ensuring that the technology becomes a mission critical application for ongoing retention is something they wanted to address and that is where I came in.
When we examined what was going on with adoption and how my client was driving it, we noticed that the single biggest problem was that customers were going deep into the data losing sight of their overarching objectives for purchasing the software.
Rather than focusing on the big picture and accepting that internal changes are required to improve sales performance, the customers were drilling deep into the data trying to match it to current numbers and questioning the technology in the process.
Instead of implementing best practices to improve sales operations, my client’s customers are trying to match the data to the old way of doing things.
Kind of silly huh?
Customers buying software to help improve their sales operations but then instead of focusing on improving their sales operations they instead try to pigeon hole the software to produce the same data results that occur as a result of the poorer sales process.
Instead of making the changes necessary to improve sales performance, my client’s customers were questioning whether they needed the software.
This consequently pulled my client into a reactive position spending time defending the data and the product rather than prescriptively managing the customer to make the necessary organizational changes to operate according to best practices and achieving what they intended to do when they purchased the product in the first place.
What we decided to do, in designing a new adoption methodology, was to go high when the customer goes deep.
That is, we designed a playbook based on business use cases to keep the customer’s focus on their overarching objective of improving sales performance and, at the same time, keeping them accountable to making the necessary changes in order to achieve success.
It is really easy for customers, especially with more complex software such as performance analytics, to start going into the weeds of the technology and questioning the product instead of making the necessary organizational changes to achieve their objectives.
It is therefore critical that Customer Success keeps the customer’s focus on the overarching business objectives to drive accountability in making the necessary changes.
When Customer Success Managers keep customer’s eyes on the end game, they can lead with a prescriptive approach based on best practices that drives product adoption versus finding themselves in a defensive position trying to protect against churn.
Keep the focus and context of why the customer bought the software on the business objectives in order to effectively manage the customer to successful adoption.
Go high when the customer goes deep.