Dominique Levin

6 Surefire Tips to Retain & Grow Customers

Totango-Zendesk Webinar-Slides Print Screen

Just a short while ago, I was co-presenting a webinar with J.D Peterson, VP Product Marketing of Zendesk.

In the webinar I gave 3 tips on how we accelerate revenue throughout the customer lifecycle and how to drive conversion from free to paid users, grow the lifetime value of the existing customers & boost retention!

Zendesk, which is one of Totango customers, is using Totango to find out how people who are trying their product or already existing customers are actually using it and how engaged are they with their product.

J.D. from Zendesk, was covering the other 3 steps, to complete the process of building customers loyally, form the customer-service and support angle.

Here are Totango slides from the webinar – please feel free to share or embed them in your website/blog:

View the Complete Zendesk-Totango Webinar

3 Big Ideas for Software-as-a-Service Customer Success

big ideas for saas

I was on a super exciting panel at the All About The Cloud conference in San Francisco this week: “the Power of the Customer”.

Here are 3 predictions for the future that were discussed on the panel:

1. All SaaS companies will use predictive customer analytics. Measuring and optimizing customer lifetime value was a big topic. You can’t manage what you can’t measure so expect SaaS companies to invest big in customer analytics and predictive analytics.  These are technologies coming from the consumer marketing space. However, in software you can go one step further because all customer interactions, including interaction with the product itself are digital. So while Victoria’s Secret may analyze customer transactions to predict whether customers will buy again (and whether it’s worth sending you another expensive catalogue) imagine that you could actually know how often your customer wore that swim suit. That would be a pretty good indicator of how much you liked the swim suit and how likely you are to buy again from the catalogue. With software this is possible! And indeed software usage turns out to be the most reliable buy signal (or churn signal whatever the case may be).

2. There will be many SaaS companies with no sales teams. Think about Atlassian: a $100 million+ revenue B2B software companies with ZERO sales personnel. Their sales model is 100x or more cheaper than that of their competitors with field based sales teams. And their velocity is so much higher. I bet you their customer satisfaction is higher too.  At no-sales companies, marketing is responsible for demand generation and initial signups. For more complicated products a customer success function is emerging to coach customers post sign-up and to grow usage, users and use cases over time. There was common agreement on the importance of building out customer success teams regardless of the sales model. Customer success managers have responsibility over renewal revenues as well as upselling and carry a quota rather than being a glorified support team.

3. Products are becoming social. The product itself will be the primary sales tool. Much of customer engagement will happen from within the application itself. Customer actions speak loudest: usage is the most important buy or churn signal. Also customers will communicate with other users and with the vendor using in-application communities and communications. The panel agreed that the new Social Buyer demands self-service. It started some years ago with self-service information (‘inbound marketing‘) and these days the ‘must have’ is a free trial or freemium version of your product. The panel agreed that freebies were essential in creating trust. Also think about this: if your competitor offers  free trial of some version of your product and you don’t, then customers will be already half-way down the sales process with your competitor before they ever talk to you.

Thanks to the All About Cloud team for having us, thanks to Shubber Ali from Accenture for moderating and thanks to my fellow panelists Jon Miller (Marketo), Todd Bursey (FinancialForce) and Jeff Yoshimura (Zuora) for fun times! See you next year :-)

If you are interested to analyze and predict your customers’ actions, or if you want to make your product social:

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Engagement Technique: Are you a Mad Man or a Math Man?

Anneke Seley

During Sales 2.0, I’ve met Anneke Seley, Founder of Phoneworks and author of Sales 2.0.

Anneke was presenting there about the modern ways to sell a thought, a product or a concept to your executive team or your board and anticipate what is going to make them more engaged once making a decision.

Anneke has quoted the All Things Digital article: The “Mad Men” Years Are Giving Way to the “Math Men” Era, making a point that nowadays more and more executives are acting like math men rather then Don Draper in Mad Man…

And indeed, we can see decisions are being made more and more based on metrics and cohort analysis rather than on our guts feeling. It’s not enough to feel it inside – you should base your feeling on numbers and know which metric to measure – that would not only increase your customer engagement but can also increase inside engagement while selling an idea to your team!

Once a business understand which are their most important metrics, they should stick to it and measure them in order to create a clear view of its consistency over time.

Need some help measuring your metrics? try Totango free!
To read the full transcription of the video, click here

Video Transcription:

Hi, I’m Anneke Seley and we want to talk about justifying Sales 2.0 investments such as technologies, training purposes, marketing programs, and making an inside sales team, and in my presentation today, Sales 2.0 conference, I quoted All Things Digital who last month said that we are moving from the era of “Mad Men”, as in Don Draper, to an era of Math Men, and I used Albert Einstein as an example, and it’s really important to understand how to sell a thought, a product, a concept to your executive team or your board and know what is going to make them engage and make a decision, and more and more executives are acting more like Albert Einstein in the Math era than Don Draper in the Madman era, so understand what metrics are important to your company, whether they are revenue per head, average sales cycle, average deal size, these are some of the standards.

Of course, they are probably metrics that are more meaningful to you. And use those metrics before you install your product, after you install your product on a trial or something like that or similarly for marketing program or a new sales 2.0 initiative and hopefully that’ll get you the results that you want.

 

 

20 Free Kindles for Attendees of ‘All About the Cloud’

Free Kindle for qualified prospects

Totango is offering a free Kindle to the first 20 qualified prospects to schedule an in-person demo with us during the All About Cloud conference.

Book a time now!

tungle.me/dominique.levin

tungle.me/obiehowe

In order to qualify you must be:

  • A software company with a publicly available product
  • A registered attendee to the All About the Cloud Conference

Totango is a sponsor of All About the Cloud and we will also be speaking on “The Power of the Customer“ panel.

The session is on Wednesday May 9 at 2:50 pm.

Moderator:

Shubber Ali, Silicon Valley Innovation Lead, Accenture

Panelists:

Todd Bursey, General Manager, Professional Services Automation, FinancialForce.com

Dominique Levin, Chief Marketing Officer, Totango

Jon Miller, Vice President, Marketing, Marketo

Jeff Yoshimura, VP Marketing, Zuora

Looking forward to see you there!

Totango to Present at ‘All About the Cloud’ Conference

All about the cloud logo

I’m so excited! In just a few days, we’re going to present in All About the Cloud conference, taking place on May 8-10, San Francisco at the Palace Hotel.
The subject of our session is: “The Power of the Customer“.

In the Cloud, business is about relationships. Customers want control and the “Social Web” provides the customer with more power today than ever before. It is increasingly important for companies to, not only build those customer relationships but also monitor and track feedback from customers and prospects alike. Hear experts discuss the most efficient practices for growing your business by building long-term customer relationships and supporting the powers at the hands of your customers.

The session is on Wednesday May 9 at 2:50 pm.

Moderator:

Shubber Ali, Silicon Valley Innovation Lead, Accenture

Panelists:

Todd Bursey, General Manager, Professional Services Automation, FinancialForce.com

Dominique Levin, Chief Marketing Officer, Totango

Jon Miller, Vice President, Marketing, Marketo

Jeff Yoshimura, VP Marketing, Zuora

Looking forward to see you there!

Totango Recognized for Revenue Performance Excellence

REVVIES_finalist

Totango was recognized yesterday as a finalist for a 2012 Revenue Performance Management Excellence Award by Marketo!

We are super excited! See an excerpt from and link to the announcement below. Also remember to check out our session at the upcoming Marketo User Summit. I am very excited to be presenting on lifecycle marketing together with Jeff Wiss, VP Demand Generation from our friends at Zendesk!

Our session will be on May 24th at 11:20 AM in Imperial A of the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. Register here.

Here are the details on our session:

Three Steps to Accelerate Revenues from Existing Customers

Customers are using Marketo’s technology for much more than closing new deals. They are also using it to nurture their current customer base to score and nurture clients for upsell opportunities and renewals. Find out their secrets for success in turning the customer lifecycle into a revenue machine. Dominique Levin, CMO at Totango will present a three-step program to revenue acceleration using existing customer marketing.  In addition, Jeff Wiss, Vice President Demand Generation from Zendesk will present mind-blowing customer marketing campaigns that are boosting revenues for Zendesk.

Here is the excerpt from our press release:

Marketo Announces Finalists for 2012 Revenue Performance Management (RPM) Excellence Awards

“Revvies” Recognize Outstanding Achievement, Leadership in Companies Leveraging Innovation to Accelerate Revenue Growth

San Mateo, CA – April 25, 2011 – Marketo, the fastest-growing provider of Revenue Performance Management (RPM) solutions, today announced the finalists for its second annual Revenue Performance Excellence Awards. The “Revvies” recognize and celebrate customers and partners that are using Marketo’s marketing automation and sales effectiveness solutions to push outside the boundaries and away from their competition.

Adding six new awards this year, Marketo will honor 11 organizations and individuals that are true thought leaders and innovators in their respective industries.

The finalists for the 2012 Revenue Performance Excellence Awards include:

Most Innovative Integration with Marketo

American Public University Systems, Podio, Totango

“We are thrilled by the tremendous volume of submissions for our second annual Revvie Awards,” said Paul Albright, Marketo’s chief revenue officer. “The finalists are truly game-changing companies with leaders delivering amazing results across marketing and sales. It’s an honor to help provide the dramatic business impact evidenced by the stories submitted. Congratulations to each of the finalists for their achievements in driving revenue growth.”

Finalists were selected based on the following criteria: Innovation, leadership, success metrics and business impact and winners will be celebrated on May 24th, 2012 at the 2012 Marketo User Summit.

6 Sure Fire Tips to Retain and Grow Customers

zendesk-logo-e1291107356736

In the week that we also announced integration with Zendesk (see below), I wanted to remind you of the “6 Sure Fire Tips to Retain and Grow Customers” webinar where Totango will be co-presenting with Zendesk.

The webinar will take place Tomorrow, Thursday, April 26th @ 10am PT.
If you still haven’t registered, please go ahead and do so in this URL

Here are some more details about the event:

6 Sure Fire Tips to Retain and Grow Customers

Customer success starts with understanding how your customers are using your product and what problems they might experience. It ends with more relevant and efficient information delivered at the right time, via the right channel.

During this webinar, you will learn the six things you can do today to retain and grow your customers. Zendesk is joining forces with Totango to share with you the insider secrets to transforming your customer support organization into a revenue center and turn prospects into life-long fans of your brand and services. Register here.

I am looking forward to see you there!

Regarding the integration with Zendesk which we accidentally omitted from our news update yesterday:

Integrate Totango with your Zendesk Help Desk

If you use Zendesk to manage your help desk, you can easily create a feed of ticketing activity into your Totango account, expanding your engagement database. You will then be able to tell which accounts are opening support tickets, how this influences their use of the application and their likelihood to subscribe to premium plans or to cancel their account. Read more

Freemium Friday: Roundup of B2B Freemium News

Freemium

I plan to post every Friday on interesting developments and articles on Freemium in B2B land, but we will see how long I actually keep this up :-)

This week is a good week to start as we just signed up to participate in the first-ever Freemium meetup in San Francisco.  Three B2B Freemium gurus will be presenting:

Drew Banks, our host and head of marketing at Prezi, a cloud-based presentation software service that opens up a new world between whiteboards and slides. Drew will speak about Prezi’s rapid growth (1M users/month!) and profitability success with a Freemium business model.

Chad Heinrich a.k.a. “Freemium Fighter”  is the Marketing Consultant for Avira. He has successfully marketed the Freemium business model in a wide variety of technology companies including his current gig at Avira (with 100M+ users), and previously at Dropbox and Box.net.

Todd Wilkinson is the Co-founder & CEO at WordWatch, a cloud-based app for small businesses that manages AdWords, automatically delivering optimal ROI for Google AdWords PPC advertising.

More information on the meetup here.

In B2B Freemium news these two caught my eye:

A Forbes article on Box.net Freemium model: it doesn’t go into much depth, but quotes Box’s initial Freemium conversion at 8% with little sales effort. However also mentions that now Box is hiring up to 200 sales reps: apparently enterprise sales needs a push and a shove even if you are Box.

SAP owned SuccessFactors announced a Freemium version of it’s Jam product (a Salesforce.com Chatter competitor). For now the product is only free to customers, but Dmitri Krakovsky, SuccessFactors VP of global product management, said (when asked if the company is planning to extend the freemium model to non-SuccessFactors customers): “Yes, for sure. We’re always thinking about making it a very broad tool.”

6 Social Selling Tips to Implement Today (from Sales 2.0 San Francisco)

LlinkedIn for Salesforce

The hot topic at Sales 2.0 Conference today in San Francisco remains (surprise, surprise) social selling (for B2B companies). Lots of speakers and lots of wisdom but also became abundantly clear to me that for most B2B organizations it is very early days in the adoption of social selling techniques. Therefore, for my wrap-up blog of Sales 2.0 I decided to summarize six things that any organization could do to get started with Social Selling.

I hope you find this blog helpful. Please tweet if you do: your own text or this clickt0tweet link.

1. Use your second degree connections

Mike Derezin (@mikedfresh), Global Head of Sales, Sales Solutions at LinkedIn shared that second degree (LinkedIn) connections are 87% more likely to respond to any e-mail or phone call as compared to a cold call. If there is one place to start it would be to use your second degree connections as part of our (outbound) sales efforts. And not just your own second degree connections: also the second degree connections of the rest of your team. The new LinkedIn TeamLink product looks promising in this regard: it lets you tap into the second degree network of your entire company’s team.

2. Follow and engage strategic accounts on Twitter

Jill Rowley, Director of Strategic Accounts at Eloqua is the queen of using social media to engage with strategic accounts. You cannot do this for all your prospects and customers, but the best place to start is to create a short list of accounts that you are targeting for this quarter and deeply engage with them via social media. Follow them on Twitter and engage with them. Make the conversation personal. Often twitter, and sometimes even a text message, can be a great alternate way to get in touch with target accounts these days when people’s e-mail inboxes are overflowing. Be careful about engaging with prospects on Facebook. Mike Denizen shared research that shows that 80% of people want their social and professional networks separate.

3. Turn all employees into customer coaches

Your goal as a salesperson is to add value. Think of yourself as a customer coach: your job in sales is to make your customer successful and revenues will follow. Jill Rowley, super-star sales queen mentioned above, calls herself a “content concierge” on behalf of her prospects. “Think of prospects as as future advocates for your brand”, says Jill Rowley. “She clearly does a good job”, says Matt Heinz, a marketing consultant on stage at Sales 2.0: “Until today I didn’t know Jill is in sales. I thought she was an evangelist”. Eventually, not just your sales reps should be customer coaches, but every employee in the company is representing the brand and could be building trust with prospects and customers on social media.

4. Focus on lifetime customer value

Eryc Branham said it: “the only sales metric that matters in the end is customer lifetime value”. Customer lifetime value also featured high on Matt Heinz’s Top 10 Sales Metrics list, but I am with Eryc that all that matters in the end is customer lifetime value. Jim Cyb, VP of North American Sales from Zendesk shared: “the key to the success of Zendesk is a land and expand selling strategy”. It is not about the first sale, but about a lifetime of purchases. You can start small, establish any kind of paid relationship with your customer and grow from there. And, as Donal Daly, CEO of the TAS Group pointed out, when calculating Customer Value include “network value”: the revenues generated from referrals made by your customers.

5. Assign leads based on social proximity

I wrote about this before in Top 5 Trends in Sales 2.0 but this is still one of my favorite social selling black belt techniques: assigning leads based on “social proximity” (remember Tip 1 on leveraging second degree connections) makes the most sense. This time, Jim Cyb from Zendesk offered a good alternative if you are not quite ready for “social territories”. Zendesk is assigning leads based on a round robin system which is straightforward, eliminates any territory fights and aligns with today’s low-touch, virtual selling environment.

6. Make your product social

Research says that by 2020, 85% of the buying process will be completed before a salesperson is called.  In a day and age that direct contact with buyers is sparse, you should be listening to other channels.  Deploy social media tracking like Radian6 and Google Analytics to listen to your prospects. If your product is software, you should also be listening to what your product is telling you. Which trial users are active and what are they doing with your application? Did your paying customers stop using your application (and may cancel their subscription soon)? Of course this is the core of what Totango customer engagement is all about.  Even better – make your product a two-way social communication channel.  Communicate with your customers when and where you are top of mind: in your application with free tools like Appbox.js.

Top 10 Sales 2.0 Leaders I Want to Meet

Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco

I am much looking forward to the Sales 2.0 conference in San Francisco next week.

Here are 10 Sales 2.0 Leaders I hope to meet at the conference and why:

1. Jim Cyb, Vice President, Sales, Americas, ZenDesk

2. Pete Eppele, VP Product Management, Zilliant

3. Steve Patrizi, Chief Revenue Officer, Bunchball

4. Kevin Akeroyd, SVP, Field Operations, Badgeville

5. Kirk Mosher, Vice President, CRM Product Marketing, Oracle

6. Mike Derezin, Global Head of Sales, Sales Solutions, LinkedIn

7. Robert Pease, Founder & CEO, Nearstream

8. Jill Rowley, Director of Key Accounts, Eloqua

9. Paul Melchiorre, Global Vice President, Ariba

10. Anneke Seley, Founder Phoneworks, co-author Sales 2.0 book

They are all speaking about some of the most important trends in Sales 2.0:

Sales analytics

Big data is changing the way products are being bought and sold. It has been called sales metrics, sales analytics, predictive sales analytics and sales intelligence. The bottom line is that there is much talk this year about a more data-driven approach to sales.  Jim Cyb, Vice President, Sales for Americas at ZenDesk will be on a panel and talk about ZenDesk’s move from a zero touch sales to a low touch sales organization.  His company, which now has 15,000 customers, started life without a sales team. Pete Eppele, VP Product Management, Zilliant will be presenting interesting new technology that can uncover where you can sell more, sell other products and win back wallet share that competitors have taken.

Gamification

Both Steve Patrizi, Chief Revenue Officer from Bunchball and Kevin Akeroyd, SVP Field Operations from Badgeville will be speaking on how to use gamification or Behavior Lifecycle Management (BLM) as Kevin calls it, can be used to motivate your sales team. I always thought that gamification was used primarily to drive usage and adoption of your products and services by customers. However, both of these sales leaders are eating their own dog food and will share how they get their own teams to use sales best practices and tools by throwing in some fun and games. It should be an interesting duel!

Customer success

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Kirk Mosher, VP CRM Product Marketing from Oracle will be speaking about “customer success” (a concept Totango deeply cares about). I still of Oracle as the classic Sales 1.0 company: bully customers into signing seven-figure deals, adding another seven-figure professional services engagement and then counting on the fact that customers won’t switch ever to a competitor because they have invested so much money with you. However, it seems that things have changed!

Social selling

Everybody recognizes that social selling has huge potential but in the real-world sales haven’t yet embraced all new possibilities. There are a large number of sessions (again) at this Sales 2.0 conference to help sales teams learn. Mike Derezin, Global Head of Sales, Sales Solutions at LinkedIn, will break down his social selling tips by lifecycle stage. Robert Pease, Founder & CEO of Nearstream, will cover tactics for identifying buying signals on social media networks, essentially capturing demand that’s already out there rather than generating leads.

Lead management

Jill Rowley, Director of Key Accounts, Eloqua has been an evangelist for the lead management automation space since its inception. She is a leading commentator on social media and one of the top networkers in the space. She was the winner of 20 Women to Watch in Lead Management last year. More importantly, my friend Matt Childs from Dreamsimplicity tells I absolutely have to meet Jill while at Sales 2.0. She will be on a panel about, what else, nurturing revenue-generating prospects to close.

Sales effectiveness

In Silicon Valley we love technology and I am a tech-girl guilty myself so last but not least I am much looking forward to the talk by Paul Melchiorre, Global Vice President, Ariba and Anneke Seley, Founder Phoneworks and co-author Sales 2.0 book which both focus on “getting real”. Does all this technology really pay off in terms of sales effectiveness?

A full agenda and lots of people to meet!

If you are going to be at the Sales 2.0 conference, give us a shout on Twitter @totango #sales20 and we are looking forward to connect! I will even buy you a beer!