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accelerate revenue appboxjs Customer Engagement customer lifetime value customer retention Customer Retention & Churn customer success engine yard increase conversion PR

Totango Accelerates Revenues for Engine Yard Customers

Engine Yard Logo

The Totango team is excited to announce its participating in the Engine Yard’s add-ons program.
Engine Yard is the leading Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) provider. Totango provides Engine Yard’s clients a way to better monetize their applications by driving customer engagement and boosting conversion, retention and customer lifetime value (Read Press Release).

Once Engine Yard’s customers have developed an application, attention rapidly shifts to monetization. Totango can accelerate revenues for new and existing applications by providing real time visibility into customer behavior and automating personalized sales and marketing campaigns based on these behaviors.

Totango also announce 2 new developer tools:

  1. The Appbox.js – which is a free javascript tool to communicate with customers from inside the application. Try it free now!
  2. Totango API for iPad and iPhone applications – which is an app that allow you to easily instrument your iPhone and iPad applications with Totango, making it easier than ever to see how users are engaging and interacting with your mobile apps. In addition to iOS, Totango provides integration packages for all common programming languages including, but not limited to PHP, C#, Java, JQuery, Ruby, Javascript and Python.

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Customer Engagement customer lifetime value customer retention Customer Retention & Churn customer success increase customer retention retention SaaS Marketing SaaS sales Totango News

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

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best practices CSM best practices success Company updates csm CSM Forum CSM future CSM Initiative customer engagement management customer lifecycle management customer retention customer success customer success management engagement management platform future of CSM future of customer success Mikael Blaisdell must attend must attend saas relationship manager SaaS Success The Forum totango

The Future of Customer Success Management: A Look Ahead

Customer Success Managers

We are super excited to be co-hosting an event with Mikael Blaisdell, one of the pioneers of customer success management.
We consistently hear from our customers and prospects that they would like to meet other customer success management professionals so we decided to partner with Mikael and make this happen!
We will start in San Mateo/San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday evening, April 5th in San Mateo, CA from 7-8:30 PM.
The second event will be in the Boston, MA area in May, followed by another in Seattle, WA in July.  Meetings in other cities are being scheduled.
What to expect? We look forward to mingle and discuss what will the future of customer success management look like?  What will drive the customer success manager role to develop and mature?  What do people see as best business practices in Customer Success Management?  As teams and programs mature, what levels will be a part of the progression?
Mikael Blaisdell, Publisher of The HotLine Magazine, will also be presenting a visionary and provocative look at what the future might hold.

The sessions are free, and open to all CSM professionals and SaaS/Cloud company CxO’s.  Advance registration is required, and space will be limited.  To register, please click here or put the following in your browser:  http://forumsf040512.eventbrite.com

The Future of Customer Success Management:  A Look Ahead — SF Bay Area CSM Meetup

Mikael Blaisdell:  The HotLine Magazine

Sponsored by: Totango Inc.

Thursday: April 5th 7-8:30

Auditorium; Keynote Systems Inc.
777 Mariners Island Blvd
San Mateo, CA

Advance registration for this FREE event is required, and space is limited.

Use this link to register: 
 http://forumsf040512.eventbrite.com

Agenda

  • 7:00 Doors open for registered attendees; 
Refreshments & Networking
  • 7:25 Welcome
  • 7:30 – 8:15 Mikael’s Presentation and Q&A
  • 8:15 – 8:30  Totango Customer Engagement Tips

Come have a snack, meet your fellow CSM professionals, and stick around for some customer engagement tips from yours truly.

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Best Practices Customer Analytics Customer Engagement customer lifetime value customer retention Customer Retention & Churn customer success free trial freemium General Lifecycle Marketing resource center saas best practices saas community saas industry SaaS Marketing SaaS sales

Presenting – the SaaS Resource Center

Resource Center Screen Shot

This week we’ve added a section into our website which I believe would add value to the SaaS Community – I present our SaaS Resource Center!

The Resource Center is a place where we update the most important/informative/valuable articles on 7 of the hot categories that are most current these days in the SaaS industry and I believe this knowledge base would assist many beginners as well as veterans in this industry to learn on new trends in their fields.

Resources Print Screen

Here are the categories the Resource Center approaches:

  1. SaaS Best Practices – Will consist our latest SaaS business models and SaaS best practices and is updated with the hottest topics facing SaaS software and Cloud app vendors today.
  2. SaaS Sales Tips – B2B sales tips on different sales models such as low touch or zero touch, sales metrics and the best practices to build the ultimate sales machine.
  3. Lifecycle Marketing – Drive the usage and adoption of your application and maximize customer lifetime value. Nurture existing customers based on their specific needs and wants and their use of your application.
  4. Customer Analytics – Perform customer, conversion, cohort, funnel, usage or churn analysis. Discover how big data and customer intelligence can increase SaaS revenues.
  5. Free Trial & Freemium – Free trial tips, benchmarks and best practices and the way to optimize trial conversion and freemium conversion.
  6. Customer Engagement – Increasing customer/user engagement and customer lifetime value and reduce churn through lifecycle marketing and other techniques.
  7. Customer Retention – New strategies to increase customer lifetime value and reduce churn for SaaS businesses, how to identify customers at risk and how to implement customer retention strategies.

If there is a topic that we haven’t addressed and you think is worth mentioning, please don’t hesitate to comment on this post with the subject and we promise to consider it.

Also, if you’d like to guest-post in one of our categories, please feel free to contact me through this form and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Cheers,
–Guy

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Customer Engagement customer retention customer success User Engagement

The State of Customer Success Management 2012

Customer Success

A White Paper / Report of the Customer Success Management Initiative

Webinar: Thursday; February 23rd 2012 10: AM PST

 

Over the past couple of years, a new position has been showing up in the open job listings throughout the SaaS/Cloud community.

The new role reflects the growing awareness that customer retention is a core requirement.
The signing of the first contract with a customer is a only a milestone, not a resting place. “Shelf-ware” or underutilized products are no longer an option. As a result, software vendors are now realizing that they must take a far more proactive role in ensuring the success of their customers.
But understanding that customer retention is a year-around effort, a commitment that requires a dedicated executive is only the beginning. There is much more to Customer Success Management than just establishing a new box in the overall corporate organization chart.

The work of the Customer Success Management Initiative, opened with two focused surveys. Further insight was gained through extensive interviews, ongoing online conversations in the CSM Forum and from in-depth review of a wide range of published content. The webinar presentation will include the research findings to date on the current-state of what SaaS/Cloud firms are doing in the areas of the Strategy, Process, People and Technology of Customer Success Management.

Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the white paper when it is published in March.

Advance registration for the webinar is required, and space will be limited.



register-gtw-image-v1



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channel churn customer retention customer success

Customer Success Management & The Channel

Customer Success Hands

From the earliest beginnings of the transition to the Cloud, doomsayers were predicting that either the new model would fail – because “the channel” wouldn’t like it – or that the day of the channel itself was over. There were a variety of reasons being quoted, but the major point was the change in the profit model over to incremental income streams. With no up-front burst of profit from sales of perpetual licenses, it was claimed, there would be no funds to pay adequate commissions to partners, etc. Here we are years later, and the channel has not gone away in the SaaS/Cloud world. Its role may have been redefined in some areas, but partnering in the Cloud remains a basic reality. Why?

There are some very good reasons why it is in the best interests of both vendor and customer to have 3rd party partners involved in the ongoing relationship. The critical driver is the imperative of customer retention. If the contract is terminated or not renewed, the money stops. If the end comes within the first year, before the customer acquisition cost has been recouped, what was a profitable relationship instantly turns into a net loss. The success of the customer in fully adopting the application and receiving value from its use is therefore necessarily too vital a matter to be left to chance or the customers’ own resources.

Covering the Bases

Not every software vendor is able or even wants to cover all of the potential service bases in the new business model. The vital point is not who provides what service to ensure the longevity of the customer relationship, but that the services are available and effective. The presence of competent partners extends the value of the application to the customer, and therefore encourages the continuance of the relationship to the benefit of all concerned.

While it might seem that some aspects of providing software as a service to customers are necessarily limited to the vendor due to access to sensitive information or resources, there are many examples of very trusted relationships between vendors and channel partners. It is not at all uncommon, for example, for an implementation or integration partner to have direct access to the application source code. That same level of confidence can be built to justify giving a partner access to application monitoring tools so that they can see what their customers are doing with specific features, etc.

Intimacy + Expertise = Trusted Advisor

Traditionally, the channel partner has always been viewed as being closer to the customer. That was the key advantage that the partner brought to the three way relationship. If anything, the shift to the Cloud has increased the importance of that closeness, since the operating realities of of the new model argue against fielding large sales teams. The result is a loss of intimacy; where sales are made over the web, it’s not uncommon to have a situation where the large majority of customers have never met anyone from the vendor in person. That’s a serious risk scenario. Application features & functionality, and price, are too easily duplicated by the competition. In-depth relationships, on the other hand, are not easily matched – they take skill and time to build and nurture.

As the new Customer Success Management profession continues to develop, the demand for qualified people is becoming intense. One major Cloud company recently told me that they literally cannot find enough people to hire and are therefore actively talking with their channel partners about assuming additional roles. Others are finding that the best source for new CSM’s is former implementation consultants of large implementation firms. As noted earlier – it isn’t how you fill the role that is the key, it’s that the role be properly filled.

About the Author

Mikael Blaisdell, The Hotline MagaszineMikael Blaisdell, publisher of The HotLine Magazine, brings 30+ years of experience in the strategy, process, people and technology of customer support, retention and profitability to the emerging profession of Customer Success Management. He is also the moderator of the CSM Forum on LinkedIn. Read moer about The Customer Success Management Initiative, sponsored by Totango.

 

 

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csm customer acquisition cost customer retention customer success SaaS business

The Need To Know for SaaS Businesses

The need to know

In the traditional software market, it has often seemed that the only thing that a vendor felt they really needed to know about a given customer was how to get their signature on the initial contract.  The bulk of the profit to be realized (and the source of the Sales’ commission!) came up-front from the sale of the perpetual licenses.  After that had been accomplished, the barriers to switching were presumed to be high enough to keep the customer tied to the vendor for some time.


In the SaaS/Cloud sector and business model, there is no burst of up-front profit, and the barriers against churn are much lower.  It can take many months, in some cases as long as a year or even more to recoup the customer acquisition cost.  A customer who elects to end the relationship before that point can instantly turn what appeared to be a highly profitable deal into a dead loss.  As a necessary result, the Customer Success Manager at a minimum must know a great deal about the customers’ business, and especially about the customer’s expectations and usage of the vendor’s application, in order to have any accuracy of insight about the real status of the relationship.

Looking for Answers


The beginning of the quest for knowledge is in determining what you need to know in order to function as an effective CSM (Customer Success Manager).  What drove the customer to engage with your company and application?  How does the customer measure success?  Are they tracking their own progress towards those success goals and objectives?  Are their individual users appropriately moving up the adoption curve of the application’s feature set?  All of these core questions must be reliably answered, and on a continuing basis, but the need for knowledge doesn’t stop there.

Some of the answers will come from conversations with your customers.  Others will be provided by your application feature usage monitoring resources – but here, too, you have to know what to look for.  Which features are core to the application. such that there is something very wrong when a customer is not using them?  If your monitoring tools haven’t delivered enough data to use in this regard (or even if you think they have!), go talk to the Support team reps.  Ask the customers themselves what they consider to be the must-have features.  What does the Sales team report as customer hot-buttons?  How do prospects talk about their expectations?  What does Marketing say about competitive analyses of the opposition’s products?

Are You Sure?

What you don’t know can very definitely hurt you in the game of keeping customers and increasing per-customer profitability levels.  So can what you think you know.  Cross-check the data and responses you get to your inquiries from different directions.  If there is conflict, dig deeper.  Why would some customers or respondents think that a given feature was vital and others not?  Look for patterns, and matches with verifiable customer behavior.  Look, too, for what doesn’t fit – and ask why.

About the Author

Mikael Blaisdell, The Hotline MagaszineMikael Blaisdell, publisher of The HotLine Magazine, brings 30+ years of experience in the strategy, process, people and technology of customer support, retention and profitability to the emerging profession of Customer Success Management. He is also the moderator of the CSM Forum on LinkedIn. Read moer about The Customer Success Management Initiative, sponsored by Totango.

 

 

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Our SaaS Dashboard can easily do that for you!
Try it now for FREE

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churn cltv Customer Engagement customer lifetime value customer retention customer success

Best of 2011: Top Videos and Blogs on Customer Engagement

Customer Engagement and Customer Success

2011 was a busy year! We’ve discussed a lot of important themes which are the hottest topics for any SaaS business such as Customer Engagement, Customer Success, Customer Lifetime Value, SaaS Best Practices, Low Touch and Zero Touch Sales Models, Free Trial and Freemium, Customer Analytics, SaaS Churn, Customer Retention Strategies and more.

With such a vast range, it’s easy to get lost and so I’ve decided to bind the best of blogs and videos related to each topic.

Today I’m going to review the best of Customer Engagement, Customer Lifetime Value, Churn and Customer Retention Strategies.

As you already know by now, Totango’s goal is to help other SaaS companies to optimize their free to paid conversion/on-boarding/up-sell opportunities, or in other words – increase customer engagement opportunities and by that reduce churn whereas our customer success is actually our own success and customer success will naturally increase Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV).

Below are our top posts on these topics to help you get oriented in the Customer Engagement, CLTV and Churn areas:

Customer Engagement and Customer Lifetime Value:

SaaS Churn and Customer Retention Strategies:

Tomorrow I’m going to review the best of SaaS Best Practices for SaaS and Application Vendors

 

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churn client lifecycle Customer Engagement customer retention dropbox paul stamatiou

On User Retention as a Service

Customer Retention

Paul Stamatiou is doing a great job describing the concept of “User Retention as a Service” and from the long thread of comments we can certainly learn that this is a true pain point folks have.

The basic idea as described in the post is to run drip marketing campaigns based on user life-cycle and as opposed to mass marketing email or time based marketing systems.

I absolutely agree! And in fact this was one of the first features we’ve put into Totango. And yes, we provide this feature as a service ;) (you can start a free trial here)

The importance of doing communication with users based on their life-cycle is clear. Instead of bombarding all users with the same message regardless to their status and progress of using or evaluating a service, way more effective way is simply ‘talk’ to users in a way which is specific, personalized and timely.

I had several discussion with Steve Bartel from Dropbox to learn about how they communicate so effectively with their users. And indeed, Dropbox have developed an internal system which does exactly that – it communicates with users based on their usage (or lack of) within Dropbox.

I like that – it is a great concept!

Categories
Best Practices Business Insights churn conversion from lead to paid customer retention free-to-paid conversion measure customer engagement saas companies saas dashboard SaaS sales saas solution successful saas business

The Top 10 Must Do’s for Young SaaS Companies

To Do List

I declare this week as the “Top 10″ Practices week in Totango!

After yesterday’s post on Top 10 Requirements for an Effective Client Lifecycle, Today, I’m going to review Jeff Bennet’s top 10 must do’s for young SaaS companies.

Jeff Bennett, who is the founder and CEO of ServiceVantage, has a lot of experience working with SaaS companies in various sizes and being part of the SaaS Industry myself, I see eye to eye with his key strategies and therefore thought it would be interesting to share:

  1. Easily Consumable and User Initiated – have ALL of your customer experience as easy as possible. This includes software trials, sales, on-boarding, training,  support etc.
  2. Hold off on the elephant hunt – Don’t start off with the big shots companies, take it step by step and wait till you’ll have a more mature infrastructure
  3. Configure, don’t customize – Rather than customizing, allow configuration which do not change the core product yet provide some tailoring to specific customer needs
  4. Marketing can close deals – Sales are all about conversion from lead to paid. Incent your marketing to close deals!
  5. Understand your cost of sale – Push deals by their cost – bigger deals to outside sales and smaller to marketing
  6. Understand usage rates – Learn to measure customer engagement and usage data, you can use specified SaaS dashboard to do it for you!
  7. Have a Client Lifecycle Program – Especially important for SaaS businesses that need to ensure customer retention and recurring revenue
  8. Don’t be an island – Aspire to integrate your solution with other solutions to increase dependency on your service
  9. Broaden the impact of your SaaS solution through services – Provide service offerings to compliment your solution
  10. Make client retention a corporate mantra – this is not only the concern of your Support group – have the entire company focus on client retention and reducing churn

For the full version of the tips, please refer Jeff’s post on ServiceVentage blog

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