I’m going to be in NYC on Thursday for the Customer Success roadshow event. This is probably my 5th trip in the last few months to New York City. It’s going to be at Norwood Club, which usually hosts people from New York art scene.
We can clearly see from the Google Trends chart above that the customer success management community has started to trend up around mid-2014.
Many analysts and investors have been skeptical about the applicability of the customer success engagement model beyond the technology market, software as a-service companies mainly.
I’m happy to report that we’re seeing Customer Success in new markets every day now. People may use different terminologies like “customer marketing” or “proactive account management” – we are seeing the shift to recurring revenue business models and the pro-active engagement to impact the customer lifetime value.
On March this year, I’ve set down with Mary Stanphone, the amazing VP of Marketing of the internet service provider (ISP) Global Capacity. Mary reached out to me few years ago, as she was looking to pro-actively impact the customer health.
Mary describes it best:
We’re now focused on getting customer success right. We are building at Totango the technology to enable Customer Success, and I have documented in my book Farm Don’t Hunt – practical guidelines that I’ve learned from people like Mary.
I am very proud to share more on the publication of my new book, Farm Don’t Hunt: The Definitive Guide to Customer Success. I’ve written this book as a very practical guide to business and team leaders who deal with Customer Success. It is written in similar style to the Scrum book I’ve used to learn how to become a successful engineering leader.
THE MISSING GUIDE FOR CUSTOMER SUCCESS VP’S
I started my journey in Customer Success seven years ago, and from the start one of the biggest challenges has been showing how Customer Success is different — from sales, customer support, marketing, etc. We have now matured enough as an industry, where the conversation is no longer about how it’s different, but how to build it.
This book is based on the Scrum book that impacted my life significantly as an engineer. It featured methods that enabled short phases, frequent revision, and iterative building. After reading the book, I remember immediately handing it out to my direct reports, not as a to-do list, but as a way for us all to speak the same language when it came to our work.
That is my hope for Farm Don’t Hunt, that Customer Success leaders will read the book and then hand it to their colleagues in the company and to their direct reports so that everyone is thinking about Customer Success in the same way. I want this book to empower VPs and leaders with the farming framework and an operating model for Customer Success.
WRITING A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR CUSTOMER SUCCESS
I have divided the book into two major sections. The first establishes the farming metaphor for recurring revenue businesses, and what it means to “farm” your customers. The second section is a very pragmatic set of instructions for establishing and running a Customer Success organization.
Rather than simply share high-level ideas, this book aims to:
Provide specific, clear, and actionable guidance on Customer Success for your team
Connect Customer Success to specific business outcomes and revenue metrics
Enable organizations to speak the language of Customer Success
I recommend that every team in recurring revenue businesses, whether you are building an organization or scaling the enterprise, take the opportunity to read this book. I hope you enjoy it.
Steely Dan: The Making of Aja. One of my favorite weekend activities is finding stories about figures I like and learn the behind the scenes story.
I’ve found this great movie on YouTube about the making of Aja, probably Steely Dan’s #1 all time album. It was really interesting to learn about the thorough process which included many great musicians that have ‘competed’ in making this album. If you ever wondered what makes a specific album timeless – you should take a look at this. Enjoy!
I’ve been known for MBWA – Management by Walking Around. I’m not sure how much my team likes it though..
For me it’s about being truly interested in the way the team thinks and works, getting to know the details directly by the team. I find it useful to suggest alternatives and challenge my team with new ideas.
An important lessons that I’ve learned when Totango became much bigger is that some of the folks interpret my comments as immediate call to action. Obviously, this is very disruptive, and does require discipline from my end to make sure this doesn’t happen frequently.
This post may be a bit too technical for the audience who’s focused more of using data and smart software. However, I found this post “Making Sense of Data Processing” by Martin Klepmann very insightful when it comes to data processing architectures.
In Today’s world with the explosion of data and data sources, the biggest challenge smart software has is to make sense of data and make the users smarter.
User’s usually are not aware of the architectural tradeoffs when it comes to the ability to provide the right information at the right context. However, for us the people who are making those trade offs and building smart applications it is very important to make the right decisions with regards to technology and data flows.