Categories
Customer Engagement customer success vp customer success yammer

Yammer Customer Engagement Team

Yammer Logo

Yammer recently appointed Samantha Loveland to lead their Customer Engagement team. Loveland (previously in Salesforce.com) will report to Chief Customer Officer David Obrand.

Yammer, like other SaaS companies understands that Customer Success is key to their success, and much like other successful SaaS companies invests significant efforts and resources to ensure that.

From the PR announcement:
“The Customer Success team of Yammer consists of customer success managers and implementation engineers who work closely with companies to accelerate adoption and foster engagement.”

Customer Success and Customer Engagement is certainly something we’re discussing a lot on this blog, and I’m happy to see that many successful companies share the same philosophy.

Good Luck Samantha!

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Categories
Best Practices Business Insights churn Customer Engagement customer retention customer success free-to-paid conversion Interview key metrics low touch sales saas software up-selling vp customer success

VP Customer Success at Alcove9: On Boarding SaaS Customers

Alcove9 Main Slide

At Totango, I have initiated a project to collect and share more best practices around low-touch selling, free-to-paid conversion, up-selling and customer retention. On this blog we will share what we learn from speaking to sales and customer success professionals in the field of open source and SaaS software.

Today, I had an opportunity to speak to Rudy Reyes, the newly appointed VP of Customer Success at Alcove9. Alcove9 is a young company with an open source search tool that looks into a company’s intranet and indexes all of its data and information for rapid retrieval. It is a subscription-based service, but not a cloud-based solution.

Alcove9 Gallery

The basic indexing and search tool is a free, open source download called the a9 Hub. Then, Alcove9 offers support subscriptions and upgrades to premium features such as CAD visualization and markup (a9 CADViz) or application connectors (a9 AppConnect) to systems like PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), ECM (Enterprise Content Management), ERP (Enterprise Resource Management), and more.

I asked Rudy about his priorities and customer success metrics for the company.

What are the priorities for the company today?

Rudy Reyes - VP Customer Success at Alcove9Alcove9 just went live on Monday, October 31; however, the foundation is based on a proven solution that has matured for over 7 years.
Our primary focus is on people who are looking for instant access to all of their corporate data that often resides in disparate systems. The core, open source download, a9 Hub, is the cornerstone of the entire suite of products and support services. Another important aspect of our sales and marketing activities is to work with partners such as AutoDesk and Aras to identify new product solutions in order to make organizations more efficient while eliminating the frustrations of trying to find vital, lost or legacy data.

What is the priority for the Customer Success team?

I work with the early adopters, translating customer requirements into product features. Then we help customers with successful on-boarding and implementation. It is really important to have someone who is focused on the total customer experience.

What are the key metrics you measure?

We are interested in adoption rates: who is downloading our application, who is installing it and then adoption metrics of different modules, such as which features they are using and finally retention rates (churn).

What are sales or up-selling signals?

Our sales are based on high-touch qualifying questions. For example, do they use CAD; do they have a PLM, ECM or ERP system. If they answer “yes,” then we will introduce them to the appropriate connector solutions. (AppConnect).

Thanks Rudy for the insights! I am keen to watch the progress of Alcove9 in the future!

Categories
b2b sales Best Practices chief revenue officer Customer Engagement customer satisfaction customer success low touch sales model vp customer success zero touch sales model

Does your SaaS Business have a VP Customer Success?

Earlier this week, I spoke to Dave Rosenberg for his CNET Blog ‘Customer success’ VP role: To reduce SaaS churn.

At Totango, we care deeply about customer engagement and customer success. We agree with Dave that with SaaS “it might make just as much sense to focus on retaining (and garnering new revenue from) current customers as it would be to focus on gaining new customers”.

For companies with a zero-touch or low-touch sales model, customer engagement management is about much more than ensuring customer satisfaction. I wrote about that previously in my blog 4 Tips to Increase B2B Sales for example. It doesn’t matter who owns the customer engagement function and many modern sales leaders understand and implement customer success programs. Some B2B sales leaders have split their team into hunters and farmers, with the latter focused on customer success. Others now call themselves “Chief Revenue Officer” (as discussed in a recent blog by Phil Hernandez).

Still, the trend to assign a dedicated executive to manage customer engagement, is promising. Sometimes, you have to put your money (people) where your mouth is.

Some companies which already have a VP Customer Success include: ReputationDefender, Intacct (VP Sales and Customer Success), HubSpot, Salesforce.com, Sendori, Computer Associates, SAP, Marketo, InsideView, Zuberance, Success Factors, Zuora, JIVE Software, and Yammer (VP Customer Engagement).

On this blog, we plan to continue to monitor this trend.

For now, some appointments we have seen in recent months are below.

New VP Customer Success Appointments

Rudy Reyes, VP Customer Success at Alcove9

Rudy Reyes, VP Customer Success at Alcove9

  • On October 17, 2011 Alcove9 appoints Rudy Reyes, Vice President of Customer Success.
  • On October 3, 2011 Xignite appoints Cameron Karr as VP Customer Success.
  • On September 14, 2011 Jump Technologies announced the appointment of Adam Jacobs as Vice President of Customer Success.
  • On August 23, 2011 AtHoc appointed Sanjay Saini as its vice president of global operations and customer success.
  • On August 2, 2011 Zenprise Inc. announced it has named Christopher Doell as vice president, customer success.

Congratulations to all!

 

Customer Success Hot Line

If you know about a recent Customer Success appointment
please e-mail me at gnirpaz [at] totango [com]

 

 

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