Nailing Your Customer Success Go-to-Market Strategy for 2019

Editor’s Note: This post first appeared on the DesiredPath blog here

I am working with a number of companies that are preparing their Customer Success Go-to-Market strategy in preparation for launch at their Sales/Customer Success Kick-off in January. When looking at developing your customer success strategy, organizational structure and compensation plans, inevitably segmentation and account coverage models (ACMs) are intricately involved in defining those programs.

The reason being that, in order to determine how to structure its resources to effectively support customers, a business must first understand the various segments of its customer base and what their corresponding needs are.

Segmentation is, therefore, something we look at often.

There seems to be a common trend in the industry to look at segmentation from the perspective of the customer size of the company or how much they are paying in ARR; advice I find misguided. I recommend that you look at how to segment accounts based on the customer’s adoption needs with your specific technology and within the specific industry that you serve.

By segmenting customers based on what they need* to effectively adopt the technology, a company is best suited to align its resources accordingly and effectively.

[* I have written about, and presented on, the five key adoption parameters that most influence customer product adoption before. See the framework here].

And so, when working with clients, we take a look at what the common characteristics are that drive adoption amongst the different segments within their industry.

I encourage my clients to identify what characteristics are most likely to drive, or strongly influence, adoption with their customer base and then from there, we take a look at how to segment customers.

Once we understand what those needs are based on the adoption parameters, we can then assign the corresponding ACM which aligns the resources to the needs of the specific segments that we’ve outlined.

When we have that done, we can clearly understand what role profiles are needed for the various segments, while also looking at what type of service approach would be most appropriate for servicing those customers (i.e. high-, mid-, low- touch, or blended models).

From there we take a good look at what compensation structure would be the most appropriate within those segments based on what the role profile is actually working on and needs to be responsible for.

Bottom Line for Customer Success Go-to-Market Strategy

When thinking about and preparing for the upcoming year’s Customer Success Go-to-Market strategy, think about what it takes your customers to adopt technology in the most seamless and efficient manner, segment your customers based on that, determine the corresponding ACM and then assign the proper compensation structures that are aligned to driving the behaviours of your employees with what customers need in order to achieve success.

Kia Puhm
Kia Puhm
Founder & CEO

A frontierswoman in the Software-as-a-Service Customer Success industry, Kia Puhm has extensive experience building world-class practices that accelerate business growth. Prior to founding DesiredPath, Kia held chief positions at Oracle, Eloqua, Day Software (Adobe), Intelex Technologies, and Blueprint Software Systems.
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