Customer Success Managers (CSMs) are eager to talk with customers, to build relationships, to hold conversations with them. But sometimes customers feel otherwise. So what’s a CSM to do?
Customers are busy. Would you automatically agree to a meeting, let alone a recurring meeting? I would not — unless I saw real value in the meeting, which means that CSMs need to deliver value in the interactions they have with customers, and they need to articulate a value proposition to convince contacts to grant them access. Where can value come from:
- Not just metrics (which can easily be shared in writing), but interpretation of the metrics and best practices recommendations. For instance, suggest how the customer can get full usage on paid seats, or how to shore up security holes.
- Roadmap information. Customers love to understand what’s coming next, and it helps them plan better.
- Access to a rare resource, for instance a product manager with whom to discuss enhancement requests.
The value proposition can be used to get around gatekeepers as well as open the dialog with the executive target. Gatekeepers are often seen as mere obstacles but they can be allies, too. What would their boss want? What is important to them? Who else than the gatekeeper can give you inside information on how to get an appointment and make the best of it.
When working with executives, CSMs should keep in mind that they are often over-scheduled. A brief, content-rich meeting can be a lot more valuable than a slow-moving, formal business review. And many executives simply do not like chit-chat: aim to deliver valuable information rather than emote with them.
This and many other techniques are described in our interactive workshop for CSMs, Managing Customer Success. Help your team create custom value propositions and get the access they need to ensure renewals and foster revenue expansion.