What are your thoughts on measuring performance based on activities?

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Marijn Verdult
Marijn Verdult Member Posts: 33 Thought Leader
First Comment
edited July 2020 in CS Org Conversations

When you either have starting/inexperienced CSM's or an immature CS Department, you can't expect an NRR > 100% right off the bat. 

What do you all think of measuring performance - maybe even compensating - based solely on activities and NOT on outcomes such as revenue, health score, or NPS? 

If you have a positive experience with this. What are your best practices and which activities are most worth tracking?

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  • Melissa Logothetis
    Melissa Logothetis Member Posts: 22 Thought Leader
    First Comment
    edited April 2020
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    In my experience this is tricky. If you measure and compensate on the wrong activities you are driving the completion of an activity that may or may not have the desired outcome of maintaining revenue/ health score etc. In my opinion, compensating on the leading indicators will reinforce the desired outcomes. I think that having the compensation around an activity as an MBO verses straight compensation is the best way to approach the situation. 

    Looking forward to other ideas.

  • Arit Nsemo
    Arit Nsemo Member Posts: 13 Contributor
    edited April 2020
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    I've KPI'd on feedback-related activities related to customer interactions:

    • Depending on how high or low touch your business is it could be that no customer goes more than 2 weeks without a touch point. 
    • Or, task the CSMs with measurable takeaways from customer interactions, for example the CSM must elevate X pieces of feedback to product a quarter.

    This also has the benefit of ensuring CSMs are getting in front of customers in a meaningful, structured way, which will build maturity and elevate the voice of the customer, allowing them to better hit retention KPIs in the future.

  • Scott Hopper
    Scott Hopper Member Posts: 70 Expert
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    edited April 2020
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    I would tend to agree the danger of taking away from the real objective.  Having customer have positive outcomes with your product.  

  • Tammy Krieger
    Tammy Krieger Member Posts: 13 Thought Leader
    First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited April 2020
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    Great question here. I toss back and forth between the right mix of KPIs tied to retention/upsell etc. and outcome measurements. Too tightly tied to a revenue target or even NPS can reward behaviors that might not be as desirable for a CSM. For instance, could a motivation to a financial target make the CSM behave more a sales person and erode the trust/partnership nature of the relationship we are cultivating. Similarly with NPS, CSM could be become unmotivated or frustrated because it often takes all areas of the company rowing in the same direction to correct or maintain NPS. I think there should be a nice mix of KPIs for which the CSM can directly impact the outcome as well as those that require the use of the unique ability to bring a cross team together to achieve a desired outcome but matching accountability commensurately. 

    Recently using Key Account Objectives that are established quarterly with specific action plan to make progress towards those objectives. Both the objective and actions can be tracked and evaluated somewhat objectively once established. Take for instance where is the client on your desired client maturity model vs. where you want them to be. How has the CSM contributed to improving that engagement?

  • Andy Barton
    Andy Barton Member Posts: 18 Thought Leader
    edited April 2020
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    I have seen and heard of a lot of business success and received positive feedback from the teams by having a primary metric (revenue or similar) and an activity metric (as part of OKRs for example) that is based on actions related to proven leading indicators. ..... great Q!! 

  • Marijn Verdult
    Marijn Verdult Member Posts: 33 Thought Leader
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    edited April 2020
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    Absolutely agree!

    However, just to make it specific to my current situation. We're still trying to establish best-practices and don't know exactly which activities drive desired outcomes in which ways. Reaching outcomes with our current customers is more luck than science. Hence that I am inclined to just "reward" trying. 

  • Marijn Verdult
    Marijn Verdult Member Posts: 33 Thought Leader
    First Comment
    edited April 2020
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    Like those ideas! Definitely going to steal them :)