Imagine you were to start the nurturing team from scratch

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Daniel Hocutt
Daniel Hocutt Member Posts: 5 Navigator

Hi All, 

Would love your input on the following:

Imagine you were to start the nurturing team from scratch being the only person to handle a pipeline of e.g. 200 customers (companies of various sizes and values). 

  • What systems would you implement? 
  • How would you prioritise your time? Your customers?
Thank you
Daniel
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  • Star Hofer
    Star Hofer Member Posts: 8 Seeker
    edited August 2020
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    Hey Daniel, 

    I would review the data that may be available first. For example, is it clear what great looks like for your product and your customers?  Can you put customers into maturity buckets? The maturity buckets may help you focus on those that need the most help to adopt the product and grow their account, and others may have less nurturing.  I would define what nurturing means for your product and company by some sore of segmentation. Build what is ideal first and then figure out what is reasonable for your small team size ;) 

    Regarding technology, anything that makes the logging of communication easier and visibility into those already engaged with. 

    Good Luck!
  • Daniel Hocutt
    Daniel Hocutt Member Posts: 5 Navigator
    edited August 2020
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    Thanks so much for the engaged response Star! Highly appreciated.

    Have a great weekend!




    On Fri, 21 Aug 2020, 20:19 Star Hofer via Gain Grow Retain, <community@gaingrowretain.com> wrote:
    Hey Daniel,  I would review the data that may be available first. For example, is it clear what great looks like for your product and your... -posted to the "Customer Success Leadership Community" community
    Gain Grow Retain

    Customer Success Leadership Community

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    Re: Imagine you were to start the nurturing team from scratch
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    Star Hofer
    Aug 21, 2020 8:17 AM
    Star Hofer
    Hey Daniel, 

    I would review the data that may be available first. For example, is it clear what great looks like for your product and your customers?  Can you put customers into maturity buckets? The maturity buckets may help you focus on those that need the most help to adopt the product and grow their account, and others may have less nurturing.  I would define what nurturing means for your product and company by some sore of segmentation. Build what is ideal first and then figure out what is reasonable for your small team size ;) 

    Regarding technology, anything that makes the logging of communication easier and visibility into those already engaged with. 

    Good Luck!
  • Markus Siebeneick
    Markus Siebeneick Member Posts: 33 Expert
    edited August 2020
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    @Daniel Hocutt  Adding to the great information that @Star Hofer provided, here are some other items for consideration.
    It is very difficult to provide lots of attention to all 200 customers.
    In addition to the maturity model, you will want to look at the following.

    1) Outcomes you want to achieve of Growth or Churn Mitigation.
    2) Where they are in their current contract. (On an annual contract, I have found the first 6 months to be the most vital as it is hard to save customers with 3 months left in a contract if there were issues)
    3) How much customers are paying (a 200k customer is likely more important than a 20k customer - unless that 20k customer has the potential to be a 200k customer)


  • Kevin Mitchell Leonor
    Kevin Mitchell Leonor Member Posts: 248 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    Systems: I would only use what is already there. Systems are meant to scale existing processes. We don't have that yet. It will cause more work. We need to be self-sustainable first.

    Time prioritization is key. We need to remember that there are only 160 work hours on average per month. I choose to use the 2x biweekly 30 min or 1x monthly 45 min options with my customers for standard cadences. We also need to account for internal meetings. I estimate that most CS orgs have at least 4 hours a week of internal meetings. I also estimate that we need 2 hours per day for follow ups and one-offs. So we need 14 hours per week which leaves us with 26 hours a week for customer cadence calls.To give us more time, I support rounding that down to 25 hours. So this means, the maximum customers your CSM can assist is 100 customers depending on the level of effort required for each customer. This is a good model only if we reached process maturity, but we haven't and we may never.  So, we need to lighten the workload. So I recommend a 60% reduction in workload which means they are working 40 customers max. That 60% will allow us time to work on processes.

    So the monthly breakdown is as follows:
    40 hours on customers.
    40 hours on follow ups
    16 hours  on internal meetings
    64 hours on training/process-building/projects/or on more labor intensive customers.

    That 64 hours can be flexed to other things including more customer work if we reach process maturity.

    So given the customer workload, we need to hire 5 CSMs at minimum. Utilize this allowance of 64 monthly hours to develop your processes, practice the processes, and ensure internal adoption of processes,

    ------------------------------
    Kevin Mitchell Leonor
    Customer Success Manager
    ------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------
    Original Message:
    Sent: 08-21-2020 04:13
    From: Daniel Hocutt
    Subject: Imagine you were to start the nurturing team from scratch

    Hi All, 

    Would love your input on the following:

    Imagine you were to start the nurturing team from scratch being the only person to handle a pipeline of e.g. 200 customers (companies of various sizes and values). 

    • What systems would you implement? 
    • How would you prioritise your time? Your customers?
    Thank you
    Daniel


    ------------------------------
    Daniel Hocutt
    ------------------------------
  • Daniel Hocutt
    Daniel Hocutt Member Posts: 5 Navigator
    edited August 2020
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    @Markus S - thank you for the feedback. I want to further my understanding of how to use a maturity model to help segment customers and put them into maturity buckets. I have really enjoyed the work that @Boaz Maor has put forward with the Customer Maturity Index  (https://openviewpartners.com/blog/customer-maturity-index/#.X0hgw8gza01) . Can you recommend any other insights/sources?
  • Daniel Hocutt
    Daniel Hocutt Member Posts: 5 Navigator
    edited August 2020
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    Hi @Star Hofer,  I want to further my understanding of how to use a maturity model to help segment customers and put them into maturity buckets. I have really enjoyed the work that @Boaz Maor has put forward with the Customer Maturity Index  (https://openviewpartners.com/blog/customer-maturity-index/#.X0hgw8gza01). Can you recommend any other insights/sources on how to approach maturity buckets? Thank you! Daniel  
  • Daniel Hocutt
    Daniel Hocutt Member Posts: 5 Navigator
    edited August 2020
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    Thanks Kevin. You are right, time management is essential. 

    Do you have a preferred framework for prioritizing which customers get the most time?
  • Kevin Mitchell Leonor
    Kevin Mitchell Leonor Member Posts: 248 Expert
    First Comment Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited August 2020
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    Yes I do, I do a three level prioritization. First is effort based prioritization. Second is ARR. Third is if they have strategic attributes.

    First, when we get an account, we will determine their level of effort based on:

    1: their goals - determine if the goals they have require a long list of activities. I have some accounts that have aggressive goals for how much our product integrates with their business ecosystem
    2: their number of products and licenses - the more products and licenses the more attention they MAY need
    3: their preferred cadence - weekly,biweekly, monthly,etc.

    Order your accounts accordingly and try to bracket them into high, low, and tech touch.

    Next: reorder priority within those touch segments based on ARR

    Last: reassess and reorder based on strategic attributes such as;

    1) Is this account a target logo to put on the front page of our website
    2) is there an untapped growth potential with this account (maybe we haven't sold the entire company or all the eligible users)
    3) is there a unique use case that we could exploit to win more business
    4) is this a strategic vertical we are marketing heavily towards

    Try to apply a priority score and assign a block of hours according to the touch model, the ARR, and the strategic attributes.