CS from Cradle to Grave

Chuck Barber
Chuck Barber Member Posts: 2 Navigator
edited September 2020 in Strategy & Planning
In preparation for launching a new SaaS solution, we are taking our customer success model in a new direction. The current state strategy for this new solution is as follows: 
  1. Individual acquires app via store download (free version)
  2. Relationship engagement processes engaged (automated emails, sharing of content, etc.)
  3. When engagement with product reaches defined threshold, CSM makes direct contact with user to begin relationship building and gain insight into employers organizational structure 
  4. Automated trickle email campaign activated 
  5. When email engagement reaches defined threshold, CSM makes direct contact with economic buyer to begin relationship building to gain insight into feasibility of the application being used at an enterprise level 
  6. Determine business opportunity 
  7. Obtain enterprise subscription 
  8. Onboard 
  9. Maintain relationship
  10. Retain subscription and up-sale 

Being new to this model and hoping to learn from this community, I am highly interested to learn from my peers. Where are there holes? How does your organization determine who owns the responsibilities outlined? Do you have a dedicated CSM that follows this type of process from cradle to grave? 

All insight and thoughts are appreciated.


  • Markus Siebeneick
    Markus Siebeneick Member Posts: 33 Expert
    edited September 2020
    Chuck - this is an interesting discussion as it crosses over into should CS lead upsells or not (ie. Quota carrying). 
    CS is often not the driver of the initial purchase.
    Many companies want CS to be the trusted advisor and having them also sell could impact that relationship.

    The freemium to the paid model will also depend on the size of your Sales/CS team, the number of downloads, % of conversion, amount of product differentiation between free and paid and how many possible value drivers are there post sale.
    The model I have seen work successfully in the past is a BDR to handle the initial engagement (steps 2 &  3) to qualify if there is a possible future sale.
    If yes, then the BDR feeds the Sales/AE person who would work to handle 5 - 7.
    Steps 8 - 10 sound very much like normal CS tasks and an AE could be brought back in to handle upsells.
    If your sales and revenue team is small, the AE may handle 2 - 10 or hand off steps 8 - 10 to CS.

    Having an individual run cradle to long term customer (no graves in CS when we can help it) may be the right strategy or it might just be the right strategy as you start out. 

    You might also look at self-service options to go from freemium to paid depending on the pricing tiers, margins and level of effort to upsell, which may then change how and when someone would interact.

    One item you might consider is In-App notifications which drive towards behaviors that are likely to increase conversions. 
    Being able to trial paid features in the freemium model can further help on conversions or engagement with a BDR/AE to gain that initial sale.