Seeking Advice on Speaking with Investors Regarding my CS Strategy

Chrissy Hines
Chrissy Hines Member Posts: 11 Contributor
edited July 2020 in CS Org Conversations

I've been asked to meet with my company's largest investors to review in detail my CS plan as we roll out M&A initiatives. They want to make sure the CS Team is working on initiatives that are formed and informed based on real experience and learnings, and that we will be able to execute on those initiatives. They are concerned with our ability to retain, institutionalize, and grow the acquired revenue that we inherit through mergers and acquisition. The problem is I am building this org from scratch, and the metrics of my plan have not yet been tested here at my company. I have done a TON of research and put a solid strategy together that was well received by my CEO. I have been in CS for 15 years, and as you know its everchanging- the tactics and strategies I'm putting in motion today, weren't on my radar last year. Any tips for how to best demonstrate my plan is backed up by evidence, when there's little to go off of? Should I site studies and articles I've read, talk about expert advice I've received form consultants like Jay and Jeff? I love Customer Imperative (Jay and Jeff), and have aligned their CS strategies to my framework. TIA for any advice you have! 


  • Nils Vinje
    Nils Vinje Member Posts: 4 Navigator
    First Anniversary Photogenic First Comment
    edited June 2020

    Hi Chrissy,

    It sounds like you are at an exciting stage with your company and have a great strategy/plan to execute. I agree with you that Jay and Jeff are the bomb!

    Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when talking to investors. These are general comments based on talking with many investors as a CS leader and coaching my clients through very similar situations. I actually just had this conversation with one of my clients last week.

    1. They will never have the context you do - When you share your strategy, you need to meet them at their level. Most investors usually fly around 50k feet and don't have time or interest in coming lower. They need to be able to grasp your strategy easily and not get bogged down in a ton of details.
    2. Your strategy needs to be at a framework level - It sounds like you are in a great place with your strategy based on your presentation to the CEO. The key question to answer is can this strategy be applied to 'N' number of different companies? In other words, is this strategy tied to you and your specific situation or is it at a framework level where it can easily be applied to different scenarios.
    3. Before you begin, understand what they really want - It can be tempting to spend tons of time to prepare for every possible scenario of what they could ask for. Know that there are probably only a couple of key things they really want to know. If you spend time in advance or in the beginning of the meeting asking the question "what are the top 3 things you want to know about our CS strategy..." it can save you a ton of time and anxiety.



  • Chris Hicken
    Chris Hicken Member Posts: 4 Navigator
    edited June 2020

    Based on what you've shared, something doesn't sound quite right. It sounds to me like you're being interviewed for the top CS job. 

    It's very unusual that investors ask to meet with a member of the senior team directly.  Either the CEO has done a bad job advocating for you, or investors don't trust the CEO, or they think you're too junior for the work ahead of you.  

    I can offer some help but would need to ask several more questions. 

    Ping me if interested. 




  • Chrissy Hines
    Chrissy Hines Member Posts: 11 Contributor
    edited June 2020


    Thank you VERY much! Yes, the feedback from our COO is exactly in line with what you said, they don’t know as much as we do, and they need that 50,000’ overview. We have a very specific guideline of what they would like to cover- I just received it yesterday, so it definitely helps me to understand what I need to prepare for. I greatly appreciate your comment and I will reference back as I finish up my presentation. 

  • Chrissy Hines
    Chrissy Hines Member Posts: 11 Contributor
    edited June 2020


    Thanks! Your comment has me thinking. We are a small team, it’s been me and the founding members for the past 2 years and over the past few months our CEO was able to secure a very large investor. This investor is dissecting every inch of our business... At the same time we are experiencing growth, and finally scoping out real departments like HR, Ops, Legal... with this comes new reporting structures and the question of, okay where do I fit and who to whom will I report?  I have been reporting to the CEO thus far. I have more details and would love to ping you for more insight. Thank you so much for offering to help. 

  • David Jackson
    David Jackson Member Posts: 36 Expert
    First Comment
    edited July 2020


    Hope this isn't too late.  I think I would focus on answering 3 questions:

    • What's the CS strategy & how will it help the company achieve its growth
    • How will you know the strategy is working
    • How will the strategy change as the company scales

    I think this will show you know what you are doing now and have a plan for growth. 


  • Abhijeet Vijayvergiya
    Abhijeet Vijayvergiya Member Posts: 1 Navigator
    edited July 2020

    Hi Chrissy,

    I have been into a similar situation at my previous company, when we were hitting hyper growth and had raised a big Series C funding. Happy to share my learning and experience on what I did during my first interaction(which went well) and in months to follow. Over next few months, I got promoted and even inducted into the Board of Directors.

    You can DM me, if you are interested to chat.