eQBR?

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Jason Kobs
Jason Kobs Member Posts: 8 Contributor
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Hi all, 

I manage a team of CSMs who manage our long tail of smaller ARR clients (1:150ish ratio).  Ideally, leveraging technology, we would like to deploy an eQBR (or whatever cadence makes sense) to measure executive sentiment.  Has anyone blazed this trail before?  Happy to connect and share more about where we are. 

Thanks!
Jason  

Jason Kobs
Head of Customer Success
Cluster
www.datacluster.com

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  • Steve Bernstein
    Steve Bernstein Member Posts: 133 Expert
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    edited February 2021
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    Hi @Jason Kobs,
    I confess I'm not a fan of the approach because it tends to "waste" executive time discussing problems where I'd prefer an EBR to work out the priorities and establish a Joint Success Plan (JSP) where there would be mutual agreement and responsibility.  What works well for us is to reach out to the right stakeholder contacts in advance of the EBR to ask them to complete a short-assessment, which would be used to establish the draft JSP. We see 80% participation rates from the right customer contacts, giving you a clean way to engage and drive action, when committing to being transparent and actually demonstrate that you care and are listening,  Plus, a huge upside is that all that great data you gather from the customer-completed assessments is able to be shared with the rest of the organization as "untainted" and direct feedback from customer so they can hear the customers' voices as well.

    Happy to share more on the approach, through additional details on the process and templates.

    /Steve
  • Ashna Patel
    Ashna Patel Member Posts: 13 Thought Leader
    edited February 2021
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    Hi @Jason Kobs

    This is amazing!! I would love to learn more about it. I recently started managing our SMB (smaller ARR clients) CS team who manages the long tail of small customers (similar to yours) and been thinking about how else we can automize some of the processes. I would love to learn about your processes and whats working & what is not if you are willing to share. Thank you!

    Hi all, 

    I manage a team of CSMs who manage our long tail of smaller ARR clients (1:150ish ratio).  Ideally, leveraging technology, we would like to deploy an eQBR (or whatever cadence makes sense) to measure executive sentiment.  Has anyone blazed this trail before?  Happy to connect and share more about where we are. 

    Thanks!
    Jason  

  • Jason Kobs
    Jason Kobs Member Posts: 8 Contributor
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    edited February 2021
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    Thanks, Steve, great feedback.  Love the idea of the pre-work to better curate the content.  My struggle is how do we take an Enterprise CSM EBR model and scale it for a CSM working with a territory of over 150.  Maybe we can't but would still like to think we can engage with executives at scale in some capacity.
    Jason Kobs
    Head of Customer Success
    Cluster
    www.datacluster.com
  • Jason Kobs
    Jason Kobs Member Posts: 8 Contributor
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    edited February 2021
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    Hi Ashna, 

    Would be great to connect.  Feel free to add some time below - thanks!

    https://calendly.com/jason-kobs
    Jason Kobs
    Head of Customer Success
    Cluster
    www.datacluster.com
  • Julie Pine Parker
    Julie Pine Parker Member Posts: 6 Contributor
    edited February 2021
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    Hi @Jason Kobs I am also looking to discuss if anyone has successfully executed an eEBR as I work in CS and have approx 400 in my book of business. Even though my customers are using our technology, they are generally not very tech-savvy and only contact Support if they have an issue so a lot of my proactive reach-outs are brief "health checks" only 2-3 times annually. I am working on a project to increase our digital connection with a large volume of clients, including an eEBR so would love to stay in touch!

    Julie
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/juliepineparker/
  • Ashna Patel
    Ashna Patel Member Posts: 13 Thought Leader
    edited February 2021
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    Thank you so much, time booked!!

    I also sent you a Linkedin Invite to connect, chat soon!! 

    Best,
    Ashna
  • Vi Munneke
    Vi Munneke Member Posts: 1 Navigator
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    edited February 2021
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    Hello @Steve Bernstein-  I'm keen to learn how you are approaching the executives and driving both engagement and value.  Would love a walk thru of the process and templates.

    Victoria Munneke

    Hi all, 

    I manage a team of CSMs who manage our long tail of smaller ARR clients (1:150ish ratio).  Ideally, leveraging technology, we would like to deploy an eQBR (or whatever cadence makes sense) to measure executive sentiment.  Has anyone blazed this trail before?  Happy to connect and share more about where we are. 

    Thanks!
    Jason  

  • Ian Murray
    Ian Murray Member Posts: 2 Navigator
    edited February 2021
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    Hi @Julie Pine Parker and @Jason Kobs,

    We piloted an eQBR or AutoEBR last quarter across a segment of customers with some success, working on V2 Soon.

    This resonated closely with why we built it:

    "Even though my customers are using our technology, they are generally not very tech-savvy and only contact Support if they have an issue so a lot of my proactive reach-outs are brief "health checks" only 2-3 times annually."

    Customers were using our platform, but weren't savvy enough to find their way to key information about their usage, adoption and engagement through self-serve. Happy to share learnings and approach.

    Thanks,
    Ian

    Hi all, 

    I manage a team of CSMs who manage our long tail of smaller ARR clients (1:150ish ratio).  Ideally, leveraging technology, we would like to deploy an eQBR (or whatever cadence makes sense) to measure executive sentiment.  Has anyone blazed this trail before?  Happy to connect and share more about where we are. 

    Thanks!
    Jason  

  • Jason Kobs
    Jason Kobs Member Posts: 8 Contributor
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    edited February 2021
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    Awesome to hear @Ian Murray!  Would love to connect to talk about your journey.  Let me know the best way as it looks like there is an ocean between us.

    Talk soon,
    Jason

    cc @Julie Pine Parker
    Jason Kobs
    Head of Customer Success
    Cluster
    www.datacluster.com
  • Ian Murray
    Ian Murray Member Posts: 2 Navigator
    edited February 2021
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    Sure! Sent you a message.
  • Anna Alley
    Anna Alley Member, CS Leader Posts: 70 Expert
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    edited February 2021
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    Hi All, 

    I'm late to the party, but we just sent our first round of E-BR's in January. We shared data and analysis that highlighted how they were using the system, where there were areas for improvement, etc. and paired the charts with a one-pager explaining the data and what it might mean for them. I definitely expect us to make additional tweaks, but we had very positive feedback from the initial round. I think it's a great tool to help these customers still feel like they're a partner and you're paying attention, even when they don't have that individual CSM to contact on a regular basis.

    Thanks!

    Hi all, 

    I manage a team of CSMs who manage our long tail of smaller ARR clients (1:150ish ratio).  Ideally, leveraging technology, we would like to deploy an eQBR (or whatever cadence makes sense) to measure executive sentiment.  Has anyone blazed this trail before?  Happy to connect and share more about where we are. 

    Thanks!
    Jason  

  • Bri Adams
    Bri Adams Member Posts: 16 Thought Leader
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    edited February 2021
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    A ton of great comments in this thread so far, but wanted to add some of my own small learnings on the topic. We have our CS team split in half with ~5 people working on our Corporate team with smaller customers and larger book sizes (around 70-90 customers per CSM) and a Key side with ~5 CSMs working on larger customers with book sizes around 45-60:1 CSM. In cases across the board, we have been implementing a much smaller time-commitment type e-EBR that can queue up a series of data points to send to the customer, and whenever possible, we try to incorporate this with a 2-3 minute Loom video talking through the data in relation to the customer's earlier goals.

    Here is a quick screenshot example of one of our templates  -- each of the green boxes are merge fields we are pulling in based on the data we are tracking with our customers (based on our most powerful features). We personalize this per customer, and we have multiple versions based on trends where their usage has ticked up (more of a "congratulations - let's talk about your growth" template) and usage ticking down (more like a "we're worried - let's connect to make sure you and the team are continuously seeing value" template). We also queue this up for the CSM's review so they can spend 5 minutes looking at the data, 3 minutes giving some suggestions via recorded video, and then (if appropriate) offer to meet for 20-30 minutes to talk through these goals and stats in person.
    image
    In terms of value, we've received some fantastic anecdotal feedback from our Exec Sponsors saying they wouldn't have had time to connect for a full fledge EBR, but after seeing a quick video they were either more willing to connect by phone, OR they were more responsive by email to let us know whether they felt these ranges met their goals (and we can then continue that conversation to continue goal-setting with the customer).

    Thank you!
    Bri

    Hi all, 

    I manage a team of CSMs who manage our long tail of smaller ARR clients (1:150ish ratio).  Ideally, leveraging technology, we would like to deploy an eQBR (or whatever cadence makes sense) to measure executive sentiment.  Has anyone blazed this trail before?  Happy to connect and share more about where we are. 

    Thanks!
    Jason  

    Bri Adams

    Director of Customer Success, Commercial

    badams@windfall.com

    www.windfall.com

  • Mo Gorman
    Mo Gorman Member Posts: 2 Navigator
    edited February 2021
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    @Jason Kobs Thank you so much for starting this conversation! I was also recently tasked with managing a new group within our Customer Success organization of smaller ARR clients, also a 1:150ish ratio.  I'm really enjoying everyone's input on this tread and would love to circle up as a group to discuss some of the ideas presented here.  Is anyone interested in doing a meetup to discuss?
  • James Fisher
    James Fisher Member Posts: 7 Contributor
    edited February 2021
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    @Jason Kobs hey Jason, great initiative. I read through some of the comments and I think there is some really good feedback from the community. It is all about finding what works best for your customers based on their involvement with your team and your product.

    In my previous role at Periscope Data/Sisense we grew our SMB team from me to me + 6 CSMs, each running a book of ~120 customers. The top 30 accounts per CSM made up almost 70-75% of their total book ARR. Very "fat head and long tail" set up. We segmented our own books and tried to provide our top 30 accounts with an EBR twice a year (one being aligned with an approaching renewal). We were fortunate enough to use our own tool (Periscope Data) to create a dashboard that was essentially an EBR report. We had usage metrics, spend information, ROI calculations, forecasted metrics and static images (roadmap slides popped in-line). This allowed us to create an EBR for the long-tail of customers in seconds. We could curate it if we need but is that really a worthwhile use of time for a $6k ARR customer. For our higher spend customers $30-60k we used the same method but would work on a more in-depth talk track to get more alignment on the year ahead. Steves comment below about Joint Success Plans is great - getting shared accountability in place is vital to achieve success. We focused on the customers desired outcomes from using our product (they buy outcomes, they don't buy software), goals as a business, and then tried to connect the dots between outcomes driven by our software and larger company wide goals. 

    I would be happy to chat with you about this - it's something I saw first hand turn our churn from about >30% to ~16% over a year. We did a few other things but I think this was a key component!
  • Steve Bernstein
    Steve Bernstein Member Posts: 133 Expert
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    edited February 2021
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    Hi @Jason Kobs -- Automating the process is the easy part, but you still want to be sure you are humanizing the process where possible since relationships are built on human interactions.  How are your Salesforce skills, and/or do you have any budget?  Options out there can be implemented for far less than the cost of a couple of churned-accounts (especially when you consider the lifetime value of those accounts!).

    Here's a blog that describes in more detail:
    https://waypointgroup.org/stop-chasing-renewals-heres-how-to-keep-customers-engaged-so-renewals-and-more-will-just-come/

    @Vi Munneke -- Hope this blog helps clarify and I'm happy to provide additional resources as well. 

    /Steve
  • Joe McElhaney
    Joe McElhaney Member Posts: 4 Seeker
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    edited February 2021
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    I really like what you're doing with these templated adoption review emails / e-EBRs, @Bri Adams, especially the personalized Loom video from your CSMs. Nice work!

    Can you share any quantitative metrics that demonstrate the effect(s) these e-EBRs have had (e.g., X% increase in scheduling calls with CSMs or Y% response rate to these emails)?
  • Joe McElhaney
    Joe McElhaney Member Posts: 4 Seeker
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    edited February 2021
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    @Anna Alley - I'm assuming you employed automation to create/compile the content and send/distribute it. If so, can you share what tool(s) you used?
  • Anna Alley
    Anna Alley Member, CS Leader Posts: 70 Expert
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    edited February 2021
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    Hey Joe,

    Today, we're actually generating the reports/charts directly from an internal reporting server that allows us to have the standard template created and then we set up the list of admins to receive the report (customized based on their individual portal activity). 

    Thanks!

  • James Conant
    James Conant Member Posts: 37 Expert
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    edited February 2021
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    Jason - You are on the right track. Its not possible nor productive to attempt to reach out to each account with a human touch.  After segmenting our customers based on top-line revenue and OM we decided on accounts that would be serviced via tech tough. To prove the benefits of such we developed a reporting tool within access as well as a variety of standard email templates that could be used based on various performance metrics. All our csm's needed to do was review the metrics reported monthly via the tool and pick a template that was appropriate - "lost revenue", "Congratulations" "Recommended best practices" etc. The email would populate with the appropriate information and then be sent automatically. This process saved more than 40 hours per month for each associate who was assigned to these segments. Moreover, we tracked the response to these emails via sales force as well as the improvements in performance metrics. The results were impressive! This "test" demonstrated an excellent roi that lead ultimately to complete automation of the process.
  • Jan Young
    Jan Young Member Posts: 21 Thought Leader
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    edited February 2021
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    Loving this thread!

    @Bri Adams - is a phone call always the goal? I was thinking that for some of the longtail customers a webinar that could be added to your knowledge base might also be a way to help customers address usage/ value? Also, do you track these stats for trends?