Research or metrics to validate CSM incentive amounts per review, referral, or testimonial

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Seth Dovev
Seth Dovev Member Posts: 9 Contributor
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edited March 2021 in Metrics & Analytics





Our team is looking to support customer advocacy programs throughout this year. Since CSM's have the benefit of working directly with clients, building relationships, fostering trust, and working to help clients overcome their business objectives, they have the unique opportunity to help drive customer advocacy and identify those customers that truly understand the benefits and value our solution brings. With that, I'm running into issues finding research or metrics to validate CSM incentive amounts per review, referral, or testimonial.


Looking for anyone from the GGG community to help share any ideas or articles that can help point me in the right direction.

Thanks!








Comments

  • Ben Wright
    Ben Wright Member Posts: 2 Navigator
    edited March 2021
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    Hey Seth,

    It is a great idea, and one that we are also struggling with here, will be interested to see what the community has to say about specific incentives.

    As a side note, one of the things that we have found that helps with general customer advocacy is have each of our CSMS set up a monthly call, where all their accounts are invited.  We use this not only as a forum for discussion, but will usually have one of our "great" customers, show how they are using our software, what things have made them succeed and offer best practices.

    It is odd, but sometimes feedback/ best practices are best coming from a peer, rather than a CSM!

    Happy to walk through this process with you, if it would help?

    Cheers,

    Ben
  • Jordan Silverman
    Jordan Silverman Member, CS Leader Posts: 109 Expert
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    edited March 2021
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    @Seth Dovev this is a great question. I was playing around and thinking about this a lot at the end of Q4 when planning Q1 KPIs.

    We decided on two things:
    1) Case studies/testimonials
    - Instead of a $ incentive we actually attached this to OKRs for specific CSMs
    - Objective - better understand our customers
    - One of the key results - 3 case studies/testimonials from client base

    2) Referrals
    - $100 per lead referred that results in a demo
    - $150 per lead referred that results in a demo once you get over 5 referrals (try to add extra incentive for more)

    MarketMan is $149 per month per location to give some context into our $ amounts. We based the $100-$150 on current acquisition costs from other channels (marketing, partners, capterra, etc.).
    Jordan Silverman
    jordan.silverman@usestarfish.com
    (914) 844-5775
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/jordansilverman/
  • Seth Dovev
    Seth Dovev Member Posts: 9 Contributor
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    edited March 2021
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    @Ben Wright - Glad to see I'm not the only one interested in this topic (thank you for responding). We have customer touchpoints throughout the customer journey and plan to fold in advocacy opportunities as an option for the CSM's to the surface if appropriate but love this idea of having a wider advocacy monthly call for all customers who are interested to attend. We're also exploring something similar within a customer community initiative. Have you found this to help drive those efforts on your end?

    Seth
  • Seth Dovev
    Seth Dovev Member Posts: 9 Contributor
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    edited March 2021
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    @Jordan Silverman - Thanks for taking the time to share your team's approach to this. We've explored the OKR route as well, so I'm glad other leaders have thought about this approach.

    If I'm following your breakout for the referral program the formula behind referral incentives would be: CSM Incentive  (range) = Acquisition cost (per other department channels). 

    This is something I can dig on my end to see if we have that intel across other orgs. Thank you! 

    Cheers,
    Seth
  • Jordan Silverman
    Jordan Silverman Member, CS Leader Posts: 109 Expert
    First Comment 5 Likes Photogenic First Anniversary
    edited March 2021
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    @Seth Dovev exactly! We actually started lower since we have lower acquisition costs elsewhere.

    After 1 or 2 quarters we had close % for this channel, once we had close % and realized this channel had a much higher win rate we were able to increase the $ incentive.

    One other cool thing we implemented is whichever CSM has the most referrals in a quarter gets $1,500 additional. Fun way to make it a bit competitive as well.
    Jordan Silverman
    jordan.silverman@usestarfish.com
    (914) 844-5775
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/jordansilverman/
  • Andreas Knoefel
    Andreas Knoefel Member Posts: 74 Expert
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    edited March 2021
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    I start earlier in the process and benchmark customers along a baseline of the "typical" customer (Different from ICP). Now globally I can see as a CS leader who the exceptional customers aka Champions are and dig deeper into what makes them so successful. That insight is incorporated back into our best practices, other customers etc. See this blog post for more details: https://cstuners.com/leverage-your-champions/.

    The incentive for the CSM's is around the number of Champions they have in their portfolio, regardless if that company is able to be harnessed in public or not.
  • Wayne McCulloch
    Wayne McCulloch Member Posts: 14 Thought Leader
    edited March 2021
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    We look at incentives from a variety of lenses.

    For advocacy, we made this part of the MBO's for quarterly payouts.  Each quarter, a CSM is to deliver a certain number of advocacy assets from their accounts.  Attached is the Advocacy Maturity Map that shows what we consider an advocacy asset.   The Maturity Map "loosely" shows the lifecycle of Advocacy we manage through our Customer Success Plans (and sometimes complexity and value).  

    For SPIFFs (funding by sales) we leverage the Customer Success Qualified Leads (CSQL).  This is basically when a CSM "up-tells" the customer about how to drive more value from leveraging our solutions, and the customer is engaged in that, the CSM will log it in our CRM and it follows the Marketing Qualified Lead process (MQL).  IF that expansion closes, the CSM receives a % of the deal size.  I've uploaded the process flow as well.  Usually advocacy opens up CSQLs in other customer accounts which is nice.

    Advocacy is core to the CSM role and thus part of their MBO's.  We keep the CSQL separate from the comp plan for many reasons. 

    Happy to chat more about advocacy and how CSM's contribute and our comped etc.

    Cheers,
    Wayne
  • Seth Dovev
    Seth Dovev Member Posts: 9 Contributor
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    edited March 2021
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    Hi Wayne,

    Can't thank you enough for sharing the CSQL process and how we would be able to track it! I'll definitely explore using this process and may use a CS tool to track the "Up-Tell" but it shouldn't change much of the steps the CS should be taking.

    Cheers,
    Seth
  • Seth Dovev
    Seth Dovev Member Posts: 9 Contributor
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    edited March 2021
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    Hi Andreas,

    Love the idea of incentivizing against the number of champions within a CSM's portfolio as well and agree with how you've defined a "Champion" in the shared article. Appreciate the direction!

    Seth