CSMs working with SMBs

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Ashley Harpp
Ashley Harpp Member Posts: 9 Contributor
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Hey folks! 

I’m curious to know how some CS organizations work with SMB customers. What approach has worked best for your organization? I’m sure there are a ton of ideas and every company is different but curious to hear what others have found successful. 

Thanks

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  • Benedict Fritz
    Benedict Fritz Member Posts: 30 Expert
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    edited March 2021
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    Not sure if you've already looked into it but Zapier (https://zapier.com) can integrate with, and push data between, a ton of different platforms. Might enable automating some things CSMs find themselves doing over and over!
  • Steve Bernstein
    Steve Bernstein Member Posts: 133 Expert
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    edited March 2021
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    Hi Ashley -- There's tons that can be automated through Salesforce and I'll let others chime in on some of those areas (happy to add though!) as there are 2 other levers that I often see being neglected:
    1. CS is responsible for looking after individual accounts, but that shouldn't happen at the expense of driving the right improvement initiatives around the company. That is, we often find the "urgent" takes priority over the "important" and as a result our companies often lack (1) good data (with real root causes) that pinpoints where customers/accounts struggle, (2) internal cross-functional coalition that want to tackle critical customer challenges (e.g. accelerating time to value), and (3) good governance that ensures those cross-functional team(s) are making and keeping commitments to customers.  So while automation is important, stronger relationships happen between people -- not companies -- and understanding what makes an advocate/promoter from the very start and driving appropriate 1:Many solutions must often be prioritized over the 1:1 daily deluge.

    2. Are your CSMs really working on the right things?  Too often CS is seen as a "catch all" that backstops PS, Support, and Training orgs. As a result, no one is truly working to strengthen relationships with all the right people (e.g. stakeholders! not just end-users). If CS is doing things that other departments need to be doing, then I suspect item #1 is the concern (i.e. you hear customer challenges every day and work to address them directly -- a good thing for the customer, but a bad thing for your company that is trying to accelerate growth through retention and expansion plays). Have you been able to fully understand where CSMs spend their time? You may find they are consumed by urgent yet less-critical tasks.

    /Steve