It is important to remember that customers are not a single entity but made up of multiple stakeholders who are decision-makers, functional owners, users, IT, and members of the C-suite. Each of these stakeholders can have a completely different definition of the outcome of value from your product. In this chapter, we'll share some best practices for managing these multi-stakeholder environments. We'll also cover some proven tactics for dealing with risks of your customers and, if possible, early enough to avoid cancelations and churns. If the customer does churn, it's equally important to learn from the experience to prevent future such scenarios. These are all critical processes for any Customer Success Manager.
Stakeholder Alignment: How to Manage Executive Sponsors and Other Customer Stakeholders
We often hear from Customer Success and Sales leaders that there are two common reasons for churn or downsell (revenue compression) of customers. One: an executive sponsor changes. Two: there is a lack of perceived value for your product or service among the Executive Sponsors. When you dig into these symptoms some more, the most actionable root causes turn out to be a few things:
- You, as a Customer Success Manager, were not aware of the shifting priorities at the customers' businesses.
- You did not keep up with the change in what “value” meant to them.
- Your company was ...