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Evolution of Customer Success by the Numbers

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Kellie Capote

Customer Success

How has Customer Success evolved over the past ten years?  What better place to start than discussing the latest Customer Success Benchmarking Index with Kellie Capote, Chief Customer Officer at Gainsight. Kellie has invested the last five years developing her perspectives on Customer Success at Gainsight in a broad array of Customer Success leadership roles, including becoming the Chief Customer Officer in 2021. What were some of the top findings from the 2022 CS Benchmarking Index? Kellie first highlighted that 41% of companies recently invested in forming a Customer Success Operations function and is currently present in 61% of companies. This highlights the operational rigor and excellence being developed in Customer Success. 63% of Customer Success organizations are tracking Net Revenue Retention (NRR), proving that CS is being viewed as a revenue growth engine, not just a churn reduction department. 45% of CS organizations have subscription renewal responsibilities and will continue to grow as CS departments mature. One interesting topic discussed was that only 20% of CS organizations have primary responsibilities for up-sells and cross-sells. Thus how does a CS organization assume responsibility for NRR? Kellie highlighted that even though CS may not own the opportunity management process, 49% of the time, they are responsible for identifying potential up-sell and cross-sell opportunities while also ensuring customer satisfaction and product engagement which will organically impact existing customer expansion ARR.  Kellie also highlighted the Customer Success Qualified Lead (SQL) as a sign that CS is actively focused and engaged on existing customer revenue expansion. What tools are the leading CS organizations using to drive customer success? Customer Success plans are used by 63% of companies to facilitate the definition and attainment of customer-specific success. One area of opportunity is to use "customer value measurements," which are a key part of CS plans. The best companies use a "business value framework" during the sales process and then continue to inform how the CS organization engages with customers to continue measuring and reporting the customer value promised and delivered! Whether you are a customer success professional or a SaaS executive investing in Customer Success to drive customer satisfaction, customer value, and increase Net Revenue Retention Rates, this conversion with Kellie is highly informative and instructive.

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