Today we are talking with Lincoln Murphy from Sixteen Ventures, a website focused on SaaS growth strategies. Lincoln is a customer success magician and growth strategist who feels that his early understanding of growth in the SaaS business model gives him a clear vision for SaaS growth strategies. He is also the Growth Architect at Winning By Design. A Growth Architect creates blueprints and processes for customer success managers.

Lincoln feels customer success is when your customers achieve their desired outcome through their interactions with your company. Desired outcome is what your customers need to achieve. Interaction with your company is the total interaction with the company, not just the consumption of the product or service. Lincoln helps companies figure out ways to grow. He started with customer acquisition, then started trying to find ways to reduce churn and keep customers around. The real mark of success is growing a company by having customers grow their services. Lincoln speaks and writes about customer success as much as he can.

Topics discussed include:

  • Being strategic and deliberate for each product sold and identifying the customer segment and the desired outcome, can tell you what you need the customer success manager to work on
  • Getting granular and figuring out the coverage level makes hiring a CM more efficient
  • Financial metric and customer success metric can be used
  • Net Revenue Retention – for this quarter we start with $1000 and end with $1500, so we had 150% net revenue retention, some may have downgraded, but we made up the churn by adding customer product expansion
  • These metrics are harder in the early days, so things like churn and retention will be looked at
  • We want a customer success metric, because it is not an account manager focused on revenue
  • We want to check it with something like a customer health score and see if they are moving forward on the success metric
  • Are our customers doing what is required to achieve our metrics
  • Map out required actions to get customers to desired outcome
  • Measure meaningful activity – are they on the right path – negative success vector
  • Account managers are there to manage financial accounts like payments and renews, etc.
  • That can be a function of customer success
  • Have a dedicated account manager to handle account expansion
  • Customer success practitioner is there to help the customer achieve their desired results
  • Logically segment these things out
  • The customer life cycle can’t be post sale, they are just a customer, think of the customer life cycle, stop focusing on being sales driven and focus on being customer success driven
  • The customer is either waiting for us to drop the ball or run with it
  • Customer success manager gets customer to a point where becoming a paid customer seems like the logical step
  • Help them see the true value potential
  • A high degree of empathy is a desired customer success quality, it is really important
  • Workflow, email integration and client success, you want a purpose built customer success management product, so that everything is in one place
  • People in service businesses have customer success managers
  • Customer success managers can be the best voice of the customer pool, this should be fed back to sales and marketing and product

Resources Mentioned:

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