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How are you monetizing customer success?

Carlos Alves
Carlos Alves TSIA Administrator, Moderator, Founding Member | admin
edited May 2020 in Customer Success

Any ideas on customer success portfolio management and how to drive effective monetization or new strategies post COVID-19?


  • JimBignell
    JimBignell Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭

    It's hard given the current climate but we are looking at creative ways to leverage points/credits for services creation. Primarily because it allows us to rapidly bring ideas to market and test their feasibility.

  • Carlos Alves
    Carlos Alves TSIA Administrator, Moderator, Founding Member | admin

    Creating points/credits program seems a promising path. thanks.

  • PatrickCarmitchel
    PatrickCarmitchel TSIA Administrator | admin

    There are some great insights from the monetizing customer success industry quick poll regarding COVID-19 impact and Phil Nanus, VP of Customer Success Research makes an argument for monetization in his recent blog post, How Customer Success Can Make a Lasting Impact During The COVID-19 Crisis based on correlation analysis:

    Companies that monetize customer success have seen the following benefits:

    • 17-27-point increase in NPS 
    • 10 percentage point increase in Dollar Expansion Rates
    • 2 percentage point increase in Dollar Retention Rates
  • David Perrault
    David Perrault Founding Analyst | Expert ✭✭✭

    A first step is to create a simple portfolio for Customer Success that focuses on deliverables and what they value they will bring to your customers. If customers can put a $ on the service you will provide them as part of your CS services then they will be more amenable to pay for it.

  • Carlos Alves
    Carlos Alves TSIA Administrator, Moderator, Founding Member | admin

    Thanks, @David Perrault . I had a great session at TSW Live 2020 just now, and good insights from Phil Nanus, about charging the services make the expectations between customers and provider clearer.

  • While points based allocation of customer success offerings seems like a flexible way to apply services for different size customers there are some issues to watch out for as you scale. Three in particular come to mind based on the experience we had at Salesforce.

    1. Administration and tracking of point allocation and utilization can require its own set of complicated systems that need to be maintained and built
    2. Allocation of points creates a revenue recognition issue in that you are creating a deferred revenue liability that you either need to close out when you utilize point and/or you need to expire the points periodically to remove the liability. Consult with your Revenue operations for financial team. Points have value associated with them which can impact revenue recognition
    3. While points may see flexible and easy to understand from a customer perspective, you will see some customers "hoard" their points rather than use them on programs and services that you want them to you. With larger customers that have multiple departments using your product you also create a need for those customers to internally manage their own point allocations across departments unless you are somehow doing it for them. This can create undesired governance and "points" management issues internally.

    Ultimately, we eliminated points within the customer success offerings at Salesforce in favor of simplicity and found other ways to allocate and bundle monetized customer success offerings. Customer and Success Leadership feedback was positive when we moved away from points.

  • Gabriel Lopes
    Gabriel Lopes Member | Enthusiast ✭

    @Shane Hughes very interesting point, thanks for bringing that feedback.

    Would you be able to bring any insights or elaborate on the other ways you found to allocate and bundle the monetized customer success offerings?


  • Carlos Alves
    Carlos Alves TSIA Administrator, Moderator, Founding Member | admin

    Based on @Shane Hughes comments, we are now trying to establish some layers of services based on customer segmentation. It should be running by end of 2020.