Episode No:09

Customer Success for Enterprise Segment at StreamSets ft.

Asim Mohammad

Former VP of CS, StreamSets Inc

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Ep#09: Customer Success for Enterprise
Segment at StreamSets ft. Asim Mohammad (Former VP of Customer Success, StreamSets Inc)
Ep#09: Customer Success for Enterprise Segment at StreamSets ft. Asim Mohammad (Former VP of Customer Success, StreamSets Inc)
  • Ep#09: Customer Success for Enterprise Segment at StreamSets ft. Asim Mohammad (Former VP of Customer Success, StreamSets Inc)

Episode Summary

In this episode, our host Adil Saleh chats with Asim Mohammad, former VP of Customer Success at StreamsSets Inc., about his unique experience of being an informal advisor for StreamSets Inc. due to its unique deployment— an on-prem software deployed as a software solution. He shares how to map the customer journeys and build standardised playbooks once you have customer data. According to Asim’s experience with StreamSets Inc., skipping to post-sales and adoption is not a scalable solution. It is of primary importance to establish a proper journey. Doing so will aid in the identification of opportunities to upsell and build relationships with customers. Moreover, the significance of communication during the production stage is vital. Making Customer Success a company-wide mantra is important because CS departments can not operate in silos. Furthermore, he extended upon the great value of mapping customer journeys and the use of customised playbooks. When asked whether the CS team should focus on communication, usage data, or both? Asim broke down the narrative into the following:
  1. Achieving that product-market-fit
  2. The synergy between product-market-fit and use cases: identifying those gaps.
These gaps are where communication and CS come into play. StreamSets Inc. uses various kinds of data to bridge this gap. Initially, as a series A startup, they used the Rinse-and-repeat strategy and avoided vertical niching. Asim recommended not going for vertical niching until you earn 20-50 million. Besides that, Product-market-fit can be thought of as a changing goal post and needs to be altered accordingly. The second half of the podcast focused on day-to-day operations at StreamSets Inc., building a tiered Customer Success department and 2x2matrix used for customer segmentation. The podcast concluded with the need for dedicated software for a mid-sized business and providing CS individuals with a streamlined framework.
Key Takeaways Time
Discussion about Asim and his experience • Experience with data and how he transitioned to the CS world • Early education • Work with the finance sector • Silicon Valley and tech startups • Federal space–US Airforce • Along the way, always informally advised StreamSets Inc. 2:30
StreamSets Inc.’s and its unique deployment— an on-prem software deployed as a software solutionTwo types of customers: • Fortune 500 companies deploying it on-prem • Small and medium-sized companies— have the foresight of pushing into the cloud environment 5:22
How to map a customer journey and build standardised playbooks once you have customer data? 7:35
Asim’s insights from his experience with StreamSets Inc. • Skipping to post-sales and adoption is not a scalable solution • Importance of establishing a proper journey: identify opportunities to upsell, build relationships with customers and negative NPS or unhappiness • Dealing with the customer during the production stage • Making CS a company-wide mantra– CS teams can not exist in silos • Mapping customer journey with customised playbooks 8:10
The narrative around whether the CS team should focus on communication, usage data, or both?Narrative, according to Asim, can be broken down into the following:Achieving that product-market-fitThe synergy between product-market-fit and use cases: identifying those gaps where communication and CS come into play 11:31
What kind of data do CS teams at StreamSets Inc. collect to identify and bridge the above gap? 15:03
Initial focus as a series A startup: Rinse and repeat strategy 16:13
Vertical niching not recommended until you are earning 20-50 million 17:29
Product-market-fit a changing goal post 18:13
Vertical niching not recommended until you are earning 20-50 million 19:58
Building a tiered Customer Success department 27:25
Team building process at StreamSets Inc. 29:33
2X2 matrix for Customer Segmentation 31:19
Need for dedicated software for mid-size business 35:25
Providing CS individuals with a streamlined framework 40:20

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Transcript

Asim : But there could be and there likely will be usage data that that the product team does not capture, right. And it’s what I call, it’s like, it’s like, you know, it’s that only that data is only found when you engage with the customer and can only come from the customer success team. Adil Saleh: Hey, welcome to the hyper engaged podcast. It’s a weekly interview style podcast series, we will pick the brands have some of the best customer success leaders across the globe, and try to unearth customer engagement beyond onboarding, expansion and churn. So let’s get right in. Hey, greeting everybody, we’ve got us in Mohamed, our Muslim brother with us today. And, you know, just quick introduction is come up in detail later that he’s leading customer success team at StreamSets. It’s basically a San Francisco based, you know, SAS startup, they started back in 2017, or 18. Ish, did expand more than that. And he’s basically more experienced Towards Data ops and meant data management and you know, big data management. And so thank you very much Asim for joining today. And I really appreciate you took the time and had your time scheduled for us. Asim : Just a quick note. So just a quick note, I’m sorry, I StreamSets was recently sold. I don’t know if this is recent information. Like literally last two weeks, new information came in. So I’m just recently exited a stream stream because the soul the Software AG, a German company recently, so yeah. Adil Saleh: Oh, it’s been acquired? By Correct. Okay, great. Let’s won’t go into detail is that a good news for seems a team were bad. But of course, they got acquired, you know, very goodness. Great, great, wonderful. Wonderful. So tell us our audience more about what you’ve been through. I’ve also looked around, you’ve been working at the Bank of America, you know, station at San Francisco back in the years, and you’ve worked in the data management there. And, you know, just walk us through your entire experience with data and then how you transitioned yourself into the customer success? Asim : Yeah. So you know, I, I was born and raised in America, and one in Chicago, went to school in Chicago, finished my schooling in North Carolina, in mathematics, and an a graduate degree in business, with specialisation in finance, and healthcare. I worked in the finance sector, so with insurance and then Bank of America for a number of years, 10 plus years, and then I left decided to move my family to Silicon Valley, from North Carolina, which was where Bank of America is headquartered, and decided to kind of focus on you know, becoming closer to the tech community, the entrepreneurship community, the startup community there went on to work for a startup or, you know, billionaire family, who was trying to solve the problem of they own malls around the world. And they wanted they’re solving they’re trying to solve the problem of people not coming to malls, because people were moving to online, you know, purchasing online retail. So, that was a very complicated problem, because they didn’t know like, why people come to the malls, what what were they doing? Are they coming to socialise? Are they coming to meet people? Are they having meetings? Are they coming to do shopping, are they you know, maybe some kids some people are coming in bringing their families just to hang out and and so the kids can play in the play area. So we we spent some time doing some analysis and doing some studies on this and looking at some IoT solutions around this. And then we went off and built a small company around this which we went live on a public unrest, the Australian stock market, I left and did some work in, in, in the federal space in the United States with the Air Force. And then along the way, you know, I was kind of informally advising a company called stream sets a data integration software company. And along the way my specialisation has always been in software and data, right. Data management, even at Bank of America data management work. Data quality, you know, have some patents In data lineage, and data management, and then in, you know, when we were working on this retail problem, we did some more work on machine learning, and introducing some of that, that problem. I typically run the data engineering teams, you know, overall, so along, you know, throughout my career. And along the way, I’ve always been advising this company stream sets, and, you know, informally helping them to, we’ve been really good friends, I used to be a customer of stream sets once upon a time, and then went off. And, you know, they kind of tapped me on the shoulder and said, hey, you know, we’re having with, you know, some need, why don’t you come join us, and help grow the company out? So, you know, to a point where they’re at, they were, you know, close the year at, you know, great, you know, the record year, I don’t want to speak to the numbers quite yet. But like, they they’re a record year, and, and we do them significantly. And that’s what led to the acquisition. So I’m really proud of that. Adil Saleh: Grid, Greg grid, and throughout the journey you were basically working with, with the customer success CSR ops, is that right? It StreamSets Asim : Yeah, so when I joined StreamSets, the problem was around, you know, kind of this was on the revenue side, I was kind of managing the customer success team, I oversaw the customer success team. In addition, I also saw professional services and education. But But customer success was the biggest thing. You know, we were looking at a really interesting problem where the customer, you know, in this case, stream sets for the product that does, it’s a platform, software that is an on prem software, but there’s also kind of being deployed as a SaaS solution. So you have different kinds of customers. One is, you know, a group of customers that are fortune 500, fortune, you know, 1000 customers that are typically deploying on prem, then you have your SAS customers might be a small business, medium sized businesses, even fortune, global 8000 customers that are interested in kind of growing the organisation, but they, they’re there, they have the forethought of kind of pushing into the cloud environment. So they’re implementing there. And managing customer success in that it’s kind of complicated, you know, with the the level of onfarm customizations and then having to you know, we wanted to kind of move some of these customers off, it’s, it’s, you know, essentially two businesses that you’re running. Adil Saleh: Exactly, exactly. So since you had a decent exhibit now, at StreamSets. And they’ve been acquired. Can we talk more about their operations, if you allow the exterior Customer Success operations? Asim : I’m happy to speak to a little bit about I mean, I can’t speak to a lot of because of confidentiality, but yeah, let’s we can speak to a high level. Adil Saleh: Okay. Wonderful, wonderful. So leading a CS team there, like initially, of course, you have your customer data, you know, all those points pretty much figured out, everybody does. When it comes to measuring their journeys, when it comes to building standardised playbooks? How did you take what was the workflow initially, for your customer success managers and account managers? Asim : Yeah, great question. When I joined stream sets, and this is typical for, you know, organisations of this size, you know, you’ll find that, you know, the customer journey wasn’t well defined, you know, because typically, it’s, it’s like all hands on deck, everybody’s kind of just jumping in, and helping the customer, get the adoption, you know, post sale, get the adoption and working with the customer, but it’s not a scalable solution, per se. So, one of the first things we did was kind of establish, you know, a proper journey, a journey map, and then and then introduce the idea of, you know, you know, what, at every step of the journey map, what are the potential opportunities where we can upsell and give a good, you know, positive, you know, relationship with the customer? And then what are the opportunities where there’s risk in the relationship, right, and that risk might might lead to maybe some negative NPS or negative, you know, appreciation of the customer, like, you know, they may not, like happy, be happy with us, or negative experience, I should say, of the customer. And then along the way, you know, we want to make sure we’re measuring that and then once we measure that, and we can experience we, you know, we’re seeing some of those things and what do we do about it is, that’s where the playbooks come, right. You know, sometimes, you know, customers like, hey, you know, we’re going into production, and then they go into production, and then they stop talking to us, you know, what do you do at that point, right, so, is it okay, is it not okay? You know, do we, you know, what can we do to help better that relationship help deepen that relationship? You know, in some cases, Customer Success teams think that there’s a larger organisation behind them, right customer success isn’t one group in the organisation, it’s the responsibility of the entire company. So in that sense, sometimes you need to get executives involved to kind of come in thank the customer for going into production for trusting them with using the software. And, you know, and then, you know, asking them if there’s anything we could do to help them, you know, along the way, and, you know, deepen that relationship by showing that level of commitment, you know, 100% Adil Saleh: Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s should be the mantra like, like, just like you mentioned, the customer success is not the responsibility on the customer facing teams. It’s a company wide mantra that you need to follow throughout, and you may bring your executive and Hilux use with people, you know, to communicate with customers at times when needed. So now talking about, you know, mapping your journeys with with standardised playbooks and make sure you know, your customer facing teams understand what the activities customers doing inside the platform, and then based on that, they can forecast the health and then then they bring the communication on the table in relationship. And so during this period, just talk more about high touch because you mainly had enterprise journeys, you know, you’re working hands on with customers. So how do you think like, there is a narrative around in the industry for the last four or five years, ever since, you know, these SAS businesses started to digitalize the customer success? You know, make it more data driven and stuff? So how do you think should customer success team, whether it’s high touch, low touch, hybrid, whatever these fancy models, they prepare, should that customer success team be more reliant on the project product, usage data or just communication because in my opinion, customer made the transition, and the reason was a product, if there is satisfied is goals, the customers, you know, 100%, achieving the goals. And if that product is evolving with their goals, and that the he had the first place while making the transaction for the software. And he’s, of course, adoption is the most critical point to want to dig in deep into the dash adaption phase and how CS customers tested that is, you know, sitting on top, these activities should be more reliant on the product user data. Yeah. As compared to, you know, I think, creation and as compared to, you know, revenue bridges and all that. Asim : Yeah, that’s a good point. So let me kind of break it down the way I think about this, right, I think the product has a very clear product market fit, right? That’s, you know, you know, the product team is designed to we build this product, we have a very clear idea of what the product market fit, if you use it in this way, you’ll have an ideal customer profile, and that customer will actually be very successful in using the software. Okay, that’s the product view of it. Now, when the when the rubber hits the road is when it actually happens in real life, right? So and sometimes customers don’t buy the product for that specific product market fit, right, they may buy the product for another need. And they may use it in a different way, right. So at the end of the day, that the street, if I can use that term will always determine what that final product market fit looks like, no matter what the product team will say. It’s always going to be what how the customers are actually using the software, what are their use cases, and how they’re leveraging it. And if there’s a synergy between product, and how the street is using it, that’s a great product market fit. If there’s a little bit of a difference between how the street is using it, the use cases that the street is using i t, versus what the product, the way the product is being designed by the product team, then you’re going to see you know, friction, you’re going to see problems that show up right. In the middle of that, obviously, there’s going to be product telemetry product data, product usage data, that will tell you some of this data and you should be collecting this if you’re if you have a customer success team, you should be collecting this information you should be looking at it voraciously. You should be very, very detailed in getting into the specifics around, you know what, what the organisation is what teams within the organisation, what products are they using, how are they using it? Are they growing as fast as you expect them to grow, etc, etc. there could be and there likely will be usage data that that the product team does not capture, right? And it’s what I call it’s like it’s like, you know, it’s that only that data is only found when you engage with the customer Learn and can only come from the customer success team. So things like, Hey, what are your upcoming use cases? What are the use cases that you’re finding today? What are some of problems that you’re facing in the in the in the, in how you’re using it? What are some of the support, troubleshooting issues that you’re that you’re face is easy to troubleshoot is not easy, you know, those kind of feedback is so valuable to success team, you know, through the discussions with the customer in the cadence calls. And then it should be relayed back to the product engineering team Adil Saleh: product teams. Okay, great, great, great. And talking on like earlier, since you’ve worked a lot with early stage series is stage startups, like SAS startup, so they don’t have the market fit as of yet. And what we have experienced, like talking to founders and VPs, and product teams, VP figured out that initially, there’s so much focused on the onboarding and making sure the customer is received efficiently as fast as can and then did we turn them into the adoption stage, and then we try to communicate and build relationships instead. But we experienced just my opinion, and it’s gproduct-marketoing to be opinionated conversation, that I would say that for a startup that hasn’t figured out the fit is yet to take them here’s, they need to more focused on how the customer is using their product and building the best treat, as you mentioned, that what is going to be the best read for the first let’s say 100 customers, and then we’ll just replicate that process for and then desegregate based on industries based on the niches and all, Asim : how do you see that? I think I think I think the product market fit is by definition designed to be rinse and repeat, right? You identify? Well, then you should be able to, you know, just repeat it 100 times over with different customers. But Product Market Fit also has a complexity on how do we do expansion of customers, because this is the key, right? The key is recurring revenue. So how do I expand the customers? How do I cross sell and upsell the customers? You know? And so what is the initial entry point and selling the product? Then how do I begin to cross sell and upsell and grow grow my customer, you know, that, that contract value out, you know, to within a single customer. So like, like that’s how I kind of look at it, right? It’s, it’s, it’s you can get into niching into verticals, I don’t recommend it right away, to be honest with you. Because it gets very, very complicated very quickly. I think when you get to a clear product market fit, if you’re after, you know, if you’re above, you know, 40 $50 million in revenue, then you can begin to you know, you know, if you have 100 plus customers 150 Plus customers, then you know, it may be worth your while to kind of start looking at the data and say, Okay, what, what verticals? Are we typically selling into? And should we double down on on that vertical? Look at that niche? Adil Saleh: So let you be the focus, like initial focus of a series instead of well, once they’re done with the MVP, and look, even the better user, Asim : product market product and product market fit is super critical, super critical. It may take you on a series, it’ll likely take you beyond a Series A. And I’ll tell you the other day, it may even take you up to a Series C, to be honest with you, right. So I’ve seen some searches, I’ve seen startups go all the way to seriousIy. That means I have have a good customer base, they have a decent product out there, but they’re still fine tuning the software, because maybe they put too many features in maybe they have too little features, and they got to figure it out. Right. And when you know what, what is the right level of features? And then how do I, you know, you know, you know, what’s the right product market fit? And how do I make it frictionless, particularly in the SAS case? Right, if a SaaS product, I don’t think it’s super frictionless, that people cannot, you know, onboard very quickly, and the cost of customer acquisition costs is actually very low. I’ll also say that, you know, the product market fit is a changing is a changing goalpost is, you know, I’m saying is that that goal line is always going to change. And that’s because the, the industry is naturally evolving, right? It’s nothing standing dynamic, right? So what might be product market fit in 2018 I’m just giving an example might be a different product market fit in 2019 because customers are evolving, right? And they want more than wants to be different. 2020 is gonna be different products. 2021 So you have to be very careful about aligning to what the product market fit for that time is given that context given the the technology, what’s available, etc, etc Adil Saleh: 100% So I love Just the way you demonstrated it in the best scenarios that you think would fit best. And I have mentioned, thank you very much for that. And, you know, let’s talk more about your day to day operations at StreamSets. Like, how big was your team back then? Asim : The team, I’ll be honest with you, you know, I, it was less than two dozen people. And I, I’ve had to rebuild the team multiple times. Because success isn’t a is an easy place to be in. And it requires a specific type of person, in our case is very technical resources. Because there’s a customer success is a very broad definition. In some customers, customer success is less of a technical role. Just have a relationship kind of a guy, you know, what I mean by sound, because certain industries, certain customer success, teams defined it as being just relationship, guys, that’s all they are. In our case, we needed really strong engineers, right? People are very, very, to be those customer success people, and they have the relationship skills to, you know, be patient with the customer, walk the paper, walk the customer through that need, etc. Right? So we had that. So some customers actually, some industries, you have that kind of customer success team, right? Where it’s like, hey, I need more technical people, less relationship, people, more technical people, which is okay, you just have to be clear about what you’re looking for what your what you want to get from that perspective, and really drive that out. Adil Saleh: Yeah, there is no way that you can do it from just people just like for marketing, SAS or other industries, you know, you working for a data integration platform, we need engineers that have the background knowledge and education and all at the same time, they have conversation skills, so they can walk through and communicate to customer be patient while the journey. So I mean, you you add around, let’s Around 10 people on your job. Asim : I mean, when I left, the team was right around was getting to be around 20. At that time, not all of them, because some are professional services. So I was the majority of them, maybe 14 to 16 of them were see us. Adil Saleh: Great, great, great. So can you also explain your post sales journeys that for you customer facing teams there, and you must have some technical people there to understand your integration part and all this, you know, steps for data points and everything? Asim : Yeah, look at our team, that was the post sale side of the journey. So first of all, you know, the customer success team, just you can’t underscore that enough, in a very technical environment, when you’re building a platform. Sometimes the the use cases are very unique that the customer brings to the table, right. So there’s, there’s a high demand of like, you know, you really need to be on top of your game. And if you can’t be on top of your game, then you sort of need to depend on the engineering teams who are the real experts to kind of help and command. So there has to be that strong relationship there, on the post sale side of the business, you know, so we, you know, we owned, you know, a lot of the expansion, not a lot of the net retention, a lot of the term responsibilities. And you’ll see, you know, things like, you know, if there isn’t a good product market fit, churn will go up, you know, if there is a good product, if there is a good product market fit sure and will go down, and that retention will go up and expansion will be be good. And then the customers are very happy. And then you’ll see more and more adoption, and more and more usage, which should translate to more and more revenue for you. So those kinds of things are kind of natural things. And then when you run into major issues with the customer, typically we’ll have to kind of, you know, it could be a function of meeting not necessarily product, but it could be you know, customer education, customer doesn’t really understand maybe their executive level understands what they’re trying to do. But the lower level implementation people practitioners, they don’t have the detail, they don’t have the technic, the technical skills, per se to do what we’re asking them to do with what is demanded on this. So in that scenario you have, you may need to kind of come in and do some education, maybe you need to kind of provide some professional services help and say, Look, you guys are not going to be able to make, you know, a requires difficult conversations. So if you’re not gonna be able to make it to the finish line with the team that you have, you really need some professional services to kind of come in and step in and help you know, to get up. So we’re saying that matters. We want to make money but because we want to make you successful. Right? Adil Saleh: Exactly. And eventually is going to be successful for everybody, you know, directly translates into, you know, revenue and expansion and here’s the retention. And, like in the Customer Success, ads you You know, you’re StreamSets. So some of the people that are not like, you get people that have the technical skills, but you get people that are not so technical. So they are, you know, good at communication and all. So how did you? I mean, if you have people like those, how did he reach? And and how did you help them get the right dashboard data points, you know, any sort of, you know, workflow for them, you know, get to, you know, usage and how they can, you know, react on those data points, you know, just like a digital CS, we talked about, like, you know, high touch model, let’s say, a CS, customer success are account manager there has around 10 per business of 10 enterprise customers, and they get to take care of them, you know, and monitor demo databases, what was the workflow? And in some cases, they’re not so technical, in most cases, in my experience talking to they’re not technical indicator that Asim : look, you know, it’s a great question, right? I mean, not all customers are the same, right? You know, some customers are our, you know, some customers or, you know, you know, low end customers that they, you know, and they just, there may be less than 30 grand customers, and then some customers with $3 million customers, and you have to, you have to understand, and the, the customer that is 30 grand customer that he, he or she needs a lot of your time and attention, because it might be just one person technology team, they, they’re leaning on you to really understand. And you want to help them get to success, because we want to make sure all of our customers get to success, but, but, you know, honestly, there’s, there’s a little bit of, they’re using you, right, it too, because they don’t want to do their homework, they don’t want to do the heavy lifting, they want you to kind of help I’ve seen this where customers are literally wanting us to do the development for them for free. And then they’re like, you know, oh, in they calling it a POC, you know, but you know, the, they’re like, oh, just do this POC for us, and then we’ll put it into production, you know, like, basically, you want us to do your development for you, right? So because you don’t have the time or energy or the skill sets to do it. And you don’t want to pay the professional services cost to do it. So, you know, you have to you have to weigh those things carefully. You know, but But yeah, I think my message would be look, not all customers have the same focus on, you know, building a tiering structure or, you know, of what, what are your q1 customers, your tier two customers or tier three customers? When you do this, the split, when you start assigning customers to the CS reps, make sure it’s a balanced mix, you know, so then customers have, the CS rep has a good mix of tier one, tier two, tier three, tier four, tier five customers, make sure that it’s oftentimes it’s the cadence, how often are they meeting with them, you know, the tier one customers, maybe they meet with them every week, and the tier five customers and maybe they meet once a quarter, you know, and that’s okay, that’s okay. So you’ll have to build that that model out so that the CS rep doesn’t get overloaded by having so many meetings, typically, you want to give give this person only, you know, 70% 75% utilised, so that he can use the additional 25% of work to so that he can go and, you know, research and do some things on his own right. So, in my case, I actually moved that number to 60% utilised, so that he can, because there’s a lot of research and internal meetings and some things that need to have that happen, so that you know that they require time to go and do these things. So, so, it takes you know, they need the space to kind of do that. So, we kind of think through that as well Adil Saleh: and also for their self development. Of course, when when you have like this job, let’s say different range of customers in different industries, you need to learn about the industries, you need to learn about what are their their goals, what kind of infrastructures Do you agree to talk to them in their language as well. So, you know, apart from that, like you talked about, bit about segmentation, of course, you segment it in different tiers, and then you are looking at different sees based on their experiences based on the customer revenue coverage and everything. So now, what is the best way and what was did you apply there? By welding? The segmentation? What was the best process there? Can you expand? Asim : You know, I wish I could say that. I wish I could say it was a repeatable process. I don’t think it is. I think it’s, it’s, you really need to look at the numbers you need to look at the team. You need to look at the skill sets in the team, some some of the maybe your team members are. Some are junior some are senior players. Some are in different geographies. It’s a very it’s a multi demand. Sure, no problem, you know, sometimes you have senior team members who you don’t want to overload because then they get just the hard problems, you know, so you want to, you want to give it to some junior people and give them a good mix, and then give them the opportunity, give them coaching mentorship to kind of solve some of those problems, and then help the customer along. And then when you need them, really, for really, really, really difficult problems, they can go and lean on some of the more senior CS people to help with that, right. We knew that was geographically in four regions, US, Europe, India, and in Australia, we typically try to have, you know, a mix of people in each region. And, and it also we’ve tried to have professional services, because maybe professional services could be a lean, you know, some, they can lean on them for some of the help as well. And try to get them to be autonomous, right, that was the key, every region should try to be autonomous, right, and try to solve all the problems. So then, if they couldn’t, they could, they could come back and talk to, you know, some of the leaders and they can help them with through through some of that, right? Yeah, but it’s not a it’s not an easy cookie cutter model, right, you have to kind of think through, Adil Saleh: exactly. But of course, the goal is just like you said, is to make this ecosystem across all regions autonomous. So they’re self lender, you know, achieving their goals every year, every quarter. So that’s good. That’s good. So now, apart from that, this is something which is, which is something that is good to achieve. But it takes years to achieve. So when you talk about, you know, from firsthand experience, building CSR operations for different customers, and you know, you as a leader knew your customers, so how did you segment of your customer for your Cst? So that is quite a challenge for a lot of people building their like, initial for billing processes operations for initial, let’s say, 50 customers? So do you segregate based on the industry segment based on the revenue coverage? Based on? You know, based on of course, their their product? Use it in some metrics? And all? How do you actually segment your customer base? Asim : Paying? It? That’s a great question we saw, so you’re right, just as much as you, you have to segment the customer success teams correctly, you have to segment the customers themselves as well, and really understand what kind of businesses you’re running. Right? That takes a lot of data as well. And so in our case, I did not segment by industries, I looked at, I looked at the product base and the you know, which customers are buying which product? And where are they deploying these products? I typically, you know, keep it simple, right is typically a two by two matrix. And I try to segment in one of these four boxes, you know, with a framework that I built around, you know, what, where are they? Are they in the cloud? Are they on prem? And are they what level of products that they buy with us, right. And that helped me really understand where our business is, right, and where the opportunities were, and where we needed to move people. And once I had that initial framework built, what was really great was I then I could really drill down and look into, you know, the tearing within each within each box of the two by two matrix. I could go and look into how long, you know, customers were retained, how long do they stay with us? For each day, if you’re in some boxes, actually, customers stayed with us much longer. Some boxes, customers stayed less longer, the average sales price was actually higher on certain boxes. So it helped us understand from a revenue perspective where we wanted to focus and, and from a churn perspective where we wanted to kind of help manage that a little bit better, right? Adil Saleh: And you kept on, you know, upgrading thing over time, like every couple of months or quarters, or we tweak Asim : it all the time, all the time. Yeah, the key, the key to this was really understanding that you, you have several micro businesses that you’re running, right, you have one big company, of course, but you’re selling to different micro businesses, and that that pattern doesn’t come out right away, you have to sell you have to start selling, selling, selling. And then when you after you get like, you know, 50 customers, they can look at it and say okay, what does the pattern start looking like, right? What is it what are the types of customers that are selling into and maybe it’s easier to identify for me, I had to kind of do the numbers and the pattern kind of showed up after like 100 customers. Adil Saleh: Okay, okay. So there was, you know, something very, very, you know, Of course, it’s playing, it’s pretty smart to mention and all, but when it to practice it and make it to efficiency, it takes some time takes years. And but again, you know how to do it and you you know, it takes time and it takes effort and you need to tweak it over time you need to listen to the customers and, you know, plan something. So now, this is the last question, I know that we’re up on time. And I really appreciate already that you’ve taken so much time from your official schedule. So now this one is pretty critical, like a lot of businesses you may be looking around, they are trying to have a disk just for this challenge, because their team cannot be so data driven or technical or they don’t have time, they’re always rushing, because they need to they have the goals, that’s the things them every day, and they need to stay on top of it. They’re going towards dedicated customer success platform, the software is subject subjects like different objects inside sales for seeing, you know, their CRM or even product teams. They’re using it. So how do you see that? Like, do you recommend an early stage like even a smallest and beats mid market size business to have a dedicated tool software programme portal anything for customer success team specifically for them to you know, be smarter, make efficient decision and have everything centralised? Asim : Yeah, I believe, I believe, you know, customer success is super critical to the really to making sure the customer is adopting the product well, and is using the product the way that it was designed to be used, and is ultimately you know, going to grow that relationship and maintain that relationship over time. It is the difference between a company to simply selling a licence and just walking away, I sold you a one year licence I’m walking away. And, and becoming a what’s called a trusted advisor for it. So you always want to be a trusted adviser, you don’t want to be just the guy that sells the licence and walks away. Why because, you know, a year from now, they’re gonna be like, Well, this guy just, he’s just shows up for his renewal. That’s it. So you know, let’s get rid of them, let’s go to somebody better. And even Adil Saleh: executive people are smart, these people are smart, they know that you can for transaction. So Asim : you what you want to do is always be that trusted adviser, the way you become that trusted adviser. And companies need to understand that is you’re always doing customer success. You may not some companies may not call it a customer success team. They may call it a post sales team. They may call it you know, whatever they want to call it, right adoption team or whatever. But it’s all at the end of the day, a customer success team, right. And you always want to make that team, you always want to invest in that team, have that team, even in a small business, I think if you have a decent number of customers, you know, you should, you know, kind of start thinking about things like the customer journey, and having a simple software that can start collecting a lot of this data. And if you have a software like that, the investment should be easy, and should be really easy to onboard and then you should be able to grow with that software over time. So if I have like 10 customers today, great. Now I want to be able to grow that to 1000 customers on the same software portal, you know, and still have, you know, be able to have that insight for me, right, that’d be ugly, Adil Saleh: and play yeah. And that is that is a you know, VP and leadership level view, like you get you know, all of your data in front of you all the goals, all the scores and everything. When it comes to CSM individual level. Of course today with having your CSM team taking taking up some time every day, you know, to get the data get the you know, all the these points and measuring the scores, even some have dashboard, and now get versus as opposed to something that they get right away, like they log in, they get to dashboard, everything is right in front of them. All of the all is that neat, even with the action points, of course data needs to drive actions. So with all the action points, and now the same customer success manager or account manager that been allocated for 1010 customers, you can double it up, you know, you can double up WWF having them giving them an organisation or dashboard, you know, a schedule, you know, a task manager or some of some sorts, so you can double down your your books of businesses as well. And, you know, you can move efficiently. Asim : Yeah, I think I think I think the the opera real opportunity to in what you’re saying is really unlocking what are the customers that are at risk? What are the customers that are not at risk, and we don’t need to worry about them. We don’t need to talk to them. Sometimes see us people, they end up talking to people that they you know, they you know, are already doing okay, you know with you, they don’t need to talk to you but they you know, they’ll talk to you. They’ll get on the phone talk to you whatever. But then you know they’re already happy with you already. So they There’s no need to continue to talk. But then the other guy over here was dying, you’re not talking to them, you almost need that software to help kind of, you know, identify, Hey, don’t talk to this guy talk to this guy instead and prioritise that work for you. Adil Saleh: Yeah, exactly, exactly. So there is this is this, there’s this and then narrative, you know, that definitely give them a streamlined framework, so that they can focus more on on on the basically activities and their self development and relationship. So and that’s the only job of formatting most of the businesses, you know, the only job for customer success team after the sales is to stay closer to the goals, build relationship, get in touch with them every now and then, and make sure we are as a product evolving with their goals. And then only then they you know, we achieve all the goals that we set all the KPIs like NPS and you know, expansion and everything. So that was the goal. So you hit that pretty right. Thank you very much seen by for coming up today and more information from you. And the knowledge that you shared, you know, just you just put your part in it. We are sitting here in Pakistan, we have 100 20 million people under the age of 32, graduating from different Institute’s and you know, you know, getting the knowledge around customer success, and you know, SAS and digitalization and all you know, and you just played your part, we’re sitting in the National Business Centre, the biggest in the country, in the national within the National University of Science and Technology here in capital. And we are trying to integrate with different learning centres and we’re arranging some trainings for for this huge as you ask so they can and they can get into the industry. So thank you very much for playing. And Asim : and I wish you much success. Thank you. Adil Saleh: You’re so welcome. Take good care of yourself my brother. Thank you so very much for staying with us on the episode please hear your feedback at adilette heparinase.io. We definitely need it. We will see you next time with another guest on the stage with some concrete tips on how to operate better as a Customer Success leader and how you can empower engagements with some building some meaningful relationships. We qualify people for the episode just to make sure we bring the value to the listeners do reaches out if you want to refer any CS leader. Until next time, goodbye and have a good rest of your day.

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