Use Mutual Success Plans to maximize Up-Sells, Cross-Sells, and Renewals

Dhananjay Tate
March 9, 2022
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Customer Success is supposed to be a growth function in a SaaS company, contributing to increasing revenue for the organization. While overall revenue may be a good baseline to work with, it's the net retained revenue (NRR) that will be a game-changer in the subscription model. This is also true, keeping in mind the customer acquisition cost (CAC) that you need to spend to acquire new logos. 

It’s easier and cheaper to retain existing clients to whom you have clearly demonstrated the value proposition of your product over a long course of time. As we know from the previous blogs, Mutual Success Plans can help you drive business outcomes and realize value for your customers faster. While the ultimate aim might be to reduce churn and increase NRR, it’s the journey that matters. During this journey, you will touch base with your clients multiple times, have the chance to understand their existing pain points in their workflows, and work actively toward ameliorating them with the help of your product.

Your regular conversations are going to make you a client expert. If you actively listen to your customers, identify their needs and augment your operations with customers’ intended outcomes, you will score new opportunities to serve your customers and secure their trust. Your customers should be confident enough to confer you in their internal processes, pain points, changing requirements. In case of escalations, you should act as a sponge to do away with some of the pressure the customer’s leadership experts.

72% of the businesses say that improving customer success would be their top priority.  

All of this is only possible if you keep your ears open, take notes at the appropriate points in time, and jot them down at the right places in your Mutual Success Plan. You can even keep some of the conversations private, i.e., away from the customer's view. Additionally, you can use your plans to share best practices and curated content with them to understand how to reap the maximum value from your product. 

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Your Mutual Success Plans are your strategic asset for you to become your customer’s friend, consultant, and guide.  The Mutual Success Plan is not only going to help your clients keep abreast of the project’s current status and next steps, but it will also help you align with their current and future goals. As the modern customers' needs evolve, your customer success strategy should change too. If you don’t recognize the customer's needs, they will take their business elsewhere. 

And so, to scale your customer success impact, you must use the mutual success plans to their fullest potential and document every action item, conversation, and discussion with your stakeholders at the appropriate places in the Plan section. When you or your manager review these notes and comments, it will build a perspective on where the customer currently stands and where they intend to go in the future. 

This becomes more critical when you document your Business Reviews on your Mutual Success Plans since now, you have real-time documentation of the evolving business needs right in front of you, shared with and validated by the customers themselves.

Since you are the customer expert, if you feel that the customer should upgrade to a better package, or they might be a good lead for some other product or services that your company offers, all you need to do is simply initiate: the conversation on the plan, tag the appropriate stakeholder (the customer POC, the Account Executive, etc.) and let them take over. However, you must analyze the metrics of all the new initiatives to measure the effectiveness of your plan. 

Again, I primarily drive these conversations on emails with my clients and then CC the internal team members. But now, these communications and exchanges are available at a glance to anybody involved in the project. 

Since the ultimate goal of Mutual Success Plans is to drive business outcomes and help your customers reach their goals faster, it’s no surprise that you will see an uptick in your renewals. Here again, either you or an Account Manager can become the “owner” of this “task,” initiate the downstream proceedings, mark every action item as a task in your mutual success plan, and ultimately close the loop. 

When you effectively scale your customer success operations, you increase your value delivery, keep them happy, and ultimately grow your business with them. In a customer-centric world, leverage the power of a single collaborative platform to deliver an unparalleled experience to your customers to increase your ​renewals, cross-sells, and up-sells. 

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