Lead with Stories, Follow with Action

Lead with Stories, Follow with Action

Over the course of the quarter, we built a customer health scoring models for all our customers. This provides a score for each customer based on different areas of their relationship with us: sentiment, engagement, adoption, support, and performance. After this, we then created content to address customers in our lowest cohorts. Our team, which oversees our self-service customers, relies on content creation, automation and scaled assistance, so these health scores are vital.

Technical Health First, Up-sell Later

After we created our health scores, we noticed as much as ~20% of our customers were experiencing technical issues with their programs. Without addressing these technical issues, further success is not possible. If we can be proactive in fixing these with clients, it will lead to higher scores, increased engagement, and greater and easier renewals. Our focus led to nearly 50% reduction in several technical areas of their programs.

But, we are also tasked with driving new sales, or pipe-gen. Our hypothesis was this: if we focus on these technical health customers, just by chance, we'll drive more pipe-gen.

But we were wrong...

Over the last quarter, we saw aa 50% reduction in red health scores. We did this at scale across nearly 500 accounts.

Stories vs tactics

Our outreach led to nearly zero new pipe-gen. Even though we were reaching out with value, being proactive, improving customer outcomes, it did not translate into selling new or more product. Why?

Two reasons:

Content

Our content was solely focused on fixing or improving 'X". So a CSD would reach out and would say "X is broken" and we'd fix it. That's it. We never developed a solid messaging style to mix in or append ways to do discovery and share outcomes. This may become a lagging outcome of our outreach, it didn't happen immediately.

Aspirational First

When discussing this with our VP of Sales, they shed light on their renewal approach. Instead of providing tactical advice to fix X, show them what they could become first. Share with them the vision of what they can become, providing them examples of the best-in-class customers are doing, and why it will make them a hero for their boss. Then, when they are bought-in, provide the solution they need and take action on the technical issues to get them there. Lead with aspiration and follow with action.

This is such an insightful approach and a guide for our future content creation. While we won't abandon our more targeted and technical messaging (this is automated), we'll shift our focus on our best customers and share their success with our low performing customers. I'm excited to see how this change will result in pipe-gen, but also still improve technical areas for customers.

If you liked this post, considering signing-up for my weekly digest. Each week you'll receive all these posts, plus interesting ideas from what I'm reading and listening to.