Constant Change Requires Constant Action
The massive transformation to a subscription-based economy has unleashed an entirely new set of challenges and opportunities within the B2B software industry. This new business landscape demands B2B software companies contend with a daily stream of changing customer needs, imperfect data, and market developments to contend with. The most successful companies in this ever-changing environment have one thing in common; agile methodologies in their Customer Success Operations.
While agility was once considered a nice-to-have, Covid-19 has accelerated the need for an agile framework and pushed its adoption into high gear. The businesses that had already implemented agility in their enterprise operations were able to bounce back and thrive during the global pandemic; according to McKinsey & Company, 93% of businesses that had adopted an agile operational model before Covid-19 fared better than businesses that had not (2020).
Adopting an agile operational model for customer success will enable your organization to quickly adapt, iterate and pivot in response to new data, insights and changes that impact your customer & revenue retention and expansion efforts. This is particularly important for late-stage and enterprise companies, where processes are often siloed and change management is challenging. Adopting a proactive and agile approach will empower you to maximize customer value and recurring revenue in an inherently unpredictable landscape.
If you’re ready to accelerate repeatable and scalable revenue growth, here are 4 compelling reasons why your organization needs to adopt an agile customer success operational model.
1) Remain Competitive and Innovate Faster
While change has always been a part of the software industry, the pace of change has accelerated. At a macro level, companies’ business models, market dynamics and tech stacks are constantly evolving. At a micro level, there is a constant stream of new information and data coming in from customers that often require meaningful changes in strategy, technology or product.
Your organization needs to be able to respond to changes at every level of business quickly and efficiently. 70% of businesses that have adopted agility state that successfully managing changing priorities is the top benefit of implementing agile methodologies (Digital.ai, 2020). Building agile methodologies into your customer success operations will allow you to pivot any aspect of your customer success strategy to ensure you remain competitive and innovate faster to keep pace in changing times.
2) Drive Continuous Improvement in Your CS Organization
It’s important that agility extends all the way into how you approach the continuous improvement of your CS organization. Customer Success organizations are rapidly expanding their scope of responsibility and are increasingly complex. Customer success is now an enterprise-wide strategy that unifies product, sales, technology and customer success. Within this union, there are a lot of moving parts that require coordination of robust, end-to-end initiatives to drive CS improvements and transformations. .
95% or businesses have adopted some form of agile methodology in their organization (Digital.ai, 2020) because an agile cyclical motion, versus a linear one, is essential to breaking down strategic initiatives into manageable chunks and successfully coordinating all the teams and moving pieces. We recommend breaking your customer success strategic initiatives down into customer success epics and then, once fully designed, break the epics down into user stories ready for development in your customer success technology.
3) Maximize Customer Value
At Valuize, we’re strong proponents of operationalizing customer success around value-based outcomes to maximize customer value realization. Establishing a customer’s desired outcomes from the onset, during the sales motion, is just the start. As your customer and their business evolve, their needs and desired outcomes also evolve. A one-size-fits-all approach will lead to customer churn.
To combat this, you need to operate within an agile model that accounts for change and allows you to implement a prescriptive approach that moves with your customer and their changing needs. Building success plans and roadmaps through agile methodologies will allow you to continuously inform and iterate these processes with new product and customer data and ensure you’re delivering on customers’ desired outcomes throughout the entire customer lifecycle.
4) Accelerate Time to Value
Agile methodologies facilitate change management as well as the enablement of the end user. If enhancements to your customer success strategy and technology are released in one big bang, it creates resistance to change. However, change management is simplified if these are released on a sprint-based release cycle.
Continuously monitoring end-users in your customer success technology platform and responding to their needs through agile improvements and new features means you’re more likely to deliver maximum value. Through constant iterations and improvements at various stages, you can spot any issues before new capabilities are released to your customer success organization and realize opportunities along the way. Agile methodologies and incremental developments guarantee an accelerated time to value for your customer success investments. In fact, projects that employ agile methodologies are twice as likely to succeed as programs that use a traditional project management approach (Standish Group, 2019).
Build Agility Into The Framework of Your Customer Success Operations
For subscription-based software companies, delivering value-based outcomes to customers amid an ever-changing environment is the key to maximizing recurring revenue. The only way to ensure that you continue to deliver that value is by implementing agile methodologies across your organization. On an agile foundation, your organization will be ready to tackle constant and rapid improvements to your strategy and technology in response to changes in market dynamics and customer data.
Are you ready to supercharge your CS Organization by implementing agile methodologies? Read our latest interview with Valuize President, Scott Landry, on how to cultivate an agile mindset to drive recurring revenue growth.