For two main reasons its due an update. The clue to the first is in the original title. Anything that lays claim to being modern needs a revisit at least every 5 years.
The second is the more important one in that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on individuals and organisations since then and this requires the model to be revisited.
The pandemic has put pressure on organisations like never before and so it becomes even more important to hone your craft and perfect the way you actualise your business for continued survival. I would argue that Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs continues to provide a sound basis for addressing the needs of an organisation (just as much as for an individual) and what to focus on for a healthy and successful business.
Some of the elements remain unchanged so I wont go into detail on those other than what you can read in the DanelDoodle – read the original post if you want to know more. Below is a little on what I think has changed in 5 or more years and since the pandemic hit us.
In line with the trend I’m watching and some recent work I’ve been doing working with colleagues in sales and marketing, I had some brief additional thoughts around this topic. More on the trend here: Customer Success Marketing and Scale.
These thoughts in the form of a DanelDoodle are a little heavier on the sales side. I do work very closely with sales people because I end up landing with what they have sold so it’s in my interest. I also want them to do a better job because ultimately, especially in SaaS businesses, its all interconnected. After I have done my job and they come back to renew or upsell the customer, they will expect that I have done the right thing to make that easier for them. So its a two way street.
I think the doodle is fairly self explanatory and I am using it to share my thoughts with colleagues on how we can work better together. Maybe its of use to you.
My background in advertising makes this an interesting topic and you will hopefully soon see where the company customer interactions come in. I started out in the ad industry in the 90’s but left it before the turn of the century. My reasoning: the writing on the wall which indicated a gradual decline and irrelevance for the practice, especially at the onset of the technological revolution that was the world wide web. Twenty years later it’s worth pondering where things stand and if I was right in any way.
SenseMaking is not just for those in the Customer Success business. That post links to a report on skills of the future and SenseMaking is very much one of them, for all future workers. In an increasingly complex and noisy world you can see why. For Customer Success it makes even more sense.
Here is an infographic with some supporting source material and an industry overview for context if you want it. Here too is where my interest and expertise in this space lie. This post is intended to dig a little deeper on the subject. Check out the diagram which captures a little more detail than I’ve gone into before and then the notes to elaborate – because its time to level up 💯
I’ve been in this space formally for almost 10 years now. I say formally because I’ve been doing the work a lot longer, just under another name. I’ve been passionate about it all these years and still am but after that long, you’ve got to question things. I’ve written on the state of customer success twice before, in 2017 and 2018. This is not such a post since they were in depth pieces based on the annual Pulse events run by the category builder Gainsight. This is just a simple temperature check, for my own sanity if nothing else.
This week, Microsoft announced the launch of a new product called Viva (disclosure). Actually it is far more than a new product in many ways. It is also an attempt at consolidating technologies in the employee experience category as well as creating the category. It is also a shrewd leverage of the Teams as a Platform strategy which I have written about severaltimes. Since Viva will be served exclusively through Teams, this is a perfect execution of the Teams as a Platform strategy. And it brings the new product and its functionalities into the Flow of Work.
In a recent FT article (registration required) based on an interview with Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, he makes the point that “Teams is on its way to becoming a digital platform as significant as the internet browser, or a computer operating system”. I work with customers on their use of Microsoft Teams (disclosure) day in and day out and can vouch for a lot of what is in that statement. I cannot share too much other than offer my opinion which is what this post is about.
I was asked by Brook Perry from ’nuffsaid if I would be interested in contributing to an article she was working on with others to get feedback on a set of questions covering customer success operations. Being close to my heart I agreed. I’ll update this post with a link to the article once it publishes so you get the input from others, but here are my answers for now.
Six of the things that I think work in terms of content marketing in 2020, captured in a DanelDoodle. This list is not exhaustive and the brief points for each are also not set in stone. Below is a brief additional paragraph on each.
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📢 Software as a Service Marketing
👩🔧 Customer Success Operations
🙋♂️ User Adoption and Employee Experience
💰 The Subscription Economy
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🧘♀️ Personal Productivity and Wellness