Implementing a customer success function can result in tremendous value for you and your customers. The only catch? Doing it successfully means teaching your customers to take on something more complicated than learning your software — changing their behavior.
Editor’s note: This is the final post in a three-part series from Jason Whitehead, CEO of Tri Tuns, explaining why and how to build an effective customer success management (CSM) program. Read Part 1 to learn the importance of strong CSM teams and Part 2 to discover how to develop a cohesive customer success strategy.
Software pricing strategist Jim Geisman shares three reasons why software companies often miss the mark when it comes to the delicate relationship between packaging, price, and cost.
For more than 20 years, I’ve seen many emerging and established software companies tackle the issue of product pricing and packaging in a very similar way.
First, they start with a set of financial goals. Next, they determine what exactly they plan to develop. After that, they determine what they think will be the right price point. And, finally, they make a wild guess of what level of sales volume they can drive in based on the market size.
A few keystrokes later, poof, they’ve produced a very broad (and probably inaccurate) revenue forecast that is often shown to board members or investors. Unfortunately, there are three reasons why this is not a very smart approach.
This Valentine’s Day, entrepreneurs should take a moment to show their appreciation for that other special someone in their life — their co-founders. Here are eleven quotes from experienced founders, sharing their advice on how important it is to find the right match and the keys to maintaining strong co-founder relationships.
While you may not be going on a candlelit dinner with them tonight, calling your relationship with your co-founder simply professional likely doesn’t do it credit. As Paul Graham put it, “Several people [use] that word ‘married.’ It’s a far more intense relationship than you usually see between coworkers — partly because the stresses are so much greater, and partly because at first the founders are the whole company. So this relationship has to be built of top quality materials and carefully maintained. It’s the basis of everything.”
With that said, here are 11 quotes from founders and entrepreneurs that emphasize the importance of that all-important partnership, and offer their advice from finding “the one” to making it work throughout various stages of your company’s growth.
Zappos triggered an uproar when it announced it was ditching traditional management hierarchy in exchange for self-organizing teams. In this week’s Labcast, Scrum co-creator Jeff Sutherland sounds off on holacracy and provides a basic anatomy lesson on the structure of truly agile organizations.
Holacracy — the buzzword has been swarming the web ever since Zappos announced it would be swapping management titles for a “self-governing” system. There seems to be two main reactions surrounding the shift — those who believe holacracy is the way of the future, and those who dismiss it as a passing fad.
But when you get down to the key concepts of holacracy — the emphasis on small self-organizing teams operating autonomously, for example — perhaps the system isn’t exactly the scary new revolution it’s being made out to be. In fact, it sounds an awful lot like agile development.
In this week’s Labcast, Dr. Jeff Sutherland, co-creator of Scrum, weighs in on holacracy and the future of management — drawing parallels between agile and holacracy, and explaining why your own body may be the perfect model for a truly agile, productive, and innovative organization.
For today’s software companies, the service you provide is often just as important as your product — and unless what you are offering hits five key requirements, you’re doing it wrong. Professional services veteran Ken Lownie shares the criteria for services that simplify the sales process, decrease costs, improve customer satisfaction, and increase profitability.
In a post for OpenView Labs last fall entitled “Crossing the Services Chasm,” I touched on the central role that well-defined service offerings play in allowing a software or SaaS company to mature into a scalable, stable business. In fact, not only is it difficult for many companies to transition through the expansion stage without a set of well-designed software services offerings, it often isn’t possible at all.
Why? Because until your services team is doing the same thing, over and over again, they will not get great at it. And as long as each engagement is being uniquely defined and scoped, your services team members will too often be “making stuff up” in terms of tasks and deliverables. That may be fun for them, but it isn’t good for your customers, or your business.
After transitioning his business from a small, tight knit unit to a large-scale business, UnboundID CEO Steve Shoaff has learned a thing or two about how that growth can impact a company’s hiring strategy.
When it comes to running a successful business, few decisions are more important than those first early hires.
Making sure your initial core group is aligned around the same vision, values, and goals is absolutely crucial. As you grow, however, your hiring needs and focus begin to change. While that initial emphasis on cultural fit and technical competency is still important, expansion brings with it a need to branch out and fill new roles required to develop organizational structure and processes, and to operate the growing company on a day-to-day basis.
For growing software companies, establishing an internship program and recruiting recent grads from top universities can be one of the best (and most economical) ways to build out competitive teams.
University recruiting programs are a great way to attract top intern and entry-level talent to your company. They can also be instrumental in creating brand awareness around your company and product so that when students, recent grads, or alums are looking for a new opportunity, they think of you.
The best part is that while building a university recruiting program may seem daunting at first, by following these four easy steps your company can start seeing results in no time!
The industry-wide closing average is one or two out of 10 prospects. That’s more than enough reason to stop clogging your sales pipeline with shaky leads. Sales training expert Mike Brooks shares his favorite lead qualifying questions to disqualifying weak opportunities sooner — before you end up wasting precious time, effort, and resources.
Last week I was speaking with another training company about perhaps joint venturing on webinars together. They would give a webinar to my list of subscribers, and I would then give one to theirs. After the initial conversation, next steps were made and we were to exchange various deliverables and take the conversation to the next level.
However, after giving it some thought, I decided that we weren’t a good match for each other. Before we went through all the trouble of sending and reviewing material, I emailed them and declined. The email I got back was brilliant. They thanked me for my time and then simply said:
“We always like to lose early.”
Now that’s a response from a company (or sales rep) who understands the value of qualifying. Unfortunately, most sales reps operate the exact opposite way. Here’s how most do it.