3 Reasons to Engage Partners in Customer Success
We all know that customer success is important. If customers aren’t successful using your products, they’re not going renew their subscription let alone grow their footprint. As soon as they hit ‘cancel,’ the investment you made in landing that customer vanishes. In our recent study we highlight several ways to engage partners in customer success motions.
Most of you have, or will have, the majority of your sales via a subscription or consumption model. There are obvious benefits to this model. In an economic downturn, customers prefer buying via subscription because these purchases become monthly operating expenses instead of a large capital outlay. Also, investors want technology vendors to shift to subscription selling because it produces a more stable stream of revenues. 70% of the vendor respondents from our recent (soon to be published) study derive more than 50% of their revenues via a subscription model. Don’t neglect how helpful partners can be in driving customer success in this model.
1. Partners can Drive customer adoption
With ongoing subscriptions and a need for renewals (remember, monthly expenses can be cancelled versus the old, large capital payments), make sure you’re very familiar with MRR, CLTV and churn metrics. Know how to measure them, how to influence them, and how far out you can reliably forecast. Customer adoption and retention are two significant elements to influence these metrics. Your partners interact with your customers (arguably, their customers) regularly and greatly affect both adoption and retention. They can drive customer adoption by designing a full solution to solve a business need bolstered with helping customers change their business processes to make full use of the solution. Partners can also conduct user training and provide support services which ultimately improve engagement and increase ‘stickiness’ with the subscription.
2. Partners offer Visibility to usage
Your good solution provider partners can provide visibility into who is using which components if you don’t have telemetry data. I’m surprised how many companies don’t have the ability to remotely collect usage information and I’m ecstatic to see solution providers filling the information gap. Top solution providers are deeply engaged with their customers and are assessing which departments and individuals are using the solution/technology and developing usage heat maps. Ask your partners to share their usage findings with you and put together a joint plan of attack to increase adoption.
3. Leverage Partners to Secure the renewal
As a vendor selling via a subscription or consumption model, you probably know which customers are coming due for a renewal each month. Yes, you can go after these renewals yourself. However, it’s more scalable to leverage your partners to secure the customer renewal. Share subscription data with your well-positioned partners and leverage their ongoing customer relationship to secure the renewal. Partners will have much more success than an inside sales rep cold-calling the customer contact listed on the purchase order.
The more you can make customer success a priority for your 2023 partner program enhancements, the more you can be relevant to the growth and success of your company. Check out our report on 4 data-backed trends on engaging partners in customer success.
For more advice on how to take advantage of your partner ecosystem to drive customer success, please contact us – we're happy to chat.
Diane Krakora is CEO of PartnerPath with over two decades of experience defining the best practices and frameworks around how to develop and manage partnerships.