GUEST POST from Geoffrey A. Moore
There was a time when CEOs liked to say that everyone is in sales, but nowadays, given the XaaS business model, lifetime value has become the focal point for both the customer and the vendor. This commonality of interest is good news indeed, as long as the customer is actually having success. And there is the rub.
Success is in the eye of the beholder, and with enterprise customers in particular, there are quite a few beholders to please. Here is the model we use to draw attention to the key constituencies:
In this model, the technical buyers are responsible for delivering a working system, the end users for improving their productivity by using the system, and the economic buyers for securing the intended ROI. All six constituencies have their role to play, and each needs attention. But no one person, indeed no one function, can connect with all six. That’s why to achieve customer success enterprises must reach out well beyond their Customer Success function.
Here are the best match-ups for securing long-term success:
Now, no one can afford to activate all these relationships all the time. The point is, when things start to get wobbly, these are the people who need to lean in to right the ship.
And then there is the rest of the company. Engineering has to make the product a platform for success, both in terms of function and user experience. Marketing has to frame the value proposition that sets the table for success. Sales has to win the opportunity for success. HR has to support a culture of customer success. Legal has to shape contracts that set both the customer and the vendor up for success. IT has to provide the systems that monitor, measure, and proactively engage to keep success up and running. It really does take a village.
Most importantly, it allows CEOs and other leaders to replace the shopworn mantra of managing for shareholder value with a more fit-for-purpose managing for customer success. At the end of the day, that is the engine that drives shareholder value. More importantly, it is a call to action that can get people motivated. We all want to make an impact. Customer success is what shows we have.
That’s what I think. What do you think?
Image Credit: Pexels, Geoffrey A. Moore
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