Avoiding death by stovepipe

It’s often not long into the life of a SaaS business when marketing, sales and customer success spend time blaming each other for missed revenue and retention goals:  time that would be much better spent attracting, winning, retaining and growing customers.

It is a problem I faced as CEO of Clicktools, a SaaS company I founded in 2000.  The problem was one of my own making – I had failed to knock heads together and get the whole company  working together to maximise lifetime customer value and net revenue retention.  The solution involved getting marketing, sales and customer success to agree three things:

  • Targeting the issues, organisations, roles and trigger events that will enable the organisation to address the most valuable customers at the most appropriate time – captured in an Ideal Customer Profile
  • An end-to-end buyer/customer engagement journey that starts long before the sales cycle, extends throughout the life of the customer, advances the customers buying decision and delivers customers’ goals
  • Metrics and performance related pay that focuses on key outcomes over narrow activities.

This comprehensive paper describes each of the three elements in greater detail, provides an approach to implementation and the improvements we gained at Clicktools.