The Most Important Plan in Customer Success? The “JOINT SUCCESS” Plan

The Most Important Plan in Customer Success? The “JOINT SUCCESS” Plan

Unlock collaborative success in Customer Success with the JOINT SUCCESS Plan. From impactful introductions to challenging conversations, this blueprint ensures every step contributes to client success.

In the complex realm of Customer Success, crafting a plan that resonates with both the client and your internal team is the key to sustainable growth. As a Customer Success Manager, I have found one plan that stands out above the rest – The JOINT SUCCESS Plan. This plan is not just a document; it’s a strategic approach that aligns your team’s efforts with the client’s goals, fostering a collaborative journey towards success.

The Foundation: Introduction and Account Planning Call

The customer journey begins with the crucial first impression – the Introduction and Account Planning Call. This initial interaction sets the tone for the entire relationship. In our company, we conduct a growth plan call where the customer onboarding specialist and I join forces. The onboarding specialist reviews their progress, goals, and challenges, paving the way for a seamless handover to me.

During my part of the call, I focus on introducing myself, reiterating goals, plans, and challenges, and aligning them with the GPCT framework – Goals, Plans, Challenges, and Timeline. This approach ensures clarity and sets the stage for a Joint Success Plan. Reviewing previous notes is a best practice, avoiding redundant questions and demonstrating a commitment to understanding the client’s needs.

The Backbone: Product Activation and Strategy Discussion

As the journey progresses, the Product Activation and Strategy Discussion call takes center stage. This is a recurring call, typically every six to eight weeks, depending on the customer segment. The goal is to assess the client’s progress, drive adoption of new tools, and reconfirm business goals. Active listening plays a pivotal role, and tools like Gong can provide insights into your talk ratio, refining your communication approach.

Maintaining a monthly cadence for larger accounts or adjusting based on the segment is crucial. Best practices involve having notes readily available, practicing active listening, and adapting your agenda based on customer responses. This call is not just about product features; it’s about understanding the customer’s evolving needs and shaping their success.

Seizing Opportunities: Upsell and Cross-Sell Calls

Timing is everything when it comes to upsell and cross-sell calls. Before initiating such discussions, ensuring the customer sees value from their current subscription is paramount. Positioning and pitching the best solution to address the customer’s pain points become the focal point. This requires readiness to showcase demos and delve into the larger business context.

Referring back to the Joint Success Plan helps align proposed solutions with the client’s goals. The outcome is to identify and qualify opportunities, laying the groundwork for a handoff to the sales team. By staying proactive and attuned to customer needs, these calls become more than sales pitches – they become value-driven partnerships.

Demonstrating Impact: Value Demonstration Calls

Value Demonstration calls are a testament to the progress made. Whether it’s showcasing ROI or providing reports, these calls occur when stakeholders, beyond the main point of contact, seek validation. The outcome is not only to position the product’s value but also to strengthen connections with new stakeholders, expanding your influence within the account.

These calls emphasize the importance of revisiting customer goals and aligning your value conversation with their overarching objectives. Utilizing progress reports based on the Joint Success Plan ensures a structured and impactful demonstration of the product’s impact.

Seamless Transition: Renewal Planning

Renewals should be non-eventful, a natural progression that reflects the seamless value provided over time. Initiating renewal discussions well in advance, ideally six months prior, allows for a thorough review of progress and customer satisfaction. Connecting with contract managers streamlines the administrative side, leaving the CSM to focus on reinforcing the value delivered.

Being direct and bold in asking about the customer’s confidence in renewal sets the stage for transparent conversations. By maintaining a customer-centric approach and aligning discussions with the established goals, renewal calls become an affirmation of the ongoing success journey.

Addressing Challenges: Difficult Conversations

Difficult conversations, often labeled as escalations, require a unique approach. Instead of viewing them as difficult, consider them as conversations that demand empathy. Allowing customers space to express frustrations and actively diagnosing the issues before proposing solutions is essential.

Remember, it’s not about having all the answers but identifying what can and cannot be resolved using your product or service. The goal is to de-escalate the situation, address the problem, and connect the customer with the right resources. This approach minimizes friction and maintains a positive customer experience even in challenging situations.

Conclusion: Embracing the JOINT SUCCESS Plan

In conclusion, the JOINT SUCCESS Plan is not just a blueprint; it’s a philosophy that intertwines your team’s efforts with the client’s aspirations. By incorporating this strategic approach into each customer interaction, you pave the way for collaborative success. From the introductory call to challenging conversations, aligning with the JOINT SUCCESS Plan ensures that every step contributes to the client’s journey toward achieving their desired outcome. So, let’s embrace this plan and make customer success a shared venture.

Get a live demo!

See how SmartKarrot can transform your customer success outcomes.

Take SmartKarrot for a spin

See how SmartKarrot can help you deliver
winning customer outcomes at scale.

Book a Demo