As companies begin to recognize that their greatest revenue opportunity is now existing customers, 2022 is quickly becoming the year that Customer Success gets the appreciation it deserves.
But, when you think of revenue, the things that usually come to mind are Sales Reps, Sales Pipeline, and Top of Funnel.
Maybe even marketing campaigns.
It’s no surprise then that many Sales Operations and Revenue Operations teams think sales equal revenue.
But what about Customer Success processes and strategies?
And what about upsells, cross-sells, and renewals?
What Does the Data Say?
The importance of renewals on revenue is not just a theory; there is ample data to back it up.
Here are just a few examples:
- Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more (!!!) than retaining an existing customer.
- 73% of new bookings come from existing customers for companies like Salesforce.
- Increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits from 25-95%.
- The success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60-70% while selling to a new customer is 5-20%.
- 75% of UiPath’s new bookings are from new customers
The data shows that customers are the primary source of revenue for your business, and Customer Success is clearly a revenue-generating function, putting Customer Success Operations entirely in the purview of RevOps.
Customer Success Operations are Revenue Operations
If you are in Revenue Operations, what are types of processes, tools, and reports might you consider on the customer success side of the house?
What is Deal Desk?
Deal Desk is a place where all relevant stakeholders – sales, finance, product, legal, success, and others – can discuss and work through deals, usually non-standard ones.
Source: What Does Deal Desk Success Look Like? - RevOps Blog
How do you incorporate the post-sales motions into the Deal Desk framework?
The Deal Desk is a framework to ensure deals progress through the pipeline as smoothly as possible.
In addition to new business, renewal, cross-sell, and upsell pipeline deal velocities are all areas of opportunity for improvement. All three of these pipelines can have varying levels of complexity. This makes customer success pipelines perfect candidates for a Deal Desk.
The Deal Desk for renewal, upsell, and cross-sell deals should have mostly the same framework as new business.
Who is Involved in a Deal Desk?
- Sales Reps
- Customer Success
- Product Managers
Source: What Does Deal Desk Success Look Like? - RevOps Blog
Deal Desk should include stakeholders from RevOps, CS, Finance, Legal, and Leadership.
The most crucial part of any new process is buy-in from all the people and teams involved. Other critical components of your framework should include approval standard operating procedures (SOPs), standardized legal templates, and automated Communication and updates whenever possible.
CRM data can be used to calculate baseline pipeline velocities for each pipeline. Then your velocities should be monitored as you implement the Deal Desk.
What to Consider for Post-Sales Motion in Your Deal Desk
1. Standardize Renewal, Upsell, and Cross-sell Agreements
Standardizing your renewal, upsell, and cross-sell quotes will arm CSMs with clearly documented guidelines around pricing, discounts, and when to request approvals for non-standard deals.
This will eliminate working in multiple documents with no visibility across teams and reduce precious time to the revenue cycle.
The RevOps Agreement Builder makes this part a breeze, especially if you can embed the drafts and make revisions in the CRM.
2. Create Approval SOPs and Automated Approvals
Wherever possible, leverage your tools to automate the assignment, statuses, escalations, and communication in your Deal Desk process.
Create the standard operating procedures for what happens when a renewal deal needs approval from the Revenue Leader, Legal, or Finance.
RevOps Deal Desk has native automation functionality that makes it easy to configure your automated approval process.
Automation can help reduce bottlenecks, and, best of all, it’s another scalable solution for your organization.
As your team and customer base grow, automation will be the key to reducing the time in this part of the sales cycle.
RevOps Modern Deal Desk Platform
Having a Deal Desk in place means you can make smarter decisions and create a scalable process.
With RevOps as your Deal Desk platform, you can create this kind of scalable process with guardrails, templates, approval workflows, and more.
Keep Sales Reps on Track with guardrails to structuring deals while still providing them flexibility.
Template Agreement Building Blocks for reps to customize within guardrails that you set.
Powerful Decision Engine to set rules for instant approvals and configure rules to route proposals to the right teams at the right time.
3. Automate Communication
Whenever possible, automate communication during the process.
When deals enter an approval process, an email or Slack can be sent to key stakeholders and the approver. When the status of a deal changes, another email or Slack can be sent with the status update as a trigger.
Deals pending approval for a certain amount of time are another candidate for an automated alert. Reduce as much time in the sales cycle as possible by sending the approver reminders to review deals and approve or reject them.
With automation, you can also push updates back to the central source of truth.
While Slack is great for notifications and quick communication, having all deal communication in one place will be essential to increasing the Deal Desk efficiency - and ultimately, the revenue cycle.
Other Opportunities for Automation
You can generate renewal opportunities systematically and assign them to the appropriate CSM.
Building out a renewal playbook for your CSM team to define when to begin the process and how to proceed with the renewal opportunities is critical.
Scheduling reports or creating dashboards to monitor the status of deals will help with accountability.
You’ll also be able to create benchmarks to monitor your Deal Desk process.
Post Sales Deal Desk Metrics
These can look similar to new business metrics, but there are some important differences.
The volume of deals going through deals how many deals are approved vs. rejected are a few that you can include in your metrics.
But other metrics, particularly around the pipeline, such as the velocity, will be essential to track throughout the post-sale lifecycle.
As you think about measuring the success of your deal desk, here are some of the metrics to track:
- On-Time Renewal Rates
- Win Rates by pipelines (renewals, upsells, cross-sells)
- Average Revenue Per Customer
- Customer response time (how long does it take for a CSM or other company associate to respond to a customer inquiry)
- Approval Rates (how many levels of approval do deals need and how many deals approved vs. submitted)
- Approval response time (how long do deals take to go through an approval process)
The critical part of establishing metrics is to ensure that all stakeholders understand definitions, metrics are in a central location, and are reviewed regularly. This means operational bottlenecks can be identified and fixed.
2022 and Beyond
As you are rolling into 2022, is Customer Success top of mind when thinking about your GTM strategy? Are you considering Customer Success as a core part of the revenue-generating team?
Data shows that customers are the primary source of company revenue and growth. This means renewals, upsells, and cross-sells should be integrated into core revenue processes like Deal Desk.
Once you build the framework, you need to measure and iterate so that you can watch your revenue engine run.