Blog Webinars

Streamline, engage, and track – ChartMogul’s secrets | Webinar

July 21, 2023 29 minutes read

Summary points:

Join Philipp Wolf, CEO at Custify, as he hosts a dynamic conversation about achieving high-value customer success. He will be joined by our special guest, Ingmar Zahorsky, VP of Customer Success at ChartMogul, who will share the strategies they employ for managing their key accounts using Custify.

🚀In this session, you’ll discover:

  • ChartMogul’s unique strategies for onboarding and nurturing high-value accounts, designed specifically to meet their needs and foster growth.
  • Their fine balance of hands-on account management for tier-one customers and self-service approaches for smaller tiers, ensuring client success across diverse segments.
  • Proactive tactics for guiding ‘up-and-coming’ accounts and steering existing clients through their lifecycle, promoting consistent growth and loyalty.
  • How Custify helps them achieve high-value customer success.

Intro

Philipp 00:03
My name is Philipp. I’m the founder of Custify, and I’m here today with Ingmar from ChartMogul. Welcome to the podcast!

Ingmar 00:18
Philipp. It’s great to be here. How are you?

Philipp 00:23
Excellent.

I can see many people joining just now. We have this webinar run on Livestorm. You see three things down there. One is calls, one is questions, and one, it’s a chat. So welcome everyone in the chat. Feel free to leave us a short message.

Ingmar, you’re based right now in Canada, right?

Ingmar 01:22
Yes, I’m in Toronto. I used to be based in Berlin as well. So I can relate to the increasingly hot summers and the lack of air conditioning in Berlin.

Philipp 01:36
It’s a general German problem, I think with the air conditioning. And how’s it there?

Ingmar 01:44
Yeah, that’s one of the nice things about living in Toronto. So a lot of the apartment buildings here, the majority have air conditioning installed. And it’s only a few hot days, really, per year. But it’s nice to have. So I’m really glad that I have it now.

Philipp 02:05
Guys, yeah, just a bit of housekeeping. We’re going to kick things off in a second. So you have the chat there. Feel free to leave us a message there. If you have any questions throughout the presentation from Ingmar feel free to drop them directly in the Questions tab. That helps us later when we have a Q&A session to go over it. And we try to answer every question.

I think we’re gonna have like half an hour, maybe a few minutes more from Ingmar’s side. And then we can answer questions so you guys can interact with us. If you have any questions, you might be in a similar stage, and you might face similar challenges that Ingmar already has solved. So welcome, everyone, and if you’re ready, I think we can kick things off.

Ingmar 02:51
That’s great. Let’s go.

Philipp 02:53
Awesome. Well, Ingmar, the title, today is about ChartMogul’s journey, and giving people a little bit of advice if they are in a similar stage that you were in about two and a half years ago, if I’m not mistaken.

Ingmar 03:09
Yes, that’s that sounds right. We started our account management, about a year before we started using Custify. So about three and a half years since we’ve been focusing on our high-value customers.

Philipp 03:27
Right, great. Guys, then let’s kick things off. I have already introduced ourselves. So my name is Philipp. Ingmar already mentioned that he is the Head of Customer Success at ChartMogul. So a quick agenda for today:

  • understanding the challenges that Ingmar had in mind, the team he had and what was the CS team facing at that moment.
  • what happened when they signed up with Custify and what tactics did they actually implement
  • a few practical examples for you guys to take home about customer health and onboarding.
  • the results

And every one that might think about getting a customer success platform is also interested in the ROI results. This is what happens when we talk to customer success managers that want to get this platform, typically the management will ask for an ROI or business case so you guys can have a little bit an idea of what Ingmar and the team has been able to achieve. Alright, let’s kick things off. Maybe we go back two and a half years or to start off maybe you just give us a brief introduction in ChartMogul.

  • What are you guys doing?
  • What does your typical customer look like?
  • What’s the pain that you solve?

ChartMogul’s challenges

Ingmar 04:47
Yes. So at ChartMogul, we help 2500 subscription businesses primarily in SaaS to measure, understand, and grow recurring revenue. Our platform helps you connect your billing systems. And then we create dashboards. We democratize for small and medium-sized businesses, a type of BI that usually exists only in larger companies that have a data team in place – they can measure things like MRR churn and LTV and reach that data and segment it.

We also launched a few months ago, a CRM to help you combine your lead trial opportunity and subscription data and a platform to analyze the entire funnel. We notice some people already using ChartMogul partially out with some CRM capabilities. So we added this as a second product. And to tell you a little bit about our company. So we’re 75 people now and we originally started in Berlin. And then we switched a few years later to a fully remote model. We raised about 3.6 million US dollars, initially. But then we sort of considered ourselves moving a bit more to like a fun-strapped company where we’ve been growing with our own revenues. And we were profitable quickly enough, so we decided to not raise any more money.

Philipp 06:26
Well, yeah, that’s great. And it’s a great place to be in these days. So congrats on the journey and on the growth. If people are interested they can head over to ChartMogul or they can also find you on LinkedIn, but we have our contact details. All right, if you think back, from a CS perspective, what were the challenges that your team was facing?

Ingmar 06:54
Yes. So the company initially, when I joined, I was an early team member, I joined about eight years ago, which is also the age of the company. We focus the first few years really on giving really great customer support, sort of in this early product market fit-like stage, being really responsive was a primary focus to respond really quickly to customers making it really easy for them to talk to us.

Also, our pricing was like pretty like cheap at the time, we didn’t really have large customers. But then like three, four years in, we got to a point where we needed account management, where it became apparent that our customers were growing with us, so we had companies that started out very small became larger businesses, their requirements were changing. And then we were also starting to sell to new customers, which made us more acutely aware that our onboarding wasn’t sufficient, where a lot of it was self-service with a bit of help when people reached out, but we needed to be more structured about how we were onboarding our customers, specifically our larger customers.

And in our customer base. I didn’t mention this earlier. But we have about right now 150 customers that we consider managed accounts and larger accounts and out of these 2500 customers that we have, then the rest of them would be self-service accounts and a managed account fast as a customer that pays us at least $1,200 per month. And many of these customers are nowadays on annual contracts.

So in regards to the onboarding, yes, we needed a system where we could consistently like track the progress of onboarding, goals, and whether we’re hitting them or not. This led us then to the next point, also, that we’re seeing limited feature adoption. So as we were starting to move customers to annual pricing, and also, we move customers off our legacy pricing. And that was one of the first projects our account management team did, which was to like the grandfather pricing, and once you ask people for money, it becomes very apparent where they are not getting enough value.

So we were seeing that with some of the accounts where they were using ChartMogul in I would say superficial way where there were all these things that we had released all these features, but they had only adopted some of the early features. So this was also an area where we saw with CSMs we could drive so much more value and be more proactive about it, but we also had data and lots of different systems. So it wasn’t that easy to track things, even very simple things like how often are people using the platform across an account where you could get like a snapshot and time and Intercom, but you couldn’t really see, over time how it evolves.

And then the last point, and consolidated customer tracking. Having data in lots of different places where it’s in the support CRM, the sales CRM, the marketing CRM, and various other places where we had segmentation data. So to really understand a customer, their behavior, and how it changed over time, it was really cumbersome. And some things we couldn’t answer at all, without getting some help from engineering to pull data directly from ChartMogul’s database.

Philipp 10:59
Right. So I sense there’s this lack of visibility. And that’s something that we typically also hear from the CS team. It’s very hard or almost impossible to understand all those things like are they onboarding correctly? Do they utilize all the features? And then what when I’m before the renewal, you mentioned, you switch to the annual was in the beginning, you guys had monthly plans, and then you switch to annual?

Ingmar 11:25
Yes, we had very few customers on annual plans. And it became more of a topic where more customers that were at that size, wanted to pay annually to have more predictable pricing for the entire year. And that was a challenge for us also because we are creating a new category. So subscription analytics is a new category for which there is no budget, often in a traditional company model. So that makes it a little bit harder to ask for money. Or ask for more money in that case. Over time, it taught us a lot of things like where does the value lie? How do our CSMs sell the value? How does our sales team sell the value of ChartMogul? Where do we fit in?

Philipp 12:23
And can you give the audience a bit of an idea about how big the CS team was at this particular stage? If you remember. Or was it just you? Or was there a big team behind at this stage?

Ingmar 12:34
Yeah, so we just had two people who are focusing on account management specifically, there were other people doing support, and we had like a couple of people doing Solutions Engineering, but the account management team was only two people at the time plus I would also help this team quite a bit. And when a CSM would be on leave I would sometimes take over account management. So that’s like two plus my help.

Philipp 13:07
Okay. And you mentioned earlier the onboarding. Now you have kind of a segmented customer base where there is these higher touch managed accounts. And there are also Self-Service self-managed accounts. Also transitioning self-service accounts into managed accounts, because the customers start small and then they grow along with you. Does that happen frequently?

Ingmar 13:35
Yes, that does happen all the time. And we evaluate this at regular intervals. And then we monitor this in Custify too. We call them up and coming. So we have a segment of customers, where we see that revenue is growing. Or it could be some specific cases where we know it’s a strong brand that we can expand, maybe they run multiple companies where we know there’s some potential to expand these accounts, where we start to nurture them early on, and we assign an account manager, and we’re now 11 people in the CS team.

So I’ve grown a bit our functions, and now the team is spread between customer support. Then we have a customer education team. And we have the account management team, which is split now between focusing on onboarding. So there are a few people that are dedicated to just the onboarding stage of the customer lifecycle. And then there are a couple of people that are just looking after the higher value accounts for the adoption stage and renewal stage of the life cycles.

Philipp 14:54
Yeah. All right, guys. There you go. These were the challenges. If you haven’t any questions, drop them in the Questions tab. So we can answer them later. But that was the situation about two and a half years ago with Ingmar and a team. Let’s see how they managed those things and what they actually managed to do with Custify. And I still remember also your onboarding with Custify. I think that was about two and a half years ago if I’m not mistaken.

The solution: Custify

Could you explain what were the first things you did? Or what were the first steps that you did with Custify? And how did that work?

Ingmar 15:33
Yeah. So about a year into running our account management, we realized that tracking things manually in a spreadsheet was not going to cut it. And we knew that we wanted to switch to a platform to particularly do health scoring. So we did that for several quarters in a spreadsheet, which was very instructive because it sort of gave us some early ideas of what we should track and what is important.

And we just had someone update manually, the spreadsheet, and that helped to do things like activity check-ins, know who are the key people on an account, mapping that out, creating sort of these account maps, finding what are the feature requests that they need open support tickets, like discussions, trying to lock everything in a spreadsheet and update it.

And then once we started looking at CS platforms, I looked at superficially on a high level at like 10. And then I narrowed it down. So for us, we were a company where we felt, clearly we didn’t qualify for like a setup of a Gainsight or Totango. So there are these platforms that are sort of serving the high level where it’s usually I think companies that have 100 people or more, at least were there also the implementation is much more complex. And we wanted a system that ideally had a lot of integration, someplace where it would minimize the effort that we needed to undertake to integrate. Or already naturally integrate with our stack. And then we also wanted a platform that understood us as a business. And that’s where there was a big differentiation that was clear between other platforms out there, many of them that had been around for a number of years, too, that are sort of serving small and medium-sized businesses that were sort of a bit like a catch-all platform where they are serving all sorts of software businesses, but we wanted a platform that was particularly tailored towards the SaaS business and Custify was very unique in that sense, where I felt immediately when I saw the demo, and the how the UI was designed. Also the roadmap, the thinking out the roadmap.

I thought this is a platform where we can grow alongside and can use Custify for many years because I knew that this would be an investment, and a bit of time to go through the stage of implementation, and onboarding.

Onboarding Custify

And for us, like the initial onboarding, what really helped us was that the Custify team mapped out our customer journey with us and spent quite a bit of time over a call to walk us through what a ChartMogul customer would go through with us, which instilled a lot of confidence. And then they came back with a really great implementation plan. And also suggestions of what else they thought we should actually track when it comes to health scoring. So there was the piece of really helping us make a plan that gave us an idea of the effort of the building and integration into our own database.

And then they also fulfilled all these requirements of integrating with Recurly. With Zendesk with Intercom and other systems that we use. Well, we knew that would really save us quite a bit of time, and also they had Zapier where we could get all further data into Custify.

Philipp 19:43
If you remember the first thing that you set up, I know that we have the client view. Was that the first thing that you actually set up in Custify? What was the priority for the team when you think about the challenges before? What were the things that you used? What was the thing you wanted to tackle first?

Ingmar 20:03
I would say yeah, like this view that you see here. So my first goal was to automate the spreadsheet, where we had the spreadsheet in place, and we wanted to extend it. And automate it so that we could see all in one view, like all the accounts we were managing, and have that health scoring model. So what you see here, this is sort of the advanced version of this over time, where we have this global health score that in Custify is derived from all these other health scores, you’ll see some of them. Here, you see all of them. We have monthly activity, number of support tickets, CSM rating, which is a qualitative score, people leaving a post regularly when they talk to customers, and number of training sessions. We conduct surveys from NPS.

And then we have a product adoption or product events score, which is data that comes from our database, where one is more related to the initial setup of features. And the other one is for ongoing events. And seeing all these things in one view, helped me as a manager to really get a good understanding of how we’re doing and to set priorities, what to focus on in account management, when we are still pretty early on and trying to like figure out how to really do this, you can see here, this was also an immediate value.

Add was sort of seeing the activity. So here, this looks good, this is an account where activity increased. And you can drill down into that further and you will be able to see how many users are actually per day, per month. And then we can also see things like the actual events. So this would give you more resolution on the product adoption or the product events. And in this case, here is like someone exported some data, or they had two different exports. I mentioned here, you can really show all these different events that you’re tracking and a visualization as well on a per-account level.

So Custify has a high-level view. But it also really helps you drill down if you want to prepare for a call with a customer and understand as much as possible about how they’re currently using ChartMogul, or you’re preparing for renewal, and you really want to get a 360 view of what’s going on with the account. I was able to answer all these questions pretty quickly, which empowered our account managers and it made my job much easier.

How ChartMogul is using Custify

Philipp 23:03
This actually answered one of my questions about the moment when your CS team uses Custify. So you use it as preparation of a meeting renewal called QBR, as those checking calls for the customers, that’s when you typically look at the deeper dive into the usage of the utilization of a customer.

Ingmar 23:22
Yes, exactly. And we try to set goals and we found that for certain things like QBRs. And that’s sort of a customer success topic that one could argue about how to go about this, but we try to be a bit religious about doing QBRs. We have to do QBRs. But we realize that for some customers, it’s not necessary to do QBRs like every quarter to talk to them. If we can see in the data. They’re doing well, they don’t have any questions. So we sort of changed our approach to how we think about QBRs.

But yes, renewals is like a big one. That comes up once a year. In some cases, there are a few customers that have biannual renewals, maturity, or on annual plans or they are on monthly plans. And then we use Custify whenever we do any training.

When during the onboarding stage, we do quite a bit of training. And then we also have some adaption training to nurture accounts. So for these sessions, that could be something specific. For example, a customer might be migrating from one billing system to another, which would really impact the analytics too. And there are some things we need to do in order to ensure the accuracy and continuity of the data. So for that, we have a training session, and we’ll get on a call with the customer, and then look at Custify, we have everything there to prepare for such a call much faster than we could before.

Philipp 25:08
Great you mentioned these lifecycles and you prepared a slide. We don’t really need to understand everything that’s written on the slide. It’s best if you give a bit of advice about the customer journey. And what parts of this mapping did you actually do in Custify, because this here is an entire customer journey from the marketing awareness all the way until the renewal or consolation? So this was kind of prep work that you did before you even implement Custify, right? Yeah.

Ingmar 25:44
We did like a simplistic, I would say model of this. But I almost wish I would have thought this through a bit deeper. So I realized when starting with the cost of implementation, and talking to the team that I had a lot of blind spots. And this version was actually done afterward, where I realized, okay, if I really want to drive a good experience, across the whole customer journey, I need to be able to understand it. And I need to be able to also influence the customer journey across other departments as well. And we need to be unified, where we’re even things like using the same language, right?

If you’re using different language for the same things like marketing, and sales versus customer success, it will confuse a customer. So I wanted to map out, what are the KPIs across each stage. What are the objectives, and what are the activities that we currently do? And this really helped me to improve the customer lifecycle significantly. And this is a 10-page document that’s linked to this, this is the simple visualization of everything. And then I have a 10-page document that goes into detail, I spent quite a bit of time trying to understand this across the whole company. And that helped me really to improve upon it.

As for what we do in Custify, we are right now using it for onboarding, adoption, and renewal stages. And we initially also had another stage and there we call it the advocacy stage, but we dropped that. And that would be a piece of advice to keep things simple when you are doing account management and it’s still new or in the early stages for your company.

There’s always a tendency when you look at blocks, and you’ll read about how to use scoring and how to do it. I think success management is to go to the complex because a lot of the information that one reads, it might be a company with hundreds of employees that are using a strategy that’s way too complex for a smaller business. And it’s good to think about the size of your team and what you can actually accomplish. And I believe that whenever you are trying to do a lot of things cross-functionally, you will never do them really great. Eventually, you will have the luxury of having a dedicated team member like us where we have an onboarding team. Now, that’s just focusing on onboarding.

And I think that’s something for you to think about, like what are the sort of high-value activities that will really move the needle when it comes to churn and retention? And who will be able to do them? And can you do them consistently? Be really mindful of what you start in terms of initiatives to do things that you can really do repeatedly. Well, until you have more people in the team to do more.

So for us here, in Custify, for the onboarding lifecycle, there’s a qualitative element that the CSM has to track, which is why the onboarding stage doesn’t auto-complete automatically in Custify. The actual account manager has to say onboarding is done. And then we’re moving someone to a higher lifecycle and handing that account over to another account manager. So from the qualitative side, it’s things like validating the data with the customer. That’s something we cannot measure to do they have edge cases and their billing that we need to like address, maybe do some data cleaning. And maybe we need to help them get all their data in from various places. Maybe some integrations we can have one click and some data they need from other places, and then there’s the data-driven components, like getting enough users on the account that we can measure and Custify getting a certain number of training sessions, we have some mandatory training that we do for accounts, and then getting the health score up to a certain minimum level, which includes all those important things like resolving open support tickets, or getting their activity to a certain level that product adoption that product events.

Philipp 30:29
So that means the onboarding, as we learned earlier, was a challenge. That means now in Custify you monitor the onboarding process, and parts of what makes the customer onboard from your team that s data-driven, as in what they do with the platform, how often they use it and etc. But this part is also subjective, let’s say check off that the CSM, basically grants.

Ingmar 30:58
We understand exactly what those steps are that we need to complete. But we need to get this qualitative sign-off. And like one part, as we were like, using Custify and sort of getting deeper into account management, we realized that we needed structured training, where we were initially a CSM would help customers or all sorts of things.

But then we saw some patterns, where customers were asking about similar things. And that’s when we realized we need to come up with a training program. And we actually extended the team where we have two people that are now just working on customer education, where they are maintaining the Help Center, our developer documentation. And they also design the curriculum and the sessions for our training program, where we have 11 sessions now in there. So we have a dedicated deck that’s nicely designed and the process of how to run these sessions and people trained in the team to run these sessions, where customers can book this self-service. This is powered by Calendly. This is a hidden website that we can share with customers where they can book these. But sometimes we also just prescribe some of these sessions in email conversations, in a support ticket, and directly schedule with the CSM. And we have sessions that are particular cater to onboarding and some that are particularly catered to the adoption lifecycle.

Philipp 32:39
Now this is a question that we get often asked: How should we define a customer as in “completed the onboarding”? So I think this is a great example of a hybrid environment where there are data-driven parts, obviously, someone has to log into ChartMogul, obviously, someone has to connect their data to your tool, otherwise, you probably don’t see anything. But then there’s a subject apart where they do product training and also kind of a sign of a CSM.

So I think this is something great from a best practice perspective. I know that you guys are also working quite a lot with automation, can you give the audience an idea of the approximate book of business from your team? Like what’s the typical number of customers that someone in the managed account teams is having in their portfolio?

Ingmar 33:31
Yes. So we have right now 50-60 per CSM. And it used to be more we used to have around 90, but for our type of business, ChartMogul comes with some technical elements in the initial onboarding setup. I would say a bit high touch. As account management, we realized we actually needed like to reduce that number quite a bit.

And we get a lot of value from these playbooks when we do account management and this is something that I would say we got immediate value from customers because we knew from our one year of doing this manually, what are things that trigger a risk and an account and based on that we had set that up immediately in Custify within the first few weeks or month of implementing and I immediately got these alerts on Slack why I thought like wow, this is like a game changer because before we would maybe become aware of something like this in weeks at best.

So things like an account owner changing, for example, where we need to establish a new relationship and the champion left. This means we have to resell the value to a new person who comes in and they’re like, oh renewal, this much money or why should we do this?

Yeah, I think it’s like two weeks before the renewal week when we realize this new person they as like, this is like really hard to turn things around them sometimes. So that was something where we immediately get an alert, there’s a new account owner, where like, reach out, we try to build a relationship like this doesn’t mean it’s not a magic bullet, there are still situations that maybe we can turn things around where it doesn’t prevent every churn.

But it does give us the power to influence it more and at the right time. Timing is very important. So like other alerts, like when someone removed the data source, or there’s something happening in their account where we know their value goes down, maybe there’s sort of some issue with the integration data is not thinking properly. If we reach out proactively, we can solve that problem quickly with the customer together. And that will make a big difference.

Philipp 36:39
I can see here one example where there’s no data source anymore. That means basically, your solution in that moment doesn’t solve anything anymore for the customer.

Ingmar 36:54
Yeah, like, and it might be that the person who has to do something about it is one of the admins. And there might be another 30 people on the account that are logging in. They’re like, Oh, it’s ChartMogul’s problem. So it’s often it’s very specific people that we have to talk to where we know “Okay, this is our technical contact on the account”.

And that’s something also over time, we were tracking in Custify. These are the roles where we can change something over time. That’s something we learned also from Custify that it’s really important to know who you’re talking to in the company. And so we actually added a field in the product. And this is how I feel when I was talking about lifecycle management, and you’re trying, as a head of CS, or even as the CSM, you’re trying to influence customer success across an organization.

So I’m learning something and I’m going to the product team and saying like, hey, we need this field. I think this would be valuable for our marketing team and for the CS team. So we added a field where a customer sets who they are in the company and where this person works. In customer success, he works in the product team or the marketing team. And that is super valuable in many different ways and when talking to customers, or when trying to also add value to what they do on a day-to-day basis.

Philipp 38:31
Ingmar, I know you also are running surveys with your customers, NPS in particular, if I’m not mistaken.

Ingmar 38:38

We do NPS surveys – we initially did this quarterly. But over time we switched to doing it annually, which we found was enough, we found every three months was a bit too much. And like six months was a good cadence. So we initially did this out of Typeform with intercom, and then we switched directly to Custify once they built that feature. And this is a cool example that Custify’s building the right things that we need, where this was not there when we started with Custify, and then they added it, and it made our life easier. So it’s now all automated. And it’s easy to explore this data in there. And it immediately impacts the health scoring model.

And what I like in Custify too is when I’m on an account page, I can see all the different ratings of that account in one place easily and sort of compare how it changed over time. That is also really cool.

Philipp 39:46
And then you mentioned initially that there’s also the investment, so that means you have to report to the investors. And there’s also data in Custify that you use for that.

Ingmar 40:05
On a monthly basis, we put an investor report together in Google Sheets. So for the different departments, you can see some of the tabs down there. This is just one piece out of my section. There are many others. But we get multiple data points from Custify and now really easily that I can just export and plug into this investor report here, we’re looking at average usage per account on a weekly and monthly basis, and how we’re able to drive this up over time, both with like better success management, but also product improvements.

Philipp 40:46
There was a 50% increase over time. And these little bumps there, I think you mentioned those are Christmas times. Right?

Ingmar 40:54
Yeah, always around the holidays. Like, the usage drops significantly when people celebrate Christmas and New Year’s.

Results: How did Custify help ChartMogul?

Philipp 41:05
Makes sense. Well, guys, there you go. Let’s speak a little bit about the results. I think we won’t be able to go through everything. But if you had to pick two-three main things, where it would also help the audience specifically if they might not have a tool yet? What are the things that you would say to management to convince them that you need this tool?

Ingmar 41:30
I would say the strongest sale to a management team is always that we want to improve revenue retention, and drive that up over time. And this is something where like focusing on high-value customers. I believe, now, they make up nearly half of our revenue. It comes from these like 150-something accounts. So over time, it became more and more clear that we need to focus resources there. So that was very clear to our CEO that we need to focus resources there. And then when we are laying out the problems that we’re like trying to solve and how they’re resulting in higher churn rates, reviewing sort of churn with our leadership team, and the reasons for churn, we could link it back very well to sort of these things that we fail to do out of the things that are in our power.

So it’s a combination, I think of having a really good feedback mechanism where you can really back up the data, I think that always helped when trying to get something for me as a Head of CS, it’s like: how can I back this up with data? How can I be data driven when it comes to customer feedback of doing surveys, like NPS doing CSAT, or support interactions, and then also doing exit interviews with customers? And having churn reporting, and plays for self-service. You get all this data that you need to sort of show where we fail.

And then when you can make that clear how that ties to like revenue, that’s a really strong point. And then understand the risk in real time. And saving people time and the team to do their work is also very clear value added. Where you can show that this took this long before, but it’s really complicated. And that’s why it’s taking this long. That’s also a value add on maybe some things you can’t do at all because you don’t have the right data can answer certain questions.

Philipp 43:56
If my team came to me and said “ I need an interesting new software, it’s going to cost X”. I would ask them, okay, give me some concrete numbers. And I know that we talked about it, and you have prepared. One number is actually something quite easy to understand for almost anyone. Right? So and this example, it’s what you’ve got, we already talked about is this annual conversation that you have specifically for the annual ones. And there’s a significant time wind that you had. So can you explain a little bit how it looked before? What did you have to do before, and how does this work right now in preparation for a renewal? Is that something you do mandatory with everyone or do you pick particular customers that you do this as a former best practice perspective, this renewal conversation?

Ingmar 44:48
Yes, these are for the ones that go through annual renewals, we do it with every customer, where we go through and we prepare a deck, where we show them like this is sort of your usage of your account. These are the features that you’re under-utilizing. These are the things we’ve done that you’ve asked for the last year. You had these feature requests, and we release these things.

Now, in Custify we have everything in one place. And it’s sort of easy to pull the data where we know this is the list of things we need to prepare. And we need to just look in one place. So it significantly reduces the effort. But it’s also we can answer questions that we couldn’t really answer that well before, not at all. Because we couldn’t easily track that data. As I mentioned, if I need to get some data from an engineer to explain something, I might very well never get it in time. So it’s really hard always to get engineering resources, even if it’s for larger accounts needs to be a really compelling reason. I need to be really able to show like this account will churn if we don’t do this, maybe then if it’s someone paying us $100,000 a year.

It used to be nice, actually, when I was sitting office next to an engineer when I was working in the office, because I could sometimes ask the engineer sitting right next “Hi, can you do this for me quickly, please?” Yeah, that sort of was a nice thing, remote versus like actually being in an office.

Q&A

Philipp 46:47
And I know that this is kind of our last slide, guys. But this might be really, really valuable for everyone out there, because this is kind of what I asked Ingmar, also, to think about. What are the learnings? What would you do differently if you would go through this entire journey? What are the things that helped you a lot and retrospectively, what would you have done differently in preparation?

Ingmar 47:11
I would say like really understanding your customer journey, and particularly also your customer segmentation, of sort of drilling down, like who are your best-fit customers. And when you look at your CS strategy, and you’re trying to do all sorts of firefighting, maybe you don’t have a lot of resources, you’re trying to figure out what to focus on. And sometimes the issue can be that some of the customers you spent a lot of time on, are just not good fit customers that bought it at some point. They joined, maybe a product evolve, and maybe they were a good fit customer, but then your product changed, and they are not anymore, or they’ve outgrown your product.

And so there was an element where I learned also afterward that I needed to influence the marketing team, the sales team, like which customers are we bringing in? We’ve defined over time more clearly, who are our ideal customer profiles. So sort of figuring out who are your customers. How do you serve them? Where do you focus your energy? And where do you not focus your energy? And then customer journey mapping is really important.

Expect to embrace the learning curve. So I would say that you can’t plan for everything. Some things just evolve over time: as your company grows, you’re building your processes and your team changes. So I’ve mentioned that we initially had a CSM work on lifecycle stages, and then we had the resources to break it up into onboarding and a higher lifecycle adoption and renewal. So that happened over time. And I think we were learning as we went along, how we’re going to, like fine-tune the system.

So it took a bit of time to fine-tune Custify. Where we were, we needed to learn more about how to define the strategy, and how to work with our customers, and Custify really sped things up as much as possible where we got some initial value within the first month.

Philipp 49:44
Yeah, sorry, that was actually one of the questions like how long when did you see the first value and how long did this implementation take? So first months you say and then your fine-tuning process?

Ingmar 49:54
Health scoring took fine-tuning and that took a good few months, where I was starting to feel “Oh, this is getting better now”. And I think that’s something where you need to budget when you implement such a platform, even with a great team, like Custify where the support is really fantastic. Throughout the process, I must say, you still have some of your own homework to do in terms of answering questions and the Custify team did a really good job of surfacing what those questions are. But then also having engineering resources, not just for the initial implementation, but also to do a few additional things during the fine-tuning stage where I realized, “Oh, I want to add these extra data points into my health scoring calculations, I need to send them needed a bit my engineering time to do that”. And luckily, we allotted for this early on to have an engineer still available for a couple more months to do that. And then after that, it’s really just a longer interval that one has to maintain and do additional work.

Philipp 51:04
So first, first value quite quickly, then one of the questions here in the room is – What are the internal sources that were crucial for the implementation?

I understand there was someone from the technical team for the initial one, but you made sure that during those small iterations, and I’m guessing there was additional data to be sent from your platform, so you could find yourself in certain things. You also were kind of going back every now and then to enhance some of the implementations in your own product. Right?

Ingmar 51:32
That’s correct. So okay, I would say that also the things we learned from Custify, also influence our product design, to some degree where we realized that onboarding is ineffective because of XYZ. If we want a customer to validate their data and understand it, how can we make the UI better the documentation, better the tooling, so it’s not just, you know, the CSM work that’s sort of changed. It was also all these other things that result in customer success that we then influenced through that.

Philipp 52:10
Got it. Got it. Well, thank you so much, guys, if you want to also get a consulting call with one of our specialists, you can reach out to me directly, you can find us on Custify.com. Feel free to go over there and hit us up for a product demo. If you’re interested in learning more, you can find Ingmar on LinkedIn.

I’m gonna share those also in the follow-up email, hit him up on LinkedIn if you want to know more about his journey. And you, of course, can go to ChartMogul.com If your team wants also more insights about your business. The typical user, Ingmar, of ChartMogul is who in the company? Is it a management or CFO?

Ingmar 53:01
It’s actually like across the whole team. Customers that use ChartMogul effectively have their whole company on ChartMogul and are really data-driven when it comes to revenue generation. Because realistically, revenue is impacted by lots of different teams like product might be doing tests with pricing, and packaging. Then you have the marketing team tracking things like trial, the paid conversion rates, you have the sales team where you can track attainments in ChartMogul, the CSM and the CS team who can look at retention for particular CSM, and then the leadership team like looking at sort of high-level KPIs. So it’s really for everyone. That’s meant to be for the whole company.

Philipp 53:57
Because I remember also that you guys don’t charge per user, it’s more per revenue, so I can add the entire company without any cost. And that’s a data-driven company. Great. Um, now, I think we answered some of those questions throughout the presentation. Regarding one question – How long did it take you to get the first value mentioned? – It was a month or so but then the refinement was critical to have someone from the technical resources, did you at this point in time have any data warehouse or Mixpanel or anything or was that a native indication?

Ingmar 54:31
So we didn’t have anything else and it was a native integration. Since then we implemented Segment and we are considering sending data to Custify in the future from Segment but at the time any integration work we did it was a unique integration. It didn’t answer that fully so we didn’t need a product manager or that helped me in the process of integrating I had one of our product managers and one engineer allotted for a certain period of time where we had a few weeks of integration time, it was not really continuous work. But we made little changes. So it went through stages through a few weeks to get the initial setup done over about a month.

Philipp 55:36
Got it? Great. Um, I do have one last question that we can answer eventually, that might also help the audience. Did you have to create a business case? Or how did you prove the value of the tool? Was there something that you had to do? Or was that where you’re in the great situation of your management saying, Go and get a tool because they realize this is not working with spreadsheets anymore?

Ingmar 56:01
Yeah, I would say it was, for me a pretty easy case at the time, because we had enough revenue and profits, and the company where it was, I had the full trust of our CEO. And I think that’s something that happened over time, where I feel over a period of several years, and now I’m eight years at ChartMogul. I was sort of left to my own devices after a few years of building trust with the CEO, where I think he got to a point with many of the senior leadership team, where he just leaves it to us to make the decisions of what we think is like best, and we’ve like proven over time that we are like sort of careful in how we use money, we’ve always been a capital efficient business.

So we’ve had that discipline, we haven’t been raising round after round, where we don’t have unlimited resources, we’ve always been doing quite a bit of thinking to invest our money, where it really matters. And we still are very much a product-led growth company, where over half of our resources on product and engineering. That’s where we funnel most of the new revenues that we get. And so we are very careful and critical when it comes to evaluating tools to really think deeply, do we really need it, And we evaluate it for multiple months on different platforms. So I’ve done a really thorough process to evaluate tools. I had a whole list of questions that I was trying to answer for myself. And I created a Notion document for each company I was evaluating and going through all these questions.

Philipp 58:03
Well, I’m more than happy, Ingmar, that in the end, Custify was the platform that you chose. I wanted to thank you so much that you shared today all the learnings, all the experience, and the best practices with the audience. So thank you so much, Ingmar, for being here today.

Guys, again, hit us up on LinkedIn. Send us an email, sign up for Custify for a demo, go to ChartMogul.com if you want to know more about their platform, and thank you all so much for joining today’s webinar. I wish you all a great rest of your week!

Ingmar 58:42
Thank you, Philip! Talk to you soon!

Nicoleta Niculescu

Written by Nicoleta Niculescu

Nicoleta Niculescu is the Content Marketing Specialist at Custify. With over 6 years of experience, she likes to write about innovative tech products and B2B marketing. Besides writing, Nicoleta enjoys painting and reading thrillers.

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