When a SaaS organization is in the midst of scaling, there comes a time when there starts to be a clear differentiation between SMB customers and enterprise customers. Traditionally, the lines between small and medium-sized businesses and enterprise organizations are delineated based on a few clear factors: contract size, user base, and internal resource allocation. This last factor – resource allocation – can make or break a customer success team’s large account management process.
Whether your team has a dozen enterprise customers under your belt or if you’re just getting ready to bring your first large account on board, having a focused account management process specifically for large accounts is paramount. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind:
- Have a clear vision of customer goals: One of the most important parts of an enterprise account management process is understanding that large accounts are often looking for something different than SMB – or even mid-market – accounts when they partner with SaaS vendors. Understanding what your enterprise customers want to achieve with your product can help influence every decision made throughout the customer journey.
- Map out the entire customer journey: Once you understand your large account’s goals and vision for your partnership, it’s time to map out the customer journey. From onboarding to adoption to renewal, every single stage of the customer journey is critical for enterprise customers because there is so much to wrangle. If a goal is to get all of their end users up and running within three months, your team might be heavily focused on onboarding. If a customer is looking to achieve a specific adoption percentage, every stage of the customer journey should highlight adoption and engagement on the platform.
- Identify the right contact(s): Within enterprise organizations there are often teams of people who come together to make decisions or act as stakeholders. For a CSM, the trick is identifying the right customer contact (or contacts) for every specific part of the customer journey. It’s also a good idea to facilitate regular executive-level conversations for enterprise accounts, since many decisions might influence other departments and teams across your organization.
- Work in tandem with other departments: One of the great things about having enterprise customers is that they are heavily invested in your technology and your team as a whole. The downside, of course, is that many large accounts expect strategic decisions to be made that line up with their goal. Many times, SaaS vendor’s strategic roadmap tends to shift and change based on the requirements of enterprise accounts. CSMs should be ready and prepared to bring in other departments (most often product, data, or engineering) to help mitigate any functionality conversations.
Leverage proactive, high-touch methodologies:
At the end of the day, enterprise accounts have the unique ability to help grow a SaaS organization’s revenue and corporate footprint while also impacting almost every single other area of the business, from influencing product decisions to keeping marketing flush with references and case studies. A long-term enterprise business partner, however, hinges on the success of the overarching account management process. Having the right process in place for your internal team as well as your customers is critical to long-term growth.
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Check out these additional resources:
- Webinar: Lessons Learned from Building 3 Customer Success Teams from Scratch
- eBook: Top Customer Success Executives Predict 2020 Trends
- eBook: How to Build a Scale a Customer Success Team