In the retention and expansion phase, the roles and responsibilities of the CSM/PSE/AE/SAE run parallel and it is very important that all roles work together to help the customer be successful. Retention and expansion is typically the purview of the CSM regarding most project management and technical aspects of customer success, but it’s important for the AE/SAE to conduct ongoing sales engagement activities with the account in order to provide dependable touch points for customer support. This Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will layout the steps, tasks, and deliverables necessary by all parties below related to account management.
Customer onboarding is a term typically used to describe the process users go through, from the start of their journey to become a customer and beyond. Within GitLab, customer onboarding encompases an the SAE/AE conducting an official introduction and account management transition to CSM and PSE to customer stakeholders via a Welcome Call. Additionally, the CSM will begin to re-validate an understanding of the customer's use case, technology stack. The tasks that need to be accomplished are below:
Implementation is focused on ensuring the customer has the right infrastructure to support GitLab solution operations. For self-managed customers, this could include setting up on-premises equipment and/or cloud infrastructure. For customers leveraging GitLab.com, this includes integration of the GitLab cloud service with the customers environment (e.g., SAML SSO integration). This is considered complete when production infrastructure is ready for use.
There are two types of success plans in Gainsight. The first is the ROI Success Plan described above. The second type is the Stage Adoption Success Plan. This success plan is an internal document allowing the CSM to track progress and goals on driving stage adoption within an account.
The Return on Investment (ROI) Success Plan is a customer facing interactive map created by a CSM to align the purchase (or renewal!) reasons to customer outcomes, develop joint accountabilities, measure progress and evolve as customers’ needs change. Put another way, it’s the way the customer can see and know that they’re attaining significantly more value than the cost of a product or service. Success Planning focuses on helping customers achieve their desired objectives and recognizes that the purchase transaction is just the beginning of the customer's journey with GitLab. This includes outlining a vision to customers that combines the Gitlab road map with the customer road map.
The objective is to support our customer's utilization of the GitLab solution to address the customer's original purchase intent (i.e., product stage(s) and capabilities, licenses). Adoption is complete when the following questions can be answered:
As part of our customer journey, we highly value the customer's initial experience and measure time-to-value. This is done according to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Specifically, we will measure the time in calendar days from the initial transaction to:
Customer service is an important aspect of the customer journey. The reason this is so important is that most of your revenue from an account will come from renewals and license growth. To do this, a consistent customer buying experience must be provided through exceptional customer service and account management activities. Within GitLab this is done by keeping track of how the account is progressing, understanding the issues and requests that are important to the account, navigating delivery of key milestones (onboarding, EBR, renewal), and escalating and responding to account risks quickly. Below are the main tasks that need to be conducted for effective Customer Account Management.
It is important that both the SAE/AE and CSM conduct ongoing customer touchpoints and engagements. The following are tasks that fall under the purview of ongoing customer engagement:
Below are the activities that should be documented by the SAE/AE in real-time.
Below are the WEEKLY TASK you’ll need to perform within Clari.
For in-depth training on Clari go to the Clari for Salespeople Instructional Videos.
An Executive Business Review (EBR) is a strategic meeting with stakeholders from both GitLab and the customer. Together with the SAE/AE, a CSM is responsible for scheduling and conducting EBRs and working with their customers to achieve the primary objectives and desired business outcomes. The CSM will own the content creation, and together the SAE/AE and CSM will determine the flow of the review based on best practices and insight into the customer relationship.
CSMs should hold EBRs with each of their customers at least once per year. Larger ARR accounts or those with more strategic initiatives may benefit from or even require a quarterly cadence, a decision to be made by the CSM, SAE/AE, and Sales/CS leadership.
The CSM will coordinate with SALSA to determine who will invite the stakeholders to ensure we get the right people into the room, build the EBR deck, and tell a story around the presentation that is solution and value focused.
Below are some of the top processes to be performed by CSM Managers on a recurring cadence. The overall goal is to ensure the CSM Manager has a strong grasp on their team's group of customers through various data points (health, Support tickets, Onboarding objects, renewals, etc.). Resources such as Dashboards and videos are included for easy reference.
For CSM Managers, here is a short checklist to assist in the review:
Once renewal opportunities are identified at the monthly renewal meeting, the SAE/AE should conduct in-depth engagements with the customer with a baseline from the account/product tier purchased at the original deal closure.
Meet with the CSM/SA to review the information captured from your discovery meeting and align it with the data the CSM has captured in the Success Plan. Use the data and questions below to determine a tailored expansion strategy.
These questions should be answered as a team with the SAE/AE,CSM, and SA pulling together data to make an informed decision about the account expansion strategy that aligns best with the customer’s top long term priorities.
As you did in the Factiliate the Opportunity and Deal Closure, you will need an updated customer deck. This consists of an overall deal package to engage the economic buyer with a package that aligns high level business priorities with GitLabs Value Drivers. The focus of the renewal customer package is to make them more forward thinking by investing earlier and having a full toolbox as they grow.
The customer deck should be created with the idea that your champion can present it to the economic buyer. To do this you will need to work side-by-side with your advocates, champions, CSM, and SA to update the customer deck and provide the following components to an economic buyer: