B2B Events take on Europe
3 Key Customer Success Takeaways
It’s been amazing to see the recent explosion of people in software-as-a-Service (SaaS) come together to learn, connect, and celebrate the return of in-person events. Even more interesting is that several of these festivals were held in Europe recently, nearly back to back, before American companies resumed similar experiences at the same pace. For anyone living outside of Europe, I know you felt the FOMO! (I know I did, as I could only attend one of these festivals).
June 2022 Event Lineup confirmed European
B2B SaaS Event Craze.
The last European SaaS event I spoke at was SaaStr Europa 2018 in Paris…in the pre-pandemic era. Being part of the inaugural European SaaS event was special, but it was minimal (200ish people) compared to the events held this past spring. As I touched down in Marseilles, I wondered how the post-covid era would influence everything from travel, to communication, to events in France, as each country has handled the pandemic differently.
Short Answer: The French are over the fear experienced over the last two years, and people embraced and kissed friends publicly as they did the last time I was here.
The event I attended and spoke at was B2B Rocks. Here is my experience with a 2022 European SaaS event and why customer success is taking a front-row seat at these gatherings focused on hot trends & learning in SaaS:
- Fundraising & More
How it all Started…what is B2B Rocks?
Last fall, I received a call from a man (who I have gotten to know and finally met! His name is Nicolas, and he is one of the fabulous organizers of the event.) With a heavy French accent, he asked me if I would speak at this event unknown to me. I hesitated to answer, but I’m glad I said yes after interrogating him with questions!
Fast forward six months, I found myself in the South of France at an outside tech conference located at a beautiful 12th-century chateau. Domaine de Bair is located just outside Montpellier. The staff treated me and my family to a section of the chateau overlooking the event. I felt like a princess peering over the balcony each morning. My children and partner tagged along on the trip, and my youngest said, ‘Mum, this doesn’t seem like work; it seems like a lot of fun!’…and it was.
2200 people gathered to share ideas about strategies ranging from raising capital to marketing, sales, customer success, and community-led growth.
The session I was invited to join focused on:
‘Onboarding customers properly to ensure they’ll never leave your side.’
You can watch the replay here.
Here are three key takeaways in a typical Growth Molecules™ fashion (Acronyms and Alliterations, of Course!)—the three C’s.
It has to be part of your Go-to-Market (GTM) strategy. If you are not, you are leaving expansion opportunities on the table. When you present to boards, share weekly company updates, and host weekly GTM meetings, customer success as a function and focus of the company needs to be addressed. I am surprised by how many CEOs I meet today who say ‘customer success is the #1 value‘ but the experience doesn’t reflect what they say. Yet study after study from Harvard, Bain, and others show how customer retention and growth lead to growth. If you are still ignoring the customer experience, you are losing customers.
PLG isn’t everything. Culture is.
PLG, Product-led-growth, is an over-used American term that will eventually have its time in Europe. When this jargon was shared at the event, the speaker asked the audience of 200ish people ‘how many of you know what the term means?’ maybe 5 of us raised our hands. I was at that point smiling because I agreed with the speaker. PLG works for ‘some’ companies but not all. For complex products, PLG isn’t necessarily the best strategy. What I believe is everything is the company culture. It is contagious. It is what powers from the top down. If you have a leader in place that inspires, creates a culture of learning, growing, being curious, and wanting to create a customer and employee focused culture that go hand-in-hand, that is where creativity thrives.
When was the last time you sent your team an eNPS (employee survey), read the reviews, created a task force, and agreed on addressing the top three recommendations to improve customer, employee, and product experience? Each time we work with a client on one of these engagements, we focus on outcomes that achieve the greatest employee retention and satisfaction, customer experience, and what all leaders care about – company growth.
I built my first community at Jobvite in 2008 and since then have built four others at companies, including Brightedge and Walkme. Communities around a common product and helping others while building your Klout, especially during and after the pandemic, is good. We are humans. We seek connection, and if online connection allows interaction around what we are good at, it can lead to company growth – look at Gainsight, High Logic, Salesforce, and many others – all purchased communities to build their businesses. Now is the time to build your own company. Meet your customers where they are, and if you are not in B2B, then online may not be the place…it might be on the golf course, on Meetup, and other places your clients like to be. If you want to learn more about communities for your clients, check out the session with Lloyed Lobo. It was my favorite session.
Customer Success + Culture + Community = GROWTH!
(CCC = G)
Thank you, team B2B Rocks, Maelys, and Nicolas. You two were amazing to work with…and the venue…dreamy.
I loved how the event was not pretentious. Everyone was easy to access, approachable and wanted to help each other.
I can’t wait to revisit the 12-century chateau, Domaine de Biar. The staff, organic, locally produced food, rustic but chic ambiance…and a new level of customer experience.
You can find all the session replays here.
Are you feeling the FOMO yet?
Companies in North America are gearing up to focus on Customer Success starting in August with Pulse22, followed by SaaStr…and many more.
Our team will be attending and sponsoring Pulse 22. I hope you will join us! Register here with our 20% off code, MOLECULES22.
– See you at Pulse!
*FOMO (Fear of missing out).