Leaders Labs: Multithreading and Why Customer Success Needs Relationship Maps

In computer architecture, multithreading is the ability of a central processing unit to provide multiple threads of execution concurrently, supported by the operating system. The concept of multithreading is becoming increasingly important in Customer Success as companies fight churn and work to expand the footprint within a portfolio of accounts. So how does multithreading work for Customer Success Managers performing account management and working on expansion? It’s all about having more than one contact within each customer account.

Now think about what happens when the champion of a customer account leaves the business. Employees are staying with companies for shorter periods of time resulting in additional risk with single-threaded relationships. In 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4.2 years as the median amount of time employees spend with an employer. Without a stakeholder who understands the value of a product, the relationship is immediately at risk. And who can forget that 2020 was the year of COVID-19 with all the change it forced upon us.

Customer Success departments are not the only part of your company that benefit from multithreading. A good sales and customer success manager know the importance of building relationships across departments and divisions to sell more once they’ve landed a new customer. Even though the benefits of multithreading are clear, LinkedIn states only 9% of sales deals are multithreaded.

Only 9%!

Building relationships with more than one person within an ‘account, AKA, your customer relationship,’ is your opportunity to jump ahead of your competition by putting this best practice into your playbook today.

How and when do you build multithreading opportunities in Customer Success?

1. Sales to Customer Success Handoff

The handoff isn’t complete until all contacts the sales team encountered during the sales process are added to your CRM system. Don’t forget to include each contact’s title and role (Executive Sponsor, Champion, Influencer, Day to Day, etc.). If the salesperson won’t enter this level of detail, be sure to extract it from them.

2. Kickoff Call

Every good onboarding process should include a review of the project stakeholders. Be sure to identify the Project Sponsor, Business Lead, Technical Lead, and other project team members. Another best practice is to develop a ‘getting to know you’ slide as part of your kickoff call presentation that asks “Who else in your company will be leveraging our product?”. It’s important to not ask for the same information again that you should have already gather in Step 1 above.

3. Onboarding Process

Use your relationship skills during the onboarding process and proactively connect with these contacts on LinkedIn so you can follow news related to the company. A key part of being a customer-oriented CSM is to become an expert in how each customer uses your product and how it makes an impact in the industry they serve.

4. Executive Business Reviews

The first goal of an EBR is to ensure your solution is delivering the value promised during the sales cycle. Take an objective look at your customer’s overall situation. If you have achieved trusted advisor status and can honestly discuss how their business has improved since starting with your solution, it’s a good idea to ask, “Who else in your network can benefit from leveraging our product?”

Aren’t Health Scores Enough?

Despite the catchy title of the interview you can watch below, we do suggest building and improving your health score methodology. If you need help building a health score, David Lahey, has written about it here and Growth Molecules is always here to help as well. But don’t stop with health scores.

Here’s why:

1. Health scores are irrelevant if they are not contextual. Despite every parameter showing green, you can still have a red customer in reality.

2. The relationships you develop bring a human connection to the customer experience, which is so relevant and impactful.

3. Health scores do not contain all the parameters that a CSM is responsible for controlling.

4. A good health score includes leading indicators and not only lagging indicators that confirm long-term trends.

5. The moment your champion leaves, the account is immediately at risk unless you have developed other relationships at the company that also benefit from the impact of leveraging your platform.

Want to learn more?

Ziv Peled, CCO, AppsFlyer, and I recently talked about why relationships across organizations are so important in B2B SaaS during the ‘Leaders Labs’ Series with the Customer Success Network. Below is a full recording with ideas around how you can make your client relationships a central theme in your organization’s growth.

It’s time to invest in educating your customer success team on why multithreading matters and how to build those relationships that will continue as your champions move companies and rave about your platform and service even when you are not in the room.

You can catch the full interview focused on the importance of relationship maps with Ziv Peled, CCO of AppsFlyer & Emilia D’Anzica, CEO, Growth Molecules on YouTube
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