How to pick a Customer Success tool
06 Jun

As Customer Success continues to boom, there are more and more leaders out there in search of a great Customer Success or Customer Growth software that will help them become more structured and deliver better results.

So, what should you do before you get your next CS software?

Check out the 5 checklist items below.

Step 1: Evaluate where you are

The first step is to evaluate and understand where you are today. Are you a smaller or growing CS organization or are you a mature and large organization? Chances are that if you are smaller and scaling, you will need a more focused approach and something that will scale with you. If you are a mature organization, you will likely need more customization and more capabilities.

Step 2: Understand your goals

This step can seem straightforward, but it is worthwhile spending time thinking about this. If you have a good product that your customers generally like, you will be less dependent on, or in need of, basic CS features – you are likely already driving good retention. Instead, you will need more strategic and growth-focused features. If you on the other hand are dealing with a “leaky bucket”, losing a lot of customers, then you will need the fundamentals first of a traditional CS tool.

Step 3: Who is this software for

This is important. If you – like most CS organizations out there – have an organization with multiple roles or a divison of labor (CSMs focusing on adoption/health, AMs focusing on renewals, AEs on expansion etc), you will need to think about who is going to be the main user of this software. If the CSMs are the main users, you need features that helps them the most and secondary features for your other roles. If the AM/AE is the main user, you need features that are built around account mapping, lead gen and growth and secondary functions for the CSMs.

Step 4: Make sure it connects to tangible ROI

When you invest in any software, and especially CS software, make sure you can connect it to tangible ROI over time. Many CS softwares out there are great, and feel great to use, but it is hard to connect their use to tangible ROI and improved Net Retention. They are activity-based, but it is hard to see or measure how churn improves or upsells & cross-sales increase. Make sure that you can connect the use of the software to tangible proof-points and ROI. Did we find more CS leads? Did we close more renewals or expansion deals? Is our Net Retention improving because of this tool?

Step 5: Evaluate broadly

Do not just evaluate the 2-3 most known players in the field. Customer Success, like the software and tools for it, is constantly growing and evolving. So evaluate multiple options and be sure to also evaluate different types of CS software. You will likely find key differences and have a better chance of finding the tool that is right for you. Here are a few categories:

Gross Retention & Health: Planhat, Gainsight, Totango

Customer Growth & Net Retention: RevSetter

Predicative: Involve

Feedback: Strikedeck, CustomerGuage

Note, for some of these – like Gainsight and Totango – you will likely need internal and dedicated resources (CS ops) to make good use out of them. For others – like Planhat and RevSetter – there are scalable options to get you started right away or to build it out much more customized. So keep that in mind when you evaluate so your time-to-value is not too long with the software you choose.


The most important thing when you are looking for a new Customer Success software is to do your due diligence, both in preparing & setting your criteria, and in evaluating tools on the market. Think about your current situation, your goals and who the tool is for. Then make sure you evaluate many types of options. Lastly, the software you select should be able to be directly tied to tangible ROI and results.

And don’t forget – there is a large CS community out there, ask for opinions and suggestions!

Good luck in your search=)

Check out our other blog posts

The New Way to CS

Listen here on: Apple Podcast Spotify Google Customer Success has evolved in recent years - from focusing on old-school, vanity metrics and being seen as a support or services function to focusing on value-creating, ROI-driven metrics and being seen as a revenue...

Achieving Success as a CSM

Being a Customer Success Manager is a rewarding role, but can often be overwhelming if one doesn’t prepare and prioritize properly. After all, keeping a full portfolio of clients happy and successful while still actively pursuing growth opportunities requires a...

Executive Insights: Unveiling the Top Priority in Customer Success Today

Life in Customer Success is certainly never boring. With the business landscape in technology constantly evolving, Customer Success teams must be capable of adapting quickly and prioritizing the right strategies. Given the uncertainty of the last 6 months, our team at...

Webinar: Proving Customer Success as a Profit Center

Rewatch our webinar from April 20th 2023. The core reality of corporate life is simply: Power Follows Money. If you are not perceived as being necessarily connected to strategically significant profitability streams, in hard economic times, your job and your team may...

How Customer Success and Account Management Teams Can Grow Enterprise/Large Customer Accounts

In the highly competitive B2B tech SAAS market, winning large customers is a top priority for companies. However, once the deal is closed, the real work begins to keep these valuable customers happy and retain them for the long term. This is where customer success and...

I love Customer Success because People Matter! It’s not just business, it is absolutely personal.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jenelle Friday, VP of Customer Success at Forecastable. Hello! Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to share my story. I’m originally from the Seattle, WA area so yes I love cloudy rainy days, green surroundings all year...

Grow Your Business From Within with the Premier Customer Success Platform

Stop wasting time on expensive, low-conversion sales and business development tactics. Instead, maximize the value of the customers you already have with RevSetter. The Customer Success Platform Built for Revenue Retention A Suite of Customer Success Tools at Your...

Understanding the Rule of 40: How Net Revenue Retention (NRR) Drives Success in B2B Tech

The "Rule of 40" is a common benchmark used by many B2B tech companies to measure their success. The Rule of 40 is the sum of a company's growth rate and profit margin, and a result of 40 or higher is considered a good indicator of a healthy and sustainable business....

What Is CSM Software? A Comprehensive Guide to Customer Success Platforms

Customer success management software (commonly known as CSM software or Customer Success Platforms (CSP)) is an immensely powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. It helps companies focus on the satisfaction of their current customer portfolio to grow their business...

The Importance of Retention and Customer Success for SaaS companies

Net Revenue Retention (NRR) is a key metric for Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) companies as it measures the ability of a company to retain and grow its customer base over time. In the B2B (business-to-business) space, the importance of NRR cannot be overstated as it is...