Having the right strategy to get the most out of your portfolio will help you unlock your full potential.
But as all Customer Success (CS) professionals know, getting the most out of your portfolio is not always easy. Getting the right data, structuring your portfolio and mapping out each customer is often a manual or difficult process.
Where do you start? How do you get organized?
Read on to see how to get it done. First, having a system(s) that can help you execute on these strategies will save you a lot of time and effort. If you don’t, you can still do this manually (or sign up for a free RevSetter account here).
Step 1: Aggregate & connect data
Start by getting all your customers and key customer-data into one place so you can get a true 360-overview of both your full portfolio and each customer.
Start by getting the right data about each customer and avoid too much noise. Here are a few things to include:
- Customer name
- Current Rep (CSM; AM etc)
- Renewal date
- Health score (if you have one)
- Expansion score (if you have one)
- Usage (if you have it)
- Users & Roles (titles)
- Bonus metrics: Years as a client, Last Quality Contact, NPS, Competitors, URL
This will allow you to get going with the rest of the steps and gives you control of your portfolio.
Step 2: Map out your portfolio
Now that you have all your customer-data in one place, you can start grouping and mapping out your portfolio.
First, organize the portfolio as a whole. Create different Groups of customers that you can work with in different ways.
Examples of segmented Groups you can think of:
- Upcoming renewals – customers up for renewal in the next 6 months (for annualized business models)
- Top growth – customers with expansion indicators
- High potential – customers with lower/medium spend, but high potential (e.g. Fortune 500 company on small/free plan)
- By industry – customers by top industry/verticals
- Top Health – customers with a high health score
- Top Usage – customers with high usage
Now your portfolio is getting organized. Next, you can start mapping out the key customers.
Start with customers in the different prioritized Groups (e.g. “High Potential”). Ensure you have all relevant data about each customer (e.g. contract data, industry/revenue, products etc).
Then map out your current relationships and potential relationships – who do we work with today, who is a user that we don’t talk to today, who are contacts that we want to talk to?
Organize all this in a Company Map (i.e. Org. chart) so you can get a clear overview of the true opportunities and white spaces.
Done? Great, now you have your portfolio, customers and relationships mapped out!
Step 3: Plan
Now that the legwork has been done, you need to turn all this fantastic insight into action. You do that by creating actionable plans, goals and tasks.
Key it simple to start. Focus on the key opportunities and create tangible and actionable plans.
You can create different types of plans, here are three examples:
- Account Plans – an account plan for how to maximize a specific customer, e.g. “Apple Growth – Account Plan”
- Time-bound Plan – create a plan for a certain period of time, e.g. “My Q4 Plan”
- Metric-driven Plan – a plan with a certain metric in mind, e.g. “Net Revenue Retention Plan”
When you have your plans, be sure to create specific goals that will help you execute on the plan.
And for each goal, outline the tasks and actions you need to take to hit the goal.
Don’t forget to include other team members that can help with, and are responsible for, each goal and/or task. Also, don’t forget to set deadlines when possible to move things forward.
Step 4: Execute
Now your portfolio is segmented, your customers & opportunities mapped out, and your plans & goals are set. You have the foundation you need to execute on – and maximize – the potential in your portfolio.
Use your plans as a guide when you have to prioritize your time and attention (which – in CS – is usually all the time). Leverage your goals & tasks to stay on course.
And most importantly, track your progress towards success so you can adjust and re-align your plans as circumstances change.
As you execute on your retention (renewal) and expansion (up-sales, cross-sales) it will also help if you stay organized around your renewal methodology and/or sales motion.
Keep an eye on how your customers move between different sales Phases (e.g. from lead to opportunity to closing stage).
And as you get close to closing the business (renewal or expansion), be sure to have a strong quality-assurance process to guide your forecasting so you truly know where you stand.
A pro-tip is to use a well-defined Forecast Checklist.
Bonus – Step 5: Analyze & Improve
Analysis and using insights to improve is slightly outside the scope of the organization and mapping of your portfolio, but it is an important and well-worth step nonetheless.
As you continue to develop, evolve and drive step 1-4 you will be greatly helped by understanding what you are doing well and where you can improve.
Here are just a few examples:
- Use a win-loss analysis to see why you are closing deals, and why you are not. That can help you focus on the right customers, products and/or use cases.
- Use a churn analysis to understand why your customers leave. Use that to master skills that will help you avoid that, utilize resources better and be proactive instead of reactive.
- Use sales phase & conversion analysis to see where in the renewal or sales process you shine and where you can improve.
In summary, you should take a structured approach in order to maximize the potential of your portfolio and every customer. In a (CS) world that is often filled with many customers, tasks, KPIs and complexity, it is important to create order and structure so you can best utilize your time and maximize impact.
Success starts with good preparation (connect, map) Preparation leads to clear focus (plans, goals, tasks) Focus leads to top results (execute, win)
CS is a long-term game, so put in the work upfront, and you will benefit greatly from it over time. Use systems, strategies and resources that enable you to connect, map, plan & execute. Better, more automated and scalable.
Start now, and look forward to the results ahead.