2 min read
A lot of people in SaaS are thinking about up-sales and strategies for how to drive expansion sales on existing accounts.
If you google around you'll find people in the industry arguing that the customer lifecycle has a set of phases that are argued to be "standard"
This is one example (very basic)
An onboarding phase makes perfect sense, clearly, it is crucial for success to nail the initial set of actions – in the adoption phase you follow up the users that aren’t using your product and make sure they adopt and love your service.
Expansion argued to be “a phase” in which you expand the account (meaning you have your customer success organization selling new seats/modules/features).
Here is another example of how people might pitch you different phases of a lifecycle:
(there is a lot of wrong in the above illustration but we'll leave that for now)
The problem with boxing “expansion” into a phase is that it has no correlation to the real world. That’s not how customer success works. No, expansion is not a lifecycle phase. Here is why:
You don’t have a “phase" in which you suddenly ask your CSMs start “selling”. Sales in customer success is an ongoing thing that happens throughout the subscription period – it’s as natural part of the CSMs role. Customer Success is not a support function, it’s a revenue center and should be treated as such! Selling in customer success happens when you listen to your customers, help them create value for their business and show how new and other modules/seats/features/products you offer helps them solve that specific pain point.
Expansion sales (a.k.a up-sales or cross sales) is a function of the customer success team understanding that their role is to expand and grow their accounts.
We recommend that you think twice before creating a phase in your lifecycle and playbook where you suddenly ask your CMSs to start looking for up-sale opportunities.
Instead, make sure that your CSMs understand that expansion and up-sales are ongoing processes throughout the lifecycle. Put incentives on expansion sales (x% kick back on all up-sales and upgrades)
Be data driven in your approach to identifying up-sale candidates (timing is everything!)
Receive the latest news, updates, and invitations to our events.
Learn how to visualise data, helping you understand and analyse the outcomes of the processes you've set up on Planhat with the "Telling Stories With Data" course - part of the Power User Certification. Enhance your customer platform skills at Planhat with this modern, essential training.
Learn how to leverage the new Workflows platform on Planhat with the "Take Action With Data" course - part of the Power User Certification. Enhance your customer platform skills at Planhat with this modern, essential training.
Discover why Planhat's customer platform has achieved global recognition in the G2 Fall Report 2023. Explore the eight categories where Planhat is celebrated as a G2 Leader and uncover its key features and advantages.
Drop your email and let us show you our platform!
We look forward to showing you Planhat.
Tell us a bit about yourself.