By Amin Akbarpour
Goals. We all have them. As Customer Success professionals, they’re usually a combination of both quantitative and qualitative. Think things like customer advocacy (qualitative) and churn reduction (quantitative). The idea is obviously to hit these goals. Presuming you’ve done a good job of goal setting (check out Kristen's recent article on Annual Planning for Customer Success), then the next most important thing would be tracking towards these goals. There’s a number of ways to effectively do this depending on the goal in question.
Macro Meets Micro
Chances are your goals are set looking at the full year. You then take those calls and break them down into either quarterly or monthly time intervals. Why stop there? Take this one step further and break it down to daily goals. Here’s an example:
Goal: Close $100,000 in up-sells within your current book of business in the fiscal year.
First, figure out what $100,000 would look like in terms of your organization’s product or offering. In this example, let’s say this means selling 10 training packages. In cases where you offer multiple different paths towards this $100k goal, tailor it based on what you know about your book of business and what would be most beneficial to them.
Next, take the last time you or someone on your team (in cases where you haven’t before) successfully sold a training package. How many meetings did it take from initial conversation to close? Let’s say six and the entire sales cycle lasted three months. In order to get the first meeting in this series, how many emails or calls did it take? 15? Yes, 15.
From that information, we now know that it’ll take 150 outreaches to get the first meeting for ten successful deals. We also know that your average sales cycle is three months. If you’re in month 10 and haven’t gotten that first meeting then you’re most likely going to be out of luck in regard to hitting your target for the year.
Now that you’ve boiled down your annual goal to a daily routine, it’s important to stay on top of that. Everyone has their own way of doing this. Here are a few things I would suggest:
CRM Reminders: Whatever CRM or CS tool you use most likely has some sort of reminder system. Take Salesforce, for example. You can create recurring tasks associated with contacts and accounts. From there, every time you sign into Salesforce you can go to your personal dashboard and see what needs to be done for the day.
Calendar Blocks: It’s easy to get caught up in last minute madness or the daily chaos that comes with our jobs. Be organized and put a recurring block on your calendar for a couple hours when you shut your email off (I know, terrifying) and get stuff done. Focus on your daily outbound tasks that need to be done in order to hit your goals. If you work in an open office space, I find it helps sometimes to just reserve a conference room and lock myself in there. That way you can go uninterrupted and ensure you’re allowing time to knock out your tasks.
Prioritization & Resources: This is one I had an issue with when I transitioned from being a mid-market to an enterprise rep. Understanding that not every item raised by a client is a “raise the alarm, stop what you’re doing, all hands on deck” situation. It’s okay to take a day or two to knock out a client task if that means having balance in your days. Additionally, if you have resources around you that you can leverage (technical support team, sales engineer, project manager, etc) then leverage them! You’re one member of a team. Act like it.
Picking up these good habits and implementing them will help you make time in each day to hit your goals. Be diligent when you backtrack your annual goals into daily tasks. It’s important that you are formulated with this approach, and then be disciplined enough to consistently stick to the plan. Only then will you reap the benefits of your labor.
Need some extra help mapping and tracking your goals? The Success League is a customer success consulting firm that offers online training and workshops. Our upcoming CSM Training Program kicks off with classes like Customer Goals & Outcomes and Time Management for CSMs. For more information on these and our other classes and workshops, please visit TheSuccessLeague.io
Amin Akbarpour - Amin is a customer success coach and architect. With relationship-building at the core of his practice, he molds teams by instilling the necessary principles to transform them into trusted advisors. Understanding what's needed for organizational change, he translates theory and ideology into practice and habit. Amin is one of the founding advisors to The Success League. In addition to his work with The League, Amin currently serves as an account manager for Persado. Originally from Southern California, Amin is a University of San Francisco alum who now calls New York City home.