Your success in customer success management primarily comes down to your response to one question: How do you best organize your time with customers? This is especially important in the B2B SaaS environment. You are interacting with more people per day than most folks talk to in a week. What’s more, everyone in your client circle expects to be treated like royalty! How do you prioritize? It’s not easy, but here are some guidelines to help.

ARR

The most obvious way to curate your customer base is by size. The customers that are bringing you the highest annual recurring revenue (ARR) certainly merit some sort of priority. If your business revenues rely on term subscription agreements, ARR is a metric to consider highly.

In most cases, your high ARR customers are the ones that are keeping the lights on. These are usually the customers with more choice about partnerships as well. The bottom line: If they are displeased with your services, it means much more to you than to them if a switch gets made. By all rights, you should be intimidated by this. This is a healthy pressure that keeps good businesses honest. However, it does not mean you should prioritize the needs of these customers to the detriment of your smaller clients.

Customers that may provide a smaller overall ARR may also require less maintenance. If you can more easily retain a group of smaller customers, this leaves your business with the manpower and technical resources it needs to grow. In most cases, a good balance between the two groups is the best solution.

Upsell Potential

If your business is like most companies, it doesn’t make the majority of its revenues from initial sales. Customers who upgrade to your premium products and cross sell opportunities are the ones that really matter to your bottom line.

If you are successfully upselling, that means you are keeping your customers happy. Happy customers, along with the ability to maintain their satisfaction, is a skill that not all companies have. If yours does, you must take full advantage of it.

Make sure you are keeping accurate statistics of important client metrics including product use, product use frequency, team size and adoption rate. From here, you can determine where your ARR is coming from more precisely and prioritize your customers based on their potential for future revenues as well as their current account size with you.

Churn Prevention

In general, it is five times more difficult to get a new customer than to retain a current one. With this in mind, churn prevention should be an important metric in the way you prioritize customers. Creating a health score for accounts may help you to prevent churn; otherwise, you may end up wasting valuable resources putting out fires that could have been prevented.

Make sure you are keeping up with the number of customers using your platform within major accounts, as well as the trends you see in use frequency and behavior. Having a snapshot of usage is one thing, but understanding behavioral and use frequency trends over time is much more telling if an account is at risk of churn.

Personal Relationships

The X factor in any business relationship is the personal outreach between client and vendor. People do business with people they like. The tiebreaker between two companies with similar value offerings is often the personal relationship with the client. If you can help it, try to only do business with clients you know will get along with for a long time.

If you spend time cultivating a good personal relationship with clients, they are more likely to receive your upsell correspondence favorably. They are also much more likely to overlook the inevitable small mistakes that your business will make. This runway is especially essential when you are trying to build relationships from the ground up with new clients.

So yes, you may want to consider prioritizing your clients by the “vibe” they give you. As a matter of fact, you should not be afraid to fire a client if that client is demanding priority that he does not deserve. Trying to make everyone happy can only result in less favor being given to the clients you should actually be prioritizing. Great relationships also improve ARR because happy clients are more likely to renew subscriptions and refer others to your business.

Prioritizing your client base can be difficult, but it is an exercise that you must undertake in order to ensure the longevity of your business. Use the tips above as a general guideline to create a short list of clients that most likely deserve priority support. From here, you can begin to evaluate each relationship from a financial and personal perspective, eventually identifying those handful of important clients that you will be moving forward with in the long term.

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