Lincoln Murphy is one of the most knowledgeable customer success gurus in the B2B world.
He’s helping businesses develop customers into wildly successful advocates through his work at Winning By Design and Sixteen Ventures. As the Customer Success Evangelist at Gainsight, he helped promote the company’s thought-leadership in the areas of customer success, retention, churn mitigation and expansion revenue. Lincoln first came to my attention when I saw this Tweet from one of my heros, Dharmesh Shah.
I’m sure there are people in the world who I’d agree with more than @lincolnmurphy on customer success, but I have not come across them.
— Dharmesh Shah (@dharmesh) April 29, 2016
After seeing this Tweet, I knew I had to get to know Lincoln better. Now, I have some big news to share…Lincoln will be our keynote speaker at #FlipMyFunnel Austin on June 7!
With only a few weeks to go until Austin, Lincoln and I recently caught up on a Google Hangout where he offered some stellar insights on customer success and a sneak peek for what he’ll present at #FlipMyFunnel. Before we hear Lincoln’s perspective on championing customer success with account-based marketing, let’s get to know him a bit better.
If you weren’t leading the charge in customer success, what would you do? “I would be a WWE professional wrestler. I tried this in my early 20s but never made it past the regional scene. However, this helped teach me a lot of what I learned about marketing and storytelling. Now, my pro-wrestling circuit is my conference calendar.”
“I’m fired up to come to #FlipMyFunnel Austin, to get on stage to talk about account-based marketing and get people hyped about this concept.”
Check out the full interview here:
Here are 3 ways to #FlipMyFunnel with customer success
1. For startups, look at your business goals
For us at Terminus, one of our first hires (besides our co-founders) was a Customer Success Team Leader. We knew we had to provide a white-glove experience for our customers. Lincoln agreed that this was the right thing to do for a young SaaS company.
“Before hiring the revenue makers, for very early stage startups, founders should be the sales reps,” he explained. “They are the most passionate people who know what’s going on with the company’s product. Now, someone else needs to make sure customers are successful.”
However, in the past, this is not how a lot of early-stage SaaS companies operated. “Making the initial sale, that’s just the beginning,” Lincoln said. “Startups now recognize that if they help customers be successful from the beginning, there will be more success long term.”
“I get asked all the time, ‘What should customer success look like in the next five years?’ and really the question should be ‘What do you want your business to look like in the next five years?’”
2. Customer retention and churn reduction
Lincoln has helped hundreds of SaaS companies grow over the years. He believes B2B organizations have matured across the industry when it comes to acknowledging the same tactics used to gain new customers actually work for keeping them as clients.
“This is why the #FlipMyFunnel idea is so cool. You realize that a lot of things that go into creating a customer (if we do it right) actually will help keep your customer,” Lincoln said. “Realizing why they want to buy will actually get stronger once they make the commitment. Taking that energy, running with it, then take your processes to achieve the desired outcome. I’ve applied that logic to a lot of companies I’ve worked with.”
3. Achieving the desired outcome
The main crux of customer success is the desired outcome. According to Lincoln, this should be at the center of everything you do for your business. This has two pieces, he explained:
I. Required Outcome – the thing your customer has to achieve. “Here’s the secret,” Lincoln said. “The required outcome is X, but the method to achieve it is why they are doing business with you. As a vendor, you need to see if the customer is taking these steps to achieve that desired outcome.”
II. Appropriate experience – your customers are not all the same. You have big enterprises vs. SMBs who all have a different experience. Dig into those experiences, and see how does this apply to all the different parts of the account’s journey.
Lincoln is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to customer success. What are some successes or challenges you’ve faced? I’d love to hear in the comments section below.