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How Customer Success Teams Can Use ABM to Reduce Churn and Increase Expansion Revenue

Author Baillie Ward Category Account-Based Marketing, Engage

ABM isn’t just for demand generation (and, frankly, demand generation shouldn’t just be about new logo acquisition).

Account-based marketing has the potential to act as a solution for a couple of key factors in SaaS performance: customer retention and churn.

In the early days of a SaaS business, churn really doesn’t matter that much.

Let’s say that you lose 3% of your customers every month. When you only have a hundred customers, losing 3 of them is not that terrible. You can easily go and find another 3 to replace them.

But as your business grows, that 3% churn can quickly become a beast that’s hard to wrangle. Losing 3% of a 100-customer pool monthly is much different than 3% of a million customers monthly (to put it in perspective, that’s a loss of 30,000 customers a month).

And it’s much more difficult to replace 30,000 customers than it is to replace 3. And the revenue loss from churning 360,000 customers annually is a much harder pill to swallow than the revenue loss from losing 36 customers annually.

So imagine if you could leverage a strategy that would not only help to reduce churn but could also help to increase the ARR from your installed base of customers.

Account-based marketing can help alleviate many of the problems commonly faced by customer success teams while also providing a scalable strategy to run renewal, retention, and expansion campaigns.

The question is: how?

Here are a few recommendations for how your Customer Success team can use account-based marketing to boost retention and increase expansion revenue.

Step 1: Do the math.

Before you can come up with a plan, you’ve got to do the revenue math and circulate it internally. Based on the number you’d like to achieve, what retention goal would you have to hit?

Step 2: Chat with your Marketing team.

Good old fashioned alignment doesn’t just apply to sales and marketing. Customer Success and Marketing can be buds, too. Grab some time with your marketing team and focus some attention on the metrics you’re measured on:

  • Retention
  • Health Score
  • Expansion Revenue

Step 3: You’re off to the races – go run some ABM campaigns!

With marketing on board, you’re ready to start running some ABM campaigns to your current customers. Below are a few examples to get you started.

Leveraging 1:1 ABM Campaigns to Reduce Churn and Increase Expansion Revenue

Bespoke marketing campaigns (or 1:1 campaigns) are a popular account-based strategy that marketers and sales professionals alike rely on to generate awareness and engagement in target accounts. But customer success teams can also use this strategy to accomplish the same goal with their customers.

Here are a few use cases for how customer success teams can leverage 1:1 marketing campaigns with their customers:

Run Renewal and Retention Campaigns

As a customer nears their renewal deadline, 1:1 campaigns can be the perfect opportunity to keep your product top of mind.

You can use these campaigns to highlight new features that your customer may not yet be utilizing, reinforce the benefits of your solution, and also take advantage of multi-channel marketing to get in front of them in more ways than just emails and phone calls.

Additionally, you’ll have the ability to engage multiple contacts from what is likely a larger renewal committee.

To make the most of this advertising channel, you could try linking the ads to a custom landing page that features the customer’s branding and use cases while highlighting the specific features or benefits you think will drive their decision to renew.

Your CS team can also use a platform like Vidyard to record a quick video, which you can embed at the top of the page as an additional personalization tactic.

Raise Awareness for Product Updates or Announcements

Even before your customer is approaching their renewal deadline, your CS team can use 1:1 campaigns to communicate important product updates or announcements to your customer base.

Or, if you’d like to achieve this same level of personalization at a larger scale, you could implement a 1-to-few campaign where you group customers together and add them to campaigns segmented by features that are the most relevant to their use case.

You can drive these ads back to a product page or walkthrough video, and include a link where they can reach out to their assigned CS team member with any questions.

These extra touches, when combined with native notifications, emails, or customer calls, will help to communicate product updates on a grand scale and ensure your customers are able to get the most out of your solution.

Communicate With The Rest Of The Organization

Typically, customer success teams rely on individual team members to communicate with individual customers (rather than communicating with the entire team or committee that makes decisions). While this helps to create deeper relationships (and the customer feels like they have a dedicated person working to guarantee their satisfaction), it creates an overreliance on the customer to communicate those updates to the rest of the team.

That’s where 1:1 campaigns come in. Because account-based platforms like Terminus can get your ads in front of highly specific departments in your customer accounts, you can disseminate information to key decisionmakers without having to rely on your customer point of contact to do it for you. This helps to prevent potential gaps in communication caused by turnover in customer accounts and can alleviate pressure caused when you’re only working with one point of contact instead of the entire buying committee.

 Achieve More Consistent Messaging

Your sales team isn’t the only team that can rely on marketing for air cover. Customer Success teams can, and should, work closely with your marketing team to ensure that customer updates are communicated in a way that’s consistent, engaging, and on-brand.

This is especially pertinent as your organization (and CS team) grows and scales – if you’re relying on CSMs to communicate product updates to your customers on a one-off basis, you may find that they’re individually focusing on inconsistent talking points.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing; after all, your CSMs know your customers and know which updates or announcements will pertain to them (and probably which talking points are most relevant), but by encouraging marketing and customer success to collaborate on personalized customer marketing campaigns, you can take a 360-degree approach to customer communication that ensures your customers are receiving similar messaging via email, 1:1 display ads, direct mail, person-to-person interactions, and more.

ABM Drives Customer Success – But it Can Also Drive Customer Success Teams

Your Customer Success team is working hard to drive results for your customers. By taking advantage of account-based marketing efforts (and partnering with marketing), they can continue to generate even better results by getting deeper penetration into customer accounts, communicating product updates on a greater scale, and accomplishing better overall customer retention.

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