HomeBlog Which Customer Success Management Platform Is Right for You?

Which Customer Success Management Platform Is Right for You?

October 06, 2015 | By Lisa Nakano

  • Customer success management improves loyalty, retention and growth by helping customers derive maximum value from offerings
  • Customer success management technology leverages automation and analytics to help accomplish these goals
  • This technology market has accelerated due to the trend toward recurring revenue models and the emergence of SaaS solutions

The strategic goals of customer success management are to improve loyalty, retention, profitability and growth by helping customers derive maximum value from the organization’s offerings. Customer success management technology leverages automation and analytics to help accomplish these goals, while providing insight into the health of customer relationships. This technology market has accelerated due to the trend toward recurring revenue models and the emergence of software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions.

Customer success management technology is an emerging technology category. Therefore, capabilities, functionality and pricing options vary significantly across vendors. In our recently published SiriusDecisions SiriusView, we describe the core capabilities and benefits of customer success management solutions and provide guidance for investigating the offerings of specific vendors including Bluenose, Gainsight, Preact and Totango. The following are excerpts that provide a quick snapshot of when to consider each vendor. Additional, detailed analysis is contained in the complete SiriusView.

    Bluenose focuses on SaaS companies and is best suited for organizations that require a short implementation time; it claims a 49-day “time to value.” Organizations with an identified need for better insight into which customers need attention, and that want the ability to automate tasks to address these customers – may benefit from Bluenose’s usage score, which is based on a proprietary algorithm. Larger enterprises – e.g. those with global language requirements – and enterprises that do not sell SaaS offerings may want to consider alternatives for their customer success needs.

  Medium-sized and large organizations seeking a comprehensive platform to address more complex customer scenarios (e.g. required lifecycle actions, customer advocate identification triggers) should look into Gainsight’s capabilities. For companies utilizing Salesforce.com’s SFA system, Gainsight’s native integration with Salesforce.com provides unique benefits including ease of use, improved customer data synchronization processes and enhanced data security. Smaller organizations with more basic needs may find Gainsight’s advanced functionality overwhelming and may be better served by alternative solutions.

  Preact’s account prioritization functionality is a good fit for emerging growth companies – and those with smaller customer success teams – that task each customer success manager with handling many accounts. If leveraging insight from the customer success management function for customer service is a priority, Preact should be considered due to its native integration with Zendesk. Larger enterprises with a strong need for scenario planning or “what if” analyses or that have multi-tiered customer success functions may receive more benefit from alternative vendors.

  Totango is best suited for companies with an established customer success management practice and seek to take performance and operations to the next level with deeper integrations across sales, marketing and support functions. Companies looking to implement a customer success management solution with limited IT support should consider Totango, as it provides pre-built connectors to push and pull data from systems like Salesforce.com, Marketo, Eloqua and Engine Yard. Enterprises with a preference for intuitive and precise keyword search and more refined search results, and smaller organizations with a less mature customer success function, may find Totango’s breadth of features and functionality too extensive to fit their needs and may want to consider alternative solutions.

These descriptions provide a quick snapshot of the companies we covered, but there are still many other factors to consider when choosing the best solution for your organization. When evaluating these vendors, as with any company, we recommend securing customer references as part of due diligence before trial or purchase.

Want to learn more? Attend the SiriusDecisions Technology Exchange.

Lisa Nakano

Lisa is a customer experience and insights thought leader with more than 20 years of experience working in global organizations, with an emphasis on the high-tech software, hardware and telecommunications sectors. She has successfully led customer experience, customer insight and customer marketing initiatives designed to deepen knowledge of customers, increase loyalty and improve business results. Lisa has particularly focused on developing ground-up programs and organizations to execute strategies to drive the voice of the customer deeply and broadly into organizations.

Featured SiriusEvents®

Join Us at #SDSummit