FIVE BIG TAKEAWAYS
1. Have Customer Success Managers understand their customers' businesses as a metric.
2. Having Quarterly Business Reviews help with having a customer for life.
3. Reducing churn and net revenue retention is key for growing the business.
4. If you churn your customers every 3 years, depending on your Total Addressable Market, you could be in serious trouble.
5. Customer success works closely with sales to define the ICP and ensure sales is selling to the right customers.
David Mangham is currently the Director of Global Operations and Customer Success at ZOLL Data. He has worked at Spetralink, and Polycom during his 20+ year career. He started in sales with AT&T. He graduated with an MBA from Wharton and the University of Colorado.
Connect with our guest, David Mangham, on LinkedIn
[00:00:20] Islin Munisteri: ,Hi everyone. This is Islin Munisteri host of the Rev Careers podcast sponsored by Theia Strategies. Today I'm excited to have David Mangham on the podcast with us. He is currently Director of Global Operations and Customer Success at ZOLL Data.
[00:00:38] He has worked at Spectralink and Polycom during his 20-plus-year career. In the early days, he started out in sales with AT&T. He graduated with an MBA from Wharton and the University of Colorado. So I'm really excited to have you on.
[00:00:54] David Mangham: Thank you. Thank you.
[00:00:55] Islin Munisteri: Good to be here. Awesome. Why don't we get [00:01:00] started?
[00:01:00] So how, Okay, so what got. Started in SaaS and customer success ops. I know you started in
[00:01:06] David Mangham: sales. I've always been in customer-facing roles throughout my career, whether it was sales or customer service. And then probably 10 plus years ago I was with a company where I was responsible for all the global services things like renewals, deployment, what we call onboarding today.
[00:01:24] But we were considered a customer service team back then, and customer success was just starting up. And I remember sharing. With my team. Let's pivot to this because it's more all encompassing of trying to make our customers successful, wanting to grow the value that they receive out of their solutions they receive from us.
[00:01:42] And interestingly enough, way back when people were really hesitant to use the term customer success, it was no, we're providing services and we don't want to don't really understand the customer success concept. Fast forward to 10 years or by 10 years, and now, it's a practice that is growing every day.
[00:01:59] [00:02:00] One that has a lot of different meaning to people. But really at the end of the day, it comes down to how can. As a company, help the customers, your customers, solve their problems, and in doing that can continue to grow your own business, whether that's through renewals and keeping that annual revenue stream going or through, expanding what you do for those customers.
[00:02:22] Or finally, getting them to the point where they're so successful with your solution that they're willing to be references for other. Other accounts out there that you're trying to sell to. But I think one of the biggest shifts I've seen is a shift from where the supplier partner, the in this case the company owns the kind of power or leverage in the relationship where now it's really in the customer's hands.
[00:02:47] You mentioned SaaS and cloud-based industries. When those barriers to switch, Are removed or at least greatly reduced. Really customers are looking, Are your [00:03:00] solution solving my problems? And if not, then they'll move and find, move somewhere else and find a different solution.
[00:03:07] Islin Munisteri: Wow. And I guess how are your teams like preventing customers from moving off of your solution now or from considering other
[00:03:16] David Mangham: solutions?
[00:03:17] One of the biggest things that I've come in, and I came into ZOLL almost four years ago to create a proactive team, a customer success team, focused on proactively reaching out to our customers and understanding their business. So if you start with understanding their business, you can realize, what type of solutions do they really need to help solve their problems?
[00:03:40] And most importantly, The solutions that we're providing today, are they meeting those desired outcomes? Are we coming up short and a lot of listening, a lot of data capture through voice of the customer programs that we can then utilize not only as a team to improve what we do, but also as an organization to look [00:04:00] for what I call actionable intelligence that drives initiatives to improve the customer.
[00:04:06] Thus brings more value to the individual customer's experience, thus staying with the company and really acting as partners with that company.
[00:04:15] Islin Munisteri: And I guess what are the actionable insights that you're looking for in the customer success journey?
[00:04:21] David Mangham: Yeah, so looking for things where we're coming up short and looking for ways that we can bring our lessons learned with our broad customer base in the form of best practices to the customer conversation.
[00:04:37] And so that first part, looking for ways for us to improve when we hear over and over again your support experience is challenging or, we need more education, we need more, we need help with adoption of a solution, then we can get together in a cross-functional team, whether that's cross-functional within the services part of the business, or reaching out to product and marketing [00:05:00] to create webinars education.
[00:05:03] To start addressing those issues that really bring value beyond just the solution itself, but really help the customers understand how to get the most out of those solutions and that education piece. Is really, I think, an important element of whether or not a customer will stay with you or not.
[00:05:19] There's so much turnover, at least in our industry, but just in general, if you look at the great resignation, so many people are moving jobs and if they're as new people come in, if there are easy ways to learn how to use the solutions that are in there then you won't have this apprehension towards, Hey, this is really hard.
[00:05:38] I don't like, CRM solution, or I don't like this in our case, I don't like your charting solution. I want to do something different. If you can make it real easy for people to get the value out of the solution, that accelerate that time to value, that makes a big difference.
[00:05:55] Islin Munisteri: And I like how you talked about accelerating the time to value.[00:06:00]
[00:06:00] Like, how do you, like what's your best way of accelerating time to value or, I know in, in some software circles, there's, what is it like day zero, right? Where they're getting the most value? They've pulled that certain lever in the software and they're finally starting to get the most value out of it, and they're becoming a stickier
[00:06:20] David Mangham: customer.
[00:06:20] It really starts with a strong view of the customer journey. And one of the things that we found is our, the solution that ZOLL has provides are solutions for emergency services. So things like dispatching a 911 call or dispatching a transport or doing a chart when a paramedic is providing treatment in the back of the ambulance, or finally being able to bill.
[00:06:45] Those transactions. So those time to value events, they're gonna vary by software solution. But if there's key things that you can do, like in our case, can you dispatch a call or can send a chart from the ambulance into the emergency [00:07:00] department? Or can you build that run using the software?
[00:07:03] Those are key milestones that really demonstrate. Initial time to value receive from the solution. And then after that, you look at how can you then either accelerate doing more of that using more functionality, really driving the adoption of those time to value moments. But it all starts with setting the proper expectations up front really is part of the sales process of this is what you're gonna be able to.
[00:07:30] With the solution. These are the milestones of when you'll start achieving that time to value. And then here's the long term adoption strategy behind it.
[00:07:42] Islin Munisteri: Yeah. And then I guess when we talk about the long term strategies for adoption, like what does that look like? Cause I know with HubSpot there's we're a HubSpot partner, so we help onboard and implement HubSpot, but then like, how do. Have that long term customer stickiness
[00:07:59] David Mangham: to your product.
[00:07:59] [00:08:00] To your product. Yeah. It's what we really focused on is bringing metrics to the conversation. First off, make sure that there's a, some type of a strategic touch base. For our top tier customers, we have a business review on a quarterly basis with our customers to review performance. And that performance can include, number of active users, percent of licenses being utilized.
[00:08:23] Time on, time on solution, things like that really show that people are using it. For us we look at specific things like the amount of revenue build. How quick time to cash is for that. So you look for some, what are some key customer metrics that you can discuss as part of that strategic conversation and then benchmark that against others within the industry.
[00:08:45] And if they come up short, provide recommendations. Sometimes we have. Offer consulting engagements, both paid and unpaid to come in and look at how you can get more operational efficiencies out of the solution. Other times, like I had mentioned [00:09:00] before, it's really around product education and making sure they're on top of new feature releases.
[00:09:05] Make sure that they have the tools to self-educate themselves on the solution so that they can really get the most out of that, and you check in and measure that on an ongoing basis. That regular engagement, I found is probably the biggest reason we've reduced churn in our business because our customers in the past would only talk to a salesperson when the salesperson wanted to sell them.
[00:09:30] Or a technical support person when something broke. Now we have a customer success manager there that proactively reaches out to them and we talk about how our solutions are impacting their business, and if it's not meeting their needs, we put plans in place to address those needs. Gotcha.
[00:09:48] Islin Munisteri: And I guess as far as like putting plans in place, To address those needs.
[00:09:52] Is it like a project management type of planning where like you need to have a project manager and like here are like the key success [00:10:00] milestones that you need to hit, or like what
[00:10:01] David Mangham: is that? Yeah, so it's interesting that you mentioned that because you can go in a lot of different directions with that, obviously.
[00:10:07] One of the things we implemented just earlier this year is what we call a PACE meeting. And what that stands for is providing awesome customer experience. And so these PACE meetings are cross-departmental. And during these monthly meetings, we review not only what are the high level trends we're hearing from customers in business reviews, in our quarterly surveys, in our other voice of the customer methods we use.
[00:10:34] We identify what customers are saying, but then we also target and create Tiger teams for specific customers that have a specific immediate need that we need to go and address. And then it becomes the customer success manager, kind of does become a project manager for that initiative, for that specific customer to drive all the actions needed to get the [00:11:00] customer's issues resolved.
[00:11:01] And so we, we take it at a very high level of these are the trends we're seeing. We come up with some initiatives. That are cross-functional, that are longer term in nature. i e influencing product roadmaps or improving processes on the services side of the business. But then we also drill down to a specific set of customers that we say for the next 30 days, this is what we're gonna do.
[00:11:24] Here's responsible, here's who's responsible for doing certain actions. And then we revisit that the next month to make sure that we've made improvements. And sometimes it's as simple as getting New products demoed to a customer or an education program in place. Other times it's much more complex that you gotta get a lot more people involved.
[00:11:43] But that CSM really drives that engagement and you may not solve all the problems, but what we've seen is the customers feel like they're being listened to, and most importantly, we are solving some of their problems. So their pain points are starting to go away and they're now more, they're getting more value [00:12:00] out of the solution and they're.
[00:12:02] Islin Munisteri: that's really what the important part is that you have a happy customer so that drives that kind of product stickiness.
[00:12:09] David Mangham: Exactly.
[00:12:10] Islin Munisteri: And I guess so you go through like the initial setup and implementation and then like longer term initiatives, and then I guess like how do they help in like in helping you market the product?
[00:12:21] You said at the end they, and create and like having
[00:12:24] David Mangham: references. References. Yeah. So it's really about Creating a reference program, and it's something where it's really been more informal for us. We're looking at actually formalizing it, but it's, we've got some great customers that we've worked closely with that really maximize the value they get out of the solutions we call 'em like super users.
[00:12:46] They're really digging deep. They really understand all the different elements of how the various solutions, they, I'll just take a billing solution, how they can, use the power of the technology to build quicker, faster, [00:13:00] cleaner things don't get rejected. And, and they're getting a ton of ROI out of the solution.
[00:13:05] So learning from them, getting them to speak at conferences. So we have an annual conference every year where we'll have customers come in and. We'll do white papers with them. We also created these regional user conferences where sometimes We're out in, in, like in the Boston area, we have a lot of clients in Boston.
[00:13:24] They'll come in and we'll actually have our customers present at those events as well. Little more regionalized, but what else they do? And one of the things I really try to leverage, or my team tries to leverage is a sense of community. We have the community functionality we use in Salesforce is really our source of the.
[00:13:42] When it comes to all things services and basically everything for us, with the exception of the financial side of it, and we leverage the community there, that people post information, Hey, I've solved this problem by doing the following things, taking the following steps, but also building a sense of community [00:14:00] amongst the people.
[00:14:00] So that's why we do regional in-person. Covid obviously stopped that for a while, but we're, we've gotten that moving again where people get together and they have, over lunch or over dinner conversations about how they solve those problems. And we try to act as matchmakers in some of those cases to, it's almost like leveraging LinkedIn from a networking perspective to say, Hey, so and so over here has the same problems.
[00:14:24] You, why don't you talk to Ryan and he can show you how they figured out a better way to use our.
[00:14:30] Islin Munisteri: Gotcha. That's pretty cool. So is it like a, is it like a one day full conference or is it like a kind of a, an event based like couple of hours? Or how do you guys
[00:14:39] David Mangham: do it? What we've done, we've tried a couple different approaches to this and we typically have done, we've we're launching a, two day event where day one we go to, I'm trying to remember how many different, we were looking at the number of places.
[00:14:54] It was like six different cities around the country. Starting later this fall where we go out in [00:15:00] day one, we have in the afternoon customers doing a case study or a presentation on different aspects of their experience result. In the morning we typically have the product team providing updates to things like product roadmaps.
[00:15:14] We talk about other changes that's going on in the business, have a lunch in between. Have an event that evening, whether it's a dinner or, I know when we did it in Boston and right before Covid, we went out and did bowling, which was a lot of fun. And then the next day we have product training. So what we've seen is many of our customers they will bring in their whole, say billing department to come in for hands on billing training that next day.
[00:15:39] So it's very much a high level, here's what's going on. Let's hear from the customers day one and day two. Depending on the products that we focus on for that region, hands on training on how to use the product and how to use it better. We can get into analytics and reporting. A lot of times we do that.
[00:15:56] Sometimes it's just, how to leverage different functionality in the products as well. [00:16:00] So it really is a great. And it's a free conference that we have for our customers so that they can come And usually, we do it where within a two hour radius, we get 30 to 40 customers to come and participate for two days.
[00:16:14] Cool. But it's a way for us to invest in our customers and help them. And I
[00:16:18] Islin Munisteri: guess, are these events freer? Do they have to register or. Yeah,
[00:16:22] David Mangham: They're free. They're free. Okay. They do have to register for it, but we do not charge for that. I should back up. Our large annual conference that we held hold every spring that does cost money, but, and that's a week long event.
[00:16:36] I think it's four days actually. But these regional ones we're really wanting to get people together to Like I said, build that sense of community that if you're in the Boston area or in South Carolina, you now know people that are, that might be an hour away that you can pick up the phone and say, Hey, can we meet over lunch halfway somewhere and talk through some of this?
[00:16:54] So we've, it's really helped build out that sense of community in a regional area where [00:17:00] some parts of the country, we've got these strong. Informal user groups that people are picking up the phone and talking to all the time on, and learning about new ways to to leverage the technology from each other, which is really cool.
[00:17:14] And then we learn from that as well. Wow.
[00:17:17] Islin Munisteri: That's really key to, to product seeing this, it's not only having the user kind of work with the product, but also having. The have the product. I would say, bring together different people and then you can form more, more community.
[00:17:34] I don't know if you wanna go with as deep as friendships, but like
[00:17:37] David Mangham: a better way of, in some cases actually there are, there, there are some folk. And this is true in a lot of industries, certainly in the emergency services, that there are a lot of strong friendships and it's such a small knit community.
[00:17:50] People move from one company to the next. So you just never know, where somebody may end. And, having those the networking component of these meetings [00:18:00] as well as our annual meeting is the number one benefit everybody talks about. It's not just, it's great to get product knowledge, hear about, new things that are coming out, learn about how to use your existing, but the number one thing everybody always talks about is it was the people that were there.
[00:18:15] Whether it was the people from ZOLL that I got to talk to, the product manager or the, other users, the other customers of ours that they start building those longer term relationships with. Everybody loves it. And one of the things that was, we tried during. Covid was to do it virtually and it just didn't work as well.
[00:18:34] It was great for the product knowledge transfer, but that sense of networking and community and we tried different types of technology just didn't, it wasn't as powerful. People were like, I'm gonna come in for my session and I'm done and I don't, I don't go to any of these breakout rooms or happy hours, things like that, that are virtual happy hours.
[00:18:52] So now that we're back in person, it makes a huge. Wow.
[00:18:56] Islin Munisteri: That's really, helpful to, to know. [00:19:00] Yeah. I found that the virtual networking events are okay, but they're like, we, cuz you get to meet different people from like different parts of the country, but it's really hard to after the event what do you do
[00:19:11] David Mangham: next?
[00:19:11] And you think about it when you go to, these back now in-person networking events. You have the, I'll call it the program or the content of that event, which has always, been great and but it's those after, once the event's over those hanging around an after event.
[00:19:29] Conversations that a lot of time lead to, Hey, I need to go, I need to talk to this person. And what, can we get together and get on a phone call or grab coffee or whatever and talk through, the challenges you're faced with or, Hey, I'm thinking about making a change career wise, anybody at this company.
[00:19:46] It's just that face to face time is so important.
[00:19:52] Islin Munisteri: That's good. That's good to know. Wow. I didn't really realize how important the face to face time is. Until like, Covid [00:20:00] came and then . It eliminated that. Now we're going back to more face to face.
[00:20:06] David Mangham: Yeah. And one of the things related to that, cuz you know, Covid put us all in a unique situation where we weren't traveling, we weren't going, having face to face meetings, things like that.
[00:20:17] And I know, we had, part of our engagement is going out to our very top tier customers and having the business reviews, like I had mentioned before, those were done prior to Covid face to. During Covid virtually. And then we just got back to doing that again. And as I mentioned earlier on, getting to know the customer's business is so important.
[00:20:40] But what we found out was when we were doing the virtual business reviews, you would do the business review, it'd be an hour, maybe two hours long, and then you were done. You moved on and did. When we would do the face to face ones, both before and after Covid, we would do the hour or two hour business review, but then typically the [00:21:00] customer would say, Hey, can I show you around my operation?
[00:21:02] Let me take you to where our billing center is, or Let me take you to where our dispatch center is, or let's go, meet some of the crew that are using your solutions. There's been times where we'd end up, at one of our customers for another couple hours, really learning and understanding their business, but also building those relationships to really get to the point where, they did feel like we were trusted advisors to their business.
[00:21:25] That you know, that happens because you made the investment to go to their facility and spend time with them, not just hop on a Zoom call.
[00:21:32] Islin Munisteri: Gotcha. So you really need to have that deeper level. Conversation with
[00:21:37] David Mangham: them in and related to That's a metric that we actually measure. So we have a quarterly survey that goes out to our key decision makers and we measure how well does their CSM understand their business.
[00:21:50] And when we started that we were down in the 40% range. So we had a group that had, long term relationships that kind of understood the business, but we had [00:22:00] a long way to go. In our last survey, it was up around 85% of our customers said that we thoroughly understand their business, which is.
[00:22:08] The other question we ask is, what type of value does your CSM provide to your business? Another engagement metric that really helps us understand , you know, what we're doing from a customer success perspective? Is it bringing value? And once again, we are down in the forties for that. Initial.
[00:22:29] Survey that went out and over the last couple years, that's grown to over 80% of our customers say we either provide above average our excellent value to their business. So spending that time and investing in the engagements is really important. Cause ultimately then that drives things like renewals, expansion revenue new revenue and protected revenue.
[00:22:50] That matters to all of us at the end of.
[00:22:54] Islin Munisteri: And I guess what do you mean by I know what new revenue means, but protected revenue Is that the
[00:22:58] David Mangham: existing revenue? So yeah. Protecting existing [00:23:00] arr.
[00:23:01] Islin Munisteri: Yeah. Okay. Protecting,
[00:23:02] David Mangham: Okay. Yeah. really look at the role of the customer success team, at least for me, if we're responsible for protecting our annual recurring.
[00:23:13] And that's through obviously reducing churn. It's also through expansion of, what we're doing. Know, net recurring revenue increases that falls on our shoulders. Now we have to partner with sales on a lot of that. But at the end of the day if we're not taking care of what's coming out of the bottom of that bucket and reducing that, you're just gonna have to continue to sell more and more to maintain your, your current revenue stream.
[00:23:39] And that's not a way to grow the business. We were looking at some churn and we were surprised how this is going back a couple years ago, how detrimental it was to the growth of the business. We looked at what do we need to do to. Turn that off and I'll call it, close those holes in the churn bucket so that we now have, a much more industry average churn there.[00:24:00]
[00:24:00] And as we grow our business, it truly is growing. It's just not replacing lev revenue that's been lost out of the bottom of the revenue bucket. Gotcha.
[00:24:10] Islin Munisteri: That, that, that really helps. . Yeah, cuz because when you're trying to sell, but you have a leaky churn, it's like you keep on trying to shove more pipeline in, but then it just falls apart when your customer success team can't keep those
[00:24:25] David Mangham: customers.
[00:24:27] Exactly. It's one of those things where it can have a really detrimental effect. If you're only focused on the top line revenue and new things coming in, and you really, and what happens, what I've seen happen is a lot of times the sales team is focused on just whatever my, dollar target is.
[00:24:45] I've gotta achieve that. I don't care if it's a good solution fit or not. So you're basically setting up churn. Ahead of time at the time of sale almost, because if it's not a good fit, that customer's not gonna get the value out of it. [00:25:00] They're gonna move on and you're gonna lose that revenue. You spend all that money, getting the sale in the door and, you don't really reap the benefit of that.
[00:25:09] But it also can damage your reputation in the marketplace. As I mentioned earlier, you know these, a lot of these markets the folks. Really tightly knit. They talk to each other. And if somebody had a really bad experience and then another person had a bad experience because they were a poor fit, because some sales guy was really more focused on making his number versus making the right sale into the ideal customer that can start impacting that top line revenue coming in.
[00:25:35] And you still have the problem with the revenue going out of the bottom of the budget. Wow. That.
[00:25:44] Islin Munisteri: Oh, that, that really, that's not good. . No .
[00:25:49] David Mangham: And it's actually can be scary if you have a high enough churn rate. It's like you almost need a whole year of sales to cover, a couple years of churn.
[00:25:57] If you're turning over your business every three [00:26:00] years, unless you have an unlimited marketplace you're setting yourself up for long term failure, Unfortunately that's why we really try to focus on how do we really shrink that churn, and that's through customer engagement, making sure we're delivering the desired outcomes.
[00:26:15] Honestly, trying to work more with sales so that they sell into the right fit, the right pro, the ideal customer profile so that we're setting ourselves up for success, starting with onboarding. If you've got misaligned expectations at the start of the onboarding experience or start of that customer journey, that's tough to.
[00:26:36] Bounce back from and overcome. And so when you know, when the question comes, are you ready to renew the customer's no, this didn't really meet my expectations. I think we're gonna go somewhere else. There's not a lot you can do there sometimes. Gotcha.
[00:26:51] Islin Munisteri: Wow. I think this has been a really helpful conversation for our listeners.
[00:26:55] David Mangham: Yeah, I hope so. It's painful lessons learned, so hopefully some of them can learn from. [00:27:00] Find lessons and not have to go through it themselves.
[00:27:04] Islin Munisteri: Yeah, I would have to, Yeah, I have to agree with you now. These are painful lessons learned, but it's really useful lessons. And I guess is there anything else that, that you, like our listeners to know about, like customer success or like any challenges as you've, Scaled, grown from customer service to customer success,
[00:27:22] David Mangham: I would say number one and I'll finish with my tagline here, is, but customer success is not just something the customer success team owns customer success, the entire company owns. And the tagline that I use in all my presentations and conversations I have is that customer success is a team.
[00:27:42] Finance owns it, sales owns it. Marketing, product services, and the customer success team. The customer success manager is the orchestrator of everything. Post sales, at least in our environment, you know, different companies are organized different ways, but we [00:28:00] cannot, we, the customer success team can't do all the heavy lifting.
[00:28:04] To make our customer successful, it's gotta be a holistic approach to that. And if you take that holistic approach it really shows up in front of the customer. They really feel this company is customer centric. When you're in silos, you can have one silo really saying they're, Hey, we're customer focused, or We're customer first.
[00:28:24] But the company itself really, truly does not embrace that customer. First culture like they need to. So customer success is a team. Sport is key. Wow.
[00:28:37] Islin Munisteri: Thank you. I think that really helps our listeners. And it was great having you on the podcast.
[00:28:42] David Mangham: Love it. Love you David. Appreciate the opportunity.
[00:28:44] Love talking about customer success. It's something that, I've been passionate about for a number of years and love to see the the passion in the industry growing. Appreciate the opportunity to speak with you. Awesome.
[00:28:55] Islin Munisteri: Thanks David. Thanks. Take care. Take care.