by Bill Cushard (@billcush)
A major theme at Dreamforce this year has been about helping customer’s succeed, and Salesforce is now touting itself as THE Customer Success Company. In a major announcement, Salesforce launched Wave, it’s Analytics Cloud, which provides the tools necessary for people to retrieve the insight needed to make better decisions.
So, when Salesforce says it is the Customer Success Company, it now helps customers make better decisions to they can achieve specific outcomes. This is great for Salesforce customers, but what about Salesforce’s customers’ customers (say that three times fast)? In other words, what if the success of a Salesforce customer is tied to its own customers’ success? How will Salesforce Analytics Cloud enable that? This is where the Wave ecosystem comes in.
Out of the gate, Wave has a robust collection of partners that suit a variety of customer needs. These partners include:
- Consulting: Accenture, PWC, Cognizant, Appirio, Cloud Sherpas, Deloitte
- Integration: Informatica, Mulesoft, Jitterbit, Dell Boomi
- Predictive: Gainsight, Fliptop, Predixion, Lattice, Wise.io, 6Sense
- ISVs: Lumiesse, FirstRain, Kenandy, Insidesales.com, BetterWorks, Financialforce.com, Axeda, Mindtouch, ServiceMax, Remedyforce, Xactly
This list of partners offers solutions for customers in various stages of analytics maturity and will likely grow over time. For emerging enterprise software companies that offer a subscription-based, cloud solution, a predictive analytics partner could be a key strategic service.
The one partner that will help Salesforce customers, help their customers is Gainsight. Gainsight allows software companies to “leverage customer intelligence and automation to proactively manage retention, reduce unexpected churn, and identify upsell opportunities.” Stated another way, enterprise software companies that use Salesforce Analytics Cloud can use Gainsight to monitor the health of its customers using predictive analytics to stop churn before it happens. And when renewals are everything, it is critical to know which customers are at risk so companies can develop interventions that catch these customers before they leave.
Customer Success Builds Strong Relationships Between Software Companies and Enterprises
The implications for using data to predict when customers are at risk or when a customer might be ready for additional services is vast. With this type of insight, enterprise software companies can be proactive about reaching out to customers offering help in the form of training or support or consulting or even discussing other products and services that would help the customer achieve outcomes. Scenarios like this are great examples of how a goal of achieving customer success is the new foundation for true partnerships and strong relationships between enterprise software companies and customers because interests are more aligned than ever.
Call for Comments:
- How realistic is it for you to make your goals, your customers' goals?
- How do you measure customer success?
- What would happen if you could take at least partial credit for your customers' success?