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How do you influence the C-Suite to get more resources?

4 Answers
Michael Maday
Michael Maday
Gainsight Senior Director, Customer SuccessFebruary 16

In this current economic landscape, the only teams that are going to be allocated resources are the ones that are able to show and substantial return on investment (ROI) to the organization. For example, Customer Success teams must be able to project how adding resources or technology will positively impact Retention Rates, Drives Expansion, or Reduces churn. Additionally, these requests must be as data-driven as possible and not hypothetical scenarios. Be critical in your assessment and if your ask is not going to bring a 5x-10x return, it will not be accepted. 

840 Views
Amara Okoli
Amara Okoli
MURAL Director of Customer SuccessMarch 22

Help the C-Suite understand how additional resources will achieve company goals in addition to core CS goals (retention rates, expansion targets, reduction in churn). If you can leverage a data-driven approach to help the C-Suite gain a 360 degree view into how the business is operating today and how it could be operating for the better in the future, you will be better situated to, at a minimum, have your proposal be heard.

Here are a few examples of company goals:

  • Operate more efficiently: Perhaps you might leverage existing teams and provide mutually beneficial outcomes. Let’s say today your sales engineers and professional services teams only get involved pre-sales but you think these skills can assist in discovery for post-sales opportunities and scoping for projects. It would be helpful to review the last few quarters of successful deals and show several examples where the involvement of sales engineers alongside CSMs and AEs, shortened sales cycles and resulted in higher revenue renewals and expansions than opportunities where they were not involved. Or perhaps you can forecast out for the next several quarters where there is a competitive risk, what might be the impact of including professional services to optimize current implementations.
  • Deliver a best-in-class customer experience: Review the customer experience from multiple different lenses. How do customers interact with Marketing? How easy is it for customers to learn the software?  Meet with various stakeholders from cross-functional departments and try to find areas of alignment. With the support of other departments and their executive sponsors, perhaps you can build a stronger case for increased resources where there are common goals (Ex: Increase customer advocacy, improve billings; exceed certification targets).

In this economic climate, the reality is that unless NRR has been steadily dropping, other business priorities may take precedence. But if you can demonstrate operational improvements, cross-functional wins, and forecast significant CS gains, you will create a much stronger case for the additional resources you need such as headcount and tools.

531 Views
Jeff Beaumont
Jeff Beaumont
Customer Success ConsultantMay 30

Your plan must be concise, strategic in nature, and has a high ROI.

The other piece here is frequent communication. Make sure they hear from you, know you, and trust your judgment. Relationships help them know that you've already thought it through, have a plan, and are determined to execute and see it through.

  1. Concise: As with most things, you must have the details but save them for later. Give the very very high level summary. Think just a few sentences up front and then the appendix can have the details. It should be like a mullet: short in the front, long in the back.

  2. Strategic in nature: This is where a lot of us get tripped up when we use the word "strategy". My best reference is the book Good Strategy, Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt. "Strategy" is a list of actions in response to challenges. With that, whatever you are proposing cannot be in a vacuum, and it must be a significant challenge that is important to the company. Easier said than done. An example could be:

    1. Challenge: Renewal rates have been low due to macroeconomic events and the layoffs within the tech sector

    2. Coherent set of actions: We will ___________ (improve onboarding, better sales handoff, improve our qualification...)

  3. High ROI:

    1. High. It's one thing to have a return on investment, but the risk must pan out. Meaning, it can't just be a 2-3x ROI. But don't make stuff up, either!

    2. ROI. Think of what their return on investment will be. If they say yes to you, how much money do they need to spend over how long and when will they see their return? How safe is it? Is this a sure thing, a complete guess (then it's an experiment). It's okay if it is an experiment, but frame it as such. And then help them understand what it will mean for them, the business overall, and the long term valuation of the company

444 Views
Meenal Shukla
Meenal Shukla
Gainsight Senior Director of Customer SuccessAugust 31

  1. Understand Their Perspective: Understand the key concerns, goals, and metrics for success of the C-Suite. They are often focused on the organization's overall growth, profitability, and sustainability.

  2. Build a Solid Business Case: Develop a strong business case that clearly articulates the need for additional resources, the benefits of allocating those resources, and the potential return on investment (ROI). Be sure to highlight how the additional resources will contribute to the strategic goals of the organization.

  3. Use Data: Back up your business case with solid data. This could include data on customer satisfaction, customer retention, revenue growth, cost savings, etc. Make sure the data is relevant, credible, and compelling.

  4. Show the Impact: Clearly demonstrate the additional resources' impact on the organization. This could include improving customer satisfaction, reducing churn, increasing revenue, etc.

  5. Consider Alternatives: Consider and present alternative options for achieving the same goals with fewer or different resources. This shows that you have considered all the options and are recommending the best approach.

  6. Engage Stakeholders: Engage key stakeholders early in the process to get their input and support. This could include other department heads, senior managers, and key team members.

  7. Be Clear on the Ask: Be clear and specific on what resources you are requesting and why. This could include additional team members, budget, technology, etc.

  8. Demonstrate Past Success: Highlight past successes where additional resources were allocated and positive results were achieved. This helps build credibility and confidence that you will be able to deliver the desired results.

  9. Align with Organizational Goals: Ensure that your request for additional resources is aligned with the overall goals and strategies of the organization.

  10. Be Prepared to Negotiate: Be prepared to negotiate and be flexible in your request. The C-Suite may be unable to allocate all the resources you request, so be prepared to prioritize and negotiate if necessary.

  11. Follow Up: After making your request, be sure to follow up with the C-Suite and keep them informed on the progress of the initiative and the impact that the additional resources are having.

Remember, the key to influencing the C-Suite to allocate more resources is to build a strong business case, backed by solid data, that demonstrates the value and impact of the additional resources on the organization's goal

366 Views
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