201 Paul Reeves Helping customers make progress



Paul Reeves is a founding member and a governing council member of the customer success leadership network (CSLN). He has also built and led numerous customer success functions at software companies like ShotSpotter, TokBox, Zendrive, and Badgeville. And oh-by-the-way, co-founded Betterworks. I guess you could say he knows customer success. 

Inspired by the book, The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work, Paul and I talked about how we might apply principles in this book with customers. 

You might ask, “How can we get our customer success managers to apply the progress principle with customers?” After all, customers buy our software to do some job or solve some problem or achieve some outcomes. Sometimes solving that problem is far off in the future. It’s hard to visualize. It’s daunting. 

If we could help our customers break that long term goal into small wins that lead to that long term outcome, we could keep them motivated and proactively help them march towards that long term end state. 

One very practical thing Paul talked about was a custom object he built in Salesforce to log and report on theses “small wins.” Each time a customer success manager helped a customer achieve a small win, she would log it in Salesforce on that custom object. 

Over time, he could track those wins and link them with customer success and other outcomes you might want to measure (renewals, expansions, etc). 

The point was to figure out and help customers articulate what they would consider a win (or multiple wins), help them achieve each win over time, and then log those wins when they happen.

If you do this, not only do you help customers march towards their ultimate goal, but you really get to know your customers well, because this level of help requires building a relationship. 

This is what Helping Sells Radio is all about: Applying the progress principle to customer success. 

I love it. 

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