As 2018 was coming to an end, Avora had recently closed a Series A funding round and was quickly expanding its customer base. A result of this was needing to scale their Sales and Customer Success teams to support new customers, and they needed systems and processes in place to support that internal growth. Avora was in a financial place to start executing, and this investment gave them the freedom to implement technology that would support scale within the Sales and Customer
Success orgs. In the past, their teams were quick to review and select new software, however they consistently lacked the bandwidth to ensure adoption throughout the team and sometimes struggled to see ROI from their software purchases.
Avora needed help with the process of integrating new software platforms into their workflow, and wanted confidence that current and new team members would be learning to work in a functional and optimized tech stack.
When we met the Avora team (Head of Customer Success and Head of Operations) we learned that they had already invested a lot of time and money into their software solutions, as well as the help of a few former consultants. They kept finding that their teams were having difficulty adopting the new systems, and the tools weren’t providing much value the way they were being utilized.
Additionally, a big reason they purchased these different systems is they wanted to automate as much as possible. Due to the lack of documentation and consistency in some of their current processes, it had been difficult for them to integrate their new software and take advantage of features which enabled automation. Although they had many of the tools at their disposal, many of their daily tasks were bespoke and completed manually.
It was also important to them to have more visibility across their customer orgs. Specifically they wanted to better understand On-Boarding and Professional Services project performances, and ways to evaluate customer health and forecast renewals. Without the integration of their software tools or user adoption, it was difficult to make strides on any of their challenges.
We started by mapping out and documenting the current processes in place, including an in-depth walkthrough of Avora’s Customer Journey. With this basic groundwork, we were able to stick to consistent discussions with the customer success team on what the current process was, and we were able to identify areas for improvement. Immediate opportunities we found were the need for a better defined reporting cadence, more consistent processes internally and with customers, and reliable systems that had been difficult to maintain through their accelerated growth.
With a thorough understanding of where the team was currently at, this led to creating an execution plan for optimization.
We set up tools for the Customer Success team including Asana for On-boarding and Professional Services, and ChurnZero for the Customer Success Managers. These are tools we love, and the Avora team quickly adopted them because they were immediately benefitting from standardized tracking and management of tasks. Reporting on each orgs metrics was being managed and integrated through their software, and the team was following more consistent practices.
We utilized some of the best practices Avora had in place and helped them develop a new outline for implementing a customer renewal plan, a quarterly business review process, and a Customer Health scoring mechanism to better understand Avora’s customer base. This enabled them to segment their customers, including customers they should support, sustain, and grow, as well as an objective way to monitor their customer base.
We developed templates to enable consistency through the Customer Journey. These include sales checklists in Salesforce that are utilized for more streamlined sales handoff before a project starts, onboarding project templates in Asana, and customer communication and presentation templates to improve the customer’s expectations throughout each stage.
By the finish line of the project, the Customer Success teams were finally equipped to do their jobs more efficiently, document their progress, and report on outcomes. They have information that allows them to determine what positions to hire for because they have a clear plan of what the Customer Success team needs to scale.
One of the biggest wins was their new weekly and monthly reporting cadence. Every week, they are able to see reports on important measurements such as customer health, onboarding project statuses, helpdesk ticket metrics, product issue reports, and customer renewal/ expansion updates. For monthly reports, they now have team efficiency and performance reports as well as customer software usage trends. This meant that any opportunities to improve their customer’s on-boarding experience were no longer slipping through the cracks, and areas of performance that either need to be improved, or should be repeated, can be identified and shared.
Lastly, with new collateral and material, new hires are enabled to jump into their roles and get up to speed faster. It took the team a lot of trial and error, but after working together we found a process that worked for them. By starting with a clear layout of what was happening within the Customer Success org, we were able to identify where the main issues lied, figure out the right software to solve all of those issues, and create a repeatable process so users didn’t feel daunted by new tools. Avora can now focus on customer retention and scaling their business both internally and externally.