1. Trigger alerts and notifications based on custom rules, events, or predictive analytics
Want to send an email reminding your CSM that her account is up for renewal in 90 days? Check. Want to be reminded to touch base with an account 45 days after they onboarded (without having to create a calendar event)? Check. Want to alert a CSM when a user hasn’t logged within 5 days after signing up or congratulate a customer (and create a task for the CSM to call them) when they reach a product milestone? Double check. You get the idea.
2. Use the Opportunity object to track renewals
This is straight out of Salesforce.com’s playbook. We use the opportunity object (with a customer “Renewal” record type) to track all of our renewals. With this one simple tweak, you can leverage all of the Sales Cloud functionality (pipeline, stages, reporting, dashboards, etc.) for your Customer Success team. This will allow you to build dashboards tracking renewal rate, churn rate, lifetime value, monthly recurring revenue, annual contract value, and more.
3. Use the Salesforce.com API to integrate your product usage data for powerful insights
This was by far the most valuable thing we’ve done. Interestingly enough, even if you buy one of the tools mentioned above, you still need to get your product data into that tool in order for it to be valuable. We decided to just pass that usage data straight into custom fields in Salesforce.com using the Salesforce.com API and we’re now able to generate everything from customer health scores (formula field), to usage trends (reports/dashboards), to generating some of the advanced triggers and notifications mentioned in hack #1. The options here are endless and fairly simple to setup—all without code.