The Value of “Now”: Overcoming Slow Decision-making
Delaying your decision to get a new Customer Success Platform is costing you.
Your customers are getting frustrated. Your CS team is getting overwhelmed. Your managers have no idea what’s going on.
You need a Customer Success Platform. But nothing is happening.
One should never rush into a decision--especially one as important as investing in a new CSP. Signing on with a new customer success platform is a potentially business-altering move, and should be approached with careful consideration and deliberation.
But there’s deliberation, and then there’s delay.
If you already know that you need a new customer success platform, then you need to act now.
A good plan executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.
-George S. Patton
We’ve seen far, far too many businesses step up to the threshold and hesitate, or even flat out refuse to move from their existing quagmire, for any number of reasons:
- Not understanding the true costs
- Searching for “the perfect solution”
- Flawed understanding of current challenges
- Fear of change
This blog aims to help you understand and overcome each of these challenges. And to help, we included insights from Catalyst’s Co-founder and COO, Kevin Chiu.
So without further ado, let’s get into it.
Not understanding the true costs
While it’s true that not having an effective CSP isn’t a life-or-death decision, it is a very expensive situation for a business to be in.
There’s no defined industry formula to actually calculate this cost--it all depends on your individual business and how the gaps in your process/software are impacting your operations. And this is where upper management fails to get an accurate perspective. They don’t always know the impact that decision delays would have on their workforce--and, by extension, their customers.
“How long are you willing to wait to get one up and running?” Kevin asks. “Ask yourself: can you afford to have data not be up-to-date for that long? As you scale the CSM headcount, how well will you be able to operationalize the process and workflow with the current solution?”
In a recent study by Eagle Hill Consulting, they found that 1 in 3 workers are frustrated with the technology they use at work.
“Even simple things like where a field is tracked, where people log their notes, and whether or not information ends up in a million places can impact team productivity and speed of customer implementation,” says Kevin.
Searching for the “perfect” solution
We get it. Customer Success Platforms can be expensive, and you need to get the most value for your money.
But are you holding out for a unicorn that may never arrive? What happens to your business in the meantime?
“To me, it really doesn’t matter where you put the data,” Kevin says. “Google Sheets, CRM, a CSP… The difference is in the time-to-value. Are you getting accurate and real-time updates? What is the long-term maintenance cost of keeping your solution up to date?”
Having said that, let’s briefly touch on what each solution has to offer.
- Spreadsheets - Cheap and readily available, but never up-to-date because of the sheer amount of manual effort required
- Salesforce - Already has extensive CRM data (courtesy of sales and marketing teams), but not purpose-built to ingest data in a single-click format from a lot of different sources, and requires Salesforce admins for upkeep
- CSP - Purpose-built with a lot of single-click integrations and views designed for CSMs
As you can see, the customer success platform alternatives aren’t exactly ideal.
On the other hand, each CSP will have its own combination of features and success factors that make it the “best fit” for your business, but the fit will not be 100% perfect unless you build your own home-grown solution (and sometimes not even then).
Better to have a solution that’s most of the way there now, rather than a perfect solution that doesn’t exist.
Flawed understanding of business challenges
When a person is even one step removed from the actual problem, it can cause them to lose perspective and artificially reduces the urgency of the situation.
You need to realize that they are not one step removed. You are actually in the thick of it. Sure, you might not be the one on the phone with the customer day to day, wrestling with poor UI or struggling to find data that might not even be there. But if your CS team can’t keep the database up-to-date, then your business decisions are based on the wrong information.
You’re leading the company astray, and you don’t even know it.
According to Kevin, “Every business needs one place as a central source of truth. This will answer how healthy their business or customer base is, among other things. You need to be able to pull a report that accurately reflects upcoming renewals in 90 days, who are healthy or unhealthy, who has unresolved support tickets, who hasn’t used this specific feature from the latest launch, when was the last CSM touchpoint, etc.”
Fear of change
Change is the boogeyman of the modern tech worker. Everyone fears it, and few people are willing to tackle it head-on. It’s far, far easier to stay with the status quo than force a change that needs to happen.
“It’s difficult to do change management when it involves ripping out the ‘100’ tools the team has already implemented themselves and getting them onboarded onto one platform,” Kevin says. There will be resistance at all levels, and your team needs to be prepared to overcome it.
Contributing to this fear is the stigma over sunk costs. The longer a system has been in place, the more difficult it is to move away. There’s a lot of informational, financial, and emotional investment in the old solution, and some will consider it a waste to “throw it all away.”
But it’s not a waste, and you’re not throwing it away. You’re taking what has worked before and moving it to a newer, better solution.
So what do we do?
I’m not going to lie to you: getting people to decide on something is tough. Especially at the executive level.
But you already have an advantage: you know there’s a problem.
And if you know there’s a problem, then other people know there’s a problem.
You have to overcome their objections. And executives (especially those with sales experience) are fantastic at that.
We’ve already shown you some of the biggest objections you might encounter. You just have to address these objections the same way you would if you were talking to a customer. Express the urgency. Show them the value. Show them you’re on their side (because you are).
Your customers are waiting for you to make their lives better.
What are you waiting for?
Stories, best practices and thought leadership from the customer success community.