How Heap Predicts Renewals With 95%+ Accuracy

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400

employees

$1B

Heap valuation

52

person cs team

Highlights

Heap had a lightning-fast implementation and was live on Catalyst with a fully configured bi-directional Salesforce integration three weeks after signing their contract.

Leveraging Catalyst’s integrations, Heap combined product and business data to do advanced customer health scoring.

Thanks to their accurate health scoring, Heap now has the ability to reliably forecast renewals and churn with over 95% accuracy.

The Challenge

Heap needed a way to combine both product data and business outcomes data to better predict account behavior.

Heap is an analytics platform that automatically captures every action customers take on a company’s website or app so companies can see how and why users interact with their digital products. The San Francisco-based company was foundedin 2013 and has been rapidlygrowing ever since, securing its $110 Million Series D funding in 2021.

Before launching with Catalyst, Heap had been leveraging Salesforce (and a copious number of spreadsheets) for Customer Success. As they grew, however, they quickly realized that Salesforce was not meeting their needs as a CS team, and that their spreadsheets were not powerful or dynamic enough to empower their CS team to thrive.

At the start of 2020, Heap brought in Catalyst to consolidate their information, streamline workflows, and most importantly, allow them to leverage their vast amounts of data to better understand and predict account behavior.

“Our product, segments, and workflows are all extremely unique,” said Veronica Dasovich, Vice President of Customer Success at Heap. “We decided to go with Catalyst because unlike the other tools which we found very rigid, Catalyst could adapt to our processes, instead of us having to adapt our processes to it.

”Heap’s CS team’s note taking and task management had been extremely decentralized, and their account health analyses had been periodic and limited in terms of what factors could be incorporated. They needed a hub where their CS and Account Management teams could centralize their activities in a dynamic way and leverage all the data they collected to create the most meaningful health scores possible.

Heap is a web and mobile analytics platform, so in searching for a CS platform, data management, automation, and integrations were extremely important to them. They needed a tool that would allow them to combine business outcomes data, product data, and qualitative CSM insights in such a way that could be divided into specific segments, and evolve over time as they learn more about their customers. With very data-driven CSMs that work closely with product, sales, marketing, and executive teams, they wanted a tool that would facilitate cross functional collaboration in a seamless fashion.


One of the other critical factors in Heap’s evaluation was simplicity of implementation. They needed a solution that would not necessitate much involvement from the Salesforce admins, as they knew it would largely fall to the CS team members to manage implementation and setup. Catalyst’s simplicity and flexibility not only allowed their CS team to easily manage the implementation, but it also allowed them to launch a mere 3 weeks after their kickoff and include their bi-directional Salesforce integration.

“We identified top risk drivers within our Health Score, quickly brought in usage data from Heap via Snowflake, and created Playbooks that enable CSMs to take action as soon a risk or opportunity emerges.”

We’ve shifted CSMs’ workflow from remembering to pull a report weekly, to proactively putting the most important information in front of them. This has reduced CSMs’ time to action from more than a week to less than two days.

Lane Hart

Director of Customer Success & Operations, Heap

The Solution

Catalyst is now used by Heap for both day-to-day customer management and advanced insights.

Heap tracks its customer lifecycle and key KPIs in Catalyst, ensuring CSMs proactively act on risks.

Catalyst keeps our entire team focused on customers’ outcomes by highlighting risks and opportunities from day one.I use its data to power my executive meetings and hold our company leaders accountable to critical outcomes.
Ahmed Quadri, CCO, Heap

In fact, Heap’s entire executive team gets regular insights into their customers through Catalyst’s 360 degree customer view, and through quarterly presentations from CSMs to the whole company that highlight in Catalyst the company’s top opportunities and risks. This accurate data is also highly valuable to CSMs who, instead of pulling customer information, now get the most relevant information pushed to them proactively.

A component core to making this all possible was Catalyst’s integration with Snowflake, which allowed Heap to connect their data warehouse directly with Catalyst to pull in their product analytics data. Heap also makes effective use of Catalyst’s Slack integration. They have Slack channels for their top accounts that include cross functional folks and executives, which allows them to engage in powerful discussions based on the data and updates that Catalyst sends to those channels.

One example shared by a Heap CSM was about a large enterprise client at risk of churning. In order to save the account, she looped in many executive sponsors at Heap, including the CCO, and to ensure they are always up-to-date, she has configured Catalyst so that every meeting she has with that client gets pushed into Slack, including her key takeaways. This way, nobody needs to read through all of her notes or wait for a weekly sync, as they can see updates live as they come into Slack and take action right away. Due to these efforts, this account is now doing much better and is on a path to renewal.

Lane Hart

Whats Coming Next

Putting Churn in the Past

The Heap team is now diving deeper into their data, further segmenting their customers and collaborating with their data science team to determine each segment’s thresholds for key metrics, and the underlying indicators of churn or renewal. Once these thresholds are identified, they intend to create notifications in Catalyst that will be automatically pushed to CSMs very early on if a customer might be heading in the wrong direction.

These leading indicators will serve as the basis for taking their already proactive Customer Success team to the next level.