Every business needs to grow. However, business growth cannot be achieved by simply implementing upsell and cross-sell strategies. Ergo, imposing proactive customer expansion strategies can be beneficial not just for the customers, but ultimately for a company to survive.
Chris Swider, Director of Customer Success, and Andre Guidry, Sr. Manager, Customer Success Operations from Veriforce joined us in our recent Customer Success Executives Roundtable and discussed Proactive Customer Expansion Strategies.
Expansion Campaigns of Veriforce
Veriforce harnessed two expansion campaigns:
- Blitz Adoption Campaign: High-touch focused campaign to enhance value perception and increase product and feature adoption.
- Upsell Campaign: Low-touch focused and discount-driven expansion campaign.
Blitz Adoption Campaign
Blitz campaigns require highly concentrated efforts by Veriforce’s Customer Success team. Their goal is to increase the adoption or usage of a product feature or purchase one of their products.
Guidry states “We used the Blitz campaign for adoption and then for expansion selling. We want to increase awareness and adoption of certain features on our platform that is revenue-generating and non-revenue-generating. Our goal is to enable our customers to harness more features so that they are using more of our platform and getting more value than that of what they’re coming to us for.”
Our goal is to enable our customers to harness more features so that they are using more of our platform and getting more value than that what they’re coming to us for.
The customer success leadership team of Veriforce wanted to launch a campaign that would help their customers to stay persevered in challenging circumstances. There was also a need to increase behind-budget product sales to withstand any calamities that can be encountered. That said, Veriforce prepared helpful response products, services, and features. To achieve this, they developed a suite of campaign resources:
- Step-by-step execution guide and training for CSMs
- Value-driven talk tracks by product and services
- Salesforce campaign for tracking
- Follow-up summary and implementation guide
Guidry explained they created a slack channel for questions and discussions of wins. Along with this, they also launched a pilot campaign and relaunched it into wave two.
The Blitz, in general, is to get everyone in a room, with lunch ordered, and for everyone to be focused on one specific task of getting the client to adopt x or z. This was difficult and impossible for the Veriforce team, so they designated hours and days for the CSMs to perform the blitz campaign virtually. To increase the adoption of many of their offerings, they reached out to their clients in a form of a questionnaire that CSMs would review live on the phone or via Zoom with the client. Conversations in wave 1 became very lengthy conversations, that’s why in wave 2, these conversations were made more focused to reduce the time on the phone, avoiding back and forth questions which hindered a good value messaging that CSMs could be delivering.
Overall, the resources developed, training facilitated, process documentation that was heavily used during the campaign, and the methodology; all contributed to the successful launch of the campaign.
This specific campaign that focused on feature expansions led to additional revenue opportunities. We attained about 5 exact revenue opportunities. With this specific one, we were excited that our clients were utilizing our products and expanding their feature adoption.
With this, the campaign increased the average daily sales and product revenue of the company. Guidry states “This specific campaign which focused on feature expansions led to additional revenue opportunities. We attained about 5 exact revenue opportunities. With this specific one, we were excited that our clients were utilizing our products and expanding their feature adoption.” Veriforce drove a deeper adoption and higher value for customers that also resulted in several new opportunities for upsell. Therefore, it is recommended to have a campaign once a month based on data analysis and the need for promotion.
Email Drive: A Low Touch Campaign
Guidry shares “We are in the process of working with CSM Practice to develop the customer touchpoint, the customer tier.”
Veriforce wanted to be more proactive in terms of their low touch approach; they wanted to reach out to their customers to remind them that Veriforce is here for them. Through an email drive campaign, they were able to allow customers to schedule some time with Veriforce to discuss their accounts or any questions that they may have. This is in contrast with the high touch approach which requires different team members to call and have frequent check-ins with their clients on a weekly or monthly basis.
Veriforce has done several email or outreach campaigns where they try to create the funnel, to go out there to get as many people interested and then continue to the messaging funnel, and to try to get people to individually convert to buy. The implementation of the value messaging on their products and services brings the company together with oneness and consistency. Implementing this across different campaigns has strengthened Veriforce’s relationship with its customer and their understanding of the value of the product which is a measure of success for the Veriforce team.
The Upsell Campaign
The Veriforce Upsell Campaign is a low touch discount-driven expansion campaign that is a little more reactive and proactive. They typically do these customer success campaigns but as a reaction to some lower than normal sales. Whenever behind the numbers, the Veriforce Customer Success team is motivated to proactively take action to closely address the problem and to course correct the budget numbers.
“The upsell campaign was a response to our lagging mining product sales. As such, we worked with sales to develop a tiered discount approach for our customers,” Guidry shared.
They also worked with CSM Practice to develop 10 value-focused discount emails to communicate this money-saving one-time opportunity to their customers.
- Worked with Sales to develop a tiered discount by customer
- Developed campaign resources:
- 10 value-focused discount emails
- Value-driven talk tracks for inbound calls
- Proactive low-touch efforts (email), combined with reactive high-touch efforts (inbound calls)
- Sales included their upsell messaging in regularly scheduled calls.
Expansion Selling Strategy Framework
You can utilize this framework to develop an expansion strategy that is proven to generate more results than merely waiting for customer ad hoc requests or CSM suggestions:
- Identify Outcomes: Determine which of your customer’s business needs your solutions can address, your customer’s expected business outcomes, and what service levels your customers are accustomed to from other vendors.
- Define Offering: Based on the solutions you offer, define appropriate upsell or cross-sell bundles for different sets of customer needs. Document your expansion playbooks in detail for future recurring campaigns.
- Find Triggers: Use customer data to identify a list of customers that are likely to have those business needs.
- Compile a List: Create a list of customer success qualified leads (CSQL) that the account manager or CSM can contact to validate that the business needs exist.
- Launch Campaign: Create a short or ongoing campaign to test the expansion playbooks. Offer a bonus to accelerate the adoption of the new plays. Adjust and improve your campaigns every quarter.
How CSM Practice Helped Veriforce
Guidry narrates, “Before the merger, the value messaging in our communications is always missing. But after working with CSM Practice in defining those for each of our products in each of our courses, we’ve pulled a lot of that value messaging in our campaigns like the discount carrot to develop our 10 value-focused discount emails. Along with the value-driven talk tracks for inbound calls.”
Before the merger, the value messaging in our communications is always missing. But after working with CSM Practice in defining those for each of our products in each of our courses, we’ve pulled a lot of that value messaging in our campaigns
CSM Practice helped and guided Veriforce in the transition process from being reactive to proactive. During the roundtable discussion, Chris Swider proudly claimed that their CSM team has transformed into a proactive team compared to its previous performance. He shared that building the customer success culture in Veriforce is quite stretching because it is an entirely new process for the organization. However, they believe they’ll achieve their goal as a customer success team very soon.
Veriforce is growing rapidly in terms of the number of its clients, contractors, instructors, and evaluators are joining faster than ever. Along with this is the complexity of their product and solutions which makes it more challenging.
Guidry believes that it was a successful way to incorporate customer success practice into expansion campaigns. Veriforce with CSM Practice executed proactive emails that enabled the customers to call inside sales representatives to take advantage of the discount drive. The value messaging developed for this campaign was very useful for these inbound calls and upsell strategies.
As a result of the campaign, Veriforce saw a clear correlation between their email campaign in the spikes in daily revenue. Guidry states, “We saw an increase in daily sales over 61%, compared to a similar day or week pre-campaign, and it was a few hundred thousand dollars that were directly tied to this outreach campaign.” Veriforce saw movement in their sales numbers brought by these campaigns, with the professional support of working with CSM Practice.