As a VP of sales at early stage SaaS companies, what’s your best advice for reducing churn rate?

A few things that always work to drive down churn in the early days — and later:

  1. Make sure you have a strong Head of Customer Success … whose #1 goal is reducing churn. Too many early stage VPs of Sales don’t have a strong “wing person” running customer success. Go help the founders make the hire if there isn’t one. And importantly — resist the urge to have this Head of CS own upsells. That may seem to help you, but it will lead to a de-focusing on driving down churn.   More here.
  2. Go visit all your top customers in person, even once a quarter if you can. Far fewer customers churn if you visit them in person.  We’ve been saying this on SaaStr for 10+ years (!), and yet I see fewer and fewer sales execs flying to meet customers.  Yes, it was tough in 2020.  It’s not tough today.  More here.
  3. Read your team’s emails and listen to their calls. If you don’t, they’ll often say things that are just plain wrong. And lead to unnecessary churn.  More here.
  4. Put together a strong onboarding team. And drive up your activation rates and time-to-value. Try to get every single customer to fully be on-board within 30 days in general — or much faster for many apps. If they are slow to use you, they may never really use you. And they’ll be much more likely to churn.  More here.
  5. Do pilots, if customers want them. Don’t resist them. Too many sales execs resist pilots, since they seemingly add risk to the deal, and often force you to resell the deal just a few months later as the pilot ends, in essence. But a pilot also aligns everyone to value and gets them on the same page. And it in essence roots churn out and identifies it early, during the pilot — when there’s still a chance to do something about it. Just remember to do Paid Pilots only. No one values a Free Pilot, so no one put in the work on the prospect / customer side.  More here.

(Churn image from here)

Related Posts

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This