SaaStr Podcast #040: Allison Pickens, VP of Customer Success & Business Ops @ Gainsight on Scaling Your Customer Success Team & Managing Churn
Welcome to Episode #40! Allison Pickens carries the customer success torch as the VP of Customer Success & Business Operations at the category leaders, Gainsight. Allison’s organization Gainsight includes all post-sales functions: CSMs, Support, Onboarding, Services, and Operations. Prior to Gainsight, she started her career in management consulting for Fortune 500 companies while at Boston Consulting Group and later worked in private equity investing at Bain Capital. Allison decided that she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work at Gainsight when Bain Capital led the Series B.
1.) Assessing what is regrettable vs non-regrettable regarding customer churn.
How do you approach this?
What is the internal post mortem?
How do you identify why they churned?
Is there a blame game that follows? How do you instill ramifications but not fear?
How do you then look to fix the original problem that caused the churn?
2.) The process of building out a great customer success team.
When do you need a customer success team?
Where in the organization should the team sit?
What’s the playbook for rolling it out?
How big does the team need to be? Does this vary on sector or funding availability?
What are the levels of seniority within the team?
What’s your budget? How do you account for the costs of your team?
What teams sit within the customer success umbrella?
3.) At what point in the company’s life do you begin segmenting the customers?
Why is it important to segment customers?
How do you decide the best way to segment them?
Should these segments align with the sales team?
60 Second SaaStr produced by Nick Mehta:
What surprises you most about customer success now vs a year ago?
Importance of fast-iterating team?
Fave SaaS material, book, blog, podcast?
What element of the journey have you found most challenging?
Carrying the CS torch? What is it like do you feel the pressure?
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