The Customer-Focused Professional’s Guide to SaaStr

By Gainsight

Welcome to your curated SaaStr experience, built for those interested in delivering exceptional customer outcomes and experiences. Read on to discover valuable SaaStr sessions and networking opportunities that will expand your network and your mind.


Your Customer Should Be the Priority in 2019

In such a fast-growing industry, sometimes the customer’s voice can get drowned out by everyone else who has a stake in your success. You don’t need us to tell you this is mainstream—even Jack Dorsey, co-founder, and CEO of Twitter and Square is investing in customer success:

So are you invested in your customers? If you’re in the SaaS industry, chances are you’ve heard of customer success. Gainsight’s Essential Guide to Customer Success sums it up like this:

“The success of your business is inherently intertwined with the success of your customer. If customers succeed using your product, they’ll continue using your product, and thus, your business will succeed. At its core, that’s what customer success (CS) is all about: ensuring your customers achieve their desired outcome while using your product. Of course, pulling that off requires people, processes, and—most importantly—data. After all, how can you help your customers succeed using your product if you don’t know when, why, and how they’re actually using it. “

Customer success is a company-wide initiative, which means that having the right culture, sales processes, and product strategy are just as important as having the right organizational processes. Protecting your customer base is just the beginning—when done correctly, customer success will not just sustain existing revenue, but act as a revenue stream, adding to your bottom line through upsell and cross-sell opportunities. Your customers are your most valuable assets and if you’re not constantly operating with them in mind, they might just slip away.

Customer-Focused Sessions

While many understand the need for customer success, creating operational processes that put the customer at the forefront is a tall order to fill. These sessions will optimize your team for customer outcomes in 2019. If you’re looking for tactics and takeaways that will improve customer retention, product adoption, company-wide cross-functionality, and overall business growth, you need to be at these sessions.

Tuesday, February 5

Lessons from Gainsight: Top 10 Painful Mistakes in Creating a Category (10:45 – 11:15 am)

There was no playbook for category creation, so Gainsight CEO Nick Mehta and CMO Anthony Kennada built their own—and catapulted Gainsight into one of the fastest growing private companies in the world. Join Nick and Anthony for an open and honest look into their playbook for building the Customer Success category.

How to Build a CSM Team that Generates 130% Net Retention with Talkdesk (1:45 – 2:15 pm)

Gillian Heltai, SVP of client services at Talkdesk, will walk you through how to build a high-performing CSM team.

From Product Market Fit to Scale—Perspectives from Founder and Investor with Vista Equity Partners and Zapproved (4:10 – 4:40 pm)

CEO and Founder of Zapproved Monica Enand and Co-Head and Principal at Vista Equity Partners Rene Yang Stewart share both perspectives of a company growing from product market fit to scale.

Wednesday, February 6

How to Do Customer Success at Scale with Amazon Web Services (9:00 – 9:30 am)

81% of CEOs say their teams are not equipped to meet the challenges needed to compete in today’s marketplace, but attending this session could tip the scales in your favor. Sandy Carter, Amazon Web Services Vice President, will share ways you can become more customer obsessed.

Q + A with Seth Shaw, Chief Customer Officer at Invision (1:00 – 1:30 pm)

Who better to learn about customer success than a CCO? Kick off your SaaStr adventure in the right direction by asking Seth Shaw from Invision all your burning CS questions.

10 Lessons from a Turnaround: How Smartsheet Bet the Company and Why You Never Need To (2:25 – 2:55 pm)

CEO of Smartsheet Mark Mader joins and Founder of SaaStr Jason Lemkin to share their unique perspectives around rebuilding a product from the ground up. You’ll also learn how to use the tools and processes at your disposal to ensure you don’t reach a drastic do-or-die moment within your own company.

Thursday, February 7

Lessons from Gorgias: How to Close your First 1000 Customers Based Solely on Data (10:15 – 10:45 am)

CEO of Gorgias Romain Lapeyre will share how their solution can turn support into a profit center and walk you through closing your first 1000 customers based solely on data.

Leveraging Community as a Growth Tactic for Enterprise Sales with Sequoia Captial and Ironclad (12:30 -1:00 pm)

Customer success doesn’t just affect post-sales Join Sequoia Partner Jess Lee and Ironclad CEO Jason Boehmig for a session on leveraging community as a growth tactic for enterprise sales.

5 Misconceptions that Sabotage SaaS Businesses with Dropbox (1:00 – 1:30 pm)

Yamini Rangan, CCO at Dropbox, offers a practical perspective on the frameworks that are holding businesses back by challenging five common misconceptions about SaaS success.

How to Take Customer Success from Idea to Action from Gainsight, Xactly, Navex and Glint (3:25-3:55 pm)

Everyone knows they need to nurture and protect their customer base, but not everyone knows what they need to operationally and organizationally implement customer success. This panel of customer success executives know what it takes to go from idea to action and they’ll share stories and winning strategies from their journeys.

Building Communities, Superfans, and Evangelists: How to Make the Whole World Love Your Product from Bevy, Atlassian, Stripe, and Slack (2:30 – 3:10 pm)

Creating passionate advocates for your company and product is a vital component of customer success. In this session, executives from Bevy, Atlassian, Slack, and New Relic will share their strategies for building strong customer communities.

Meet your fellow customer-focused SaaStr attendees

One of the best aspects of attending a conference like SaaStr is the massive opportunity for networking. Some might even argue that if you’re not leaving with new LinkedIn connections, you’re not doing it right. If you’re looking for a networking quick-win, join your fellow attendees on Tuesday, February 5 for our Customer Success Happy Hour (part of the SaaStr Nights on First Street event). Here are the details at a glance:

Customer Success Happy Hour Hosted by Gainsight
Date: Tuesday, February 5
Time: 6:00-9:00 pm
Location: Café Stritch (374 S 1st St., San Jose, CA, 95113)
More information and RSVP.

Looking for more?

Unless you can be in two (or ten) places at once, it’s impossible to attend every session at SaaStr. But with this curated list, you can ensure you walk away with best practices that will come in handy back at the office and in your next board meeting. Subscribe to Gainsight’s email list to stay up-to-date with SaaStr happenings and other industry events. Click here to subscribe.

If you’re interested in learning even more methods to keep customers happy, returning, and expanding, join us at Moscone Center for Pulse 2019 on May 21. Pulse is the definitive event in customer success and is the largest conference of its kind. Once you’ve had a chance to recover from the information overload, discover more about customer success and product-led growth on Gainsight.com. Happy SaaStr!

Published on January 28, 2019

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