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How to Build the Ultimate Customer Success Board Presentation
Is there anything that causes more sleepless nights or gray hairs than planning a presentation before your Board of Directors? There’s so much riding on it, from your next fiscal year budget to near-term headcount to (potentially) the future of your career at your company. You know that every slide, every sentence, every chart and figure will be closely scrutinized.
Our all-star panel has been on both sides of this key business event, and they know exactly what you need to do to prepare and execute a flawless presentation for your board. Alfonso de la Nuez is CEO of UserZoom, a highly customer-centric company. Kristina Shen is a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, and no stranger to receiving presentations on Customer Success. And finally, Nils Vinje is VP Customer Success at Rainforest QA and founder of Glide Consulting.
In this webinar, you will learn:
The top three things every CS leader should include in their deck
What board members really want to know about Customer Success
How to blend metrics, tactics, and strategy into a seamless presentation
And much more
Anything you’d like me to highlight as I intro you? Alfonso: Normally CS is trying to get CEO buy-in—Alfonso has always been a CS advocate, and he bootstrapped UserZoom. They were able to scale to 15M in revenue with 1.5M money. Without an attention to CS since the beginning, they wouldn’t have been able to be successful with that little seed money Nils: CS is the only place where Nils fits. He’s excelled in every role from CSM to team lead, consultant, and now back to VP
Nils gives the background story of the CCO Summit and the slide deck competition Alfonso talks about what the group was trying to accomplish (HELP CS LEADERS UNDERSTAND WHAT A BOD MEMBER IS LOOKING FOR IS NOT NECESSARILY THE SAME AS MIDDLE MGT OR MEMBERS OF THE CS TEAM.) What (broadly speaking) set the deck apart from others presented Intros—should they be short and sweet? How much of a difference does deck design make? Simpler the better? Or does a “pro” design impact how the deck is received?
Kristina—what do you want to see in a summary? Nils—What if your team struggled in the quarter? Do you try to spin it somehow? Alfonso—What are you looking for here? BE STRATEGIC MAKE CS MEASURABLE, PRESENT THE KPIS USED IN CS HELP THE BOD UNDERSTAND ROI FROM CS HELP TELL A ‘STORY’, OVER TIME, WITH CASE STUDIES (BOTH SUCCESS AND FAILURES) CS MGT SHOULD ULTIMATELY HELP PREDICT FUTURE REVENUE AND CASH
Alfonso—if your head of CS presented you with this report, what questions would you have for them? WHO HANDLES RENEWALS AND WHO HANDLES EXPANSION? WHY HAVE YOU DECIDED TO SET IT UP THIS WAY? HOW ARE CSM’S INTERACTING WITH SALES AND MARKETING TO DRIVE RENEWALS AND EXPANSION? WHAT CAN WE DO TO REDUCE THE COST OF RETENTION? Kristina—it certainly varies depending on the company size and stage, but are you typically more concerned with higher ARR retention or logo retention? Nils—you know in these presentations you often have limited time. Do you prefer to draw more attention to your big wins or to areas of opportunity? Kristina—what are some other KPIs you’d be interested in a CS presentation? Alfonso—Obviously we’re looking at two segments, strategic and core. How did you define those segments in your presentation? THERE ARE VARIOUS WAYS TO GO ABOUT IT. I’VE USED TOTAL REVENUE, FTE, SIZE OF CONTRACT (ARR) AND EVEN USAGE LEVELS Nils—I know many companies see big disparities between segments when it comes to KPIs. Is that a sign of bad segmentation? Or is it insightful when there are outliers?
Alfonso will talk about telling a story using these numbers. How have they changed over time? IT’S ABSOLUTELY KEY TO TRACK DATA OVER TIME IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW YOUR PAST IF YOU WANT TO PREDICT THE FUTURE
Kristina—how far down the org chart before you lose interest? Is this a place to highlight new run-rate hires? Or celebrate wins by entry level CSMs? Nils—what are you trying to accomplish with your org updates? Win budget? Prove ROI? Or just provide an update? Alfonso—what are you looking for from your head of CS in an organization update? Nils will talk about CSM capacity in dollar amount Alfonso will talk about what has changed in an organizational capacity since the last deck NEW HIRES – WHAT PROFILES ARE WE HIRING? HOW IS THE TEAM GROWING? WHERE ARE MORE HC ADDED AND WHY?
How granular should you get with your initiatives? How detailed should these plans be? Highly specific or just a broad goal? Operations perspective—how can we scale CS ops? What are we doing to become more strategic/predictive/proactive? ALFONSO: INFRASTRUCTURE AND PROCESS WILL HELP CS LEADERS AUTOMATE TASKS, BE MORE PRODUCTIVE
How many customers should you highlight here? Alfonso—what are you looking to learn as an executive from a win story? And from a loss? BY FOCUSING ON LOSSES, YOU’LL BE MORE CREDIBLE TO A BOD MEMBER. BE COPETITIVE, HATE TO LOSE! Kristina—Is there a danger in getting distracted by a flashy win or a big loss? From an investor perspective, what are you looking to learn from a customer feature? Nils—when you highlight a customer win or loss, what information do you always come prepared with? Need an objective picture. You lose credibility when you don’t. You learn more from a loss than a win. Be in crisis mode.
How to Build the Ultimate Customer Success Board Presentation
How to Build the Ultimate
Alfonso de la Nuez
Co-Founder & CEO | UserZoom
Partner | Bessemer Venture Partners
VP Customer Success | Rainforest QA
CS forecast on target,
strength with Strategics,
headwinds in Core
Key Performance Indicators
Net Renewal Rate Gross Renewal Rate Expansion % Logo Retention
Strategic 98% 85% 13% 80%
Core 70% 60% 10% 75%
• NPS: 30
• Adoption: 400 enabled users, 8 transactions/month/user
• Cost of Retention (Cost of CS / ARR): 12%
Special thanks to the CCO Summit team
Romeo Leon | VP of Customer Success at CrowdFlower
Jeffrey Piper | CCO, Content Cloud Services at SpringCM
Chris Schulz | SVP Customer Success at Invoca
Leanna Resseguie | Director of Customer Success and Support at Wizeline
John Atkins | VP Global Customer Success at Dynamic Signal
Heather Surber | VP Customer Success at FireMon
Viken Eldemir | General Manager, Americas at Clarizen