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Are you giving customers tools when they need solutions?

By Jay Nathan

Service in the on-demand economy is not about responding when a user reports a problem; it’s about being there in advance to teach users how to get value from your product.

I was chatting with a former colleague this week who is now VP, Sales for a fast-growing tech company in Charleston, SC. He intimated that he has found great success using Outreach.io to automate outbound prospecting for his BDR team.

But that’s not where his Outreach.io story began. In his prior company he also used Outreach, but never felt he got the full value out of it. It didn’t produce the return on investment that he expected. In fact, the way it was being used was actually turning prospects off.

Ultimately he cancelled his subscription.

The product hadn’t changed between company #1 and company #2, however, he did learn from his own mistakes and decided to try again.

The Customer Success guru in me thinks the outcome at company #1 could’ve been a lot different had there been a structured customer success program in place.

You see, service in the on-demand economy is not about responding when a user reports a problem. It’s about being there in advance to teach users how to get value from your product. It’s watching how users use the product and intervening with recommendations when things don’t look quite right.

What my friend needed was a solution, not a tool. His business challenges included scaling outbound prospecting, increasing prospect connect rates, and ultimately generating qualified leads resulting in more closed deals.

Closing more business was his desired outcome.

Without training and guidance on techniques, he had a tool that automated emails from inside sales reps but did not impact sales results. Lucky for Outreach, he continued to educate himself and learned how to turn the tool into a solution for his team.

So, you see, companies who build great tools might do well in the market. But a much larger opportunity exists for companies who build great products backed by expertise to help customers transform them into solutions. And when solutions help customers reach their desired outcomes, SaaS companies win customers for life.

Published April 14, 2017
About the Author

I've spent my career working in technology companies to build customer-centric teams, processes and technology platforms. In 2017, I founded Customer Imperative, a consulting firm that helps fast-growing B2B SaaS companies improve renewals, increase expansion sales and scale customer engagement. See full bio ›

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