By Mark Lomeli

I attended my first Success Café a few weeks ago and was reassured to learn that other CSMs from a variety of tech companies share many of the challenges I face day-to-day. Proving ROI, maintaining customer engagement, leveraging multiple tools, engaging multiple teams, it’s no wonder that we sometimes can’t see the wood from the trees. That said, what it seems we all have in common is a willingness to always do right by the customer, to really empathise and be the voice of the customer inside our respective organisations. So with that, here are three key takeaways to creating success and long-term value for customers and our businesses.

Customer buy-in
Our business is a people business – technology is only a means to an end, end users and IT owners value what technology can help them achieve – greater efficiency in the workplace,
smarter more automated work flows, mobilizing the workforce, achieving greater return on investment, taking hard costs out of the business, greater security and compliance – these are the challenges facing most clients today. To get buy-in, customers need to be engaged and invested in what we bring, not just with our products but with our services. In order to get buy- in we need to demonstrate that we understand and care about these challenges and that we can work alongside our customers as trusted advisors, helping them solve problems. Without sustained engagement and buy-in success is not possible.

Driving success and accountability
One of our biggest challenges is driving success by working with wider teams internally as well as with the customer. This means being transparent and clearly defining roles and responsibilities throughout the implementation to renewal cycle. One key insight for me is to remember that
teamwork always gets the best results – involving colleagues in their area of expertise is infinitely more valuable than going at it alone. Similarly, leveraging the right people at the right time on the client side can be very effective.

Leveraging tools to deliver value
Navigating an ever growing set of tools to help customers understand the value they get from our
products is also a challenge. Using multiple tools has shown me there are many ways to skin a cat and often there is conflicting data from one tool to the next. What’s worth remembering is that the real
value is in the story that sits behind the data – articulating what it shows and how this can help us and our customers drive change is what’s important.

So there you have it – some key insights from what was a lively and interesting conversation – already looking forward to the next one!