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Grow Your Revenue through Customer Success, with Emilia D’Anzica [Episode 707]

Emilia D’Anzica, Partner and Customer Success and Account Management for Winning by Design, joins me on this episode.


  • Customer success is a driving force of revenue growth in the SaaS industry and is applicable to other businesses. Emilia points to WeWork as a non-tech company with a global Customer Success team.
  • The lifetime value of an onboarded customer continues after the original opportunity is closed. Look at sales not as closings but as commitments. The growth of the commitment can be 75% to 92% of the lifetime value.
  • Customer Success often reports to Sales. Emilia considers it to be at least as important as Sales. Companies that are invested in customer success bring the customer success team to the customer before the sale.
  • Customer Success managers should be familiar with the sales process and sales reps should be familiar with the customer success process. When Emilia hires Customer Service managers, Sales Managers are ideal candidates.
  • Andy explains how “land and expand” is not his vision of customer success. The full scope is not just selling the customer more seats for the same product but also selling more products to the customer.
  • Andy describes customer success as “fit in and stand out.” He explains how this improves on selling more seats. Don’t give discounts to sell additional seats. Emilia suggests requiring referral commitments.
  • How is customer success measured? Check non-renewals. What went wrong that led to the non-renewal? What are you missing? Keep customers on track all year.
  • Include the executive decision-maker on the kick-off call to understand their goals for purchasing; briefly engage them after the system is live for their goals for the next quarter. Do this quarterly, if possible.
  • Help the customer leverage the product in a way that will benefit their company. The decision-maker is the best guide for this. Always make the end-user the hero.
  • If you only bring the executive in for the renewal call, you miss the mark. Emilia saw a six-month check-in where the executive said, “This is not what I purchased. This is not what I wanted,” and stopped using the product.
  • Andy’s kick-off process: The first call reviews with the decision-maker what their goals were, how the product met those goals, why they bought, and what they expect from the product within time frames — no confusion.
  • Key customer success metrics: Net Promoter Score and Customer Satisfaction Score, if you use the data. An important metric is Time to First Value. Emilia shows executives how the product impacts their business.