Customer Success

It’s Monday morning. You’re headed to the monthly exec meeting. Every department manager will be there—waving stats and metrics of accomplishments and closes—justifying their departments’ existence. As the director of customer success, what will you report?

Sales has Salesforce. Accounting has Quickbooks. These are systems of record.
What is a system of record? First, a definition.

A system of record (SOR) is the authoritative data source for a given data element or piece of information where the integrity of the data is vital.

The Neolithic Era, beginning about 10,200 BC, was a period rich in the development of human technology. There is record of very early farming communities with more permanent housing structures as evidenced by the inscriptions on cave walls from that era. They were definitely on to something.

Picture today’s Salesforce dashboards declaring their monthly performance. Reports reflect pipeline closes, monthly recurring revenue, percentage of quota achieved. But what of the customer success department? Without a system of record you’d be hard-pressed to measure and share concrete outcomes that demonstrate your team’s contribution to the bottom line.

It’s a relatively new concept to demand that customer success organizations establish a system of record to track quantifiable achievements; but it’s game-changing to be able to present this key data to your executives.

Have a look at this Amity dashboard report. It reflects a history of monthly recurring revenue (MRR) at risk. If you have a clear picture of that risk, you can measure (and report!) the impact your customer success team’s intervention had on mitigating that risk.

Amity graph MRR risk

How about sales? If your customer success organization is managing renewals and upsells, you will definitely want to provide accurate reports of renewal stats and upsell revenue. Tracking Net Promoter Scores (NPS) is another solid marker of the value customer success managers bring.

When it comes to hiring and scaling your team, concrete data will build your business case for expansion and help you win the executive support you need. A system of record substantiates the importance of customer success to protecting future revenue.

Let’s commit to a system a record so we can demonstrate verifiable customer success contributions. Our ancestors got it right. Get it down in black and white.