Here are some thoughts on Customer Goals & Success Plans!

  • 21 April 2023
  • 5 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +2
Difference between Customer Goals & Success Plans
Comparison of Customer Goals & Success Plans

There are two distinct things: 

What are a customer's goals and what are we going to do about them?

How Customer Goals Came to the Picture:   

  • The way we had success plans set up in the past (with an 'objective cta') we had linked the two of these.  

  • If it so happens that a goal would map to a single CTA and the duration of the goal equals the duration of the CTA and the tracking of the success of the goal is the same as the tracking of the progress on the CTA, then it all works.  

  • But in general, one or more of those things is likely not to be true.  

Independent Customer Goals : 

  • By separating customer goals into their own concept, we acknowledge that a goal exists even separate from a plan to help achieve it, and that a goal may be accomplished even if the actions are not completed.

  • Conversely, all of the steps assigned may be completed without the goal being achieved, and a goal may live on in time even if a success plan doesn't.  

  • Goals are kept in a Goals model but in the Success Plan, we are still stuck with overloading the CTA concept to hold objectives.

Optimisation between Cross functional teams : 

  • Different people may be involved in establishing a goal and a success plan.  

  • Customer goals help in the process optimisation between the Sales and the CS team increasing transparency during handoffs.

For example, a salesperson may be in a good position to identify what a customer is trying to achieve.  We would not want a salesperson dictating what work the CSM should do.  That is up to the CSM processes.  

So we need a way to capture the goals -- in the goals model -- and then leave it up to the CS processes to decide what should be done to help achieve the goals.

Here are some thoughts on the feedback so far : 

  • Success Plans will most often now be Project Plans

  • The additional layer of Goals gives them much more flexibility to create a value framework with Project/Action plan templates to support them.

  • Given that this is a fundamental shift, there would be a need for more enablement and change management required to execute this as desired. 

Takeaways : 

It is useful to consider that there are two different audiences to solve for.  

  1. For customers that have already gotten used to Success Plans as the way to track goals, thinking about goals being "a layer on top of Success Plans" resonates.  

  2. For anyone starting fresh, it could enable you to plan and prioritise goals with your customers using CTAs and Success Plans, also providing visibility across teams.

Here are some resources I'd like to share with you on Customer Goals.

I’m looking forward to post more on this, as soon as i more info to share. Hope this helps!

5 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

This is super helpful as we begin to dive into this. Thanks!

Userlevel 4
Badge +2

This is super helpful as we begin to dive into this. Thanks!

Thanks a lot, @gunjanm! It means a lot coming from you 🙂 Please let me know if I can add anything more to integrate it even better.

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

@Jagari Das interesting read. Are these insights conceptual, based on intended use of the feature, or are they practical insights derived from how Gainsight is using the feature internally? Not sure how others feel, but I know I’d be interested to hear how the use of Goals with Success Plans has helped Gainsight better manage success with their customers.  

I am just getting started with Success Plans and conceptually really like the idea of segregating Goals & Objectives, especially since front end Sales efforts usually document these in some loose form or another… 
We are looking to bring them into Gainsight as a CSMs starting point, formalize them, and then build, for example, quarterly business success plans (through QBR Mtgs) that build off of the company goals through CTAs and Playbooks, seems the most appropriate path for us.

As such I am starting down that path, although I can see already the challenge of “daisy chaining” these quarterly plans together to attain the broader goals feels a bit daunting.

Userlevel 6
Badge +2

After spending some time with goals to determine its viability for our leaders, these key features perform inconsistently and make it hard for me to want to recommend this to our users in its current state.

  • Success Plan CTA completion does not track towards the progress of the goals - an associated Success Plan has 3 CTA tasks and 1 is closed, you’d assume it’s 33% complete, but no, it’s 0. It’s either 0 or 100% complete.
  • CTAs associated separate from the success plan do track. 2/4 CTAs not attached to the Success Plan will track it 50% complete.
  • Metrics tracking is manual.