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Hey fellow Growth Hackers! I've recently taken up the role of Growth Manager in an EdTech SaaS company. My role is focused on post sales growth and covers 3 broad areas:

1. Reducing Customer Churn

2. Account Management (improve upselling and service cross selling)

3. Driving Referrals (which will be a win:win offer) I've spent a lot of years in sales, as well as run my own services consultancy, so I'm comfortable in that arena but new to Growth Management.

We've got a team of 5 road based salespeople in the business as well as a great digital marketing team. I'd be interested to hear about how others in the community would approach my role, specifically around the account management element.

There is a lot written about growth from a biz dev viewpoint but not much on post sales growth development around maximising lifetime value, referrals and cross-selling.

Looking forward to learning from everyone here



  • MT

    Matt Tharp

    over 3 years ago #

    Hi Jay,

    This is something I've had the opportunity to develop from scratch at a couple companies - one startup, one public company.

    Customer segmentation is the most critical thing to solve early, not just based on firmographic data, but behavioral data. You have to be able to figure out what behaviors are correlated with higher LTV customers. This is a big topic to unpack in a comment, but here are some highlights.

    1. Figure out how to quantify your best customers behavior. If you have customers who have renewed multiple times, analyze usage data for common patterns. Do interviews to understand their value perceptions. When you compare these customers with those who have churned, common differences will be visible. In a SaaS product, this is predictably going to be feature usage/adoption - (decent article here: https://www.totango.com/blog/2017/10/what-is-customer-health-score/). Once you have this, you will be able to cohort to automate marketing and sales experiments such as targeting potential high value customers with low usage/adoption scores with content to drive adoption, or targeting those with high usage/adoption with cross-sell/up-sell campaigns. You can run tons of measurable experiments once you have well defined segments with measurable behavior.

    2. Nothing is worse than calling an account to cross-sell/up-sell, only to find out the customer is a flight risk. This is where the usage/adoption cohorts become incredibly valuable to account managers. Account managers should have target segments where they call for different reasons - improve adoption if it's a new customer, renew/cross-sell/up-sell if they've been around 6 months or so. (*This assumes you don't have a proactive customer success function.) The clearer the context for the interaction, the higher the response rate and value delivered.

    3. If you're doing 1 and 2 effectively, chances are referrals will be a matter of asking for them. This is where lookalike modeling becomes HUGE, because you generally want to do as much of the work as possible for the end customer to get the referral. If you can tell a customer specifically who you want them to refer, and even pre-write the email for them - you should be able to increase your referral rate.

    Hope this helps at least provoke some ideas.


    • JA

      Jay Ashcroft

      about 3 years ago #

      Hey Matt,

      Thanks for your reply. Great advice right there that I'll begin jumping into.

      My top focus has been on better quantifying how our most successful customers use our platform as well as implementing a customer health score. It's good that you referenced both - I know I'm on the right path.