Should Support/Success Have a Commit?

SaaStr has a good question for when your VP of sales has a sales commit…so, then, shouldn’t your VP of marketing have a lead commit?

http://www.saastr.com/your-vp-sales-has-a-sales-quota-your-vp-marketing-needs-a-lead-quota-period

Let’s think about this from the perspective of Support and Customer Success. Should we, in our respective teams and departments, have a commit? We can argue there’s a commit to maintaining certain metrics such as response and resolution times, customer satisfaction, and possibly NPS (for Customer Success, some companies have renewals and upsells). Do these move the needle for the company?

Metrics do not dictate everything about a person, team, or department — in fact, only focusing on the metrics reduce that person (or team or department) to less than human. However, they focus the lens on the truly critical to ensure everyone is aware of the central goal(s). They oversimplify reality but that lens still helps us in a sea of data. These metrics are most certainly important — critical, in fact — but these are usually loosely tied or not tied at all to a company bottom line.

My basic argument is this:

  • Premise 1 only the critical, absolute necessities are discussed at the executive level
  • Premise 2 these are directly tied with generating revenue (or saving cash) for the company, whether selling, retaining, development, or financial reporting
  • Conclusion in a sea of information and to keep the executive team small and agile, a cohesive leadership team needs to focus only on the core components, ensuring focus. If there are good but not absolutely critical topics of the business, these likely should not rise to the top except maybe as a summary.

The implication is if Support (or Customer Success) is to have a seat at the table, then we must be responsible for more than table stakes. Quick responses, delightful experiences, and fast resolutions all matter, but how do these affect the financials? How do we, as investors, evaluate whether last month’s 25 minute first response time added to the bottom line or not? If it did, how many more staff should we hire to improve it further? If we determine it would make sense, what’s the investment tradeoff between another Support/CS hire and investing that money elsewhere such as Sales, Product, the tech stack, or year end profits? These are the questions an executive team needs to cultivate.

As the SaaStr article asks, “what is truly important?” Shouldn’t we have the mindset of asking what are the most important things? What really drives the company forward?

What is on our mind will get our focus, what gets our focus gets time, and what gets time gets resourced and can flourish.

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