When you’re a software vendor, you have to be able to demonstrate that you can help your customers achieve their stated business outcomes and provide the metrics to prove their money was well spent. Some companies do this reactively; they answer their customers’ questions when questions arise. Others do this proactively; they get ahead of questions before they arise. However, which way works best? My professional journey has helped me develop a strong opinion. Check out Sprinklr’s value realization framework with me.
I have had the opportunity to create value realization models for customers, both reactively and proactively. My first professional experience at the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) saw the company creating its Strategic Accounts program reactively, based on customer inquiry on spend. Our team’s response was to simply shift the conversation from spend to value, where driving the customer’s platform usage became the primary focus of our account teams. It worked and we avoided many negotiations due to a better value proposition for the customer.
Fast forward to 2019, when I joined a cross-functional team at Sprinklr to create a new value realization framework for our customers proactively. Many of the world’s largest brands use Sprinklr to listen, reach and engage with their customers on modern channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Sprinklr’s Unified Front Office can help these enterprise companies with a range of activities, including finding new customers, resolving customer care issues and sharing original and user-generated content on multiple channels.
Restaurant brands publish social media content via Sprinklr to Twitter
Sprinklr has continuously iterated on its value narrative across its ten-year history. Unlike earlier versions, this year’s narrative centered on proactively aligning each of our five product’s use cases to a customer’s needs. A half dozen teams and a handful of customers provided feedback to shape the creation of the value realization model.
Sprinklr Value Realization Model
There are four key steps in Sprinklr’s value realization model: position value, discover value, implement value and realize value.
Based on thousands of sales conversations, three business outcomes repeatedly appeared high on our enterprise clients agendas: increase revenue, decrease cost and manage risk. A simple framework aligned our five main products to these three business outcomes, then streamlined our multiple use cases to three primary business use cases (PBUC) for each positive business outcome (PBO). Here, the rule of three prevailed as a powerful methodology to explain the concepts.
Example is Sprinklr Modern Care product’s business outcome for Increase CSAT
Our product and software implementation teams worked together to assemble existing documents to find overlaps and create new streamlined tools that ensured proper handoffs between Sprinklr teams in the customer journey. In the pre-sales process, teams collect information through primary and secondary research, but store this data both offline and online. The first step of acknowledging the criticality of this data, then the second step of depositing it in a central repository proved to be paramount in aligning our teams towards each customer’s use cases from the start of their Sprinklr journey.
By centralizing this information flow, we could ensure that the software implementation consultants delivered the Sprinklr platform as the customer envisioned it in the sales process. Simultaneously, handoff calls relayed this information from the salesperson to the software consultant and customer success manager. Furthermore, the ongoing ability to reference their research revealed subtleties for a successful software deployment. The focus placed here helped our Sprinklr teams immensely, especially in case of an employee transition on the customer side.
The powerful combination of the use cases (transparency) and software implementation (accountability) provided our post-sales teams with a new rigor towards delivering value to our customers. A customer’s users receive training on the software’s features and connect the dots from their day-to-day towards their company’s business outcomes. From then on, customer interactions like regular check-ins to technical support revolve around the use cases and business outcomes, which ultimately sets our customers up for success. The account teams can focus on which of the nine use cases are working, need to be improved upon or can be deployed through viewing new dashboards showing software consumption built in Sprinklr. For example, a Success Manager was able to articulate to a client that they were saving $13 per customer care case resolved using Sprinklr, which when annualized covered the cost of their two-year contract with Sprinklr. This data reinforced that the customer was realizing a significant return on their investment.
Once the value realization model was cemented in stone, I stepped in to quickly upskill Sprinklrites on the new concepts. I hosted workshops for nearly 500 employees from 12 teams in six cities across seven weeks. From Austin to London to Tokyo, the results were immediate: teams were most excited for a shared vernacular – both internally and externally – with the value realization model. Sprinklrites saw the merit of the value realization framework in not only standardizing service delivery, especially with growing portfolios, but also predicting the evolution of a customer relationship.
The account teams were quick to act on the conversations demonstrating the value realization model to their customers. For a hospitality customer, we mapped their corporate objective to grow revenue through industry influencers with metrics in their value realization dashboard. WIth a luxury goods customer, the six-person account team made sure that they were aligned on the customer’s three business objectives, which involved their heightening social presence through advertising. A health score in the value realization dashboard showed them that the customer was adopting some of Sprinklr’s best offerings to reduce advertising production costs and should continue to do so as the customer onboarded new ad agencies.
My recommendation to companies seeking to implement their own value methodology is to be proactive and start the discussion early on. Following Sprinklr’s proactive approach can be a game changer in reacting to customer’s inquiries on the return of their investments. Your company will always be ready to demonstrate how they support your customer’s business outcomes.
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