Dec 21, 2022

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The top five Customer Success webinars of 2022 from ChurnZero

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2022 was a tireless year. If you’re anything like me, you signed up for a bunch of webinars with admirable intentions of attending, which is code for snagging the recording to watch when you found an uninterrupted window of time, which is also a nice way of saying never.

We’re only human and dealing with a torrent of media, distractions, deadlines, personal issues, and everything in between. For those who did make the time, we see you, we hear you, and we appreciate you. Show us your ways.

However—if you want to make good on that unspoken promise to block off your schedule and learn something new that will help your CS career, this is the roundup for you. Don’t let your calendar and that next “high” priority [insert task] own you. Taking the time to reinvest in yourself is incredibly important, and it’s up to you to make it happen.

With that, here are ChurnZero’s top five most-attended and most-watched webinars from 2022. May they inspire you to take on whatever 2023 hurls warmly sends your way.

1/ Crash course in Customer Success and SaaS metrics

Presented by: Dave Kellogg, principal, Dave Kellogg Consulting

Many people think of SaaS and CS metrics as black and white. But the truth is, there are many ways to calculate and interpret—and game—metrics. If you’ve ever felt like being data-savvy was out of your reach and reserved for people who were naturally good with numbers, this webinar will enlighten you to the myriad of nuance that exists in SaaS metrics using plain language and concrete examples.

“There’s a sign they have at French railroad crossings where it says ‘un train peut en cacher un ature.’ It means one train can hide another. The idea is, be careful because if you see one train and it clears and you drive out, you could get hit by a train in the other direction. That’s the way I feel about net expansion. You can find companies where if you just look at the net expansion rate, you go, wow, it’s 125%. This is world-class. But in reality, it’s 45% expansion hiding 20% churn. One train can hide another.”

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2/ From overwhelmed to over quota: How to be a more effective CSM

Presented by: Ryan Johansen, a stress management consultant who trains CS professionals on becoming top performers without burning out

Admitting you’re stressed to your team or leadership is tough, and depending on your workplace culture, even taboo. But by talking about it, you get closer to a solution. Establishing barriers is one example of how you can start to dig yourself out of an emotional hole. Boundaries make it easier for you to perform at a more predictable and consistent level, and that starts with a creating a startup and shutdown routine.

“If you start your day with email, you instantly surrender your control of the day. As soon as you start, it’s no longer about what you want to get done, it’s about what other people are going to do. You set yourself up for distraction right away. Sometimes, you might get an email from a client in Connecticut and you’re thinking about your aunt that lives in Connecticut, and then sooner or later you’re looking at pictures of dogs. I’ve certainly gone down that rabbit hole myself. It can actually impact your mental health.

“There’s a phenomenon known as lottery brain where the reason that we pick up our phone is to get a reward. We want to get good news and all those alerts make us more susceptible to checking it. We check our phone and we start the day hoping for good news but it’s bad news and that makes us upset so we start checking our email more often for better news and it leads to this difficult cycle.”

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  • The webinar’s Q&A recap touches on topics that hit close to home for so many of us, such as how to spot the signs of excessive workplace stress, the no. 1 thing CS leaders can do to avoid CSM burnout, and how to keep needy customers from derailing your day.

3/ Drive customers to value during onboarding, at scale

Presented by: Donna Weber, a leading onboarding consultant and advisor for CS and post-sales organizations and author of the book “Onboarding Matters

Customer onboarding is so much more than implementation. It’s where you develop the customer relationship and where the renewal really happens. With so much riding on this pivotal phase, you might feel inclined to custom-fit onboarding to each account. But giving your customers this kind of special treatment is a sign that your team is stuck in reactive heroics. Instead, use the Pareto principle—known as the 80-20 rule—to make this treatment the exception rather than the norm.

“What’s the timeline for first value? What I like to say is of course it depends. It depends on your product. It depends on your customers. It depends on how technical your customers are. But what I am seeing is that there is a correlation between the time that it takes to sell your products—so the sales cycle—and the time to deliver value and ideally be onboarded. If you have a really long sales cycle—let’s say six to 12 months—then you have about half of that time—say three to six months—to deliver value. If your product sells in 10 days, then you better start delivering some morsel of value within about five days.”

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  • The webinar’s Q&A recap takes on questions like when should you consider onboarding to be complete, what are the best onboarding metrics, and how to spot when you have a bad-fit customer on your hands.

4/ 2022 SaaS retention benchmarks: How does your company compare?

Presented by: Rob Belcher, managing director, SaaS Capital

Once again, SaaS Capital’s Rob Belcher graces our “best of” list with this stat-filled session that distills down the results from their 11th annual B2B SaaS benchmarking survey. This survey is the largest survey of private SaaS companies in the world with over 1,500 responses. If you’re looking for retention benchmarks to set a baseline, start here.

“We’re starting to see more people report percent of revenue retained that was up for renewal that period. It’s great to track. It is more volatile because you might have a month where you only have $10,000 up for renewal versus $10 million up for renewal so the numbers are all over the place, but it’s an interesting one to keep an eye on.”

Related reading

  • In this webinar Q&A recap, get a SaaS investor’s perspective on how to handle inflation-induced price increases, how much your company should spend on CS, and if CS be considered an OPEX or a COGS.

5/ The startup’s guide to Customer Success

Presented by: Jennifer Chiang, head of Customer Success, Seso, and author of book “The Startup’s Guide to Customer Success

Whether you’re starting a CS function today, or you’re 10 years into your CS career at a startup, Jennifer recommends focusing on three main areas: understanding your charter (aka your team’s reason for existing), getting your entire company bought into the idea of championing the customer, and architecting a post-sale experience worth evangelizing.

“A common mistake that I’ve seen when it comes to early Customer Success organizations is getting tired of beating the customer drum. Being the customer advocate can be tough and thankless at times. However, it really does pay off in huge ways for your customers and for yourself and for your team later on. To get out of this trap, vary the mediums of how you evangelize customers.

“For example, if you use data dashboards a lot versus customer stories in Slack versus having non-customer success people on customer calls, vary it up sometimes to make sure that you’re keeping things interesting by having different ways and different channels to really beat that customer drum.”

Related reading:

  • Get Jennifer’s honest advice in this webinar Q&A recap on familiar startup challenges like how to build CS playbooks from scratch, what key metrics should brand-new CS teams track, and more.
  • The number of audience questions we received during this Q&A showed us that CS professionals at startups are hungry for best practices. To cover all the questions, we invited Jennifer back for a Q&A part two to offer up her insights on how to build a customer health score, run a business review, and define the difference between CX and CS.

Stock up on Customer Success content to fuel your 2023 aspirations

To learn about all our upcoming webinars and save your spot, subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Along with invites to our latest events, you’ll get content focused on driving down churn, growing sustainable revenue, and building both a CS career and customer experience that you’re proud to own.

For additional viewing and in the spirit of our chart-topping theme, we scoured YouTube—which is not for the faint of heart—to find the best Customer Success channels out there. Start with our top five.

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