What is a Joint Success Plan? How is it different from an Account plan?
A Joint Success Plan is the customer success plan that you, as a Customer Success Manager (CSM), build with collaborative efforts from your customer’s end.
When everything is brand new and exciting, you will sit down with your new customer to learn exactly what they expect from utilizing your product and how they define relationship success. By allowing the customer to express their perspective, you can eliminate a lot of the guesswork in helping them to value realization – determining what value the consumer needs from you in order to be content about being your client. The CSM will next take this dialogue, as well as the paper that was developed as a result of it, to develop a strategy for delivering that value throughout the customer’s lifecycle.
An account plan is a comprehensive internal document that acts as a compass for all aspects of customer management. Risk analysis, ownership, and a clear description of the customer journey, as well as their expectations, should all be included.
Account planning should include every department responsible for revenue production, such as sales and marketing, in addition to the customer service team. The gathered data aids in the development of a customer-centric rhythm. It can assist salespeople in finding the correct customer match and asking the right questions.
“An account plan is an internal document whereas the joint success plan is an external document”.
Extra resource: The Customer Success Leader’s 30-60-90 Day Plan
Structure of the Joint Success Plan
A joint success plan or a joint business plan allows CSMs to keep track of an idea’s viability. It also gives customers a more detailed breakdown of the expected progress and outcome, reducing the risk of abrupt and unexpected shifts. As a result, they have a set of unique use-cases for their technology as well as a defined action plan to help customers achieve their objectives.
Let’s try and understand the structure of the joint success plan.
|Key Contact summary|
|Important Achievements (Milestones)|
|Major Concerns (Risks)|
Key Contact summary
This section includes a quick rundown of your most important contacts and their roles in your connection. Segmenting this section into different types of contacts will help you analyze the relationship status at all times.
The long-term and ongoing commercial outcomes that your products and services deliver are represented by anticipated value: Your unique selling point (USP). You can ask your champions to assist you in better understanding your value proposition from their perspective if you don’t really know that. Nevertheless, it’s always better to understand that part from your Sales and Marketing team. They’ll be able to help you much better here.
OKRs (Objective and Key Results) explain your firm’s current goal. It’s important to note that these are not adoption goals or projects. They’re your customer’s objectives, written in their own words. The objectives will almost always be the same as those on your day-to-day contacts’ and executive sponsors’ personal goal sheets.
The Key Results are stated as SMART goals and each objective must have at least 1Key Result. For example- The objective is to increase MRR. Then, the key result should be to increase monthly revenue from $10 M to $15 M by March 31st.
Important Achievements (Milestones)
The following section focuses on operational tactics. The tasks that must be completed in order to meet objectives and achieve outcomes are known as key activities or milestones. This is when adoption and utilization become increasingly important.
The Joint Success Plan is a high-level executive summary. While it may be tempting to include comprehensive project tasks in this area, you should refrain. Instead, focus only on the major achievements.
Major Concerns (Risks)
Finally, there are the concerns or risks. A risk is anything that could hinder a customer from reaching their stated goals in the framework of a Joint Success Plan.
Remember that your goal is to get your success strategy in front of senior executives. Outlining risks is a formal and constructive technique to raise concerns that are impeding the client from achieving the full business outcome they desire.
How and when will you use the Joint Success Plan?
Of course, planning is easier said than done. It’s because a customer goes through different stages in his/her journey. This requires you to plan for every stage and continuously improve as you go forward with the customer in the journey. Hence the customer journey map should lay out different stages with clearly defined processes and tasks. It should be a continuous process.
It is during this phase, that the success criteria (for the customers) will be determined. The objective here is to align customers’ expectations with your company’s value proposition. This is the initial success plan that will be prepared with the customer’s efforts.
While using the product, the customer might want to have a different strategy going forward. Hence it makes absolute sense to update your customer success plan. The objective for you at this point is to increase product adoption.
Renewal and Expansion
Your customer will renew the subscription if they realize and confirm the value which they came for. Celebrate the renewal and expansion in revenue but at the same time update the joint success plan. This time the desired outcomes for customers might change and a little tweaking must be essential.
Additional Resource– Renewal Template
On your end of the equation, there’s only so much you can do. To be genuinely successful, you’ll need the joint efforts of both your customer and your department. You don’t risk any misconceptions on either side when you have a plan in place.
The Joint Success Plan serves as a compass for our customer relations. Hence, it’s crucial to bring you and your customer on the same page. Aligning with customers to generate business outcomes is the foundation of customer success. Thus, renewals, expansion, and advocacy will automatically follow if we have built our foundation strong enough. So one can safely say that the joint success plan is one of the most collaborative tools in customer success.
P.S. – The main image has been taken from pexels.com