Marnie Stockman Part 2 – Literally the Book on Customer Success for MSPs

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Marnie Stockman Part 2 - Literally the Book on Customer Success for MSPs

LISTEN The Mindwhirl Marketing Podcast Ep 47 – Marnie Stockman Part 2 – Literally the Book on Customer Success for MSPs

WATCH The Mindwhirl Marketing Podcast Ep 47 – Marnie Stockman Part 2 – Literally the Book on Customer Success for MSPs

Podcast Transcript

Shelly Miller  00:04

Welcome to the Mindwhirl Marketing podcast, your source for B2B business building information where we talk sales and marketing and give managed service providers and IT service companies, the insider secrets you need to know to grow your business. We want to help you attract leads and sales and show you how to align sales and marketing. So you get more sales faster with less cost. I’m Shelly and he’s Mike. And today with us is Marnie Stockman of Lifecycle Insights.

Mike Miller  00:27

Hey, thanks for

Marnie Stockman  00:29

having me.

Mike Miller  00:30

Yeah, absolutely.

Shelly Miller  00:31

Love that you’re here.

Mike Miller  00:33

Absolutely. Yes. So you have a lot going on in your universe. And yeah, we wanted to like, steal a minute, a minute of your time. And have you talked about it, because it’s really exciting for MSPs. And a lot of really great knowledge that you’re dropping, you know, lately and tools coming up with your, your platform. So. So first off is the book, do you care if we get into the book a little bit?

Marnie Stockman  01:04

Not at all, and be happy to? Happy to share?

Mike Miller  01:09

All right, awesome.

Shelly Miller  01:10

All right,

Mike Miller  01:10

that’s fantastic.

Marnie Stockman  01:11

She doesn’t love a good pun. So dads aren’t the only one that get dad jokes, because, moms can too, so I wrote the book, Literally, The Book on Customer Success. So I use that on the regular with the family who’s probably tired of that. So thank you for, say that you guys for the first time so that the family didn’t have to hear it.

Shelly Miller  01:33

There you go. Take one for the family today.

Marnie Stockman  01:36

You have no idea. So we’re excited about the book. And I say we like the editor that I had, when I was writing the book said, you have to take out all of the we’s in the book and right I and I said but if it takes a village to raise a child, it takes the village and those two children to write a book. So I feel like I should say we because it is the thought leadership of Lifecycle Insights behind what customer success should look like for MSPs. There’s a lot of thought leadership in the SAS world, right. In software as a service industries, from Gainsight to Tango turns your platforms like that, that talk about how do you get insights into customer success? So how happier my clients, how likely are they to churn? Where are my upsell opportunities, so I feel like for a podcast that’s looking for ways to sell upcast should like I mean, upsells should, you know, kind of spark bells and whistles. So there are a lot of there are a lot of platforms out there even that track these types of metrics, specifically for software companies, there are zero platforms, or there were prior to IT Nation zero platforms that track the same metrics for MSPs. And so so we wrote the book, to help MSPs see what metrics could really help them drive more success for them and their clients. And then the side note of that is that’s the platform that we’re launching to. So I say we wrote that book, because it was really compiling best practices, from our own experiences. I was senior director of customer success for huge enterprise corporation, plus lots of MSPs that we’ve talked to that, frankly, have been trying to cobble together some of this information on spreadsheets, which again, is sort of industry term, the old cobbled together. Yes, it’s to put it in one place. And in this is the way we can think about clients to be to have a scalable, supportable process for what I call the human stack, because MSPs have it for the tech stack, but they need to address the human element to differentiate themselves in a world of increasing commoditized stack. Absolutely, absolutely. You, you had said in your book. So like this first chapter, we always think about what has to be true in order for what they’re saying to be correct. Right.

Mike Miller  04:16

And and in your first chapter you like, you lay a lot out, right, so you’re telling your story, but you also have a lot of, like, insight into what it takes to actually create a customer success process that retains clients and keeps them happy and keeps them you know, purchasing renewing.

Marnie Stockman  04:41


Mike Miller  04:42

And you said that so you have five beliefs here. And understanding of our customers businesses, English to English translators, for to advocate for the customer and for our company, which is interesting. Yeah. power and flexibility to get the customer what they need. Which, you know, I want to discuss these a little bit because that one’s another interesting one to me processes to ensure the customer feels heard, and metrics to ensure progress towards our goals. So, you know, metrics would be like, an obvious thing for enterprise level people, you know, someone who’s come from the corporate world, but it’s the first off and understanding of our customers businesses. Yeah, like that’s not very common.

Marnie Stockman  05:36

So and, and it’s part of the disconnect when MSPs come to the table for a business review. As you know, you know, the the start of Lifecycle Insights was to build a QBR PCI reporting platform to automate QBR reports. And we heard from MSPs regularly, that their clients weren’t seeing value or wouldn’t come to the table for business review. And what it really came down to is, is because you’re talking about you the MSPs business, not your clients business. So without an understanding of the client’s business and how technology impacts their business, they’re not understanding that like, they don’t care about the flux capacitors and the bells and whistles and gadgets and gadgets that you’re buying for them, right? Those words don’t mean a lot to them. But if you have an understanding of your customers goals, what they’re driving to, are they simple? Will you are you growing? Are you going to have a new location next year, technology wise, you’re immediately thinking infrastructure wiring, I need new assets, I need it, right. Like they’re all of these things that go along with it, that if you just went with the conversation of do I need to buy more, you know, cat nine cables next year, whatever maybe, I might know, but, but they’re certainly thinking like, Oh, now you’re selling me some some wiring. But if the conversation is tell me about your business, are you growing? Are you going new locations? Or now with so many people working remotely? Are we contracting buildings, where maybe we can utilize some of the assets that we have differently? Right? Are there cost savings? Are there things that you can do for them? So when you start understanding the customer’s business, and that wasn’t even necessarily a strategic conversation around? Are they looking at new markets, or new technologies in their industry that might make them more efficient, make them money, save them time types of things. So that’s what that’s what I’m gearing toward when I say if you need to under you need to understand your customers business. And let’s be very clear, I always say that apparently, when I’m like laying down the law with my children, they’ve let you know that. So I’m being serious here. Okay. This doesn’t mean that, that you have to be the expert in your customers business. As a matter of fact, that would be disrespectful to them. If you came in and said, like, we  know how all lawyers work? Let me tell you how to be a doctor. Like, I am, in fact a doctor on the side and I know how to run your medical practice, right?  What it comes down to, is they are the expert in their business, ask them about the pains in their business. And then when you have expertise in how to do that business better. I think one of the phrases I used all the time when I was in customer successes, let me tell you some best practices I’ve seen from other doctors offices, like you school systems, like you, etc. Because then it’s not you coming in high on the horse, that you know all the things about all the things, especially in their line of business. But instead, I, I have the lucky opportunity of talking to lots of people like you, and let me throw some ideas out there that have worked for them. Right. And so then they Ooh, talking to this person. It’s like talking to a bunch of other people like me, and then I can get some strategic value from this.

Shelly Miller  08:16


Mike Miller  09:08

Right, exactly. Excellent. Yeah, that’s great. Yeah. And as a side note, that’s what the Challenger sale is all about. Right? That book, the challenger sale, it’s about being able, being so intimately familiar with the industry, that you’re able to actually point out things that maybe they’re not thinking and actually be a resource. So that’s amazing tip, I’m just pushing it towards sales. But that’s an amazing tip for every business owner and the the, the markets they serve.

Shelly Miller  09:39

It is, an a good segway, I love how … it is  their business, they are the expert, but you can have knowledge in it and finding that balance to relay that to them when you talk and show how much you care is. That’s an amazing tip. That’s that’s what we all need to do in every relationship we have with our customers every every meeting,

Marnie Stockman  10:03

many times I have ideas about what I think would be better for them. But I don’t tell them. It’s my idea. I always say like, I have seen a customer try this or some best practices, I think if you have that way to, to offset it. So it’s less personal for you, and not all about you. But like some ideas and best strategies. First, it’s easy for them to say no, right? Like, oh, we tried that, and it didn’t work and they’re not personally offending you. It just makes this third party situation we’re going to talk about instead of super personal where either they feel like they’re hurting your ego, or you’ve heard there’s

Mike Miller  10:40

Right, exactly. The next thing is, and I find this one really interesting, because there’s so many different personalities, there’s so people have had so many different experiences, English to English translators to advocate for the customer. And for the company. Yeah. And it seems like you’re you’re walking a fine line there. And you’re having to understand their language their, what their what they mean, when they say certain things. So like, what are the this might be to philosophic, philosophical, but what, what’s the secret to that?

Marnie Stockman  11:18

Yeah, yeah. So it’s funny when I say that, I’ve been tempted to put that on LinkedIn before, especially when I ran customer success, like I, I’m a solid English to English translator, and you wouldn’t think you would need one of those. But you in fact, do. Because one of your languages is say insurance, right? So your customer is an insurance agent, they speak insurance, your engineers that have a problem that you’re going to solve with technology do not speak insurance. As a matter of fact, they speak in three to five letter acronyms that typically have numbers with them as well, because that confuse a lot of people, right. And so the customer success person has to translate business problem that comes in insurance ease, and turn it into what they’re looking for is a way to do this faster. Right? And so you’re that English to English translation, and then back again, right? Like, we always joke, yeah, we don’t let our top engineers in our tickets, they’re not allowed to respond back to an intermediary for that, so that it makes sense when it gets to the other side, right? And so same thing, and then back like, oh, to go faster, to go faster, you’re going to push these buttons, you know, and this is, this is why it’s going to work that way. So the English to English translator really does help turn business pain into a tech problem. The engineer turns it into a tech solution, which we then turn into a business solution, right. So I think that cycle is really important. And it humanizes it, because neither side feels frustrated at that point. And I absolutely have had engineers say to me, can someone have Marnie, go talk to the customer about this problem. And bring it back to me because I understand the translation of it, because she kind of speaks our language. And then the second piece of that is the advocating piece, I think the customer success vCIO account manager, whatever you want, whatever letters, you want to assign them walk a fine line of really caring, right, they have a great relationship with their client. And so they want for them. And they work for the company, so they want for them. And the nice thing that a customer success person does is they don’t come off as high pressure sales, because what they’re trying to do is solve a problem. And they’ve got the toolkit of things that of course, the company would like to, to help them use to solve the problem, but they’re doing it from the place of solving a problem for the customer. And so that’s where the advocate, you know, advocate piece comes from, and then whenever there are, you know, goodness knows, there are plenty of times where technology has glitches, they’ve built the relationships, so now they can really help ease pains. When a technology glitches come along. And you’ve built some political capital and trust that really like to advocate for the company, when there are struggles. I worked for one software company where the running joke was, we love your customer success manager so much that we use you in spite of your product. Your people, right? So yes, yeah.

Mike Miller  14:36

Yeah, well, and it takes a very special person to me to do customer success. Because like if if I’ve okay, right out of high school, I got a job doing customer success and every conversation turned into I know these this business is horrible. We need to get you something you know, to make up This yeah, like I was on, I was on their side too much. So I feel like it’s it’s like sitting on the fence. How can you serve the company and serve the customer and get you know wins for both? That’s it’s it takes a special person is what I’m saying

Shelly Miller  15:17

It does.

Marnie Stockman  15:18

It’s like the yes and parenting trick. Right. Right. And I have marshmallows for dinner. Yes, but or maybe it’s the Yes button. Yes, yes. But first we’re gonna eat the carrots. Right? Yes, marshmallows. So yes.

Mike Miller  15:37

Right like it. Yeah, I like it, too. I get it. Okay. So next is power and flexibility to get the cut. This goes into what we were just talking about power and flexibility to get the customer what they need.

Marnie Stockman  15:50

So, in a world of process, you still have to have some flexibility and some humanity, right? So I mentioned before, you’ve got all of these rules and processes and procedures around the tech stack. But when it comes to customer success, they’re dealing with the human stack. And humans are humans. So you have to have some flexibility. So while you should have processes in place, you need to understand the give and take on that. And one of the one of the companies that we’re always talked about, like, what’s the give and get? So if we’re going to have a conversation where something’s not going well, right, like you said, like, Oh, that’s terrible, we’re doing that too. Let me send you some flowers or whatever, you have to kind of think that given get, and you need to know what the parameters are for that. But to have rigid processes in place, think about all of the processes around billing, that might have been in place prior to COVID. And then all of the world stopped going out, eat, right? Yes, step those same, like no my processes, you don’t pay, we shut you off, you’re done. If there had been no give, in the humanity of the fact that we were in a pandemic, and no one was going out to dinner, like imagine how that would feel from the, from the business and of like, you, you know, I’m not I can’t pay for that. Right? Like, and there were other processes that we could put in place, but you needed some flexibility. So to to let a customer success person understand where the given get can be. And when they understand the problem of the company, right? They can often come up with a good solution that’s maybe a little out of the box, because humans just refuse to stay in a box and work the way the technology does.

Mike Miller  17:37

Yes, yeah. That’s, that’s amazing. I love that you said that these were beliefs, because that kind of shapes everything that you do. You know, and and it’s very uncommon for a business to give a customer success person, like, carte blanche, well, not carte blanche, but basically the flexibility to do whatever is required to keep the customer to make the customer happy. I’ve not personally seen it.

Shelly Miller  18:10

It’s rare.

Mike Miller  18:11

Yeah, I think it’s rare.

Marnie Stockman  18:12

And we certainly didn’t have carte blanche from a from a dollars perspective writer. But But what we did have was, so we would always segment our customers into the highest paying highest effort customers, right folks that we met with weekly, and we knew for a fact that if their buttons turned red, you know, so customer health was red, we had a process in place where we would then brainstorm what those things would be. So I absolutely then could skip all of the chains of command, right? And would get executive leadership and say, okay, and, and we didn’t have a rule in place that if they turn red, we send them an email that says we’re sorry, and we’re going to give them 10% off next month, because that might not have been the thing that would solve the problem for them. Right. So what we had was the power and flexibility to grab the right people to problem solve and be that communicator of, okay, this is, this is the problem they’re having this is the part of it that we cost. And what would be really helpful for them right now is if we gave them two hours of manual support to fix the problem, or they do need a concession on a bill or you know, just to be able to have the brainstorming and know that sometimes it’s good to have a playbook and sometimes you have to know when an audible and thrown out the playbook is a good idea.

Mike Miller  19:40


Shelly Miller  19:41

yeah. I love in your book that you lay out the process. I think that’s just excellent, because I think a lot of people kind of skip over the customer success process. And then you just mentioned something else that’s just very important and that is to continually revisit it I I think that successful business have processes for everything, but also have to go back in and revisit them at your events. Yeah. You’re even saying that they should with a, with an incident that happens to so that I would think that they would just continually get better and better.

Marnie Stockman  20:18

Yeah. And you know, it’s interesting because obviously I, you know, I let the cat out of the bag, we are releasing a platform around this in January, our partners, so we’ve had 24 Beta partners that are really helping build this with us. And they talk about their process and their iteration of how they, when would you like things to trigger so that you know, you need to think about doing something different. So what an example of that is, if there’s a leadership change at one of your clients, in the land of places where an MSP could be completely blindsided would be if there was suddenly new ownership of one of their partners, right. So to have that trigger in place, so that, you know, this is one of those incidents where we’re going to have to stop and regroup on what we’re doing. And that gets more refined, the more you practice it, right. So if we’re looking at continuous iterative process that wasn’t on the list the first time around. So the reason I point that one out is we had a meeting with our beta partners and said, Let’s talk about all the places where you would want to define customer health, what would make a customer happy, angry, or somewhere in the middle, and we had one list. And then somebody came back the next week and said, We just had a company that got acquired by another company, and that company already has an IT provider. So let’s add sort of this red flag notion of if we see that coming, we know we have to circle the wagons, make sure we talked all you know, boots on the ground to talk to people, etc. So we kind of updated our thinking of like, yep, there are other triggers that you really need to think about.

Mike Miller  21:55

Okay, excellent.

Shelly Miller  21:57

Well, talking to your partners keeps that up to date. That’s awesome. So you’re continually adding new triggers.

Marnie Stockman  22:03

Yeah, absolutely. So to have the flexibility, either yourself or in a platform, and a lot of times that was please keep this in their head, right. But if you really want to scale your process, you said folks don’t often have a process for customer success. It’s often because as you start out as an MSP, if you’re the owner and sales person, you just know, like, oh, Shelly likes fish, we’re good. Mike says this, right. But if you want to scale that, beyond you, you need to be able to say why I think that is true. And the other pieces as Shelly and Mike’s business grows, and you’re not just talking to Shelly, Mike, just because you went out and had coffee with them the other day doesn’t mean the project manager that is dealing with technology isn’t on fire, and you need to, you need to have a system for tracking all those variables. You know, if you rely on your gut, that doesn’t always work out right.

Mike Miller  22:55

That’s yeah, that’s the truth. It is the truth, that system is much better. And, and what I like about the fact that you said that these were beliefs as it shapes your behaviors, for you know, how you how it, it’s implemented in your business, your MSP. You then move into the process, you said that it had to be scalable, repeatable, documentable, efficient, and based on meq metrics. So yeah, it is I can hardly say it. And basically, it reminds me of, you know, E Myth. You know, like McDonald’s has all these, you know, standard operating procedures and MSPs are very, you know, SOP oriented. You know, but yet, then they fall short on the on the customer success formula, So, it’s, it’s interesting, and, and your book, basically, since you let the cat out of the back on the the update. The book is like a workbook for to build these processes in your business.

Marnie Stockman  24:14

Yes. So the first part, I aim to give a compelling why on why they should think about customer success. More than just, oh, I have happy healthy customers, right? So I kind of outlined some stories and some problems we see when they don’t have a system in place for it. And then the second part, it actually there’s a, there’s a url listed in the book. That will I think it’s Lifecycle, forward slash literally, that takes you to the worksheets, where you can download and do this work on your own. So it lets you do a few different things. It talks through how do you segment your client base so that you are talking to them at the right cadence for you and for them? And then how do you define health Right, and it walks you through. Like, there’s a suggested list of if you don’t have other ideas, I’ve given some to you, right? And, and they’re ones we’ve grabbed and conversations with our partners around. A lot of folks think, Oh, I already track customer success metrics, we get CSAT scores from our tickets. Well, that’s one metric. But remember, that metric started and was triggered by an event where they were angry to start. Don’t put in a ticket, because you were happy to see them. And then the resolution of that is, is directly impacting that moment, right? When you and when you so any given CSAT is just a point in time, and an average over time talks about the human that is putting in that ticket over time. But is that how the whole health of the company is feeling? At any given moment? Right? That’s just a single metric. NPS scores same thing. But there are other you know, there’s a general overall sentiment that I think is the last human that talk to these people. What is the general sentiment? I’ve had people put in a ticket angry about something, but they’re still happy as a clam with that they just want they just need something resolved, right? Like there’s no, there’s no drama there. So to be able to outline for yourself, what do you think, are the metrics that we need to average to say, I feel like that’s a good gauge on what customer health looks like. And and along with that, in the world of metrics, one piece that I think every MSP is well aware of, but people have really struggled with documenting is how aligned are they to my standards are stack alignment. So to get insights into many times your crankiest customers are cranky, because they only off they’re only using 10% of the services that you offer. But they’re they’re complaining about things that the other 90% would solve for. So if you defined for yourself healthy as somebody that’s using my standards, right, that they’re aligned to my stack, and they turn red, you think, Okay, we’ve got some other bell or whistle to push. But I’ve got another client that’s really cranky, they’re always talking about X, Y, or Z, well, they’re not even aligned to all of my processes. So it’s hard to say that, that I would have solved for that, and only 10% of what I bring to the table. So there are lots of different types of metrics to take a look at. But the pieces that we’re looking at right out of the gate are defining your health metrics, and taking a look at opportunity within your stack. Because it’s first a health metric and second, gives insights into sales opportunities. upsells.

Shelly Miller  27:45

Okay, so So in the book, we it’ll, it walks you through, and like you said, you give them some kind of thought starters as well. And so then the platform is basically a dashboard with that has this information too, or tell us a little bit about that? Yep.

Marnie Stockman  28:01

So, I’ll start with three things, it does a lot more than that. But I find if we can just cut to the chase on a few highlights, it helps. Okay, so the first piece is to give you a quadrant and says, top right are my high value, high effort clients, these are my HIPAA compliant clients, my department of defense clients, right, they have a lot of needs, and they’re paying my highest dollar amount versus low effort, low impact, probably automated clients, right, we got processes in place, and you would want them to be because you keep them profitable, you better not spend the same amount of time with each right. So we want to divide into quadrants. So you can establish a good cadence for working with each of them. So that’s the first piece, then as we’ve plotted them on this chart, we let you define the health scores so that we color those points red, yellow, green. So if you’ve got your top paying high compliance client that is red with customer health, as customer success person, that puts a knot in my stomach and phone to my ear, right? I’m calling that client, I’m circling the wagons on my own executive leadership. And we’re going to figure out what the problem is and solve it for them. Right. If I’ve got folks that are low, they’re not paying a lot, but they’re high effort. I am going to do one of two things, I’m going to make them lower effort so I can automate the way I work with them. Or I’m going to show them, we’re going to solve more of your problems and move they need to be paying more right because they’re just not profitable for you. So that’s the first view you get into on the dashboard. And then the second piece is really around opportunity in your existing client base. So we let MSPs define their standards or services that they offer. And then really document where their partners are aligned or not aligned. So this is my preferred BDR application. They’re not using our preferred one. So there’s some opportunity left, right, and when I want to move them, so there are lots of bells and whistles to make all of that happen. But the goal being that when I look at a client, I can see there 73% aligned to my standards. And there’s $1,500 in MRR left on the table. So I know what I’m going to talk about in my next business review. Because when I’m fully aligned, a more scalable, supportable secure, which is the other piece that we kind of talked about there.

Mike Miller  30:41

Okay, okay. Excellent. I have a question. So let me try to put that off for a second. Because your your platform is coming out. And it actually, from what I understand, it walks you through this process that’s also in the book, or it helps you identify the processes that you’ll use and and like, the the forward Nigel Moore says that this is work. Yeah, right. Yes. Yeah. But and I’m assuming that it’s still going to be some work, but the platform is going to make it a lot easier and virtually hold your hand through it.

Marnie Stockman  31:19

Yes. So yeah, I appreciated that Nigel said that he and I had a long conversation about the work. Because if it was easy, everybody would be doing it. Right. And if it was intuitive, then people wouldn’t be trying to solve the problem with spreadsheets themselves, right. So it’s a problem that folks are trying to solve. But the automation is not simple. So let’s talk about where that work is. Right now. We just discussed where’s that information on customer health? Nowhere in somebody’s head, right, we’ve got CSAT scores over here, we’ve got the customer success manager thing, one thing, the owner thinks another thing, we’ve got NPS scores, right. So that’s kind of all over the place. So there’s some work to get in one place, right? So that’s the one piece, the other pieces, if you truly want insights into the stack, and how aligned your clients are to that, then you’ve got to build out your stack, right? You’ve got to decide, okay, these are my preferred and, and we’ve built the platform, we’re all about flexibility. But I always like to say with great flexibility, with great flexibility comes a lot of power and with great power comes with some effort. And that is because if you want to have maybe your standard stack and security stack and maybe a level two security stack, you need to define what those are right? And we can’t make that up for you. You have to go in and say, My top 10 tools that come on my standard stack, are these they’re included. Everybody gets it. So everybody’s 100% aligned there, or maybe they’re not right, there’s some work that takes a human beings eyes to look at that. And say, Yes, I agree on that. So that’s where the work comes in, is to set up your standards in the platform in the same way that MSPs have spent years building their standards. And they know, these are the chosen toolset, you do need to set that up for yourself. Because we don’t believe there’s a single secret sauce, right? Everybody’s stack is their secret sauce. So they need to define that for themselves in the platform. But once it’s there, you don’t have to recreate it. You duplicate it, right? Every client has the same, we’re ending for that we’re aiming for the same goal. That’s what makes it scalable.

Mike Miller  33:35

Right, right. Well, and somebody told me once, and I know I’m gonna butcher this, but basically, it’s, it’s, it’s better to understand the process and to understand what’s involved in it, and then use a tool, you know, like, like yours, to help you facilitate that process than it is just to get a tool and expect that it’s going to do everything for you

Marnie Stockman  34:05

We are not mandating the process for you. And yes, right. We always say we’re not aiming to do that we’re we want to be flexible enough that your process right, can be done in the tool. So I agree, we would agree with that completely. I would highly recommend folks work through it in the workbook, at least sketch it out, right? You don’t have to, you don’t have to run through the activity for all 40 of your clients. But I’ve recommended in the book, take your top clients take a take a healthy happy high paying client, take a healthy happy, kind of automated, right, just in process, don’t we need to do client and then take a couple unhappy ones. And let’s see what’s a like and what’s not like and let’s build a process around what would improve all those things, and then you’re ready to put it in the platform now that we know I’ve defined. I know my clients are happy when they show up to a QBR in general have a CSAT score over 95. And, you know, regularly respond to emails engage in some way, right, they’ve adopted my tools, they’re at least 75% aligned to my stack. That’s a healthy customer. Once I’ve decided that’s healthy, then put it in a platform and look real quick, anybody that’s not green. That’s where I need to go deal with.

Shelly Miller  35:27

It makes it easy. I mean, that’s just that’s excellent to be able to see exactly what’s going on with who and I love. I love the plan. The plan is look at who you have that successful and what they’re experiencing, look at who you have that isn’t and see what they’re experiencing. I mean, really,

Mike Miller  35:45

it gives you insight,

Shelly Miller  35:46

it does, yes.

Mike Miller  35:48

And a place to start from and you know, if you want to grow your business, and that’s that reminds me of another question that you kind of touched on. And that is, so we look at the post sale phase, part of the post sale phase is an advocacy phase, or I’m sorry, an ascension phase.

Marnie Stockman  36:11

I look it as the advocacy to for the record.

Mike Miller  36:16

Well, yeah, exactly. Um, but so we look at QBRs you know, that quarterly business review as an ascension phase, right. And it’s done face to face. Now, typically, with every other business, you would write letters and postcards and try to upsell, you know, but with MSPs. It’s that doesn’t seem to work. It seems like it has to be a personal hands on approach. That is, you know, obviously, in the customers best interest this is this isn’t just an opportunity to upsell, right, it’s an opportunity to serve the customer and to give them the best. Well, whatever, protect them the best keep them up, maintain their productivity, whatever it is that they’re doing

Marnie Stockman  37:08

Consultative, as opposed to other services that, like the add ons are clear, right? Like, oh, you bought the orange sofa? Did you want the loveseat? To go with it? I don’t need you to write to me what a loveseat is right? Like, but maybe I didn’t know you sold orange love seats. So thanks for that that would match perfectly or not. Right. But when their technical services, and you said like, Hey, you bought your server from me, are you looking for switches? Like, what? Like, yeah, man, I’ve been, I’ve been checking out the switch catalog every night. And it asked me this question. That’s not how that plays out. So that’s why it has to be consultative, because someone’s going to have to explain why you care about firewalls and switches. Right. And it’s, I mean, there are different levels of interest in that. But it’s the consultative piece of why this makes them more secure. Why this makes their business more scalable, more efficient, save them time make the money that drives those sales. So yeah, I’m afraid the postcards not going to work in the situation.

Mike Miller  38:17

Right. And see, that’s what makes Lifecycle Insights really, to me a marketing tool, because you’re able to track, you know, the status of all the QBRs you can schedule them and make sure that they’re you know, on time, but you cannot and also understand the satisfaction level of the customer almost in real time. And, and then create a plan to engage them and make them happy, solved there needs upsell, where need where needed. I mean, it seems like a I mean, I know it’s the premier, you know, customer success platform in the industry. But it’s also to me, like a must have marketing tool.

Marnie Stockman  39:12

So I mean, when you say that it it people are doing the work just manually or in their head, right? So you’re right, even though like why don’t people already have it is because it’s one of those cases where your strength becomes your weakness. We’re just good enough at all of the IT right that we’ll just cobble this together, but that cobbling together over time, makes it it loses priority, because nobody’s sitting around thinking like, let’s let’s go attack some spreadsheets today. And other things come up, right. So to have those insights right in front of you, does make a huge difference. And we talk all the time about good QBRs do two things. First, a QBR is a mini sales process to existing clients. You get better about having the conversation but it also gives you those best practices that you can talk about In a pre, you know, in a prospect conversation so. So QBR light is what a true consultative sales process looks like you don’t have the same information, but it’s about all of the usual words, right discovery. Let’s find out what they’re doing. Let’s collect some data. Let’s highlight some risk. And let’s point out what they need. Right? That’s what you do in sales. It’s the same thing, you doing QBRs, just kind of to your point at the next level up. And then the other piece that we drive home with QBRs is it’s the place to get referrals, right, if you’ve delivered value to them, and say, Do you know there folks in this industry like I clearly like talking to folks in the insurance industry, we talked a lot about, about a lot of best practices today, you know, that we’ve brought from other insurance industries, you know, other folks in the area, you know, that that might get value from my services today. So that’s a good referral close on a QBR that drives other additional sales. So it’s a big, it’s a big spiral.

Mike Miller  41:06

It is, it is, that’s brilliant. And it’s very important, it’s a great place to stop to because you’ve, you’ve really kind of, like, given us the the what you get, what it’s going to do for you why you need it. And like I said, Lifecycle Insights is the premier, the premier tool for customer success. And you’ve Literally The Book on Customer Success for MSPs.  Yeah, that’s a good way to wrap on my plan. I love it. It’s great. Well,

Shelly Miller  41:44

and could you tell our listeners and viewers what, where is the best place to purchase the book? And, when can they learn more about your dashboard? Well,

Marnie Stockman  41:55

so Amazon, and the nice thing about being named Marnie is that if you Google Amazon space, literally space Marnie, guess what you hear me? So huge advantage there. So yeah, right on Amazon is easy. And it’s 4.99. So I really tried to take it as we really wanted to deliver it to folks because we feel like it’s important information, not because I was looking to be an award winning author, right? We just felt like it was important information to share. There’s a Kindle version. I think we may have an audible version coming next year, so okay, I have someone who sounds a lot like me, but isn’t quite me who has volunteered for this

Mike Miller  42:41

so well, nice.

Marnie Stockman  42:44

If you ever want like a mother daughter to show we can. We can invite mom. Okay. Oddly enough, so experience in this field and our our leave a message, voicemail recording sound a lot alike. So we may go with that.

Shelly Miller  42:59

Oh, fun. Okay.

Marnie Stockman  43:02

So that is how you can get the book. And then If you want to email happy to have a conversation if you want to go to our website, it’ll have some bright new shiny bells and whistles for the new year for sure. And you can follow us nearly anywhere you would like to be. We’re on Reddit and Discord and Facebook and slack and Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. So if you can find us, get me a 14 year old and iPhone. Touch.

Mike Miller  43:35

Right. Exactly. You’re not looking very hard if you’re not finding Exactly. Awesome. Thank you so much. Pleasure. Always. Yes, always a great show and

Shelly Miller  43:48

so much information and tips that you provide. We really appreciate it

Mike Miller  43:52

exactly. You for having me.

Shelly Miller  43:54

Thanks again for listening to the mind world Marketing podcast. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google podcast, Stitcher, Deezer or Spotify. Plus, check out my where on YouTube and subscribe. You’ll find a lot more marketing tips, insights and resources that will help you get your sales and marketing working together and moving in the same direction.

Shelly Miller

Shelly Miller

Entrepreneur, marketer and social psychologist - I help you make the most of your business with marketing, online and offline.

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