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The Next Big Thing in Social Enterprise: The Social Product

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This is a bit of an oldie as I blogged about the Power of the Customer panel at All About The Cloud before, but a video interview from the conference just became available so I thought to pass it along. In the video I talk about the consumerization of the enterprise and the implications for customer facing personnel. In a nut shell: the early sales cycle is in the hands of the customers. ┬áSome customers know more about your product than you do so at this stage of the sale, self-service models are dominant. Rather than focusing time and money pre-sales, increasingly vendors are investing post-sales in helping customers gain the full potential from a solution and to in crease usage and engagement (and thereby, over time, revenues). Lastly, a big topic in the video is how products are becoming social. This is an important topic with so much buzz around the social enterprise and, Oracle and Microsoft buying up companies left and right. My assertion is that the next big thing in the Social Enterprise is “the Social Product”. I explain what this means in the video below. Have fun watching!

Transcript of video:
My name is Dominique Levin and I’m VP marketing at Tango is a customer engagement management platform which basically means that we give you 360 view of your customer, and how to interact with you. And then also help you automate the engagement with that customer to ultimately drive customer success and customer lifetime value.

I was just speaking on a panel, ‘the power of the customer’, very exciting. We were talking about the new social buyer and the self service sales model and also the importance of customer success, and aligning your company around making your customer is successful, increasing customer life and value customer retention rates, yes we talked about zero sales companies it was very interesting to kind of think many years ahead to look at companies like Atlassian which is a hundred million dollar company with no sales people but who is building out a customer success team.

So really the emphasis shifts to the early sale cycle is in hands of the customer, the customer is driving it. And companies are really investing dollars in to building out resources to coach and help customers be successful with the solution, rather than just selling them. Another trend that we discussed is how the product itself has become probably your most important sales tool.

So this idea that your product is social, and that most of your customer interaction is happening through the product itself, so people sign up for a free trial or a free version of your product, and then when you communicate back to them, you can also communicate while customers are using the application in the application itself.

So this idea of the social product, but the product being the salesperson or your sales channel, I thought this was very interesting as well. Now lastly we talked a lot about metrics, and we’ve talked a lot about how do you measure customer success. And of course traditional ways are things like net promoter score and customer satisfaction surveys, but really if you look at it, those are lagging indicators.

Those tell you maybe what people say that they think about you. We talked about how it’s very powerful to look at customer’s actions. So, customer actions speak much louder than words. So these days when customers leave digital fingerprints all over, the way I’ve been, and all over using your product and interacting with your company and your brand, why don’t you just see how it is that you’re using your product, and from that, the panel agreed, you can much better predict customer happiness and customer success, and ultimately, revenues and customer lifetime value.

The customers that use your product the most are likely also the most successful and profitable customers. Yeah. So obviously all of this is up Totango’s alley and all about giving you insight into your customers behavior in real time, and not just that also predicting from that what are likely buy signals and likely churn signals.

So something we announced just before the conference is a new health dashboard, where you can see, based on customer behavior, based on engagement score, who are the happy customers and who are most likely to churn. We also just announced a new partnership with EngineYard so we help developers monetize the applications.

So we view this really as a very critical piece of business infrastructure. So after you build your application, now put infrastructure in place to help monitor and analyze your customer behavior and your customer success, and that really we believe is a key success ingredient in monetizing your app.

So after your done building your app on Engine Yard. The next step would be to now to start thinking about how to make your customer successful with that app, and that’s where Totango infrastructure fits in.

Jill Rubin

Jill is a senior marketing and business development executive with experience leading successful teams in both large companies and startups. She has taken companies from early stage to strong revenue growth and propelled established businesses to industry leadership positions.

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