The CRM Ecosystem Necessary for Recurring Revenue Businesses

As we hang out at the 13th annual Dreamforce 2016 this week, companies will be talking about all things CRM. For recurring revenue businesses, the CRM ecosystem has definitely changed in the last several years. In the Subscription Economy, customers spend more time in the “Growing” stage than any other stage of the customer lifecycle, sometimes as much as 305 days in their first year. See the diagram below.

Customer Nurture Stage timeframe

Having the right tools and resources to manage this stage is critical. Today, the CRM ecosystem has expanded to include technology that helps teams deliver value and drive product adoption from day one post-acquisition, especially during the “growing” stage.

Customer Success Management (CSM) defined:

Last month, we hosted a webinar featuring guest speaker, Kate Leggett, Vice President Principal Analyst, from Forrester Research Inc. in which she described why companies are “Justifying the Investment for Customer Success Technology.” Below is her definition of Customer Success:


With this definition, one has to ask – Can Traditional CRM do Customer Success Management? Here are ten reasons why it cannot:

Top 10 Reasons Traditional CRM Cannot Do Customer Success Management

  1. CRM cannot connect all the critical, fragmented customer data needed to proactively manage customers
  2. CRM cannot track real-time, behavior-driven customer data
  3. CRM cannot operationalize its recorded data and drive immediate action
  4. CRM cannot quickly identify opportunities for upsell and cross-sell
  5. CRM cannot quickly identify accounts at risk of churn
  6. CRM cannot provide real-time customer segmentation and cohort tracking
  7. CRM cannot serve as your “Early Warning System” and provide real-time alerts when customer health changes
  8. CRM cannot automate tasks and workflows for your team based on customer-triggered behavior
  9. CRM cannot tell you if deployment was successful or how product adoption is going
  10. CRM cannot provide an understanding on product utilization or product stickiness

The key to customer success management it to enhance your CRM with Customer Success Technology like Totango to be able to do all 10 of these. If you want to learn more about this, swing by our Customer-Centric Cafe at Restaurant LuLu this week (or request a demo).

Top 5 benefits from enhancing your CRM with Customer Success Technology:

  1. Understand an account’s real-time health and likeliness to renew
  2. Be alerted when customers need your attention and the reasons why
  3. Segment your customers with real-time data
  4. Proactively engage with every customer in the right context, at scale
  5. Accurately forecast churn, retention, and upsell revenue

Is your CRM technology limiting or helping your customer management operations? Let me know at

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