How Customer Success Drives Top Funnel Growth

Customer Success drives top funnel growth in many different ways. Some of the most effective include:

  • Providing powerful data and real-world results

  • Creating case studies

  • Generating referrals

  • Unlocking new markets through developing/uncovering use cases

Data & Real-World Results

Customer Success (CS) doesn’t work if what the customer defines as “success” is not fully understood. Success isn’t a nebulous concept that a customer simply feels, it is a data-driven result that cannot be disputed:

Customer A started out the year averaging 10 leads per month, growing their MRR by approximately 15k per month. After using our service for 6 months, Customer A got an average of 50 leads per month, and their MRR was growing by approximately 65k per month.

Having powerful, real-world results is absolutely key to attracting and closing new customers.

Case Studies

These data points can then be turned into case studies, which go deeper and tell the story behind the success. Generally, strong case studies include quotes from the customer, detailed descriptions of each step they took towards hitting their goals, and multiple in-depth data points that irrefutably show how and why those results were achieved.

These case studies can be featured on the company website, sent to prospects, and serve as a blueprint for how future customers can achieve success.

Generating Referrals

84% of B2B decision-makers start with referrals, and close rates multiply 10-20x when a lead comes through a referral rather than a cold call. In today’s market, a referral strategy should not be optional - it should be a central component of every company’s lead generation strategy. Fortunately, Customer Success is in the perfect position to drive referrals. It is the Customer Success Manager’s job to know every detail about the customers in their portfolio, including: which ones would be willing to give referrals, which ones have strong results they could share, which ones are well-connected, and most importantly, what would motivate each of these customers to give strong referrals. Despite what many people think, it is not as simple as Customer A achieved great results, so they will give us a referral. People are finicky, and often with B2B/Enterprise companies, it is the relationship that the Customer Success Manager has built with the client that will have the largest impact on the number and quality of referrals.

Unlocking new markets through developing/uncovering use cases

When it comes to startups, it should already be well-understood that the way a company intends its customers to use its product may vary from how customers actually use it. It is only through effective Customer Success though, that a company can fully explore new use cases, gain valuable product insights, and potentially even enter new markets.

Slack was a tool originally created as part of a video game so that players could collaborate to complete missions, and now it is well on its way to making e-mail an extinct technology.

Where would Slack be if the company hadn’t explored different use cases for the tool? Even now, Slack’s Customer Success teams are actively exploring new use cases and creating new case studies showing how the product can be used in healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, mining, and countless other industries.

Through these means and many others, Customer Success can be a serious contributor to top-funnel growth. It is critical that companies invest in their Customer Success strategy so that they build strong relationships, generate referrals, accrue a library of amazing case studies, and explore new use cases and markets.

To learn more about Customer Success, download my eBook here: The Beginner’s Guide to Customer Success.

Ben Winn