How to Create a Customer Success Plan That Drives Results

The Customer Success Plan creates a shared understanding between a company and its customer. Get started if you are not using success plans in your business today.The Customer Success Plan creates a shared understanding between a company and its customer. Get started if you are not using success plans in your business today.

In this article, we will:

  • Define the purpose of the customer success plan
  • Provide and walkthrough a customer success plan template
  • Discuss a recommended process for creating the program, reviewing it regularly, and measuring success.

Note: Some organizations gather the bulk of this information during the sales to customer success handoff — so we created and include a simple sales to customer success handoff template below.

What is a customer success plan?

A customer success plan reinforces a shared understanding between the business and the customer. The program ensures that everyone is clear about why the customer bought your solution, critical timelines, and how you will measure success.

In an ideal world, this document would be created jointly by the prospect, sales team, and customer success teams before the customer buys the solution. This timing reduces the opportunity for the all-too-common loss of knowledge as prospects become customers and sales teams hand-off to customer success.

However, you and I know that we don’t live in the ideal world — and this will most likely be created post-sale.

If this is the case, you still want to bring together the sales team, customer, and customer success to build this as one team.

What should you include in a customer success plan?

This document aims to eliminate miscommunication and build alignment to ensure the customer achieves their goals.

In so doing, they are less likely to churn and more likely to buy more products and solutions.

This is a vital document.

The Customer Success Plan Template

Why did they buy

This section should define the business challenges the customer is seeking to overcome.

It should also include secondary objectives that other members of the buying committee raised during the purchasing process.

This will help you identify key stakeholders and increase the odds of renewal by solving these secondary issues along with the primary issues.

Concerns raised during the purchase process

You won the deal, but likely some people had concerns and preferred other options. Ensure you understand these concerns as areas to be wary of and stakeholders you want to win over.

Define all stakeholders

Identify who the key players are now that the customer has bought and document everyone involved in the buying process.

Both groups may impact renewals, and additional upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

Success Metrics

How will you measure success? Think through leading and lagging indicators of success, including:

  • Adoption of the solution. What does adoption mean, and what are the targets.
  • Based upon the business challenges leading to the purchase, what other corporate KPIs will be measured to determine if the solution is on the right track.

Key Dates and Timelines

Have agreements been made pre-purchase?

Even if not, define essential targets for the solution deployment, QBRs, and so on. This is not a place for your project plan, however.

Along with these targets, lay out how often the customer success plan will be reviewed and updated.

These are the core components of your success plan.

Your Sales to Customer Success Handoff Template

Your Sales to Customer Success Handoff Template

Having a documented, consistent, sales handoff template used as part of a formal process will improve overall customer satisfaction, streamline the onboarding process, and increase your success at overall success.

Technology to Scale

PandaDoc document automation solutions can help you scale customer success effectively. This includes for QBRs, Success Plans, and more.

Their free trial gives you enough time to evaluate and see if it’s the right solution for your business.

PandaDoc Customer Success Document Automation tools

Final thoughts

This plan helps to remove the common challenge of buyer’s remorse, provides a clean hand-off from sales to customer success, and sets the stage for happier and more successful customers.

Yes, it requires yet another meeting, but this meeting is one you cannot afford to miss.

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