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3 Things Customer Success Managers Need to Be Effective

[fa icon="calendar'] 14-Jul-2020 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Customer Experience, Customer Success

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When you're trying to introduce Customer Success (or Customer Experience) in your organisation, you're obviously going to need a team. 

That team doesn't just consist of leadership people who will set up the vision and plan for the Customer Success organisation but you also need those who will take care of your customers, most often called Customer Success Managers (CSMs) - also called Client Success Managers or Customer Success Executives (CSEs). 

I've never held any of these titles exactly but I've spent a good few years working in similar roles albeit through partners (that's another topic we'll cover later) or directly taking care of customers when I was working in PR and digital agencies which is the same as if you're working in Customer Success in SaaS. But I've learned a lot about Customer Success over the years both by doing the job and by operationally executing on programs to enable Customer Success teams to do their jobs better. 

So from everything that I've experienced, I want to cover the key things CSMs need to be effective in their day-to-day. If you manage a CSM organisation, consider these especially if you're just setting it up. 

3 Things Customer Success Managers Need to Be Effective

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How to Create a Work Breakdown Structure [Project Management Fundamentals]

[fa icon="calendar'] 03-Jul-2020 09:30:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Project Management

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Today, we continue with our project management fundamentals series. 

So far we've covered the differences between projects and operations as well as those between projects, programmes and portfolios, the DARCI model for stakeholder engagement followed by how to run an effective project kick-off meeting and lastly, how to create a project charter

Now, we'll look at another crucial piece of project management and probably my favourite one as I love looking at the details and planning the execution - the work breakdown structure or WBS. 

A work breakdown structure (WBS) is basically the breakdown of all deliverables into smaller components. The goal of the WBS is to organise the project team so they can work in manageable sections. 

The Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) by the Project Management Institute (PMI)defines the WBS as a “deliverable oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team.”

The WBS starts with the end objectives and then divides them into smaller components (called work packages) again and again in terms of size, duration and responsibilities until they can't be broken down any more and until they allow to complete all the steps necessary to achieve the objectives.

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Inbound PR: The Future of PR & the Most Important Book on the Industry in Years - Required Reading

[fa icon="calendar'] 19-Jun-2020 07:00:00 / by Matt Bergman posted in Public Relations, Inbound PR

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Republished book review by Matt Bergman from Amazon. (Thanks, Matt!)

Iliyana Stareva has written what I’d call, with a considerable degree of confidence, the most important, actionable and forward-looking PR book of the past ten years. That’s true, I believe, for the following reasons, which I’ll circle back to and discuss in a bit more detail:

  1. The author sets a detailed course for the future of PR that aligns with the thinking and capabilities of the relatively few genuinely progressive agencies, as well as with the needs of forward-looking clients.
  2. The book beautifully, seamlessly and comprehensively integrates the inbound approach – which is unquestionably going to be the overarching structure that informs the future of marketing (AI and automation technology, by the way, are much more conducive to an inbound approach than to an outbound one).
  3. Ms. Stareva addresses head on what has frankly been the negligence of the PR industry in exhibiting little in the way of creative or scientific thinking in terms of measuring value.
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10 Influencer Marketing Strategies [Gifographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] 03-Jun-2020 10:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Public Relations, Inbound PR

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When I was doing some research on influencer marketing a few months ago, I came across a lot of nice infographics but the one that stood out was actually a gifographic

I hadn't heard the name before but it's pretty cool. 

It's just an infographic as we know them but with gifs and it makes it much more fun. 

So today, we'll look at one such gifographic (perhaps you can think about creating some for your business too) that covers some interesting influencer marketing strategies. 

It's called influencer marketing strategies but to me, they are more tactics that you can use once you have your overall influencer marketing strategy that defines why you're doing this, what your goals are, what the impact to your brand would be and how much you'd want to spend on all activities. 

Then you can choose some of the below ideas to make sure you hit the above goals based on what you want to do and what you have at your disposal. 

Now, let's take a look at those tactics.

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The L.A.E.R. Model in Customer Success

[fa icon="calendar'] 21-May-2020 10:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Customer Experience, Customer Success

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A couple of months ago, I covered customer experience and the Cisco racetrack - or lifecycle across the customer journey that's extremely important for companies to be able to drive customer success.

Today, I want to show you one more model that's become more and more popular if you work in SaaS or Customer Success.

This model is called L.A.E.R. and stands for Land, Adopt, Expand and Renew. 

Each of these phases has a different focus and they are not just about customer success as in post-sales but also the intersect with sales pre-purchase and for the renewal stage.

At the end of the day, the model aims to ensure that when a customer buys a product or a service, they truly realise the value of the purchase and achieve the business outcomes or goals they were expecting to get to by buying this product or solution.

As a business, it's on you to deliver on that promise after the sale which will lead to customer happiness and loyalty. 

Let's take a look at the L.A.E.R. model.

What is the L.A.E.R. Model for Customer Success

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