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

[fa icon="calendar"] 21-May-2020 11:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva

laer in customer success - land adopt expand renewA 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

The model was established by the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) as a framework for organisations to manage the customer lifecycle.

  • Land is the traditional sales process that introduces a customer to a brand.
  • Adopt is the main focus for most CSMs (Customer Success Managers) and includes showing new customers how they can use the product to reach their goals.
  • Expand includes education and telling customers what else they can accomplish with the product or additional products and services.
  • Renew is about reviewing the value the product has provided and determining if and how it makes financial sense to continue the relationship.

To be successful at each of these phases, companies must develop specific capabilities them:

What actions do you need to take in Land? 

  1. Define customer business requirements and desired outcomes.
  2. Identify user personas and prioritised use cases for the product or service.
  3. Assess the current state and baseline performance.
  4. Develop a digital business roadmap (including hardware (HW), software (SW), and services) on how the new solutions will help the customer.
  5. Position the value, set expectations and scope out your ability to ensure customer success throughout the customer lifecycle.
  6. Initiate a holistic solution (HW, SW, services) sale.

What actions do you need to take in Adopt?

  1. Interlock with the appropriate stakeholders post-sales (account team, partner, customer).
  2. Develop a Customer Success Plan for the account.
  3. Agree upon on roles and responsibilities.
  4. Validate expectations and KPIs.
  5. Enable customer capabilities on the product.
  6. Deploy and activate the solutions (HW, SW, services).
  7. Ensure customer readiness through ongoing training and enablement.
  8. Drive change management and business process improvement.
  9. Monitor consumption (through metrics such as utilisation, health index etc.).
  10. Ensure value realisation and business outcome attainment.
  11. Identify, manage and resolve adoption barriers.
  12. Accelerate broader use case and product application.
  13. Conduct quarterly business reviews (QBRs).

What actions do you need to take in Expand?

  1. Create a process to identify and nurture Expand opportunities.
  2. Align with the appropriate account teams throughout each phase of the customer lifecycle.
  3. Ensure the business model rewards driving Expand sales.
  4. Utilise a platform that tracks opportunities to closure.
  5. Ensure solution optimisation and deep adoption.
  6. Uncover additional use cases or product needs.

What actions do you need to take in Renew?

  1. Utilise metrics and KPIs to continuously communicate customer value and impact.
  2. Extend the business relationship with a contractual agreement.
  3. Request customer advocacy.
  4. Continuously realign business case to current customer requirements.
  5. Offer asset management services (HW, SW, services).

Focusing on each of these phases can make it a lot easier for companies to create a customer success practice and then to optimise the customer experience by engaging the customer throughout the lifecycle and each of the phases of the model in the right way so that customers can realise the biggest value

In addition, the model has a whole phase on expanding existing business and driving more revenue which is often the most important factor for monetising customer success and getting the buy-in on why you need to build such a practice.


What do you think about the L.A.E.R. model?


Topics: Customer Experience, Customer Success

Iliyana Stareva

Written by Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva is the author of Inbound PR - the book that is transforming the PR industry. She's also a keynote speaker and a consultant in inbound and digital for fast-growing companies and agencies. Currently, Iliyana is Chief of Staff to the EMEA President at ServiceNow. Before that, she held global and EMEA-wide positions at Cisco and HubSpot. She is also certified by the PMI as a Project Management Professional (PMP)®. In her free time, you can find Iliyana writing for her blog, dancing salsa or travelling the world.

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