Why PulseLocal should be on my calendar and yours too


Pulse is the largest industry gathering for Customer Success since launching in 2013 and the brand evolves to serve the community with PulseLocal as an additional resource responding to the growing need in Customer Success ecosystem. Since the initial introduction, PulseLocal has reached the following markets:

  • NYC – 314 members
  • Boston – 295 members
  • Atlanta – 235 members
  • Seattle – 208 members

Great news Bay Area! PulseLocal Silicon Valley officially kicked off yesterday and it did not disappoint.

What was different?

  • Open and structured networking as bookends to the event
  • Announcements – Who is looking to hire/expand team? 4 companies at the event are looking. Upcoming CS events (independent of sponsors and company)
  • Interactive format for consistent audience participation in an organized fashion using sli.do (pictured above)

It also still contained elements I’ve enjoyed at other events and meet-ups including a discussion and open Q&A w/ Irit Eizips (CSM Practice), Noy Bar (Americas Region CSM, HPE), and Anna Connell (Sr. Dir of Global Subscription Sales, Proofpoint). We ran out of time, so there will also be a blog post featuring some of the additional questions coming out later this week. You can subscribe for a notification here.

How CS approach is similar and different when comparing on-prem & SaaS

  • Sticky and important are not the same. From Anna’s perspective, “sticky” means harder to take out while “important” ties to the client’s business impact.
  • How the customers “talk to you” is different. In SaaS, we hear them through the data and they are quicker to raise issues. In on-prem, you have to ask the right questions to lead to value.
  • Client-facing Customer Success require different skillsets. SaaS has a greater need for sales and nurturing to know how to escalate and turn yellow/red customers to green. On-prem focuses more on maintenance contracts which traditionally have a smaller impact on the overall customer contract value to the organization.

Working with Product Teams

  • Noy sits within product management and has daily communication with them for a collaborative approach and providing the team a direct line to the voice of the customer
  • Anna finds weekly standing sessions with leaders from product, engineering, and CS to identify trends and patterns to be key.
  • Both CS leaders found that it is key to build the team (ie CS, TAM) to be the lifeline and voice of the customer to the product team.

Scaling your CS team (both leaders cautioned “it all depends”, but here are some thoughts shared)

  • Consider a just-in-time approach during scaling. Noy suggested a review of the case study of Heathrow Airport as a megaproject that was actually completed on time and to budget.
  • Some KPIs shared were to get to 40% of accounts w/ proactive engagement: $ value of customer, # of support tickets, $ of pipeline, support $ paid, history of trouble
  • Understand churn by: Region, product area, $, number, KPIs & Usage metrics

Thoughts as we were wrapping up

  • Understand why your customer (from the decision maker) bought: Use case, value, problem
  • Renewals as a separate team: having maniacal focus on this number, operationalize this to be quick and easy, partner your hunters (sales) with your farmers (CS)

PulseLocal Silicon Valley seems to have taken best practices from the other locations (NYC, Boston, Atlanta, Seattle) to create a different networking event experience. No part of it dragged on, it was relevant to the attendees, and great group of CS folks from companies including BoxLinkedInMarketo, and Dynamic Signal to name just a few.  

How to be part of this community going forward

  • Join PulseLocal Silicon Valley on LinkedIn

  • Interested in hosting a future event? Text HOSTING to 44222
  • Interested in speaking at a future event? Text SPEAKATPULSE to 44222

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like PulseCheck2016 Recap.