Top 3 Plays in your Software Implementation Manager Playbook

playbook2A Playbook is essential to scale any Customer Success Department effectively.  What are they?  Much like in sports, it is a simple list of plays that contain tasks to accomplish if faced with a certain situation.  Maybe you notice a client is going through a business change that will impact their use of your software.  Or maybe the client is looking to use the software the handle a certain business problem and is having trouble figuring it out.  Getting Customer Success reps to be able to identify an issue the client is facing or opportunity for up-sell and then giving them a script and list of tasks that is proven to work is essential to scale the organization.

Today I am going to discuss 5 plays that every implementation or on-boarding team should have.  Implementation is often the first impression a client has of the Customer Success department which will be their primary point of contact for their lifetime as a client.  Its an important first impression to get right because it has so many downstream effects.  Most importantly, retention.

Play 1 –  But Sales told me …..
Every Implementation Manager has heard a client explain to them the promises that they received in sales when you give the client news about a certain functionality limitation of the software.  Dealing with this objection successfully leads to retaining the account however dealing with it in correctly can lead to churn.  You should have a script that allows you to get a better understanding of where the client is coming from and why this is an important issue.  You should also know how to gracefully exit the call on a positive note if you are not able to address the objection.  Every organization is different so the specifics to the play will vary but this must be in your arsenal.

Play 2 – I don’t have any time to devote to this right now ….
This is always an interesting one.  Your client just invested a lot of money into the software because they think it is going to give them a significant return on investment.  Its like saying, I don’t have time to make more money.  Good sales teams take notes about the return on investment and pass them to the on-boarding team.  These notes are your key.  Getting into the psychology of why the client feels overwhelmed is extremely important to accomplish quickly in order to re-capture the positive energy that lead the client to purchase the software in the first place.

Play 3 – I’d like to cancel service …
This is probably the most challenging but also the most important play in the book.  We should never be surprised when we hear this one and if we are, there are bigger issues.  So this play should actually get going if you suspect your client might say this.  Call it the Pre-request to cancel.  It’s important to be honest as well.  Is this a bad deal that we should cancel quickly or is this worth fight for.  Be honest and remember your paycheck comes from paying customers.  If the deal is worth fighting for, having your play well defined is going to be vital to saving the account.  You might need to coordinate with other departments and spend time on this.

I’d love to hear about any other plays people have in their playbooks. Feel free to comment and we can discuss further.


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