Ask a QSA: How Executive Strategic Reviews drive customer retention

Dive into how our Success team approaches Executive Strategic Reviews in order to keep everyone on our customer's teams aligned and moving in the same direction for stronger programs.

Shelly Weaver
Shelly Weaver
May 19, 2023
min read
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Our QSAs are expert partners throughout every step of the way when a customer onboards with the Pipeline Cloud. One of the most important aspects of that relationship is taking the time to dive deep into the success of their programs.

We put together ESRs, or Executive Strategic Reviews, to make sure that our customers are fully aligned and aware of the kind of value they get when they invest in our products. We talked with Genise, one of our amazing QSAs, about the inner workings of the ESR, why they're so important, and how to get the most out of them.

Check out her thoughts below 👇

Let's start with how you found Qualified!

GENISE: I heard about Qualified from a colleague of mine that I worked with at a previous company.

He had really great things to say about Qualified. He had recommended I check out Qualified and I just was really blown away with the tool and what Qualified could offer. 

It made sense for me to take next steps and see what the role was all about.

What exactly is an ESR?

Genise: An ESR is an Executive Strategic Review. It's really there to help align our core project team that we work with on our accounts and align with executives that generally are not involved in the day-to-day and make sure that they're seeing the overall success with Qualified.

We also align on the next steps for any new initiatives that the customer has. 

What all goes into a successful Executive Strategic Review?

Genise:  We do make sure that we have a lot of key stakeholders and team members on both sides of the business. On the Qualified side, we'll be sure we have our executive sponsor and we'll have our Account Executive. And then of course the success team on the call from Qualified and then any key stakeholders and executives on the customer side. 

This also is a great opportunity for us to thank the customer for all the work and just really show an appreciation for all the time spent with us to get the program live. 

We always make sure that we highlight how we got here. So that includes a timeline of when we launched Qualified to where we are today, and then we make sure that we include in that timeline a lot of key areas, big wins, and highlights, so they have a good understanding of where we started to today and any big success that we’ve seen up to this point. 

The biggest part of the executive summary is highlighting a lot of the big wins that I mentioned before, but more so around pipeline–sourced revenue and how that feeds into seeing ROI for that customer. When we're talking about any pipeline wins or even sourced revenue wins we'll want to be sure what that impact is on overall KPIs with Qualified.

In addition to highlighting a lot of the big wins, this is also a great opportunity for us to talk through areas of improvement or even the next steps in recommendations. Based on what the customer currently has with Qualified we’ll highlight recommendations to further improve their program.

This is a great opportunity for us to showcase any new product features and new releases for the customer so that they can really optimize using the Qualified product.

What does putting together a great ESR look like internally on the QSA side?

Genise: In order to have a really successful executive strategic review it involves a lot of teamwork and collaboration across the success team and with sales. Key players include an Account Executive, a Solutions Engineer, and then we also have the Director of Customer Success.

We'll have a lot of internal meetings and collaborative conversations to be sure that we're all aligned on what we're presenting to the customer as part of that strategic review. We make sure that based on what their current program look looks like we’re showing what’s really going to speak to this customer as far as next steps and recommendations.

That generally will always involve those face-melting demos that we're always talking about and really showcasing a lot of the product features for what we would recommend for that customer as part of what they currently have with Qualified. 

As you’re planning these ESRs, what are some of the biggest challenges you’re seeing with customer retention in this current market?

Genise: I think the biggest thing that I've seen with customer retention is with the market that we're in today a lot of customers that I've seen have gone through a lot of reorganization. They're slimming down some of their teams and they're also reevaluating and consolidating a lot of their tech stack.

Having an executive strategic review like this really helps to highlight and showcase what Qualified has to offer in the cases where they may be reviewing do I really want to move forward with Qualified?

What do you think are the biggest factors for a successful ESR?

Genise: I think the biggest thing with presenting an ESR is timing. Timing is always a big factor. We want to be sure that when we do present the strategic review we have actual good data and ROI.

And there can be cases too where when we do present, it might be earlier on in the actual implementation or they could have just gone live. But, we want to be sure we’re aligned earlier in the relationship with the customer so being able to time that correctly is important. 

I think the other biggest thing too is being able to tell a really great story. It’s one thing to just kind of throw numbers or metrics at a customer, but you want to be able to tell that full story from when they purchased Qualified to where they are today and look at all the success that you’re seeing. 

Being able to tell that in a big, overall story versus just kind of reading data and throwing metrics at them. 

Genise, you’re such an important part of our team, and we know your customers love having your strategic guidance at every point in their lifecycle, not just during their review periods. Thanks for taking the time to walk us through the ESR process!

Learn more from our Qualified Success Architects here ➡️

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