Retention

Maturity Level:
Intermediate
Goal:
Customer renews and/or continues to use product
Triggered by:
Usage-based churn signals and/or subscription term ending
KPIs:
Retention rate, net dollar retantion
Typically owned by:
Customer success in coordination with sales
Pitfalls:
Term-based motion that ignores usage can be too little, too late
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We score our customers' likelihood to downgrade or churn based on several product usage factors including how long it took to onboard them, how they are trending against their limits and the number of different features they are regularly using.

These scores are examined and discussed at quarterly churn risk reviews. If a risk is identified, we build a mitigation plan. This plan can include introducing the customer to additional features they may find valuable or sharing resources to help make their usage more effective or efficient.

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Evan Rich, Operations & Customer Success Leader
Evan Rich, Operations & Customer Success Leader

Retention: What is it?

While the other four motions in this guide focus on increasing revenue from a customer, the retention motion is focused on ensuring that customers continue to use and see value from the company’s products at a constant level of spend.

In a traditional, sales-led motion, retention is thought of over the span of the full contract term (typically a year). As PLG Transformers become more product-led, customer usage (and therefore retention) is more dynamic and can change in a much shorter period of time, requiring a more proactive approach.

How does it work?

It’s no longer sufficient to wait until the last 3 months of a contract to think about renewals. Sellers must start to consider retention strategies from the beginning of their engagement with a customer.

Additionally operating a hybrid go-to-market produces a significantly higher volume of usage signals than a classic sales-led motion. While this helps paint a clearer picture of how customers engage with a company’s SaaS products, it can be challenging to understand which signals are predictive of important outcomes like growth or churn.

In a hybrid go-to-market, teams can focus retention efforts only on the users exhibiting behavior correlated with churn or contraction.

Identifying a set of both positive and negative signals enables sellers to keep tabs on which customers need additional support and which can be left to self-serve. However, because defining a set of customer health metrics requires a solid baseline of customer data, a dedicated retention motion typically comes into play later in the PLG Transformation journey.

Things to look out for

The division of responsibilities for existing customer accounts among dedicated customer success teams, technical support, and quota-carrying sellers can cause internal friction and inefficiencies that impact retention.

It is critical that revenue leaders establish shared goals and clear roles and responsibilities among customer-facing teams. Additionally, working from a shared source-of-truth ensures all teams have a consistent understanding of the state of the customer.

Read about other product-led sales motions
Maturity Level:
Intermediate
Triggered by:
Usage-based churn signals and/or subscription term ending
Goal:
Customer renews and/or continues to use product
Typically owned by:
Customer success in coordination with sales
KPIs:
Retention rate, net dollar retantion
Pitfalls:
Term-based motion that ignores usage can be too little, too late