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Utilize consumer health information to raise and forecast NRR

Gainsight’s entire post-sales operation reports to Kellie Capote, who serves as chief customer officer. This includes customer success management, support, professional services, and the CS Ops & Scale groups.

It is common wisdom among lawyers that you should only question a witness if you have a good idea of what they will say in response. If not, you might be in for a rude awakening. To this end, both the prosecution and the defence will often participate in “witness prep” in the days leading up to trial in an effort to ensure they have the upper hand in the story being told.

With weak or falling sales, many SaaS businesses are looking to boost Net Revenue Retention (NRR) by pursuing customer success (CS) strategies and activities (“customer prep”) that help them avoid unpleasant surprises and increase the number of successful outcomes when asking existing customers to renew or expand their subscriptions.

Getting through this point will be the real challenge. How can you best prepare for the unexpected by collecting and analysing information about your customers’ health? And how should your sales and post-sale teams adapt their tactics and efforts in light of this information?

As simple as DEAR

Many CS executives have historically gambled on anecdotal evidence and assumed “best practises” in the pursuit of increasing NRR. Customer success managers (CSMs) may not always have the data they need to attribute a project’s success to their efforts, even when their strategy appears to have worked.

In order to combat this strategic “squishiness,” we pioneered the creation of a more objective, data-driven customer health assessment and retention modelling strategy. This approach, called DEAR (Deployment, Engagement, Adoption, ROI), is designed to aid CS teams in providing extraordinary customer experiences and leading current clients to their targeted objectives. DEAR also gives a customer outcomes score, which is an objective assessment of whether or not the client is realising value and return on their investment.

Each of DEAR’s four parts is described in detail below.

Keep in mind that you’ll need the appropriate technology (preferably, customer management software) and behavioural data to effectively exploit this knowledge (ideally, telemetry about how your customers are using the product).


Do you have an active customer? Is everything ready for them to make the most of their purchase? It’s common knowledge that sloppy deployment is a leading predictor of potential downsells and churn.