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5 Reasons Why It’s Time to Introduce Your Customer Success Team to Gong

March 11, 2021
Trish Bautista

Trish Bautista

Selling Skills

HubSpot Reps Increase Productivity and Ramp Faster with Gong

Gong Gives Genesys Sales Managers The Ability to “Ride Shotgun” With Any Deal

Shopify Creates a Learning Environment for Their Sales Team

The above are 3 actual headlines from Gong case studies.

The one thing they all have in common? Each tells a story about how Gong helped each organization’s sales team exceed its goals, increase sales productivity, help sales managers gain more insight into deals, and onboard new sales reps faster.

Sales. Sales. Sales. Sales.

We created the Revenue Intelligence category to enable leading revenue teams to get the unfiltered truth about their customers and transform the way they go to market. 

When we started Gong in 2015, our intent was to provide sales teams — VPs, managers, and reps alike — with the necessary tools to (a) make their people better, (b) execute on deals / save at-risk deals, and (c) better understand their market.

But then we started to see a trend emerging.

Other teams started asking about Gong. Others wanted to leverage Gong to help their teams learn and grow. And one of those teams raising their hands the highest (yelling the loudest!) was Customer Success. 

Why Customer Success teams are using Gong

No matter what industry you are in, if you have a Customer Success team, it’s likely you are trying to answer the following three questions: 

  • How do we show the value of our solution to our customers and ensure they are making the most out of it? 
  • How are my customers reacting to the current business climate, and how can I help them?
  • How will my customers’ circumstances impact our ability to renew and grow accounts?

Gong addresses all three.

Our platform helps CS teams: 

  • Streamline customer interactions, including better handoffs from sales to CS as well as cross-team collaboration.
  • Reduce churn by providing clear visibility into every interaction — good or bad — which also helps teams learn how to provide a better customer experience in the future.
  • Get real-time feedback on growth opportunities.
  • Hear the unfiltered voice of their customers.
  • Onboard new CSMs while providing continuous training and coaching to keep teams productive and increase their effectiveness.

It’s time to get your Customer Success team on the Gong train. Heck, even our CS team here at Gong drinks the champagne on the daily.

Here are 5 reasons why it’s time to schedule your CS team for a demo with Gong’s customer success software today.

Reason #1: Persistent Memory. Better Handoffs.

Our very own Customer Success Manager, Adarsh “Red” Reddy has been drinking the Gong champagne since November 2018. A self-described “avid note-taker,” Red’s desk used to be stacked high with #2 pencil-filled notebooks. 

Not scalable. Not time-saving. And certainly not a formula for “persistent memory.”

Now, as a Gongster using Gong, Red leans on keywords in search to uncover conversations he’s trying to recall. Instantaneously, Red has visibility into all essential emails and calls that include that keyword. A quick click reveals the specific call snippet.

Bonus: Clutter-free workspace.

[listen to Red’s full story]

Kyle Bastien is the Director of Sales Enablement at Drift. He’s a big-time Gong user (and advocate) and uses the platform daily. Kyle also recognizes the benefits of the Drift Customer Success team’s use of Gong, especially for seamless handoffs.

“Our CSMs [can] listen to key moments of the conversation that happened during sales, and not make the customer repeat themselves when they onboard and get set up with Drift.”

As anyone who has been on the software buying end can attest to, there is nothing more frustrating from a new customer perspective* than having to repeat the answers to the same questions your account executive asked you during the sales process.

*I’d argue it’s frustrating on the CS side of the house as well.

It’s inefficient and annoying. Even worse: this rehashing of already discussed topics has the potential to sour the relationship before it even begins. 

The good news: It’s completely avoidable.

Gong’s call recorder software means that CS teams can listen to past sales calls before that first kick-off call with a new customer. Managers are now fully-prepared and come into that meeting with a clear picture of the problem(s) their new account is looking to solve.

All calls and emails for the entire lifecycle of the account are recorded and categorized. From the first SDR outreach to kickoff and beyond, Gong has you covered.

Just a few weeks into their Gong trial, Typeform’s Head of Customer Engagement, Angela Guedes, agrees. 

#1 (of 3) early insights from Gong that Angela calls out in this LinkedIn post

Better handoff from Sales. Nothing beats listening directly [to] customers how they phrased their needs, goals, and concerns. No form filled out by AEs can give these insights.

Reason #2: Reduce Churn

Churn. Attrition. Turnover. Defection.

No matter what you call it, losing customers is rarely a good thing for a customer success team or an organization as a whole. Lost (often recurring) revenue is not a positive.

Gong for CS empowers teams to understand the entire, complete story on every account. Real-time customer health feedback helps reduce churn by providing clear visibility into every interaction. Every time there is an issue regarding competitive and market risk on critical renewals, Gong will alert you.

Your team can now take back the power to invest the necessary resources to ensure reliable revenue.

The Customer Success team at Sendoso knows all about churn.

Due to rapid growth and fast scaling, their team was struggling to analyze retention data. They could not get a handle on what was causing churn. Even for those renewing customers, Sendoso’s CS team was unable to determine what kept them coming back. 

Customers who choose not to renew rarely make this decision based on one thing or because of a single issue; most often, there is a story of why the relationship didn’t work out. The non-renewal is a culmination of what happened over the lifetime of the customer/vendor relationship.

Recency bias is huge! It’s human nature to focus on the last thing that happened in the relationship that seemingly led to the non-renewal.

All of the above led Alli Tiscornia, Chief Customer Officer at Sendoso to lean on Gong.

Alli’s not interested in what happened last. She invests her time and energy in the entire story, the bumps/dips/spikes that occurred along the way.

“Gong enables me to do deep dives and analyze why a customer churned,” says Alli.

Read the full Sendoso story.

Our very own Director of Customer Success, Tim Hill, agrees that visibility into customer risk and renewal is huge: Tim says that his #1 use case is to review the Gong renewal pipeline to understand risk better. 

Is there a competitive threat?

Do we have access to the decision-maker?

Have we established clear next steps?

Answers to these questions allow Tim (and other CS leaders) to coach on renewal management  — similar to a sales manager coaching an AE on deal management.

Note: Tim also states that on-going call coaching, curating best-of-calls to help ramp new hires faster, scorecards for call certifications, and on-going QA are also crucial to his team’s success.

Reason #3: Drive upsell opportunity and growth

Besides trying to avoid lost customers, it’s also important for Customer Success teams to present customers with upsell and other account growth opportunities. 

“The only thing better than an account renewal is an account renewal with additional features/services/functionality/users, etc.” — every human working in Customer Success

A stickier, larger contract with an immensely happy customer who turns into an advocate is pretty much the best-of-the-best for any person on the CS team.

The challenge? How Customer Success can successfully: 

  • Monitor the leading indicators of customer engagement to drive growth behavior
  • Understand how the changing business climate impacts the ability to renew and grow each customer relationship
  • Discover ways to add value to each account to help build a scalable customer growth engine

It’s not easy.

Well, unless you have Gong.

Like many existing Gong customers, Tammy Baxter, Egnyte’s Customer Success Manager, originally thought of Gong as a sales tool. It wasn’t until her sales enablement manager asked, “Hey, would the CSMs like to try Gong?” that Tammy realized how her team could benefit from Gong insights.

Tammy and her team immediately fell in love with Gong.

“That was really a big moment for me,” shared Tammy. I was just like, ‘My gosh. There are so many ways that this is going to make my life and my team’s lives more efficient.’”

According to Tammy, the team at Egnyte is continuously collaborating. If the sales team hears something the CSMs should be aware of, they can share that Gong call and vice versa. Listen to Tammy explain it here.

Reason #4: Voice of the Customer

“We are also a relatively new business, and hearing directly from the voice of the customer has helped me shrink our close times by 45 days.” — review

Our platform means you can listen to the “unfiltered voice of your market.” We do this by leveraging AI and machine learning to help gain critical insights into what’s happening across all facets of your organization — including customer success.

Our friends at Appen are all about using Gong to understand the voice of its customers.

In fact, the entire ecosystem of Gong users at Appen benefits from Gong customer insights. 

As discussed in this case study, CSMs are usually the closest people to a customer after the ink on a contract has dried. They are the partners that make or break the bulk of the customer’s journey. Through countless conversations, they are privy to tons of feedback, requests, and use cases that many other parts of an organization are hungry for.

But with Gong, the other teams at Appen are not as dependent on CSMs to interpret a customer’s reality for a particular account. They can listen to the calls themselves, and focus on what’s important to them. Gong helps share the true voice of the customer with product, product marketing, customer education, and operations teams.

Here at Gong, our CS team also leans on the voice of (our) customers to glean insights. Be sure to check out how Gong CS team members like Devon use Gong.

Reason #5: Reduce new CSM onboarding time

Onboarding a new customer success manager takes time (which means resources and money). 

Gong reduces that time dramatically.

Thanks to Gong, the aforementioned Global Customer Success & Programs Operations at Appen, Vaishali “Shali” Reed, is now able to onboard a brand new CSM within just over two months, down from six months pre-Gong. “I can have a fully productive CSM managing a full book of business within their first quarter. 

2 months to get a brand new CSM up to speed.

Per Shali, “That’s unheard of for most really technical companies with a complex platform and product.”

Alli Tiscornia, Chief Customer Officer at Sendoso, has had a similar experience using Gong to onboard new team members.

Alli describes her team much like other CS leaders might: Helpful and outgoing — really prerequisite character traits for any Customer Success hire. CSMs are problem-solvers.

As we highlight in this case study, there are only so many hours in a day. It’s not easy — especially for a newbie — to get on a veteran CSM’s calendar. New CSMs are just hoping they can lock in a time slot that works for all parties. Once secured, it’s a crapshoot as to whether the call is “a good one,” a valuable skill-learning conversation.

As Alli told us, Gong enables Sendoso to “have access to every customer-facing conversation no matter where it is in the funnel.” Gong makes it easy to pick and choose the conversations that will help each new rep improve.

Remember Angela Guedes, Head of Customer Engagement at Typeform from #1 above? Her third early insight about Gong was this: 

Bring new hires up to speed. We just hired our first two CSMs in the US and the time difference makes it really hard for them to join calls to learn from their colleagues. Now they can join any call, regardless of when it happened.

The time is now.

It’s time to introduce your Customer Success team to Gong.

Gain more visibility into customer interactions, hear the unfiltered voice of your customers, and get real-time feedback on customer health.

Bonus: onboard new CSMs with ease while providing continuous training and coaching to existing team members.

We are drinking the Gong Customer Success team champagne. We invite you to join us.

Reach out to your Gong rep now to learn more.

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