Today, customer success platform (CSP) vendors Totango and Catalyst announced their intention to merge. This is perhaps the start of an acquisition trend that Forrester predicted last year. By nature, predictions are somewhat vague and can feel a little bit like reading tarot cards, but this announcement provides a great opportunity to examine the predictions we made for 2024.

  • Prediction: acquisitions on the horizon. Over the last year, we have seen different levels of corporate development, beginning with Gainsight’s acquisition of learning management system Northpass and ClientSuccess’ acquisition of customer onboarding and collaboration tool Status. Each of these can be seen as market — or, at least, feature — expansion, which brings us to the latest announcement: the merger of two players in the CSP landscape, Totango and Catalyst. The contraction of the market raises as many questions as it answers, making it unclear whether this represents a step backward for the market. Will the market end up with a small number of big players and no one else? Will CSPs seek to expand beyond their core market with further acquisitions of adjacent capabilities? Will strategic buyers ultimately absorb CSPs, or can it remain a viable market? Only time will tell.
  • Prediction: increased investment in AI. While the initial use case for generative AI was basic content creation, CSP vendors have since expanded its use throughout their functionality. ClientSuccess, for example, launched SmartCS, a solution providing use cases such as analysis and summaries of customer feedback, like Net Promoter Score℠ (NPS) surveys. Most vendors offer customer meeting summaries with recommended follow-up actions and streamlined meeting preparation through comprehensive customer account synopses. All vendors in this market are investing heavily in this space, but beware of shiny objects and functionality for press releases. There’s so many great use case opportunities; clients should dig beneath the surface first and ensure real value beyond the hype.
  • Prediction: enhanced financial data management. With B2B firms focused on profitable growth and an increased scrutiny on spend, CS leaders are getting serious about revenue, and spreadsheets are no longer enough to manage financial data. CSP vendors responded to that need by providing enhanced revenue intelligence and reporting to support accurate forecasting of renewals and expansion opportunities. For example, ChurnZero has a renewal and forecasting “hub” that offers configuration flexibility and data-driven forecasting designed to be more reliable and accurate.

Seeing these predictions come to pass just nine months after we published The Customer Success Platforms Landscape, Q2 2023 shows the dynamism of the customer success platform market. To learn more, see The Forrester Wave™: Customer Success Platforms, Q4 2023 report, or set up a Forrester guidance session with me to discuss these vendors or plan out your 2024 post-sale strategies for creating more value for customers.