The divination practice of tasseography — reading tea leaves, coffee grounds, or even wine sediment left in a vessel after a drink is consumed — has a long and storied history. It might make gathering in the office kitchen (remember those?) a little more fun, but is unlikely to hold up as part of a CMO dashboard.

Teams supporting retention, cross-sell, and upsell goals are better off using signals gleaned from buyer and customer activities that correlate with outcomes such as renewal, purchase, or expansion. In our B2B Summit North America session “Are You Picking Up What Your Customers Are Putting Down?” principal analyst Jessie Johnson and I will introduce a framework for capturing and classifying signals that can drive the appropriate action for sales, marketing, and customer success.

Dimensions of signals

B2B organizations that use customer health scorecards are aware of, and often adept at, the idea of seeing the signs of churn or potential growth and getting ahead of those signals with prescribed actions. Not all organizations are ready and able to deploy scorecard methodologies, but that shouldn’t preclude exploring the use of signals to support demand generation and retention. Capture and classify them now, deploy a few on a pilot basis, and be ready to help your organization evolve to more robust health scorecards. Three dimensions to consider through the lens of predicting renewal or repurchase:

  • Fit. You might recognize these signals as demographic or firmographic data. These are data points that tell your organization a customer checks a box that you have determined aligns with likelihood to renew. The company size or vertical or the portfolio of offerings owned are common examples.
  • Current state. These signals help you understand if the conditions are favorable for renewal, or, conversely, may indicate potential churn. If a customer organization’s industry is experiencing disruption or the company has been part of an acquisition, renewal may be impacted.
  • Interest. These signals shed light on the levels of engagement and activity that correlate with likelihood to renew. A customer account in which all individual users have logged in and are consistently using the solution would be an example here, as would engagement of the decision maker or champion in interactions such as value reviews.

The ability to drive action on an account well before their renewal makes the difference between retention and churn. Join us at B2B Summit North America to learn more about classifying signals for retention and growth.