What Value Reviews Have in Common With “Finding Nemo” (Sharks Not Included)
- Customers should be kept aware on an ongoing basis of the value they are attaining from an offering
- A regular value review cadence ensures an ongoing conversation with decision-makers
- Value reviews lay the groundwork for satisfaction, retention, growth and advocacy
Of the many memorable lines in Pixar animator Andrew Gordon’s talk about storytelling at Summit 2019, “You don’t want to give the audience four, you want to give them two plus two!” stood out as an illustration (pun intended) that memorable stories are those in which the audience draws its own conclusion in the context that means the most to them. For example, while children love the colorful characters in 2003’s Finding Nemo (one of Gordon’s projects), it has also resonated with adults as a tale of epic parenting.
A value review is part of a story, albeit not an animated one, that a B2B organization creates and unfurls in partnership with its customers throughout their relationship. It is the story not only of the specifics that inform the script, like firmographic information, specific offerings used and the problem to be solved, but also of the value the customer derives. Created and told with care, it is a method of validating the customers’ choices, reminding them of their achievements and problems solved and growing the relationship.
Value Reviews Keep the Conversation Open
Value reviews are formalized, structured interactions with customers in which the B2B organization articulates and demonstrates the value of the offering that has been purchased. The creation, delivery and use of the value review is a close partnership between account management and customer success. Data from the SiriusDecisions Command Center® shows that 47% of organizations consider delivering a value review part of the ongoing customer success function.
Value reviews include an overview of the relationship, the ongoing business impact mapped to original purchase intent, new issues and initiatives being addressed, and recommendations for continued success.
Creating a regular, accurate and impactful value review requires cooperation from sales, success, technical and design resources, along with other parts of the organization that may have information or insight into the current and expected state of the relationship. Why dedicate the effort to a regular cadence of these conversations? Value reviews benefit the customer and the company throughout the customer lifecycle.
- Encourage renewal or repurchase. An ongoing cadence of value reviews helps customers understand how the offering is addressing their problems or opportunities and serves as an opportunity to highlight roadblocks and trouble spots. The use of regular value reviews correlates with better retention: Command Center data shows that organizations in which customer success conducts regular value reviews are more likely to maintain higher levels of account retention than those who do not.
- Provide a foundation for account growth. Customers who are successful with one offering are more disposed to consider expansions of that offering within the existing buying group, and more likely to bring other buying groups into the fold.
- Arm internal champions with “evidence” of success. Internal champions who were part of the sales process can benefit from the contents of value reviews.
- Create a starting point for customer references and advocacy. Customers who are satisfied, successful and willing to discuss it with peers may develop an expanded relationship with the selling organization by becoming customer advocates. Value reviews can be a productive source of potential advocates.
For more information about value reviews, see the Core Strategy Report “Value Reviews.”