Citrix, Box Turn to Gainsight for Customer Success

Gainsight, provider of a customer success management platform, today announced signed deals with several outfits, including Box, a content storage provider, and Citrix, a software supplier specializing in desktop virtualization and online meeting programs.

Gainsight's solution uses customer data to give account managers a better understanding of customer activity. Ultimately, it aims to promote opportunities for upselling and cross-selling to existing customers. Offerings integrate tightly with Saleforce.com, but also run on NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Following the improvements Gainsight made to its platform last March, the company suggests that today's new customer momentum demonstrates a natural result of growing demand for products that allow businesses to pay closer attention to their existing customers. "Companies obviously spend lots of time covering sales force automation, marketing automation, [and figuring out] all the ways to acquire new clients," Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight, says. "But we feel that the job of account management, which some people now call customer success, has become really important."

Natalie Petouhoff, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research, suggests a similar trend. In a report titled "The State of Customer Success Management in 2015," she states that this shift of focus has as much to do with what she calls an opt-in economy. Under this econcomy, "customers can easily choose to either opt in or just as easily opt out of doing business with you," she says.

This is largely due to the rising prevalence of the cloud, she says, and the subscription model it offers. "A shift to customer success management is imminent because we live in this world of continuous, opt-in economy, where the value of customers is determined by how long they stay customers and if they continue to increase their purchase amounts over time."

For Box, which extended its partnership with Oracle last year, the decision to work with Gainsight is another effort to further improve its customer success rates. Mehta points out that, as a content storage program that allows user growth and adoption across all divisions of a company, such a solution is necessary.

"Customer success is at the heart of our organization and a critical component of our business model," Jon Herstein, senior vice president of customer success at Box, said in a statement. "With Gainsight, we'll be able to build upon our leadership in customer success and accelerate Box's position as the trusted choice for content management in the cloud."

Mehta says the same goes for Citrix, a large company that boasts widely used programs such as GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar. The company has many existing customers so strong ongoing relationships with customers is vital. "Citrix has a tremendous volume, so understanding where to spend their time and which [customers] to spend time with is really important," he says.

Denis Pombriant, managing principal at Beagle Research Group, takes a slightly different outlook on customer success management. He holds that companies should not disconnect retention from other areas, such as sales and marketing. "The smart money is on customer success management," he says. "If you pay attention, the leaders in the subscription market have been doing this for a while. In any situation, like subscriptions, where there's less direct human contact between the vendor's employees and the customer because customers interact with Web sites, it becomes essential for vendors to interrogate customer data trails against the backdrop of vendor-customer moments of truth. This helps identify customers who really need assistance and helps vendors to drive their success."

Some of Gainsight's competitors in the space, points out Petouhoff, are SerivceSource and Totango. "They all offer something a bit different, but their end goals for businesses that use them are to increase customer lifetime value."

Other customers who signed on with Gainsight recently include Glassdoor, AppNeta, and OpenDNS.

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