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The Journey Cadence: Don’t Stop Drivin’ Customer Success

This is part 3 of a blog series on how we’re using our own platform to fuel success. This is a post by Kat Breeggemann, a Customer Success Manager at SalesLoft. You can read the first article in the series, “How SalesLoft Uses SalesLoft to Drive Customer Success,” here.  You can read the second article in the series, “The New User Cadence: Help Your Customers Help Themselves,” here

Speaking of journeys, I’ve had an unorthodox yet amazing one at SalesLoft. 

I started with a 6-month internship in the Customer Success organization. My team gave me far more responsibility than interns at most companies get, which was a complete blessing. In fact, this internship blew all previous ones out of the water. I got to talk with and meet customers, plus facilitate programs and projects.

The work I did at SalesLoft genuinely made an impact on the business, and that’s a testament to the culture here.

During my internship, I got to test and optimize what I’m about to discuss — the Journey Cadence. We’re nearly ready to release a new, improved 2.0. But before we go there, let’s start at the beginning.

A Structure for Scaling Success

Every CSM at SalesLoft has three main goals: adoption, expansion, and retention. We’re a team of 30 individuals who work to approach Customer Success in innovative ways. 

We’ve created virtual and in-person events  for our customers, we measure our response time and create paths for efficiency, and we integrate videos and call recording to provide a seamless experience. My team in particular tests new initiatives and measures their success before fully rolling them out.

Many Customer Success teams often ride a line between being proactive and reactive, and it’s all too easy to fall into the latter. To counteract this tendency, one of the initiatives we tested last year was something we call The Journey Cadence. 

At SalesLoft, we’re always seeking new ways to proactively engage with our customers at scale. The Journey Cadence provided us with an opportunity to do just that. So, what is it exactly?

A Deep Dive on the Journey Cadence

Because we use our own product every day, my team built a cadence that would automatically send our customers tips and tricks for how to better use SalesLoft. 

The Journey Cadence starts after a customer has finalized their implementation and is up running with the platform.

This cadence is a 14-step process that spans 360 days, designed to deliver the right messages at the right time. Emails include info from our Knowledge Base, SalesLoft University, and videos from SalesLoft employees.

Since this is an automated series, we created evergreen email content so that it wouldn’t be difficult to maintain. Here’s what the current Journey Cadence looks like.

By design, we don’t get many replies to these emails. That’s because we direct our customers to the right places to get the help they need. 

One way we do this is by promoting our Daily Open Office Hours in these emails. Twice a day, two CSMs get on a live stream to address questions. Any customer can join, and they do. On average, we see about 30 attendees each day. 

With the Right Cadence Comes Success

We’ve seen some impressive metrics for this cadence. I’m talking about open rates of 40-50%, even two months into the email stream. Campaign Monitor analyzed billions of emails sent through their platform. They say an average email open rate across industries is 17.92%.

We’ve also had positive feedback from our customers saying the emails are helpful and appreciated.

And, as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I hear customers say they want to start doing this cadence themselves. Or, “We’re implementing this, too, but we’d love to hear how you guys are doing it.” Contagious (and successful) ideas spread.

With Success Comes Responsibility 

Optimization is a huge component of Sales Engagement. So, at SalesLoft, we’re always looking for ways to improve our own processes. Though we’ve seen success and received positive feedback on the current Journey Cadence, you won’t find anyone resting on laurels here.

The new cadence will be almost twice as long. Why? Two reasons.

First, our customers were giving us such affirming feedback from the original cadence. And we realized we could be sending them a lot more information throughout the year. We could even increase the email frequency to every two weeks.

Next, as I mentioned, it’s a challenge to keep up with our growing customer base. So, we wanted to provide more in-depth information as a point of reference for our platform. That way, if there are ever communication gaps in their first year, the customer still has this library of knowledge to consult. And they know we’re here for them when they receive regular communication from us.

Getting Down to Business: What’s New?

Once we dug into analyzing the Journey Cadence to optimize it, we realized it needed better alignment with the customer lifecycle. So, we began asking ourselves, what does that path look like? And how do we create emails that best match it? 

We talked to our CSMs to see how they interact with customers. This idea of “separation by series” began to emerge. In other words, we broke emails into logical chunks that correspond to segments of the customer lifecycle. For instance:

  • Getting started
  • How to create cadences
  • Driving internal adoption
  • Automation rules
  • Technical optimization
  • SalesLoft programs
  • How SalesLoft uses SalesLoft

In between the separation series, we’ll splice in repeatable content:

  • Office hours reminders
  • Email best practices
  • Partner highlights
  • Upcoming events

One thing we’re doing more of from the original cadence? Video. It works and we know this because the emails with the highest engagement all have video.

For this new iteration, I’ve been one of the front runners creating the content and steps. I’ve really enjoyed that experience and had an amazing team to help me with it.

I’ve worked alongside customer success managers, asking things like, “What’s something you’d want to tell your customers about automation rules?” And they give me the best content ideas for each of my questions.

My background is in communications and writing. So, pairing our CSM’s customer knowledge and expertise with my writing skills has been a special treat for me. I’m eager to see how customers will interact with Journey Cadence 2.0 once it’s in the wild, and the impact it will make on our company.

What are you doing to help customers adopt your product?

As always, we’re here to help with any of your SalesLoft platform questions. Join SalesLoft experts for a live Q&A session during Office Hours, hosted twice daily. Bring all your burning questions on topics like Cadence Best Practices, Automation Rules, Admin Settings, and more. Register here.   

Or if you prefer independent learning, check out the SalesLoft Knowledge Base.

Stay tuned for the next post in this series about the Optimization Cadence.

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