Sales Enablement

Rickey33Payne1
Participant

Best Practices for Account Management/Customer Success pipelines

Our Account Manager/Customer Success team has to maximize our customer's use of our services. Unlike a typical sales pipeline, this pipeline doesn't end once the customer agrees/pays or the service/product has been delivered.

 

Any best practices when designing, implementing, and reporting on an Account Management/Customer Success pipeline?

12 Replies 12
Dan123
Contributor

Best Practices for Account Management/Customer Success pipelines

Hi @Rickey33Payne1 & @stuartbalcombe - my best suggestion would be to have 1-2 mins training product tours that allow your customers to answer any questions they have + stay engaged.

 

For that, I have 2 suggested resources that make interactive products demos (most successful types for customers success rates)
1 - Walnut

2 - EasyUser 

 

Hope this helps. If you're not sure which one - get back to me, I'd be happy to check it out for you.

kvlschaefer
Community Manager
Community Manager

Best Practices for Account Management/Customer Success pipelines

Hi @Dan123,

 

Great suggestions 🙂 

Thanks for sharing these resources! 

 

Best,

Kristen


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Rickey33Payne1
Participant

Best Practices for Account Management/Customer Success pipelines

Wow, these are awesome! Thanks!

Dan123
Contributor

Best Practices for Account Management/Customer Success pipelines

No problem! I'm always trying to offer the best feedback and I had heard EasyUser is still a growing startup - but our clients had acquired many customers with their demos.

Which one would you recommend to others in the future?

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stuartbalcombe
Participant | Partner
Participant | Partner

Best Practices for Account Management/Customer Success pipelines

Thanks for tagging me @kvlschaefer! This is a great question @Rickey33Payne1 and one which needs some interesting workarounds to make work effectively over multiple renewal cycles. Below I've laid out how I'd set it up and included a video walkthrough.

Let’s dive in. A pipeline, properties, and workflow setup you should steal.




Step 1: Creating a dedicated renewal pipeline

The first thing we want to do to manage our renewals process in HubSpot is to create a new dedicated pipeline using deals. The stages in this pipeline are going to represent ranges of time until the renewal. In our example renewal pipeline below we have:

→ 6-12 months

→ 3-6 months

→ 2-3 months

→ 1 month

→ Closed won

→ Closed lost

The advantage of breaking out deals into different stages is you can quickly visualize how many renewals you will need to handle in specific periods. In step 3, we’ll automate the progression of deals through the renewal pipeline based on their renewal date using a workflow.

 

Dedicated Renewals Deal PipelineDedicated Renewals Deal Pipeline

 

To ensure that we are able to accurately create a deal for subsequent renewals we add required properties for “Amount” and “Close Date” to move a deal to the “Closed Won” stage.

Required properties to close renewalsRequired properties to close renewals

 

 

Step 2: Create a renewal deal when sales deals are closed won

Now that we have a dedicated pipeline to manage our renewals we need to create renewal deals when a new customer is “Closed Won” in our sales pipeline.

We could simply do this manually, but that’s extra work, and runs the risk of missing important data being added to the renewal deal. Instead, we can use an automated workflow to do the heavy lifting.

Here’s how it works:

PRE-WORK:

→ Add a new number property to our deal records named “Renewal Year”. We will used this property to differentiate renewal deals in reporting and create custom deal names. → Add a new single-line text property to our deal records named “Renewal Year”. → Add a new dropdown select property “Created By” to our deal records with options for “Sales Handoff” and “Renewals Workflow”.

  1. Create a deal-based workflow that is triggered when the Deal Stage is Closed Won in our Sales Pipeline.

  2. Use an IF/THEN action to check that we have all the critical data we want to copy over to our new renewal deal (and use to create other records, like a new ticket for onboarding)

  3. IF we have all the data we need THEN create a new deal in the renewal pipeline with the following details. → Name the new deal: Renewal for { deal name } - Year 1

    → Close date 365 days out (assuming an annual contract) and the appropriate renewal amount. Set the name to be {Deal Name} - Year 1
    → Copy critical information about the account to the new deal. Eg Amount, Success Metrics, Persona, etc → Set the value of the “Renewal Year” property to 1
    → Set the value of the “Renewal Year is Even” property to “true”
    → Set the value of the “Created By” property to “Sales Handoff”

  4. Add any additional steps you want to take when a deal is “Closed Won” in your sales pipeline such as creating a ticket for onboarding, assigning internal tasks, or sending notifications.

Create Renewals Deals from the Sales PipelineCreate Renewals Deals from the Sales Pipeline

 

Step 3: Move Deals Based on Days to Renewal

The stages of our renewal pipeline are defined by the time until the renewal date. We can use a workflow to automatically move deals through the pipeline as they get closer to renewal.

We could do this manually if we do not have Sales Hub Pro and access to automated workflows. If this is the case I would recommend not using as granular stage definitions.

Here’s how our automated workflow works:

Move deal stages in a workflowMove deal stages in a workflowCalculate days to renewalCalculate days to renewal

 

Step 4: Update Renewal Information (and prep data for workflows)

Now that we have deals being automatically added to our renewals pipeline, and we’re set up to automatically move them based on their time to renewal we need to make sure we have everything setup to handle subsequent renewal deals not created from the sales pipeline.

It might seem relatively trivial to automatically create a new deal in the renewals pipeline for year 2, 3, and so on when each deal is moved to closed won. However, HubSpot will give you a message like this if you try to create a new deal using in workflow where the deal has already been enrolled.

 

Recurring deal creation workflow errorRecurring deal creation workflow error

 

To avoid that, dynamically update the renewal year in the deal name, and copy the latest renewal date and amount to our company record (step 6) we’ll use a workflow triggered when deals enter the 1st stage of our renewals pipeline.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Trigger the workflow when a deal enters “6-12 Months” in the renewal pipeline.

  2. Check if “Created by” is our Sales Workflow or our Renewals Workflow (property set by the respective workflow)

  3. IF the sales workflow we just want to copy the renewal date and amount to our company record or more visibility

  4. IF the renewal workflow then we need to set things up for ongoing renewals but first we check that “Renewal Year” is know as we need it to power everything. If it’s not known we set it to 1

  5. Use a “Format Data - Custom Right” action to get the renewal year from the deal name

  6. Use a “Format Data - Custom Cut” action to remove the renewal year from step 5 from the deal name

  7. Copy the edited deal name to the deal name property.

  8. Use an “Increase Property Value” action to add 1 to the “Renewal Year” property

  9. Set the deal name to {Deal Name}{Renewal Year}

  10. Copy the Close Date to Next Renewal Date on the company record

  11. Copy the Amount to Renewal Amount on the company record

  12. Use a “Format Data - Check Divisible” action to test if “Renewal Year” is divisible by 2. We’ll use this to rotate creating the new renewal deal between 2 workflows and avoid the infinite loop error.

  13. Copy the result (true or false) of step 12 to a “Renewal Year is Even” property.

  14. Check IF the “Renewal Year is Even” property is equal to “true” → if yes do nothing

→ but if no then it might be “false” or empty so set the “Renewal Year is Even” property to “false”

Once this workflow is complete we’ll be able to use the “Renewal Year is Even” property in combination with a deal being added to the “Closed Won” stage in our renewals pipeline as the enrollment trigger for 2 separate renewal deal creation workflows as shown in the next step.

 

Dynamically update renewal deal name and prep for next yearDynamically update renewal deal name and prep for next year

 

 

Step 5: Create the Next Renewal Deal

By automatically creating new renewal deals for each renewal period, we can ensure we always have a deal open to track renewal revenue and ensure we are running an effective renewal process.

To ensure we don’t run into HubSpot limitations we’ll use the “Renewal Year is Even” property updated in step 4 as the trigger to 2 near identical workflows that create new deals.

Here’s how each workflow works:

  1. Each workflow is the same besides the trigger:
    → Trigger workflow 1 when a deal in our renewal pipeline has a stage of “closed won” AND “Renewal Year is Even” is “true.

→ Trigger workflow 2 when a deal in our renewal pipeline has a stage of “closed won” AND “Renewal Year is Even” is “true.

  1. Use a Create Record action to add a new deal to the renewal pipeline

→ Add the deal to the “9-12 month” pipeline stage

→ Set the existing deal owner as the owner of the new deal

→ Set a close date 365 days from deal creation

→ Copy the renewal amount to the new deal

→ Copy any additional critical properties such as success metrics to the new deal

→ CRITICAL: Set “Created By” to “Renewal Workflow”

 

Create new renewal dealsCreate new renewal deals

 

Automatically creating deals for future renewals reduces manual work for your team AND provides an effective way to trigger engagement throughout the lifecycle to ensure renewals are a non-event.

Step 6: Update the Company Record

The final step in defining our renewals process in HubSpot (as initiated by the creation of an associated deal and copying property values in step 4) is to ensure our company record includes the latest renewal information so it remains a centralized way for anyone to get an overview of an account.

  1. Our workflow in step 4 copies the critical values of Amount and Close Date from our newly created renewal deal to the “Renewal Amount” and “Renewal Date” properties on the company record.
  2. Our renewal deal creation **adds a new associated deal to the company record as shown below in the right sidebar.

Company record 360 degree viewCompany record 360 degree view

 

The best part about managing renewals in HubSpot deal pipelines is you can easily apply the same reporting and forecasting principles to renewal revenue as you do initial sales.


Hope this is helpful. If you're interested in more playbooks for running onboarding and customer success in HubSpot we have a full guide here, and a product for adding customer-facing onboarding plans in the app marketplace.


sofiamalig
Participant

Best Practices for Account Management/Customer Success pipelines

Thank you so much for this info, @stuartbalcombe ! What do you do with upsells and cross-sellings? Do you have an other pipeline?

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Rickey33Payne1
Participant

Best Practices for Account Management/Customer Success pipelines

Thanks for all the details!

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Liana24
Participant | Elite Partner
Participant | Elite Partner

Best Practices for Account Management/Customer Success pipelines

Hello,

Usually we have 2 pipelines, one for sales and one for customer success and
we use a WF to connect them and we use an alignment dashboard report for
managers that includes MK, Sales and Customer Service.

Hope this will help you.
Liana

Liana24_1-1670420203161.png

 

kvlschaefer
Community Manager
Community Manager

Best Practices for Account Management/Customer Success pipelines

Thank you for sharing this example, @Liana24


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kvlschaefer
Community Manager
Community Manager

Best Practices for Account Management/Customer Success pipelines

Hi @Rickey33Payne1,

 

Thank you for reaching out!

This is a great question 🙂 

 

I would like to invite our community members to see if they have any advice to share!

Hi @stuartbalcombe@Dan1@louischausse - Do you have any customer success/account management pipeline and reporting tips for @Rickey33Payne1?

Thank you! 

 

Best,

Kristen


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Dan1
Top Contributor

Best Practices for Account Management/Customer Success pipelines

Hi @kvlschaefer , thanks for tagging me into this message. 

 

@Rickey33Payne1 , we shared our Customer success renewal pipeline back in 2017 and also in 2021 which is still the same today, with worflows etc. The link to that commuity post is here; https://community.hubspot.com/t5/Tips-Tricks-Best-Practices/How-to-handle-renewals-in-your-deal-pip...

 

The youtube video is below I hope this helps 🙂 

 

 

Kind regards,  

 

Dan Currin 

 

Co-Founder 

 

OrgChartHub 

GeoMapper 

 

OrgChartHub & GeoMapper named in the Top 30 HubSpot Apps 

Dan1_0-1669934289585.png

 

 

kvlschaefer
Community Manager
Community Manager

Best Practices for Account Management/Customer Success pipelines

Thank you for sharing these resources, @Dan1! 🙌 


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