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Driving Better Usage and Adoption to Achieve Success

The mission of Client Success at PROS is to help our customers achieve success with PROS solutions. In this session, Shawn Stolle discusses the way our Client Success Managers work with customers during various stages of the customer lifecycle to promote usage and adoption. From success planning during the initial project to evaluating adoption and usage after go-live, the Client Success team is here to make sure our customers stay on track in their PROS journey.

About the Speaker

Shawn Stolle is a Sr. Customer Success Manager at PROS for the Global Accounts Group. He has worked at PROS for 15 years starting with a role as Implementation Consulting then Project Management, before moving in to the Customer Success group. Stolle's pricing solutions experience spans across a varied group of industries including Industrial Manufacturing, Financial Services, and Food and Beverage. Stolle has experienced firsthand, the drivers of success for a software Pricing Solution and is ready to share these learnings with PROS customers.

Full Transcript

Shawn Stolle: Hi, I'm Shawn Stolle, Customer success manager PROS. Welcome to our session on driving better usage and adoption to achieve success with your PROS solution. ...

I had a CFO turn to his sales team during a kickoff and ask them, "What is the value of a hundred thousand dollar sports car that sits in the garage unused?" He knew that value came from use. At PROS, we want every single one of our customers to be wildly successful. So we partner you with a customer success manager, such as myself, to proactively monitor and drive usage and adoption to achieve that success. In that process, we will address three key questions. One, are your users using the solution? Two, is that usage driving additional dollars? And three, how can we drive more adoption and therefore more value?

Your customer success has a proactive engagement with you. It starts with defining that success plan and it's your success plan, your milestones and your KPIs that define your success. It also includes customer success providing training and education around our product availability and our product features. The customer success manager becomes your advocate. In PROS we take your requests for feature enhancements and bring those to our internal product team. We provide you with best practices and recommendations that we have found in our experience. And we also hold business review sessions on a periodic basis to review how we are achieving those milestones towards success. That focus on value starts at the earliest possible part of the relationship. If possible, it should be in the sales cycle where we define what that success plan looks like. And then, during the project and the deployment, we ensure that the milestones and the KPIs that are defining the success plan are focused on during that deployment and in the configuration.

On go-live, we start taking the initial monitoring so it can establish a baseline. And we ensure that your change management is focused on driving the adoption that will define that success. And then on a steady state, we will have periodic reviews with you to make sure that we are moving towards success and hitting our milestones.

So what does that success plan look like? Well, the success plan is a roadmap. It's your roadmap with key milestones on there that says, okay, I am moving towards the ultimate goal that defines my success. And so we want to define that roadmap on what those milestones looks like and that comes from a workshop that we will hold together. And again, it should be done at the earliest time of the engagement. Either in the sales or in the kickoff.

So when you're defining your success plan, you want to ensure that you start with your business objectives. What were the drivers that actually drove you to sign that pricing solution to begin with? Those are your business objectives, and you should tie all of your success criteria to those business objectives. And then from those success criteria, establish what those goals are. What are the objectives, the amounts that should be received, the timing that should take place. And then when you define what the measurement is to ensure that you're looking at all of the factors that influence that measurement. When you have the output from the plan and the measurement, what are you going to do with it? What are you going to do with that report? It's actionable and it's actionable to help drive continued and additional success.

So when you're looking at your objectives, they're not just objectives that are an alignment between PROS and you the customer, but it should be an alignment within your organization, from the C suite and down to the end users. Make sure that everyone is aligned to those value drivers so that we're all marching in the same direction. As an output of that success planning, you should have this framework for those milestones and those objectives. So for example, in this first one, you want to make more money by reducing price linkage, or you want to make it a little bit more precise and say, "Okay, in order to do that, I need to increase gross margin percentage by 2% by June of 2021." That's just an example, or there can be three, four. You don't want to have too many to focus on the right value drivers.

PROS will also bring KPIs that we have defined that really provide insight into adoption and price leakage. And in turn, what is the financial impact that's associated with that adoption and leakage that we will be monitoring. So, in a software solution, it's been found that there are two key critical focuses in order to be successful. Very first one, the most important factor is effective user adoption. 70% of the effect of success is derived from user adoption. McKinsey said that in order to achieve that user adoption, you have to have good change management in place. And without that good change management, you have a potential to leave about 75% of the value unobtained. And how do you know where you are with the adoption without measurement? So the measurement is key to defining your progress on user adoption.

When you need to focus on improving adoption, your customer success manager has a trove of resources available to help you. So partner with them to use those resources to help drive that adoption. In PROS, our solutions are being enhanced to systematize the value and adoption monitoring and we're doing this so that we can jointly maximize your success. So we started off with the usage and adoption, and we can provide the visibility on how they are impacting your business KPIs through trends. And then what is the financial impact of those trends and that adoption. Long term, we would want that benchmark so that you can actually have visibility into how you are performing in comparison to your peers.

For CPQ, we are looking at a monthly quote usage. So how many quotes are actually being generated through the solution? And we can compare those on a month to month basis and see what the trends are and see what the improvement or decline is on a year over year basis. So we can have that conversation around what drove this change. Is there a market change that took place? Are you expanding to other business units? Is it true focus on user adoption that's just driving this increase?

For Control, we're looking at the get price calls. Are you getting the number of get price calls that you're expecting? Are you seeing changes in the trends that indicate additional focus is needed? So we will continue to have this on a monthly basis and have this reporting that we can work out and keep an eye on the progress that your company is making.

In Guidance, we focus on the three key questions that we want to address. One, of the users using the solution, are they pricing within that price envelope that has been provided in the guidance. And then secondly, what is the quality of that price? What is the score that they are getting? On average, are they above target, are they or below target or closer to floor? So what is the quality of that? And then we will take that information and do a comparison on a period by period basis and compare the sales folks who are increasing their adoption versus the sales folks who are decreasing in their adoption and look at the financial performance on both of those. And time after time, we have seen that sales folks who are improving in one period versus sales folks who are declining in the same period, there is a marked difference in the financial impact. In this case, it's an 11 plus percent increase in invoice revenue.

So with that information, where do I need to focus? So we will provide you with where you can spend additional focus on change management and adoption to drive additional value. As a case study of this process that we walked through on Guidance, this industrial materials distributor, they faced the challenge of a very volatile market. They saw that the average prices kept increasing in 2018, but then started to decline over the remaining 18 months. They were looking at floor target and expert received through their SAP system. And they use this for their spot transactions. Compared to their peers, we saw that the adoption was on average. They weren't above or too far below. And with the focus that they had on just that average adoption, they had already seen a growth of 7% in their total margin dollars. When comparing the sales groups that had adoption growth versus the sales groups that had adoption decline in the same periods, it was a consistent 10% difference in total margin dollars. So we were able to identify additional opportunity of 3.5% of total margin dollars just through additional focus on change management.

So I would like to leave you with three key factors. We have seen that adoption is key to obtaining the value of your solution. In order to understand where you are with adoption, you have to have good measurement in place. So your customer success manager is here to work with you to help you with that monitoring and adoption so that together we can maximize the value of your PROS solution. Thank you for joining us in the session today.

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