Magazine Article | October 1, 2018

Executive Profile: Wombat Security, a division of Proofpoint

Source: Software Executive magazine

By Paul Chilensky

  1. HOW DO YOU DEFINE CUSTOMER SUCCESS, AND HOW IS YOUR CS TEAM STRUCTURED AT WOMBAT SECURITY?

We define customer success as ensuring each of our customers is achieving their defined outcomes, trust our solution to help combat email phishing, and view their assigned customer success manager (CSM) as a security training and awareness program expert. Our customer success team goes beyond the product and must consider how to design and implement a successful program utilizing our technology. We have our global customer success organization broken into three core functions: retention, renewals, and add-ons.

  1. WHAT IS THE TOP METRIC YOUR TEAM USES TO MEASURE SUCCESS?

To really measure success you need to utilize a combination of metrics with an ultimate focus on ensuring customers trust our product’s effectiveness. We measure customer satisfaction and engagement as a set of leading metrics and overall retention rate of our customers as a defining measure of how we serve our customers.

  1. WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE FOR SOFTWARE COMPANIES JUST STARTING TO BUILD THEIR CS TEAM?

Consider bringing in an outside consultant that has a customer success background, understands best practices, and has a proven record of building successful organizations. Customer success is still relatively new to many companies, and leveraging someone to help define the vision and strategy, as well as determining the right CS executive to run the organization is critical to success and will accelerate implementation.

  1. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR TEAMS WHO ARE IMPLEMENTING CS TOOLS?

Establish a clear customer success strategy that is tailor-made for your organization and its requirements. Personally, I recommend teams start by building a customer journey map that includes a detailed buyer’s journey outline and addresses all touch points. From there, it’s important to examine the workflows that are required for each stage and associated with each customer base segment. To determine which customer success platform will fit your needs, it’s critical to develop a set of requirements unique to your organization. Once established, reach out to various vendors to gauge their capabilities and discover how each platform can help you drive automation in new ways across your organization.

  1. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ENSURING YOUR TEAM GETS THE MAXIMUM VALUE FOR THESE TOOLS?

Involve your team early in the process. They should be helping develop the customer journey maps, design workflows, and outline requirements for your tool. Don’t try to get maximum value at the beginning because it will become overwhelming to your CSMs. Your first phase should include rolling out minor features to show immediate success and then develop phases for the rest of your implementation.

  1. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE, AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO OVERCOME IT?

One of our biggest challenges is ensuring that we are engaging each customer on a regular basis while driving high levels of product adoption. We have invested in both people and technology to expand our outreach programs into defined playbooks, nurturing programs, and success metrics to ensure each customer is achieving its desired outcomes with our products.

  1. WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED FROM A PEER THAT HAS HAD AN IMPACT ON YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE?

Be authentic with your people and flexible with difficult decisions.

  1. WHAT IS THE BEST BUSINESS BOOK ON YOUR SHELF?

Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell.


PAUL CHILENSKY
Director of Global Customer Success
Wombat Security, a division of Proofpoint
Sunnyvale, CA

FOUNDED: 2002

EMPLOYEES: 2,400

WEBSITE: www.proofpoint.com

VERTICALS: All