As the economic tides have shifted, full prospect pipelines and accelerated sales cycles have been upended, replaced by tighter budgets and an essential-tools-only mandate. Companies from emerging startups to BigCos are keeping an extra-close eye on their balance sheets, leaving no stone unturned when it comes to trimming any budgetary fat. Customers who were once clamoring to get their hands on your product are suddenly asking to renegotiate their contract – or walk away altogether.
It’s a shift that’s pushed the focus from acquiring all sorts of new customers to preserving the ones you already have — by shoring up your relationships with champions who are in it with you for the long haul.
“These days I find that more startups are thinking about customer advocacy, and more revenue leaders and founders are reaching out to me for advice. When I first started in a customer advocacy role and I would tell people my title, I would either get confused looks or ‘Oh, so you make case studies?’ kind of comments,” says Kalina Bryant.
Bryant served as Asana’s first Head of Customer Advocacy, as well as holding customer-facing roles at Talkdesk, Anaplan and Marketo. She also shares her knowledge with the broader startup community as a Forbes Contributor and teams up with founders 1:1 to offer tailored advice on customer advocacy and community development as one of First Round’s Experts in Residence.