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Building an Ambassador Program to Increase User Adoption & Expand your Biggest Accounts

When we sell to enterprise customers, driving adoption and long-term user engagement is always a major focus. However, we found it was really hard to drive that adoption via webinars, email marketing, or phone calls alone.

In this session, we'll walk through how we've built our our Ambassador Program: an effort to equip power users to help nurture and grow our biggest accounts. By identifying and training a handful of Ambassadors in each enterprise, we increased adoption and revenue growth by over 10% in the first 60 days.

If you're looking for specific tactics on how to grow your top accounts in the next few months, this is the session for you!

(Originally presented at the Totango Customer Success Summit in March 2016)

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Building an Ambassador Program to Increase User Adoption & Expand your Biggest Accounts

  1. 1. The    Ambassador  Program How  we  increased  post-­‐sales  adop8on  &  expansion  among   our  biggest  customers
  2. 2. A  li<le  bit  about  me • I’ve been to over 50 breweries and 100 wineries. • My first job in high school was stocking shelves and sawing off deer legs. • My favorite spot on earth is Yosemite National Park.
  3. 3. We  help  people  build  strong,   authen8c  rela8onships • Contactually = CRM to help you get referrals from your network • Major verticals: Real Estate, Finance, Law, Consulting • We have thousands of individuals customers, and have moved up-market to large firms
  4. 4. Selling  to  large  services  firms   presents  a  huge  problem • These firms are composed of contractors who run their own small businesses • Individuals can largely buy whichever software they want • When a firm does buy software for their team, they can’t mandate usage and adoption is generally poor Our enterprise customers wouldn’t buy Contactually unless we could figure out a way to get their teams to adopt it
  5. 5. ENTER  THE  AMBASSADOR   PROGRAM
  6. 6. What  is  the  Ambassador  Program? An exclusive and elite program where the best users at our enterprise customers get 1-1 training & coaching from our Customer Success reps in exchange for their help in training the rest of their colleagues Ambassador Program = his brain child Brandon Carroll
  7. 7. How  does  it  work? • Enterprise CSMs find Power Users, broken down by office • Reach out to their managers and ask them to choose the the Ambassador for their office • Once chosen, the Ambassador gets regular 1-hour coaching/consulting calls valued at $500/month • In return, Ambassadors are the SME for their office and conduct an in-person training once per month
  8. 8. FINDING  SUPER  USERS
  9. 9. Finding  Super  Users • Enterprise CSMs work with large companies, comprised of offices of users that are regionally managed • In our CRM, we can break down groups of users by Office • Look at success metrics and recency of use in the application • We call these highly active, successful users “Super Users”
  10. 10. How  we  define  our  Super  Users ! Activated User = A User who has signed in, connected an email, tracked 25+ relationships, and sent a follow up ! Super User = An Activated User who has sent a follow up within the past 7 days
  11. 11. Narrow  to  3.     Ask  the  Regional  Manager  to  choose.
  12. 12. Allowing  the  regional  manager  to   choose  creates  ownership  and  buy-­‐in.   It  also  makes  the  Super  User  feel   special  and  elite.
  13. 13. GETTING  OUR   AMBASSADORS  RAMPED  UP
  14. 14. We  first  need  to  ensure  our   Ambassadors  get  a  huge  amount  of  value • Our Ambassadors are business owners, and their #1 objective is to grow their business. We coach them specifically on topics that will help grow their business, like: • How to implement a system to nurture your leads • How to get more referrals from your past clients • How to stay top of mind with your professional colleagues • We also provide 1-1 consulting on how to best implement these best practices in Contactually. We provide a high-value experience and put a $ value on our coaching.
  15. 15. Training  cadence 1 or 2 calls in the first 30 days to ramp up the Ambassador 1 consulting call every 90 days after that Each call is about an hour. Yes, it takes a lot of time. (More on that in a bit!)
  16. 16. We  equip  the  Ambassadors  with   training  materials • Each month, a 90% complete training presentation is sent to the Ambassador. Ambassadors simply need to add or edit text in a few slides. • We keep our Ambassadors in the loop. They’re notified of product updates before the general population • Ambassadors are expected to be the Office “Subject Matter Expert” and to help their fellow office colleagues with Contactually
  17. 17. The  training  should  make  the  Ambassador   look  good  —  both  with  their  colleagues  and   their  manager.   It  looks  like  it’s  created  by  them.    We  don’t   take  any  of  the  credit.
  18. 18. Here’s  what  our  first  Ambassador   training  template  looks  like
  19. 19. OUR  RESULTS  SO  FAR
  20. 20. We  ini8ally  piloted  with  3  customers   across  13  offices • Worked with the manager to hand-pick our 13 Ambassadors • Created the training template decks • Held 1-1s with each Ambassador
  21. 21. We  saw  promising  results  right  away • Within first 60 days: • New people started using Contactually (initial activation increased 7%) • Existing users became much more engaged (Super Users grew by 9%) • We expanded the size of the account by $2,100 ARR! • Moreover, we got a ton of great qualitative feedback, both from Ambassadors and users
  22. 22. Some  Contactually  love “The presentation was very well received! I’d say there were 15-20 folks there. And I have a ton of feedback for you.” “Our ambassadors are telling me that they are learning a lot from their coaching calls with you. Great work!” “Thanks so much for your time today. I’m really happy with how you listened to my questions, gave me some training and background into the application, and have given me simple concrete tasks to complete in order to reach my goals. Awesome!” Ambassador: Executive: Training attendee:
  23. 23. We’ve  since  expanded  the   Ambassador  program • Currently in place at 30% of our enterprise customers • None of our these customers have churned, and the accounts have expanded by 12% on average in the past 3 months • We’re iterating on a lot of the Ambassador training and trying to scale the 1-1 training with less direct CSM involvement
  24. 24. KEY  LESSONS  LEARNED   (FROM  MISTAKES  WE  MADE)
  25. 25. Your  best  users  in  an  account  are  far  be<er   at  driving  adop8on  than  you  are
  26. 26. It’s  totally  fine  to  do  things  that   don’t  scale  (as  least  at  first) • This was one of many things we tried to increase user adoption. We iterated until we found something that worked. • 1-1 coaching calls & customized training takes a ton of effort. It wasn’t scalable at first. But over time, we streamlined it. Now we do Ambassador webinars & provide a Tier 1 support line for them vs 1-1 calls.
  27. 27. There’s  a  reason  why  TFA  is  an  elite   program • TFA has a 15% acceptance rate • Why? Because it’s an elite, selective program • Ensure you’re also selective with your Ambassadors, and stress their elite status
  28. 28. Set  clear  success  criteria  &  track   your  results • We selected our #1 goal — driving greater activation — from the start • We tracked office-specific stats to see how we were progressing • It’s OK doing this manually (it doesn’t need to scale!) • Brandon gained exec buy-in with clear goals & success metrics
  29. 29. Have  fun! http://contactual.ly/1MillionEmails
  30. 30. QUESTIONS?   tony@contactually.com   @cappaert

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  • MikeKnudtsen

    Mar. 24, 2016
  • JohnMitchell17

    Jan. 12, 2020

When we sell to enterprise customers, driving adoption and long-term user engagement is always a major focus. However, we found it was really hard to drive that adoption via webinars, email marketing, or phone calls alone. In this session, we'll walk through how we've built our our Ambassador Program: an effort to equip power users to help nurture and grow our biggest accounts. By identifying and training a handful of Ambassadors in each enterprise, we increased adoption and revenue growth by over 10% in the first 60 days. If you're looking for specific tactics on how to grow your top accounts in the next few months, this is the session for you! (Originally presented at the Totango Customer Success Summit in March 2016)

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