By John Scola, SAP Global Channels Cloud & Strategy
All for One Group is growing on multiple fronts. In addition to its sales team targeting Net New sales, the SAP partner with subsidiaries in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland established a Customer Success Management team to connect its base of more than 2,500 regular customers with the full range of products and services in its portfolio.
All for One Group realized, however, that customer success is about more than growth.
All for One Group views customer success as enhanced competitiveness in a digital world, stronger market position, and the ability to face today’s challenges as well as those that lie ahead.
Michael Zitz, Managing Director Customer Success Management, says, “Our customers also made it perfectly clear that they wished for a stronger relationship and closer, better communication between our company and theirs to make our common projects and implementation processes more successful.”
“We aim for long-lasting, strong, and trustworthy customer relationships which allow us to provide and implement services and solutions that perfectly meet — or even better, exceed — our customers’ needs and expectations,” adds Zitz. “We want to be a strong and reliable partner so that they gladly recommend us within their network.”
Evolving Into A Customer Success-Oriented Business
Establishing a business united to support and ensure the growth of its customer base was one of All for One Group’s major moves throughout its “Strategy 2022” – a comprehensive realignment of All for One Group’s business strategy containing several strategic cornerstones.
All for One Group established a Customer Success Management Team, which consists of 50 team members, 35 of whom are customer success managers (CSMs). All for One Group’s CSMS, dedicated to All for One’s existing customer base, serve as the primary point of contact for existing customers. Additionally, they take a proactive approach to providing comprehensive support throughout the customer life cycle.
CSMs are an integral part of All for One Group’s six-phase Customer Success Management program, the #Customer4Life Process:
- Getting to know CSM: An initial meeting that can include discussion of a roadmap for partnership and establishing the role and importance of the CSM
- Evaluating the status quo: Using a Qualtrics online survey to assess the status of the current partnership
- Creating a future vision: Based on the survey, identifying the customer’s goals, ambitions, and visions
- Developing a success plan: Prioritizing topics and tasks that will help the client’s business meet its goals.
- Implementing measures: Based on the plan, defining concrete measures to achieve goals
- Measuring success: Continual review and feedback and identifying success factors and potential areas for improvement
All for One Group is divided into market units that address specialized fields such as Intelligent ERP & SAP S/4HANA as well as customer experience, strategy, and transformation, new work, and IoT. Each CSM has market unit expertise, and they’re assigned to customers based on geography across Austria, Germany, Switzerland, their industries including IM&C, automotive, and consumer goods, and the types of solutions the customer uses. Additionally, all market units work together to meet customer needs and expand accounts with the products and features they need.
Enabling cooperation and communication across a team of 1,800 employees was a major undertaking for All for One Group. With the introduction of Customer Success Management, the business initiated a cultural change that broadened an employee’s focus from only their market units to a companywide and customer-focused perspective and established regular meetings where project status and new ideas can be exchanged.
“Although we have not yet fully completed our transformation, we are already seeing major changes in the mindsets of our colleagues and can feel the progress we make as a group,” Zitz points out.
A Positive Response
Although All for One’s Customer Success Management program is new, running its pilot from January to September 2019 and then fully launching on Oct. 1, 2019, the response from customers shows that they strongly agree with the new approach. Feedback includes comments from executive contacts such as, “This is exactly what we have been waiting for – a point of contact at C-level.” and “After being introduced to All for One Group’s Customer Success Management, I can confirm that this is 100 percent the right way for us.”
“A clear change we noticed right after introducing Customer Success Management is that we were able to establish closer contact with our customers, allowing us to gain further trust and a better, more direct and open communication with them,” says Zitz, summarizing the positive impact Customer Success Management has already had on All for One Group’s customer relationships.
“The most important thing is always putting your customers first. This might sound mundane, but we strongly believe it’s the only way to go if you want to establish long-lasting relationships built on trust and understanding of customers’ goals and requirements,” he says.
“We continuously measure our customers’ opinions and satisfaction using Qualtrics and maintain a fairly good overview of how successful we have been so far, based on our sales pipeline, key performance indicators (KPIs), and by comparing our realized revenue per customer to numbers from previous years,” Zitz comments.
In the future, All for One Group plans to leverage Qualtrics for automated feedback at each customer touchpoint. “This will allow us to react better to their individual needs, desires, and requirements and, ultimately, offer them exactly what they want and need,” he says. “We aim for a partnership at eye-level to which both parties contribute equally toward reaching one common goal: strengthening our customers’ competitiveness.”
About The Author
John Scola is global vice president, SAP Global Channels Cloud & Strategy. His unique blend of technology manufacturer and marketing agency background provides for a strategic perspective of the SAP indirect channel business.