Re-thinking your organization structure to maximize customer value

We all have come across customer acquisition funnels and conversions at each stage of the funnel is something most organizations measure to understand how individual teams are functioning. While I was heading customer acquisition at FieldEZ, I was obsessed with conversions across each stage of the acquisition funnel during the initial days.

While we tried to improve the numbers, one thing that we focused on was optimizing conversion for each of these stages. There was a lot of thought put into understand blockers within each stage and options to rectify them. We did succeed in optimizing conversions – for eg: our success rate with being able to just reach the customer on his phone after they sign up on the website initially was about 18%. This was for customers who browse the website and signs up either for a “Free Trial” or “Requests a Demo”. What we also knew was these leads typically spent upwards of 12 mins on the website and would have on an avg. browsed 7 pages on the website. Considering the amount of time invested by them in understanding the solution and then signing up, this number was pretty bad. We did something really simple to improve this – we made it mandatory for our inside sales to reach the prospect within 5 mins of him signing up and that resulted in an increase of 200% in being able to reach these prospects on their phone after they sign up on the website.

While these hacks and improvements for the individual stages did improve the overall conversion, what we did realize during the course of this journey was to look at customer acquisition more holistically – across all these stages rather than looking at them in silos because the customer journey from the top of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel is never linear. Customers did not necessarily sign up on the website, then speak to our inside sales who do a demo and then gets the prospect to sign a $10000 contract. There were leads that went from being hot to cold and then hot again.

This meant re-aligning the way the organization functioned. Instead of having marketing report to a CMO, Sales and Account Management report to the Sales head, which in our case was the CEO, a better approach was for these cross-functional teams to report into a single person. This ensured one thing – the broader team had a goal to maximize revenue than look at individual conversion metrics and the team had more freedom to experiment across the funnel. And for me SaaS organizations should re-think the way they are structured – the single most important factor for a SaaS business is to maximize customer lifetime value – the focus should be on that. If it makes sense to have all your individual teams having a touchpoint with the customer across the top, middle and bottom of the funnel report into one single person, then do so.