Implementing a new customer success software is no small feat. If you’ve already asked yourself the 7 key questions of implementation and decided it’s the right step for you, the next step is assembling your implementation team.
There are many moving pieces in the implementation of a new customer success software and you need everyone on the same page, working towards the same goals. Here are the 6 key players you want on your team for a successful implementation.
1. Captain America: The Customer Success Buyer
As the name indicates, Captain America is a leader to the others on his team and treated with respect. In your company, Captain America is the person with the power and drive to get buy-in for a new software: the CS buyer. The implementation process begins with this person who created the bridge between your company and the software provider’s.
Your buyer believes in the software and has convinced the C-Suite that this is the right move for your company. But, to ensure a seamless implementation process, your buyer needs to set up a meeting between the CTO of the vendor and your own. This gives them an opportunity to discuss questions and issues that may arise during implementation.
2. Iron Man: The Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Iron Man is not only a leader in the Avengers, but he also has incredible knowledge as an inventor. The CTO of your company is a leader with expertise in their field and has the power to dissuade the rest of the C-Suite from investing in new technology. When your project is kicking off, you need to get CTO buy-in by allowing them to review the CS software and the implementation process.
It’s good to keep the CTO in the loop because they have a lot of insight about connecting your product and systems with the CS software. Moreover, they often manage developers and system administrators, whose help you’ll also need for a successful implementation.
3. J.A.R.V.I.S. and Heimdall: The System Administrators
J.A.R.VI.S. and Heimdall see things that others cannot and provide the Marvel heroes with access to different resources and places, respectively. While they both have their own domain of expertise, the Avengers wouldn’t be as successful without the help of both these guides. In your company, the system administrators have the credentials to get into the admin side of systems, like CRM, Billing, Support, etc., that you want to integrate with your new CS software.
As admins, they have insights about these softwares which you may not have as an end user. For example, they may know of system changes that will occur during your implementation process and data inconsistencies that will affect how you sync this information with the CS software. As such, they can give you advice about how to connect these systems, and answer your questions about how to sync efficiently.
The types of access you’re looking for and other tasks required to adequately prepare your systems for synchronization can require the help of different administrators. It could be simple, like a username and password for email and marketing software. But, with more complex systems, such as CRM, you will need more specialized help.
4. Hulk: The Developer
Bruce Banner prefers to be himself until the going gets tough and Hulk needs to make an appearance. Similarly, your developer is usually busy doing other things until the CTO needs their help for a specific task. In a software implementation, the developer gets parachuted in and out to add instrumentation code so CSMs can connect customer activity (e.g. when a user logs in, when they click certain buttons, etc.) to the CS software. Once instrumentation is complete, the developer will also show how it collects data to the end-user.
When Hulk wants to get a job done, it happens quickly and with little argument. However, if he doesn’t come out at the right time and Bruce is stuck with the problems, they may not get solved in time. A developer should need only a couple days to add snippets of code to your product. But, with unaligned priorities and miscommunication, this can take longer than it should. To avoid issues like that, make sure you have your CTO and developer in the same room as an end-user to discuss specifics, the technical details, and a timeline.
5. Spider-man: The End-User
As the Spider-man of your company, end-users may be young and new to the field, but they have a lot of potential and ideas. These CSMs can make meaningful contributions to the team, so you should consider their thoughts on the implementation of your new CS software. The end-users will need guidance and training from a senior member to become efficient with the new software.
You can also include one of them in the implementation process as a representative for the rest of the team, who can, in turn, become an expert-in-the-making. They can act as a power-user with the CS software, and become a source of knowledge for the others. At Amity, we call this person an Amity Ace. While the other CSMs on the team are users of the software, the Ace has admin access, and they will keep in contact with one of Amity’s CSMs to learn how to maximize their usage of our software.
6. Black Widow: The Vendor’s Project Manager
We’ve talked about who needs to be on your team, but there’s a key player from the vendor’s company that you need for a successful implementation. Black Widow, though lacking in special powers and genetic mutations, more than makes up for it with her martial arts abilities and people skills. Go figure considering she was trained to be an assassin! The Black Widow you need for implementation will come from your vendor’s company. This person will most likely be a CSM of theirs and will act as a Project Manager for your implementation process because they are well acquainted with their own product and you as a customer.
The CSM/Project Manager will guide the implementation process as a mediator between the buyer and the vendor. With laser-focus, they can take initiative at the kick-off meeting and create a plan suitable to your needs. Black Widow knew which heroes to recruit for a successful mission when fighting Loki, just like the vendor’s CSM/Project Manager knows which members of your team and theirs are necessary to complete implementation successfully. They are vital to the team and will help your company adjust to the new software, setting you up for long-term success.
About the Author
Elakkiya Sivakumaran is a Technical Writer at Amity. She enjoys interdisciplinary writing (who said English, Classical Studies, and Psychology can't mix?) and learned almost everything she knows about English grammar from high school Latin. She is currently studying English and Classical Studies at the University of Waterloo.More Content by Elakkiya Sivakumaran