Customer Success Leadership Community

Evaluating CS Platforms: Gainsight, Catalyst, Strikedeck - Seeking feedback on experience!

  • 1.  Evaluating CS Platforms: Gainsight, Catalyst, Strikedeck - Seeking feedback on experience!

    Posted 23 days ago
    Hi all,

    I'm currently evaluating a CS platform for my team. I've been in contact with Gainsight, Catalyst and Strikedeck. I would love if anyone could share their experience around the below topics for each of these. Feel free to ping me directly or I would love to setup some time to chat. 

    I appreciate your time and input! 

    Gainsight:
    - Implementation timeline / resources needed
    - Ongoing management (I've heard it's recommended to have someone someone internal solely dedicated to Gainsight)
    - Reliability of data integrations (Redshift, Tableau, SFDC)
    - Email automation

    Catalyst:
    - Implementation timeline / resources needed
    - Reliability of data integrations (Redshift, Tableau, SFDC)
    - Playbook functionality 
    - Ability to run tech touch program w/ out email automation (I've heard this is coming soon)

    Strikedeck:
    - Implementation timeline / resources needed
    - UI/UX impact on CSM adoption
    - Reliability of data integrations (Redshift, Tableau, SFDC)
    - Email automation
    #CustomerSuccess
    #Technology

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    Egan Callahan
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  • 2.  RE: Evaluating CS Platforms: Gainsight, Catalyst, Strikedeck - Seeking feedback on experience!

    Posted 22 days ago
    Hi Egan,

    I can speak to Gainsight, which we implemented ~2.5 years ago. 

    - Implementation timeline / resources needed
    We took about 3 months to implement, which was admittedly quite quick. I was hired in the middle of this implementation and was solely dedicated to getting Gainsight up and running; we also had subject matter experts from our account management team meet with us semi-weekly to give feedback. Gainsight has an implementation specialist assigned to you, which was super helpful-ours helped us build out rules and reports as well as provided recommendations for best practice. I'd say you need to be prepared to have at least one person fully dedicated to getting Gainsight up and running, and you need some great partnership from your end users so that you are sure they'll use what you build.

    - Ongoing management (I've heard it's recommended to have someone someone internal solely dedicated to Gainsight)
    As per implementation, it is good to have someone solely dedicated to Gainsight-this was my full-time job for my first year here. Once it got to steady state, we were able to get the management of Gainsight to ~half an FTE.

    - Reliability of data integrations (Redshift, Tableau, SFDC)
    I've only used the SFDC integration, but it's super reliable. Really easy to use-you can access any data from SFDC and you can also write back to it. 

    - Email automation
    We are huge on email automation here. There are some flaws to Gainsight's, but there's always a workaround if you're willing to put in the time and get creative (can expand more upon this if helpful). We use email automation a lot for our long tail of accounts as well as for our covered accounts when we want to take work off of AMs' plates.

    Feel free to let me know if you have any questions!

    Best,
    Alyssa

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    Alyssa O'Connell
    Flatiron Health
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  • 3.  RE: Evaluating CS Platforms: Gainsight, Catalyst, Strikedeck - Seeking feedback on experience!

    Posted 21 days ago
    Hi Egan,

    I can speak to Gainsight as well. We implemented fairly recently in March 2020 and have hit our 1 year anniversary. 

    Implementation timeline / resources needed
    • I was brought on at the start of implementation which took about 3-4 months to complete. I had the best experience with our Onboarding Account Manager. We managed the project using Smartsheet which help keep the project on task for the targeted go-live date. The Gainsight Onboarding team provided a wealth of documentation which included; training slide decks, UAT workbooks, and best practice suggestions. The Onboarding Technical Account Manager was extremely helpful during the design and build phase, and provided in-depth Gainsight Admin enablement sessions. Overall had a lot of support and follow-up from Gainsight. We did bring in two senior CSMs to be part of the design phase which turned out to be very insightful and productive. We also partnered with our internal Business Operations team to help build out necessary data streams that would integrate with Gainsight. 
    Ongoing management (I've heard it's recommended to have someone internal solely dedicated to Gainsight)
    • I would second this suggestion. It is useful to have a Gainsight Admin solely dedicated to building and maintaining the software. There are constant requests from the CSM managers and CSMs to consider. We rolled out Gainsight with a phased approach with the Enterprise accounts the first to go live, there is still more to be built out for the solo/small group segment (tech touch). 
    Reliability of data integrations (Redshift, Tableau, SFDC)
    • So far we are only integrated with SFDC and it has been straightforward with little to no issues. Gainsight recently released a new feature called "Real Times Rules" that has helped with this integration's efficiency.
    Email automation
    • The Email automation feature is easy to use. Has great analytics and reporting built into it. 

    Hope that helps,

    Diana De Zuniga 
    Gainsight Admin 
    Henry Schein One

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    Diana De Zuniga
    Henry Schein One
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  • 4.  RE: Evaluating CS Platforms: Gainsight, Catalyst, Strikedeck - Seeking feedback on experience!

    Posted 21 days ago
    Hi Egan-

    I'm at the end of leading our Gainsight implementation and we're launching in a couple of weeks so the implementation is fresh on my mind. Our implementation will have taken a little over 3 months to complete and we've moved pretty quickly through the process. In addition to one central person leading the project, we included a couple of our CS directors involved throughout the design process. We also have a core group of "champions" which comprises both CS  and non-CS folks that we have leveraged occasionally for input and will be our UAT testers and users to initially go live. Our internal executive sponsor has been involved as well. For the technical side, we included our Salesforce Admin as well as our engineering team for assistance with building another date source. 

    I've heard a similar thing for the ongoing management and the need for a dedicated person. Once things stabilize down the road, we believe we won't need a fully dedicated person as we have a fairly small number of users (~30). 

    I can't speak to the last 2 quite yet!


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    Joseph Beker
    Customer Health Manager
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  • 5.  RE: Evaluating CS Platforms: Gainsight, Catalyst, Strikedeck - Seeking feedback on experience!

    Posted 17 days ago
    Hi Egan, 

    We implemented Gainsight in early 2020, and here was our experience: 

    Gainsight:
    - Implementation timeline / resources needed

    We had a very quick timeline that we had to get Gainsight implemented (about 4-6 weeks) and they were able to meet this deadline! We did have a dedicated member of our operations team able to help us implement, along with a manager of our customer success team. The resources provided from the implementation team were fantastic and kept our team on schedule and organized. We always knew what the homework was and where to track the information. 

    - Ongoing management (I've heard it's recommended to have someone internal solely dedicated to Gainsight)

    We do have a member of our ops team who is knowledgeable on Gainsight, but it's not a full-time job. This person is mostly just needed to help us manage integrations across systems (Salesforce to Gainsight, etc.). Managers of our CS team have been able to learn and manage building reports, email campaigns, etc. 

    - Reliability of data integrations (Redshift, Tableau, SFDC)
    Of the ones you mention, we've only used SFDC and is has been very reliable! 

    - Email automation
    Email automation works well and is a life saver! As Alyssa said, I believe we've used a few workarounds to make certain things work, but overall we've been able to accomplish what we need!

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    Brandi Templeton
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  • 6.  RE: Evaluating CS Platforms: Gainsight, Catalyst, Strikedeck - Seeking feedback on experience!

    Posted 16 days ago
    Hi Egan,

    We use Strikedeck and since before we were using nothing, I would say it was a game-changer for us. It has a strong integration with SFDC that makes it easy for CS & Sales to stay on the same page. As for platform management, we don't feel the need to have a dedicated resource managing the platform however our team does have someone in an operations capacity and he does engage with the Strikedeck team a lot. 

    Our CS team quickly adopted Strikedeck and continues to use it a ton every day. They recently refreshed the UI design and it is much cleaner too!

    I can't speak to the implementation of our roll out specifically but I do know that several folks who use and implement Strikedeck say they have it up and running weeks after signing their contract. 

    Now, full disclosure: I work for Medallia which acquired Strikedeck a few years back but I wouldn't come on here and share my positive experiences if they weren't true. Also, we are our harshest critics and I really do have a lot of great things to say about the ease of use and account views that it affords our team.

    Hope this helps - understand the bias may skew things but I really do believe it is a GREAT program!
    Gwen

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    Gwendolyn Radsch
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  • 7.  RE: Evaluating CS Platforms: Gainsight, Catalyst, Strikedeck - Seeking feedback on experience!

    Posted 15 days ago
    Hi Egan, 

    We recently implemented Gainsight at Zendesk and happy to walk you through our implementation. We started in late October and went live at the beginning of February. Depending on how big your CS team is, that timeline could be shorter or longer. We have a total of 157 people in our Success org. We had two business leads as part of the project (I was one of them), a PM on our side, as well as two Success Ops people. Our VP of Success was the Exec Sponsor for the project. 

    I would recommend having a dedicated Admin for Gainsight. We wouldn't have been able to improve our use without him (we hired a former Gainsight TAM). 

    Our data integrations are working well but we did have some issues with the SFDC integration that we were able to solve prior to go-live.  

    I'm not too sure about the email automation part.  

    As mentioned, happy to connect and talk through the experience (it was a positive one!)

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    Oliver Nono
    Zendesk
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  • 8.  RE: Evaluating CS Platforms: Gainsight, Catalyst, Strikedeck - Seeking feedback on experience!

    Posted 15 days ago
    These replies are all helpful to read through. Thanks for the original topic, Egan!

    There seems to be a plethora of options - you mentioned three of them, and I've also recently heard of ChurnZero. For those who have more experience in evaluating these products, is there any real differentiation between them? I'm thinking it might be around size of client or type of product being used/tracked, but I'm curious if there is a clear path to see differences...

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    Brian Hansen
    VP of Business Development
    Enquiron
    Boston MA
    4158171611
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