Customer Success Leadership Community

CS Leaders Board Reporting Packs

  • 1.  CS Leaders Board Reporting Packs

    Posted 10-08-2020 15:24
    Good Evening People,

    Another great session today on Leadership Office hours....and my question "What reporting do you do for your board based on CS related numbers, activities & focus?" started a great conversation. One that was just getting interesting with some healthy debate before we had to cut it short due to time constraints.

    So, let's continue it here....

    I am look specifically at @Jay Nathan @Boaz Maor @David Ellin @David Jackson
    ​​​​ @Andrew Marks but anyone else feel free to chime in

    Any examples would be great to see too.​

    Matt Myszkowski
    VP, Customer Success Management, EMEA

  • 2.  RE: CS Leaders Board Reporting Packs

    Posted 10-08-2020 15:29
    @Matt Myszkowski. Look forward to hearing from the community on this.  I've done one Board presentation and want to continue iterating to improve for the next one. ​

    Stacie Ward
    VP Customer Care

  • 3.  RE: CS Leaders Board Reporting Packs

    Posted 10-08-2020 15:30
    Hey @Matt Myszkowski - thought I would chime in as this is really fresh in my head since I just created our CS slides for our board meeting next week.

    Admittedly, most of my direction comes from the CEO and it isn't exactly cutting edge but here is generally what we provide:

    • YOY metrics related to renewals/churn/upgrades/expansions - are we up or down, etc
    • Top 10 customer list, renewal date, ACV, risk rating, etc
    • Deep dive into previous Quarter's churn.  Who churned? Why? What actions are we taking to prevent, etc?

    Brian Hartley
    Senior Director, Customer Success

  • 4.  RE: CS Leaders Board Reporting Packs

    Posted 10-08-2020 18:33

    This is a big question so if what follows is a long reply, its because I didn't have time to write a short one.  My reply is shaped by having been a SaaS CEO for 15 years reporting to a board for most of those and a non-exec board member.  This experience is limited to small/medium B2B SaaS companies, which is very different to being a board member of a publicly listed company.  Let me start with the context I always operated with.

    A good board (and they aren't all good) focuses on three inter-related questions:
    - Is the exec team delivering the results expected/promised?
    - Will our strategy and key investments make a meaningful impact in the market?
    - Have we got the right people in the key roles?

    To say they a Board is  focused only on finances is not right.  Most board are members are smart and know that you don't influence the result on the field by only watching the scoreboard.  They also know that their primary job is to test the thinking of the company's leadership and by so doing either validate that thinking or cause it to be reconsidered.  

    I ran my Board meetings of two 'halves'.  Reviewing the numbers is part of every meeting.  We then scheduled specific topics across the year: for example a discussion about product direction, GTM strategy, a special project or agreeing a budget.

    My experience of reporting to a Board is that numbers are shared ahead of time.  The typical financials shared (vs budget and trend) are:

    - Net revenue growth 
    - New business ARR
    - Net revenue retention
    - Logo churn with reasons
    - Gross and Net Margin
    - CAC
    - CLTV

    The discussion that arises from the numbers focuses on two things: why are they what they are and what actions are being taken as a result.  This is where the debate around strategy/investments and people often comes into play.

    The important thing to remember is that good board members are critical friends: advisors and approvers of last resort.  They are NOT responsible for execution and should keep some distance from that. Sometime, you have to remind them of that!  

    I'd love to hear an input from a Board member of a publicly listed company.


    David Jackson

  • 5.  RE: CS Leaders Board Reporting Packs

    Posted 10-11-2020 14:07
    @Matt Myszkowski, great insights from those who have responded thus far. I'll provide two perspectives: first, from a senior exec who presented to Boards, second, ​​as a Board member of a public company.

    Before sitting on a Board, my presentations were too long and had too much detail. I learned quickly that the detail that was important to me was not so important to the Board. Most Board meetings address a number of varied topics with just enough time allocated to each topic to understand the metrics, quickly, and any critical problems that need further exploration. I shared 3-4 critical metrics (net retention, CSAT metric, how are our highly invested initiatives performing critical people issues, key high-level insights into the business). I never had enough time to address all that I felt was important.

    As a Board member, I saw this from the other side. Those that presented almost always had too much detail for a Board-level discussion. What I always wanted to know, is what help/advice/guidance the executive needed from the Board related to his/her area of responsibility. As a presenter, I rarely asked for that. As a Board member, I heard it a bit more frequently.

    In my opinion, the keys to an effective Board presentation are: 1) Be succinct and share only what is very important, 2) Know your stuff - you're likely to get questions. You need to anticipate what those questions will be and be prepared with solid answers, 3) Be humble - don't assume you know everything, and 4) Give credit to others as appropriate. The Board will know that you are not doing everything yourself.​​​

    David Ellin
    Chief Customer Officer (consultant)

  • 6.  RE: CS Leaders Board Reporting Packs

    Posted 10-30-2020 08:43
    @Boaz Maor you had mentioned a presentation on this topic (VP of CS vs. CCO, specifically) from the CS Summit 2015/2016, could you please share?  Thank you.​

    Jeff Heckler
    Customer Success - Team Lead