Value Creation Strategies in Practice | Lessons in Success
One of the greatest benefits of our CXO Summit – and the Vista ecosystem at large – is the ability to meet and learn from executives at other enterprise software companies. People who have gone through similar challenges and have solutions to share. These peers can provide tactical advice and tangible examples of what’s been successful, what hasn’t and how they’re positioning their companies to capture growth and create value for their stakeholders.
During the 2022 CXO Summit, Lily Perez, Operating Senior Vice President at Vista, sat down with Cynthia Williamson, Chief Technology Officer of Jamf, Toyan Espeut, Chief Customer Officer of Apptio, Kerri Swope, Chief Customer Officer of ESO and Mike Campbell, Chief Executive Officer of Fusion Risk Management to discuss lessons learned and to share practical advice with fellow participants.
Here’s an inside look at how they’ve successfully implemented transformational value creation initiatives.
Creating a Culture of Accountability
Ruthless prioritization was a central theme of the discussion, but the group also emphasized the need for resource loading – ensuring every team member understands their precise role in broader corporate initiatives and has the bandwidth to execute. Our panelists discussed the merits of aligning individuals and resources not just to where the business is now, but also to where it’s going. When done well, prioritization, resource loading and alignment can create a culture of accountability and growth.
Prioritizing Education When Setting Strategy
Too often leaders set strategy without taking the time to educate their teams on the long-term goal. Well-informed teams understand what the strategy is; how and why it was created; what resources are available; and what metrics they should be monitoring and striving to achieve. By starting with education, leaders can ensure their teams understand the north star and are tracking towards the right goal.
Building a Customer-Centric Approach to M&A
With two Chief Customer Officers on the panel, it’s not surprising that the customer experience was top of mind. They both reminded the group that it’s important to look through the lens of the customer during M&A integration. Shifting from a legacy platform to a SaaS-based platform can be arduous and can present challenges for both companies and their customers. But when time is spent to prioritize this process, businesses will reap benefits through cross-sell and upsell opportunities of the integrated product suite, and customers benefit from enhanced scalability, flexibility and timely product updates.
Providing Opportunities for Talent to Succeed at the Next Inflection Point
In a fast-growing enterprise software business, it’s often said that the skills needed to get from one inflection point of growth are categorically different than the skills needed to get to the next. As a company gets bigger, star players move further away from the action – influencing and directing instead of writing code or designing products – and this can be a difficult transition. Leaders must ensure their teams have every opportunity and the right mentorship to know how to be successful at each inflection point ahead.
Using the Metrics That Matter
The panel talked a lot about the importance of metrics and ensuring a business is data driven. But what metrics really matter?
Understanding Product Features and Customer Data: If a product team has defined and solved the most prevalent problems through its product design, then lack of product usage can indicate a breakdown somewhere else along the chain. Is the team enabled internally? Are customers being communicated with effectively? The traceability of this metric can be key to understanding broader issues within an organization.
The Value of a Customer Effort Score (CES): While the net promoter score (NPS) – which measures the customer experience – often steals the limelight, our panel highlighted the value of a CES – which measures how much effort customers have to put in to interact with your business – in helping to provide visibility and sentiment from customers who churn. NPS can be a lagging indicator to CES which can help an organization start to see and mitigate against churn faster.
Time to Value (TTV): The ability to demonstrate delivering on an outcome as quickly as possible is important, but TTV also builds confidence and increases the propensity for cross-sell and upsell opportunities to create new revenue streams. It’s not just time to first value, but also driving urgency around the next use case that matters when building and retaining customer confidence.
Accelerating Success with a Proven Partner
In addition to having enterprise software peers to lean on, the panel also highlighted the value of working with an investment partner that has been there before and can provide hard-earned guidance and insight.
"Vista has been a huge force multiplier for us. Knowing that you can accelerate your growth, because you have people who’ve been around that corner that are available to you that, as an individual organization, you can’t get. It has been truly amazing."
Mike Campbell, CEO, Fusion Risk Management
Endorsements presented herein are made by current or former employees of Vista portfolio companies, over which Vista may have the ability to exercise discretion on employee compensation, promotion and other employment decisions.