Episode 034: Great Project Lifecycle Automation with Mark Robinson

In this episode we discussed with Mark Robinson about Kimble Applications is a project automation system that helps SaaS companies figure out how to anticipate needs and address them efficiently

Show Notes

For many SaaS companies, part of the struggle to reduce customer churn comes from a lack of foresight and planning. All too often, projects come along that require various tools and systems, but the company doesn’t adapt its processes to meet demand hence automation can be a solution. In the end, the businesses struggle to retain customers and can’t figure out why.

In this episode of the SaaS CX Show, I’m talking with Mark Robinson, CEO of Kimble Applications. His company helps businesses discover the root problems that come with a project-first mindset and puts them on the right track. We talk a lot about changing one’s perspective and how it can shift a company to become more streamlined and profitable. Here are some highlights.

Looking Forward vs. Looking Back

According to Mark, one problem that plagues most SaaS customer service companies is that they take a hindsight approach to fixing problems and cutting costs. Once a project comes in, so many businesses play catch-up, or they focus on the immediate needs without looking at the road ahead.

Project Automation
Mark Robinson CEO of Kimble Applications.

It’s like looking in the rearview mirror instead of the windshield. Rather than planning ahead and anticipating needs, SaaS companies instead do an autopsy after the fact to see what worked and what didn’t. The worst part? Rarely does that spur any meaningful change. Why? Well, that brings us to our next highlight.

Processes vs. Systems

Another issue plaguing SaaS businesses is that they like to focus on new tools and systems without understanding the need behind it. Yes, it’s nice to upgrade to new software or put everything in the cloud, but what’s the point?

So, rather than focusing on the systems being used, Mark and his team like to focus on the processes. What is the process for getting new clients? What are you doing to reduce customer churn? Where are there shortfalls? Ultimately, it should be the process that dictates which system you use, not the other way around. By focusing attention on the root of the problem, Mark can create a much better automation system around it.

Onboarding vs. Activation

Finally, we discuss the difference between onboarding a new customer and activating them. In many cases, SaaS companies view going live as the “mission accomplished” milestone. However, just because you completed onboarding doesn’t mean that your customers are getting the value they want.

Business Planning
Project automation system that helps SaaS companies figure out how to anticipate needs

Another issue that drives customer churn rates up is that these companies are focusing on the wrong metrics. It doesn’t matter how many times a user logged in or played around with the tools if he or she isn’t getting the work done. Instead of looking at system metrics, how well are your clients achieving the goals they set out to accomplish?

We talk a lot more about project lifecycles and the pitfalls that SaaS companies encounter, so check out the rest of the episode here. You can also find out more about Mark and Kimble Applications at www.kimbleapps.com.

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