Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s bestselling book, ‘Nudge’, is a fascinating introduction to behavioural economics and its lessons are particularly relevant in Customer Success Management.

In it we learn that you can manipulate the choices people make by creatively designing the decision process. You can, in effect, present people with the illusion of choice. The authors called these perceived choices ‘nudges’, where decision makers are nudged to choose a particular option.

Often, however, the nudges we encounter have been badly considered and nudge people to make sub-optimal decisions. I worked at a Fortune 500 company that sent automated alerts to the entire management team each time a deal was closed. The successful seller was then rewarded with public praise and affirmation, what’s not to like?

The problem was, a LOST deal prompted a similar alert!

As you can imagine, nobody wanted that kind of negative exposure. Opportunities that should have classified as ‘Lost’ were instead left ‘Open’, artificially bloating the sales pipeline for the following months and quarters. Multiply this behaviour by a few thousand sales reps and you can imagine the impact this had on the entire company’s sales pipeline, the accuracy of their forecasting and their operational planning.

When I finally flagged this with sales operations, they were surprised. How could this (seemingly minor) alert have had such a major impact on the behaviour of salespeople? Thankfully the alert was revised, the ‘negative nudge’ was removed and forecasting subsequently improved.

Using Nudges in Customer Success

In SaaS and Customer Success, understanding how nudges affect behaviour is vital. When we think about the design of our free trials, we understand that one click too many or too few can cause conversion rates to plummet. Each decision we force the prospect to make is a nudge towards success or failure. We think a lot about this at Akita, specifically: can we implement processes that nudge our users to reduce client churn and grow their accounts?

The answer is of course yes, but what processes or solutions can we implement to make this a reality?

One solution is to give your business intelligence analysts and data scientists another piece of software to add to their analytics stack. This, however, doesn’t fully address the challenge as the data boffins don’t deal directly with your clients. We believe the data needs to be placed in the hands of those that can use it to make a real difference.

A full solution should augment the back end analytics with real time intelligence that helps ALL users drive customer success with each and every client interaction.

We designed Akita to deliver ‘success nudges’ that modify how your Salespeople, agents and CSMs behave and ensure they are focused on dealing with Customer Success challenges or opportunities in real time. The nudges are delivered when and where the agents are in communication with their customers, in real time in their email clients and browsers. The alternative to our model is to go searching for this intelligence in yet another application, but is that really an alternative?

So how does this look in reality?

Picture an email landing in an account manager’s email client (a busy account manager with 500+ accounts, plus new leads being filtered her way). She could quickly respond to the client query and get on with her day. However, Akita pops up with a nudge, alerting her that the account is at risk of churn and shows her the data to back that up, right in her email client. Now she is able to focus on understanding and mitigating the potential churn issue.

Extrapolate this scene across thousands of interactions and your company’s churn rate begins to reduce significantly and your Customer Lifetime Value grows, all as the result of a few little nudges.

Do You Need a LinkedIn Premium Account For Sales?

Do you need a Premium LinkedIn Account for Sales?

The answer isn’t automatically “yes”. The savvy salesperson will probably be able to get by without spending the €500+ per year if required.

Hand writing freemium

There are, however, a couple of reasons that may force you to upgrade:

  • You need to use the “company size” filter on your searches. If you want to avoid having your searches diluted with irrelevant profiles from companies that are too big or small, this powerful filter can be worth the investment alone, but for a start-up, probably not.
  • You need to run a significant number of searches (once you hit LinkedIn’s recently introduced “commercial usage” thresholds for search (60 and 100 searches per month), they will limit your searching for the rest of that month. However, if you know your Ideal Client Profile then you should set up laser targeted “advanced” searches, save them and you will receive weekly alerts with new leads, which should prevent you breaching limits.

Which license should you get if you do have to upgrade?

I’m not sold on “Sales Navigator” (€708 p.a.) yet. It’s expensive and actually has some restrictions that the free profile and other premiums don’t have:

  • You can’t see and send free messages to shared group members from searches,
  • and you don’t have full access to introductions.

Finally, implementing the “Sales Navigator” would add an additional tool and step to a growing prospecting stack. At Akita, we’re not ready to take the leap.

My choice would be the “Business Plus” subscription (€516 p.a.).

How to drive leads from LinkedIn with tiny budgets

How to drive leads with micro budgets on LinkedIn

Simple. Start posting content from your LinkedIn company page, then click ‘sponsor content’ – this will take you to the LinkedIn ‘Campaign Manager’ app.

You can then hyper-target an advertising campaign. This means you only pay for the right people to see your content. Below is a recent micro-campaign:


  • Geography: Ireland
  • Function: Sales/business developement
  • Seniority: Manager/director/VP level
  • Company size: 51 Employees +
  • Audience Size: 2589


  • Impressions: 1882
  • Clicks: 12
  • Social Actions: 1
  • Click through rate: 0.638
  • Total Spend: €26.28

See the campaign details below:

march 2015 DC campaign