Seat Expansion Playbook

Playbook Overview
When should you run this playbook?
Your product allows for the self-serve addition of seats.
You see accounts adding seats above their plan limits.
You see accounts adding users from a new department.
Who to target?
Existing customers who have recently increased their subscriptions by adding more seats or users.
Playbook goal?
Expand pipeline by identifying upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
Responsible team(s)?
Sales
Marketing
The TL;DR
  • One of the clearest signals of an expansion opportunity is when an account begins adding seats on their own via a self-serve motion.
  • Reaching out while the expansion is fresh is key. Start the conversation when the need for additional features or support may be top-of-mind.
  • Account outreach can be divided between marketing and sales based on the potential ACV of the expansion. Marketing can use automated upsell/cross-sell campaigns while sales can offer a more personal conversation for higher-value accounts.

What is the key signal?

The addition of new seats to an account can indicate organic growth and potential interest in expanding their use of the product. By looking at the account holistically, including how many people are on the team or in the larger department, you can better understand how much whitespace exists beyond the seats your account has already added on their own.

What is the goal?

Expand existing customer contracts. 

When should you use this playbook?

Expansion plays work best when they address an immediate need. While it may seem redundant to connect with accounts who have already added seats, there’s often an opportunity to further upsell an account or to build rapport so that you’re better positioned to facilitate future expansion. Three key indicators that an account is a candidate for expansion outreach include:

  1. There is account whitespace. You know there is opportunity and will get incremental benefit from nudging this account along with their seat expansion. 
  2. Individual users are being added from different departments. This is a strong indicator that there is potential for use case expansion and a larger conversation.
  3. There are multiple types of new users. Great examples here include read-only, view-only, and limited feature users. These often indicate that your product has increased visibility and there’s already stickiness internally at the account.

Reach out as soon as an account has added more seats to engage with the customer while the expansion is still fresh and the need for additional features or support may be top of mind.

Try This Playbook

Step 1

Track account seat expansion. While many sales teams monitor seat expansion manually, we recommend creating an automated report or system to surface relevant accounts as they expand. Tools like Tableau and Looker can be used to create refreshable reports, or you can import your product usage and account-level data into Pocus to have leads automatically surfaced to reps.

Step 2

Determine how accounts will be routed between sales and marketing. Typically, account follow-up is divided by expansion potential or ACV. It may not make sense for sales reps to connect with small-scale accounts who are only adding a handful of seats at a time. In these instances, marketing can provide automated support. 

Step 3 

Connect with the surfaced accounts. As seat expansion accounts are identified, it’s time to start outreach. Marketing-owned accounts can feed accounts into an upsell/cross-sell drip campaign. Sales-owned accounts should be actioned by reps with personal outreach to clearly articulate the value of expanding subscriptions, including benefits like unlocking new features, improving efficiency, or achieving better ROI by enabling the product for more users.

Enable this playbook in Pocus

  1. Connect your relevant data sources.
  2. Select your goal (in this case, Expansion).
  3. Build your playbook based on the signal (trigger) and actions outlined above.
  4. Run the playbook by rolling it out to the relevant members of your team.
  5. Iterate over time based on reporting and results. You may find ways to improve this playbook’s effectiveness beyond what we’ve outlined here!
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