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45 Days to Awesome

How Gainsight Launched Their Customer Success Career Companion in Less Than Two Months on the Intellum Platform

When the leader in customer success decided to launch a premium, subscription-based learning platform to support the careers of customer success professionals around the globe, they had their choice of partners, but time was running out. The goal was to launch a fully functional and fleshed out learning environment at Pulse 2019, the largest customer success and product management event in the world (which Gainsight owns and manages)—and it was just 45 days away.

Intellum’s average implementation is 45-90 days. Could we launch Gainsight’s new global Customer Education platform complete with custom functionality, in just 45 days?

Gainsight needed more than an out-of-the-box solution. They needed a true learning technology partner that had the expertise and the software development chops to help them sort through the complexities of offering paid learning to a large audience that includes Gainsight customers, Pulse attendees, and customer success professionals around the world. After digging in with multiple “customer training” providers it was clear to Gainsight that Intellum was the one player with a shared vision and the capacity, experience, and functionality to support Gainsight’s vision of the ultimate customer success education destination. With Pulse 2019 less than two months away, the question became: Can Gainsight and Intellum pull this off in just 45 days?

45 Days Out: Collaborate and Define

Our first priority was to immerse ourselves in the concept. Gainsight envisioned an online media platform that combines premium eLearning and industry-grade certifications with exclusive content and behind-the-scenes stories of brands and thought leaders who exemplify the true spirit of customer success.

Delivering the industry’s most authoritative customer success certification as the primary outcome in mind, the destination would also serve as a digital companion to help develop and grow the careers of Pulse community members and customer success professionals around the world. Through a year-round program of regularly updated on-demand training, video series, podcasts, and more, Intellum assembled a dedicated team of account strategists, implementation specialists, and solutions engineers who partnered with the Gainsight team and brought their combined expertise, best practices, and strategic direction to the table to execute Gainsight’s vision:

  • When Gainsight asked for a custom registration and payment process that would create one solid, seamless user flow, we leveraged existing e-commerce functionality to create an experience that includes a dedicated landing page, a consumer software-like payment process, and personalized log-in experiences.
  • When they wanted to improve their certification program, we recommended building the program as a path with a multi-part assessment. We then designed a series of assessments that pull from different question pools (essentially creating a unique exam every single time) as users progress through the path, allowing them to take—and retake—until successfully completed. And of course, we added a custom completion award that users can share on their profile and social networks.

  • When they wanted to better organize their existing content and add highly curated CSM-related content for a more meaningful learning experience, we re-evaluated their taxonomy and recommended a more intuitive way of naming and structuring their content, based on the advice of Julia Huprich, learning content expert and Intellum’s VP of Learning Initiatives. We also included hundreds of podcasts, blog posts, articles, videos, and peer discussions that have been expertly curated by Julia’s team and are only available through Intellum’s Discover Tab, to further supplement Gainsight’s content and support the career development of customer success professionals.

25 Days Out: Build and Refine

A custom registration process with a customized login experience. A certification program with complex assessments. A subscription offering with enhanced e-commerce functionality. We are nimble and fast-moving and the Intellum platform is designed from the ground up for rapid implementation, but with less than a month until Pulse 2019, we were deep in user journey consulting and custom-engineering—and the clock was ticking.

Working in tandem, the Gainsight team focused on building out truly meaningful and valuable content using the new taxonomy and topics structure while the Intellum team focused on building out the more complex functionalities of custom registration and certification assessment. Weekly team meetings kept the group aligned and served as an opportunity for technical training and assistance and crucially—discovery.

While refining the existing e-commerce capabilities within the Intellum platform, we realized we needed a tighter integration with our payment processing partner Stripe (who is also an Intellum client) in order to meet Gainsight’s real need: a better subscription model. While Gainsight historically sold individual premium learning modules to customer success professionals, the vision for this new destination was to allow users to subscribe to the program indefinitely through an annual automatically renewing payment. We delivered on that need and even developed a process that allows Gainsight to build its audience by testing a wide variety of incentives and discount coupons to get customer success professionals subscribed.

Once the subscription process was in place we dug deeper into the user journey. Just days away from the event, weekly team meetings turned into daily team updates as Gainsight and Intellum worked through multiple scenarios to identify and improve how users would come to and utilize the new platform. Gainsight fine-tuned their registration process. Intellum leveraged additional engagement and re-engagement tactics. Together, we created a seamless user journey that accounted for multiple points of origin and entry scenarios.

WE CRUSHED IT! In just 45 days, Gainsight and Intellum forged a true partnership and built an industry-leading, game-changing customer education platform.

0 Days: Pulse+ Goes Live

Gainsight decided to soft-launch the new Customer Success Education platform, which they branded Pulse+, to the conference attendees who planned to become certified as Customer Success Managers through a live event called Pulse Academy Live. This took place the day before the Pulse 2019 kick-off and the goal was to create some buzz by offering the Academy attendees six months of free access as a surprise added benefit to certification exam. We make it easy to import and organize user profiles and data from legacy systems, so Gainsight and Intellum developed a plan to pre-load more than 700 Pulse Academy Live registrants into the system. Buzz achieved.

On Wednesday, May 22, Gainsight CEO Nick Mehta introduced Pulse+ to the more than 6,000 attendees of Pulse 2019 during his opening keynote to great fanfare. The game was officially afoot! We were supremely confident in the solution we custom built and delivered for Gainsight in just 45 days, even though we had developed the entire thing in just 45 days. So, to ensure that the Pulse+ launch went off without a hitch, Intellum assigned some of the Account Strategists, Implementation Specialists, and Solutions Engineers who had worked on the Gainsight project to a “standby” team for troubleshooting and technical support should any issues arise during the conference. We also sent resources to Pulse 2019 to help man Gainsight’s booth and provide on-site user onboarding and training.

The Gainsight Pulse+ launch was a huge success, thanks to the deep partnership that Gainisght and Intellum created during the intense 45 days to launch. Today, thousands of Customer Success professionals are engaging with Gainsight through Pulse+ to stay up-to-date on customer success best practices and training. They are earning customer success certifications and qualifications that make them more attractive and successful. And they are doing it on the Intellum Platform.

“Huge shout out to Intellum for NOT being just another vendor with some great tech; but rather, being true thought partners and digital sherpas working up to the launch of Pulse+, the must-have career companion for every customer success professional! Thank you.”
~ Ruben Rabago, Chief Strategist, Gainsight