Account Success Plans — B2B SaaS Customer Growth Fundamentals

Kent Phillips
3 min readSep 20, 2019


Thanks Salesforce for this image.

Account Success Plans are the nucleus and ❤️ of every successful customer relationship. Often the customer’s success plan is not written down or clearly defined for everyone in the company. If we don’t know the ‘why’ for a customer or how we add value to their business we’re in trouble.

To help others in the Customer Success community, here are my favorite Account Success Plan templates and some guidance on how to create a success plan for each of your customers.

An Account Success Plan should help anyone at your company to answer these essential questions;

  • Why is your customer using your products or services?
  • What problems are your solutions solving for your customer?
  • Is your customer ready to buy more or expand?

Here is the Account Success Plan template that I like to use and here is a second version with more information for strategic accounts.

The 🔑 is to have an Account Success Plan for every customer and to review the plan with the customer; “Is this what success would look like for your needs and organization this year?”

I’ve included some suggestions on Account Success Plans below to help make sure that the Account Success Plan as a living document that can continually add value to your company as a snapshot of each customer relationship.

  1. Fill out the Account Success Plan as best as you can with all of the information at your disposal. This means collecting as much information from your sales team, CRM, customer emails, or any other source of information on your customer.
  2. Document the customer’s keywords and comments into each section. Do NOT use your own terminology or vernacular; talk like your customer!
  3. Ask your sales counterpart to validate and provide suggestions to the plan as they may have more information to add which has not been documented yet.
  4. Update and use the Account Success plan before, during, or after each interaction with your customer. Often the customer will not want to word vomit (🤮) all of the information you’re looking for on the Account Success Plan in one interaction. It is best to listen for each topic during customer conversations and/or to ask specific questions naturally in a conversation so that you can go update the Success Plan after the interaction (call/email/meeting).
  5. Keep the Account Success Plan links in an easy to find location. If you can attach the file to the account in your CRM or Customer Success software that is even better. Make it easy for everyone in the company to know the customer’s why, key dates, and objectives for the current contract period.
  6. Review the Success Plan with the customer. Ask the customer; is this what success looks like to you? What do you think? The intention is to make sure both parties use the same map and are aligned.

Once your team has Account Success Plan for every customer it will be a lot easier to drive value to your customer in each interaction and to identify when to discuss growth or new products/services.

With an Account Success Plan you’ll be able to prepare for your QBRs and identify growth or upsell opportunities without sounding salesy, rather focusing on their objectives and how your team can help them solve their problems.



P.S. Thank you to David Ashworth for the Strategic Account Plan template and Amir for the tips and review!



Kent Phillips

Community Growth | Project Management. Mentoring & Meditation enthusiast. Good gift giver.