What Makes A Good CTA ?

Userlevel 6

A new system Gainsight, wonderful.   A new way to work proactively, instead of reactively.

What are these Call To Actions (CTAs)?  

Within the tool, there is an easy way to create an action (task) based on some activity that has occurred or some situation that exists or perhaps there is just some periodic task that should be scheduled. The next bit of information is going to assume the reader is aware of the CTA feature, in general.

So what makes a “good CTA?”  
Without using the canned answer of “it depends”, let me share a couple suggestions around a few specific pieces of a CTA;  title, status, priority, type, etc. First of all, don’t just create a CTA because you can.   CTAs are easy to create, but one should make sure the CTA has an action that can be taken – hence the name “call to action”. Make sure you are creating a CTA, that has a task or set of tasks that should be completed by the assignee. Creating a CTA, just for awareness, can be valuable, but may end up being clutter in a CSM cockpit.  

CTA Title

Be specific as possible and to the point. There is limited space in the Cockpit when viewing the CTAs, so be cognizant.  

CTA Comment

Provide guidance and reminders to the reader as to the purpose and meaning of the CTA.  Point to specific objects, such as opportunities, cases, or contacts if the CTA is related to any of these items. Add pointers to process documentation as to how to process the CTA or help notes that gives the assignee reminders of how to best complete the CTA.

CTA Priority

Since this data field can be used for filtering within the Cockpit, be smart about the priorities for each and every CTA generated. Perhaps keep a list or document of all the CTAs possible and make sure as you add more CTAs to the system, the priority of each CTA is consistent with other CTAs at that same priority.

CTA Type

The main 3 or 4 general ones out of the box work well.  You may want to create a new type (category), especially if you want the CSMs to be able to sort on a specific class or special type of CTA.

CTA Status

Take a step back and walk into the future a little. Think about the CTA reports you want created in 6 or 12 or 18 months. You may want to add CTA statuses to segregate or segment at a later date. For example, CTA was closed but ineffective, CTA was closed but unsuccessful. CTA was closed, no customer response. You can have your own meanings of the word unsuccessful or ineffective.  Also, while the CTA is “in progress”, you will most likely want more statuses, like “Waiting on Customer”, “Waiting on Support”, etc.

CTA Owner   

Don’t forget CSMs are not the only people that can be CTA owners; it may make sense to create CTAs for Account Managers or Execs, for example.

CTA Due Date  

Think about this one a bit too. When should the CTA be due ? The CSMs are most likely going to use this data field to sort through “what to work on next” in the Cockpit. Give the CTA enough time to be
completed.  Run some periodic reports during a time period. Is a particular CTA always being completed after the Due Date?  Or always being competed 3 days before its due? Then, you might want to adjust the Due Date when the CTA is generated.

There is plenty more items to think about around CTAs.  Please feel free to ping me of any questions or if you want to go further around discussing CTA generation.


10 replies

Userlevel 5

Do many people utilize a “Waiting on customer” status? Any best practices to be aware of when adding new statuses like this?

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Love this! Great overview. 

Userlevel 5

Very helpful!

Userlevel 7
Badge +1
Hi Tom - this is a great perspective from an experienced Gainsight admin! Thanks for sharing these awesome tips and ideas!
Userlevel 6
Tom, this is an extremely insightful post! As a CSM using Cockpit, I find all of your suggestions and recommendations on how to think through what can seem to be a simple concept, spot on. 
Awesome summary!
Great overview!
I love the descriptions of each component. I have copied this and pasted it into our training deck! Thanks!!
Userlevel 6
Just saw this and wanted to say that's an awesome summary! Thank you for posting this!
Userlevel 5
Simple and amazingly written, loved it!!!