If I knew then what I know now...

  • 8 February 2016
  • 6 replies

Userlevel 2
Badge +2
My company is new to Gainsight and we are about to start the implementation. Any tips, thoughts, ideas you have for a company brand new to Gainsight, things you wish you had known before you started?

6 replies

Userlevel 5
My number one piece of advice would be to start small and simple; especially when it comes to automated CTA's (and the rules that drive them). If you start off too complicated pretty good chance things won't work exactly as intended, and that plus info overload can start adoption off on completely the wrong foot. Get it up and running with simplified (even manual) CTA's, then expand from there.
Userlevel 3
Badge +1
Three things to consider from change management perspective to achieve high adoption and make Gainsight a huge success:

1) Enroll executives in endorsing the new system and commit to using it during weekly/monthly meetings with the team

2) Identify early adopters/champions early in the implementation process. They should be involved in all status meetings and review sessions during the development. Finally, have them train the other users when development phase is complete. Gainsight is a lot of experience in "training the trainer"  - leverage it!

3) Plan the project in a piece meal approach. I recommend all my clients to consider the following as factors in deciding scope:

  • FVD: Choose a process(es) that already exist and the users are well adapt in for your first value delivered. Specifically speaking, pick a process where challenges exist and Gainsight could add a significant value. By using this approach, the users only have to learn one thing - the new technology. This simplifies adoption and increases the chances of high adoption and instant high value realization. Examples: Identifying upsell opportunities, flagging customers at risk, sending NPS surveys with calls to action, etc.  Note: Try to pick a process that doesn't have to rely on data outside of SFDC. This would ensure your first value delivered happens sooner than later.  
  • Phase 2: This phase should ideally be timed to when users have already "warmed up" to the new Gainsight system. In other words, the users are comfortable using Gainsight and are already realizing value. In this phase, you want to consider integrating NEW processes into Gainsight. The only 'new' thing that the users would have to learn at this stage is the new process or one new module, since they are already used to the technology.  For example: Customer lifecycle (if you've never had those formalized and consistent prior to installing Gainsight), customer campaigns, etc.
  • External Data: I recommend dealing with external data in parallel to these phases. In an ideal situation, you first roll out the first two phases quickly without getting held up on external data shenanigans. Unless you have a data-warehouse that's squeaky clean and perfectly mapped to your Salesforce Account IDs. That being said, in my experience, you want to start with external data that's easy to bring in. Here you want to consider starting off with with Gainsight's awesome connector. If you have Zendesk ticketing system - why not start there?! It's easy and would provide you and the team with ample and immediate of value. Next, if you have a datawarehouse - not a bad place to start with at all. All other sources, trust me when I say, you want to pace yourself and take a piece meal approach. Bottom line, Data integration is adds a lot of value, but it could also get complicated very quickly. Start with simple clean data sources if possible, and run it in parallel to your phased project plan for business use cases whenever possibleIf it's not possible - hire a business intelligence professional to help you plan this right and bring in the right resources to make it as successful a project as possible.
Good luck!

...and excuse my typos 😉
Userlevel 5
Thanks Trevor ... this is a great question!  This reply will focus more on the Administrative aspects of Gainsight.

Last year, we had the opportunity to interview about twenty
of our Gainsight Admins and get to exactly this kind of information.  Here are some tips we can share ...

Learning Gainsight:

If you’re new to Gainsight, vocabulary may be confusing.  What is ARR? 
What is MDA? 

We suggest using Gainsight Go and bookmarking the Gainsight

Gainsight Go is
our primary source of documentation.  This
has been recently re-formatted to be easier to search and find what you’re
looking for, and has many new Tutorials that can help you more quickly learn
how to use things like the Rules Engine!

Above all, start early and build your understanding of how
all the pieces of Gainsight fit together.

Getting Help:

Apart from our standard support we want to encourage you to
use a couple additional resources. 

First (and you’ve already found this), please use this Community to ask
questions, submit ideas, and share knowledge. 
This is becoming increasingly more useful as we have more people
participate, and we benefit by having people across many time-zones helping

A key tip is that you can follow various categories, or
individual posts. 

One in particular is Admin
Office Hours
.  We have weekly
Admin-specific sessions to help with detailed and tricky questions.  We encourage participants to send questions
in advance which our team will review and work to provide great answers.

Every environment is different, but common themes do appear
in Community and in our Documentation. We’re on the lookout for these and will
be working to “tutorialize” and document them! (SFDC)

Gainsight is a application, so therefore you will
need to work with your SFDC Admin (unless you are that person).  Knowing this early on can save you much time
later ...

It’s also useful to understand how Permissions work with
Gainsight if you are involved in the Implementation process. 

And finally, if you are not too familiar with SFDC
Administration it is good to learn about Customer Objects and Fields and know
the basics of how to work with them. 
Again, you may not be the SFDC Administrator but if you are working to
create new objects/fields for Reports or Rules you’ll want to be able to
clearly communicate your needs to others as required.


Having CLEAN data is really important and KNOWING your data
is really important.  In the words of our

  •  "[i]If you think your data is clean, you should check it again."
  • [i]“Really get to know your company's SFDC and learn how it is structured (we had to clean up SFDC and come back to this). “

 A trivial example of clean data may be something like the “Title”
field in SFDC on the Contact object.  Let’s
say that this field allows free-form entry of data.  This means that you may get mixed titles like
“VP of Customer Success”, “Vice President of CS”, and “VP of CS”.  All the same meaning, but not easily
processed, say, by a Rule. 

Knowing your data (as well as cleaning it) is vital.  We recommend that you spend time
understanding the objects you’re ultimately going to work with and don’t be
afraid to work cross-functionally to perform a clean-up.  From a recent presentation, one of our
customers explained how cleaning up data to use with Gainsight has helped many
of their teams’ benefit!


Owning Your

Another tip from one of our customers is: [i]“Be ready to learn a lot ...”

As an Admin, you are accountable for your environment.  Gainsight is a very powerful tool, so
learning as much as you can and as early as possible is key.  If you’re in Implementation, ask questions of
your PM and make sure you’re familiar with how to use the many features of

While your Gainsight Admin role may be only part of your
day, some of our customers advocate for an every-day approach to curating your
instance of Gainsight.  This could be a
45-minute “ritual” where you check to make sure that rules are firing
correctly, customer records appear ok, etc. 
As your Salesforce environment may be shared by many people, the
back-end which you maintain could be affected. 

Also Important:

Particularly when working with Reports and Rules, there are
other key tips worth mentioning ...

  • Make sure you give yourself time to develop and test Reports and Rules
  • Understand parent-child relationships.  Objects you’re working with need to have a relationship to the Account Object in order to be useful
  • Building a quick report is often a great way to approach creating of a Rule
  • Take a lot of time to examine what are regularly scheduled and functioning rules.  Make sure you really understand before you start changing anything.  
Hope this helps, and make sure to check with your CSM about upcoming training courses!
Userlevel 2
Badge +2
Thank you. 
Userlevel 2
Badge +2
Thank you. This is great insight.
Userlevel 5
Irit's logic sounds right on the money, based on my own experience. Especially in regards to the external data; be very careful about the source and integrity of the data - and ensure that the proper tools and processes are in place to keep it accurate over time.