About TPR

Mark Flanagan

Welcome to Twin Peaks Research! 

I’m Mark Flanagan, and I’d like to tell you a little about myself and the concepts behind the company I’ve recently launched. 

Twin Peaks Research is essentially a business advisory service for companies in the SaaS and software subscription world. I’ve had a lot of conversations lately with senior executives and investors at these companies, and I’ve found they often face serious challenges from qualified lead generation, customer onboarding and retention, revenue expansion, organizational development, and overall financial performance.

These are challenges that I’m confident I can help address. 

However, it’s also obvious that the problems that I’m hearing about come in many different flavors. I don’t believe there’s a one-size-fits-all solution that will work for everyone. I’m not offering a software platform, a book or a video series that’s targeted at a mass market. And, I don’t have a small army of consultants who will give you off-the-shelf solutions and irrelevant benchmarks.

Instead, I’ve set up Twin Peaks Research as a very focused boutique service, with highly customized research and recommendations for each client. That means you can expect me to invest plenty of time in one-on-one interviews with your key employees and in developing very personalized recommendations. I may bring in a couple of specialists for some projects, but I’m the person that you’ll be working with on your specific concerns almost all the time.

So what are my credentials as a problem-solver?

The best answer I can offer is the track record I’ve built during 25 years as a successful company founder and senior technology leader. Most recently I built a training and onboarding company for enterprise software developers. Previously, I helped launch and manage seven different technology start-ups (including two Cloud-based SaaS firms), and served as president and CEO of a major information services company that published a subscription-based technology magazine. Over the years, I’ve acquired a great deal of hands-on experience in just about every aspect of running a technology company—from working with developers, marketers, and sales reps to overseeing professional services, financial reporting, and even a few challenging mergers and acquisitions. 

Perhaps the most universal lesson I’ve learned during this time in the trenches is the absolute importance of customer success. Yes, “customer success” is now a hot new trend, and that’s a welcome development—especially in the high-tech world. But I’ve also learned that creating sustainable customer success requires more than just a quick onboarding program and occasional emergency hand-holding. I’d argue that customer success has roots in product design and effective marketing on the front end, and long-term customer engagement over the whole cycle of product usage. 

I’d be delighted to discuss how what I’ve learned about customer success can help you with your company’s growth and profitability challenges. If you’re interested, let’s talk.

 

Mark Flanagan

Principal, Twin Peaks Research

Direct phone: 508-922-7605

Email: mark@twinpeaksresearchllc.com

Website: www.twinpeaksresearchllc.com

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mark-flanagan-407691

 

TPR Associates

 

Jeffrey Tarter
Industry analyst, consultant, entrepreneur, and writer. Jeffery was the founder of Softletter (the most trusted source for benchmarks, metrics and business insights that software executives need to maximize growth and profitability) and The Association of Support Professionals (an international membership organization for customer support managers and professionals.) He has recently published a book entitled "The First Hundred Days: How to Hit the Ground Running With a Brand-New Job". 

Bern Bradstreet
A serial entrepreneur and CEO of several successful startup companies, Bern is currently an advisor on SaaS and customer success. Bern is a proven executive and leader whose extensive experience spans a wide range of software-related businesses.

 

A Few Questions

 

Q. How do we learn more about working with you?

Just call me or send an email. Tell me what you’re looking for, and we’ll arrange a meeting at your offices (Boston area only). You can also find out more about me on LinkedIn.

 

Q. We need detailed information on several key topics—specifically, job descriptions and compensation by position within a customer success group.

We can definitely help you with these topics. Also websites like Glassdoor.com and Indeed.com are reliable information sources along with Mikael Blaisdell’s Customer Success Association.

 

Q. We’re about to go through a reorganization of our customer success group, and it would be helpful to have someone outside of our organization to assist us with this transition. Is that a service you can provide?

Yes, if our current work schedule provides enough time for the project.

 

Q. We need to create a new training program and a few instructional videos. Can you help?

Yes, we can asssist you with these projects (and show you some examples from our own portfolio). We can also help you recruit a curriculum specialist and someone to work on video production on these projects for you. Think in terms of a long-term relationship with these individuals, so that you have resources available for updates on an ongoing basis.

 

Q. Our company is a startup and our product is still in Beta. When should we begin focusing on a customer success process?

You should begin your effort by focusing on an effective onboarding process with your Beta sites. Providing them with a quick and easy ‘Getting Started’ experience will enhance your ability to convert them to paying customers when your product is commercially available. It will also help you refine your approach with new prospects.

 

Q. We’ve been running a successful software business for a while but we’ve just migrated to a SaaS-based offering. What should we be focused on?

The overriding issue is that the business model for a Cloud-based SaaS or subscription-based business is dramatically different from a one built around outright product sales. In a product model, once the customer has bought and paid for it, the customer owns virtually all the risk. In the SaaS or subscription model, by contrast, you never stop owning customer success, not if you want to protect against your installed base churning out from underneath you.

 

 

A Few Words About Mark

 

“As president and CEO, Mark developed and implemented a corporate strategy that ensured that Envox Worldwide became a leader in the global IP-based voice solutions market. All of the company’s departmental plans, as well as individual employee goals and objectives, were tied to this corporate strategy, and led to outstanding performance on an annual basis.”
--Jorgen Bladh, chairman, Envox Worldwide

 

“Mark and his team developed Brooktrout Software into a leader in the emerging Voice Solutions market… the company’s development platform and related services were recognized by leading analysts, and key influencers, as well as customers and competitors alike, as “best-in-breed”... the company also became known for providing outstanding support and service to its customers, even the largest enterprises and most demanding service providers.”
--Eric R. Giler, president, Brooktrout Technology

 

“I am a big fan of yours, Mark, and developed a very high regard for your marketing, business development, and management expertise when you were president of Lotus Publishing!”
--Pat McGovern, chairman, International Data Group

 

“Without question, the work that Mark has done over the past four and a half years has transformed Kurzweil AI… Through his leadership and general management abilities, Mark has drawn every functional group into his business planning activities and, as a result, there is widespread commitment throughout the company to the success of the PC Applications initiative.”
--Ray Kurzweil, founder and CTO, Kurzweil Applied Intelligence

 

Mark has always been an exceptional sounding board when I have sought his advice on a wide range corporate issues. In particular, I have valued his insights on general management, product management, and strategic marketing, and business development.”
--John Tylko, chief operating officer, General Computer Corporation

 

“Mark’s leadership skills and his ability to recruit, train, and shape personnel into a cohesive, focused team are surpassed only by the loyalty and respect his people, as well as his peers, have for him.”
--Richard J. Dunfey, president, Wadsworth Professional Software