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How Marketing and Customer Success Can Collaborate to Drive Business Growth

marketing and customer success

If you read our blogs regularly, you know we often discuss collaboration between different departments. We have mentioned many times that customer success (CS) should not be siloed. But, through this blog, we want to elaborate on our point by examining the potential benefits of collaboration between your marketing and customer success teams.

So, how can these two teams work together to drive business growth? In short, they can:

  • Exchange customer stories
  • Organize events
  • Expand existing customer accounts
  • Pool customer information to drive strategy formation

The benefits of both teams working together include:

  • Better brand positioning and expanded brand awareness
  • Easier account-based marketing

Different internal teams can work in siloes, but, ultimately they are all still working towards the same goals.

The whole organization’s objective is to serve its customers and win their loyalty, especially in a SaaS-based company. This is why customer success is an organization-wide strategy rather than a siloed function.

Benefits of aligning customer success and marketing

When marketing and customer success teams are aligned, they produce significantly better results. Below we cover a few of the benefits involved.

Better brand positioning

Customer success helps marketing teams understand the features prospects need most. Customer success managers (CSMs) are more in touch with customers and better understand goals and challenges. Sharing their experiences, CS can help marketing understand what really clicks with the customers and how they evolve with the customer journey.

Accordingly, the marketing team can build its strategy to reflect the core values of the brand and its customers. By keeping the customer in mind, their outreach stays on message.

Finding the right prospects

If you win a new customer, you must ensure they stick with you until you recover the cost of acquiring them. According to one survey, only 11% of SaaS companies have a contract longer than three years. The rest all have shorter period contracts than that.

Customer success teams help marketing teams find the right message that will click with long-term customers.

This is where marketing teams get an opportunity to think from the perspective of the organization. Instead of reaching their targets of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) or sales qualified leads (SQLs), they expand their vision to think from an organization’s growth standpoint.

How the two teams can work together

A primary goal of a marketing team is to attract and convert leads. Whereas customer success teams are tasked with understanding customer needs and challenges in order to provide them with solutions.

To maximize the benefits of both teams, it is best to help them work together towards a larger objective. Below are a few tactics that can help the two teams collaborate effectively.

Exchange customer stories

storytelling marketing and customer success

Customer success managers should share their client’s success stories with the marketing team. They have valuable customer insights to share with the marketing team. Marketing’s goal should be to show prospects how the company’s product would make the prospect’s life easier.

So, if they are able to share the stories of existing customers, it will resonate deeply with the prospects. This way, they will be more confident in buying your product. Plus, those success stories are case study gold for marketing.

Organize events

When the four key groups meet up, magic happens. These four key groups are customer success, marketing, existing customers and prospects. Organizing events like annual conferences or short online events like webinars, are great opportunities for these groups to interact with each other.

There’s nothing more effective in winning new customers than letting prospects interact directly with successful existing customers. These events should deliver valuable industry insights to everyone involved.

Marketers can get worthwhile insights by interacting with existing customers. The customer success team would be in a better position to help marketing teams when they listen to their prospects. Everyone wins with an event like this.

Expanding existing customer accounts

Customer success teams can leverage marketing expertise in communicating new offers to their existing customers. These offers can be in the form of upselling or cross-selling related products. The marketing team can help them produce the right collateral, which CS teams can present to customers.

They can also help create customer segments for various account expansion activities. These customer segments can be based on their demographic details, market-size, or stages in the customer journey.

Through the right marketing strategies, the customer success team can expand business in the customers’ territories.

Easier account-based marketing

This is a very specific example of marketing and CS teams working together. By targeting only a limited number of high-value customers, both teams can create a solid account-based marketing strategy. 

The customer success team can give an in-depth analysis of these customers’ challenges and their pain-points. Then marketing can communicate how their product is the best solution for their needs.

This information is translated into engaging marketing content that they can send to these customers. The results are often in favor of the company if executed flawlessly.

Customer-centric marketing is the new trend

With more companies aligning their strategies to become customer-centric, the marketing function is not left untouched. Marketing has evolved in the past few years to become more customer-focused than ever.

Any marketing strategy based on data rather than intuition is more likely to succeed. Below are a few customer-centered marketing strategies you can start using today.

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing has changed marketing significantly over the past few years. Marketers realize it’s no longer effective to interrupt a customer during working hours to talk about a new product.

Customers look for information in multiple places and brands must provide relevant knowledge across all channels. This is a slow and meticulous process that takes time to produce results. This is more aligned with what customers need and generates a better customer experience.

Understanding the customer journey

customer journey customer success and marketing

By understanding the customer journey, marketing can formulate better outreach campaigns.

Sending educational content to top-of-funnel prospects and product-specific materials to those at the bottom of the sales funnel works best.

The better marketing teams understand the customer’s mindset, the better marketing campaigns they are able to produce.

Final take

As customers have evolved to better filter out brands from all the available options, companies have evolved too. Brands don’t want unqualified prospects to buy their products and soon become dissatisfied. They need qualified prospects who are the best fit for their products and services.

Doing business in the SaaS space has become a match-making effort. Both parties should suit each other to reap better and longer-term benefits.

When customer success and marketing collaborate, they generate customers who are a better fit. Customers also get the privilege to know the brand from their own perspective rather than through that of the business.

Many benefits are generated when the goals of customer success are aligned with those of marketing.

The company increases new customer acquisition rates, grows revenue, enjoys higher customer satisfaction and retention rates, and increases customer lifetime value. Isn’t that what every SaaS company wants?

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