When we talk about what part of the company is technically the inner voice of the customers, the answer usually turns out to be customer success management. In fact, the best companies recognize the use of good communication and how that can add value to the sales process. Delving into other aspects of customer culture positions the clients for success once they become brand advocates. This blog is going to walk you through the easy alignment of sales and customer success.
The initial catalyst, or the very reason the customer decided they need your solution – doesn’t go away once they buy. In fact, it actually gets stronger once they’ve made that commitment. And sales communicating that catalyst to Customer Success not only sets the customer up for success but also the company.
So you must remember both Sales and the Customer Success Management organizations hold a treasure trove of useful knowledge on your customers. You can then tap into grow new business sales and drive in-account expansion. And to know about why do we need to align both the terms and how do we do that, read on.
Why aligning sales and customer success is important?
- Gathers insights into various customers’ needs – When you team up your sales and customer success departments, you tend to see how good ideas brew. Also, you can now envisage how easy it is to acquire each type of customer.
While customer success managers can easily know if a client is a good fit or not, sales can provide color into how tough it is to acquire customers from each segment. Hence, club both and get cognizant of the customer segment’s needs.
- Sets a feedback loop – It’s a given that setting up a feedback loop between the customer success and sales departments allows you to adjust to the newer insights. Not just that, it constantly refines your segments.
One way to boost up the sales and customer success relationship is by putting up collaborative workshops. Some of the common questions you can throw a laser-beam focus at are: which sectors are better to work with? Are service packages a good tool to render quality?
- Collaborates with a united team – Both the teams can gel up to imbue quality and value. Early in the sales cycle, customer success teams can help frame opportunities and vice versa.
Not just that, they can help the sales team scope the implementation and ensure that the right framework is being established. Further, you can carve out a 30-60-90 day plan that checks that you are executing on the deliverability right.
How to align sales and customer success?
References come to rescue
It’s a given that references are a critical part of the sales process. Also, refrain from asking the same client for a referral. Note that asking customers to reference when they are on a positive success vector or the ones who have hit a logical success milestone, can easily drive a surplus supply of valuable references.
This is when the sales team can receive leverage. This is will eventually drive the customer success team with upsells and cross-sells too.
Create a success plan
A Success Plan to capture target KPIs, expected ROIs, and desired timelines for each customer. This plan should become the main working document for CSMs past the onboarding phase.
Depending on the roles and responsibilities you set as per the previous steps, expansion may be a joint effort between Sales and CS. It is possible to identify opportunities for upselling, by maintaining regular plans between the two teams.
Yes to a great onboarding
By maintaining sales insight into the onboarding process, you can improve the scope of future sales by seeing new prospects as they see the value for the first time. Further, sales can see first-hand any gaps between customer expectations and reality.
Develop the sales-customer success handover
Every Sales and Customer Success team should define and follow a pre to post-sales handoff process. This gives substantial time for discovery, which can include success metrics, stakeholder identification value drivers, and more.
Being aware of this information right from the start speeds up the return for the customer, which can lead to faster growth, a reduction in churn risk, or both. As key information transfers from one organization to the other, this creates confidence in the client.
Many of them live with the fear that their purchase decision is going to hurt their careers and poor handoffs will bring those fears to the surface more rapidly than any other event.
Delve into reasons for churn
Churn, though a critical sign, is a lagging indicator. For that, ascertain what stages exist for your customers in the implementation journey? Share this information with the Sales team and solicit feedback on how to uncover potential issues during sales discovery.
A fair number of clients who would be less than successful can be righted with proper expectations set and resources accessed before signing a contract.
A great relationship between Sales and Customer Success is the foundation for successful customer experience. By establishing customer segments, a process for sharing knowledge from the sales process with the Post-Sales team.14
And by feeding back positive and negative observations to Sales, the Customer Success team will ensure that they have the best platform to drive clients to renew and expand.
Simran hails from the content marketing backdrop with extensive knowledge in blogs, articles, and technical whitepapers in the non-fictional domain. She uses her ‘gift of the gab’ to explore new possibilities on her way and to make an exquisite impact on her readers. In her spare time, she likes to read journals on artificial intelligence or play with her cute kittens.
Published September 17, 2020, Updated December 30, 2020