Every company needs it customers to succeed and there is no doubt that customer success is an important aspect for any company. The goal of any company is to make sure customers stay longer and advocate or promote your product.
Customer success begins with pre-sale interactions and continues across the entire lifecycle till the end of the association with customer. Customer success and sales need to be aligned to get the best results for the company. To achieve the desired outcome, companies need to align sales and customer success. Ensuring that the entire company is working together to deliver the best possible customer experience will enable retention.
Sales: Driven by Goals
For any sales team, the goal is simple- hit the number. These goals may affect customer success since you can have bad deals where the customers are always looking to churn. If during a sale, a customer is provided impossible results, the tension will persist. Customer success teams may not know what the sales team has said while pitching the product or service. In many challenging situations, customer success teams may find themselves under the bus due to sales promises. Sales and customer success teams if not aligned land up wasting the resources and time of each other.
What a disconnect between sales and customer success team means-
Customer success is to retain customers while sales teams want to bring more customers onboard. There are customers who will never find value that they signed up for. When a sales team makes a sale, it is the need for customer success teams to make sure the customer retains. There is often a frustration in the sales team if customer success teams cannot keep the customers. The churn rates are high, and this will cost the company more money on every front. This is why aligning of sales and customer goals is necessary.
Why is it important to align sales and customer success goals?
Aligning customer success and sales is important as there is a set of shared expectations between them.
- Better Cooperation and coordination between teams is possible. It drives better outcomes for customers.
- Finding the balance between sales and customer success will make it easier for the team and company to retain customers.
- Having regular meetings with the teams will reduce churn and reduce customer issues
- Feedback loops are created. Customer information from the stage of onboarding can be taken into account so that knowledge is transferred, and issues are addressed, if any.
- Shift in operational mindset to a more streamlined, constructive, and communicative process.
Steps to Ensure Sales and Customer Success Teams are aligned
Before you sign the deal
- Make sure you are choosing the right customers with the help of customer success teams. You can identify customer types and check the most successful customers. Have your customer success managers at weekly meetings. If a potential customer is not interested in the product, it is necessary to make sure that all concerns are addressed.
- Liaison a relationship between your prospects and existing customers. This is social selling and is extremely powerful and profitable to get new customers and retain existing ones. Getting them to talk will be great as they can address pain points, understand issues, clear doubts, and make a purchase with the company.
- Transfer the knowledge of the sales team to the customer success team so that they will know the minute details about the attitude of the customer. Getting an idea about the customer will be helpful for both the teams. If a sales team representative knows something about the customer, it is imperative to share it with the customer success teams.
After you sign the deal
- Internally have a checklist you want to transfer about the customer to the customer success teams. That transfer of knowledge is important to keep the momentum aligned. A list of customer information will be helpful for both teams to find a bridge. If sales teams mention the list, the customer success teams can use that information to know what the customer prefers and how to provide that to him.
- Within 2 days, you need to have a kickoff call with customers. There it is better to keep the expectations aligned and clear points of contact noted. If customers are spoken to within 2 days, the purchase is fresh on their mind. This will be helpful in keep them retained with the business.
- Get recommendations on social media so that it will help both sales and customer success infinitely. If new customers write recommendations on social media, others will see and feel interested in associating with the product or service. Many times, customer testimonials or recommendations have played a vital role in making a purchase decision.
Ongoing and Expansion
- Customer health checks need to be done regularly. Review the usage of customers, check benchmarks, and keep the best practices in mind. Customer health score is a great indicator to understand how the customer works with the product and what aspects can be made better.
- Bottoms-up feedback is another crucial aspect to keep in mind. Asking for feedback from the customers is a great way to drive sales. Through surveys, you can get the right feedback to review with leadership. Customer feedback is a great way to understand how the customer feels and improve the prospects of customer success.
How Customer Success meets Sales Enablement
Sales and customer success don’t work overnight. It requires a lot of hard work, passion, and vision. Aligning sales and customer support teams will be helpful in improving customer success. Here are ways you can do that-
- Prioritise requests: Make sure that when sales people are looking to cross-sell or up-sell, they are aware of the customer accounts completely. Aligning them to make sure they serve a common purpose is important. If both teams are responsible for sales and renewals, then it is easier to hold customers and keep them retained.
- Customer success teams and sales leaders must communicate to support not only individual goals but also team goals. Feedback and information should be passed on so that honest discussions take place. Honest feedback about products will essentially help even development teams improve the offering with advanced features and versions.
- Look into company metrics to understand what the alignment can help with. If the NPS score is an issue, you can ask the sales team to connect with the customer on a personal level to measure up scores and enable positive scores. If a testimonial can help, the team can reach out and procure one.
Bottom Line: Right for Meeting Goals
With a strongly aligned leadership, previously declared common goals, and clearer processes of work, it is possible for the sales and customer success teams to get along. The relationship is essential to drive success and growth. With the new and improved connection, it is possible to see more revenue, reduced churn, improved customer experience, and increased sales pipeline. Making sure that customer success and sales teams are aligned will also improve customer retention, provide a better experience, enhance customer satisfaction, and create a feedback loop which will drive product or service enhancements.
Jyothi Tulasi is tech-savvy and proficient in technical SEO optimization for various SaaS products. She has profound expertise in outreach. She loves connecting to people and singing in her free time.